Polaris 360 vs 380 – Why Polaris 360 The Winner?

Polaris is dominating the suction-side pool cleaner industry. They are not only overwhelmingly popular but also offering remarkable pool cleaners. But, it gives people headaches when choosing between Polaris 360 and 380, the two most successful suction-side pool cleaners. If you having the same issue, this Polaris 360 vs 380 comparable reviews will help you a lot.

Polaris suction-side pool cleaner journey was started with Polaris 280, and Polaris 380 and Polaris 360 are continuing that now. However, the problem occurs to us when choosing which one to buy. Both of them have tons of similar features. And, customer opinions are pretty much the same. Thus, it became hard for us to choose one.

Polaris 360 vs 380 - Why Polaris 360 The Winner?

So, What’s the difference between Polaris 360 And 380 and, why in my opinion Polaris 360 is the best? Here, I’m going to show you a clear comparison of Polaris 360 vs 380. Without complicating things further, let’s be straight, in my opinion, the Polaris 360 is slightly better than Polaris 380. As for the reasons, first, it doesn’t need any additional booster pump, and second, the in-build technologies are the latest. 

But, if you already have a booster pump, that answer may vary for you. So, let’s get down to a detailed discussion on.

Why Is Polaris 360 The Winner?

  • Polaris 360 is powered by a triple jet and the latest advanced cleaning technology of Polaris. Although Polaris 380 also has a triple jet, it doesn’t support the latest technologies. 
  • It does a better sweep, scrub and vacuum the floor and walls of your pool leaving nothing behind. 
  • Unlike the older Polaris suction-side pool cleaners, this model operates on the pool circulation and doesn’t depend on an additional booster pump. 
  • The 360 comes with a 2¼ inch diameter vacuum inlet and a 31 feet feed-hose with a swivel feature. 
  • To clean without any disturbances, 360 comes with an in-line backup valve which automatically frees it when it gets stuck in corners or some other where.
Specification Polaris 360 Pool Cleaner Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner
Amazon Rating 4.4 4.3
Dimensions(inches) 20 x 10 x 22.75 20 x 9.75 x 22.5
Weight 14 lbs 16.50 lbs
Booster Pump(requirement) No Yes
Vacuum Inlet 2 ¼” 2 ¼”
Priority Walls, floors Walls, floors & steps
Hose 31 inches 31 inches
Venturi jets 3 jets 3 jets
Drive system All-Wheel Belt Drive All-Wheel Belt Drive
Tires Classic Classic
Debris Bag Single Chamber Single Chamber
Todays Best Deals Check Polaris 360 Price Check Polaris 380 Price

What the Differences and Similarities Between Polaris 360 And 380 Pool Cleaner

Installation

It is important to know whether the cleaner you are buying is compatible with your pool system. Most of the time people overlook this matter and later complain about the cleaner. One thing must be noticed if it needs a booster pump to operate or not.

Polaris 380, despite being one of the latest models, needs a booster pump. But, on the other hand, the 360 can operate without any booster pump and depends on the pool circulation pump. However, without this, the installation process of both cleaners is similar and simple. 

Cleaning Priority

It is another key point you should consider before purchasing the best suction pool cleaner – what this pool cleaner can clean? Or your newly acquired pool cleaner going to disappoint you. 

Polaris 360, one of the latest additions to Polaris, can’t clean steps, just clean the pool’s bottom and walls. On the other hand, 380 can clean both pool bottom and walls, at the same time steps. That is what makes this old model a force to reckon with. 

Vacuum Inlet 

Which part of the pool cleaner do you think sucks up all the debris? It’s the vacuum inlet. And the size of the vacuum inkjet determines the length of debris it can suck. So, a larger vacuum inlet is always desirable. However, both Polaris 360 and 380 come with a small inlet which is 2 ¼ inches in diameter. This describes that both cleaners can’t capture large debris.

Venturi Jets

One of the largest differences you can find in the Polaris 360 and 380, and other models are the number of propulsion. Normally the more propulsion jets a cleaner has the more power, better coverage, and faster cleaning is going to offer.

Both Polaris 360 and 380 come with 3 propulsion jets instead of two. So, these suction-side pool cleaners are more powerful and provide accurate cleaning than any other model in the market. 

Performance

Both built from Polaris are very successful with their three turbojets instead of two like Polaris 280. Three turbojets improved overall performance, increased speed, and quality of cleaning. Both come with the innovation on the same successful frame. However, Polaris 380 got an edge by enabling clean steps. On the other hand, Polaris 360 offers a little better and faster cleaning as it built with the latest advanced cleaning technologies. 

Driving Mechanism

How the pool cleaner moves is also an important factor as it is the forcing power behind your cleaner. The Polaris 360 comes with the classic all-wheel belt drive. This was an entirely new technology used first time in the suction-side pool cleaners. 

The same technology afterward upgraded in the Polaris 380 pool cleaner. This makes both machines similar in this criteria also. 

Durability

Both of the models are made with the same materials and mechanism. So, they are both more or less equally durable. And, the shifting from shaft to a belt reduced moving parts, now don’t need that much replacement, at the same time difficult to find components for replacement.  

Overall, the durability of these machines is compatible with their price. And, it’s better to change the whole pool cleaner if several parts are worn out. 

Price

Here Polaris 360 gets an edge over 380. It’s not only because the 360 is less expensive than the Polaris 380, but also because of the booster pump. Both of them are suction-side pool cleaners, so they require a booster pump which adds an additional hundred bucks on the top of the cleaner itself.

However, Polaris 360 doesn’t need one. It depends on the pool circulation pump to operate. On the other hand, Polaris 380 can’t run without a booster pump. That adds a couple of hundred bucks with the cleaner. 

Frequently Asked Questions About the Polaris 360 and 380 Pool Cleaner

Q: Why is the Polaris 360 so much more expensive than Polaris 280?

Although Polaris 280 was one of the best suction-side pool cleaners of its time, it still way behind the Polaris 360. There are many improved or completely new components equipped in 360. So, it’s obvious you have to pay extra for a better cleaner. 

Q: Can I buy an extra hose to cover my 35 feet pool?

Yes, you can buy an extra hose to add up and cover mid-size pools like your 35 feet pool. But for larger pools than that, I would recommend going for high-end pool cleaners. 

Q: Does Polaris 360 and 380 come with tail sweep or you have to buy them separately?

They come with sweep tail and hoses. A scrubber also with it. But, you need to buy more scrubbers separately when they are worn out. 

Q: Will they work for above-ground pools?

Many people used them for above-ground pools. However, manufacturers clearly said, these machines are only for inground pools.

Buy Polaris 360 at Amazon Buy Polaris 380 at Amazon

Conclusion

So far you can say both cleaners are the same to some degree except for the pump requirement. So, if you already have a pump then you can choose the Polaris 380 as it also can clean steps unlike Polaris 360.

However, the Polaris 360 not only saves you by not depending on a booster pump but also it is cheaper itself. On top of it, it offers slightly better performance. So, between these two models, my recommendation is Polaris 360. This is all about the Polaris 360 vs 380.