Polaris 380 pressure side pool cleaner: specs, features, pros & cons

Polaris 380

If you own a pool then chances are you’ve heard of the Polaris 280, but what about the Polaris 380? The Polaris 380 pool cleaner is basically a modified version of the 280, but with a few extra features.

Today we’ll be taking an in-depth look at the specs, features, pros, and cons of the Polaris 380 to see if it’s a pressure side pool cleaner worth investing in.

Polaris 380 quick review

The Polaris pool cleaner 380 is designed for in-ground pools of any shape, and surface type. It is capable of cleaning your pools floor, walls, and steps and comes with 31 feet of hose feed complete with floats, and backup valves.

It comes equipped with a large single chamber debris bag that is great for handling large debris like sticks, leaves, pebbles and acorns which is complimented by its 2 1/4″ vacuum inlet.

Unlike some vacuum pool cleaners, the Polaris 380 does require a booster pump in order to operate properly (I’d recommend the Polaris PB4-60), which does have to be purchased separately unfortunately.

The Polaris 380 pool vacuum uses 3 Venturi jets (unlike the Polaris 280’s two) that are located inside its intake throat that generate the suction under the pool cleaner. This ensures debris makes it into the filtration bag before reaching the pump basket or filter, extending the life of your filtration system.

The Polaris 380 Is belt driven, and is able to create maximum traction on the pools surface thanks to its all-wheel drive system. If any issues occur, this system has been know to be cheaper to fix than the Polaris 280’s old school drive shaft mechanism, but many users say it doesn’t have an as long life span.

The Polaris pool cleaner 380 has a cleaning cycle time of up to 3 hours, and is available in Black Max™ model which looks great in pools with dark bottoms.


  • Large filter bag
  • Cleans all areas of the pool
  • Efficient at cleaning
  • Powerful suction


  • Expensive
  • Requires booster pump

Polaris 380 specs

  • Make: Polaris
  • Model: 380 vac-sweep
  • Cleaner type: Pressure side
  • Pool type: in-ground
  • Weight: 14.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: : 75 x 20 x 22.5 in

Now lets take a more in-depth look at the Polaris 380 pool sweepers features

Polaris 380 pool cleaner

Polaris 380 pool cleaner key features

Automatic backup valve

Unlike the Polaris 280 that can get stuck in corners, the Polaris 380 is equipped with an automatic backup system that kicks in about every 3 minutes. This ensures it doesn’t become stuck in the corners of the pool while performing a clean, making it reliable to be left to clean unsupervised.

Tri-jet Propulsion Nozzles

The Polaris 380 pool vacuum comes equiped with 3 venturi jets to aid with its cleaning. These jets operate by the water pressure being combined with air pressures as it goes through the cleaner,  Since the pressure is lower than the outside air, the air is forced into the water mixture, creating the “jet” effect. This makes the Polaris 380 pool cleaner great at getting into corners, cleaning stairs, and climbing walls.

Large Debris bag & intake throat

The Polaris 380 pool sweep was designed with a 2 1/4″ vacuum inlet giving it a wider cleaning path, allowing it to be more efficient. This wide throat Is also great for preventing clogging while dealing with large debris such as sticks and leaves.

To compliment its large intake the Polaris 380 also comes with an oversized filter bag that can accommodate a large amount of debris. This means it can easily perform a whole cleaning cycle without its filter having to be emptied.

Check out the Polaris 380 vac-sweep in this video below.

Polaris 380 pool sweep customer reviews

When checking out reviews for the Polaris 380, it was clear to see that it is a highly recommended product! Many customers were impressed with the amount of debris its filter bag was able to contain, and how much of a thorough clean it was able to provide saying “the Polaris 380 leaves their pool sparkling clean!”

Another positive point was made in relation to how good the customer service was if there was any issues with the cleaner, with users saying they were easy to get a hold of, helpful, and replaced any parts if necessary if the cleaner was still under warranty.

One negative point users mentioned, was the fact that the Polaris 380 can occasionally become tangled around its own hose cord, and that it isn’t as great at cleaning stairs as it claims to be.

Customers also liked the automatic backup feature of the Polaris pressure side automatic pool cleaner which allowed it to free itself if stuck in an awkward position.

Polaris 380 pressure side pool cleaner summary

If you don’t mind spending a little bit more on a pool cleaner, or if you already have a booster pump ready to go, then we think the Polaris 380 pool sweep is definitely a pressure side pool cleaner to consider.

Our reasons being the fact that it is able to clean all areas of the pool, including the stairs, and the fact that it is highly versatile with the different types of debris it is able to handle. It is also easy to instal and setup, making it a good choice for beginner pool owners.

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, then we think the Polaris 280 vac-sweep is a good choice, as this pressure side pool cleaner doesn’t require a booster pump to operate.

If you’d like some more alternatives then feel free to check out our review of our top 5 pressure side pool cleaners here.

Polaris 380 frequently asked questions

Does the polaris 380 require a booster pump to operate?

Yes it does, I’d recommend the Polaris PB4-60 as the best choice.

What areas of the pool can it clean?

The Polaris 380 in-ground pool cleaner is designed to clean the floor, walls and stairs.

What pool type is the 380 designed to clean?

The Polaris 380 is designed for in-ground pools of any shapes, or surface type.

The Morris's

The Morris's

Hey, we're Lana and Cam the creators of this site. We love to spend time together as a family, and time in our pool. We're here to bring you the best info on pool care, pool cleaners, and other great pool related products.

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