Polaris 280 vs 360: Which Should You Choose?

Robert Wimberly

polaris 280 vs 360

Swimming pools have always been one of the best venues when it comes to outdoor, summer, and holiday parties. All that dipping, splashing, and swimming is all fun and games until…the pool gets dirty.

It’s a good thing Polaris invented automatic pool cleaners that made things easier for us. They’ve been around for a while in the business, and so far they’ve released different versions of pool cleaners.

In this section, we’ll compare two of their most prized products, Polaris 280 vs 360, to help you decide on your purchase.

Polaris Automatic Pool Cleaners: Polaris 360 and 280


For 40 years, Polaris has ensured its customers high-quality pool maintenance and operations. They’ve also released products that can make things convenient for those who have difficulty cleaning the pool.

However, among them, the Polaris vac sweep is considered by many to be the most popular. This machine is suitable for both small and large pools and offers efficient cleaning at an affordable price.

It is capable of sweeping, scrubbing, and trapping large pieces of debris, such as leaves or pebbles, in its own filter bag.

So, the question is, which Polaris pool model is better: the 360 or the 280? Below, you can find a table that summarizes their differences and similarities according to their manual.

Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Polaris Vac-Sweep 360
Dimensions and Weight 20″ x 23″ x 10″/6.2 pounds 20″ x 22.75″ x 10″/14 pounds
Jet System 2 jets 3 jets
Drive Sysrem Shaft Drive All-Wheel Belt Drive
Suction Port 2.25” 2.25”
Hose Length 31 ft 31 ft
Bag single chamber 2L bag single chamber 2L bag
Requires a booster pump? Yes No
Pool Type All types of inground pools All types of inground pools
Surfaces it can clean Floors and walls Floors and walls
Cost Cheaper More expensive
Fast-Cleaning? Yes Yes, but faster
TailSweep Pro Compatible? Yes Yes

A Quick Rundown of Their Comparison

Cut from the same cloth, many suppose these two models are probably the same machine. Indeed, there are many similarities between them, including:

  • Three wheels with quality Classic tires for smooth sweeping
  • UV-resistant body material to protect against fading and damaging
  • Back-up valve available
  • Compatible with Tail Sweep Pro Scrubber

However, for those who want to get down to the nitty-gritty, then read on below as we compare and contrast each of their differences:

1. Features:


In terms of their built-in features, the Polaris 360 has an edge over the 280.

The Polaris 360 has three jets, while the Polaris 280 only has two jets. For their drive system, the 360 has an all-wheel belt drive, which most engineers prefer, while the 280 has a shaft drive.

However, when it comes to weight, the 280 is lighter with a weight of 6.4 pounds, which is essential for ease of carry and use.

Finally, the 280 model requires a separate booster pump, while the 360 does not, as this works directly from your pool circulation pump.

Win: Polaris 360 (edge: number of jets, drive system, and independent of booster pump)

2. Performance:


As the Polaris 360 has better features, with three jets and an all-wheel belt drive, it’s expected to have more cleaning efficiency (2.5-3 hours) with fewer repairs and maintenance. The jets are mainly responsible for their efficiency, with the logic being the more jets it has, the quicker the cleaner will run.

As for maintenance, belt drives usually warrant less maintenance than shaft drives, so 360 gains another point with this one.

But the thing about the Polaris 280 is that it has a wider inlet valve, so if your pool happens to be located under or near a tree with big leaves, then this is also a good option for you.

Win: Polaris 360 (edge: better features, better performance)

3. Durability


While the 360 has so far won in comparison, in terms of durability, both models even out. Both models are well-known for their solid performance.

Win: Both Polaris 360 and 280

4. Cost:


The 280 model is available at a lower price than the 360 model. In fact, the Polaris 280 is sold on various sites starting from $500 while the latter is about $579.

So, if you want a fairly good automatic pool cleaner to clean your swimming pool and think you won’t need an extra booster for the job, then the 280 model might just be for you.

The 360 is bit more expensive. But considering the fact that it has better features and performance and you won’t need to pay for an extra booster pump, this is really a good deal for you, too.

Win: Polaris 280 model

Pros and Cons

1. Polaris 360 model

  • Better features (has 3 jets and all-wheel belt drive)
  • Better performance (cleans faster)
  • Does not require a booster pump
  • Heavier (14 pounds, more than twice the weight of the 280 model)
  • Smaller inlet valve
  • More expensive

2. Polaris 280 model

  • Wider inlet valve
  • Cheaper option
  • Lighter (6.2 pounds)
  • Cleans slower than the 360 model
  • Needs a booster pump
  • Only has two jets
  • Has a shaft drive, meaning there’s going to be more maintenance

Which Option is Best for You?


The Polaris 360 is definitely a better model than the 280 model in terms of features and efficiency.

So, if you’re looking for an excellent pool cleaner that you can use in the long run without minding its cost, then this model is definitely a good buy.

However, if you’re not really into technicalities and just want a more affordable tool to maintain your pool or if you’ll have to sweep big leaves in your swimming pool as well, then the 280 model can work for you.


All in all, the whole Polaris 280 vs 360 debate just comes down to what your purpose is for buying the product and what your budget is at the moment. The Polaris has made these automatic pool cleaners to the best of their abilities, and it’s up to you to decide which one you’re going to pick.

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