Best above ground pool vacuum – top 5

There are 3 types of above ground pool vacuum available. See the pro and cons for all the types below.

  • a Robotic above ground pool vacuum / a Pressure side above ground pool vacuums / a Suction side above ground pool vacuum.

Robotic versus Pressure versus Suction pool vacuums – Pros & Cons

 Top 5 Robotic VacuumsTop 5 Pressure VacuumsTop 5 Suction Vacuums
PriceExpensive ($ 250 and up)Average (but needs booster)Cheapest (needs leaf canister)
CleansFloor, walls, and waterline.
Brushes as well as vacuums.
No waterline and walls only partially.
Only vacuums.
No waterline and walls only partially.
Only vacuums.
Ease of usePlug and playNeeds to be balanced to the pumpNeeds to be balanced to the pump

As with the inground pool cleaners you need to pick which one you prefer and then compare the different above ground pool cleaners.

Best Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaners

Here follows a list of the best sold robotic above ground pool cleaners so you can quickly compare there main specifics. After that there is a summary of the online user reviews.

Comparison Table Best Robotic Above Ground Pool Vacuum

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Best Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaner Reviews – top 5

So the top 5 best pool vacuum for robotic above ground pool vacuums are the Pool Rover S2 40, the Aquabot ABREEZ2 X-Large Breeze, the Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior, the Smartpool NC22 SmartKleen-Robotic Pool Cleaner and the Aquabot AJET122 Pool Rover S2-50. Here follows a list of the best robotic above ground pool cleaners so you can quickly compare there main specifics. After that there is a summary of the online user reviews.

1) Aquabot Pool Rover S2 40

Aquabot Pool Rover S2 40
Features: This robotic pool cleaner does not need a booster pump or hoses. It is suitable for fiberglass, concrete, gunite, tile and vinyl pool surfaces. This cleaner cleans a part of the pool walls and the bottom. You can choose between a one hour and a 2 hour cleaning cycle. The S2-40 does not have any brushes to scrub the surface. The Pool Rover S2-50 robotic pool cleaner does? It is for all pool shapes and all pool surfaces.

Pros of the Pool rover S2 40: It is light and easy to carry with the handle. It can work below a solar cover. It has a strong suction. The wheels are adjustable to choose the direction the robot will go to maximize coverage and to prevent the cable from tangling. It has fine filtration. The filter bag has a top access.

Cons of the Pool rover S2 40: The transition between your wall and pool floor needs to be rounded to let the pool cleaner work on the walls. As a result it has sometimes trouble with pool steps. It does not clean the waterline of your pool, so you still need to do that manually every now and then. The plastic pin to adjust the wheel direction feels brittle. If the angle between floor and wall is to sharp it can have problems to clean the walls.

Pros and cons Aquabot Pool Rover S2 40

Pros

Pros
  • Works under a solar cover
  • Top accessable filter for convenience
  • Easy to install
  • Very silent vac

Cons

Cons
  • Wall – bottom transition needs to be curved
  • No waterline cleaning

In Conclusion: Definitely a step up from the pool rover junior as this one cleans the walls. But those do need to have a rounded transition though. However if you have those then it is a good buy.

2) Aquabot ABREEZ2 X-Large Breeze

Aquabot ABREEZ2 X-Large Breeze
Features: For it’s cleaning power the Breeze XL uses 2 methods: washing jets and fixed scrubbing brushes. Together they loosen up dirt very good. It climbs up inclines and it cleans wall coves. It filters 85 gallons of water per minute. The dirt baskets are on top accessible for easy cleaning. It filters bits of debris to a size of two microns. 150 watt power consumption.

Pros of the Aquabot breeze: The washing jets and fixed scrubbing brushes loosen up dirt and then vacuum it. Most above ground pool cleaners don’t have brushes.

Cons of the Aquabot breeze: This cleaner can’t climb steps and has sometimes problems with steep inclines and stays in the deeper end of the pool as a consequence.

3) Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior

Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior
Features: The Aquabot Pool Rover Jr is one of the best robotic pool cleaner for above ground pools. The hose free solution! This means the most sold above ground robotic pool cleaner of 2016. So it is quality compared to the price and not necessarily the best one there exists. And this was also the best one for 2015 and 2014.

The APRVJR Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner is a fully automatic robotic cleaner. It vacuums all shapes of flat-surface above-ground pool in about 1 hour and is for all pool surfaces (Vinyl, Gunite, Concrete, Fiberglass, Tile). No hoses needed. It has it’s own internal pump and filtration system and is equipped with a reusable filter bag.

Pros of the Aquabot Pool Rover Junior: This model has been a favorite for years so it has a very good record of service by a lot of users.

Cons of the Aquabot Pool Rover Junior: It only cleans the pool bottom! The filter is at the bottom of the pool rover junior which is not handy to clean. And has I said that it only cleans the pool bottom… Just to be sure you read it.

In Conclusion: Considering it’s price it’s good value for your money, but if you are going to spend your money on a cleaner you could buy one which also cleans the walls for not that much more money!

4) Smartpool NC22 SmartKleen

Smartpool NC22 SmartKleenAs seen in the table Aquabot is a big provider and the best sold brand of above ground pool cleaners. And some user reviewers are helped out with one of their cleaners. But there are also a lot of negative reviews. That is why I also wanted to show a few other brands here which have good reviews.

Features: It has an internal filter system and traverses randomly through the pool. Simple to handle.

Pros of the Smartpool NC22: This cleaner cleans all surfaces and all pool shapes. It has a good price/quality ratio. As it is very lightweight it is easy to handle. Easy operation.

Cons of the Smartpool NC22: The SmartKleen NC22 does not have a swivel to prevent tangling of the cable. It only cleans the bottom of the pool and this robot cleaner is not programmable.

5) Pool Rover S2-50 (Aquabot AJET122 )

Pool Rover S2-50 (Aquabot AJET122 )
Features: This cleaner cleans the bottom and the wall partially. It is sleekly build and has two brushes to loosen up debris from the bottom. They also help to remove the algae and the slimy film. The cleaner is suitable for all pool shapes and for all pool surfaces. There is a cable detangler to prevent the cleaner from getting itself stuck in the pool. This cleaner has a timer for its auto shut off. It cleans about 70 Gallons per minute.

Pros of the Pool Rover S2-50: The filter basket is accessible at the top for easy cleaning. It has a handle to make lifting it out of the pool easier.

Cons of the Pool Rover S2-50: The wall to floor transition needs to be rounded to make the cleaner move up from the floor to the wall. A lot of pools don’t have that so check your pool first.

Choosing the Best Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaner – Our Buying Guide.

As seen in the table Aquabot is a big provider and the best sold brand of above ground pool cleaners. And a lot of user reviewers are helped out with one of their cleaners. But there are also a lot of negative reviews. That is why I also wanted to show a few other brands and types here which have good reviews, like a few from Maytronics Dolphin, a few from Pentair and a few from Aquabot.

Brand list of Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaners with it’s types.

Dolphin E10
Dolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaner
Dolphin T15
Dolphin Active 10
Dolphin S50

Aquabot Pool Rover Hybrid
Aquabot Spirit
Aquabot Pool Rover Junior
Aquabot Pura 4XT
Aquabot Pool Rover S2-40i
Aquabot Breeze XLS
Aquabot Breeze IQ
Aquabot Breeze SE
Aquabot Turbo T-Jet
Aquabot Pool Rover S2-50
Aquabot Pura 5X
Aquabot Rapids XLS
Aquabot Pool Rover Sport

Hayward RC9740 SharkVac

Robotic Pool Cleaner Cobalt NC22
Smartpool NC22

Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler 910

Best Above Ground Pool Vacuum – Suction side cleaners

Best above ground pool vacuum intro – Suction side above ground pool cleaners are the most used above ground pool cleaners as they are the cheapest type. There are advantages and disadvantages of this type of cleaners.

Comparison Table Best Above Ground Pool Vacuums

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Best Above Ground Pool Vacuum Reviews (Suction side cleaners)

So the top 5 best pool vacuum for above ground pool are the Pentair K50600 Kreepy Krauly E-Z Vac, the Hayward 500 Aquabug, the Pentair 360100 Kreepy Krauly Lil Shark, the XtremepowerUS and the Zodiac Ranger. Those four suction side above ground pool vacuums are reviewed and compared below.

1)Pentair K50600 Kreepy Krauly E-Z Vac

Pros of the Pentair K50600: This cleaner is not prone to get stuck very often. The set up is simple and all necessary accessories are included.

Cons of the Pentair K50600: The flapper of the Pentair K50600 makes a lot of noise so if your pool is close to your home that can be a nuisance.

Summary: All in all it cleans good and is a well tested cleaner which is proven good through time.

2) Hayward 500 Aqua Bug

Hayward 500 Aqua BugFeatures of the Hayward Aqua Bug: The Hayward Aqua bug and it’s brothers and sisters Wanda the Whale, Diver Dave, Aqua Critter are all above ground suction side pool cleaners. They are also called Hayward 500, Hayward 700 and Hayward 900. They connect to your filtration system and don’t need a booster pump.

Pros of the Hayward Aqua Bug: No booster needed. Installation is simple and fast. They don’t have a debris bag as it uses the pool filter so no extra cleaning is required from your side. Ans certainly important, this is a very silent cleaner.

Cons of the Hayward Aqua Bug: These are bottom only cleaners so you will still need to manually clean the walls every now and then.

It’s brother: Hayward 900 Wanda the Whale

Hayward 900 Wanda the Whale
Features of Wanda the Whale: Wanda the whale is an about 16-18” round cleaner which cleans a pool quickly. It has been on the market for a long time now so it has proven it’s right to exist on the market.

Pros of Wanda the Whale: This is a very quick cleaner. You don’t need to clean debris bags as it connects to your pool filter. Installation is simple and it does not need a booster.

Cons of Wanda the Whale: It is a bottom only cleaner, so you still need to clean the walls now and then.

3) Zodiac Ranger

Features: This suction side pool vacuum doesn’t need additional energy to clean you pool. (like all suction side cleaners). It is pre-assembled. It has only one model: the W01698. I has a large deflector wheel to keep it from getting stuck. in corners or on steps. It is build to work quietly.

Pros of the Zodiac Ranger: Can climb the walls of the pool to clean these. Picks up larger debris as well, which does mean you have to get small toys out of the pool before using your cleaner.

Cons of the Zodiac Ranger: Needs a lot of adjustments on the hoses and the weight to get the whole pool covered.

4) XtremepowerUS Automatic Pool Cleaner Vacuum

This is the cheaper Chinese made copy cat of a few well know brands. It seems to clean well enough but it lasts only one season. This bugs me as I really don’t want to create such a lot of waste. So on hand you can say: well the price of one other cleaner is about 3 times this cleaner and it lasts 3 year, this one lasts one year, so no financial difference. You are right but still I hope you consider buying quality over quantity.

Conclusion: not my preferred cleaner.

5) Pentair 360100 Kreepy Krauly Lil Shark

Pentair 360100 Kreepy Krauly Lil SharkSummary of the Kreepy Krauly little shark: This suction side above ground cleaner has a Wide 10″ Path to clean the bottom of the pool. It has only one moving part which helps in the durability. You don’t need to assemble the cleaner. It has bristles to scrub the debris loose and the vacuums it away.

Pros of the Kreepy Krauly little shark: Solid cleaner, it often lasts longer then some other brands, so very durable. Cleaning is good enough. Not a lot of moving parts so less tear and wear. This cleaner is attachable to a pole so you can direct it to a place if necessary. You can tweak the setting on the bottom of this cleaner to work better with your pool pump.

Cons of the Kreepy Krauly little shark: It needs a good pump! The main complaints on this cleaner are often accompanied by users with old / less powerful pumps. That seems to hamper the cleaner a lot. Not good at climbing walls with a lot of users.

Choosing the Best Above Ground Pool Vacuum – Our Buying Guide

Best Pressure side Above Ground Pool Cleaners

Pressure side above ground pool cleaners are not a type of pool cleaner which is often used for above ground pools. There are advantages of a pressure side cleaner over a suction side though. The main one is that the skimmer basket remains open to clear the surface debris and the filter doesn’t clog up. Below are the 3 main pressure side above ground pool cleaners. There are a few others but mostly they have very bad ratings so I did not review them.

Comparison Table Pressure side Above Ground Pool Cleaners

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Best Pressure side Above Ground Pool Cleaners Reviews

So the top 3 best rated pressure side above ground pool cleaners are the Polaris Vac-Sweep 65, the Polaris Turbo Turtle
and the Intex auto cleaner. Those 3 are reviewed and compared below:

1) Polaris Vac-Sweep 65

polaris 65Cleaning Power and Performance of the vac sweep 65: Works for vinyl and fiberglass pools. It is uses the pressure of clean water returning to your pool which means that the filter and skimmer stay free. This cleaner directs jets of water against the pool wall and floor to loosen debris in hard-to-reach places and then sweeps it into a bag which trails behind it. If the output of the filtration system is low, it will work better as the mesh bag will sweep better then.

Max depth of the pool = 5 feet. Size of the pool = up to 24-feet round (as the hose is 24 feet)

Endurance / quality of the vac sweep 65: With some owners it lasts a long time, like 6 or 7 years, other have problems to even keep it working for more then one season. Some tips to make it last longer: store it clean. If you don’t wash all the debris out or store it on dusty places fine particles tend to settle in and the machine does not work as well afterwards. Even if you then clean it meticulously.

Convenience / user-friendliness of the vac sweep 65: The vac sweep 65 is compatible with most above ground pool pumps so it installs quickly. The filter bag removes simply and then you can wash it out ( even with the jet stream from the cleaner as one owner recommends).

Pros of the Polaris Vac Sweep 65: It is a very quiet cleaner, there or no pulsating noises. It doesn’t matter whether you have large or small debris, the mesh bag picks it up.

Cons of the Polaris Vac Sweep 65: With some owners the hose keeps tangling. Or the cleaner keeps circling around. Some tips to remedy this: Correct the pressure with the valve or if you have a dual pump switch the output to low/high. Cut the hose length according to the direction. If it fails let the hose uncoiled in the sun for a few days to straighten out.

Summary: The Polaris Vac-Sweep 65 is the best sold above ground pressure cleaner of this year, like it was in 2015. It is build for vinyl or fiberglass pools and it is build to use the pump types and the filtration systems which are normally used in above ground pools. This is a good cleaner especially for pools with an uneven floor as the mesh bag flows over the bumps and lumps. With some pool pumps there seems to be a problem with output pressure being to high and it takes time to adjust it to prevent coiling of the hose. For it’s price it is a good buy.

Polaris vac sweep 65 manual: See here

2) Polaris Turbo Turtle Zodiac 6-130-00T

Cleaning Power and Performance of the turbo turtle: See Polaris vac sweep 65

Convenience / user-friendliness of the turbo turtle: See Polaris vac sweep 65

Pros of the Polaris Turtle: See Polaris vac sweep 65

Cons of the Polaris turtle: See Polaris vac sweep 65

Summary: This zodiac turbo turtle uses the same gear as the Polaris vac sweep 65 (and it also has the same model number). But it has a different top, though, a turtle top. It looks cute especially if you have kids. Overall the pros and cons of the turbo turtle are the same as the vac sweep 65. Those who buy this pressure side cleaner just prefer the looks of this one above the looks of the ’65.

Polaris turbo turtle manual: See here

3) Intex auto pool cleaner

Features of the Intex auto pool cleaner: This automatic bottom pool cleaner works on pressure from your pool pump. The bottom vac cleans the pool bottom independently. Leaves, sand and insects are automatically removed from the bottom.

You need to attach one side of the hose to the Intex auto cleaner and the other side on the outlet of the pool where the clean water of the pump flows back into the bath (pressure side cleaner). It leaves the skimmer free as it hooks up to the return.

Because of the suction power of the pump, all the dirt is removed. When the piston comes to a wall, it will automatically change direction. This way the auto pool cleaner cleans the pool without you having to look at it.

Cleaning Power and Performance of the Intex auto cleaner: This cleaners cleaning power depends on the output power of your pool pump. If you have a low flow pump it will be low, perhaps just enough to keep a clean pool clean. With a higher output it will be easier to clean your pump.

Convenience / user-friendliness of the Intex auto cleaner: When it works out of the box (as it often does) it is a great simple machine. When it doesn’t it is a real hassle to find where the problem is.

Pros of the Intex pool cleaner: This Intex pool cleaner is especially made for Intex pools, the hose has the right size and the inlet connector is the same system. Next to that the Intex pump has the right flow rate for the Intex auto pool cleaner. And to sweeten up the deal the price is much better then the other pool pumps. It is really very cheap compared to other above ground pool cleaners and compatible with the many Intex pools around, which is one of the most owned above ground pools.

On average it works good. When maintained properly it seems to work for more then one year. So this deal seems like a no brainer. Still some people decide to buy an other auto pool cleaner because of the negative reviews of this one.

Cons of the Intex pool Cleaner: It takes a very handy person to fit the cleaner on a different pump then the Intex pump. The average reviews of this cleaner are not really bad but there are some things to consider. One of the main things is the assembly. For a lot of customers it seems to start working pretty simply but when it doesn’t it is really hard to get it to work. It just doesn’t move. User manual, tighten or loosen up bolts, removing air pockets, changing the pressure o your pump, it is going to be a real hassle. Not some out of the box and working solution.

Summary: All in all a good buy especially if your pool and pump are from Intex so the installation will be hassle free. Yes it costs money but it prevents a lot of cleaning maintenance for yourself.

Other above ground pool cleaners then pressure sides:

Though these pressure side above ground pool cleaners are a good match with a lot of above ground pools, there are other options which are perhaps better suited to the pool pumps of above ground pools: like the Suction side and the robotic pool cleaners.

Other Above ground pool cleaner reviews:

Here is a list of other Best Rated Above ground Pool Cleaners. It includes short summaries on the pool cleaners. Let’s start with the Best Above ground Pool Cleaner:

Hayward 900, Wanda the Whale

The above ground Wanda the Whale pool cleaner is an easy trouble free cleaner. It cleans the bottom of the pool quick and completely without needing you to empty or replace debris bags as it is connected to your pool filtration system. There is no booster pump needed. And it has a simple 10 minute installation.

Baracuda Ranger W01698

This is one of the more affordable above ground pool cleaners as it requires no extra plumbing or booster pump. It vacuums the bottom, the wall and around your steps in your pool. It has only one moving part so it is simple in the maintenance. And a main pro is that it is nicely quiet according to the reviewers.

Aquabot Pool Rover Jr.

The APRVJR Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner is a fully automatic robotic cleaner. It vacuums any shape of flat-surface above-ground pool in about 1 hour. No hoses. It has it’s own internal pump and filtration system and is equipped with a reusable filter bag.

Pentair GW8000 / Kreepy Krauly Lil Shark

This Automatic Pool Cleaner is also known as the Kreepy Krauly Lil Shark. It is for above ground Swimming Pools. By adjusting it’s cleaning path this Lil shark is usable for all shapes of above ground pools.

Baracuda G2

The Baracuda G2 is for all ground pools so above ground as well as inground pools. It is a suction side cleaner so it needs a skimmer or a dedicated vacuum line. It would definitely not be my first choice for an inground pool though. Mainly because I think there are better inground pool cleaners available for your money. And nowadays it is not that readily available anymore anyway.

I hope this list of best rated above ground pool cleaners was useful to you.

Choosing the Best Best above ground pool vacuum – Our Buying Guide.

The best above ground pool vacuum is one special made for it. This is for two main reasons:

1) Different material; because above ground pools are made from a different material then inground pools and
2) Different pool pump; because above ground pools have another type of pool pump. Often the equipment which is included with a lot of above ground pool cleaners is undersized for the amount of water. For keeping a pool clean it is good enough but for cleaning up a dirty pool once it is filthy they are not powerful enough. At least a 3/4 hp pump is a good start. So what is the best vacuum for above ground pools?

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The Best above ground pool vacuum – Frequently Asked Questions

Below I will try to address the main questions about the best vacuum for above ground pools.

Best above ground pool vacuum for Intex

Well for the ease of installation this would of course be the Intex auto pool vac. Its reviews are not that good. So most of us search on instead of cleaning their pool manually.

What is the best above ground pool vacuum 2019

When price is not your main concern I think that the way to go is a robotic pool cleaner.

Best way to vacuum above ground pool

best way vacuum above ground pool
best way to vacuum an above ground pool

Best above ground pool vacuum reviews / best above ground pool cleaners reviews

best rated above ground pool vacuums

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Popular Brands for above ground pool vacs:

Intex
Hayward
Aquabot
Smartpool
Polaris

Engagement Question: What do you think is the best above ground pool vacuum? Do not hesitate to share your opinion in the comments below!

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