The Polaris 280 is the workhorse of the Polaris line and evidently the most dependable. You simply cannot beat the 280. The 3900 has similar features with the Polaris 480 (which was an exclusive model through distribution). I believe it is chain-driven, provides more torque for climbing, has more venturi jets to provide more suction, and the bag is bigger. It also has some parts unique to it, which is not always a plus. Actually, it looks quite stylish, and does an excellent job.
My Experience with the Polaris 280, 380 and 3900 Sport
My Polaris 280 just works. These days, different companies just keep coming up with “new and improved” models, but I believe these are just marketing gimmicks. Some od the higher end models have been reported to fail more and need more expensive repair parts than the 280. My 280 does an amazing job and never leaves anything behind.
It has proven to be better than the higher priced models Polaris is bringing out. It has smaller moving parts than the 380 and therefore has fewer maintenance costs. The backup value is AWESOME too and keeps the 280 from getting stuck on our steps.
ALSO SEE: SunCoast Gold Liquid Chlorine Review
Polaris 280 Vs 3900 Sport Vs 360 Vs 380: Comparison Chart
|It is the most reliable but it does need a booster pump.
Summary: Best Polaris pump for reliability.
|Boasting of some 280 features, but needs no booster pump is needed.
Summary: Best Polaris for saving money.
|It is designed for cleaning walls and stairs.
Summary: Best for climbing vertical surfaces.
|Perfect for large pools
Summary: This is the largest debris bag size, with high gpm.
Best for Large Pools
– largest debris bag size, high gpm
|Type: Pressure||Type: Pressure||Type: Pressure||Type: Pressure|
|Weight: 6.2lbs||Weight: 15.62lbs||Weight: 16.8lbs||Weight: 20.5lbs|
|Price: $$||Price: $$||Price: $$||Price: $$$|
|WHERE TO BUY (AMAZON)||WHERE TO BUY (AMAZON)||WHERE TO BUY (AMAZON)||WHERE TO BUY (AMAZON)|
As you can see in this Polaris 280 vs 380 vs 3900 comparison review, I wouldn’t say these are the cheapest cleaners out there. But then, this brand has earned a reputation for itself because of its reliability.
280 is a middle-class option for it’s price but it packs the best value in my opinion. Although smaller, it never misses a spot and has the most important features that the 380 has.
However, the bigger model, 380 which costs more misses some important features. So, if you don’t want 280 model, then you should go for the Polaris 3900 sport.
With that out of the way, the 3900 is what is left. It will clean walls, floors, and gradual slopes while the cheaper Polaris 380 will only do walls and floors.