The Dolphin Cayman is amazing. if you take nothing else away from this review, know that at least. I have been reviewing these bots for a long time, and I have found it quite easy to hone in on the problems with certain designs. The Cayman throws out every issue I have ever described, streamlines the feature set and looks damn good at the same time. There is one other thing to remember though, the Cayman is a rebrand of the Active 20, a bot I reviewed last year that impressed me just as much. The difference this time is the price, where the Active 20 was priced a little high for me, the Cayman corrects the issues, becoming affordable as well as one of the best designed cleaners on the market.
I took a look at the E10 last week, itself a riff on the Active 10, and the issues with that build are interesting, all about the feature set, or the lack of certain features I need to see to recommend the bot. The Active 20, and the Cayman, address my issues with the low cost build fully.
So let’s dive right in, take a closer look at what makes the Cayman my favorite robotic pool cleaner on the market right now.
Maytronics Dolphin Cayman Design and Build Quality
Look at the build, just take a moment to take it all in. A bot that is not only designed well, but a color scheme to match. So many builds use all grey parts, or a garish scheme in stead. Here we have a nice blend of deep blues and lighter blues. It looks like it should. But that is not the important part. The important part is the fit, and I can attest that the build is very well made. Be sure to do your own rattle test of course, as any sounds can indicate a factory fault. The build should fit flush, in other words.
Nothing too surprising here. The Active 20 was well designed as well, and the quality of the parts is up to Dolphin’s usual standards. There are a number of aesthetic differences here, and I for one welcome them. I found the Active 20 to be a bit lacking in the looks department. When you are on the fence between different variants of bot, each with the same feature set but a different color scheme, then suddenly this little insignificant section becomes the deciding factor, so remember ton get the bot you like the look of at the end of the day.
Maytronics Dolphin Cayman Features and Specs
I tend to shy away from the term expert, after all there is always something new to learn. especially in the changing world of robotic pool cleaners. In saying that, I came up with a set of criteria that can distinguish between merely good pool cleaners, and downright amazing ones. The three features that must be present are wall climbing, a powerful brush and a filter able to clean a pool on a single cycle. There have been too many bots that couldn’t even hit those three, the Cayman, I am very glad to say, is not one of them.
The Dolphin Cayman is an above ground cleaner, with a sixty foot cable. The cable uses swivel tech to reduce the number of cycle stoppages as a result of tangling.if you have ever own a bot without in the past you will know how annoying it can be. It is one of three error prone areas that can cause a cycle stop, and having to pull a bot out of the water to reset the cycle can be very annoying. Always good to see it, though if you go with a bot that does not have a swivel cable I know a few tricks you can try with pool noodles.
The bottom mounted brushes are some of the best on the market. I have seen them in action, and they blew me away. The Nautilus used to be my yardstick for excellent design, and while it is still a great bot, it does not compare to the power on offer here. The brushes spin at near twice the speed of the nautilus, and while the materials used are softer, they are still more than a match for the most stubborn of stains. If you have a tile bottomed floor you can rest easy, knowing that the brushes can clean the grout from the tile lines, but not be so harsh as to damage your pool floor.
Average cycle time is around 2 hours, so average in other words. I like this time scale, gives you plenty of time to go do something else. The on board filter is fairly powerful too, at 3,735 gallons per hour, it can make our pool crystal clear in very short order. With the 2 hour cycle time it will get the vast majority of free floating particles, and with the options of a four hour deep clean you are set.
Here is the feature that is, to my mind, the most important. The Cayman can climb a wall. I hate bots that can’t. I mean, why buy a robotic pool cleaner if it doesn’t clean the entirety of your pool? If you have to break out some scrubbers and do it manually, does that no defeat the point? Regardless, the Cayman can make that 90 degree transition that i love to see, and climb to the water line.
Overall this is what I want. There are a few more features that are desirable, but by and large they are not required. I like a little fluff, and remote control options are always fun, but at its core the cleaner should clean. As an entry level product this is the feature set to look for.
Maytronics Dolphin Cayman Ease of Use
Ti my mind there are two core types of robotic pool cleaner on the market at the moment. The all in one models that I specialize in, and the older external pump system models. I have reviewed both, and they each have pros and cons, but I prefer the all in one models. They are slightly more expensive to run, but tend to have a more expansive feature set.
Within the all in one models there are historically two further distinctions that can be made. The Legacy design models and the Ultra Moderns. The Ultra Moderns tend to use top loading filter mesh systems, far easier to clean, while the Legacy design models use a bottom mounted filter bag, which has a whole host of issues. No major issues, but when all of the products on the market are at their core so easy to use I have to get down to the nitty gritty to critique. There is one new set of bots that I call the Post Moderns. they use a revolutionary filter canister, and they remove all ease of use issues present in the Ultra Moderns, who themselves removed a lot of the issues that I had with the Legacy designs.
The Cayman is a Post modern, and I cannot stress enough how easy it is to use. Just plug it in, set the cycle and drop it in the water, so far so hum drum, all bots are like that. The difference comes when you clean. Just flip the top hatch up and remove the canister, hose it down and you are good to go again. No tricky cleaning of the bot itself, no risk of debris falling back into the pool, just pure cleanliness. Don’t get me wrong, the older bots are still fantastic,k they can clean with the best of them, but minor annoyances are the order of the day in the world of reviewing robotic pool cleaners.
Don’t want to gush here, so I’ll finish up. Easier to use than literally every other kind of robotic pool cleaner, I can only imagine where Dolphin will go next with their cleaners. An exiting time in the robotic pool cleaner business.
Maytronics Dolphin Cayman Pricing, Value, & Discounts
In my review of the Active 20 everything was good until I reached the pricing section. While I stand by my assertion that the price was on point for what you got, I appreciate that that it could be well outside some folks budgets. Perfectly reasonable complaint, and one I addressed at the time. Well I am not the only one who addressed the issues, as the Cayman is much cheaper than the Active 20 was. That said the price varies and you can click here to see the current price at Amazon. You are not going to find a better bot at a better price than that. And remember, a robotic pool cleaner is an investment in your own free time. Depending on how you value an hour, you will be making your money back well within a year.
There are a few other costs when you own a robotic pool cleaner. The most important one is the price per cycle. Now, in most cases this is not that much, but you will be using the bot week to week, depending on how often you use your pool. First, get familiar with the price per kilowatt hour in your area, once you know that you will be in a better position financially, especially regarding adding new tech to your household. On average you can expect to pay between $0.12 and $0.19 per cycle. Again, not huge, but it does add up.
Now we get to talk about the warranty. I review a lot of different products for a living, and so I spend a reasonable amount of time reading through warranties, making sure to notice the loop holes and the ways companies try to weasel out of their responsibilities to their customers. The Cayman warranty is only a year, not a great length, and unfortunately the information has not been released to me. I have made inquires about this, and when I get word back i will be updating this review accordingly. Until then I can only advise on what Limited Warranty can mean. In some cases, like with Hayward’s a Limited warranty is well worth it, covering all kinds of factory faults.
Maytronics Dolphin Cayman Conclusion
The Maytronics Dolphin Cayman is, much like the Active 20, one of the best robotic pool cleaners on the market. The feature set hits my power trio, wall climbing, grout break up and a powerful filter. The core design of the bot leaves nothing to be desired, we have a pretty bot that has so many technical design innovations that it makes the price a little hard to believe. Only the other bots in its design series match it in terms of ease of use. The Active 20’s downside was the price, but that issue has been addressed and how, with he Cayman on average two thirds the price of the Active 20. The only downside is the warranty information, which was lacking. Again, I full expect Dolphin to contact me with the full details of their warranty soon, and when they do I may have to make a new top ten, because the Cayman should be the one topping it.
- An all in one device, I prefer these, cost a bit of cash to run, but the internal pump makes set up and tear down a breeze.
- Has my holy triad of features, climbs wall, cleans clumped debris and filters water quickly and cleanly.
- Filter Canister, Cannot overstate how revolutionary this tech is. The old filter mesh system had few problems, all of which are addressed with the canister system. Throw in the fact that it is top loaded and we have a winner.
- Well priced, cheaper even than the Active 20, making it literally the best bot on the market.
- Warranty info is light on the ground
- Warranty is limited, even without specifics on it I feel i am safe assuming the worst.
To take advantage of any current deals and promotional pricing on the Dolphin Cayman you can click here.