Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Aquabot Rapids XLS – Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

The Rapid series is a riff on the Breeze series of robotic pool cleaners from Aquabot, and if you’ve read my reviews of those products you know that I am a fan of these ones. Mostly because of the look of the build, but there are some broad design decisions that I think make for an easier to use, and more effective robotic pool cleaner. The top loading filter bag is a genius move, not only is it easier to use, but it also dispenses with the old issue of excess debris falling back into the pool. There are several upgrades over the Breeze present here, and I can’t wait to tell you all about them.

So let’s dive right in see how the rapids XLS stacks up against the competition.

Aquabot Rapids XLS Design and Build Quality

Rapids XLS filterbagBuild quality of Aquabot products tends to be very high. they use high grade plastics that fit flush. The thing to watch out for when trying to determine the quality of a pool cleaning robot is the fit, if there is no rattle then you have a good product. The last thing you want is water getting into cracks and crevasses killing the internal computer. on to the look of the machine, and we are back in gorgeous territory. The Rapid series is an extension of the Breeze series of bots, and as such it has the best aesthetic of any Aquabot product. If only they could make all their devices look this goo.

The look of the product is not all that important, it is what it can do. But a direct extension of the look here is increased functionality, and the fixing of several issues that plague other Aquabot products. the XLS is one of the better looking builds on the market.

Aquabot Rapids XLS Features and Specs

One area the rapids series excels at is versatility. It might not have all the features seen in other models, but it can work in both above ground and in ground pools. The core Aquabot cleaning tech is coupled here with power washing jets and a fixed scrubbing brush, so expect a nice deep clean. If you want to clean your walls you will need a curved transition, as the XLS cannot do a 90 degree wall transfer, but the 4WD can, more on that in a moment. A typical cycle will last 1-2 hours, and it comes with a more advanced algorithm that prevents it from getting stuck. the addition of a swivel cable, read tangle resistant, is just icing on the cake.

The size factor is 20″x 19″x 20″, so a medium sized build, and it weighs around 20 pounds. the lack of a handle will be felt by some I feel, but that is not a ridiculous weight, I know of much heavier cleaners on the market that similarly lack a handle. A powerful internal pump in this one though, processing 80 gallons per minute, on par with the flagship Bravo model also from Aquabot.

Overall there are a few missing features, and for the price point that can be an issue. But the core cleaning is top notch, and this product can provide a superior experience to the right pool owner.

Aquabot Rapids XLS Ease of Use

There are two schools of thought when it comes to robotic poo cleaners. Simple self contained units, and more complicated external fitted products. I have focused on the plug and play variety. I dislike the concept of having to connect my bot up to an external pump, and feel it adds an extra layer of unneeded complexity to the whole ting. the XLS is simple to use. you plug it into the mains and drop it in the water. the top loading filter bag is amazing, a few clasps and it’s replaced, and it does not leak debris back into the water when lifting it out overloaded,m unlike a bottom loading filter bag. The lack of a handle is the only major issue I have with the build, though it is light enough to get away with it.

Overall, no real news here. A handle would be nice, but this is still a remarkable easy to use device.

Aquabot Rapids XLS Pricing

Rapids XLS FirstHere is where I might lose you. There is a lot to like about the XLS, but the price may not be one for you. Average price of the XLS is $600-$800, fairly hefty for cleaner that can’t really to pool wall transitions. In spite of that short coming I would argue that any robotic pool cleaner will save you time, and pay for itself within a year.

The other pricing factor to take into account is the cost to sun the machine. It varies from place ton place, and you need to find out the price per kilowatt hour in your area. The power consumption from the XLS is pretty low though, 180W, so I would estimate 10-20 cents at most per cycle. On to the warranty, and there is a lot here to like. The Rapids comes with a full 2 year warranty, full coverage, none of that limited warranty malarkey. I have read down Aquabot’s full coverage warranty and it is pretty standard. Lots to like and very little weaseling out. If you have a mechanical fault at some point in that two year period you can rest assured.

I would argue that the price is a little high for what you are getting. The warranty is one of the best offered by Aquabot though, as most of their products only come with a years full coverage and a continued limited warranty, which is more than a little lackluster. So if long term coverage is important to you this may be the right option.

Aquabot Rapids XLS Conclusion

I love the look of this bot, as I loved the look of the Breeze. I can recommend it to those looking for a good bot, that can clean deep, and don’t mind doing the walls themselves sometimes. If you have a curved floor bottom, and want long lasting warranty coverage then this is a good option. If you have a flat pool bottom I have to insist you look elsewhere. I cannot talk about how much tie a robotic pool cleaner will save you if it doesn’t clean your walls.

Pros:

  • Automatic, requires no supervision.
  • Top loading filter bag is much less messy
  • Short 2-3 hour cycle
  • Very light, makes removing it from a pool easier.
  • Brush and power washing feature are top notch
  • Aesthetically brilliant

Cons:

  • Dos not include a handle
  • A little overpriced considering the limitations.
  • Does not clean walls, if you have a smooth transition to the wall it can clean the whole wall, but is still of limited utility.
Barry W Stanton
Irish born writer who drinks too much caffeine and reads too much Terry Pratchett. I enjoy long walks on the server and Korean cuisine.
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