In this Hayward Navigator Pro vs XL comparison review, we want to make your pool cleaner shopping easy by highlighting the similarities and differences between the two models. We’ll also be looking at their maintenance and some of the questions that most pool owners ask about them.
There’s no doubt Hayward is among the best pool cleaner brands out there, with the Hayward W3925ADC and W32025ADV as the best selling models now that they are affordable and do a great job as long as they are in proper condition and you’re using them in the right pool. But from their aesthetics, it can be hard to tell the difference and what each is best for, and that’s why we have done this review. So, to make the best purchase decision, keep it right here.
Hayward Navigator Pro vs XL: Face-to-Face Comparison
To the main business of the day, how do the two vacuums compare, and which one wins in what area? As usual, the comparison will be based on the vital factors considered when selecting a pool cleaner, so without further ado, let’s get started.
If you’ve got an inground pool of up to 40 ft, you have a reliable cleaner in the Hayward PoolVac XL, and the good thing is, there are two variants each for a specific pool surface.
First is the PoolVac XL W32025ADV custom tailored for vinyl pools, and second is PoolVac XL W32025ADC, which will be a perfect fit if you have gunite.
Hayward Navigator Pro and PoolVac XL are all inground suction cleaners, and as the name suggests, they are a fantastic option as they don’t require a separate booster pump. Besides, there are specific models for gunite and vinyl pools, so make sure to get this distinction when purchasing if you don’t want to end up with a wrong model.
2. Build Quality
You can also trust the craftsmanship of the PoolVac XL, so leaving it in the cold treated water or on the deck on a summer afternoon shouldn’t pose any chances of damage, and surprisingly, it will maintain its original color even after years, just like the Navigator and other Hayward pool cleaners.
The dimensions and weight are similar to the Navigator.
You shouldn’t give much thought here as you get the same durable, compact, and lightweight suction cleaner that will withstand the test of time and won’t be much of a hassle lifting it from the water and finding ample storage space during winter.
3. Assembly and Usability
There’s no difference between PoolVac XL and Navigator Pro in terms of assembly and usability, as the PoolVac XL has the same design, and installing the cleaner is straightforward as long as you know what goes where.
You don’t need any tool to set it up, and you can be done in just 10 minutes. Furthermore, there’s a detailed Hayward PoolVac XL installation guide.
The improvised suction design and the lack of any noisy moving parts mean you can clean your pool and get going with your novel right on the deck without any distractions and disturbances.
This round will also culminate in a draw, as there’s absolutely no difference in the installation and usability of the two. We really like the fact that Hayward built the two with fewer components and moving parts and that they work off your filtration system. Perhaps the only hurdle you could face is adjusting the unit to get just the right suction, but documentation is provided to help you out, so it’s highly unlikely you’ll hit a snag.
4. Cleaning Performance
PoolVac XL is also suitable if you want to give your inground pool crystal clear vibes and is particularly a fantastic pick if you live in areas like Arizona, where you have to deal with stubborn silt and sand.
Like Navigator, it’s an almost complete cleaner as it covers floors, walls, and coves, but if you‘re thinking of the waterline, you might want to grab something better, preferably a robotic cleaner.
But it does a great job when it comes to dirt pickup courtesy of the wide vent and its constant suction, even during suction fluctuations. Nothing is invincible to the PoolVac XL: silt, sand, cones, leaves, twigs, crud, you name it.
Hayward really excels when it comes to cleaning performance and this was evident in our tests where we gauged how the two stack up against each other in a dirty pool. We made serious messes using insects, silt, sand pebbles, small twigs, cones, and leaves. Below are the results…needless to say, they’re fishers of dirt.
As an automatic pool cleaner, the Navigator Pro has to find its way around the pool and ensure that it reaches every spot, cleaning the entire pool.
However, it may not match other top pool cleaners which have much advanced systems but still with its random pattern, you’ll hardly find any spots missed or get it stuck somewhere around the coves as it’s guided by serious smarts – SmartDrive Technology.
Hayward PoolVac XL is equally an intelligent automatic cleaner powered by SmartDrive, so it can also plan on the most efficient paths to follow, ensuring that it covers every inch of the pool and cleans faster than your typical manual cleaner.
The Navigator Pro and XL basically have the same navigation system, so the performance is similar. This system may not be as sophisticated as that of top-of-the-line models such as Barracudas but will still get the job done, covering all areas with its 40 ft hose and in record time as long as your filtration system is operating optimally.
In the Hayward PoolVac XL, we also have a Turbine-Drive System, and together with SmartDrive, the unit guides the hose while the turbine action provides the required power to drive through the resistance of debris such as twigs and leaves so you’ll barely catch it stuck.
Hayward suction pool cleaners may not be as powerful as their robotic partners, which have offroad maneuverability systems with tracks and tires but can still reach every corner of your pool. But for those who live under trees with large branches and cones, it will be necessary to remove large debris manually.
Maintaining the PoolVac XL is also a requirement, and the good thing is that keeping it in great shape won’t take a toll on you. You’ll need to clean main components and ensure there’s nothing that is blocking the flow of water in the hose and the main unit and dirt and debris isn’t stuck inside. It will also be necessary to check other parts to ensure they are not worn out or broken down and, if they have, get replacements.
One thing we love about these Hayward cleaners is that you won’t sweat the small stuff as they have less moving parts and, thus, less maintenance. Feel free to go with any of them if you want to spend more time swimming and basking on the deck and not getting your hands dirty with dirt, grime, and algae.
8. What’s in the Box?
In the Navigator Pro package, you should get the cleaner itself, 40ft hose, cone adapter, regulator valve, flow gauge, and documentation.
The PoolVac XL is pretty much the same here as you get the main unit, hose with the same length, cone connector, flow gauge, and the regulator valve alongside the installation guide and warranty.
The two models come well-equipped, but as you may be aware, there are parts that you will need to replace due to wear and tear.
9. Warranty and Aftersales
Considering the PoolVac is also from Hayward, you get the same cover 2 years, so in case it breaks down and you’ve adhered to the Ts and Cs, contact the company, and you’ll get sorted. Support too is available and so are all replacement parts and supplies from hoses to the flappers and wings.
This round ends in a draw as the two have the same warranty, and their parts can be easily bought on Amazon, both authentic Hayward parts and generic.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why isn’t my Hayward Navigator Pro climbing walls?
2. My Hayward pool Vac XL not moving?
3. What is the difference between the Hayward Navigator Pro and XL?
As you have seen from the above analogy, the Hayward Navigator Pro and PoolVac XL share the same features. They are both inground suction pool cleaners for pools of up to 40 ft and share all other features except for the aesthetics.
That said, you shouldn’t worry about which model to go for. What should advise your choice is the availability and, of course, the price, but considering they both range at the same price points, there isn’t a need to put much thought into it. But make sure to pick a model that suits your pool surface (gunite or vinyl). Check out the latest Hayward deals and discounts, and grab your pick!
Hi! I’m Markus Robertson, and water is my passion.
Five years ago, I graduated from the University of California-Los Angeles and was going to become a professional marine biologist. However, my fate had other plans for me, and due to family problems, I had to find a more stable and well-paid job. I had only one wish for my job to be connected with water.
During this period of my life, I worked as a sales manager at Olympic Pool & Spa Supplies. The job helped me learn everything about swimming pools and related pool equipment, as well as how to choose the best option and what to pay attention to.
Having worked there for three years, I decided to start my own blog about pools, where I can tell people about the best new pool equipment models and share my knowledge and experience.
A marine biologist by education, I became a pool blogger by trade. Now I’m glad I can help the guests of my store and the visitors of my blog know a lot of exciting things about pools, their types, best pumps and filters, necessary equipment maintenance, and so on.
I welcome all people who want to choose a proper basin and the stuff to my blog! Hope you’ll find this information interesting and useful!