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Depending on its power, a backpack vacuum is a good choice for both industrial and residential use. You carry it on your back which is often more convenient for small areas with plenty of furniture.
Before we get down to business, we’ll briefly explore the upsides and drawbacks of these nifty appliances. Below, is a list of the best backpack vacuum in 2020.
Check out our list of top 5 picks if you’re short on time:
- Best Commercial Backpack Vacuum: Hoover C2401 Lightweight Backpack Vacuum
- Best Affordable Option: Atrix VACBP1 HEPA Backpack Vacuum
- Option with a Powerful Motor: Pro Team Backpack Vacuums
- Longest Run Time: Makita XCV05PT Backpack Vacuum
- Top Industrial-Grade Choice: Shop-Vac 2860010
|Hoover C2401 Lightweight Backpack Vacuum||9.2 lbs||Corded||2 years|
|Atrix VACBP1||10.3 lbs||Corded||1 year|
|Pro Team Backpack Vacuum||11 lbs||Corded||3 year|
|Makita XCV05PT||9.4 lbs||Cordless||1 year|
|Shop-Vac 2860010||8 lbs||Corded||1 year|
|Sanitaire EURSC412B Backpack Vacuum||11.5 lbs||Corded||2 years|
|Powr-Flite BP6s||10.5 lbs||Corded||3 years|
Why Should You Buy a Backpack Vacuum?
- Exceptional freedom of movement allowing you to power through your cleaning unencumbered, cutting down on cleaning time without compromising results.
- Very easy to store away, even in limited spaces.
- Enables you to work upright, so it’s great for your posture and also a sound way to ward off back pain if you clean for a living.
- First-class filtration cuts back on the amount you’ll need to empty the dust container while also promoting superior quality of air.
- A lot of backpack vacuum cleaners have an extremely lightweight design and are suitable for home use, so choose in line with your needs.
- Perfect for cleaning stairs without needing to drag a heavy canister or upright vacuum up and down.
- Best backpack vacuum cleaners come with an impressive cleaning accessory pack, tailor-made for cleaning tight, awkward spots.
- Some models can be quite pricey, so you’ll need to keep a close eye on your budget.
- Many backpack vacuums come with limited functions. As such, think twice if you want something with multiple features.
- If you opt for a purely commercial backpack vacuum cleaner, you could end up with something too bulky for home use. Do your research and find the best commercial backpack vacuum for your specific requirements.
- When used in restrictive areas, you and your backpack vac unit can get stuck.
- Depending on the model, the suction can be somewhat lacking if you need to clean high pile carpets.
After reviewing the best backpack vacuum, we’ll walk you through on what to look out for when you’re in search of the perfect one.
Now, let’s get straight down to business with those reviews.
Best Backpack Vacuum Reviews
Hoover C2401 Lightweight Backpack Vacuum
(Best Commercial Backpack Vacuum)
If you’re looking for a commercial backpack vacuum from a brand you can rely on, the Hoover C2401 HEPA backpack vacuum from Hoover is one of the best and cost-effective way to get more work done in less time.
Whether you’re cleaning an industrial building or you need it for home use, the cord of this commercial backpack is long enough to make things convenient. Also, you won’t need to worry about battery life for this commercial lightweight backpack vacuum.
The hypercone HEPA filter traps even the finest allergens and pathogens. The Hoover commercial lightweight bag is reusable, eliminating the ongoing expense of bags. However, do keep in mind that the filter of the Hoover commercial lightweight should be removed and cleaned weekly.
You’ll get a crevice tool and floor tool, a dusting brush and an upholstery tool to make sure you end up with a gleaming finish. While an impressive set of attachments, using the tools such as the crevice tool could be easier. Unfortunately, the Hoover commercial lightweight manual isn’t particularly helpful.
Most users praise this HEPA filter backpack vacuum for its lightweight nature, lengthy cable and its powerful suction, especially on hard floor.
- Weight: 9.2 lbs
- Dust Cup: 6.4 dqt
- Hose Length: 5 ft
- Warranty: 2 Years
In several reviews, there are complaints that the dust bag this commercial lightweight backpack vacuum features is rather delicate and prone to ripping. Therefore, handle it with care when cleaning it or emptying the contents in the trash can.
The lack of a brush roll means this commercial lightweight backpack vacuum doesn’t cope so good on carpets, but it’s easy to use for hard floors, especially since it has a floor tool. It also features a convenient upholstery tool.
- HEPA filter is ideal for allergy sufferers
- Excellent pack of attachments including the crevice tool, upholstery tool, and floor tool
- Doesn’t work so good on carpet
- The bag it features is rather messy to empty and clean
Atrix VACBP1 HEPA Backpack Vacuum
(Best Affordable Option)
Whether for home use or in a commercial setting, this 10-pound backpack vacuum from Atrix is one of the best pocket-friendly solutions.
This HEPA filtration 1400-watt beast has a lot of suction, for even the most challenging commercial cleaning jobs. It also works well at home if you prefer the hands-free convenience, comfortable fit, and heavyweight performance offered.
With a broad spread of attachments and a telescopic wand, you’ll be able to get rid of every last crumb from even hard-to-reach areas.
As an added bonus, you can convert this backpack vacuum into a blower. By purchasing separate nozzles, you’ll have yourself a real multi-purpose tool.
The vast bulk of satisfied users are won over by the efficiency and raw power of this backpack vacuum, particularly on wooden surfaces.
There are a few straps that can feel uncomfortable depending on your height and weight.
- Weight: 10.3 lbs
- Dust Cup: 8 dqt
- Hose Length: 6 ft
- Filter: HEPA filtration system
Because of this, it may throw off your center of gravity. As such, assess how well you can carry weights of this nature before committing to this purchase.
While the power cable is cut far too close for comfort, you can use an extension cord to maximize your reach so it’s not a deal-breaker.
- Nice, comfortable fit with belt loops to store accessories
- 4-stage filtration included HEPA filters to make light work of large debris and fine particles
- Expansive range of attachments included
- Needs an extension cord as power cable is far too short
- Beater bar needs regular cleaning or it clogs up
Pro Team Backpack Vacuums
(Option with a Powerful Motor)
This substantial backpack vacuum from Pro Teams comes in 3 variants according to the nature of your cleaning needs.
With a large 10-quart filter, you’ll need to empty the bag far less frequently than if you were using a conventional upright vacuum. The HEPA filter is a 4 stage filtration system ensuring the best air quality whether in your home or business.
The winning combination of power offset by a very subdued motor lets you clean aggressively without disturbing anyone.
As well as enjoying more time before the HEPA filter backpack vacuum needs emptying, the extremely long power cable reduces the need to keep plugging and unplugging as you clean.
Business-owners and homeowner alike are delighted with the time saved cleaning larger areas using the pro backpack vacuum.
- Weight: 11 lbs
- Dust Cup: 10 dqt
- Hose Length: 4.5 ft
- Filter: HEPA filtration
Complaints are few and far between. This is not the smallest backpack model on the market, though, so make sure you’re comfortable shouldering the load.
- Super-powerful motor for outstanding suction
- The vacuum comes with a HEPA filtration system
- Attachments tend to come loose too easily
- Slightly bulky for shorter people
Makita XCV05PT Backpack Vacuum
(Longest Run Time)
Part of Makita’s LXT lithium-ion range of rechargeable appliances, this cordless carry-on will give you 60 minutes of use on 2 batteries. Their claim that it lasts 90 minutes on low is ambitious.
If you already have these batteries, you can opt to buy the bare tool or the full kit.
As with most backpack vacuums, the Makita’s strength is cleaning bare floors.
With a potent and highly capable brushless motor, everything stays cool without carbon brushes. As such, you’ll get longevity and performance rolled into one.
The 2-stage HEPA filtration gets rid of even the finest particles and irritants.
Users rave about the sheer time saved using this HEPA filtration backpack vacuum when cleaning, especially when working with larger areas.
- Weight: 9.4 lbs
- Dust Bag Capacity: 2 dqt
- Hose Length: 3.25 ft
- Battery: 18V X2 LXT Lithium-Ion (36V)
- Warranty: 1 Year
The harness can be problematic, but this is rather subjective. For its intended purpose, it works great, though some feel it should be more comfortable.
While buying the batteries increases the cost of this model significantly, if you’re already into Makita’s lithium-ion series of tools, this makes a great budget buy without compromising suction.
- Impressive run-time using a pair of batteries
- Brushless motor runs cool and built to last
- Hose seems slightly too small for opening
- Weak for cleaning pile carpets as no beater brush
(Top Industrial-Grade Choice)
While marketed as an industrial appliance, the Shop Vac is also one of the best choices for home use.
Suction power should be more than good enough for most reasonable needs at home, but you might struggle if you buy this vac intending to clean large industrial messes.
The shoulder harness with tool belt supplied is comfortable enough and distributes the load of the Shop Vac evenly.
Many happy customers embrace the convenience of the Shop Vac in the home.
If you’re looking for a sturdy unit for purely industrial purposes, you might be better off exploring a more rugged model.
You’ll get little by the way of extras with the Shop Vac, yet it features a pair of metal extension wands allowing you to clean in tight spots.
- Weight: 8 lbs
- Dust Cup Capacity: 6.5 dqt
- Hose Length: 4 ft
- Warranty: 1 Year
- Substantial tank to hold 4 gallons of dry waste
- Disposable dust bags for fuss-free cleaning
- 6HP motor for very capable suction
- 25-foot long cord can be restrictive
- Cost of replacement bags can add up
Sanitaire EURSC412B Backpack Vacuum
Sanitaire products are manufactured by the legendary Electrolux. This affordable HEPA backpack vacuum is a bargain considering its functionality.
Whether you’re cleaning commercial premises or your house, the 4-stage HEPA filtration does its job to remove 99.97% of pathogens down to a size of 0.3 microns leaving you with superior air quality at work or home.
Kicking out just 69 decibels, the Sanitaire HEPA backpack vacuum delivers all the suction you need, without the noise.
The 2-year-limited warranty is a nice bonus.
Many customers are pleasantly surprised with the way this backpack vacuum cleans carpets. This is a notorious weak point with most carry-on sweepers.
Small complaints concerning the attachments failing to stay in place and overall build quality.
- Weight: 11.5 lbs
- Canister Cup Capacity: 6 dqt
- Hose Length: 5 ft
- Warranty: 2 Years
While the canister is pretty small and you’ll need to empty it frequently, the overall time saved with the Sanitaire still leaves you in profit.
- 48-foot long cord and 4-foot wand extends your cleaning zone nicely
- Budget-friendly option
- HEPA filtration for cleaner air
- Capacity is limited
- Can be awkward to affix attachments
Powr-Flite BP6s Backpack Vacuum
If you have a flexible budget and you’re looking for a backpack vacuum that will keep going for prolonged periods under vigorous use, the Powr-Flite BP6s is a smart bet.
Equipped with a comprehensive 4-stage filtration system, the Powr-Flite guarantees better air quality as well as cleaner floors.
The Deuter harness ensures weight is distributed to the knees and hips for a comfier hands-free experience.
Most satisfied customers enjoy the superb suction and time-saving element of this backpack vacuum, especially at such a reasonable price.
There are few complaints about the Powr-Flite, although some users have stated the cord works its way loose when being stored.
This is not the lightest backpack vacuum cleaner up for grabs. However, the way in which the harness has been designed by Deuter more than compensates for the few extra pounds.
- Weight: 10.5 lbs
- Dust Cup Capacity: 6 dqt
- Noise Level: 68 dBa
- Warranty: 3 Years
- Harness system extremely effective
- 50-foot power cable perfect for cleaning large spaces
- Ultra-quiet operation at 62 decibels without sacrificing cleaning power
- Rolled up cord can come loose when being stored
Backpack Vacuum Buyer’s Guide
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to the optimum weight.
Know your own limits, and look for something less than 10 pounds for the least physically taxing experience. Most of the models we review are in this weight range.
Equally as important as the overall weight is the structure of the straps or harness. Therefore, look for best backpack vacuums that are a perfect fit for your body in terms of both weight and weight distribution.
The more time you spend cleaning, the more the weight of the backpack vacuum becomes an issue. If you’re working all day commercially, you should consider getting a commercial lightweight backpack vacuum, even if that means paying a bit extra.
Power Cord Length
If you’re opting for a corded cleaner, the length of the power cable is critical.
Not everyone wants to deal with how long it takes to charge a cordless backpack. Yet, if you’re constantly looking for a power outlet, there’s no use in having a corded cleaner.
This might seem like a minor issue but the length of the power cord will directly determine your freedom of movement when cleaning.
Anywhere from 45 feet and upwards is ideal.
In general, these backpack vacuums are designed with commercial cleaning duty in mind. And so, the cords are normally generous enough.
If you end up going for a model with a shorter cord, you’re likely to end up regretting the decision.
Backpack Vacuum Tube Length
You should consider the length of the tube in relation to your height. Since the preferred length is dependent on each user’s size and preference, there’s no “right length” when it comes to tubes.
One of the advantages of a carry-on is that you can avoid the constant bending over involved with vacuuming. Don’t ruin this by needing to bend too much with a heavy weight on your back.
Even if you plan to buy your cleaner online, it can be a wise move to try out one in a shop so you can get a feel for the ergonomics. In particular, tall users should make sure that the kit makes for a nice, comfortable cleaning experience.
Different Types of Backpack Vacuums
Now that you know what to look out for when you’re searching for the ideal model, let’s explore the various types of backpack vacuums on the market.
We’ll look now at the 3 broad categories of industrial, home, and commercial use.
The heaviest grade of a backpack vacuum cleaner, an industrial unit, works well out on site or in factories and is designed for heavy, continuous use.
With industrial vacuum cleaners, it pays to focus on the length of the power cable, especially if power outlets are scarce on site.
The filtration on industrial vacuums helps get rid of any pathogens in the air along with the dirt on the floor.
Most industrial vacuum cleaners produce a fair amount of noise since they are normally used in environments where this is not so much of an issue.
Motors are generally much more powerful, and they can cope with intensive cleaning jobs without overheating or letting you down.
Backpack vacuums were originally designed more for industrial use than residential. Do your own due diligence and determine whether or not the appliance you have in mind is cut out for your cleaning demands. For heavy-duty projects, you need a rugged, durable product.
For cleaning offices or larger homes, a backpack vacuum for commercial use is an ideal choice.
If you feel cheated by the lack of attachments on commercial backpack vacuums, it’s actually for your own good. Since this type of cleaner is dragged from place to place, attachments easily get lost so it’s best to focus on the pure necessities only.
Components are a combination of plastic and metal with build quality usually a notch above standard household vacuums.
Since most commercial backpack vacuums run reasonably quiet, you shouldn’t have too many noise complaints.
Related Post: Best Commercial Vacuum
A nice touch with commercial backpack vacuums is the magnetic bar that can significantly reduce the amount of metal waste like paperclips that shoots into the vacuum.
A long power cord allows you to clean large areas without endlessly hunting down a power outlet.
The majority of commercially-rated vacuums have a quality filtration system as these vacuum cleaners are often used in sensitive environments like hospitals.
Home Backpack Vacuums
While these backpack vacuum cleaners were designed with more demanding commercial and industrial cleaning projects in mind, the market has seen a recent increase in the manufacture of lightweight backpack vacuums ideal for use in the home.
Perhaps, you’re advancing in years and you struggle to carry your canister or upright vacuum up and down the stairs?
Maybe, you have a sprawling house which is tiring to clean using a regular vacuum cleaner?
Certainly, between the suction strength and full flexibility of a hands-free cleaning experience, these models sound fantastic. But, when you’re buying a backpack vac for use in the home, you need to think first and foremost about what kind of surfaces you have to avoid any type of damage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a battery-powered option available?
A: You can invest in a battery-powered vacuum but run times are limited.
Manufacturers often stretch battery life so read plenty of user reviews to get a good idea of the realistic runtime you can expect. Consider the amount of cleaning you need to do, then decide if this will be possible on a single charge.
Can backpack sweepers/vacuums pick up pet hair?
A: If you’re a pet owner, you should consider a specialized pet fur vacuum.
That said, the powerful suction on a lot of backpack vacuum cleaners means that they do a great job of getting rid of most pet debris.
It always pays to regularly clean your backpack vacuum if you’re sucking up hair since it can easily clog up the filter.
Read this guide on how to maintain a vacuum cleaner.
What’s better bagged or bagless?
A: There’s really no right answer here. Although you’ll save money with bagless cleaners, you’re going to replace the filter more frequently. You want to make sure that you’re aware of the different types of filters as well.
The better question would be, is it safe for your health to go bagless? Primarily for those that have heavy allergies or asthma; you’ll want to be careful when cleaning out the dust from the filter.
Related Post: Bagged Vacuums
We hope you’ve now got a solid overview of using a commercial backpack vacuum cleaner at home.
Whether you live in a small apartment and need a vacuum that’s compact and simple to stash away or you want to clean your stairs without lugging a big canister, any of the best backpack vacuums is a surprisingly versatile addition to your cleaning arsenal.
We’ve outlined the difference between industrial, commercial, and home models. Once you’ve decided which one would suit your situation best, think about the length of the power cord along with any attachments you need. When you do, you’ll find buying the best backpack vacuum is rather simple.
We hope that our guide helped you determine the best backpack vacuums for your needs.
- Vacuum Devices – bughunter.tamu.edu
- Uprights vs. Backpacks: Which is Right For You? – sanitairecommercial.com
- Janitors Appreciate Switch to Battery Backpack Vacuums – cleanlink.com