Most people overlook Backpack vacuums as an option for a home vacuum. Backpack vacuums are popular in commercial settings but the idea of wearing your vacuum while you clean your home has not been an attractive concept for many homeowners.
However, there are several compelling reasons to consider a backpack vacuum for your next purchase.
Why a Backpack Vacuum?
Backpack vacuums can offer more convenience and can be easier to use than either an upright or canister vacuum. Many people experience difficulties using both upright and canister vacuums. Shoulder and arm pain, back pain, and difficulty in maneuvering heavy canisters or upright vacuums are the usual complaints.
Backpack vacuums are more efficient in many ways. Most backpack vacuums come with much longer power cords than standard upright and canister vacuums. A longer power cord translates to longer operating reach with fewer stops to move the power cord to a new outlet.
Longer wands that upright vacuums and canister vacuums have their problems with maneuverability. Uprights put all the motors and fans in the powerhead, putting the weight down low but requiring a large head that can be difficult for some people to maneuver in tight spaces and under furniture.
Canisters solve some of the problems with the large powerhead but then require the user to drag the canister behind them through the house as they clean. The canisters tend to bump into walls and furniture, tip over, and otherwise cause a nuisance. Since most of the controls for the canister vacuum are on the canister, requiring the user to bend over constantly to adjust the vacuum.
The longer wands that come with backpack vacuums mean less stretching and easier access to higher places without having to stretch. Less stretching means less fatigue and less chance for injury.
Imagine no more stooping over to reach vacuum controls. Consider the effort it takes to push and pull an upright vacuum over your carpet. Backpack vacuums can eliminate or greatly reduce those kinds of effort.
The concept of mounting the vacuum on a comfortable frame with shoulder straps and a waist belt that move the weight to your waist is not new to the commercial vacuum market. The commercial sector has been the realm of the backpack vacuum because it allows an employee to operate these vacuums for longer periods without fatigue.
What Should You Look for in a Backpack Vacuum?
Just like choosing an upright or canister vacuum, there are certain things to consider when purchasing a backpack vacuum. You should think about these things
Bagged or Bagless?
Backpack vacuums come in either bagged style or the bagless variety. Each has its pros and cons. Bagless types can be just as powerful and just as effective as bagged type. Bagged vacuums tend to be a bit heavier and require you to change bags rather than empty a canister.
Corded or Cordless?
The option to go cordless is a big decision. Corded bags tend to be more powerful than their cordless counterparts. Cordless vacuums can limit your cleaning time due to the limit of battery power and can be a bit heavier because of the weight of the batteries.
If you or your family has an issue with allergies, you should consider the level and quality of the onboard filtration in a backpack vacuum. Many of the better backpack vacuums come standard with multi-stage HEPA filtration. Lower end vacuums may have filtration but not to the level of HEPA standards.
The quality of the backpack harness and frame can make the difference in a backpack vacuum that is easy to carry and comfortable enough to wear for hours without undue fatigue or strain. Cheaper harnesses can lead to back and shoulder pain. Harnesses should be adjustable in several ways and designed to transfer the bulk of the weight of the vacuum to the waist belt.
Most commercial backpack vacuums come with the standard array of accessories, but many are tailored to commercial use and may not translate well into the home environment. Finding a backpack with accessories capable of effective use in the home can be a challenge.
Some backpack vacuum excels at cleaning hard surface floors. Others are champs at low pile commercial style carpet. A few can easily handle deep pile carpets. The type of flooring in your home can be a big determiner of which vacuum best fits your needs.
Looking at the Best Backpack Vacuums
Here are our picks for the best backpack vacuums in several categories. Most of these backpack vacuums are considered commercial grade vacuums. Commercial grade doesn’t mean they aren’t perfectly suited to your home.
We have divided our selections into corded and cordless categories since each type has its pros and cons. Many of the features carry over from one category to the other. The major difference is in the amount of air each type of vacuum moves and the amount of suction they can create. There is enough difference in these features to warrant looking at them separately.
|Name||Item Weight||Shipping Weight||Dimensions||Manufacturer|
|ProTeam ProVac FS 6 Backpack Vacuum||9.6 lbs.||26.2 lbs.||31.3 x 18.3 x 12 in.||ProTeam|
|Hoover Commercial Lightweight Backpack Vacuum||9.2 lbs.||21.3 lbs.||13.2 x 13.2 x 30 in.||Hoover|
|Atrix - VACBP1 HEPA Backpack Vacuum||12 lbs.||19.25 lbs.||19.5 x 12.5 x 10 in.||Atrix|
|Prolux 2.0 Bagless Backpack Vacuum||9 lbs.||26.5 lbs.||22 x 9 x 9 in.||Prolux|
|ProTeam Commercial LineVacer ULPA||13 lbs.||26.1 lbs.||8.5 x 8.5 x 27 in.||ProTeam|
|Prolux 2.0 Bagless Backpack Vacuum||21.7 lbs.||21.7 lbs.||27.3 x 15 x 12 in.||Prolux|
|Milwaukee 0885-20 M18 Fuel 3-in-1||15.25 lbs.||20.8 lbs.||26.9 x 10 x 14.3 in.||Milwaukee|
Corded Backpack Vacuums
Best Overall Choice of Corded Backpack Vacuums: ProTeam ProVac FS 6
The ProTeam ProVac F 6 get the nod as our best overall choice of a backpack vacuum for home use. The combination of features, accessories, and price makes it an easy choice. There are more powerful vacuums on the market and there are vacuums with the same feature at a lower price, but none offer the overall quality and superior performance as the ProTeam ProVac FS 6.
ProTeam excels at building commercial level backpack vacuums. Their attention to detail I apparent when you look at the features and specifications on their backpack vacuums.
- Quiet Operation producing only 65.9 dba
- A four-level filtration system ensures the highest quality return air
- HEPA filtration standard
- Flexfit harness system that can adjust to fit short or tall people and distribute the weight of the vacuum to the waist.
- Powerful motor delivers a static lift of 91 inches
- Standard 50 ft power cord Increases productivity
- Weighs only 11.6 lbs. allowing almost effortless operation.
- Special open weave harness for cool and comfortable wear
- ProTeam standard 3-year warranty
- 6 qt dust capacity
- Microfilter bags make emptying dust clean and simple
- Micro Cloth Filter for additional filtration and dust collection
- Upholstery tool
- Crevice tool
- carpet floor tool
- hard floor tool
- two-piece wand
- Powerful vacuum
- Easy access to witches and controls
- Quick and easy bag changes
- Comfortable harness for long wear
- The carpet wand is hard to use because the suction is so powerful
- Attachments can be hard to connect
The ProTeam Provac FS 6 is a commercial machine that translates easily into the home environment. Using a backpack vacuum in your home after using an upright vacuum or canister vacuum for years may take some adjustment. The ProTeam Provac F 6 should make that transition easier and the features and superior cleaning will be well worth the change.
Best Overall Commercial Backpack Vacuum: Hoover Lightweight C2401
Hoover is a well-respected manufacturer of vacuums and has a reputation for building dependable and powerful machines for both the home market and the commercial users. You will be hard-pressed to find a better backpack vacuum than the Hoover Commercial Lightweight Backpack vacuum.
The Hoover C2401 is designed to be lightweight and easy to carry. The expansive list of features makes this vacuum attractive to commercial users as well as home users and the price is well within the range of both. The long cord, the generous hose length, and the wand mean more coverage area and fewer stops to change electrical outlets.
Hoover doesn’t skimp in the accessories or features either. A quick look at what is included with the Hoover Commercial Lightweight Backpack vacuum confirms the extent of the features included by Hoover. With this kind of package, you can handle any cleaning chore.
- Weighs just 9.2 lbs
- HEPA filtration system for the cleanest possible return air to the room
- Easily replaceable filter cartridge system
- 52-inch hose length of plenty of reach for cleaning high and hard to reach spaces
- Harness system designed by chiropractors for safe and easy wear
- Crevice tool
- Dusting brush
- Floor nozzle
- Upholstery brush
- 48-foot power cord
- 2-year warranty
- Comfortable to wear without any back fatigue
- Very quiet operation
- Powerful suction really cleans well
- The harness can get hot on your back with extended wear
- The wand is not adjustable.
Best Budget Corded Backpack Vacuum: Atrix Ergo Vacbp1
If a backpack vacuum is a solution to your problems but the price on the better model leaves you a little short of breath, then the Atrix Ergo Vacbp1 deserves a good look. At just under half the cost of our best overall backpack vacuum, the Ergo Bacbp1 offers almost as many features in a visually pleasing package.
Atrix has deigned an ergonomic vacuum that is easy to wear and light enough for almost anyone to manage comfortably. While not as powerful as some of the larger and more expensive backpack vacuums, the Ergo Vacbp1 delivers a respectable amount of suction and a wide array of features and attachments.
- Lightweight at just 10.3 lbs.
- Convenient beltloop storage for accessories keeps them handy and within easy reach
- HEPA Filter System reduces allergens up to 99 percent
- Large 8 qt. dustbin means fewer stops to empty
- The Ergo delivers 106 CFM of suction power
- Extra-long 6′ hose
- Motor filter and exhaust filter for added air quality
- blower adapter with three different blower nozzles
- 37-inch telescoping wand
- Upholstery nozzle
- Floor brush
- Oval brush
- Air-driven turbo brush
- HEPA Filter Bag
- Crevice tool
- Convertible for ambidextrous operation
- Extension cord strain relief
- Powerful vacuum
- Useful blower function with attachments
- Belt storage of attachments
- Right and Left-Handed operation
- The attachments seem a little cheap and flimsy
- Very short cord requires the use of an extension cord
- The harness may not fit very large or very small people
Atrix has put the backpack vacuum in a price range that almost anyone can afford. The Atrix Ergo Vacbp1 corded backpack vacuum is an excellent entry-level backpack vacuum for a homeowner or small businesses. The Atrix Ergo is feature-rich and economically priced, getting it a place on our list as the Best Budget Corded Backpack Vacuum.
Best Bagless Corded Backpack Vacuum: Prolux 2.0 Bagless
If you want to move to a backpack vacuum but don’t want to deal with filter bags, then the Prolux 2.0 bagless backpack vacuum is the answer. Prolux has re-invented the bagless vacuum in this line of backpack vacuums to eliminate the problems of loss of suction when nearly full and consistent filtration of particles and allergens.
The Prolux Vortex 2.0 technology traps the dust and debris without any loss of suction even when full. Also, this backpack vacuum comes in at only 9 lbs. making it useable by anyone. The high-quality frame and harness system transfer 80 percent of the weight of the vacuum to the wearers hips. This harness design eliminates fatigue in the back, neck, and shoulders.
Prolux hasn’t cut corners in the accessories and features department. Look at what you get with the Prolux 2.0 bagless backpack vacuum.
- The improved harness is easily adjusted and designed to transfer 80% of the weight of the vacuum to the wide padded waist belt.
- Prolux 2.0 vortex chamber technology captures dust and debris efficiently
- Well insulated motor chamber keeps noise to a minimum
- 125 CFM
- Clear bagless dust bin
- Washable HEPA filter
- Self-cleaning upper filter
- Weighs only 9 lbs.
- Wessel Werk Powerhead
- Prolux turbo nozzle
- telescopic wand
- duster brush
- upholstery tool
- floor tool
- mini turbo nozzle
- 5/3 warranty
- Easy connect attachments for quick changes
- One of the quietest vacs on the market
- The bagless design eliminates changing dusty filter bags
- Tool storage on the waist belt.
- The harness may not work for very tall people
- Cleaning the dust bin can be a hassle
Bagless is the choice of many people. With no bags, a washable HEPA filter, and a self-cleaning top filter, the Prolux 2.0 Bagless backpack vacuum is an attractive alternative. This bagless vacuum has all the cleaning power of the other backpack vacuums on our list and doesn’t lack in features and accessories.
The Ultimate Corded Backpack Vacuum: ProTeam Commercial LineVacer HEPA Vacuum Backpack
If you are concerned that a backpack vacuum can’t compete with upright and canister vacuums in the race to keep your home free of pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and all the other allergy-causing problems in your home, you needn’t worry. Our choice as the Ultimate Corded Backpack Vacuum can meet the challenges and then some.
The ProTeam Commercial Backpack vacuum with LineVacer HEPA Filtration package goes above and beyond to contain allergy-causing irritants. The Invacare filter technology is not just a HEPA filter. This system is certified as an ULPA (Ultra Low Particulate Air) filter.
For the ultimate in cleaning and air quality, the ProTeam Commercial Backpack Vacuum with LineVacer HEPA/ULPA filtration offers the same quality and quantity of features and accessories as other ProTeam Vacuums.
- Four level HEPA.ULPA filtration system removes particulate matter down to .12 microns.
- 50-foot power cord
- Top of the line ergonomic harness and backpack frame system.
- Runs at only 64 dba for quiet and pleasant operation.
- High suction motor
- 3-year warranty
- 124 CFM
- Static lift 75 inches
- 10 qt dust bin
- 4-foot hose
- Upholstery tool
- Crevice tool
- Xover Floor Tool
- Two-Piece wand
- Micro Filter bags for easy changing
- Weighs 13 lbs.
- Super strong suction
- Great attachments
- Excellent air filtration system
- Top-mounted swivel hose makes it easy for right or left-handers to use.
- The vacuum is tall and feels a bit cumbersome when being worn.
The ProTeam LineVacer HEPA/ULPA backpack vacuum is big and powerful. If you are looking for the best return air quality and the strongest suction available, the ProTeam LineVacer HEPA/ULPA backpack vacuum is a contender.
Cordless Backpack Vacuums
Best Overall Choice for a Cordless Backpack Vacuum: Prolux 2.0 Cordless Battery
Hands down, the Prolux 2.0 Cordless backpack vacuum is the choice as the best overall cordless backpack vacuum. Lightweight, powerful, and loaded with features and accessories, Prolux has coupled the success of its 2.0 Corded backpack vacuum with the latest in battery technology for unsurpassed performance.
The Prolux 2.0 cordless backpack vacuum can run for one full hour without a recharge. That is more than enough time to clean the average-sized home with this highly maneuverable and ergonomic vacuum. The redesigned frame and harness system won’t leave you tired or with aching shoulders, arms, or neck.
Just like the corded model, the cordless version of the Prolux 2.0 bagless backpack vacuum comes with a rich array of features and accessories.
- Prolux patented 2.0 Vortex system for consistent dust and debris capture.
- Three-stage HEPA filtration means high-quality air returned to the room.
- The cordless option maximizes convenience. Long battery life and no cord to deal with as you move about cleaning.
- 70 CFM of suction. 70 CFM is far above the industry standard 45 CFM on other cordless backpack vacuums.
- Wide floor tool
- Duster tool
- Upholstery tools
- Crevice tool
- Telescopic wand
- 35-foot cord
- 82 inches of lift
- Easy to clean bagless dust bin
- Great maneuverability
- Lots of accessories
- Does a great job on hard floor surfaces
- Bagless technology is easier to maintain
- Expensive compared to a corded vacuum
- Smaller dust bin means more stops to empty
If you are willing to pay a little more for the convenience of a cordless and bagless backpack vacuum without sacrificing cleaning ability or the quality of the air filtration, then you should consider the Prolux 2.0 bagless cordless backpack vacuum.
Best Budget Cordless Backpack Vacuum: Milwaukee 0885-20 M18 Fuel 3-in-1
One of the major factors in the higher prices of cordless backpack vacuums is the cost of the batteries. If you already own Milwaukee cordless tools that use the M18 batteries, then the Milwaukee 0885-20 cordless backpack vacuum is an easy choice.
Battery compatibility across a range of tools is a matter of economics and efficiency. And your cleaning situation won’t be harmed by the choice. The Milwaukee 0885-20 cordless backpack vacuum brings enough power and features to make cleaning your house easier and faster.
Along with Milwaukee tools excellent reputation in the tool industry, a complete lineup of features and accessories accompanies the Milwaukee 0885-20 cordless and bagless backpack vacuum
- Uses the M18 Fuel Cell battery technology for compatibility with all your Milwaukee cordless tools
- 6-foot flexible hose
- HEPA Air Filtration system
- Telescoping extension wand
- Crevice tool
- Floor tool
- Dusting tool
- Quiet operation at only 76 dba
- Powerstate™ brushless motor
- Cyclonic dust bin design
- Ergonomic harness design
- Weighs only 15 lbs.
- Harness and frame are comfortable and easily adjustable
- Compact size
- 2 power setting allows you to set the suction to conserve the battery
- Small dust bin means more stops to clean out the vacuum
- Filters seem to clog quickly
If you are on a budget and already have Milwaukee tools in your workshop, the Milwaukee 0885-20 cordless bagless backpack vacuum should get a look. The convenience of only having to keep one kind of battery and one style of charger may tip the scale toward this vacuum as your choice in a cordless backpack vacuum.
The Best Backpack Vacuum for You
Backpack vacuums offer a lot of advantages over traditional upright or canister vacuums. Durability, power, and ease of use are the most common features that users point to as the reason they switched to a backpack vacuum.
Regardless of the reasons, the backpack vacuums that made our list of Best Backpack Vacuums are what we consider to be the top of the line in each category. Whether you are looking for a budget entry, a vacuum that will help alleviate allergens in your home, or a vacuum powerful enough to deal with the most intense cleaning situations, there is a backpack vacuum to fit your needs.
I hope the information we have provided is helpful and gets you on your way to deciding on a backpack vacuum.