The Best Backpack Vacuums of 2022

Whether for home, commercial, or industrial use, these backpack vacuums make it easy to clean everything from bedrooms to offices to jobsites.

By Amanda Lauren | Published May 25, 2022 12:52 PM

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The Best Backpack Vacuums

Photo: amazon.com

Backpack vacuums are a great alternative to standard upright and stick vacuums. A more convenient choice for cleaning large spaces quickly and challenging spots such as stairs, backpack vacuums require less maintenance than other types of vacuums do. They have a simpler design than most vacuum types, with fewer parts; for example, they don’t include beater bars for carpets.

In addition, research has shown that backpack vacuums can clean faster than upright vacuums can, but not all backpack vacuums are created alike. There is a difference between commercial and residential models. Different features are available, such as high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, large-capacity canisters, and accessories such as crevice tools. To help you find the right model for your needs, here are the best backpack vacuums to consider.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Hoover Commercial Lightweight Backpack Bagged Vacuum
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Atrix Ergo Backpack HEPA Vacuum
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Prolux 2.0 Cordless Bagless Backpack Vacuum
  4. BEST FOR COMMERCIAL USE: GV 10 qt. Lightweight Backpack Industrial Vacuum
  5. BEST CORDLESS: Milwaukee M18 FUEL 3-in -1 Backpack Vacuum
  6. BEST LIGHTWEIGHT: Prolux 2.0 Commercial Bagless Backpack Vacuum
  7. BEST FOR COMFORT: Powr-Flite Premium Comfort Pro Backpack Vacuum
  8. BEST LARGE-CAPACITY: ProTeam Super CoachVac 10 qt. Backpack Vacuum
The Best Backpack Vacuum

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Backpack Vacuum

There are many factors to consider when buying a backpack vacuum. For instance, where will it be used? Will it be used in a residential, commercial, or industrial setting? Who will be using the vacuum? Will the backpack be used for long jobs? Is the vacuum easy to clean? Here are some other important considerations and features to look for when buying a backpack vacuum.

Capacity and Suction Power

Capacity should be a primary consideration. If the backpack vacuum will be used for purposes such as commercial cleaning or construction-site cleanups, a high-capacity canister or bag will be the most convenient choice. A lower-capacity model will require continual cleaning, which might lead to frequently stopping and starting in the middle of the job. But keep in mind that high-capacity backpack vacuums are larger and can be more expensive.

Capacity can also affect suction. If the bag or canister is full, some backpack vacuums will start to lose suction, which can be very frustrating. However, there are backpack vacuums on the market engineered to not lose suction even if they fill up.

Weight

There is no standard weight for a backpack vacuum, but, generally, these appliances can range from approximately 9 pounds to more than 25 pounds. The heavier a vacuum is, the less comfortable it will be. So for those considering a backpack vacuum on the heavier side, it’s best to choose one that has comfort features such as an ergonomic design and chest or waist straps.

Heavier vacuums can have some advantages over lighter ones. This includes a larger canister and a more powerful motor, which might be necessary for those who are using a backpack vacuum for industrial purposes such as cleaning up metal or wood dust.

Corded vs. Cordless

Corded models are the best vacuum for housecleaning business because there’s no need to worry about a battery dying, potentially stopping to swap a dead battery for a charged one, or being unable to finish cleaning until the battery recharges.

On the other hand, cordless vacuums are more convenient to use than corded ones because there’s no need to stop between rooms to plug and unplug. There’s also no cord to get in the way when cleaning tight areas such as stairs, bathrooms, and kitchens. However, cordless vacuum users must keep track of the battery level, which can be a nuisance. Batteries can also be heavy and add weight to the vacuum.

Bagged vs. Bagless

Deciding between a bagged versus a bagless vacuum is simply a matter of preference. Bagged vacuums can end up costing more to maintain because the bags must be replaced. However, some backpack vacuums have reusable bags. Although every model works a bit differently, bagged vacuums are generally easy to clean—just take out the old bag and replace it with a new one. The major challenge with bagged vacuums is knowing when to replace the bag because the debris cannot be seen.

Alternatively, bagless vacuums are easier to monitor because the dirt cup or canister is often clear. Most have a button or lever to open the canister for easy emptying into a receptacle.

Features and Accessories

One of the most important features to look for in a backpack vacuum is a HEPA filter. These filters can capture 99.97 percent of pollen, dust, bacteria, mold, and other small airborne particles. A HEPA filter is ideal for those who suffer with asthma and allergies.

Backpack vacuums often come with a variety of accessories, including crevice tools, upholstery brushes, or carpet tools, depending on the model. Accessories should easily attach to the hose. Look for a hose that’s flexible and long enough to use the tools and accessories comfortably and safely.

Noise

Noise level is a crucial consideration when choosing a backpack vacuum and not just because motors make an unpleasant sound. Though it might not appear to be a major problem for the average person vacuuming a home, a noisy vacuum can be very disruptive when used in a commercial setting such as an office.

But more significantly, a backpack vacuum that’s too noisy can potentially damage the user’s hearing. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), exposure to any sound above 85 decibels could be dangerous over time and may require intervention such as earplugs, particularly for someone who is vacuuming for 8 or more hours a day.

Our Top Picks

We took these and other considerations in mind when evaluating backpack vacuum cleaners to come up with the top picks in several categories. Whether for cleaning a home with stairs, a large commercial office, or messy construction dust, here are the best backpack vacuums to consider.

Best Overall

The Best Backpack Vacuums Option: Hoover Commercial Lightweight Backpack Bagged Vacuum
Photo: amazon.com

For those looking for a quality backpack vacuum to clean the house or the best vacuum for cleaning-business use, the Hoover Commercial Lightweight Backpack Bagged Vacuum will get the job done. At just 9.2 pounds, it has a harness that was designed by a chiropractor, making it one of the most comfortable choices on the market.

This model has a generous capacity of 6.4 quarts, which is easily monitored through the clear lid. When it’s full, just remove and bag and replace it with a disposable insert or reusable cloth liner. Another helpful feature of this vacuum is the 48-foot-long cord, which means less unplugging and plugging between rooms.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 9.2 pounds
  • Capacity: 6.4 quarts
  • Cord length: 48 feet

Pros

  • Has a 2-year warranty
  • Includes an accessory pack
  • Operates quietly

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a HEPA filter

Get the Hoover backpack vacuum on Amazon or at Walmart.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Backpack Vacuums Option: Atrix Ergo Backpack HEPA Vacuum
Photo: amazon.com

Although inexpensive vacuums often scrimp on features and a HEPA filter, the Atrix Ergo Backpack HEPA Vacuum offers a lot of value for the money. It has four filter levels including a HEPA filter, which is essential for people with allergies and asthma.

Other features that make this product a smart buy are the crevice tool and nozzle. More accessories are available for an additional cost. The belt strap even has slots to hold the accessories so you can easily swap them out or work hands-free. With its 8-quart capacity, this powerful vacuum can suck up lots of debris, including bed bugs, before the user needs to replace the bag.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 10.3 pounds
  • Capacity: 8 quarts
  • Cord length: 12 inches

Pros

  • Has an ergonomic design
  • Can be used by right- and left-handed people
  • Is a good value for commercial or home use

Cons

  • Requires an extension cord

Get the Atrix backpack vacuum on Amazon or at Walmart.

Upgrade Pick

The Best Backpack Vacuums Option: Prolux 2.0 Cordless Bagless Backpack Vacuum
Photo: amazon.com

Those looking for the best cordless backpack vacuum need look no further than the Prolux 2.0 Cordless Bagless Backpack Vacuum. Equipped with a self-cleaning HEPA filter to eliminate clogs, it’s also engineered to prevent loss of suction, even if the vacuum is full.

With two 30-minute batteries included, it’s easy to vacuum an entire home. With a canister that’s easy to open and weighing just 11 pounds, this backpack vacuum was designed to maximize convenience.

Although its price is on the high side, this vacuum comes with seven different accessories including a cleaning nozzle, crevice tool, upholstery tool, adjusting telescopic wand, and duster brush, so it is possible to tackle nearly any type of cleaning job.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 11 pounds
  • Capacity: 0.64 liters
  • Cord length: N/A

Pros

  • Adjustable straps can fit all body types
  • HEPA filter is washable
  • Compact design
  • 7 accessories included

Cons

  • Battery charge takes 8 hours

Get the Prolux cordless backpack vacuum on Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Best For Commercial Use

The Best Backpack Vacuums Option: GV 10 Quart Commercial Backpack Vacuum
Photo: homedepot.com

Searching for the best commercial backpack vacuum? Look no further than the GV 10 quart backpack vacuum. This model has a large canister capacity and is designed to clean all floor types including hard flooring, tile, and carpeting, as well as area rugs. At just 11 pounds, and with adjustable padded shoulder and waist straps, the GV is a great choice for professionals who spend hours on their feet cleaning.

This vacuum comes with an adjustable main wand, duster brush, upholstery tool, crevice tool, and a floor tool, all of which can be stored on the belt. The power switch is also attached to the belt, making this backpack vacuum easy to turn on and off as you clean.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 11 pounds
  • Capacity: 10 quarts
  • Cord length: 30 feet

Pros

  • Has a HEPA filter
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty for the motor
  • Is great for pet hair

Cons

  • The cord could be longer

Get the GV backpack vacuum at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Walmart.

Best Cordless

The Best Backpack Vacuums Option: Milwaukee M18 FUEL 3-in-1 Backpack Vacuum
Photo: homedepot.com

Cordless vacuums can be incredibly convenient whether they’re used for cleaning up jobsite debris, such as concrete dust and drywall dust; following DIY projects; or for more convenient general cleaning. The Milwaukee M18 FUEL backpack vacuum offers cordless convenience in a backpack vacuum. It is powered by RedLithium battery packs (batteries and charger are sold separately) that can run for up to 25 minutes in high mode and more than 40 minutes in low mode.

With its 1-gallon dirt cup capacity, there’s rarely a need to stop and empty. In terms of accessories, this vacuum comes with a flexible hose, dust-extraction adapter, crevice tool, floor tool, and telescoping extension wand, all of which easily attach to the vacuum. It’s also equipped with a HEPA filter.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 15.25 pounds
  • Capacity: 1 gallon
  • Cord length: N/A

Pros

  • Is much quieter than most jobsite and shop vacuums
  • Includes a HEPA filter
  • Is a trusted brand

Cons

  • A bit heavy
  • Batteries and charger are purchased separately

Get the Milwaukee backpack vacuum at The Home Depot or Walmart.

Best Lightweight

The Best Backpack Vacuums Option: Prolux 2.0 Commercial Bagless Backpack Vacuum
Photo: amazon.com

The Prolux 2.0 Commercial Bagless Backpack Vacuum is light in weight and heavy on accessories. With a hard floor tool, carpet tool, telescopic wand, crevice tool, and duster brush, as well as an upholstery tool with removable bristles, it’s easy to suck up dirt anywhere in the home. The 50-foot-long cord facilitates continuous multiroom cleaning.

Those with allergies and asthma should seriously consider this vacuum because it has two HEPA filters, both self-cleaning and washable, ensuring that particles are not released back into the air. There’s also a “vortex chamber” that moves dust particles away from the filter, eliminating filter clog. Although the company does not list a capacity, the bagless model empties easily, and those desiring a lightweight backpack vacuum will appreciate the ability to empty it often.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 9 pounds
  • Capacity: 0.64 liters
  • Cord length: 50 feet

Pros

  • Easy-to-empty dirt cup
  • 40 percent more powerful than standard vacuums
  • Virtually maintenance-free

Cons

  • Metal pole could scratch wood flooring if used alone

Get the Prolux commercial backpack vacuum on Amazon or at Target.

Best For Comfort

The Best Backpack Vacuums Option: Powr-Flite Comfort Pro Backpack Vacuum - 6 Quart
Photo: amazon.com

Using a backpack vacuum can be tough on the body, so it’s crucial to choose one that has extra comfort features such as the Powr-Flite Comfort Pro Backpack Vacuum. In addition to contoured and padded shoulder straps, it features an adjustable chest strap and shoulder-mounted load stabilizers. It also has a padded waist belt and lumbar support to help transfer weight to the user’s hips instead of the shoulders for a more ergonomic fit.

The Powr-Flite Comfort Pro Backpack Vacuum has a 6-quart capacity and weighs 8.62 pounds. The 50-foot cord length is yet another reason to click “add to cart.”

Loaded with accessories, this vacuum has a crush-proof hose, crevice tool, upholstery tool, dusting tool, hard floor tool, carpet tool, and a Powr-Glide carpet tool. It can easily clean everything from floors to sofas and even window treatments.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 8.62 pounds
  • Capacity: 6 quarts
  • Cord length: 50 feet

Pros

  • Has a HEPA filter
  • The vacuum runs quietly
  • The padded waist belt can hold tools

Cons

  • On the expensive side

Get the Powr-Flite backpack vacuum on Amazon or at Power-Flite.

Best Large-Capacity

The Best Backpack Vacuums Option: ProTeam Super CoachVac 10 qt. Backpack Vacuum
Photo: amazon.com

There’s nothing more frustrating than stopping in the middle of a job because the canister needs emptying. Fortunately, the ProTeam Super CoachVac backpack vacuum has an extra-large 10-quart capacity. The vacuum has been certified Gold by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), and since it has a four-level advanced filtration system (including a HEPA filter), this is an optimal choice for those with allergies and asthma. The 50-foot cord provides extra convenience.

A comfortable option for its capacity, this backpack weighs just 11 pounds, has thick shoulder pads, and features mesh fabric to prevent the body from overheating while using. Just keep in mind that this isn’t the best choice for those who are looking for a vacuum cleaner with lots of accessories; this model comes with only a brush tool and a telescoping wand tool kit. There are more tools available for separate purchase.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 11 pounds
  • Capacity: 10 quarts
  • Cord length: 50 feet

Pros

  • Quiet operation
  • Powerful suction
  • Comes with 12 extra filter bags

Cons

  • Hose might detach too easily

Get the ProTeam backpack vacuum on Amazon.

Our Verdict

The Hoover backpack vacuum is our top pick because of its powerful suction, large capacity and light weight. However, for those looking for a budget-friendly backpack, the Atrix backpack vacuum won’t disappoint.

How We Chose the Best Backpack Vacuum

We curated this list based on a variety of factors. Features such as weight, accessories, and canister size were primary considerations. We made sure each pick had enough features to be versatile and considered whether the vacuum has a HEPA filter, especially for people who have asthma or allergies. Price was another consideration, and we wanted to make sure each backpack vacuum we recommended is a good value.

Lastly, we considered brand reputation and whether we have used other products from the brand and liked them.

FAQs

Backpack vacuums offer a great way to clean any home, commercial property, or jobsite. For more information about choosing the right backpack vacuum for home or business use, read on. This section provides answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about these products.

Q. What is the best backpack vacuum?

The Hoover backpack vacuum is our pick for the best backpack vacuum.

Q. How much does a backpack vacuum weigh?

Every backpack vacuum is different, but most models weigh between 9 and 25 pounds.

Q. How do I store my backpack vacuum?

Backpack vacuums are best stored in a utility closet. If the backpack vacuum is cordless, be sure to plug it in to charge the battery. Users can store backpack leaf vacuums in an outdoor shed.

Q. How do I clean my backpack vacuum?

It’s best to read the manufacturer’s instructions because every vacuum is cleaned a bit differently. The good news is that backpack models are less likely than upright vacuums to have clogged beater bars.

Q. Are vacuums with bags better?

Bagged vacuums aren’t better than bagless ones; it’s simply a matter of preference. With bagless, the user must empty the canister, but it’s not necessary to keep a supply of bags on hand.