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.
- BEST OVERALL: Hoover Commercial Lightweight Backpack Bagged Vacuum
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Atrix Ergo Backpack HEPA Vacuum
- UPGRADE PICK: Prolux 2.0 Cordless Bagless Backpack Vacuum
- BEST FOR COMMERCIAL USE: GV 10-Quart Commercial Backpack Vacuum
- BEST CORDLESS: Milwaukee M18 FUEL 3-in-1 Backpack Vacuum
- BEST LIGHTWEIGHT: Prolux 2.0 Commercial Bagless Backpack Vacuum
- BEST FOR COMFORT: Powr-Flite Comfort Pro Backpack Vacuum With Tools
- BEST LARGE-CAPACITY: ProTeam Super CoachVac Commercial Backpack Vacuum
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 HEPA filtration, 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.
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.
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 chiropractor-designed harness that was designed by a chiropractor, making it one of the most comfortable choices on the market.
This lightweight backpack vacuum cleaner 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. This vacuum features a hypercone filter made with HEPA filtration that traps 99.97 percent of dirt, dust and pollens down to 0.3 microns. It operates at 66dBA, which is less than the average noise found in an office. Another helpful feature of this vacuum is the 48-foot-long cord, which means less unplugging and plugging between rooms.
- Weight: 9.2 pounds
- Capacity: 6.4 quarts
- Cord length: 48 feet
- Lightweight and easy to use; suitable for small to large cleanups
- Includes an accessory pack for versatility and ease of use
- Operates quietly; will not cause a lot of noise pollution in homes or commercial environments
- Extra-long cord requires attentive cord management; may not be suitable for some users
Get the Hoover backpack vacuum at Amazon.
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.
- Weight: 10.3 pounds
- Capacity: 8 quarts
- Cord length: 12 inches
- Has an ergonomic design for use in multiple cleaning tasks; comes with a crevice tool and nozzle
- Can be operated by right- and left-handed people for ease of use
- Is a good value for commercial or home use
- Requires an extension cord; cord length may not be ideal for some spaces
Get the Atrix backpack vacuum at Amazon.
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 cordless backpack 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.
- Weight: 11 pounds
- Capacity: 0.64 liters
- Cord length: N/A
- Adjustable straps can fit all body types and provide comfort while in use
- HEPA filter is washable; suitable for dander, dust, and allergens
- Lightweight backpack vacuum cleaner is compact enough to carry for longer periods of time
- 7 accessories included for versatility and getting in hard-to-reach places
- Battery charge takes 8 hours; may not be ideal for frequent use
Get the Prolux cordless backpack vacuum at Amazon or The Home Depot.
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 commercial backpack vacuum is a great choice for professionals who spend hours on their feet cleaning.
This commercial backpack 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.
- Weight: 11 pounds
- Capacity: 10 quarts
- Cord length: 30 feet
- Has a HEPA filter; removes allergens as small as 99 microns
- Lightweight construction and adjustable shoulder pads; suitable for long-term cleaning tasks
- Is great for pet hair as well as dust, dirt, and allergens
- The cord could be longer; may need to be unplugged when moved
Get the GV backpack vacuum at Amazon, Lowe’s, or The Home Depot.
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.
- Weight: 15.25 pounds
- Capacity: 1 gallon
- Cord length: N/A
- Is much quieter than most jobsite and shop vacuums
- Includes a HEPA filter for decreasing the number of allergens in the home or commercial spaces
- Flexible hose, dust-extraction adapter, crevice tool, floor tool, and telescoping extension wand included
- Is a trusted brand with a great reputation
- A bit heavy compared to other backpack vacuums available
- Batteries and charger are purchased separately
Get the Milwaukee backpack vacuum at The Home Depot.
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 commercial backpack vacuum cleaner 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.
- Weight: 9 pounds
- Capacity: 0.64 liters
- Cord length: 50 feet
- Easy-to-empty dirt cup if used frequently; suitable for pet hair
- 40 percent more powerful than standard vacuums
- Comes with an upholstery tool, floor tool, carpet tool, telescopic wand, crevice tool, and duster brush
- Virtually maintenance-free for reliability and ease of use
- Metal pole could scratch wood flooring if used alone
Get the Prolux commercial backpack vacuum at Amazon.
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.
- Weight: 8.62 pounds
- Capacity: 6 quarts
- Cord length: 50 feet
- Has a 5-stage HEPA filter for reducing allergens and dust in the home or commercial space
- The vacuum runs at 62dBA; reduces unwanted noise pollution
- The padded waist belt can hold tools and provide lumbar support
- On the expensive side compared to other options
Get the Powr-Flite backpack vacuum at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Power-Flite.
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.
- Weight: 11 pounds
- Capacity: 10 quarts
- Cord length: 50 feet
- Quiet operation will not cause a lot of unwanted noise pollution
- Powerful suction integrated into the design for dirt, dust, and hair
- Comes with 12 extra filter bags for long-term use after purchase
- Hose might detach too easily; may take a learning curve
Get the ProTeam backpack vacuum at Amazon.
What to Consider When Choosing a 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 vacuum cleaners are larger and can be more expensive.
Capacity can also affect suction. If the bag or canister is full, some backpack vacuum cleaners 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.
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 vacuum cleaners 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 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.
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 cleaner?
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.
Why Trust Bob Vila
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