The 9 Best Backpack Vacuums

Updated April 27, 2018 by Quincy Miller

9 Best Backpack Vacuums
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We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you're always struggling to clear out the grime, dirt, and dust bunnies that gather in ceiling corners and on top of door frames, try one of these handy backpack vacuums. Portable, light, and strong, they offer a greater reach than traditional uprights or canisters, and are suitable for both household and commercial use. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best backpack vacuum on Amazon.

9. GV Light

With the ability to switch between rug and hard surface modes, the GV Light can clean any space you have available. Its plethora of easy-to-use premium extensions includes crevice, upholstery, and deluxe floor tools, as well as a duster brush.
  • air-driven power nozzle
  • padded shoulder and waist straps
  • extremely loud when running
Brand GV
Model GV-08
Weight 19.8 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Dustless Technologies

You don't have to worry about constantly beating a filter when you get this unit from Dustless Technologies, as it has an external agitator rod that allows you to knock dirt and debris out of the way of the suction tube, ensuring a nonstop operation.
  • bags seal to keep dust secured
  • good for lead paint removal
  • goes through bags quickly
Brand Dustless Technologies
Model 15505
Weight 26.8 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. ProTeam FS 6

Restaurant owners — or anyone who needs to clean around a bunch of tables and chairs — will want to invest in the ProTeam FS 6, as it has an extremely long cord that allows you to navigate around obstacles without having to constantly switch power outlets.
  • flexible hose gets in tight spaces
  • works well along baseboards
  • no full-bag indicator
Brand ProTeam
Model 107363
Weight 26.7 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Atrix Corded

The Atrix Corded has a comfortable ergonomic fit with loops in the belt for accessory storage. Its versatile design allows it to convert easily to a blower, meaning you can use this one to clean both indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • five-foot telescopic wand
  • weighs only 10 pounds
  • motor gets hot with extended use
Brand Atrix
Model VACBP1
Weight 19.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Hoover Commercial C2401

You can check the amount of debris in the Hoover Commercial C2401 at any time with its handy transparent dome lid. It boasts a design approved by chiropractors, and HEPA filtration that removes allergens, pollen, and dust mites, making it as comfortable as it is effective.
  • works with cloth or bag inserts
  • hose stays secure during use
  • attachment heads fall off easily
Brand Hoover Commercial
Model C2401
Weight 21.3 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

4. Powr-Flite Pro Premium

Vacuuming over two times faster than traditional uprights, the Powr-Flite Pro Premium ensures unparalleled levels of efficiency. This model comes with a telescoping wand, a stretch hose, and an air comfort harness that reduces your chances of overheating while you work.
  • five-stage filtration
  • useful crevice tool
  • adjusts to length of torso
Brand Powr-Flite
Model BP6P
Weight 25.8 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

3. Sanitaire Quiet Clean

The quality HEPA filter in the Sanitaire Quiet Clean removes 99.97 percent of particles down to 0.3 micron. The powerful suction is equally good on bare floors as high-pile carpet, so you can use it in the entire office without having any issues.
  • perfect for picking up pet hair
  • filter and bags are replaceable
  • ideal for stairs
Brand Sanitaire
Model EUKSC412A
Weight 23.2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. ProTeam Super CoachVac

With the ability to hold up to 10 quarts of dust and debris, the ProTeam Super CoachVac can tackle even the most demanding challenges. Lightweight and versatile, this one is a formidable tool in remedying poor air quality and for cleaning areas with large square footage.
  • weighs only 14 pounds
  • easy to maneuver under tables
  • effective cord management
Brand ProTeam
Model 107119
Weight 23.5 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. GV Cordless

If you're tired of tripping over and getting wound up in cables, the GV Cordless is a battery-powered option that lets you clean up a large area in a hurry. It's also extremely quiet, so you can use it during business hours without disrupting your employees or customers.
  • battery charges quickly
  • good for use in vehicles
  • includes a blower setting
Brand GV
Weight 29.9 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

Simplify The Process Of Busting Dust

One common application for many backpacks is the transportation of objects from one place to another. After all, it's convenient for Timmy to store his schoolbooks in something that can be zipped up, easily strapped to his shoulders, and carried off to school with minimal effort. Keeping this image in mind, the practical use of a backpack can also be applied to situations that you wouldn't immediately consider, such as vacuuming the tops of the bookshelves in your bedroom.

Comfortably strapped to an operator's back and shoulders, the ultra-portable backpack vacuum is specifically-designed to clean all those hard-to-reach spots in any commercial, industrial, or residential setting. Consider the concept of Ghostbusters, but instead of using Spengler's proton pack to save the city from creepy apparitions, you're busting dust and messes to save your home and family from allergens. Unless you clean haunted houses for a living or you're acting out a scene from Luigi's Mansion, I'm not sure how much luck you'll have using one of these vacuums to eliminate that pesky poltergeist. But should you attempt such a paranormal feat, you'll have to let us know how it goes!

The backpack vacuum contains several parts, including an intake port, responsible for sucking up debris; a rotating brush, which typically sits just inside the intake port and directs dirt particles into the device; a wand and hose, used for flexing and accessing hard-to-reach places; and an electric motor, working in conjunction with an internal fan to create the necessary suction power to pull air through the vacuum's intake port. Depending on their design, many backpack vacuums are also equipped with both bags and HEPA filters that collect the dust and clean the air prior to its release back into the environment.

So what is the ideal setting for a vacuum like this? The beauty of its portability is that it can access tight spaces and locations that are more difficult for a traditional upright vacuum to reach. Granted, there are situations when an upright model would be equally useful, especially when it comes to cleaning deep carpets. The backpack category fills a different niche with respect to cleaning heavily-traveled and dirty areas, which include airplane cabins, movie theaters, busy hallways, dusty shelves, ceilings, drapes, and especially staircases.

A backpack device typically has fewer moving parts than its traditional upright counterparts, hence one of its major benefits. When considering long-term costs and maintenance, there is less to go wrong over time with a backpack vacuum, making it an ideal companion for daily use in industrial environments. Ergonomics is another key advantage, as the vacuum's straps are easy for an operator to adjust, while the overall design helps to promote good posture and minimize user fatigue that would otherwise be caused by constant bending or stretching. Finally, its freedom of motion eliminates the headache of a power cord getting in the way, increasing your cleaning efficiency and overall productivity.

It's All About Power, Portability, And Convenience

Because a backpack vacuum is designed to access locations that are more difficult for upright models to reach, having a powerful motor and lightweight design are key ingredients. Since the device is dedicated to facilitating quick cleanups and minimizing fatigue while doing so, there is little sense in purchasing a heavy option with a motor that lacks adequate suction power to get the job done. Ideally, your device of choice should have a canister no heavier than 10 to 15 pounds with a motor that delivers a minimum power output of 1,000 watts.

Additional conveniences like padded shoulder straps and integrated sternum clips provide superior comfort and stability when you have to clean all over the house. A telescoping wand and flexible hose come in very handy if you find yourself vacuuming ceilings, walls, curtains, or multi-tiered bookshelves with lots of nooks and crannies.

A good backpack vacuum will often have a reliable HEPA filter for removing as many allergens from the surrounding environment as possible.

A Brief History Of The Backpack Vacuum

The earliest vacuum cleaners evolved from the carpet sweeper as early as the 1860s. The sweeper device was manually operated and made use of both a bellows and a rotating brush to create suction. By 1869, Chicago inventor Ives W. McGaffey patented his non-electric Whirlwind vacuum cleaner, which used a hand-cranked, belt driven fan to operate.

British engineer Hubert Cecil Booth is credited with developing one of the first powered vacuum cleaners in 1901. Commonly known as the Puffing Billy, Booth's design took the form of a large, horse-drawn, combustion engine and depended on both the suction and pumping of air through a cloth filter.

The first domestically-marketed vacuum cleaner was released in 1905 by British manufacturer Walter Griffiths. In 1907, Canton, Ohio resident and department store janitor, James Murray Spangler, invented the first portable electric vacuum cleaner known as the Electric Suction Sweeper. In addition to producing suction from an electric fan in order to blow dust into a soap box, this device also made use of a rotating brush to collect debris. By 1908, Spangler sold his original patent to William Henry Hoover, who further refined the design of the unit to include a metal casing with wheels and attachments, leading to the eventual founding of the Hoover Company in 1922. Additional innovations for the Hoover Company included disposal filter bags by the 1920s and the first upright vacuum by 1926. However, the device was considered a luxury item up until the end of World War II, when it became more common and affordable for the middle class.

The latter part of the 20th century experienced a wide distribution of vacuum technologies, including backpack, self-propelled, and the first robotic vacuums by the early 2000s.

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Last updated on April 27, 2018 by Quincy Miller

Quincy is a writer who was born in Texas, but moved to Los Angeles to pursue his life-long dream of someday writing a second page to one of his screenplays.

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