At first glance, backpack vacuums look intimidating and confusing, and most people still feel this way the first time they use a backpack vac. However, this type of vacuum cleaner is designed to make your life easier, not harder. In essence, it’s just a backpack with a dust bag inside of it that you carry on your back.
Read this guide to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of what back-mounted vacuums have to offer, and you’ll find that these vacuum cleaners aren’t as complicated as they seem.
Table of Contents
- Our Recommended Backpack Vacuums in 2022
- 8) Bissell BigGreen Commercial 6 Quart Backpack Vacuum BG1006
- 7) Powr-Flite BP6P Comfort Pro Premium Backpack Vacuum
- 6) Powr-Flite BP4S Pro-Lite Backpack Vacuum
- 5) ProVac FS 6 Commercial Backpack Vacuum
- 4) Powr-Flite BP6S Comfort Pro Backpack Vacuum
- 3) ProTeam Backpack Vacuum
- 2) Atrix – VACBP1 HEPA Backpack Vacuum
- 1) Hoover Commercial Lightweight Backpack Vacuum, C2401
- What Features to Look For?
- What Are the Benefits of a Backpack Vacuum?
Our Recommended Backpack Vacuums in 2022
8) Bissell BigGreen Commercial 6 Quart Backpack Vacuum BG1006
The Ametek motor in this 9.5-pound Bissell BigGreen backpack vacuum produces 1,080 watts of power. To protect the BigGreen’s motor, Bissell added a heat sensor, which safeguards the motor if the internal temperature gets too hot when the paper bag is full.
For comfort and convenience, you can secure the backpack to your body with the Velcro-attached adjustable shoulder and waist strap.
With an airflow of 120 cubic feet per minute, the backpack vac can handle any tough vacuuming task. The 6-quart container has a twist-off lid for easy access to the bag. Plus, you can turn the vacuum on and off while it’s still strapped to your back.
Along with the 4-foot flexible hose that pivots by its cuffs, there is an aluminum angled wand to help you clean vents and ceiling fans.
You can attach any of the eight accessories that come with the backpack vac to the wand, including the crevice tool, paddle tool and scalloped floor tool. It also has a 50-foot power cord, so you don’t have to constantly change electrical outlets.
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- BISSELL 6-Quart Backpack Vacuum Cleaner Lightweight & High-Filtration
7) Powr-Flite BP6P Comfort Pro Premium Backpack Vacuum
Powr-Flite’s Comfort Pro was designed with your comfort in mind. It only weighs 9 pounds, and the 1,100-watt motor produces a mere 62 decibels of sound.
This backpack vac is also equipped with three thickly padded straps that you can adjust at seven different places for a customized fit.
As air travels through the 6-foot hose at a rapid rate of 130 cubic feet per minute, it reaches the vacuum’s 1.5-gallon shake-out bag inside of the canister.
There is also a HEPA paper bag as well as one filter before the motor, after the motor and at the exhaust. To access the bags, simply unlock the top of the canister.
You get a ton of reach with the Comfort Pro. The 50-inch power cord is commercial grade, so it stands up to wear and tear, and the extra-long telescopic wand allows you to reach high spaces.
In addition, the back-mounted vacuum comes with an angled wand, a 5-inch-wide upholstery tool, a 14-inch-wide carpet glider, a 17-inch crevice attachment and three other useful accessories.
- High Quality Powr-Flite Equipment and Supplies
- Commercial Grade; Tools fit conveniently on waist belt
6) Powr-Flite BP4S Pro-Lite Backpack Vacuum
Powerful and quiet. The motor produces 1,200 watts yet only generates 71 decibels of noise. You’ll also love how the mesh straps on the backpack vac mold to the contours of your shoulders and waist.
The straps on the Powr-Flite BP4S Pro-Lite Backpack Vacuum are not only adjustable in four areas but also able to give you control over the on-off rocker switch.
With four stages of filtration, almost no dust can escape the backpack vacuum. This system includes a 4-quart paper bag, cloth bag and two filters.
Since it can trap over 100 micrograms of dust particles per cubic meter, the Carpet & Rug Institute gave this vacuum cleaner a Silver certification. For your convenience, there are six extra filter bags included with the backpack vac.
There are several ways you can utilize the 100 cubic feet of airflow this vacuum makes. The 4-foot hose and 40-foot cord stretch to accommodate a variety of tasks, and it comes with a double-bend wand for on-floor and above-floor cleaning. In order to take care of your vacuuming chores, you can use the crevice tool, hard floor tool or carpet glider.
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5) ProVac FS 6 Commercial Backpack Vacuum
If you like the idea of instant suction control, the ProVac FS 6 Commercial is the perfect backpack vacuum for you.
It’s equipped with a pump-style handle that lets you turn on the suction with a press of a button. Although its weight of 11.6 pounds is rather light, the open-weave padded harness provides additional comfort. The harness even has a tool belt, so your accessories are within arm’s reach.
Driving this backpack vac is a 1,108-watt motor that moves the air at a speed of 159 cubic feet per minute. All dust and dirt that make their way to the 6-quart micro-filter bag must first pass through a HEPA filter and two other levels of filtration.
There are eight tools that come with this vacuum, all of which quickly slide or screw on to the 56-inch featherlight aluminum wand.
You even get an extra-wide floor nozzle with a width of 12 inches. Plus, there is a 50-foot power cord that offers an amazing cleaning radius.
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4) Powr-Flite BP6S Comfort Pro Backpack Vacuum
Power-Flite is all about quality, and that’s why it makes our list three times. The Powr-Flite BP6S Comfort Pro Backpack Vacuum is the lightest of all three at a mere 8.6 pounds, but it doesn’t lack in terms of power.
The 1,100-watt motor pulls the air at 130 cubic feet per minute, allowing you to clean more than 7,000 square feet in an hour. Like the other two models, the BP6S is comfortable with its seven-way adjustable harness and 62-decibel sound output.
The HEPA bag inside of the shake-out bag can hold 6 quarts of debris. Plus, there are five other filtration mechanisms to keep the backpack vac running smoothly. It also boasts a Gold Certification from the Carpet & Rug Institute for meeting the organization’s highest dust containment and soil removal standards.
A 50-foot yellow safety cord lets you clean for a long time without switching outlets, and the durable hose stretches to 4 feet in length.
There is an angled wand and six nozzle attachments you can use for detailed cleaning. For the sake of convenience, you can keep these tools on the waist strap.
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3) ProTeam Backpack Vacuum
The ProTeam Commercial Backpack Vacuum has the largest dirt capacity out of all eight vacuums on our list because of its ability to hold an impressive 10 quarts of debris.
With four filtration stages, the vacuum meets the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Gold Certification. Plus, it comes with an extra micro-filter bag, so you don’t have to buy a replacement right away.
Within the backpack vac, the 1,118-watt motor produces 150 cubic feet per minute of airflow, allowing you to suction heavy and large debris. While it is powerful, you won’t have any problem carrying it since the vacuum only weighs 11 pounds. Even better, its 66-decibel output makes it extremely quiet.
There is no end to the cleaning chores you can tackle with the back-mounted vacuum’s seven tools, which include a telescopic wand, multi-surface floor tool and dusting brush.
Even though its 50-foot cord offers a lot of reach, you don’t want to get tangled in it. To prevent this, hang the cord from the hook on the harness.
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2) Atrix – VACBP1 HEPA Backpack Vacuum
Whether you need it for residential or commercial use, the Atrix VACBP1 ERGO backpack vacuum is suitable for both applications.
It’s not hard to carry at just 10.3 pounds, and it offers an extensive reach between its 6-foot stretchable hose and 37-inch wand. As far as power goes, this backpack vac can move air at a speed of 106 cubic feet per minute thanks to its 1,400-watt motor.
This vacuum can hold 2 gallons’ worth of dust, dirt and debris. In order to keep fine particles out of the air, the vacuum is equipped with a four-level filtration system that includes a pre-motor and exhaust filter. It also has a cloth bag and true-HEPA bag to round off its filtration prowess.
It comes with multiple vacuuming attachments that you can keep secure on the wide waist strap. You can also convert the backpack vacuum to a blower with the exhaust filter cover and blower adapter.
To take care of any detailed blowing tasks, there are three nozzles from which you can choose.
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1) Hoover Commercial Lightweight Backpack Vacuum, C2401
With a harness created by a chiropractor, you know you’re getting a comfortable fit. The Hoover C2401 Commercial Backpack Vacuum features a 2-inch-wide waist strap, a pair of shoulder straps and a chest clip to balance the vacuum’s weight.
While you’re cleaning, your ears won’t suffer from loud noises thanks to its quiet sound output of 66 decibels.
For easy viewing, the canister has a clear top, and the 6.4-quart shake-out bag holds plenty of debris to keep you from making a lot of trips to the trash can. Plus, it contains a hypercone HEPA filter to maintain a healthy air quality.
The 1,000-watt motor moves air through the vacuum at 120 cubic feet per minute for impressive pick-up power.
You can clean your furniture with the 4-inch upholstery tool and dust blinds with the 2-inch brush. There is also a 6-inch crevice nozzle you can vacuum in tight spaces as well as an 11-inch turbo tool that’s designed to make quick work of cleaning your floors.
For more than adequate reach around your house, there is a 48-inch power cord, and the 38-inch wand in conjunction with the 60-inch hose allow you to clean high areas like ceiling corners.
- Lightweight design weighs less than 10 pounds allows for superior mobility
- Chiropractor designed harness reduces user strain
What Features to Look For?
Backpack vacuums aren’t like throwaway vacuums you get from your local discount store. These vacuums work great for the first few months before they start to lose their suction loses strength, forcing you them around the 1-year mark. Back-mounted vacuums are built to last. Since you’ll keep the backpack vac you buy for many years, you obviously want one that performs to your satisfaction.
Keep these key features in mind when you’re ready to take the plunge into the streamlined world of cleaning with a backpack vacuum.
Suction is at the heart of any vacuum cleaner. The more powerful the motor, the more suction it produces. A backpack vacuum’s motor is measured in watts, and you want as many watts as you can get. Make sure the backpack vac you choose has at least 1,000 watts.
You may come across some vacuum cleaners with two different watts listed in their description.
This means these vacuums have a two-stage motor, which produces the always-desirable feature known as cyclonic suction. With cyclonic suction, more fine particles are directed away from the motor, keeping the vacuum working efficiently.
When manufacturers describe a product’s suction, they provide the vacuum cleaner’s water lift, which is measured in inches. While water lift is important, it’s the backpack vac’s airflow that moves the dirt, dust and debris that the suction has picked up.
Without a high airflow rate, the vacuum’s suction strength will be subpar. An airflow rate of at least 100 cubic feet per minute is going to provide you with excellent suction power.
If you have narrowed your decision down to two choices, let the airflow rate be the deciding factor because even a difference of 10 cubic feet per minute gives the higher rated vacuum a noticeable suction boost.
Since you’re carrying this vacuum on your back, you want it to weigh as light as possible. As we mentioned at the beginning of our guide, a weight that ranges from 10 to 15 pounds is comfortable enough for most people.
However, comfort is subjective, and your long-term health should always come first. To protect your back and joints, consider the American Occupational Therapy Association‘s recommendation.
The AOTA strongly suggests that you should refrain from carrying more than 10 to 15 percent of your body weight on your back. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should buy a backpack vac that weighs from 15 to 22.5 pounds. Thankfully, most back-mounted vacuums weigh less than 15 pounds, so meeting this recommendation is easy.
A few features factor into the reach that a backpack vac can provide. First, there is the power cord. Ideally, it should measure around 50 feet long. There is also the vacuum cleaner’s flexible hose, which typically ranges in length from 4 to 6 feet.
Many backpack vacuums also come with a wand. Some are telescopic, allowing you to adjust their length, while others are angled for use with certain attachments, so you can use clean the floor and high, flat surfaces. If the backpack vac has attachments, these can further your reach.
Like the motor, the more debris the bag can hold, the better off you will be because a higher capacity equates to fewer runs to the garbage can. While the capacity differs from one backpack vac to the next, the minimum capacity you should accept is 1 gallon.
Anything less than 1 gallon is getting into upright vacuum territory. You can easily find a back-mounted vacuum that holds as much as 2.5 gallons of dirt and debris.
There are several components that make up a backpack vacuum cleaner’s filtration system. There is the bag, which can be cloth or paper. There is also the filter. Often, the main filter is of the HEPA variety, and it’s accompanied by a pre-motor filter that catches large particles, so they won’t clog the HEPA filter.
The filtration system may also have a post-motor filter and an exhaust filter to stop any particles that made it past the bag and other filters. The number of components in the filtration system is referred to stages or levels. Opt for a backpack vacuum with a 3, 4 or 5-stage filtration system to get the most efficient performance.
Every backpack vacuum has a harness. Without it, the vacuum cleaner’s canister will wobble and bounce. At the very least, a harness will have two shoulder straps and one waist strap. Some harnesses are also equipped with a chest strap. In order for the harness to fit comfortably, it should be padded or be made of breathable material. For added convenience, the waist strap may also come with a place to put your accessories and a power controller.
What Are the Benefits of a Backpack Vacuum?
When you see a janitor vacuuming the floors at a school, business or hotel, he’s usually carrying a backpack vac. Why? Because this type of vacuum is powerful, portable and versatile. Even though these vacuum cleaners are more commonplace in commercial settings, you can still use them to clean your house. Here are some of the many benefits that come with using a backpack vac.
No matter if you plan to use a backpack vacuum to clean your business or home, you want to finish vacuuming as soon as possible.
Manufacturers equip backpack vacs with strong motors that are even more powerful than those found in massive uprights. In turn, you get incredible suction, so you can be done with your vacuuming chores in record time.
Wherever you go, so does a backpack vacuum. You can climb a flight of stairs and walk from one end of the house to the other without pushing or dragging the vacuum cleaner.
Since you wear this type of vacuum on your back, you can keep both of your hands free to move obstacles while you clean instead of before you vacuum.
Your home may have an array of floor types that differ from room to room. That’s no problem for a backpack vacuum. These vacuum cleaners are particularly well-suited for carpet cleaning due to their super-strong suction, but they can handle hard floors like a champ too without damaging like some brushroll-equipped vacuums do.
Plus, backpack vacs typically have long hoses that bend and stretch, allowing you to reach where other types of vacuum cleaners can’t go.
Unlike an upright or a stick that makes you hunch over because its height doesn’t suit yours, backpack vacuums let you stand upright.
These vacuums come with several straps, which distribute the vacuum cleaner’s weight, so you don’t strain your muscles. In turn, you’ll find it easy to move around.
Even though back-mounted vacuums are great for residential use, most backpack vac manufacturers cater to the needs of commercial users. However, this works in your favor because backpack vacuums are constructed from stronger materials than the typical vacuums found in homes.
In addition, there are less mechanical components like wheels and swivel heads, which means there are fewer parts that can break.
Backpack vacuums that only hold a couple cups of dirt and debris simply don’t exist. No matter the brand or model, the vacuum cleaner will be able to hold a lot of debris in its bag or canister.
For you, this means you won’t have to make frequent trips to the garbage or can or spend a ton of money on bag replacements.
Are Backpack Vacuums Heavy?
You’ll be surprised at how much the average backpack vac actually weighs. Even though they are powerful, their weight is manageable, typically ranging from 10 pounds to 15 pounds. However, what is comfortable to one person may be too heavy to another.
Therefore, you should use a backpack vacuum with a weight that suits your level of comfort and strength.
Do They Pollute the Air?
Often, when people read a backpack vacuum’s airflow and wattage specs, they mistakenly believe manufacturers sacrifice efficiency for raw power.
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, backpack vacs contain a streamlined filtration system to meet the stringent requirements of commercial customers. Usually, this kind of vacuum has multiple filters; many models even have three or four.
More often than not, one of the filters will be a true HEPA filter, which is capable of capturing 99.97 percent of allergens such as dust and pollen. In some backpack vacuums, the filters will be part of a sealed filtration system.
When a vacuum cleaner is sealed, this means virtually all of the fine particles caught by the filters stay inside of the vacuum until you empty or replace the bag.
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Are Backpack Vacuums Loud?
With OSHA’s noise exposure limit for an 8-hour workday being set at 90 decibels, manufacturers are extremely careful about keeping the sound their backpack vacuums generate well under that limit.
Even though that is the safety threshold set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, that doesn’t mean these vacuum cleaners hover near it. After all, no commercial or residential consumer wants to feel like they are standing next to a blaring radio while they vacuum.
While the powerful motor inside of these vacuums does pose a challenge, manufacturers circumvent this issue by making the vacuum’s casing from sound-dampening material or using a brushless motor.
You can expect most backpack vacs to produce decibels in the 60s or 70s. In this range, the sound is more like that of a hairdryer’s.
Do Backpack Vacuum Cleaners Come With Any Attachments?
Since backpack vacs are meant to provide efficient, powerful vacuuming, many do not the same bells and whistles that come with stick or upright vacuum cleaners.
However, that doesn’t mean you are stuck with the bare essentials. Backpack vacuums that do have accessories tend to offer a wide assortment of tools.
Some of the more common ones include a scalloped tool for floors with a high sheen, a glider for cleaning carpets, a crevice tool for narrow spaces and a dusting brush for blinds and fabric.
If the vacuum can convert to a blower, it will come with the appropriate attachments and nozzles for sweeping tasks. Sometimes, backpack vacuums have telescoping or angled wands to further your cleaning reach.
Are These Vacuum Cleaners Easy to Maintain?
Care instructions differ depending on the model, but there are several general steps you can take to keep your backpack cleaner in working order for years to come.
First, refrain from running the backpack vac without all filters and the dust container in place, and you should change or clean the filters according to the manufacturer’s specifications. In addition, keep the bag at or below a 75-percent capacity to reduce the likelihood of overheating the motor.
If you have a corded backpack vac, make sure you do a weekly check of the cord to look for frayed connections. Like with any corded appliance, take care not to tug on the cord while you’re cleaning. By keeping these instructions in mind, you’ll get plenty of use from any backpack vacuum you buy.
Which One Is Better – Paper or Cloth Bags?
At this time, very few backpack vacuums use a canister to collect dust and debris. The majority of these vacuums contain a bag that is either made of paper or cloth. Each one has a unique set of pros and cons. Paper bags are disposable, so you can only use them one time.
Once they’re full, you have to toss them; therefore, you’ll need to buy replacements on a regular basis. Cloth bags are reusable, requiring you to simply dump and shake them out before reattaching them. Obviously, cloth bags won’t cost you extra money. However, cloth bags are messy.
No matter how careful you are, dust will escape into the air. On the other hand, paper bags can just be thrown into the garbage can, which means there will be no dust blown back into the air.
It’s up to you to weigh cost versus convenience to determine which type of bag is a better fit for you.
Our Recommended Backpack Vacuums
• 48 ft Power Cord
• HEPA Filter
• 66 Decibel
• 13.2 x 13.2 x 30 in
• 50 ft Power Cord
• HEPA Filter
• 66 Decibel
• 33 x 14 x 14 in
• 2 ft Power Cord
• HEPA Filter
• 72 Decibel
• 19.5 x 12.5 x 10 in
• 48 ft Power Cord
• HEPA Filter
• 66 Decibel
• 13.2 x 13.2 x 30 in
• 50 ft Power Cord
• HEPA Filter
• 66 Decibel
• 33 x 14 x 14 in
• 2 ft Power Cord
• HEPA Filter
• 72 Decibel
• 19.5 x 12.5 x 10 in
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Last Update: 2022-08-10 | Affiliate links/Images from Amazon Product Advertising API