Backpack vacuum cleaners are mostly cylinder vacuum cleaners strapped on the user’s back. They are often used for commercial or industrial cleaning since they allow the user to move quickly from one area to another and clean large surfaces rather quickly.
Corded vs. Cordless Backpack Vacuum
To help the user moving around, they are powered mostly by an electric motor with a long power cord.
For even greater mobility and autonomy, cordless backpack vacuum cleaners are used. These portable backpack vacuum cleaners can operate using rechargeable batteries or they can operate using mains power while recharging batteries at the same time – at least high-end models.
The autonomy of the battery-powered backpack vacuum cleaners depends on battery capacity, the type, and the age of used batteries, attachments used for cleaning, adjusted power, etc. If you are going to use this type of vacuum cleaner often, since autonomous backpack vacuums can be costly, one has to find a balance between the empty weight of the vacuum cleaner, battery strength and capacity, battery chemistry, motor strength, powered attachments, performance, and, in the end, its cost.
If you are a hotel owner that doesn’t want to disturb guests with endless vacuuming of rooms and other areas, you will be glad to find and pay lithium battery powered backpack vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters and an acoustically insulated motor. And such ‘toys’ can cost 🙂 But, often – what you pay is what you get.
Backpack vacuum cleaners powered by mains power usually have power cords 15-20m (50-60 feet) in length. This length enables cleaning a larger area without changing the mains outlet. Unlike battery operated vacuum cleaners, mains powered vacuums are usually stronger, but lighter, since they don’t require onboard batteries. They operate on standard 110/220V (50 or 60 Hz), but some models can even use other, more specific voltages and frequencies, for example, 400 Hz found on airplanes. Using such backpack vacuum cleaners eliminates the need for large and often bulky converters (although modern electronics decrease the size of such converters).
Backpack Vacuums and Noise Levels
Although stronger, mains powered vacuums don’t have to create more noise. Sound insulation eliminates most of the noise generated mostly by the main motor. Other noise levels are air flow through the vacuum, noise generated by sweeping cleaning head over cleaned surfaces, the noise of the brush-tool itself (if it is powered!), and similar.
Noise levels in modern backpack vacuum cleaners are usually around or even less than 65-67 dB. To avoid issues with the noise, some backpacks have two modes of operation:
1. Power Mode – This mode gives priority to suction power and neglect (up to a certain level) noise levels.
2. Quiet Mode – in this mode, priority is given to reduced noise levels (for example, less than 55 dB), with lower suction power.
Note that such modes are available on many other vacuum cleaners, not only on backpack vacuum cleaners.
Airflow depends on the model, but it usually ranges between 2 and 6 m3 per minute – between 70 and 200 cubic feet per minute (CFM). In power modes, air flow is of course larger than in quiet modes.
The weight of empty backpacks ranges from 5-6 kg (12-15 pounds) up to, or even more than 20kg (45 pounds).
Before buying any model of vacuum cleaner, backpack vacuums included, read carefully the characteristics of the appliances you are interested in.
Best Backpack Vacuum Cleaners Currently Available
Hoover Commercial Lightweight Backpack Vacuum, C2401
Weighing less than ten pounds, the Hoover C2401 is a lightweight backpack vacuum cleaner that allows the user to have the extra mobility they need.
The vacuum comes with a two-year warranty and comes at a decent price considering its power and all the other features it provides. While it is a corded model, the power cord is 48 feet long, so it’s unlikely that it will limit your movement whatsoever.
Furthermore, it comes with several accessories, including a six-inch crevice tool, an 11-inch turbo floor tool, a two-inch dusting brush, and a four-inch upholstery tool. And to top it all off, the harness was designed by a chiropractor to ensure maximum comfort.
ProTeam Commercial Backpack Vacuum
If you want a powerhouse of a backpack vacuum, one good option is the ProTeam offering. Coming with an extra-long 50-foot power cord, multi-surface cleaning tools, and one of the quietest motors on the market, it’s easy to see why users love it so much.
The 10-quart filter provides maximum cleaning ability with 3 times the capacity of a standard upright vac, so you can clean more without having to change the bags often. Even better, the vacuum comes with a HEPA filtration system to absorb even the tiniest pollutants and keep them trapped, making it ideal for people with pets and those with allergies.
Atrix HEPA Backpack Vacuum
While the ATRIX HEPA backpack vacuum isn’t as good as our previous two listings, it shows a lot of potential for its price. For a start, it’s unlikely you’ll find a vac with a HEPA filtration system at a price so low.
And at just a little over 10 pounds, you’ll have no trouble using it to clean the entire house, as it won’t put much pressure on your back.
With a degree in engineering, Kathryn Hansen loves to write about how things work. Having her own dilemmas on how to pick the best vacuum cleaner for her large family (with a handful of furry four-legged members as well), Kathryn decided to help others in the same situation. After all, vacuum cleaners are critical to a healthy lifestyle and people have a hard time choosing the best one for their needs.