Backpack Vacuum Cleaners — Guide To An Ideal Choice

You want to start a cleaning agency and need vacuums for the job. You can read our guide on commercial vacuum cleaners to choose great ones. But if you want a bang for your buck and vacuum your staffs will enjoy, backpack vacuum cleaners it is.

These types of vacuum cleaners are different from the popular uprights or canisters. Not is application and operation but in design.

These are wearable vacuums. Before you do a double take, take a deep breath and let us explain. We don’t mean wearable as in wearable technology. But it’s not far from it since you wear these vacuums on your back.

From this, you can begin to think of how better vacuuming will suddenly become when you are not pushing or dragging anything.

Backpack vacuum cleaners come as corded or cordless for those who love to hate electric cables. You can also find them in bagged and bagless variants.

These differences affect your experience of using backpack vacuum cleaners, so it is best to choose wisely.

Talking about choosing, we have a section that helps you with that. This article will provide you with quality information on backpack vacuums. It will also tell how you can go about choosing the most suitable one for your needs.


Hoover Commercial Lightweight Backpack Vacuum, C2401


Experience Wearable Vacuum

Have you ever imagined wearing your vacuum cleaner? If you have, congratulations, you are among the 1% of the world’s population with a naturally innovative mind.

While that statement has absolutely no scientific backing to it, you can still relish the thought of being so imaginative.

That is why they are called backpack vacuum cleaners. It will probably remind you of carrying a backpack with all your stuff inside. If you are used to vacuuming with a canister or an upright, the thought of carrying the backpack on your back might excite you.

One of the first things that might come to your mind could be convenience and you will be totally right to think so. These types of vacuum cleaners work more or less the same way as any other type. It’s just the presentation that’s different.

Backpack vacuum cleaners are similar to canister vacuums in the sense that it is also a two-unit vacuum. Backpacks also have the canister, a hose, and a wand. The only difference is that you carry one on your back while you push the other.

Let us dive into what these backpack vacuum cleaners have to offer.



If you were about to ask why anyone came up with this idea of a wearable vacuum cleaner, you are welcome, you have your answer.

Backpack vacuum cleaners have been in use for quite a while now and they are making more sales. They are also growing in popularity and piquing more interest. This is proof that the convenience factor is something people consider valuable.

Imagine not having to push an upright vacuum in front of you or being free of dragging a canister vacuum behind you. That extra work has been eliminated by carrying the vacuum on your back.

You only have the wand to manage which you can easily wield with one hand.


Be More Productive

ProTeam Commercial Backpack Vacuum, Super CoachVac Vacuum Backpack with HEPA Media Filtration and Xover Multi-Surface 2-Piece Wand Tool Kit, 10 quart, CordedLet us do a quick imagination game. Picture a typical restaurant with all the furniture and fitting in the usual position. There are no people in this picture, of course, you can’t vacuum a restaurant while people are eating.

Now that you know what backpack vacuum cleaners are and you certainly know what an upright vacuum is.

Here is the question, who do you think will clean up the restaurant faster?

The lady with the backpack vacuum cleaner or the guy with an upright vacuum?

Of course, it is the lady. She might not even have to move any of the furniture around.

The lady will be vacuuming with a slim, lightweight wand which gives her the huge advantage of maneuverability. That is one thing an upright vacuum lacks.

The backpack vacuum user can easily reach underneath the tables and chairs without moving around much. Vacuuming the open space will be a breeze of course.

If she wants, she can do above the floor cleaning too and still finish before the guy with an upright.

Now imagine both contestants run a cleaning agency, who do you think will deliver results faster?  Who do you think will get more clients? Which cleaning agency will turn out to be more productive?


Commercial Grade Performance

Backpack vacuum cleaners are vacuums that are designed for commercial use. This makes them more powerful and more durable than regular domestic vacuums. And those are some of the reasons backpack vacuums are finding their way into homes.

These vacuum cleaners have powerful suction. They have heavy-duty motors that can survive the rigors of everyday use.

These machines are great for both hard floors and carpets. You won’t need too many passes before you get a deep clean, even on carpets. They are built for cleaning heavily trafficked areas.


You Will Save Money

ProTeam Commercial Backpack Vacuum, Super CoachVac Vacuum Backpack with HEPA Media Filtration and Xover Multi-Surface 2-Piece Wand Tool Kit, 10 quart, CordedBackpack vacuum cleaners can save a good amount of money. If you are reading this, you probably own a cleaning business. As an entrepreneur, you know that cutting cost is a major plus for any business.

We highlighted earlier that backpack vacuum cleaners help you become productive by working faster. According to a ProTeam video on its website, you can clean 2,857 sq ft in one hour with an upright vacuum. But with a ProTeam Backpack vacuum (check it out here), you can clean 7,407 sq ft in the same one hour.

That is more than 2.5 times as fast! We were not joking about with productivity point.

Just imagine how much you will get to save over the course of a year. That is just because you chose to use backpack vacuum cleaners over uprights.

Another way you can save money with backpack vacuum cleaners is based on how the vacuums are designed.

They have a simplistic construction which means that there are fewer parts in them that need maintenance.

In that vein, the maintenance cost of backpack vacuum cleaners is drastically reduced compared to their upright counterparts.


Ergonomic design

ProTeam Commercial Backpack Vacuum, Super CoachVac Vacuum Backpack with HEPA Media Filtration and Xover Multi-Surface 2-Piece Wand Tool Kit, 10 quart, CordedPeople who work in the cleaning industry get injured too. It is not like the cleaning business is a dangerous one but when there is a lot of movement involved, injuries can happen.

What causes most injuries, in this case, is over-extension inconvenient tool usage.

Backpack vacuum cleaners potentially solve this problem because they are ergonomically designed.

This makes them easy to use and prevent over-extension injuries.

This is something that is not present in most upright and canister vacuums.

Since you wear backpack vacuum cleaners on your back, the weight is evenly distributed so you can maintain your natural position while using it. They are also lightweight so you won’t be struggling under the weight over time.





We all know that noise is a constant characteristic of vacuum cleaners. This is one of the reasons commercial vacuum cleaners are not used during the day.

With advancements in vacuuming technology, some commercial vacuum cleaners can be used during the day now.

Some backpack vacuums are rated at just 60 decibels which is just 5 more than the rating of a normal conversation.

These vacuums won’t even be a problem to use in hotels or offices during the day. No one will be disturbed by the noise.

The noise rating might seem like much since the backpack vacuum cleaner is just behind you. That is true but look at it this way, how far away do you stay from someone you are having a conversation with? That should put things in perspective.



Types Of Backpack Vacuum Cleaners

All backpack vacuum cleaners are just that, vacuums that you can wear on your back. But then, as with almost any product, not all backpack vacuum cleaners are created the same way.

Different backpack vacuum brands use some design specifications that makes one different from another.

We will explore some of those differences below so you will figure out how each one might suit your need.



Quite a number of backpack vacuum cleaners available are corded. It is understandable why they are still so popular.

Backpack vacuum cleaners are mainly designed for commercial purposes. So, it might not make much sense doing that scale of work with a battery powered vacuum considering the constraints of a battery.

The issues most people face with the electric cord might not be a hassle with this one. As with other corded vacuum cleaners, the cord is often all over the place and is easy to trip over.

In the case of backpack vacuum cleaners, the cord is always behind you regardless of what direction you turn. You also will not be overly restricted by being tethered to a socket.

Backpack vacuums often have a long cord sometimes up to 50 feet. With that, you can cover a lot of ground without having to switch sockets.



Makita XCV05Z 18V X2 LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 1/2 Gallon HEPA Filter Backpack VacuumCordless vacuums are a great idea with all the freedom of movement. As a cordless vacuum, it means that it runs on battery and as with batteries, they have a finite run time.

It is really convenient to use a cordless backpack if you are cleaning up hotel rooms for instance.

You can go from room to room without having to bother about changing switches which is hardly achievable with a corded backpack.

There are good reasons why anyone would prefer a cordless backpack vacuum cleaner. What is important is to know if it works for your need or not.

Another way you can get an extended runtime from a cordless backpack vacuum is to buy an extra battery.

That way you can keep one on charge while you use the other which will help you work for longer and be more productive.



Like other vacuum types, bagged backpack vacuum cleaners use a filter bag to collect the vacuum dust and debris.

These bags seal in the dirt such that it does not flow back out. The process works the same way as we described in our vacuum cleaners guide.

Bagged backpack vacuums require you to buy replacement vacuums once the one installed becomes full. That can add up cost over a period of time but these bags often safer to replace.

Most dirtbags are self-sealing and will lock up once its compartment is opened. That way, dust in the bag will not escape back into the air.



2.0 Lightweight Bagless Backpack Vacuum CleanerBagless backpack vacuums use plastic canisters to collect the dirt and dust you have vacuumed. One good thing about a bagless backpack is that it can help you save some money. There are no dirtbags to replace and that can significantly cut cost over time.

One issue you might face with a bagless backpack vacuum is when you are trying to empty it.

You have to be careful because if you just dump the dirt in a trash can, dust can rise back up.

Assuming that a worker is allergic or asthmatic, there goes some money in hospital bills.

These types of vacuum cleaners have their pros and cons. You just have to consider which one outweighs the other to make a choice. The next section will help you a little better with that.




How To Choose Great Backpack Vacuum Cleaners

You now have good background knowledge of backpack vacuum cleaners, now it is time to decide on the one to go for.

Usually, this becomes the hard part considering the many options available but since you now hang out with us you don’t have a problem.

We will table some factors that affect the general needs surrounding backpack vacuum cleaners. That will help you with deciding which one will best suit your needs.


Don’t get carried away with the numbers

Most of the time, the specifications can be misleading. We are at least sure of that for vacuum cleaners. For instance, the wattage rating on a vacuum does not mean it has a powerful suction.

For instance, a 2,400-watt household vacuum does not necessarily suction any better than an 800-watt commercial variant.

That a vacuum has better electrical efficiency, as the case of the vacuum wattage above, does not make it less effective.

If you want a better measure of backpack vacuum cleaners suction, look out for the airflow rating as well as that for the water lift. We used “better” and not “true” because airflow ratings too can be misleading.

The airflow rating is often measured when the vacuum cleaner is empty. If you ever used a vacuum cleaner that lost suction, you will understand that it is a different ball game when vacuuming with a half full machine.

It is quite likely that a vacuum with a fantastic airflow when empty will drop suction up to half when just half full.

On the other hand, a vacuum with a bit less airflow when empty might not lose suction at all till it gets full. That difference comes down to the design.

A quick heads up, though, that backpack vacuum cleaners have “water” lift ratings does not mean they can vacuum water.

Doubt it even when the salesman says so. Kindly don’t try this at home or anywhere else for that matter.


Powr-Flite BP6S Comfort Pro Backpack Vacuum, 6 Quart Capacity

Weight and Design

A lot of backpack vacuum cleaners claim to be lightweight. In the case of an upright or canister vacuum cleaners, you can take the weight at face value.

But in the case of backpack vacuum cleaners, lightweight becomes relative. The reason is simple; an 11 lbs backpack vacuum starts weighing more than that after 2 consistent hours.

That might not be the case if you were using an upright or a canister vacuum. But the fact that you are wearing this vacuum makes the difference. So, for that reason, the weight of the backpack vacuum you go for is extremely important.

Not just for the sake of productivity but also for the user’s safety. Generally, backpack vacuums that weight in excess of 10 lbs turns out to be too heavy for extended use. The burden becomes more serious if the user is a female.

Backpack vacuum cleaners that are less than 10 lbs are okay, they are even better if they have great ergonomic designs, high suction, etc. that help make work faster.

Talking about ergonomic designs, some backpack vacuum cleaners have chiropractic designs that make the vacuum feel like an extension of your body.

An added benefit of these types of design is that they can help you maintain a good form as you vacuum.

Furthermore, on the design, you can look out for backpack vacuum cleaners that have an adjustable harness. This makes it fit for most body types so that anyone can use the vacuum and be comfortable with it. All they have to do is to adjust the harness to suit them and they can start vacuuming away.



This is another specification rating you don’t want to take on face value unless you measured it yourself. You will be wearing the vacuum and that puts it just at the back of your ear. The noise can be unbearable if you get yourself a noisy one.

The decibel rating on backpack vacuums can be deceiving as most manufacturers will not include the test scenario.

If you measure the noise of a backpack vacuum from about 10 yards away, of course, it will be less than if you measured it while it is on your back.

It won’t be a lie if a manufacturer says its vacuum is, say 55 decibels.

You buy such a vacuum and it turns out to be 70 decibels from your back. It could be that the figure was taken from a distance away.

It won’t even be unethical if the manufacturer claims that the test was done from the perspective of people being around the vacuum. That is a just reason, isn’t it?

We just need you to have a good idea of how some of the ratings might have been derived. Your best chance at getting the best vacuum for your preference will be to read between the lines. If there is a distributor around you, you might need to visit them for a test run.

You want to buy online, which is the easiest way to shop. In that case, you stand a good chance by paying attention to what people who have bought and used the vacuum have to say about it.



Atrix - VACBP1 HEPA Backpack Vacuum Corded 8 Quart HEPA Bag 4 Level Filtration AttachmentsThis might as well be one of the most important things that you need to put into consideration. Accessories increase the versatility of your backpack vacuum cleaners. By changing the attachments, you can do a lot more with your vacuum.

You will be able to clean furniture, drapes, crevices, upholstery, and even car interiors.

The application of backpack vacuum cleaners become wider depending on the accessories you use.

This is why you want to look out for which accessories a backpack vacuum comes with.

That will save you some money since you won’t be buying them individually.

This is why knowing how you intend to use your backpack vacuum is important. It goes a long way in helping you decide on which attachment you want the vacuum to come with.

You also have to consider the brand you are buying from. You don’t want to buy a great bagged backpack vacuum and find it almost impossible to get replacement dirtbags. That can quickly become a huge hassle.

It is always a good idea to find out up front the availability of parts and other consumables before buying backpack vacuum cleaners.


You now have all you need in terms of information on backpack vacuum cleaners and buying one. You can now be confident and not be misinformed, or even bullied by overzealous salesmen. Just trust the knowledge you have acquired and let it guide you. Happy vacuuming!