The 7 Best Backpack Vacuums of 2023

Our top picks are lightweight, comfortable, and effective across surfaces

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Best Backpack Vacuums of 2023

The Spruce / Brian Kopinski

While upright and stick vacuums are handy for everyday use in homes, a backpack vacuum can be a more convenient option for some cleaning jobs. “Backpack vacuums are portable vacuums that are worn on the back and allow the user to move around freely while cleaning,” says Hugo Guerrero, a certified House Cleaning Technician (HCT).

A backpack vacuum is designed for freedom of movement. “One of the main advantages of using a backpack vacuum is the increased mobility and flexibility it offers. Because the vacuum is worn on the back, the user has both hands free to maneuver around obstacles and furniture and can easily reach high or hard-to-reach areas.” According to Guerrero, this makes them “ideal for cleaning large spaces or for tasks that require a lot of bending or reaching.”

In order to find the top backpack vacuums on the market, we scoured the most highly rated, standout products and assessed their weight, maneuverability, and capacity. We also considered the breadth of attachments and any required maintenance to determine which backpack vacuums offer the best overall value. Our top pick is the Hoover Commercial Lightweight Backpack because it weighs less than 10 pounds, features a comfortable harness, and has a long cord that’s easy to work around. It also boasts impressive suction power and HEPA filtration.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Hoover Commercial Shoulder Vac Pro Backpack Vacuum

Hoover Commercial Shoulder Vac Pro Backpack Vacuum


What We Like
  • Weighs under 10 pounds

  • Harness designed by chiropractor

  • Easy to tell when it’s full

What We Don’t Like
  • Capacity could be larger

Backpack vacuums sometimes get a bad rap for being heavy and cumbersome for the average user, but this one weighs in at just 9.2 pounds, making it one of the lightest on the market. It also has a chiropractor-designed harness to help ensure comfort and limit any strain on areas like your back. 

Despite its lightweight construction, the vacuum itself isn’t at all flimsy. The model has a lengthy 48-foot cord and impressive suction power so you can more easily get the job done, whether you’re cleaning your home or an office building. It also features HEPA filtration to capture 99.97 percent of particles measuring 0.3 microns, making it all the more effective in reducing allergens. While the capacity is slightly smaller than some other models, 6.4 quarts should be plenty for any regular usage. Plus, the canister is transparent and easy to monitor. When it looks full, simply remove the debris bag and place a new disposable or reusable one inside. 

Price at time of publish: $390

Dimensions: 13 x 13 x 30 inches | Weight: 9.2 pounds | Bag Type: Bagged (6.4-quart capacity) | Cord Length: 48 feet | Decibel Rating: 66 dB | Compatible Surfaces: Carpet, hard floors, upholstery | Attachments: 6-inch crevice tool, 11-inch turbo floor tool, 2-inch dusting brush, 4-inch upholstery tool

Best Budget

Atrix Ergo Backpack HEPA Vacuum

Atrix Ergo Backpack HEPA Vacuum


What We Like
  • Great introductory model

  • Lightweight

  • 8-quart dust bag

What We Don’t Like
  • Very short cord

If you love the flexibility a backpack vacuum offers, but don’t necessarily need commercial vacuuming power, the budget-friendly Atrix Ergo Backpack Vacuum Cleaner is a great introductory model. With an 8-quart capacity, the bagged vacuum can hold slightly more debris than our best overall option. It also offers four-stage filtration to contain dust and particles, including a HEPA premotor filter and a replaceable HEPA bag. (You’ll have to purchase additional HEPA bags separately.) It also comes with several attachments, including nozzles and brushes, to help expand its cleaning prowess and make it suitable for a variety of chores. 

It’s about 1 pound heavier than our top pick (the Hoover Commercial Lightweight Backpack), but it’s still convenient to carry and maneuver. Some users have noted that it’s not quite as effective on medium- and high-pile carpets as it is on hard flooring and low-pile carpets. So you might want to choose another option if you have a lot of higher pile carpeting in your space. Also, the cord is just 12 inches, which means you’ll need a long, high-quality extension cord to pair with this vacuum. While an extension cord could be an additional cost, it does give you the opportunity to choose the exact length of cord you’ll need for the spaces you clean.

Price at time of publish: $200

Dimensions: 12 x 9 x 20 inches | Weight: 10.3 pounds | Bag Type: Bagged (8-quart capacity) | Cord Length: 12 inches | Decibel Rating: 70 dB | Compatible Surfaces: Hard floors, low-pile carpet, upholstery | Attachments: Three blower nozzles, furniture nozzle, crevice tool, oval dust brush, floor brush, turbo brush

Best for Commercial Use

ProTeam Super CoachVac 10-Quart Commercial Backpack Vacuum

ProTeam Super CoachVac 10-Quart Commercial Backpack Vacuum


What We Like
  • 10-quart capacity

  • Strong suction

  • Long power cord is suitable for large spaces

  • Harness houses attachments

  • Seal of Approval from CRI

What We Don’t Like
  • Additional attachments sold separately

Marrying comfort with productivity, we think the ProTeam Super CoachVac is the best backpack vacuum cleaner for commercial use. The vacuum weighs 11 pounds, which is slightly heavier than some other models, but nothing that really moves the needle. Still, the unit has an impressive 10-quart capacity, so cleaning professionals won’t have to stop and empty the canister all of the time. What’s more, the vacuum has a 50-foot power cord—another big time-saver, since you won’t need constant access to a new outlet. Additionally, it boasts super strong suction.

This vacuum has another big bonus—especially for allergy-sufferers and cleaning up after pets.The vacuum, which is backed by a “Gold” Seal of Approval from the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), has a four-stage filtration system—HEPA filter included. It also comes with a three-year warranty.

Although highly efficient on both hard floors and carpets, it doesn’t come with as many attachments as some backpack vacuums. The upside: The included small attachments fit into handy compartments on the harness for easy access, and you can purchase additional tools separately, if needed.

Price at time of publish: $650

Dimensions: 13.75 x 13.5 x 32.25 inches | Weight: 11 pounds | Bag Type: Bagged (10-quart capacity) | Cord Length: 50 feet | Decibel Rating: 66 dB | Compatible Surfaces: Hard floors, carpet, upholstery | Attachments: 14-inch multi-surface floor tool, 17-inch crevice tool, 3-inch dust brush, 5-inch upholstery tool

Best Lightweight

Prolux Lightweight Prolux 2.0 Bagless Backpack Vacuum

Prolux Lightweight Prolux 2.0 Bagless Backpack Vacuum


What We Like
  • Weighs under 10 pounds

  • Great for small cleaning jobs

  • Variety of attachments included

  • Great suction

What We Don’t Like
  • Very small capacity

  • Cord shorter than others

  • Slightly louder than others

If you're looking for a lightweight vacuum, the Prolux 2.0 Standard Bagless Backpack Vacuum Cleaner is a great option. It clocks in at just 9 pounds, making it easier to comfortably carry around a large room and even up a big flight of stairs. But that’s not all there is to love about this vacuum: It comes with more accessories than your average backpack vacuum. In addition to the fairly standard multi-surface tool, crevice tool, and duster tool, you’ll also get a floor brush with a squeegee, an upholstery tool with removable bristles, and a pet hair removal tool, so you can tackle practically any job.

The unit also has superior suction with three-stage filtration, which includes two washable HEPA filters. Plus, it features something the brand calls a “vortex chamber,” which pulls dust particles away from the filter to keep it clean. The downside to this power: The vacuum works at 70 decibels, which is slightly louder than most of the other models on this list. The biggest potential trade-off to the lightweight design of this bagless model is the dust bin. Its capacity is significantly smaller than other options, clocking in at 0.64 liters (under 1 quart). It also has a 35-foot power cord, which is a solid 15 feet shorter than some of our other picks. But if you’re looking for an easy-to-wear, lightweight backpack vacuum for smaller messes, this versatile design can increase your cleaning prowess around the home.

Price at time of publish: $370

Dimensions: 11 x 14 x 22 inches | Weight: 9 pounds | Bag Type: Bagless (0.68-quart capacity) | Cord Length: 35 feet | Decibel Rating: 70 dB | Compatible Surfaces: Hard floors, carpet, upholstery | Attachments: M​ulti-surface floor tool, floor brush with squeegee, crevice tool, duster tool, upholstery tool, pet hair removal tool

Best Large-Capacity

GV 10-Quart Lightweight Commercial Backpack Vacuum

GV 10-Quart Lightweight Commercial Backpack Vacuum


What We Like
  • 10-quart capacity

  • Variety of attachments

  • Relatively budget-friendly for its capacity

What We Don’t Like
  • Requires an extension cord

  • Loud

If you’re on the hunt for a high-quality, large-capacity vacuum, this one is great—and it’s a more budget-friendly option than the ProTeam Super CoachVac, our top option for commercial use. With a capacity of 10 quarts, it’ll take a while before you need to stop to empty the unit. Plus, it’s designed to work with all types of flooring. The unit isn’t too heavy either. While it does clock in slightly above some other models on this list at 11 pounds, it should still feel fairly manageable for most users, especially because the shoulder and waist straps are wide, padded, and adjustable.

Three-stage filtration with a sealed HEPA filter is designed to capture small particles and allergens, and it comes with a washable cloth bag you can reuse to save money on replacement bags. The model comes with plenty of attachments to tackle different cleaning tasks, too. Where it lacks? You need an extension cord to maneuver the way you’d hope—its built-in power cord is just 12 inches long. And, at 83 decibels, this vacuum is decidedly louder than every other model on this list.

Price at time of publish: $400

Dimensions: 9 x 10 x 26 inches | Weight: 11 pounds | Bag Type: Bagged (10-quart capacity) | Cord Length: 12 inches | Decibel Rating: 83 dB | Compatible Surfaces: Hard floors, carpet, upholstery | Attachments: Deluxe floor tool, crevice tool, duster brush, upholstery tool with slide off brush, mini head with brush roll

Best for Pet Hair

Powr-Flite Comfort Pro Backpack Vacuum

Powr-Flite Comfort Pro Backpack Vacuum


What We Like
  • Five-stage filtration with HEPA filter

  • Seal of Approval from CRI

  • Long cord

What We Don’t Like
  • Heavy for its debris capacity

Pet owners will be drawn to this Powr-Flite backpack vacuum, since it not only has incredible suction, but also comes equipped with five-stage HEPA filtration to eliminate allergens like dander for improved indoor air quality. You can choose from three different types of disposable bags to pair with this vacuum—HEPA paper bags, closed-mouth paper bags, and open-mouth paper bags—depending on your preferences. Plus, this model boasts a “Gold” Seal of Approval from the Carpet and Rug Institute, so you can expect reliable performance. 

The Powr-Flite Comfort Pro comes with a multitude of attachments, allowing you to reach all areas of your home that may need to be cleaned of pet hair, as well as dust, dirt, and other debris. It has a capacity of 6 quarts, but the vacuum itself weighs 8.62 pounds, and the harness is an additional 3.2 pounds, making it heavier than some other backpack styles. But at least its harness is designed for maximum comfort. It has contoured, padded shoulder straps, as well as an adjustable chest strap. The harness also has a padded waist belt for better ergonomic support, as well as designated storage spots for some vacuum tools, including the wand.

Price at time of publish: $419

Dimensions: 12.5 x 10 x 26.5 inches | Weight: 8.62 pounds | Bag Type: Bagged (6-quart capacity) | Cord Length: 50 feet | Decibel Rating: 62 dB | Compatible Surfaces: Hard floors, carpet, upholstery | Attachments: 14-inch carpet tool, 14-inch Powr-Glide carpet tool, 14-inch hard floor tool, 5-inch upholstery tool, 3-inch dusting tool, 17-inch crevice tool

Best Durable

ProTeam ProVac FS 6 Commercial Backpack Vacuum

ProTeam ProVac FS 6 Commercial Backpack Vacuum


What We Like
  • Parts designed to last

  • Can handle large debris

  • Long cord

What We Don’t Like
  • Smaller capacity

  • Heavier than other models

If you’re looking for a durable model with a quality build, but you don’t need it to have as huge of a capacity as some of the best commercial backpack vacuums, consider this version. While the capacity is just 6 quarts (compared to the 10-quart capacity of the ProTeam Super CoachVac model), users with smaller areas to clean might not be too concerned—especially considering what this vacuum does have to offer. 

The ProVac FS 6 comes with separate carpet and hard floor heads that you can swap out depending on the flooring. It’s designed to handle large debris, including food scraps and napkins. Most interestingly, it’s built for longevity, skipping out on complicated attachments with moving parts that might be more prone to breaking in the long run. That means you won’t find any motorized attachments included with this model. And it comes with a three-year warranty, so you can feel confident in your investment.

This model is easy to maneuver and comes with a 50-foot cord for added convenience. While it’s heavier than other options on this list, we think 11.6 pounds for a high-performing vacuum is reasonable. It also features four-stage filtration, which includes a HEPA filter.

Price at time of publish: $625

Dimensions: 10.13 x 10.13 x 18.5 inches | Weight: 11.6 pounds | Bag Type: Bagged (6-quart capacity) | Cord Length: 50 feet | Decibel Rating: 65.8 dB | Compatible Surfaces: Hard floors, carpet, upholstery | Attachments: 14-inch carpet floor tool, 14-inch hard floor tool, 17-inch crevice tool, 3-inch dust brush, 5-inch upholstery tool

Final Verdict

Our "best overall" pick is the Hoover Shoulder Vac Pro Vacuum because it's lightweight and has a harness specifically designed for comfort. It also boasts a HEPA filter to trap small particles, including potential allergens. If you're looking to spend less, we think the Atrix Ergo Backpack Vacuum is a great option. This more budget-friendly vacuum weighs slightly more but boasts four-stage filtration with a HEPA filter and bag.

What to Look for in a Backpack Vacuum

Weight and Maneuverability

In addition to suction power, weight is one of the most important considerations when it comes to backpack vacuums. Since this type of vacuum is designed to be worn on your back, make sure the one you choose isn’t so heavy that you can’t carry it. A well-designed harness can also help support the weight of the appliance. The Prolux Lightweight Prolux 2.0 Vacuum is our "best lightweight" pick.

In addition to weight, cord length can affect a backpack vacuum’s maneuverability. Check to make sure the cord is long enough that you can move about without constantly having to find another outlet or tote a cumbersome extension cord. Some cords are as long as 50 feet, allowing you plenty of room to move. Others only have 1-foot cords and require additional extension cords to operate.


Though you may think all backpack vacuums are high-capacity, the capacity actually varies quite a bit from model to model. While some may have capacities as high as 10 quarts or so, other backpack vacuums cap out at a capacity of about 6 quarts, or even less. 

When thinking about capacity, you may also want to consider how the appliance collects dirt, dust, and debris—in other words, whether it’s a bagged or bagless vacuum. When it comes to getting rid of debris, vacuums with disposable bags can help contain the mess better than bagless designs. The downside to disposable bags is they have to be replaced, leading to additional costs over the long run. Some bagged vacuums (such as the GV Lightweight Vacuum, our "best large-capacity" pick) come with reusable, washable bags that need to be cleaned instead—an endeavor that can be messy. Alternatively, you can choose a bagless backpack vacuum with a dust bin you manually empty into a trash can, which can also be a messy process.


As is the case with upright vacuums, most backpack vacuums come with a suite of attachments. But what you get varies from model to model. Every vacuum on this list contains a floor head, and some include specialized floor heads for different surfaces. Other common attachments include crevice tools, dusting tools, and upholstery tools that attach to the vacuum hose.


Since backpack vacuums have a relatively simple design (at least compared to other styles of vacuums), maintenance is relatively limited. Just be sure to clean your vacuum as needed. That includes replacing or cleaning bags, filters, and any other parts that might require regular attention. For bagged models with disposable bags, in particular, there will be the ongoing cost of replacing the bags.

HEPA Filtration

You may also want to consider a model equipped with HEPA filtration, which means it can capture 99.97 percent of particles measuring as small as 0.3 microns. HEPA filters can be helpful if air quality is of particular concern, such as if you have pets or you're looking for a way to eliminate dust, pollen, and other common allergens from the space. Our "best for pet hair" pick, the Powr-Flite Comfort Pro Vacuum, features five-stage HEPA filtration.

  • What are backpack vacuums used for?

    Backpack vacuums are more commonly used in commercial applications than residential ones, since they allow users to more quickly and efficiently clean large areas. Often, they’re used in office buildings, schools, and other commercial locations. That said, they can also be useful in residential spaces, particularly in larger homes or homes with a lot of stairs.

  • Are backpack vacuums better than upright vacuums?

    The short answer: It depends. According to a 2016 study by the American Institute for Cleaning Services, both upright and backpack vacuums are similarly effective in terms of productivity. That said, cleaning workers preferred backpack vacuums for cleaning unobstructed areas, like office cubicles, because they were easier to maneuver.

  • What’s the typical price point of a backpack vacuum?

    Like other vacuums, the price of a backpack vacuum varies greatly depending on power, capacity, and added features and attachments. On the low end, you can find cost-efficient backpack vacuums for as little as $300 to $350. On the high end, you can expect to find a fully loaded backpack vacuum for as much as $1,000 or more.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Brigitt Earley, a freelance writer who has spent nearly 15 years writing about consumer products like home appliances, both large and small. Earley has four kids and a large Labrador who sheds excessively, so having a great vacuum is vital in her house. To curate this list, Earley relied on her personal experience, plus scoured bestseller lists and online reviews and consulted cleaning professionals including Hugo Guerrero, a certified House Cleaning Technician (HCT).

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. What is a HEPA filter? United States Environmental Protection Agency.

  2. Commercial Vacuum Cleaner Time and Motion Study. American Institute for Cleaning Sciences.