Backpack Vacuums

Overview

Backpack vacuums are regularly used by custodial and housekeeping staff. They are highly mobile units and ideal for use on stairs, walls, ceilings, and smaller areas like elevators and cubicles.

When comparing backpack vacuums, it is important to consider the air watt or airwatt rating - a ratio of the airflow and water lift. The airflow and water lift are measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) and inches of water (inH2O) respectively. Manufacturers use CFM to convey the strength of a vacuum, a higher CFM will move more air through the unit at a faster rate than a lower CFM unit. Water lift, also known as static pressure refers to the suction force. Airwatts can be expressed in the following formula:

(CFM x inH2O)/8.5 = Airwatt Rating

A backpack vacuum should have about 1600 airwatts in order to achieve a desirable cleaning outcome.

Decision-makers should review the following considerations and are advised to standardize on a single unit.

  • Space: Area(s) where it will be used. Is the unit appropriate for the size of the space? Will there be tight spaces, obstacles, or furniture to navigate?
  • Surfaces: Type of flooring/wall/area the unit will be used on. What type of attachments are needed?
  • Users: The physical characteristics of the end-users. How adaptable is the harness? Is it adaptable to be used by different height/sized users? Harness Fit Guide  How heavy is the unit? 
  • Storage: The units will need to be stored somewhere. Is there storage space in an existing custodial closet? Does the unit have a wall mount option?
  • Portability: Ease by which a user can get the equipment to the job site. Is the unit stored nearby? Does it need to be carried a long-distance?
  • Maintenance: Ease of changing filters bags/brushes. Is a special tool needed for regular field and daily maintenance?
  • Power: Access to power. Units can be corded or battery-powered. Are there outlets available? Is the cord long enough? Is the battery capable of lasting the entire shift on a single charge?
  • Noise and Vibration: Are noise or vibration an issue where the unit will be used? Are equipment operators exposed to hand-arm or whole body vibration?
  • Testing and Feedback: Demo the product. What was the users’ feedback on the unit after trying in the work environment?

NOTE: Selection of a lower airwatt rated vacuum such as the ProTeam GoFree Flex Pro ll may be appropriate for use in specific work environments or to augment a standard.

Backpack Vacuums

Mfr
Model

ProTeam
GoFree Flex Pro II
6 Ah/12 Ah

ProTeam
ProVac
FS 6

ProTeam
Super Coach
Pro 6

ProTeam
Super Coach
Pro 10

ProTeam
Super
QuarterVac 6

Criteria Rating

★★★★☆

★★★★☆

★★★★☆

★★★★☆

★★★★☆

Photo

ProTeam Go-Free Flex Pro ll
ProTeam ProVac FS 6
ProTeam Super Coach Pro 6
ProTeam Super Coach Pro 10
ProTeam Super QuarterVac 6

Review

Cordless and quiet

Cordless specialty unit that can be used in areas where you need a quieter unit but still want good cleaning power.Telescoping wand for hard-to-reach areas.

Compact and Lightweight

Powerful compact unit. One of the lighter corded units. Telescoping wand attachment for hard-to-reach areas.

Compact and Lightweight

Compact, lightweight, and powerful backpack vacuum with a telescoping wand attachment for hard-to-reach areas.

Higher capacity tank

Only 1 lb heavier than other units and just as powerful.10 qt of capacity. Telescoping wand attachment to get to the hard-to-reach areas.

Powerful and lightweight

The lightest and most powerful unit of the group. Slimmer than the other models and also has a telescoping wand attachment.

UC Supplier

Waxie Waxie Waxie Waxie Waxie

Specs

CFM: 65

Water Lift: 67" low / 81" high

Airwatt: 512 / 619

Weight: 15 lbs / 17.5 lbs

Battery Life: 50-101 min

Charge time: 1.5 hr / 3 hr

Decibel: 63.9 dBA / 65.9 dBA

Cleaning Path: 14"

Capacity: 6 qt

HEPA Filter: Yes

Telescoping Wand: Yes ♠

CFM: 153

Water Lift: 91"

Airwatt: 1,638

Weight: 11.6 lbs

Cord: 50'

Charge time: NA

Decibel: 69.7 dBA

Cleaning Path: 14"

Capacity: 6 qt

HEPA Filter: Yes

Telescoping Wand: Yes ♠

CFM: 153

Water Lift: 91"

Airwatt: 1,638

Weight: 11.6 lbs

Cord: 50'

Charge time: NA

Decibel: 69.7 dBA

Cleaning Path: 14"

Capacity: 6 qt

HEPA Filter: Yes

Telescoping Wand: Yes ♠

CFM: 153

Water Lift: 91"

Airwatt: 1,638

Weight: 12.5 lbs

Cord: 50'

Charge time: NA

Decibel: 69.7 dBA

Cleaning Path: 14"

Capacity: 10 qt

HEPA Filter: Yes

Telescoping Wand: Yes ♠

CFM: 150

Water Lift: 100"

Airwatt: 1,767

Weight: 10 lbs

Cord: 50'

Charge time: NA

Decibel: 67 dBA

Cleaning Path: 14"

Capacity: 6 qt

HEPA Filter: Yes

Telescoping Wand: Yes ♠

Resources

GoFree Flex Pro II Website

GoFree Flex Pro II Brochure

ProVac FS 6 Website

Super Coach Pro 6 Website

Super Coach Pro 6/10 Brochure

Super Coach Pro 10 Website

Super Coach Pro 6/10 Brochure

Super QuarterVac 6 Website

Super QuarterVac 6 Brochure

Products are rated on a 5-star scale based on the Criteria Rating - ★
The product specification exceeds minimum UC Criteria - ♠
The product does not meet minimum UC Criteria - ⚠