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 user to move quickly from one area to another and clean large surface rather quickly.
Corded vs. Cordless Backpack Vacuum
To help user moving around, they are powered mostly by electric motor with 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.
Autonomy of battery powered backpack vacuum cleaners depend on battery capacity, type and 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 empty weight of vacuum cleaner, battery strength and capacity, battery chemistry, motor strength, powered attachments, performance and in the end - its cost.
If you are 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 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 larger area without changing mains outlet. Unlike battery operated vacuum cleaners, mains powered vacuums are usually stronger, but lighter, since they don't require on-board 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 decreases 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 main motor. Other noise levels are air flow through the vacuum, noise generated by sweeping cleaning head over cleaned surfaces, 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 the 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 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.
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.