Pros: Inexpensive, well-designed, full-featured workhorse that works great.
Cons: pricey bags
The Bissell 3545 PowerGlide Upright vacuum is a well-designed workhorse that is a great machine for the money. I have had mine for four months now and highly recommend it. The 3545 works well on hardwood floors, rugs, and wall-to-wall. The tools are great for cleaning sofa cushions and the like. The machine glides easily when powered on so it is easy to push on carpet. Strong vacuum suction picks up dirt with fewer passes.
Prior to purchasing the Bissell I had only owned Hoover uprights. Though they worked fine, I found them a bit thoughtlessly designed for their high price. My last $250 Hoover upright had a belt that was horribly difficult to change, screwless construction meaning you needed to press tabs with screwdrivers to remove parts to access the belt, and (worst of all) it had an awkward bag compartment with impossible-to-clean indentations that always seemed dirty and dusty.
When I saw this Bissell model while shopping online I decided to give it a try. It had all the features I wanted at a price ridiculously lower than the Hoovers I was shopping for.
First off, the 3545 gives you a lot for the money: lightweight construction, wide cleaning area (13.5 inches), dual edge cleaning, wide headlight, returned air filtration with a reusable filter, flexible tool hose with tools and onboard storage, extra long 25 foot power cord, strong 12 amp motor, and dial height adjustment. Mine also came with 2 free 3M filtrete bags that trap all dust in the machine and a replacement belt.
I really recommend sticking with the filtrete bags. They are pricey ($10 bucks for 2) but they trap all dust and pollen. Between that and the air return filter, the vacuum doesn't kick out dust and the bags don't make dust-clouds when you remove them. You'll notice that the air in your house or apartment stays cleaner and furniture will not get dusty from your vacuuming.
I liked the feel of the machine right out of the box. The 3545 feels well made and does not use the cheapest feeling plastics. Finishes are smooth for easy cleaning with few areas that trap dust. Construction is sturdy with screws holding things in place instead of plastic tabs (as on my last Hoover upright.)
There are little thoughtful touches all around. For example, the easy-access front bag compartment is smooth inside so it is easy to keep clean and the smooth lid has an integral rubber gasket to trap dust and noise inside the machine. Changing the bags is very easy. Another thoughtful touch is the extra long power cord.
This is not the lightest vacuum cleaner around but the Bissell 3545 can't be called heavy (it weighs under 14 pounds) and is easy to maneuver. When turned on, it practically floats making it very easy to push and pull on carpeting. This is something my Hoovers never did, for some reason they were much harder to use by comparison.
The highest priced Hoover uprights have a much better flexible and more extensible tool hose but you will pay much more for it. As I don't use the tools much anyway except for cleaning under sofa cushions (which are close to the height of the machine) this is not a big deal to me and did not warrant the extra expense.
Overall, this is the best value I have gotten from a vacuum and heartily recommend the Bissel PowerGlide Upright 3545.