Pros:Effective cleaning tool; Intuitive, user-friendly design; relatively quiet.
Cons:More expensive than some other options; needs to be emptied frequently.
The Bottom Line: This is an all-around great vacuum that doesn't take up a ton of space.
A few months ago our approximately four year-old vacuum died a sudden and glorious death on the day of a major event. This left me without a lot of time to comparison shop before choosing from one of the five or six models in stock at my local Walmart. After a quick cell phone search for reviews I opted for the Shark Navigator Bagless Upright based on generally positive reviews.
I paid right around $130.00 for my Navigator. As a rather lackadaisical housekeeper, this was more than I wanted to spend on a vacuum particularly on the spur of the moment. However, it turns out I actually got a pretty good deal because the Navigator is consistently priced for around $150.00 online, not to mention any potential associated shipping costs.
The Navigator is a bagless vacuum cleaner, which seems to have become the norm in the years since I purchased my last model. It is a pretty pearly purple in color. At 18.3 pounds, Shark calls this a “lightweight” vacuum. The Navigator also has “smooth glide” wheels which as far as I can tell means that it pushes very, very easily when turned on.
The model I see online advertises 4 different attachments include two different brushes (one specifically for pet hair) as well as two plastic crevice tools, all used with an extendable hose. However, my particular vacuum came with only a single plastic tool attached to the house and the two brushes. From what I have read online, it appears that this may account for the difference in pricing outlined above. In any event, the attachments I have are more than adequate to fulfill my vacuuming needs.
There are only two settings for this vacuum – regular and bare floor. The bare floor setting doesn’t seem to change the height, it just shuts off the rotating brush which is supposed to result in “superior bare floor cleanup.” Changing between the two settings can be done via a push button up near the vacuum’s handle.
I really like this vacuum! First of all, and most importantly, it cleans better than most vacuums. We have mostly bare floors with a few rugs. I couldn’t believe how much gunk this vacuum was able to collect off of our largest rug, which I had previously thought was reasonably clean! The Navigator picks up both the usual dirt and dust as well as slightly larger items like bits of paper and clumps of pet hair with no issue.
The attachments also work well and do not negatively affect the suction power when used. I have found the brushes in particular are handy for dislodging clumps of cat hair from crack and crevices. That said, while Shark promotes a “super stretch hose” in its promotional materials for this product, I don’t notice the hose used for the attachments to be particularly generous in terms of its reach as compared to other vacuums. The cord, on the other hand, is plenty long at 30 feet. I have seen some online reviewers complain that it is not auto-retractable but to be honest I didn’t even realize this was an option for vacuums. It doesn’t seem like a big deal to me to either spend 30 seconds rewinding the cord in an orderly fashion or just to kind of lump it into a pile if I am going to be using the vacuum again that day.
With the Navigator’s basic functionality covered, let’s talk now about other aspects. Reclining this vacuum is easy, thanks to an intuitive design that requires only a bit of foot pressure on the left side of the base. Emptying the canister is also a breeze once you get the hang of it. Since we almost always lose our instruction manuals, we appreciate that the directions for this process are printed on the vacuum itself in case we need a refresher course. My only comment is I would love it if this chamber were a little bit larger – the vacuum works so well in terms of suction that we have to empty it after at least every second or third use, which is a bit of a pain. Finally, as noted above, the “smooth glide” wheels also make life simpler. Thanks to the wheels in combination with the Navigator’s relatively small size and light weight, the vacuum is so easy to push forward, it almost seems like it is self-propelled.
While this vacuum is not exactly whisper quiet, it isn’t obnoxiously loud either. The bare floor setting in particular generates very little noise. I can objectively tell that this vacuum is less offensive to the ear than my prior model because Baby_Chelledun will actually allow me to vacuum in the same room as her without becoming upset and wanting to be picked up like she used to!
Overall . . .
I’m very happy with my purchase of the Shark Navigator Bagless Upright vacuum cleaner. While I doubt I’ll ever enjoy vacuuming, having a lighter, quieter, and more effective tool to do it with definitely makes the job a little less painful!
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