I hear a lot of differing opinions on how much difference backpack vacuums make to cleaning efficiency. PacVac told us backpacks can clean 676 m2/h, compared to 233 m2/h for tub vacuums. That sounds like a massive improvement, so we looked for some other figures. Some people claimed a 30-50% increase in productivity, some said they would let you vacuum more than three times as fast. We need better answers than that.
So I decided to run my own investigation. Using a section of our own office space, I went around the same floor once with a PacVac corded backpack, and once with a Numatic Henry. I followed the same route, kept up the same brisk pace with both machines, and moved the same chairs and bins out of the way both times.
It didn't feel like it was making any difference. I was moving as fast as I could with the Henry, having to stop quickly to move chairs every now and then, and pull the vacuum round a corner, but I didn't think I was going too slowly. When I went round with the PacVac, the most noticeable difference was how light the wand was in the hand. Because of the shallow, wheeled floor tool it uses, It was much more manoeuvrable and felt natural to use it in only one hand - leaving the other hand free for moving chairs and other obstacles, and allowing the tool to move faster as well.
But when I'd finished both, Joanna showed me the two timings. I was shocked.
Backpacks are more than twice as fast, independently verified!
A no brainer for anyone regularly cleaning large areas. Get in touch if you want to find out more or try a PacVac for yourself. However, if you're only cleaning smaller areas a tub vacuum is likely to still be better value for money.