Dyson V11 Outsize Review
Extra-large cordless makes short work of big jobs
A bigger version of the excellent V11, the Dyson V11 Outsize makes tackling larger homes easier with its big bin and extra-wide floor head. It’s the most effective vacuum cleaner, with unrivalled power even on lower settings. Great battery life and a removable battery mean that this is one cleaner that can use instead of a plug-in model. You get every accessory you could possibly need, although the extension hose is a little tricky to use. If you need the biggest and best cordless cleaner, this is it.
- Makes short work of large jobs
- Efficient and powerful cleaning
- Clever display shows real battery life
- Hose is fiddly to use
- Review Price: £649.99
- Cordless stick
- 1286 x 320 x 261mm, 3.5kg
- High Torque XL, soft roller, mini motorised, combination tool, crevice tool, mini soft dusting brush, extension hose, wide nozzle, up-top adaptor
- 1.7-litres bin
- 60-minutes runtime (Eco)
With the launch of the Dyson V11, the company redefined the power you can expect from a cordless cleaner, building this model to replace traditional plug-in models. To an extent, that was true, although the size of the unit may mean that the regular V11 wasn’t so good for larger houses. Step forwards, the Dyson V11 Outsize to fix any of the minor issues with the original.
More accessories, a larger bin, replaceable batteries and a wider floor head all combine to make this the ultimate cordless vacuum cleaner, although it is a little on the expensive side and may be too large for some.
Design and features – Tonnes of accessories but the Dyson V11 Outsize is very large
- Practically every accessory you could need
- Smart display shows you actual runtime left in minutes
- The removable battery is easy to replace
With a name like Outsize, I was expecting the cordless vacuum cleaner to be big, and I wasn’t disappointed. Although it externally looks like the regular V11, the V11 Outsize is an absolute beast of a vacuum cleaner, designed for cleaning the largest of homes.
The main handheld unit is far bigger than on the original V11 thanks to the 1.7-litre bin (up from 0.76-litres on the original). Internally, there are 18 cyclones, up from 14 on the original, to such all the dirt up.
Dyson has maintained its slick bin ejection system that pushes dirt forwards and into the bin, cleaning the internal filter on its way. It means that you can get dirt out into the bin without it falling about or having to try and wipe dirt away from the filter.
Should you need to perform a deeper clean, there is a hidden catch that lets you completely slide the bin off. For most of the time, you’ll only really need to clean the filter at the back, which unscrews and can be washed under a tap. You’ll need to leave this to dry for 24-hours.
Adding to the bin size means that this vacuum cleaner is very large, coming in at 1286 x 320 x 261mm and weighing 3.5kg. That’s only a little heavier than the original V11. There are heavier cordless cleaners, although these tend to ape upright cleaners, so you don’t have to bear the full weight while using them in the same way as you do the V11 Outsize.
In the box, Dyson provides a huge array of tools and accessories, more so than with the V11 Absolute. You get a mini motorised tool (great for upholstery and stairs, particularly if you have pets), combination tool, crevice tool, mini soft dusting brush and wide nozzle.
Then, there are two floor heads. First, there’s the High Torque XL, which is wider 25% wider than the model used on the original, letting you clean a larger area faster. This head also feeds data back to the vacuum unit, letting it adjust power automatically to get the right suction for the right floor type.
For hard floors, there’s the soft fluffy roller, which is designed to get dust to stick to the rollers before sucking it up. This floor head can’t be used in automatic mode, though.
Dyson also provides a couple of adaptors in the box. The Up-top adaptor, lets you change the angle of a tool or the wand, letting you clean above furniture, say on the tops of wardrobes. It doesn’t support powered tools, however.
Then, there’s the small extension hose, which lets you move accessories where the main vacuum won’t fit, such as between bits of furniture or into those troublesome areas in cars. It’s a nice addition, but it can be tricky to use due to the V11 Outsize having a trigger that needs to be constantly pressed to activate the vacuum.
Given the size of the vacuum cleaner, using the hose can be a little bit awkward. With the Vax Blade 4 Pet, you get a similar hose but, as the vacuum can be turned on with the touch of a button, you can leave the main body sitting down while you manoeuvre the body.
Trigger controls have the benefit that you only have the vacuum on while you’re actually cleaning, helping to eke out the maximum battery life, but they can be a little tiring to use for some people.
With the vacuum cleaner turned on, the display at the back lights up, and you can use the button at the back to change the power mode. There’s Eco, Med and Boost modes, with Med turning into the Automatic mode when the High Torque XL head is attached.
Cleverly, the screen shows a live battery status in minutes, so you can see exactly how much longer you can keep cleaning for. And, if you run into problems, such as a blockage, the screen shows a short video explaining how you should tackle the problem.
You can charge the vacuum cleaner by plugging the power adaptor directly into the battery, or by dropping the cleaner into the wall-mounted bracket. I prefer the latter, as the bracket also has storage space for two tools, plus you can clip two accessories onto the provided wand clip. Even so, you’ll still need to find space for the remaining tools and floor heads.
Having a removable battery is brilliant news. You can buy a spare if you want to extend runtime, but it also means that you can easily replace an old battery easily that isn’t holding its charge; older models of Dyson cleaners needed to be unscrewed or sent back for battery replacements.
Performance – Unequalled cleaning ability from the Dyson V11 Outsize
- Cleans well on Eco, even better on higher settings and Boost mode is rarely needed
- Extra-wide floor head makes cleaning large areas faster
- Excellent battery life
Thanks to the V11 motor inside, the V11 Outsize is comfortably the most powerful cordless vacuum cleaner that I have tested. Using a water lift meter and anemometer (wind speed gauge), I tested the vacuum to see how powerful it was in Air Watts (AW). I got results of 53.92AW on Eco, 102.81AW on Med and 258.59AW on Boost. The latter is particularly impressive, outdoing the likes of the Shark AZ950UKT.
Of course, the more power you use, the faster the battery drains. On Eco, the V11 will run for an hour, but this drops to around 12 minutes on Boost. However, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to use the Boost mode very often, as the combination of power and tool efficiency means that the vacuum cleans brilliantly at lower power levels.
Putting the cleaner onto Automatic showed that I’d get around 27-minutes out of the vacuum. Given that this is trigger time (when the vacuum cleaner is actually on), I found this more than enough to get through my entire three-bed house. Once the cleaner has run out of juice, you have to wait 4.5 hours to fully charge the battery again.
There’s certainly a lot of power in this mode, as I could feel the air blow out of the side of the filter: this air flow blew some papers off a desk as I cleaned around it.
To test how well it cleans, I put the vacuum cleaner through its paces in the real world. First, I started out with the regular carpet test, placing a teaspoon of flour onto a capet. Using the High Torque XL head on Auto mode, a sweep through the middle of the mess picked up everything the full width of the floor head, leaving a sharp line between the area cleaned and the area not touched.
That’s impressive going and also demonstrates the power of having a larger head: while the V11 has similar pick-up performance, it tackles a smaller area. As a result, even though both models have a similar battery life, you can tackle a lot more floor with the V11 Outsize’s larger floor head.
Using the vacuum cleaner in Eco mode to tackle the rest picked up a lot of mess, but close examination shows that there are specs of flour left behind (you can just about see the spots of white in the image below). For less intense cleaning, though, the Eco mode works well.
Next, I tested edge pick up performance, sprinkling a teaspoon of flour up against the skirting board. A sweep through the mess (forwards and back) running along the skirting board showed that all bar the smallest amount of dust was collected.
The very small amount not collect was easy to collect by running the crevice tool along the side of the room. To be honest, with all vacuum cleaners, it’s a good idea to tackle fine edge cleaning at the end with a crevice tool. The difference here is that a quick sweep with the crevice tool is enough to get anything that the V11 Outsize missed with its main floor head.
Next, I spread a teaspoon of rice onto a hard floor. Again, using the High Torque XL brush on Auto mode, a single sweep through the mess left a clear path; however, some grains of rice were just pushed around.
Swapping to the soft roller on Med mode proved to be a better match for this problem, picking up everything without leaving a grain of rice behind.
For general everyday cleaning, the High Torque XL brush is great for hard floors and carpets alike, with Auto mode changing the power to suit automatically. If you’ve got a particularly dirty hard floor, then bring out the specialist roller.
Finally, I combed cat hair into the carpet, then ran the High Torque XL brush over the mess on Auto mode, easily collecting everything. My only minor complaint is that Dyson doesn’t have anti-tangle heads, so you’ll need to cut away trapped hair from time to time.
Should you buy the Dyson V11 Outsize?
If you really want to have a single vacuum cleaner for all jobs, then the Dyson V11 Outsize is your companion. It has the power and intelligence to tackle the largest of homes, with its Auto power mode balancing performance and battery life perfectly. With the larger floor head, you can tackle areas faster, further extending what you can do on a single charge, while the extra-large bin won’t need emptying very often.
For all that’s good about this model, including the removable battery, the V11 Outsize is an expensive bit of kit and the cheaper V11 Absolute has the same suction power with a smaller head for less, making it the better choice for people with smaller properties.
If you don’t want something as large or as bulky, or don’t want a trigger-operated cleaner, the Shark ICZ160UKT upright cleaner might make more sense, or one of our alternative choices from our best cordless vacuum cleaner guide.
However, in terms of power and cleaning ability, the Dyson V11 Outsize is the current pinnacle of cordless cleaning.