Vax Air Cordless U86-AL-B Review - Stairs, Pet Hair and Verdict Review

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Vax Air Cordless U86-AL-B: How easy is it to use on stairs?

At

less than 5kg the Air Cordless is comfortably light enough for most

people to physically vacuum each step with the main cleaner head. We

found it was easy to stabilise the cleaner with your other hand under

the main body and the pivoting head made it excellent for stairs with

turns and angles. The rotating brush bar and good suction power make for

very effective cleaning on carpeted stairs in this way.

Alternatively

you can use the hose, wand and 2-in-1 tool for stairs. While the Air

Cordless offers plenty of suction for this type of cleaning, the lack of

brush bar and relatively short hose don’t make it ideal for stairs as

you will still have to carry the main cleaner up step-by-step. The hose

and tools are far better suited to detail cleaning and dusting above

floor level.

If you tend to have a lot of pet hair gathering on the stairs, however, corded machines like the Dyson DC41 Mk2 Animal and Dyson DC54 Animal are better bets.

Vax Air Cordless U86-AL-B: How does it cope with pet hair?

As

an upright cleaner the Vax Air Cordless is great for pet hair. Not only

does the rotating brush bar and good suction pick up hairs well, the

simple convenience of the cordless design makes for quick and easy clean

ups.

As there is no need to unwind cords, plug-in and wind the

cord up again afterwards, you are far more inclined to zip round and

pick up the odd ball of pet-hair tumbleweed on a daily basis. Using the

Air Cordless at home we found the kitchen was generally cleaner all week

thanks to these quick cleaning sessions.

On carpeted floors

liberally covered with pet hair from a collie and a Labrador, the Air

Cordless cleaned the area effectively in less than 10 seconds. Full-size

corded cleaners are undoubtedly quicker in this respect, but not by

much. Remember, though, that the compact 1.05l dustbin will need

emptying fairly frequently.

Using the hose and tools, the Air

Cordless was considerably less effective at picking up pet hairs from

carpets or upholstery. The reduced suction compared to corded models and

lack of any tools with a rotating brush head will always make pet hair

challenging for cleaners used like this.


 

Should I buy the Vax Air Cordless U86-AL-B?

If

you like the idea of going cordless and prefer upright vacuum cleaners,

the Vax Air Cordless U86-AL-B is definitely worth considering. During

our testing someone uttered the phrase ‘someday all cleaners will be

this way’ – and it’s true! Like power tools, cordless freedom makes

cleaning much easier.

Its most direct rivals are the Bosch Athlet

(£249) and the Gtech AirRam (£199) and each has their own strengths and

weaknesses. In comparison, the Vax doesn’t clean quite as well as the

Bosch and isn’t as light as the Gtech, but its so-so edge cleaning is

compensated by its good overall performance and the convenience afforded

by the two included batteries.

The other alternative is the DC59

(£280), although its smaller capacity bin and lighter handheld design

means it’s best used as a secondary cleaner – the Vax can, at a pinch,

replace your main cleaner provided you don’t mind emptying fairly regularly.

Overall, all four have their merits, so consider what you care about

most before deciding.

Verdict

Below average edge

cleaning means we can’t recommend the Vax Air outright, but its

excellent battery life and smart design make it well worth considering.

Score