Last year we looked at Vax’s Life Unplugged upright cleaner, we liked it although admitted that it is a vacuum cleaner that comes with a few compromises. Vax is putting together a multipack, offering both the Life Unplugged upright and a handheld vacuum cleaner that run off the same battery pack. We got them in to the Pocket-lint halls of testing to give them a good run for their money.
The Life Unplugged multipack offers up the two cleaners in the same box and is quickly assembled. The upright Life Unplugged is very lightweight and slim, but offers impressive cleaning power. It has been designed to cope with both hard and carpeted floors, with a dual position power switch that activates the beater bar when you need it.
We found that moving from a hard kitchen floor to a carpeted hallway with a simple flick of a switch meant that we were able to cover different areas of the house with minimal messing around. It was also efficient at picking up dirt off the kitchen floor meaning that we didn’t need to get out the broom all the time.
Its light weight means you can skip up the stairs to quickly do your other rooms, and because it is cordless, you don’t need to pause to unplug it. The compromise you are making, however, is that there is no sign of any cleaning tools - you don’t get a hose attachment or anything else.
The second component in the box is the Life Unplugged handheld vacuum cleaner. We’ve seen these around for a while. Traditionally they had a lack of suck and were only really good for picking up crumbs. Dyson put forward a powerful option with the DC31 back in 2009 and Vax have followed suit.
The great thing about this pair of Vax cleaners is that they share the same battery pack, so you only need one charger and to charge the one battery. Okay, if you wanted to use both at the same time - when your mother phones to say she’ll be on your doorstep in 10 minutes - then you can’t. However, we like the convenience of being wire free and only having to charge the battery, meaning the handheld can be hidden away in the cupboard under the stairs, rather than strapped to the wall like some rival models were. The battery will give you about 18 minutes of cleaning with an indicator on both models letting you know the battery status.
In use the handheld Vax performs well, collecting dirt and debris with ease. The end of the handheld has a fold-out extension with a brush tool should you need to work those crumbs off the back seat of the car. Weighing in at approx. 1.4kg, it is light enough to port around the place and has the suck to pick up most small dirt from those hard to reach places.
Of course, if this is your sole cleaning option you might find you want that hose extension at some point, which isn’t an option here, and whilst the handheld will tackle the edges of carpet, you’ll struggle to reach right under the sofa or around the back of furniture.
Having been living with the Life Unplugged cleaners for a couple of weeks, we found that the larger vacuum cleaner stayed put in the cupboard under the stairs, as the light weight alternative was just easier to get the cleaning done.
Launching on 1 December, the Vax Life Unplugged multipack will set you back £199.99, the same price as the original Life Unplugged upright.