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Shark Freestyle Navigator: Not Enough Power?

If you’re looking for a new vacuum cleaner that has the convenience of being both cordless and bagless, then the Shark Navigator Freestyle might just be the choice for you. With a 4.5 out of 5 star rating, a vote from Consumer Reports as  the best stick vac for pet hair and a price tag under $100, it’s definitely one of the best sweeper – type vacuums on the market today.

Amazon has the Freestyle on sale for 25% off

Here’s what we love about the Shark SV1106 cordless Freestyle Navigator

First, unlike most stick vacuums, this one has two speed settings – one hardwood floors (and other bare floors) and one for carpet. It incorporates a brush just like larger vacuums to dig in and clean the dirt from carpets, but you can turn the brush roll off as needed so it won’t fling particles like kitty litter around on your hardwoods.

As far as suction, we give it thumbs up. Its suction is powerful enough to suck up cereal like Cheerios, and it does just as well on regular household dirt, dust, dog and cat hair.

Speaking of sucking up things you don’t want, you’ll also find an extra – large dirt container. If you’ve ever used a small lightweight vacuum before, you know most of them have a really tiny dust cup, so you have to empty it constantly while you’re working. Not so here, which is one of many reasons we find this a good value.

As far as where this machine will fit, the base is about 3” high and the body is about 6”, so laying it flat, you may actually be able to clean under your bed without any extra work. Along with the pivoting head making it easier to maneuver around furniture and in hard to reach areas, this sweeper can access a lot of areas in your house.

We also like that it is fairly quiet when you compare it to larger brand – name cleaners. This is nice if you have kids napping or you’re using this in your business and don’t want to disturb you clientele.

How well does the battery work?

With most affordable cordless and rechargeable models, we always want to know about the battery life. In other words, how long will it run before it dies? Many cordless vacuums will only do a few rooms, and then you have to leave it hooked to the charging base for hours before you can finish cleaning. That does not seem to be the case with the Freestyle.

While Shark doesn’t claim or guarantee a certain amount of cleaning time, user reviews are very favorable. One woman says the 10.8 volt battery lasts a week or more before it needs a charge, and she has a 1600 sf home with two kids. Other reviews are just as favorable, so it would seem this upright Navigator really has staying power in terms of the battery life.

In another review, the user vacuums her 1700 sf house twice before needing a recharge, so that’s excellent news. Since it only takes about 30 minutes to charge, the whole usual battery problem that other cordless models have won’t be found in this highly rated but inexpensive one.

As far as how to charge it, the charger is built into the stand, which then plugs into the wall outlet. So in other words, the charging stand is also a great place to store your Shark.

Will it help if I have allergies?

If you have allergies and need a HEPA vacuum to help alleviate your symptoms, you may not be happy with the Freestyle Navigator SV1106. While it does have a washable filter, it’s not a HEPA filter.

Specs

  • Cord: None – rechargeable battery (vacuum stores on charging base)
  • Weight: about 7 pounds (easy to pick up with one hand)
  • Filter: Washable
  • Owner’s Manual

Pros

  • Long battery life / run time
  • Really good at getting up close to baseboards and cabinets
  • Great pickup for larger debris like cereal as well as pet hair

Cons

In more than one user review from people who use the Freestyle Navigator regularly, one of the few complaints is that there are no tools / attachments and no detachable hand vac incorporated into the sweeper design. While this is a great idea and would really add value, remember you’re paying under $100, so while features like this would be really nice to have, you’d have to pay a lot more money to get them, and most stick vacs and sweepers don’t have this option at all.

The only other complaint noted in reviews is that this stick vacuum doesn’t do really well on shag rugs. This is to be expected, as it just doesn’t have the heavy weight necessary to dig the brush into deep carpet fibers. If you have a lot of shag in your home, you may want to look into getting a heavier vacuum cleaner.

Bottom Line

If you have a small apartment, are looking for something to clean your RV or camper or you just have a challenge finding storage space, the Shark Freestyle Cordless Navigator is a great little vacuum cleaner. While it likely won’t suit you if you are regularly cleaning a large house with a lot of deep-pile carpet, it will suit those who don’t need a big heavy machine just fine.

Versus a full-size Dyson, obviously it won’t do the same job, but not everyone needs to blow the budget on a really expensive vacuum. Ratings are top-notch, and you can get it on sale at Amazon for under $100. Need we say more?

If you have a larger budget, the Shark Rocket Ultralight is a nice alternative to this vac. While it feels similar to the Freestyle and is incredibly easy to use and store, it does have a cord.