≡ Menu

Shark Rocket Ultralight Review: Not Enough Suction?

If you want a lightweight vacuum that incorporates a hand vac but still is strong enough to keep your house clean, the upright bagless Shark Rocket Ultralight, new from this popular brand, should be on your list to check out.

What we love about it

One of the things we love best about the Rocket, it addition of course to its power and weight, is that it’s so easy to store. If you live in an apartment or smaller home or are looking for something to clean your rv or camper and have limited space, you can just hang this small vacuum on a wall. Most vacuum cleaners take up so much space, but this one leaves such a small footprint, you’ll barely notice it’s there, but this alone doesn’t mean we rate it in the top 10.

Second, the removable handheld vacuum is a favorite feature. It’s something you don’t generally see on an affordable vacuum cleaner, especially a lightweight model like this one. It makes it so easy to clean stairs and get into tight corners and spaces without messing with a bunch of attachments. Additionally, you don’t have to hold down the on / off switch for it to work. Just push the button, and it stays running.

While some people prefer cordless vacuums, we found in review after review that many users prefer this one with a cord, as they never have to wait for it to charge or recharge to get the job done. So, in spite of not being cordless, it gets high ratings.

One additional feature that’s hard to find is its low profile. This means it not only lies down flat but will also fit all the way underneath your bed and other furniture. With most others, you have to use the attachments to do this.

What about the Shark Rocket Professional?

The Pro version, while more traditional in appearance and having 200 more watts of power is not as good as this one, which is why it didn’t make it into the top ten. While it is a full-size machine and works well, there are some things user reviews noted that could use some improvement. For instance, it does not do well on deeper pile carpet like shag, and even on hardwood floors, it has a tendency to leave bits and pieces not picked up.

shark rocket for stairsWhat we’d like to see improved

This ultra light sweeper – type vacuum, unfortunately, does not have a HEPA filter. So, if you have bad allergy-sufferers in your household or have several pets or a lot of pet hair in your home, you may want to look at one of the other highly rated vacuums that incorporate HEPA filters into their design (the Dyson DC59 is a great one to try, though not as affordable). Most homeowners probably will not notice the difference on a daily basis between a vacuum with this feature and one without; however, if you have severe allergies, it’s an important factor to consider when you’re ready to buy.

Tools and Accessories Included

  • Dusting brush
  • Crevice tool (12”)
  • Wide upholstery tool
  • Reusable microfiber pad to dust hardwood floors
  • Car detail kit
  • Accessory bag also included!
  • Comes with wall mount so you can just hang it up when you’re done vacuuming
  • Read the User Manual

shark rocket on hardwood floorsSpecs

  • Power: 500 watts
  • Dirt container capacity: .472 dry quarts
  • Cord length: 30 feet
  • Weight: 7.5 pounds
  • Filters: Washable

What’s the difference in the model numbers?

The upright Shark Rocket Ultralight comes in 2 different models, the HV301 and HV302. The only difference in the two is in the included accessories. The HV302 comes with a detail kit that includes for smaller items (like vacuuming off your keyboard) and several other attachments for smaller jobs.

There is also a different version of this model, the HV300, also known as the Shark Rocket NLS upright. The color is blue instead of orange, and it comes with no attachments or tools whatsoever. We found, strangely, that it also costs a bit more. For the price, going with the HV301 or HV302 is highly recommended.

How well does it work on hardwood, linoleum, ceramic and carpets?

It actually works really well on all types of floors. While it doesn’t have the powerful suction of a Dyson, it still manages to get the job done of digging into carpets and area rugs without damaging them as well as cleaning and dusting bare floors without scattering kitty litter and other bits all over the place.

Since it’s so lightweight, you’ll find if you have shag or really deep carpets, you will need to push it into the rug at times to really get in deep. Unfortunately, this is always going to be the case with a vacuum that doesn’t weigh very much, as gravity just can’t get it down in there. However, in spite of this, we still rate it one of the best models on the market under $200.

shark rocket wall mounted storageShark Rocket vs Dyson

The vacuums most often compared to this Shark are the Dyson DC59 Animal (great if you have a dog or cat or more) and Dyson DC59 Motorhead. The biggest difference in one vs the other is that the Dyson vacs are cordless, a huge plus for some buyers in their reviews of these popular sweepers.

Second, the Dysons both have much more suction, thus rate more powerful versus the Rocket Ultra Light. While the Rocket will likely get you through the daily jobs you need to do, the Dyson DC 59s will suck up more dust and dirt without question. However, at more than double the price, they can certainly break any budget. If you compare the cost, that’s  the only reason they didn’t make our top ten list, as this one just seems like a better value.

Bottom Line

While it’s not a Dyson, it is cheap in comparison and does a great job of overall cleaning. For the money, it’s a good value. It is especially good if you live in a small home or apartment or will use it to clean your RV, boat or camper. With a fantastic storage design plus handy attachments and features, it’s a good deal for the money. Amazon even has it for $10 off.

If you really like this vacuum but would prefer a cordless model, the Hoover Air Cordless is just a bit heavier but still gets great reviews. If you’d like to spend a little less but still want the power, the Oreck XL Commercial is a good lightweight option (though it is not bagless). The Hoover Pro Pet, while a full size, is also less in price but does a great job all around and especially on pet hair.