* Prices may differ from that shown
The first thing I need to state in this review is that I was fortunate enough to snap up this cleaner for £60, the current sale price in most stores seems to be around the £90 mark.
The cleaner itself seems relatively well built and I can personally vouch for the fact that it can take a tumble down the stairs without becoming damaged (can't say the same for the walls unfortunately!). It isn't the easiest to carry up and down stairs, it has a large base which depending on the design of your stairwell may not fit on a single step. However, the cable supplied with the cleaner should be more than adequate to stretch far enough to allow the cleaner to be used on stairs without having to unplug the machine half way up.
You get the usual attachments and the pipe is long enough to allow these to be used without too much effort. They do not seem to sit on the unit as well as they might though and mine are stored away from the machine due to them constantly falling from it everytime I try to use it.
I cannot stress enough what a beast this vacuum is - big, bold, noisy and powerful. The suction is very good and though I don't have a pet, I imagine rogue sock fluff is more than comparable and the cleaner has no problems in yanking it free from the carpet in my home. The vacuum does seem less comfortable on hard floors with debris often seemingly blown around the floor from what seems to be a giant jet engine within the base unit.
Emptying the belly of the beast is not as straight forward as it might have been. The plastic bucket that you will soon see filling up with a myriad of muck from your carpet - complementing the powerful suction - is a sturdy thick plastic and will not break easily, however, it does seem to require a certain knack to twist on and off and just doesn't seem to sit quite right.
My previous vacuum cleaner was a Dyson and ignoring the price I would say that the Dyson was overall a better design and more easy to use although the suction power of the two are very similar. The Dyson just had something that the Vax does not, although for an extra £140 I suppose you could expect that.
So to summarise the Vax is a powerhouse of a machine that will rip anything free of your carpet without problem. But it is so much of a powerhouse that you may find the noise annoying and the weight and bulkyness real turn offs. This is why at the start of my review I mentioned the price I paid. For £60 this is probably one of the best cleaners available, however, paying closer to the hundred mark I do not believe I could recommend the model over all others available. Yes it is still cheaper than a Dyson but yes it also fails in one of the fundamental needs of a vacuum cleaner which is surely for it to be manoueverable and easy to carry.
Vax upright Vacuum Cleaners are designed to provide powerful suction performance with a rotating brush bar that dislodges dirt picks up pet hair and grooms carpet pile / High performance cleaning has never been easier than with the Power range of bagless Vacuum Cleaners / The HEPA filtration reduces allergens making it a great choice for allergy sufferers and the extra long power cord enables you to clean more rooms without stopping / The lightweight design also means it is easy to carry and use. / Short name: Vax U88-P3-P 3