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Shark Navigator Lift Away Review

The ease of this machine makes you feel like you can vacuum for hours
Shark Navigator Lift Away
Credit: Shark
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Price:   $200 List
Pros:  Easy to push and pull, lift away feature
Cons:  Struggles with cracks
Manufacturer:   Shark
By Benjamin Hickok and Jessica Riconscente  ⋅  Jul 25, 2022
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 10
  • Carpet Cleaning - 35% 6.9
  • Ease of Use - 25% 6.7
  • Handling - 20% 8.4
  • Hard Surface - 10% 6.8
  • Pet Hair - 10% 9.0

Our Verdict

The Shark Navigator Lift Away is a good upright vacuum that offers all-around above-average performance but can't compete with the most premium models our team evaluated. It is very similar to the professional version of the same name and even handled better. In fact, it handled almost as well as the top model our team tested. However, it does not offer the same level of carpet and hard surface cleaning performance and is less user-friendly than other models. As such, it failed to win any awards from our team. While you wouldn't be disappointed with this model, you would be better served by the professional version of this model.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Best Buy Award Best Buy Award   
Price $200 List$200 List
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$69.98 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Easy to push and pull, lift away featureGood price, cleans carpet well, picks up pet hair with easeInexpensive, great for pet hair, solid carpet cleaningPet hair attachment, convenientLight, cheap, simple
Cons Struggles with cracksNot impressive at cleaning hard floorsInsufficient on hard floors, so-so ease of usPoor carpet, hard floor cleaningHorrible cleaning, creates larger mess, poor suction
Bottom Line The ease of this machine makes you feel like you can vacuum for hoursIf you are searching for a new vacuum on a budget, then this is a great betIf you are shopping on a particularly tight budget for a new vacuum, this is a good optionWhile this vacuum does well with pet hair, it failed to impress with just about everything elseThis model does a better job of making a bigger mess out of basic cleaning tasks and is more burdensome than useful
Rating Categories Shark Navigator Lif... Shark Navigator Lif... Eureka PowerSpeed Bissell CleanView S... Dirt Devil Endura R...
Carpet Cleaning (35%)
6.9
8.0
4.5
2.9
3.0
Ease of Use (25%)
6.7
7.4
5.9
4.4
4.0
Handling (20%)
8.4
5.7
5.0
5.5
6.0
Hard Surface (10%)
6.8
7.0
3.8
3.8
3.0
Pet Hair (10%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Specs Shark Navigator Lif... Shark Navigator Lif... Eureka PowerSpeed Bissell CleanView S... Dirt Devil Endura R...
Water Suction Guage (inches of water) 72" 72" 48" 50" 49"
Model Number NV352 NV356E S2 NEU182A 2252
Dirt Collection Bagless Bagless Bagless Bagless Bagless
Vacuum Head Width 11.25" 11.25" 13.25" 13.5" 11"
Measured Brush Width 9" 9" 10.5" 12.25" 8.5"
Measured Weight 13.6 lbs 14.8 lbs 10.5 lbs 13.7 lbs 10.2 lbs
Variable Suction Control Yes Yes No No No
Brush On/Off Switch Yes Yes No No No
Measured Power Cord Length 24.75' 26.00' 23.75' 27.00' 19.50'
Measured Noise 73 dBa 73 dBa 76 dBa 76 dBa 77 dBa
Swivel Head Yes Yes No Yes No
Carry Handle Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Soft Bumper No No No Yes No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Shark Navigator Lift Away is a good upright vacuum all-around but can't compete with the performance of more exceptional models available for a similar price.

Performance Comparison


Shark Navigator Lift Away upright vacuum - the shark navigator lift away is a good all-around vacuum.
The Shark Navigator Lift Away is a good all-around vacuum.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Carpet Cleaning


We tested each model's ability to pick up rice, oatmeal, cereal, and flour spilled onto both high pile and low pile carpets to rank carpet cleaning performance. When it came to cleaning rice out of carpet, this model didn't do quite as well as other higher-end Shark models. It took a couple of extra passes to extract lingering grains. Thicker carpet also required additional passes to pick up the rice completely. Also notable, this model seemed to do a more effective job while pushing versus pulling.

In our second carpet cleaning sub metric, oatmeal grains were picked up in two passes, requiring two additional passes to completely lift the remaining oatmeal dust. Its performance in this test was on par with the best models we tested. On cereal, the third carpet test sub metric and a difficult task for many models we tested, the Navigator Lift Away exhibited a plowing effect, removing 95% of cereal by the fourth pass on the short carpet, but required some angling to work over the cereal. The head also needed to break the cereal into smaller grains, which it could completely remove with an additional pass.

Flour proved difficult for the Shark Navigator Lift Away to clean from carpets. After 15 passes, nearly all (roughly 99.9%) of the flour was picked up but still left a micro-film over the surface. Overall, the Navigator did an above-average job, but not a great job, cleaning carpets and wouldn't be a great choice for homes with large carpeted areas

Shark Navigator Lift Away upright vacuum - the lift away does a decent job of lifting debris on carpet on the...
The Lift Away does a decent job of lifting debris on carpet on the first pass.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Ease of Use


The Shark Navigator Lift Away performed decently in ease of use. Our testers perform and analyze each upright vacuum's edging ability, cable reach, under furniture reach, and any features or functions that make a model easier to transition between carpets and hard surfaces.

The Navigator Lift Away is like many vacuums we've tested and has uneven edging performance. It tends to favor cleaning debris on one side and requires a few passes to pick up every morsel. It exhibited similar, less than great performance handling corners and proved to be a difficult task for this model.

Its cable reach, at 24.75 feet, is by no means short but is shorter than the average for the test group. The Navigator Lift Away has an impressive under furniture reach of 10 inches, making it easier to keep things tidy. The reach is two more inches than the average and an inch shy of the best models we tested in our product test group. This model also adds surface transition convenience with roller adjustment located at the top of the basket.

Shark Navigator Lift Away upright vacuum - the shark navigator lift away is easy to use.
The Shark Navigator Lift Away is easy to use.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Handling


The Shark Navigator Lift Away did significantly well in our handling tests overall. Handling accounts for 20% of each model's overall score. In each test, we measure maneuverability, level of effort, and ease of use on stairs.

The Lift Away is a nice vacuum to operate and handle, able to handle tight corners with good swiveling action, only falling a little short of excellence because of less than perfectly fluid movements. It also requires more pulling effort to stay on a line and maintain a steady flow.

However, when it came down to the effort required to handle the model, our test team found it easy to move back and forth.

Shark Navigator Lift Away upright vacuum - the navigator lift away handles exceptionally well - one of the best.
The Navigator Lift Away handles exceptionally well - one of the best.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Hard Surface Cleaning


Our hard surface cleaning test was again broken down into four common food substances distributed onto a hard surface: rice, oatmeal, cereal, and flour.

The Shark Navigator Lift Away did a fairly average job vacuuming rice from a hard surface. It didn't seem to have enough power to lift rice past the roller, and our test team observed rice on the floor, inside the clear portion of the vacuum head, that didn't budge until agitated. With a couple of additional passes, our test team managed to pick up all the rice.

Shark Navigator Lift Away upright vacuum - the rice visible in the cleaning head building up before being...
The rice visible in the cleaning head building up before being extracted.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

While better than many of its peers, this model failed to do an exceptional job of picking up oatmeal left on a hard surface. On the first pass, the Lift Away pushed a lot of the grains around, but with an additional pass was completely able to pick up all the whole grains. It also struggled to collect the oatmeal dust that had settled into the surface's cracks.

When trying to pick up cereal, the Navigator navigated its way through the cereal like a plow, much like it did to oatmeal, instead of picking up cereal. It took quite a few passes and some angling of the head to eventually grab all of the cereal, but it was an undesirable struggle.

Even after dozens of passes, this model could not completely pick up all the flour from a hardwood surface in our tests. It did such a poor job, our testers suggested it would be better just to use a broom.

Shark Navigator Lift Away upright vacuum - the lift away was unable to lift all the flour from the hardwood...
The Lift Away was unable to lift all the flour from the hardwood flooring.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Pet Hair


Pet hair accounts for 10% of each model's overall performance. For this metric we vacuum up actual pet hair on fluffy and shallow carpets.

The Lift Away did well in our pet hair test and was able to lift away 99.8% of the hair from the carpet, leaving only a few strands over the entire test section of carpet. Overall, we were pretty pleased with its performance.

Shark Navigator Lift Away upright vacuum - the lift away is able to access hard-to-reach spots.
The Lift Away is able to access hard-to-reach spots.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Should You Buy the Shark Navigator Lift Away?


The Shark Navigator Lift Away is a decent vacuum that performs well but has a fairly high price tag for good and not exceptional performance.

What Other Upright Vacuums Should You Consider


The Shark Navigator Lift Away Professional is an incredibly similar model to the Shark Navigator Lift Away. It doesn't handle quite as well but is cheaper and offers equal or better performance across all other test metrics, making it a great buy. However, if you want the absolute best, you will have to step up your budget significantly and look at better all-around performing uprights like the Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M.

Benjamin Hickok and Jessica Riconscente
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