Shark Stratos Review: Best Pet Hair Vac?

Shark Stratos is the latest in a long line of Shark Vacuums to appear in television ads. This model has been highlighted in television infomercials in mid-2022, promoted for its superior suction and ability to pick up pet hair that won’t get tangled in the rollers. Today I offer my review, focused heavily on the claims regarding pet hair.

New Shark Stratos Vacuum Review
New Shark Stratos Vacuum Review
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Where to Purchase

You can purchase the Stratos directly from the SharkClean website. It retails for $500, but there are coupon codes floating around that will drop that down to as low as $440. The current code that works is STRATOS60. If that doesn’t work for you, let me know and I’ll try to find an updated code! I also recommend trying out the Microsoft Shopping app or the Honey to find the best deals around the internet (not sponsored – I just like them!). As of this writing, the Stratos is not yet on Amazon, although I’ll update this space when it appears there.

About Shark Stratos

Stratos boasts an upgraded “power fin” feature which is said to prevent pet hair from getting tangled in the rollers. Shark claims that the Stratos the most powerful vacuum and the best at picking up pet hair on the market. Other specs include:

  • 17.2lbs
  • 1416 watts
  • 11.8 amps
  • 10.63″ cleaning path width
  • 30-foot cord
  • 1.48-quart dust capacity
  • Odor neutralizer technology
  • 7 attachments
  • Free steam mop

Shark Stratos Review

Shark’s new Stratos vacuum is currently hitting the airwaves with a 2-hour long infomercial extolling its virtues as the most powerful vac on the market with the best pet hair capabilities. The package I purchased includes the vacuum itstelf, HairPro self-cleaning Pet Power Brush, duster crevice tool, under-appliance wand, multi-angle dust brush, anti-allergen brush, upholstery tool, accessory bag, odor neutralizer cartridges, and a 5-year warranty.

Much of this vacuum brings back features found in the Shark Apex that I purchased back in 2019. The handle can be detached from the base for use with attachments, although Shark has opted to eliminate the light that was found on the Apex’s handle. This is unfortunate, as I found that feature to be quite useful.  Powered Lift Away is another feature brought back from previous offerings. This allows you to remove the canister and use the vacuum like a stick vac, or to use an attachment in order to reach high places while holding the canister in your hand. The increase in dust capacity up to 1.48 quarts is probably the second biggest upgrade, just behind the improved roller system.

For my first test, I wanted to see how well the Stratos could pick up coffee grounds in cracks between tile. I also placed a mound of grounds against a wall to see how close the rollers could get. The crevice test was no match for the Stratos, but I was more impressed that it was able to pick up all the coffee grounds against the wall without the need for a crevice tool or other attachment at all.

Stratos was impressive at picking up coffee grounds against the wall.

Next, I wanted to test out the claims regarding the pet hair, specifically if the rollers could really pick up pet hair without getting tangled. I enlisted the help of my enthusiastic golden retriever Bailey for this part of the test. After brushing some fresh pet hair from Bailey and then smashing it into my carpet, I fired up the Stratos to see how it would do. After very competently picking up all of the pet hair – and leaving the carpet feeling new and refreshed – I turned the unit over to find no pet hair tangled on the rollers at all. Even my Apex, which I thought was a good pet hair vac, had some pet hair on it after the first use. The Stratos had none.

The Stratos rollers were still clean after picking up pet hair.

Stratos is able to clean under low-clearance furniture by removing the Powered Liftaway and using the head like a stick vac. I was able to clean under a table with a 6-inch clearance quite easily. You can even twist the handle to swivel the head in this mode.

Powered Liftaway allows for very low clearance cleaning.

I did a couple of tests with dog food and breakfast cereal to see how the Stratos would perform. The commercial states that the roller will not send particles flying like you might find with other units, and I did find this to be generally true. While the thicker cereal put up a bit of a fight, it only took two passes to pick up everything with only very minimal ejections occurring. None of the kibble was sent flying when I vacuumed it up.

For a fun test, I created the “Golden Retriever Pac-Man Challenge.” In this test, I spaced out clumps of Bailey’s hair throughout the house, totaling about 52 feet in length, and used the Stratos to pick them up. At the end, I checked the rollers and there was only a single small segment of hair stuck to the soft roller, and no hair on the other.

Golden Retriever Pac-Man consisted of 52 feet of dog hair.
Minimal hair on rollers after extensive pet hair cleanup.

Most of the attachments are standard fare, similar to what is available with most vacuums. One of my favorites is the multi-angle dust brush, as it allowed me to reach pot shelves and fan blades, while maintaining impressive suction. I’ve tried cleaning fan blades with other vacuums in the past, and that typically results in dust flying around the room. With the Stratos and this attachment, however, I did not have that issue.

The under-appliance wand is an attachment I wanted to like more. It does work and certainly has a use, but it seemed to lack suction – perhaps because the suction is dispersed over so many openings. It also tended to get larger items stuck to the outside, rather than pulled into the unit. It’s a minor complaint, but it does seem like there could be some improvement there.

My favorite attachment is the powered pet tool. This, too, boasts the ability to pick up pet hair without being tangled – and in my tests I found that claim to be accurate.

An odd demonstration shown in the infomercial depicted consumers sniffing various vacuums while running to prove that the Stratos’ Odor Neutralizer did indeed emit a fresh and clean smell. I tried this, and I did notice a fresh smell emanating from the running vacuum, but that scent was mixed with the familiar vacuum exhaust smell. I would say the Odor Neutralizer helps, but it doesn’t completely neutralize. It’s a nice addition, although I can see this feature being improved in future models.

In the end, I would say that anyone in the market for a new vacuum in the $400-$500 range should certainly consider the Shark Stratos. If you have an Apex or Vertex that still works, I don’t know if there is a compelling enough reason to upgrade unless pet hair is still a significant problem for you.

If you’ve used the Shark Stratos, tell me what you think in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by!

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Josephine mcmahan
Josephine mcmahan
1 month ago

Were you and your family had flooding in your home?

Grace
Grace
16 days ago

Where did you purchase it to find that many attachments with it?