Education and training are required to ensure proper use and maximum benefit.

ProTeam® introduced the first lightweight backpack vacuum almost 30 years ago, giving cleaning pros greater levels of productivity and comfort than ever before. Their innovative design took the cleaning industry by storm, netting huge savings for facility managers by reducing vacuuming time, reducing dusting, and improving the overall health of the indoor environment. Like any new tool, backpack vacuums require education and training to ensure proper use and maximum benefit. Follow the below tips to ensure you get the greatest benefit from backpack vacuums in your cleaning business.


ProTeam backpack vacuums are lightweight with an ergonomic harness design based on the harnesses of mountaineering backpacks. The Sierra® backpack vacuum has a slim profile that hugs close to the torso, weighs only 10 lbs., and is available with a powerhead system for cleaning high-pile residential carpet. However, even a lightweight backpack vacuum still needs to be adjusted to the individual user to be comfortable.

Start by loosening all the straps, then fasten and tighten the waist belt so that the weight of the vacuum rests on the hips of the user. This ensures that the strong muscles of the legs will carry the weight of the unit. Then adjust the shoulder straps just enough so that the unit sits close to the body, but not to the point where the weight of the unit transfers to the shoulders. Lastly, fasten and adjust the sternum strap. 

The two primary points of contact should be at the base of the spine just above the hips and between the shoulder blades. A poor fitting backpack vacuum can create fatigue of the neck, shoulders, and back. When properly fitted, the backpack keeps the spine straight and forces the user to bend at the knees, helping to protect the wearer from injury.

Hard Floors

A backpack vacuum is equally adept at cleaning hard flooring as it is at cleaning carpeting, making it a more efficient and effective alternative to a broom or dust mop. According to independent tests, a ProTeam backpack vacuum cleans 52% faster than a dust mop and keeps dust bunnies away for 72 hours, as opposed to 24 hours after dust mopping.

When using a backpack vacuum to clean hard flooring, the technique is a bit different than the technique you use with an upright or a backpack vacuum with the powerhead attachment. Instead of pushing the wand back and forth, keep the wand as close to the body as possible. The further the wand gets away from the body, the more likely the user will get fatigued. By twisting the torso and sweeping the wand in wide arcs like a windshield wiper, the cleaning path widens from the width of the floor tool to well over a yard, covering more ground per step. 

Beyond the Floor

The benefits of backpacks don’t stop at the floor. This suction-only approach can be applied to all dusting tasks with the same speed and effectiveness. ProTeam backpacks include an accessory belt that keeps all necessary attachments within reach, allowing quick detail cleans. Windowsills, shelving, blinds, ceiling tiles, and other architectural details can all be backpack vacuumed using the standard attachments instead of using rags or dusters that stir up dust. There are even stacking extension wands to address high ceiling fans, air return vents, and ducts. 

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