Shark is one of those brands that everybody knows about. You know that Shark puts out a good product if you’ve read vacuum reviews before. But rather than rely on branding, we decided to test the Shark Apex Uplight ourselves through this review.
The Shark Apex Uplight promises to combine the powerful suction of an upright vacuum with the versatility of a lightweight stick vacuum. At nine pounds and an extension hose, it talks about being able to clean everywhere from the ceilings to your couches. It also talks about cleaning all carpet types, something all vacuums would like to claim.
But talk is cheap, and it is essential to decide whether you can effectively bring it around the house. We will review its cleaning effectiveness across multiple floor types, how the three primary models differ, and the available features to address this vacuum’s quality. So if you are in the market for a new vacuum, keep reading to find out if the Shark Apex Uplight lives up to its claims.
Table of Contents
- Who Should Buy The Shark Apex Uplight Vacuum?
- 3 Models in Shark Apex Uplight Series: LZ600 Vs. LZ601 Vs. LZ602
- Shark Uplight Stick Vacuum: Feature & Functions
- What We Liked About Shark Apex Uplight
- What We Don’t Like or Missing
- What Is The Shark Apex Uplight Vacuum Like to Use?
- How Does The Uplight Stick Vacuum Compare With Similar Models?
- Is The Shark Apex Uplight Worth Investing?
Who Should Buy The Shark Apex Uplight Vacuum?
You’ll enjoy the Apex stick vacuum if you live in these conditions:
- Medium to small living spaces (Ideally below 1600 square feet)
- One or two kids
- One or two pets
- Those willing to spend extra for quality
- Ideal if you have high-pile carpet
- Also suitable for hard floors
This vacuum has a higher than average price tag because of its suction power. A vacuum of this size doesn’t look like it can handle thicker carpets, but it is deceptively powerful. Still, those who only have hard floors or tinner carpets would look elsewhere if their budget is concerned.
Also, large living spaces should be concerned about the limited surface area of the main head. It’s a smaller vacuum, meaning those with larger surface areas to clean should ideally use a wider vacuum.
You might also like the Shark Apex AZ1002 Upright vacuum review.
3 Models in Shark Apex Uplight Series: LZ600 Vs. LZ601 Vs. LZ602
There are three different models of Shark Apex Uplight:
- LZ600 (Magenta) comes with a crevice tool, a pet multi-tool, and an accessory holder
- LZ601 (Mist Blue) has the multi-tool, a duster, and an accessory holder
- LZ602 (Terracotta) comes with a self-cleaning pet power brush, a dusting brush, and an eight-inch crevice tool.
Features across all vacuums remain the same, but they differ by color and accessories. The LZ602 comes with the most potent accessories, meaning it typically costs more than the prior two models.
Because some outlets don’t put this upfront, pay extra attention to model numbers when buying online. Thankfully, all three come with the most crucial bit: a pet-related tool. If your at-home fido is a shedder, you’ll thank Shark for including this with all models.
Thankfully, all the features and functions we mention in its part come across all models. That way, you don’t have to look at the fine print to find out whether your vacuum works. All of them do, and they all like to brag about the following items:
Hypervelocity Accelerated Suction
Despite sounding like Shark is going for the most extreme buzzword challenge, HyperVelocity Accelerated Suction refers to the more direct airflow path Shark vacuums have. The Uplight line of vacuums went through a complete redesign to meet modern needs, so the vacuum supports extreme suction power.
Nearly 700 watts sounds weak compared to some upright vacuum motors (often leading up to 1000 watts), but the tighter airflow makes this vacuum suitable for thicker carpets.
The name “duo” implies cleaning two things, which refers to the dual brushes within the unit. Adults who spend way too much time comparing vacuums can get giddy over the idea of a bonus brush.
Despite sounding like a gimmick, the design has one brush for large messes and another for small. So that means if your kiddo chucks a box of Cheerios into your potted plant, you won’t need two vacuums.
Aside from the mental image of clothing putting itself for a wash, “self-cleaning” doesn’t mean much for the regular consumer. In vacuum brush rolls, there is a smaller brush specifically to “clean” while cleaning, preventing the chance of long hair wraps.
Internal guards are excellent for removing hair but aren’t typically 100% effective. However, the Uplight does well in preventing you from kneeling to pull out a long chunk of dog or person hair.
Related: the best vacuum for picking long human hair without clogging.
When people say that their vacuums have “lift away” technology, you might respond with the following: “That’s what a vacuum does anyway, right?” In reality, it mainly refers to the ability to “lift away” the canister from the vacuum base.
Because the Uplight has no canister, you have a separate, smaller pod to lift. So basically, this means you can easily lift the one pound of extendable hose and pod from the base of the Uplight. The built-in hose extends out, and an eight-inch crevice tool can help even further.
Anti Allergen Complete Seal with HEPA Filter
A vacuum needs a HEPA filter to keep out 99% of dust and allergens. However, like most vacuums, it is unspecific about providing a Merv rating, so we can only say it helps prevent most dust kickups from what we’ve seen.
The anti-allergen seal is ideal for those who need to prevent all forms of dust from being kicked up (suitable if you need to go outside with a dust mask for cleaning). You can also clean these filters with water, saving you money on replacement.
What We Liked About Shark Apex Uplight
The Uplight has numerous helpful features on paper, but how does it feel? Below, we will explain different areas we enjoyed using the Shark Apex Uplight.
Large Dust Cup
The biggest problem you run into with dust cups is their size, and you often have to stop multiple times during any vacuuming session to address replacement. The Uplight had this issue less often, holding .68 dry quarts.
The larger dust cup is similar to the Dyson V10 Animal (0.8 quarts), which is a huge beast. While it could be slightly more prominent, it is more significant than all Shark Rocket ultralight stick vacuums. This cup size makes it ideal for medium-sized cleaning space needs (around 1500 square feet)
Extendable Hose in Handheld Mode
An extendable hose is typical in upright vacuums but not standard in stick vacuums. The Uplight addresses this in two ways:
- A configurable handheld mode
- An extendable hose
The combination makes this vacuum incredibly versatile. Shark’s Uplight has the solution for you if you have homes with crevices (that love to hide a lot of dust). Combine the hose with the dusting tool, and you can quickly get the dust out of these cracks.
Can Stand On its Own Unlike Other Stick Vacuums
Most stick vacuums run into the problem of falling over. This lack-of-a-feature is common among Dyson cordless vacuums, as you constantly need a wall prop. It’s also common in some Shark vacuums, but the Uplight is better than most on this.
Having a stick vacuum that can stand means spending less time looking for places to set it. This feature saves you time while vacuuming, especially in wide-open spaces.
Easy To Maneuver Around Furniture & Tight Spaces
Shark was thoughtful enough to have an expandable hose and numerous attachments for easy reaching into tight spaces. Combine this with a swivel head design, and you have something that quickly moves about the place with almost no effort.
As we’ve said before, the vacuum is also under nine pounds. This means less bending if you need to quickly maneuver your vacuum around challenging living room arrangements. Life becomes easier when you don’t have to make special accommodations to dig cookie crumbs from your couch cushions.
Makes Cleaning Under Furniture, Kitchen Cabinets, and Appliance a Breeze
The vacuum is convenient in complex floor environments because you don’t have to bend with it. Dual brush cleaning means you can easily pick up a combination of large and small bits from under furniture and kitchen cabinets.
The Uplight works across multiple surfaces with little effort as a multi-surface cleaner. The nine-inch floor nozzle means you will have to have almost no space under your couch to move it. A low-profile nozzle can save your joints from years of pain if you have mobility problems (or want to prevent mobility problems later in life).
Non-Stop Powerful Suction Unlike Cordless Vacuum Cleaners
The problem with most cordless vacuums is that they talk about suction power as though it’s related to watts. They brag about 800+ watts while being outperformed by vacuums with 600 watts (like the Shark Uplight).
Much of this difference comes from the natural airflow features and robust seal of the vacuum. The Uplight excels at this, mainly because Shark has the budget to support the R&D of vacuum technology redesigns.
This can replace large, bulky upright vacuums pretty quickly as a result. A power cord also ensures a consistent supply of power, where cordless vacuums are more likely to weaken. Long periods of use will deplete your battery, making corded vacuums much better.
What We Don’t Like or Missing
The Uplight might be significant across multiple vacuum types, but it is far from perfect.
The top pod weighs almost six pounds. If you have a nine-pound vacuum, that means you will have to be careful about placing it. Weight balancing makes it inconvenient at best but painful for specific medical conditions.
This heavier load can be concerning during long vacuuming sessions. Wrist and arm strain are a higher likelihood with top-heavy vacuums.
If you are elderly, have arthritis, or have mobility issues, using a top-heavy vacuum isn’t ideal. This can be more concerning if you have to bend down or pick up the vacuum.
High Pitched & Loud Noise
The powerful suction comes with a cost for those who have sensitive ears. If you are trying to vacuum while your kiddo is sleeping, this vacuum isn’t ideal given its comparably louder noises.
The noise is no more than your standard upright vacuum but is much more than other stick options. Don’t use it if someone is trying to take a mid-day nap. However, it isn’t loud enough to be much of an issue.
What Is The Shark Apex Uplight Vacuum Like to Use?
While the Shark Apex is easy to use, how does it perform? Good suction isn’t enough to make a vacuum, so we ran it through a few tests to see the results. Let’s dig into the real-world use of this vacuum below:
Cleaning Performance on Carpet
Despite being a stick vacuum, it offers excellent potential on all forms of carpet. You can use it across these variants:
- High-pile carpet (thickest)
- Medium-pile carpet
- Low-pile carpet (thinnest)
Its ability to work with higher thickness carpets makes it ideal for buying one vacuum. This prevents you from purchasing a second vacuum, making the price point more than reasonable.
However, it isn’t the best for high-pile carpets, as smaller debris will require multiple passes. Other 1000+ watt upright vacuums do better, but those are more challenging to move around.
Thinner and medium-level carpets (around an inch or two) require a single pass, making them ideal for deep cleaning most carpets. The vacuum struggles less with smaller debris on thinner mats.
So while it is better than the average stick vacuum on the thick carpet, it isn’t the best solution for shag-level carpets.
Cleaning Performance on Bare Floors
The duo brush action mentioned earlier makes this vacuum ideal for bare floors. Both hardwood floors and laminate floors can benefit from its use.
The soft front roller is excellent for picking up small debris (which also works on thinner carpets). Meanwhile, the larger brushes are perfect for large debris.
Because of the 600-watt suction power, it doesn’t “snowplow” debris all around the floor. Instead, it draws all sizes of dirt, cereal, or anything into the cup.
How effective is it at picking up long hair without getting tangled?
The “Zero-M Brushroll,” another way to refer to its self-cleaning technology, prevents pet hair from tangling around it. The LZ602 model also has a self-cleaning powerhead, making it great for fido on the couch.
The brush roll isn’t foolproof when hair is on the floor, making it comparable to other Shark vacuums. It’s close to the Dyson Animal but is slightly more resistant, given dual brushes.
Because the brush head isn’t removable, cleaning it is a bit more of a struggle. You’ll need to lift the cover underneath, but you won’t have to do this often, given the effective self-cleaning mechanism. If you have long hair (or live in a house with someone who does), they’ll appreciate not having to remove the hair regularly.
Multiple brushes make it incredibly versatile across medium-pile carpets to bare floors. Its biggest struggle is with small debris on a long stretch of a high-pile rug. So if you have a thickly carpeted hallway, expect to have to run through it a few times.
If you were hoping for a car vacuum, the lack of a cordless option makes this less than handy. You’ll need to invest in an extension cord, even with the available 30 ft of cord length.
Being nine pounds and convertible between handheld and upright configurations is ideal for vacuuming high areas like vents and ceiling fans. Stairs are also reasonably easy, provided no high-pile material over them.
Tools & Attachments
All models come with a few essential tools listed above. Here’s how each of them works:
- Self-cleaning pet power brush. This is ideal if you like to cuddle with your pets on the couch. It’s incredible at removing both long-hair and short-hair animal hair from any furniture surface.
- Crevice tool. This tool is eight inches long and great for getting in-between couch areas or difficult-to-reach spots in corners.
- Dusting brush. The dusting brush is slightly angled, making it great for dusting unusual spaces. It is a bit tricky when cleaning ceiling fans.
All Uplight models come with the accessories above and an attachment to your accessories. The weakest extension is the dusting brush, but it still does well with blinds and shelving.
The struggle is real when cleaning ceiling fans, which might require an additional dusting tool. This dusting tool is comparable to other vacuum accessories.
Emptying The Dust Cup
It is straightforward to empty the dust cup. There’s no need to put your hands inside and pull out any of the dirt, which can be an overall unpleasant experience.
Because you’ll need to lift to remove the cup, there’s little chance of accidentally dumping the contents all over the floor. Once you remove it cleaning the dirt chamber is just as easy, and there is no issue with leaving it a bit damp, but you still might want to dry it out to prevent clumping.
Because of the dual-brush system, maintenance is relatively limited. You’ll need to clean your HEPA filter every month with water and clean out the dust cup just as often.
Because you can’t remove the brush heads, there is some mild inconvenience if something gets stuck. However, the Self-Cleaning Technology prevents you from any intense levels of maintenance.
How Does The Uplight Stick Vacuum Compare With Similar Models?
If you aren’t satisfied with the Uplight, three other variants fit a similar bill:
The Shark Apex ZS362 has many of the same features you’ve come to expect:
- Two brushes
- The ability to clean tight spaces
- Great for multiple surfaces
- Incredibly light
The two main differences are that the ZS362 doesn’t come with a self-cleaning pet powerhead, and the crevice tool is noticeably shorter, making it less effective in smaller spaces.
Overall, it does have different cleaning power settings (one for hardwood floors and one for carpet). This can be great if you like to control your vacuum’s suction levels, which the Apex Uplight does not worry about (it has one cleaning setting).
Another issue is its inability to stand up on its own, which can be a nuisance when trying to clean in large spaces with no area to prop on.
If you prefer even more maneuverability, stick with the HZ2002 Vertex Ultralight Vacuum. Because it is the latest addition to Shark’s corded stick lineup, it comes with some significant improvements and drawbacks.
The DuoClean PowerFins cleaner head has an advanced, powerful roller, making it ultimately ideal for hardwood flooring. These fins are also great at preventing long hair wraps.
The primary issue of the HZ2002 is the minuscule cup of .32 quarts. You’ll need to empty it more often to compensate for the lighter lift.
It is comparable to the Apex Uplight but a few pounds lighter in most instances. Because you’re expected to lift the entire thing, there is no ‘lift away” mode or extendable hose. This makes it a bit more challenging to clean higher areas for some. Much like other variants of Shark vacuum, it also doesn’t stand on its own.
Also, check the review of Shark Vertex HZ2002 Ultralight.
Despite “Rocket Pet” having some hilarious mental images associated with it, it’s not what you think. Instead, the Shark HV302 Rocket is the budget version of the Uplight, sacrificing some notable things in the process.
Because of its budget, it has suction power closer to what you would expect from stick vacuums. This makes it unsuitable for medium living spaces, high-pile carpets, and medium-pile carpets. Stick with smaller rooms and hard flooring.
The single brush roll makes it unsuitable for efficient cleaning across some flooring. It does have multiple settings for bare floors and carpet, but you will need to run over numerous times.
You’ll also need to empty it more often and account for the shorter cord (by five feet). So this is better for smaller living spaces and short-hair pets (and people).
Is The Shark Apex Uplight Worth Investing?
If you live in a house with different surfaces, the Shark Apex Uplight is worth buying. Its suction power makes it the best-corded stick vacuum for carpeted environments. It’s also great for houses with kids and pets, requiring more efficient tools to reach all spaces.
Its dual-brush technology with self-cleaning heads means it’s less time you need to spend on maintenance. The HEPA filters are included, sealed, and washable; you won’t have to put much effort into taking care of them.
You can also expect multiple benefits to avoid bending around the house. Playing gymnast and powerlifter to get around furniture can be a pain, especially if your kid has a food stash under the curtains.
It also has a powerhead great for removing pet hair with the LZ602 models. So if you have hesitated on hugging your pets on the couch, you don’t have to worry about that with this vacuum.
This vacuum isn’t ideal if you have large, open spaces with many thick carpets. The Uplight is better than average but still struggles with small particles on thick carpet. Standard upright vacuums have the edge over most homes in this regard.