Enjoy convenient, cord-free cleaning at the switch of a button
Product: Bosch Athlet cordless battery-powered vacuum cleaner www.bosch-home.co.uk/athlet Price: £289.99 Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
What it says it does...
Battery-powered - 25.2v Lithium power
Out tester said...
The Athlet vacuum cleaner pretty much does what it says on the tin. It really is incredibly lightweight for such a powerful machine and does a great job of cleaning carpets. I was able to carry it upstairs with one hand (not something I can do with my trusty old Dyson) and because it’s so lightweight, it makes light work of the job, cleaning carpets quickly and efficiently. I have a dog and a cat and the hair/fur drives me mad, which means I have to vacuum at least once a day. There are three settings, from gentle to turbo, but I always opted for turbo although the gentle speed would be good for vacuuming cobwebs, curtains, blinds, etc.
Charging is easy enough with the supplied power cord but when it’s plugged in to charge, three ‘progression’ bars flash on and off instead of staying on as the charge increases. This means you never know when the Athlet is fully, or even partially, charged. Having said that, the charge is said to last for up to sixty minutes - more than enough to vacuum the entire house. And it charges quickly, too.
It’s simplicity itself to flick the switch and go – no wrestling with unhooking long cords and finding a convenient socket. You also don’t have to worry about overstretching the power cord and that offers unbeatable freedom!
When it came to hard floors, I was a bit sceptical as I always use a broom to do the best job, so the Athlet was up against stiff competition here. However, it did an excellent job of picking up crumbs and the fluff that gathers on hard floors and glided across them with ease. All good there, then.
Emptying the bagless ‘bag’ was surprisingly mess-free – you just unclip it from the front, remove the cylinder then twist the centre section out and hold it over the wheelie bin. It also has a removable, washable filter so no smells can build up. The 'bag' was easy to clip back in, then off you go.
There is also a clip on the side to remove the roller brush, which was really easy, too, and made cleaning it a breeze. It’s amazing what gets tangled in the roller brush (and this can affect the performance of a vac) but this was easy to pull off or cut off the tangled up hairs. Great for improved efficiency.
The Athlet comes with a few attachments for getting into small corners and vacuuming the stairs. This involves having to remove the head of the vac in order to clip on the attachment hose and stair brush. I found it quite difficult to remove the head and had to get help to do it in the end, so I don’t think people with arthritis or who don’t have a very good grip would cope well with this.Once off, it was simple to clip on the hose attachment and attach the supplied shoulder strap (rather precariously I thought) with the Velcro strip.
The diagram in the instruction booklet indicated that I put the shoulder strap over my shoulder and sort of ’tuck’ the Athlet behind me as I tackled the stairs… in reality this proved almost impossible as, although it wasn’t particularly heavy, each time I bent over to vacuum the stair,s it fell forward and unbalanced me. It was also well-nigh impossible to switch it on once over my shoulder, so would have to be switched on before doing this, which is rather awkward.
Undeterred, I soldiered on, only to have the shoulder strap come apart and the Athlet slip off my shoulder and fall downstairs. Good job I was at the bottom!
Good quality vacuum cleaners can be expensive but the Athlet is competitively priced for a top brand like Bosch. It does a great job of vacuuming carpets and the freedom to just ‘switch and go’ is a real plus point. However, if you have stairs, it is a bit of a challenge to use it and it may be better to use a separate hand-held vacuum cleaner for this job – in all fairness, it is difficult with my current upright Dyson, too, but it should be taken into consideration. If you have a bungalow or flat, it’s no problem at all!