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Shark Navigator Lift-Away Vacuum Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jul 06, 2020 at 08:23 am
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Picture
8.2
Bare Floor
7.9
Low-Pile Carpet
7.8
High-Pile Carpet
8.6
Pets
7.6
Stairs
7.6
Cars
Vacuum Type
Upright/Handheld
Bagless
Yes
Cordless
No
Anti-Allergy Filter (HEPA)
Yes

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is a powerful vacuum that's a good choice for any type of use or floor setting. It can either be used as an upright vacuum with a main head and brushroll, or you can use it as a handheld vacuum with different types of tools attached. It cleans any type of floor really well and it has no trouble sucking up hair on bare floors or carpet. Its range is somewhat limiting and due to its bulky size, it's not the most maneuverable. It's not hard to maintain but there are a few different parts that need cleaning, including two different filters. On the upside, you won't have to worry about recurring costs with this vacuum as you don't need to buy replacement parts regularly.

Our Verdict

8.2 Bare Floor

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is great to use on bare floors. It has no problem cleaning any type of debris on bare floors and it has a fairly big dirt compartment. Its cord range is a bit limited and it's a bit difficult to go into tight spaces with this vacuum since it's bulky. There are a few parts that need maintenance but luckily, there are no recurring costs.

Pros
  • Easily cleans any type of debris or hair on bare floors.
  • Power type adjustment setting for bare floors.
Cons
  • Limited range.
7.9 Low-Pile Carpet

Very good for use on low-pile carpet. The Shark Navigator Lift-Away cleans all hair on low-pile carpet and cleans an excellent amount of both small and large debris. It also has a power adjustment feature to increase the suction on carpets. Unfortunately, the maneuverability of the vacuum is just okay as it feels a bit heavy and the vacuum itself is bulky.

Pros
  • Sucks up all hair on carpet.
  • Power type adjustment for carpets.
Cons
  • Limited range.
7.8 High-Pile Carpet

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is very good to use on high-pile carpet. It cleans all hair and sucks up a decent amount of small and large debris on this surface. It's not the easiest to move around as it's a bit heavy and it's bulky. However, it has a good dirt compartment and it has a surface type adjustment setting you can change when using it on high-pile carpet.

Pros
  • Sucks up all hair on carpet.
  • Power type adjustment for carpets.
Cons
  • Limited range.
8.6 Pets

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is an excellent vacuum if you have a pet. It cleans all hair on any type of surface. It isn't hard to maintain but there are quite a few parts that need cleaning every so often. Luckily, the vacuum has virtually no recurring costs because you won't need to buy replacement parts unless they get damaged.

Pros
  • Easily cleans any type of debris or hair on bare floors.
  • Sucks up all hair on carpet.
Cons
  • A few parts need maintenance.
7.6 Stairs

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is good to use on stairs. It's a bit heavy, it's bulky, and it has a limited range, so it's not ideal to carry up and down stairs. However, it does an excellent job of cleaning any type of surface such as bare floors or carpeted stairs.

Pros
  • Easily cleans any type of debris or hair on bare floors.
  • Sucks up all hair on carpet.
  • Can be used as handheld or upright vacuum.
Cons
  • Limited range.
  • Vacuum itself is bulky.
  • A bit heavy to carry around.
7.6 Cars

Good to vacuum inside cars. The Shark Navigator Lift-Away has a handheld mode, ideal for cleaning the car. It has excellent performance on low-pile carpet and it comes with a crevice tool to clean those hard-to-reach places between the car seats. Unfortunately, it's a bit heavy to lift and it has a limited corded range.

Pros
  • Sucks up all hair on carpet.
  • Can be used as handheld or upright vacuum.
  • Included crevice tool.
Cons
  • Limited range.
  • Vacuum itself is bulky.
  • A bit heavy to carry around.
  • 8.2 Bare Floor
  • 7.9 Low-Pile Carpet
  • 7.8 High-Pile Carpet
  • 8.6 Pets
  • 7.6 Stairs
  • 7.6 Cars

Check Price

Blue Navigator Lift-Away
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
6.5
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of the Shark Navigator Lift-Away is just okay. It's entirely made out of plastic, except for the metal wand, and the entire vacuum feels like it could be more sturdy overall. The transparent dirt compartment also feels like it could break if dropped. There's also rubber on the handle to help with grip, like the Shark ION F80. Overall, the parts are easy to put together/take apart as there are clips on each piece. Unfortunately, switching between the upright and handheld configurations is somewhat difficult as it's a bit of a struggle to remove the vacuum from the main head.

6.0
Design
User Maintenance

The Navigator Lift-Away is mediocre to maintain. There are a few parts that need maintenance and they're not the easiest to access at times.

  • Dirt compartment: You can empty the dirt compartment from the bottom, or you can open it from the top to clean out dust that gets trapped inside the lint screen.
  • Brushroll: The brushroll doesn't come off but you can still access it. You can use a coin, flathead screwdriver, or anything flat to open the cover, which doesn't come off completely, but you can still lift it. Since it can't be removed, the brushroll is a bit harder to clean than other brushrolls. Also, this vacuum has Zero-M technology that helps reduce the amount of hair getting tangled in the brushroll, but hair could still get stuck.
  • Pre-motor filters: There are two pre-motor filters: a foam filter and a felt filter that are accessible underneath the dirt compartment. They need to be cleaned with water every three months.
  • Post-motor (HEPA) filter: You can easily access the HEPA filter by removing the front cover on the vacuum. You should clean it once a year with water.

You must air dry any part that's washed with water for at least 24 hours before using it again.

10
Design
Recurring Cost
Bag Part Number
No bag
Filter Part Number
XFFK560
HEPA Filter Part Number
XHEPA560

If the pre-motor and HEPA filters are well-maintained, they don't need to be replaced. However, like any vacuum, you may need to buy replacement filters if they get damaged.

Note that there's an inconsistency on Shark's website of how often you should replace the HEPA filter. In the vacuum's manual, it suggests cleaning it once a year, but in the HEPA filter's product description on their website, it suggests replacing it every six months. These results reflect the manual, so you should clean it once a year.

7.2
Design
Storing
Height
45.67 in (116.0 cm)
Width
12.01 in (30.5 cm)
Depth
11.93 in (30.3 cm)
Cord Storing/Management
Manual
On-Board Tool Storage
Yes
Vacuum Rack/Station
No

The Navigator Lift-Away is fairly easy to store. It stands up quite well on its own and there's space on the vacuum to put the crevice tool and the soft bristle brush attached to it. This is similar to the Shark APEX Upright Vacuum.

7.6
Design
Dirt Compartment
Dirt Compartment Volume
0.30 gal (1.15 L)
Full Dirt Compartment Indicator
Yes
Bag Included
No Bag Needed

The dirt compartment holds a good amount of dirt and there's a line indicating when it's full.

Design
In The Box

  • Shark Navigator Lift-Away vacuum
  • Main head with brushroll
  • Wand
  • Hose with handle
  • Dirt compartment
  • Crevice tool
  • Soft bristle brush (attached to crevice tool)
  • Upholstery tool
  • Hard bristle brush (attached to upholstery tool)
  • Pre-motor filters
  • Post-motor filter (already inside vacuum)
  • User guide

5.7
Design
Range
Cord Length
24.74 ft (7 m)
Hose Length
3.61 ft (1.10 m)

This vacuum has a disappointing range. If you're vacuuming in a big room, you might have to change plugs to clean the whole room.

7.2
Design
Portability
Total Weight
13.01 lbs (5.90 kg)
Weight In Hand
2.91 lbs (1.32 kg)
Carrying handle
Yes

The Navigator Lift-Away has decent portability. It's a bit heavy but there's a carrying handle that makes it easier to bring it to another floor.

0
Design
Battery
Minimum Battery Life
N/A
Maximum Battery Life
N/A
Recharge Time
N/A
Recharge Dock
No
Battery Life Indicator
No
Removable Batteries
No

The Shark Navigator vacuum doesn't use a battery.

Design
Quality Of Life Features
Rotating Head
Yes
Power Adjustment
Yes
Self-Propelled
No
Headlights
No
Easy On/Off
Yes
Surface Type Adjustment
Manual

The vacuum has three power settings: Off, Hard Floor, and Carpet. You can also slightly adjust the suction power with a slider on the handle of the vacuum. Opening the slider lets some air out, decreasing the suction power by a bit.

Design
Tools And Brushes
Brushroll
Yes
Brushroll On/Off
No
Removable Brushroll
No
Turbo Brush
No
Crevice Tool
Yes
Upholstery Tool
Yes
Soft Bristle Brush
Yes
Hard Bristle Brush
Yes
Extension Wand
Yes
Ceiling Fan Tool
No
Pet Grooming Tool
No

There are a few tools that come with the Navigator vacuum. The hard bristle brush is attached to the upholstery tool (on the left in the picture above) and the soft bristle brush is attached to the crevice tool (on the right). Note that it's a bit difficult to take the soft bristle brush off from the crevice tool.

Design
Alternative Configuration

You can use the Navigator Lift-Away either in an upright position or as a handheld with the hose and wand attached.

Performance
9.4
Performance
Bare Floor (Hardwood, Laminate, Tiles)
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
100 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
96 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
95 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
93 %
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
100 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
100 %
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
100 %
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used I Hard Floor ( with Suction control on " Max")

The Navigator vacuum has superb performance on bare floors. It has no problem with hair or small debris like rice and it sucks up almost all large debris like cereal. Its performance remains consistent as the dirt compartment fills, which is great. Also, with the suction control slider open all the way, it still performs similarly.

8.8
Performance
Low-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
100 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
88 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
87 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
84 %
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
85 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
86 %
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
87 %
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used II Carpet ( with Suction Control on " Max")

The Navigator Lift-Away has excellent performance on low-pile carpet. It cleans up all hair and still sucks up an excellent amount of debris. Once again, the performance remains consistent as the dirt compartment fills.

8.4
Performance
High-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
100 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
74 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
71 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
65 %
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
72 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
70 %
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
67 %
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used II Carpet ( with Suction Control on " Max")

The Navigator Lift-Away has impressive performance on high-pile carpet. Once again, it cleans up all hair, and even though it sucks up less debris than on low-pile carpet or bare floors, the performance is still consistent as the dirt compartment fills.

6.5
Performance
Maneuverability
Under The Couch
Ok
Under Low Table
Ok
On Furniture
Good
Rug With Tassel
Bad
Electric Cord
Ok

The maneuverability with the Navigator vacuum is just okay. The rotating head makes it easier to navigate, but the bulky shape of the vacuum and dirt compartment means it's hard to go in tight spaces or underneath furniture. To clean couches, you can use the crevice tool or the hard bristle brush. The upholstery tool is a good choice for cleaning on top of a table as it collects dust well. Unfortunately, it's a bit hard to move this vacuum around wires as you need to lift it over the wires and it's a bit heavy.

Automation
0
Automation
Automation (Robot Vacuum)
Remote Controller
No
Automatic Bag Emptying
No
Automatic Recharging
No
Schedule Programming
No
Boundary Markers
No
Random Pathing
No
Smart Pathing
No
App Name
No App

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away doesn't have any automation features.

Differences Between Sizes and Variants

We tested the Shark Navigator Lift-Away (ZU560C) with a blue body, and there are similar variants with different included parts, which are listed below.

Model Number Body Color Included Brushes and Tools Notes
ZU560 Blue  Upholstery tool, crevice tool  
ZU560C Blue Upholstery tool & hard bristle brush, crevice tool & soft bristle brush Sold in Canada only
ZU561 Red Upholstery tool & hard bristle brush, crevice tool & soft bristle brush, wide upholstery tool  
ZU562 Red Upholstery tool & hard bristle brush, crevice tool & soft bristle brush, mini motor head  

Note that you can purchase any extra tools on Shark's website. If someone comes across a Navigator Lift-Away that's different from ours, let us know in the discussions and we'll update our review.

Compared to other vacuums

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is a versatile vacuum compared to other upright vacuums since it can be used in a handheld mode. Even though it doesn't perform as well as the Dyson Ball Animal 2 on floors or carpet, the handheld mode allows you to vacuum stairs or cars. 

Dyson Ball Animal 2
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is better for most uses than the Shark Navigator Lift-Away. Both vacuums perform similarly on bare floors but the Dyson has much better performance on carpet. It's also easier to maneuver, it comes with more tools and brushes, and it has a much better range. On the other hand, since the Shark can be used in a handheld configuration, it's better-suited to clean stairs and cars. 

Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House Rewind
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is much better than the Hoover WindTunnel 2 House Rewind. The Shark has better performance on any type of floor surface, it has a power adjustment setting, and it comes with a soft bristle brush. It can also be used in a handheld mode. However, the Hoover has a better range, the dirt compartment is a bit bigger, and it comes with a turbo brush. 

Shark APEX Upright Vacuum
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is a slightly better performing upright/handheld vacuum than the Shark APEX Upright Vacuum. The Navigator has a much better performance on carpet, it's lighter to hold in your hand, which makes it better-suited for stairs or cleaning cars, and it does a much better job at cleaning hair on any type of surface. On the other hand, the APEX has better overall performance on bare floors, has a better range, is better built, and it's a bit easier to move around. 

Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is better overall than the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright. The Navigator has much better performance on bare floors and carpets, it's more maneuverable, and it's lighter to hold. The Rotator has a slightly bigger dirt compartment and it has a longer cord and hose length.

Shark ION F80
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Shark ION F80 is better than the Shark Navigator Lift-Away on bare floors and stairs, while the Navigator is better-suited to clean carpets. The ION F80 is a cordless stick vacuum so it has great maneuverability and as long as there's still battery life left in it, you don't need to worry about its range. It also has excellent performance on bare floors. The Navigator picks up much more debris on carpet than the ION F80, it has a bigger dirt compartment, and it has no recurring costs. 

+ Show more

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Price

Blue Navigator Lift-Away
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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