Shark Navigator Lift-Away Vacuum Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Updated Dec 02, 2021 at 04:24 pm
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 bagless upright vacuum. Its 'Lift-Away' design allows you to pick up and carry its canister while vacuuming with its wand. It delivers superb performance on bare floors and does an excellent overall job cleaning various kinds of debris on low and high-pile carpet. It also cleans pet hair without any issue, regardless of surface type, and has an onboard allergen-trapping HEPA filter. However, its bulky design can make it hard to maneuver in tight spaces, and its plastic construction feels a little flimsy in some places. While it incurs virtually no recurring costs, there are a few different parts that need regular cleaning.

Our Verdict

8.2 Bare Floor

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is a great option for bare floors. It easily clears pet hair as well as small and bulky debris with minimal loss in suction performance as its dustbin fills up. While there are a few parts that need periodic cleaning, its bagless design and washable filters mean that it incurs virtually no recurring costs. Unfortunately, it's bulky and has a fairly short hose, making it difficult to clean hard-to-reach spots when cleaning with its semi-handheld configuration.

Pros
  • Superb bare floor performance.
  • Exceptional pet hair cleaning performance.
  • Incurs minimal recurring costs.
Cons
  • Short vacuum hose.
  • A few parts need maintenance.
7.9 Low-Pile Carpet

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is very good for use on low-pile carpet. It cleans pet hair without issue and does an excellent job of sucking up fine and large debris. Its bagless design incurs minimal recurring costs as long as you clean its filters according to manufacturer recommendations. That said, many other parts need regular cleaning. The vacuum itself isn't particularly maneuverable, as it has a bulky construction and a floorhead that can get caught on rug tassels.

Pros
  • Exceptional pet hair cleaning performance.
  • Surface type adjustment for carpets.
  • Incurs minimal recurring costs.
Cons
  • Short vacuum hose.
  • A few parts need maintenance.
7.8 High-Pile Carpet

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is a very good choice for vacuuming high-pile carpet. It easily picks up pet hair and the majority of fine and large debris. Its floorhead has a two-level surface type adjustment, and you can adjust its suction power with a sliding suction gate, allowing you to adapt to many different surfaces on the fly. However, it's not very easy to move around as it's a bit heavy and bulky. Its floorhead doesn't have a brushroll on/off switch either, so it can sometimes get caught on rug tassels.

Pros
  • Exceptional pet hair cleaning performance.
  • Surface type adjustment for carpets.
  • Incurs minimal recurring costs.
Cons
  • Short vacuum hose.
  • A few parts need maintenance.
8.6 Pets

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is excellent for pets. It does a fantastic job of cleaning pet hair on bare floors as well as low and high-pile carpet. Also, it comes with an allergen-trapping HEPA filter, which is helpful if you have a heavily-shedding pet at home. It also incurs virtually no recurring costs. However, there are a few parts that need periodic cleaning. Its floorhead's brushroll isn't removable either, which can make it hard to clean tangled hair, though it's advertised to be self-cleaning.

Pros
  • Superb bare floor performance.
  • Exceptional pet hair cleaning performance.
  • On-board HEPA filter.
Cons
  • A few parts need maintenance.
7.6 Stairs

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is a good option for cleaning stairs. It performs superbly well on bare surfaces and does an excellent job on low and high-pile carpet. Although it's a bit heavy and bulky, you can reconfigure it into a handheld vacuum, making it easier to carry up and down stairs. Unfortunately, its range is somewhat limited due to its short hose.

Pros
  • Superb bare floor performance.
  • Exceptional pet hair cleaning performance.
  • Can be used as a semi-handheld vacuum.
Cons
  • Short vacuum hose.
  • Vacuum itself is bulky and somewhat heavy.
7.6 Cars

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is good for cars. Its 'Lift-Away' design lets you pick up and carry its canister with one hand while vacuuming with its wand, which helps clean smaller spaces. It has excellent performance on low-pile carpet. It comes with a crevice tool to clean tight places in your car as well as a dedicated upholstery tool. Unfortunately, it's somewhat heavy and has a bulky design. Its hose is short, making it hard to clean some tight spots.

Pros
  • Exceptional pet hair cleaning performance.
  • Can be used as a semi-handheld vacuum.
  • Included crevice and upholstery tools.
Cons
  • Short vacuum hose.
  • Vacuum itself is bulky and somewhat heavy.
  • 8.2 Bare Floor
  • 7.9 Low-Pile Carpet
  • 7.8 High-Pile Carpet
  • 8.6 Pets
  • 7.6 Stairs
  • 7.6 Cars
  1. Updated Aug 24, 2020: We've updated the power adjustment feature results in the Quality of Life test box. We've also updated the floor settings used on all surface types.
  2. Updated Jul 06, 2020: Review published.
  3. Updated Jul 06, 2020: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
6.5
Design
Build Quality

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away has okay build quality. It has a mainly plastic construction, though its wand is metal. It doesn't feel especially sturdy overall, particularly its fragile dirt compartment. Thankfully, the vacuum itself is easy to assemble and disassemble since there are clips on each piece, though it can be hard to decouple its canister from its main body.

6.0
Design
User Maintenance

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away vacuum has many parts that need regular cleaning, and not all of them are easy to access.

  • Dirt compartment: You can empty the dirt compartment from the bottom by pressing on the unlock button. It should get regular emptying. You can also open it from the top to access the lint screen, which you should clean regularly.
  • Brushroll: The brushroll isn't designed to be removed. That said, you can still access it by using a coin, flathead screwdriver, or anything similar to lift the cover. While the brushroll is advertised be self-cleaning, some hair can still get caught in it.
  • Pre-motor filters: The foam and felt pre-motor filters are located underneath the dirt compartment. You need to clean them 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 putting it back into the vacuum.

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

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away incurs virtually no recurring costs, as long as its parts are well-maintained. However, you may need to buy replacement filters if the pre-motor or HEPA filters get damaged.

Note: There's an inconsistency on Shark's website of how often you should replace the HEPA filter. In the user 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. The score for this section is based on the recommendations listed within the user manual.

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

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away vacuum has decent storage capabilities. It stands up quite well on its own and has onboard storage for its included crevice tool and soft bristle brush attachments.

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 Shark Navigator Lift-Away has a good dirt compartment. It's larger than those of alternatives like the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV, and since it's made of clear plastic and has a max fill line, you can tell how close it is to being filled at a glance.

Design
In The Box

  • Shark Navigator Lift-Away vacuum
    • Vacuum body
    • Dirt compartment
    • Wand
    • Main head with brushroll
    • Hose with handle
    • 1x post-motor HEPA filter
    • 1x foam pre-motor filter
    • 1x felt pre-motor filter
    • User Guide
  • Various tools and brushes
    • Crevice tool
    • Soft bristle brush (attached to crevice tool)
    • Upholstery tool
    • Hard bristle brush (attached to upholstery tool)

5.7
Design
Range
Cord Length
24.74 ft (7.5 m)
Hose Length
3.61 ft (1.10 m)

This vacuum has a disappointing range. Its power cord is decently long, but its hose is considerably shorter than alternatives like the Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House Rewind, making it hard to clean hard-to-reach areas when using it in its semi-handheld configuration.

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 Shark Navigator Lift-Away vacuum is decently portable. It's heavy, but thankfully it feels fairly light in your hand. There's a carrying handle that makes it easier to move between rooms.

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

The vacuum has a couple of quality-of-life features. There are two levels of surface type adjustment: "I Hard Floor" and "II 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 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

This variant of the Shark Navigator vacuum comes with a couple of attachments. There's a combination hard bristle brush/upholstery tool and a combination crevice tool/slide-on soft-bristle dusting brush, though be aware that it can be hard to fully remove the dusting brush from the crevice tool. There's also an extension wand to give you more reach.

Design
Alternative Configuration

You can use the Shark Navigator Lift-Away as a semi-handheld vacuum by uncoupling its canister from its body, which allows you to clean with its wand. However, when used as a semi-handheld vacuum, it's still fairly bulky and larger than the BISSELL Adapt Ion Pet in its handheld configuration.

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", Suction Control on "Max"

The Shark Navigator vacuum has superb performance on bare floors. It has no problem clearing pet 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 if you have several large messes to deal with. However, it's worth noting that some small debris can get stuck underneath the floorhead, while its brushroll can scatter a very small amount of debris around. If you're looking for a comparable vacuum with even better performance on this kind of surface, you may want to consider the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV.

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", Suction Control on "Max"

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away has excellent performance on low-pile carpet. It clears pet hair easily and still sucks up an excellent amount of large and fine debris like sand and baking soda. Its 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", Suction Control on "Max"

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away has impressive performance on high-pile carpet. It has no problem cleaning pet hair on this surface type. While it clears a relatively good amount of fine and large debris like baking soda or sand on this surface type, you may need to make another pass to clear all of it.

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

The Shark Navigator vacuum has alright maneuverability. Its rotating head makes it easier to navigate between obstacles, but the bulky shape of the vacuum and dirt compartment makes it hard to clean tight spaces or underneath furniture. Its floorhead can also get caught on rug tassels and very dense carpets, forcing you to turn it off to pull it free. Its heavy weight can be a nuisance when lifting it over obstructions like electrical cords. Thankfully, it has an onboard storage slot for its crevice tool/soft bristle brush that places it within easy reach. There's also an upholstery tool, which helps clean furniture.

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

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away comes in one color variant: 'Blue'. There are a few similar variants with different included parts, which are listed below. We expect all these variants to perform comparably in tests. We tested the Shark Navigator Lift-Away (ZU560C).

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 variant not listed here, let us know in the discussions and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Vacuums

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is a versatile corded upright vacuum. It has a similar design to other vacuums like the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe NV360 and newer models like the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV, which allow you to uncouple its canister from its body. While the Navigator has a great overall cleaning performance, it doesn't feel especially sturdy and has a short vacuum hose.

If you're looking for alternatives, take a look at our list of recommendations of the best vacuums for hardwood floors, the best multi-surface vacuums, and the best bagless vacuums.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe NV360

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is better-suited for more use cases than the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe NV360, though the vacuums are similar in terms of design. The Navigator Lift-Away is a little lighter, comes with a wider assortment of tools, can be maneuvered more easily, and delivers superior performance on all surface types. Meanwhile, the NV360 has a marginally longer power cord and vacuum hose.

Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away and the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV have different advantages, and you may prefer one over the other depending on your needs. The Navigator has a bigger dirt compartment, a lighter construction, and superior performance on low and high-pile carpet, especially when cleaning fine debris like baking soda. That said, the Rotator is better-built, easier to maintain, and has a longer power cord and vacuum hose. It also clears more debris on bare floors.

Shark APEX Upright Vacuum

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, and it's lighter to hold in your hand, which makes it better-suited for stairs or cleaning cars. It also does a much better job at picking up pet hair on any type of surface. However, the APEX has a better performance on bare floors, a longer range, and a better build quality.

BISSELL CleanView Swivel Pet

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is significantly better than the BISSELL CleanView Swivel Pet. The Shark performs much better on all surface types and it's easier to maneuver. Also, the dirt compartment is bigger, and there are fewer recurring costs. However, the BISSELL comes with a turbo brush.

Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright

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, it's more maneuverable, and it's lighter to hold. That said, the Rotator has a somewhat better performance on low-pile carpet, it has a slightly bigger dirt compartment, and it has a longer range. 

BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Plus

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is better than the BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Plus. The Shark incurs virtually no recurring costs, has a larger dirt compartment, and delivers superior performance on all surface types. You can also lift the pod away from its body and use it in a more portable semi-handheld configuration. Conversely, the BISSELL is a little easier to maneuver as it doesn't get caught on rug tassels or electrical cords as often as the Shark.

Dyson Ball Animal 2

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 a better performance on carpet. It's also easier to maneuver, it comes with more tools and brushes, and it has a much better range. However, since the Shark can be used in a handheld configuration, it's better suited for cleaning stairs and cars. 

Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House Rewind

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is much better than the Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House Rewind. The Shark has better performance on all surface types, it comes with a soft bristle brush, and 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 UpLight

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away and Shark APEX UpLight are differently-designed vacuums with different use cases. The Navigator is a bulkier upright vacuum with a larger dirt compartment that does a better job on low and high-pile carpet. Meanwhile, the APEX is a corded stick/handheld vacuum that's much easier to maneuver, better-built, and has fewer parts requiring regular maintenance. It also clears slightly more debris on bare floors.

BISSELL Adapt Ion Pet

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is a better vacuum than the BISSELL Adapt Ion Pet. The Shark has a bigger dirt compartment, more tools, and it has a better performance on bare floors as well as low and high-pile carpet. However, the BISSELL can be used as an even smaller handheld vacuum and it's cordless, which some may prefer. It's also easier to maneuver around the room.

Miele Dynamic U1 PowerLine

The Miele Dynamic U1 PowerLine and the Shark Navigator Lift-Away have different advantages, so you may prefer one or the other depending on your needs. The Miele has a superior performance on bare floors and carpeted surfaces, and it's significantly better-built. It's also easier to maintain and comes with a few more tools and brushes. That said, the Shark can be used in a handheld configuration and incurs virtually no recurring costs due to its bagless design and reusable filters.

Shark ION F80

The Shark ION F80 and the Shark Navigator Lift-Away each have different advantages, so you may prefer one over the other based on your needs. The ION has a better performance on bare floors and stairs, while the Navigator is better-suited for cleaning carpets. The ION is a cordless stick vacuum, so it has better maneuverability and, as long as there's still battery life left, its range is virtually unlimited. That said the Navigator has a bigger dirt compartment, and it has practically no recurring costs. 

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