Shark Navigator Lift-Away Vacuum Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Updated Mar 18, 2021 at 01:27 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 corded vacuum that's suitable for cleaning a wide variety of surface types. It can be used as an upright vacuum with a main head and brushroll, or you can use it as a semi-handheld vacuum with different tool attachments. It has no trouble picking up hair on bare floors or carpet and even comes with an allergen-trapping HEPA filter. Its range is somewhat limited, and it's not very easy to maneuver due to its bulky design. Although it's not too hard to maintain, there are a few different parts that need cleaning, including two different filters. Fortunately, this vacuum incurs virtually no recurring costs.

Our Verdict

8.2 Bare Floor

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away has a great performance on bare floors. It has no problem picking up pet hair and debris like rice and cereal, and its dirt compartment is quite big. Although there are a few parts that need regular maintenance, it has practically no recurring costs as long as it's properly maintained. Unfortunately, it's quite bulky and has a fairly limited range due to its short cord.

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

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is very good for use on low-pile carpet. It cleans pet hair without an issue and still clears an excellent amount of fine and large debris. Also, it has virtually no recurring costs, as long as it's well maintained. Unfortunately, the maneuverability of the vacuum is just okay, as it feels somewhat heavy in your hand, and the vacuum itself is bulky.

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

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is very good for high-pile carpet. It easily picks up pet hair and still sucks up a decent amount of debris like sand and baking soda. Its dirt compartment is quite large, and it has a surface type adjustment that you can use when cleaning high-pile carpet. However, it's not very easy to move around as it's a bit heavy and bulky.

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

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is excellent for pets. It picks up pet hair outstandingly well on all surface types. Also, it comes with an allergen-trapping HEPA filter, which is nice. While it isn't very difficult to maintain, there are quite a few parts that need to be cleaned periodically. Thankfully, it has virtually no recurring costs as long as its parts are taken care of.

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 has a good performance on stairs. It clears debris quite well off all surface types. Although it's a bit heavy and bulky, you can use it in its handheld configuration, which makes it easier to carry up and down stairs. Unfortunately, its range is somewhat limited due to its short cord.

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 and somewhat heavy.
7.6 Cars

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is good for cars. It can be used in a handheld configuration, which is useful for cleaning smaller spaces. It has excellent performance on low-pile carpet, and it comes with a crevice tool to clean hard-to-reach places in your car, like under the seats. Unfortunately, it's a bit heavy to lift and 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 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 Mar 18, 2021: Updated review for accuracy and clarity.
  2. 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.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
6.5
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of the Shark Navigator Lift-Away vacuum is okay. It's mostly made of plastic, except for the metal wand, and the vacuum doesn't feel very sturdy. The transparent dirt compartment also feels like it could break if dropped. There's some rubber on the handle to help with grip, like the Shark ION F80. Overall, the parts are easy to assemble and take apart since 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 Shark Navigator Lift-Away vacuum is mediocre to maintain. There are a few parts that need maintenance, and they're not all easy to access.

  • 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 some other brushrolls. Thankfully, this vacuum has a self-cleaning brushroll that helps reduce the amount of hair that gets tangled, though some can 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

This vacuum has 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.

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 Shark Navigator Lift-Away vacuum is decently easy to store. It stands up quite well on its own, and there's space on the vacuum to put the crevice tool and soft bristle brush.

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 quite large, and there's a line that indicates 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 (7.5 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. If you want something with longer range, then check out the Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House Rewind.

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 has decent portability. It's a bit heavy, but 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 three surface type adjustment 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 Shark 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). There's also an extension wand, which gives you more reach. 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 Shark Navigator Lift-Away either in an upright position or as a semi-handheld with the hose and wand attached. However, when used as a 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 a 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. Also, with the suction control slider open all the way, it still performs similarly. Still, 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 an excellent performance on low-pile carpet. It clears pet hair easily and still sucks up an excellent amount of debris like sand and baking soda. Similar to when it's used on bare floors, 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 an impressive performance on high-pile carpet. It has no problem cleaning pet hair, and even though it clears slightly less debris than on low-pile carpet or bare floors, its 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 Shark Navigator vacuum is okay to maneuver. The rotating head makes it easier to navigate, but the bulky shape of the vacuum and dirt compartment makes it hard to clean tight spaces or underneath furniture. Thankfully, there's a crevice tool and hard bristle brush included. There's also an upholstery tool, which is useful for cleaning furniture. Unfortunately, it's a bit hard to move this vacuum around wires as you need to lift it over them, 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

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 that can be used in a handheld configuration. Even though it doesn't perform as well as the Dyson Ball Animal 2 on bare floors or carpet, it has a great overall cleaning performance, and the handheld mode lets you more easily vacuum stairs or your car. It also comes with an allergen-trapping HEPA filter and has virtually no recurring costs.

See also our recommendations for the best vacuums for hardwood floors, the best multi-surface vacuums, and the best bagless vacuums.

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. 

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. 

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. 

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.

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 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. 

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.

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