Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Vacuum Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jul 06, 2020 at 08:23 am
Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Picture
8.5
Bare Floor
7.7
Low-Pile Carpet
7.3
High-Pile Carpet
7.7
Pets
7.6
Stairs
7.6
Cars
Vacuum Type
Stick/Handheld
Bagless
Yes
Cordless
No
Anti-Allergy Filter (HEPA)
No

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is a corded handheld vacuum. It has two surface type settings to ensure you have the right speed for bare floors or high-pile carpet, and it comes with several brushes such as a Home & Car Detail kit as well as an upholstery tool, which is nice for more specific tasks. It doesn't weigh too much either, and you can reconfigure it as a handheld vacuum if you need a little more maneuverability. On the downside, the power cable is a bit short, which limits your overall range. It can also be difficult to store as it can fall over if you don't detach the hose from the main compartment.

Our Verdict

8.5 Bare Floor

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is excellent on bare floors. It does an outstanding job of cleaning all debris. On the downside, it has a sub-par build as its plastic elements feel a little fragile. It's reasonably easy to maintain, though, and there are few recurring costs, which is nice.

Pros
  • Outstanding bare floor performance.
  • Good maneuverability.
  • Virtually no recurring costs.
Cons
  • Mediocre build quality.
7.7 Low-Pile Carpet

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is good for low-pile carpet use. It does a great job of tackling any kind of debris. However, if debris gets stuck in its wheels under its main head, then it has a bit more trouble rolling smoothly. On the upside, its overall maneuverability is good and it has few recurring costs.

Pros
  • Good maneuverability.
  • Virtually no recurring costs.
Cons
  • Mediocre build quality.
7.3 High-Pile Carpet

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is decent for use on high-pile carpet. It has a dedicated setting for high-pile carpets, and it performs well, although it struggles to suck up finer debris like baking soda. That being said, it's still reasonably easy to maintain and it doesn't have many recurring costs, either.

Pros
  • Good maneuverability.
  • Virtually no recurring costs.
  • Dedicated high-pile setting.
Cons
  • Mediocre build quality.
  • Struggles a bit more with small debris.
7.7 Pets

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is good for handling pet hair. It does an alright job of sucking up pet hair on low-pile carpet. However, it does a better job on high-pile carpet as well as bare floors. It also has an indicator light to warn you when your brush head becomes clogged, which can be handy when you have a high-shedding pet. It doesn't have a pet grooming brush, though.

Pros
  • Good maneuverability.
  • Virtually no recurring costs.
Cons
  • Mediocre build quality.
7.6 Stairs

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is good for use on stairs. This vacuum is pretty portable, although its power cord has a somewhat disappointing range. Luckily, you can reconfigure it so that it can be used as a handheld vacuum. It also has an outstanding performance on bare floors, which is great if you have hardwood stairs.

Pros
  • Good maneuverability.
  • Can be configured into handheld vacuum.
Cons
  • Limited cord range.
7.6 Cars

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is good for cleaning cars. It comes with a Home & Car Detail kit so that you can get into most crevices, and you can use it as a handheld vacuum by detaching the extension wand. It has a great performance on low-pile carpet, as it can handle most types of debris, and it's lightweight. However, since it's a corded vacuum, it doesn't have the best range.

Pros
  • Good maneuverability.
  • Can be configured into handheld vacuum.
Cons
  • Limited cord range.
  • 8.5 Bare Floor
  • 7.7 Low-Pile Carpet
  • 7.3 High-Pile Carpet
  • 7.7 Pets
  • 7.6 Stairs
  • 7.6 Cars

Check Price

With Detail Kit HV302
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com
Without Detail Kit HV301
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
6.0
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is mediocre. While the vacuum itself feels decently sturdy, the plastic used in its build seems quite fragile, like it could crack if dropped. This is especially worrisome since this vacuum doesn't stay upright on its own and is prone to falling over when you try to lean it on something. The wheels under the main head also don't always roll very smoothly. Fortunately, there's an indicator light to let you know if there's a blockage in the brush head or if the vacuum is overheating.

Note that the "Home & Car Detail Kit" of the HV302 model we tested includes a small hose and a few connecting parts. If you lose or damage one of these parts, then some of the detailing accessories are no longer usable.

7.0
Design
User Maintenance

This vacuum is reasonably easy to maintain. The dirt compartment is quite small, so it needs to be emptied frequently, but it's not much of a hassle. The latch that opens the dirt compartment can be a bit tricky to access when the vacuum is upright in stick mode, though.

The filters are very easy to access and wash. Shark suggests you wash both pre-motor filters once a month, and the post-motor filter once a year. However, they may need to be cleaned more frequently depending on your usage.

Unfortunately, it's only possible to access the brush roll by removing the bottom cover of the vacuum head, which makes it a bit of a pain to deal with hair that gets wrapped around the brush head.

10
Design
Recurring Cost
Bag Part Number
No bag
Filter Part Number
XFFV300
HEPA Filter Part Number
No HEPA Filter

This vacuum doesn't have many recurring costs, especially since there are no bags to worry about. The manufacturer says the filters should last the lifetime of the vacuum, but we recommend changing them after a few years to maintain performance and extend the lifespan of the vacuum. The filters can be ordered in a bundle from Shark's website.

5.9
Design
Storing
Height
35.83 in (91.0 cm)
Width
10.24 in (26.0 cm)
Depth
11.42 in (29.0 cm)
Cord Storing/Management
Manual
On-Board Tool Storage
No
Vacuum Rack/Station
No

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light's storing capabilities are sub-par. To keep the vacuum upright, you have to detach the main compartment from the wand and rest it on the vacuum head. This helps to keep it from tipping over, but it's not very intuitive and the vacuum still takes up quite a bit of space. You also can't store any of the included brushes or tools on the vacuum, but it does come with a dedicated accessory carrying bag.

6.7
Design
Dirt Compartment
Dirt Compartment Volume
0.10 gal (0.40 L)
Full Dirt Compartment Indicator
Yes
Bag Included
No Bag Needed

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light's dirt compartment is acceptable. It's quite small, so it needs to be emptied fairly often. Thankfully it's easy to see through the clear plastic, and there's a MAX FILL line to let you know when you need to empty it out.

Design
In The Box

  • Shark Rocket Ultra-Light vacuum HV302
  • Main wand
  • Vacuum head
  • Upholstery tool and dusting brush
  • Under-appliance wand
  • Crevice tool
  • Home & Car Detail Kit
    • Narrow hose
    • 3x Small crevice tools
    • 2x Detailing brushes
    • 2x Connecting parts
    • Accessory carrying bag
  • User guide and manual

5.3
Design
Range
Cord Length
25.03 ft (7 m)
Hose Length
2.49 ft (0.76 m)

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light has a pretty short range. The cord extends up to just over 25 feet, which is pretty decent, but likely isn't long enough for you to go from room-to-room without needing to unplug it. The hose included in the detail kit also only a reach of 2.5 feet, which may not be enough when trying to access hard-to-reach spots in your home or car.

7.8
Design
Portability
Total Weight
8.11 lbs (3.68 kg)
Weight In Hand
3.42 lbs (1.55 kg)
Carrying handle
Yes

This vacuum is quite portable. It's not too heavy and has a carrying handle for better portability in both handhelds and upright/stick mode.

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 Rocket Ultra-Light is a corded vacuum, so it doesn't have a battery.

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

This vacuum has a few additional features to make it easier to use. While you can't adjust the vacuum's power level/amount of suction, there are two surface type settings you can toggle between manually: setting I is for bare floor and area rugs, while setting II is for high-pile carpets. This only changes the brush roll speed, though, not its height.

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
No
Hard Bristle Brush
Yes
Extension Wand
Yes
Ceiling Fan Tool
No
Pet Grooming Tool
No

The Shark HV302 comes with several different tools, brushes, and accessories. There's a bristled attachment that clips onto the upholstery tool to turn it into a hard bristle brush, and the Home & Car Detail kit provides some smaller brushes and tools for fine detailing. The main crevice tool and under-appliance wand can be used directly with the vacuum or attached to the main wand; however, the tools that come with the Home & Car Detail kit need to be attached to the hose with the right connecting piece first.

Design
Alternative Configuration

You can use the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light as a handheld vacuum by detaching the wand.

Performance
9.7
Performance
Bare Floor (Hardwood, Laminate, Tiles)
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
100 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
98 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
97 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
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)
N/A
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. Bare Floor , Area Rugs

This vacuum performs outstandingly well on bare floors. It has no issue picking up pet hair or small debris like rice, even with the dust bin over half-full. It struggles a tiny bit more with larger debris like cereal since there are no height adjustment settings for the brush roll, but it still does an excellent job.

8.1
Performance
Low-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
82 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
94 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
91 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
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)
68 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
59 %
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
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. High Pile Carpets

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light does an impressive job on low-pile carpet. It has a harder time with pet hair compared to its performance on bare floors, but it excels at cleaning out sand. It also does a decent job with smaller debris like baking soda. Its performance does degrade a bit more as the dirt compartment fills up, though.

7.5
Performance
High-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
96 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
62 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
62 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
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)
45 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
41 %
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
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. High Pile Carpets

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light performs well on high-pile carpet. It does an outstanding job at picking up pet hair, and cleans out sand quite well, too. It struggles a lot more with smaller debris like baking soda, though. That said, it still performs fairly consistently regardless of how much debris is in the canister.

7.5
Performance
Maneuverability
Under The Couch
Excellent
Under Low Table
Excellent
On Furniture
Excellent
Rug With Tassel
Bad
Electric Cord
Good

This vacuum has good maneuverability. The under-appliance wand makes cleaning underneath couches and low tables a breeze - you don't have to crouch, so you maintain full mobility even when cleaning under very large pieces of furniture. The upholstery tool is also easy to use and maneuver around. This vacuum does tend to suck up the tassels of the area rug, though, and the main head can't make very sharp turns either, so you need to watch out around the legs of chairs or a coat hanger.

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 Rocket Ultra-Light doesn't have any automation features.

Differences Between Sizes and Variants

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is available in a few different models. We reviewed the HV302 with the Home & Car Detail kit, which is the variant that comes with the most accessories. The HV301 is expected to be the same model, just without the Home & Car Detail Kit. There's also the HV300, which comes with even fewer accessories than the HV301, but it's getting harder to find reliably in stock. Note that in some regions, the model names might end in a different combination of letters, like HV302Q or HV301C. The difference between these variants isn't clear, and some people report receiving different accessory kits even when ordering the same model number.

Compared to other vacuums

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is a corded handheld vacuum. Just like other Shark vacuums such as the Shark ION F80, it's pretty portable, even though it has a power cable. It's one of the most lightweight handheld vacuums we've tested so far too, and it has an excellent performance on bare floors. However, it has an unimpressive build quality to other vacuums in Shark's lineup as it's made up of mostly plastic, and it feels a bit fragile. 

Dyson V7
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

The Dyson V7 is a better handheld vacuum than the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light. Since the Dyson is a cordless vacuum, it has an unlimited range, making it well-suited for cleaning cars or stairs. It also manages to suck up more pet hair than the Shark. However, its battery life is disappointing and you can't use it while charging either. The Shark, on the other hand, performs better on bare floors. 

Shark APEX UpLight
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Shark APEX UpLight is better overall than the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light. They both have similar performance, although the APEX is better on low-pile carpet. It also has a better build quality, a bigger dirt compartment, and a longer range. The Rocket instead is easier to maintain and lighter to hold.

Dyson V11 Animal
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Dyson V11 Animal is a better overall vacuum than the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light. The Dyson stores easier, it has a bigger dirt compartment, and it's cordless, so you can go anywhere with it. It can also adjust its power level to better suit the mess, and it comes with several tools that help to clean more specific objects like blinds, which is nice. On the other hand, the Shark is corded, so you never have to worry about running out of battery life or recharging it. 

Shark APEX Upright Vacuum
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum and the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light are similarly performing vacuums. The APEX Upright feels slightly better built, it has a bigger dirt compartment, and it comes with a turbo brush for helping you clean fabric-covered furniture. On the other hand, the Rocket Ultra-Light is weighs less, it's easier to maintain, and it has less recurring costs. However, its cable is a little bit shorter than the APEX Upright.

Shark ION F80
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Shark ION F80 is a better overall vacuum than the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light. As a cordless vacuum, the ION F80 has an unlimited range and it's only just a bit heavier than the Rocket Ultra-Light. It also feels slightly better built, and there are even variants of this vacuum with more included tools, which is nice too. However, you'll need to replace its post-motor filter every six months. The Rocket Ultra-Light, on the other hand, has a better performance on low-pile carpet, especially with large debris, and its dirt compartment is slightly larger. 

+ Show more

Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Price

With Detail Kit HV302
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com
Without Detail Kit HV301
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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