The Shark Stratos Upright is the flagship model in Shark's lineup of bagless corded upright vacuums. For the most part, it has a lot in common with older models like the Shark APEX Upright; like its predecessors, it has a 'Lift-Away' design that enables you to pick up and carry its canister unit separately, as well as an updated iteration of the manufacturer's DuoClean twin-roller floorhead with a self-cleaning primary brushroll. The main difference between this model and its predecessors comes in the form of its odor-neutralization system, which functions through a replaceable cartridge that emits a detergent-like scent to mask unpleasant odors as you clean. The same feature is found on the Shark Stratos Cordless and Shark Stratos UltraLight.
The Shark Stratos Upright is very good for bare floors. It easily clears away solid debris and pet hair on this surface type and does an excellent job of dealing with any material in cracks and crevices, like grout lines on a tile floor. It feels reasonably well-built and incurs fairly low recurring costs. Unfortunately, it's a heavy, bulky machine, and it can be a bit of a challenge to clean under some tables and chairs due to the bulky dustbin, so you'll probably have to make use of its 'Lift-Away' alternative configuration pretty often.
The Shark Stratos Upright is a good option for low-pile carpet. It does a great job of dealing with various kinds of debris and has a dedicated surface setting for this kind of floor type. While there are quite a few parts that need regular cleaning, most are fairly easy to access, and the vacuum's bagless design and washable filters keep recurring costs low.
The Shark Stratos Upright is a great choice for high-pile carpet. It's highly effective in handling both fine and large debris as well as pet hair on this on this surface type. While there's no floorhead height adjustment, there is a suction release slider to help make the vacuum easier to move around on really thick carpeting. Its dirt compartment is pretty spacious, so you won't need to empty it out too often, and overall user maintenance isn't too difficult.
The Shark Stratos Upright is a good choice for pet owners. It does an amazing job of clearing away pet hair on bare floors as well as low and high-pile carpet in its default upright configuration, and its turbo brush and upholstery tool attachments are also remarkably effective for dealing with pet hair on fabric-lined furniture. Its primary brushroll is self-cleaning and does a great job of reducing the chances of hair getting tangled in the mechanism, but it isn't designed for removal, so it's very hard to clear away any strands that get stuck. One of the vacuum's most distinctive selling points is its odor-neutralization system, which masks unpleasant odors with a replaceable cartridge that emits a detergent-like scent as you clean. The vacuum's allergen-sealed construction and onboard HEPA filter also help seal in any fine allergens.
The Shark Stratos Upright is great for cleaning stairs. It has a long enough power cord to clean taller staircases, though be careful to avoid tripping over the cable. Its 'Lift-Away' alternative configuration allows you to clean any tight areas with greater ease than any conventionally-designed upright. It comes with a helpful assortment of attachments, including a crevice tool, an upholstery tool, and a miniature turbo brush, though there are only onboard storage racks for the first two.
The Shark Stratos Upright is a good option for cleaning the inside of your car. Its power cord is fairly long, though you'll probably need to use an extension cord if you can't park within range of a power outlet. Its 'Lift-Away' alternative configuration also makes it considerably easier to use in cramped environments like the inside of your car. That said, this is still a rather heavy machine, and the design of its grip makes it a tad uncomfortable to use in its alternative configuration.
The Shark Stratos Upright isn't designed for workshop cleaning. It does a superb job of handling household debris on hard surfaces, but it isn't designed for cleaning debris like wood or metal shavings, not to mention liquid spills.
There are two variants of this vacuum: AZ3000/AZ3000C and AZ3002, which differ only in color and included attachments. We tested the AZ3002 model, and you can see its label here.
|Model Code||Included Tools||Color||Notes|
|AZ3000/AZ3000C||Crevice tool, upholstery tool||Red Plum||AZ3000C is the Canadian-market designation for this variant|
|AZ3002||Crevice tool, Upholstery tool, Self-cleaning Pet Power brush||Navy|
Let us know in the forums if you come across another variant of this vacuum.
The Shark Stratos Upright is a well-rounded bagless upright vacuum. While it's ultimately very similar in design to older models in Shark's lineup, like the Shark APEX Upright, it improves in a few ways thanks to its redesigned floorhead, which yields improved debris pickup performance on most surfaces and fewer chances of hair getting caught in the mechanism. Compared to most other conventional uprights, the 'Lift-Away' design makes it a little easier to maneuver in cramped environments. That said, unlike truly high-end models, it lacks a couple of important floorhead features, like height adjustment and a brushroll cutoff switch, both of which would be very useful when cleaning plush carpeting.
The Shark Vertex Pro Powered Lift-Away and Shark Stratos Upright are differently-designed vacuums with slightly different intended use cases. The Vertex is a more compact, lighter cordless upright that's better suited to cleaning far-off areas, though it can only run for about 30 to 40 minutes in its default upright configuration. Conversely, the Stratos is a heavier, less maneuverable corded machine, but with better performance on carpeted surfaces. The Stratos also features a suction release slider that makes it easier to maneuver on carpeted floors as well as an odor-neutralization system.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is better than the Shark Stratos Upright. The Dyson is easier to maintain, thanks to its removable brushroll, has a height-adjustable floorhead to allow for improved maneuverability on surfaces like thick carpeting, and delivers better overall debris pickup performance. Pricier variants of the Dyson also come with a wider array of attachments. Conversely, the Shark feels better-built and has an odor-neutralization feature.
The Shark Stratos Upright is marginally better than the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV, though both vacuums are pretty similar overall. The Stratos is a little easier to clean and has a handle-mounted surface adjustment dial rather than the Rotator's body-mounted switch. Its PowerFins HairPro floorhead also does a better job of reducing hair wraps compared to the Rotator's previous-generation head. The Rotator is a little lighter and more comfortable to use in its 'Lift-Away' configuration.
The Shark Stratos Upright and Shark Stratos UltraLight are part of the same product lineup but have different intended uses. The Upright is a bulkier machine with a higher-capacity dustbin, an additional surface setting, and a suction release switch. It also delivers slightly better performance on carpeted floors. Meanwhile, the UltraLight is a more compact corded stick vacuum that's much easier to maneuver.
For the most part, the Shark Stratos Upright improves on the older Shark APEX Upright. The Stratos has a more effective self-cleaning brushroll, weighs fractionally less, and delivers slightly better performance on most surface types. While some users might view it as a gimmick, the Stratos also has an odor-neutralization system that masks unpleasant scents as you clean. On the other hand, the APEX has a higher-capacity dustbin, and the design of its grip makes it more comfortable to use in its handheld configuration.
The build quality is decent. It's similar in construction to the older Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV, with a plastic body, a metal wand, and wheels with rubber treads. It feels pretty sturdy for the most part, though its main canister body is fragile, most notably the grab handle on top of the canister and the thin clear plastic used for its dirt compartment. Overall, the vacuum is easy to set up and use, though winding the cord back up manually is a bit of a hassle, and it's easy to confuse the 'Lift-Away' button for the dustbin release button.
This vacuum is fairly easy to maintain, though there are a couple of parts that need regular servicing.
You must air dry any part that's washed with water for at least 24 hours before using it again.
This vacuum incurs low recurring costs.
This vacuum is decently easy to store. Its overall dimensions are similar to those of the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV, and you can place it in most closets. You'll need to wind its cord back manually, which is a bit of a hassle as it's pretty long, and though there's storage onboard for its crevice and upholstery tool, you'll need to stow away its turbo brush elsewhere.
The Shark Stratos Upright has a spacious dirt compartment. It's made of clear plastic and has a max fill line, so you'll easily know how close it is to full.
The range is good. The vacuum's power cord is fairly long, allowing you to clean large or far-off areas without swapping outlets. Unfortunately, its hose is on the shorter end of the scale, which is inconvenient when cleaning high-placed shelves or tight spots in your car.
This vacuum isn't very portable. It weighs considerably more than corded stick models like the Shark APEX UpLight, making it a hassle to carry around, especially when climbing or descending stairs. Its redesigned handle also places more weight in your hand compared to older Shark Uprights like the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV.
This vacuum has a few quality-of-life features. Compared to the smaller Shark Stratos UltraLight, it has three surface settings to the stick model's two. There's "Hard Floor", in which the brushroll spins slowly to avoid scattering around debris, "Carpet/Low-Pile", and "Thick Carpet/Area Rug", which speeds up the brushroll's rotation to improve surface agitation on rugs and carpets. Unfortunately, neither of these settings adjusts the brushroll height, so the vacuum can still get bogged down in thick carpeting. Thankfully, there's a suction release slider that you can use to make the vacuum easier to push and pull around on carpets and rugs. There's also a headlight mounted inside the vacuum head to illuminate dark areas. The odor-neutralizing cartridge mounted in the floorhead does leave behind a fairly pleasant scent while cleaning that isn't too overwhelming unless you use the vacuum multiple times per day with the dial turned to its highest intensity.
The AZ3002 variant of this vacuum comes with a couple of tools and accessories. There's a Self-Cleaning Pet Power Brush tool, which is handy for cleaning pet hair from cloth surfaces. There's also a crevice tool for dealing with messes in far-off or tight spots as well as a straight-suction upholstery nozzle for cleaning your furniture. If you opt for the cheaper AZ3000 variant, you'll only get the crevice and upholstery tools.
You can configure the Shark Stratos Upright in two alternate ways from its default upright mode by detaching its canister from its floorhead. Its 'Powered Lift-Away Mode' lets you clean under tables and chairs with its wand and powered floorhead (top photo). When using the 'Above-Floor Mode', you can clean on top of counters and other furniture by detaching the wand and floorhead (bottom photo).
Bare floor performance is fantastic with the vacuum set to its 'Hard Floor' surface mode. It easily clears away small debris like rice and bulkier debris like cereal.
Debris pickup on low-pile carpet is great with the vacuum set to its 'Carpet/Low-Pile' setting. It does an impressive job of clearing away fine debris like baking soda and collects most larger debris like sand, though you might need to make an extra pass to get everything.
Performance on high-pile carpet is remarkable when using the vacuum in its 'Carpet/Low-Pile' setting, which actually renders the vacuum easier to use on this surface compared to its "Thick Carpet/Area Rug' setting. It clears away the vast majority of fine debris like baking soda and larger material like sand within two or three passes.
This vacuum is incredibly effective in dealing with pet hair on bare floors as well as low and high-pile carpet. While you can't remove its primary brushroll to clear away tangled hair, the so-called HairPro design makes it pretty effective in resisting hair wraps.
This vacuum's real-world suction performance is adequate. It performs very similarly to the older Shark APEX Upright in this regard, which comes as no surprise given their similar design and market positioning as the brand's flagship upright. It has enough suction power to lift away debris from carpets or cracks and crevices.
This vacuum isn't too loud. It makes more noise than a premium model like the Miele Complete C3. However, it won't be too disruptive for people nearby if you vacuum in a partially enclosed room.
Maneuverability is okay. You can easily switch between the vacuum's different configurations or attach and detach different tools, which is facilitated by the two onboard storage racks for its crevice and upholstery tools. Despite the vacuum's size and weight, it's pretty easy to navigate around furniture and other obstructions, thanks in part to its swiveling head. Its bulky, low-mounted dirt compartment can get in the way when trying to clean under some low-lying tables and chairs. The lack of a dedicated brushroll off switch and brushroll height adjustment means that it can also get bogged down on really thick carpeting. Its handle is pretty comfortable to hold onto when the vacuum is used in its upright configuration. However, the angle of the grip makes it unwieldy to use when used in its handheld configuration.
This vacuum does an excellent job of cleaning pet hair from furniture with its turbo brush tool. The attachment is somewhat bulky, but it's effective in lifting away hair, and the lint strip at the back of the tool gathers most remaining short strands. The straight suction upholstery tool is similarly effective for this kind of use. However, the vacuum handle is somewhat bulky and can be a bit uncomfortable to hold with only one hand, and you might need to use the other to support it when cleaning furniture.
This vacuum is very effective in trapping fine allergens. The manufacturer advertises it as having an allergen-sealed construction, along with a separate HEPA filter, so you won't need to worry too much about fine particles when cleaning. That said, a cloud of dust and debris can still escape from the dustbin when emptying it out, which is a problem endemic to most bagless vacuums and is something to watch out for if you have allergies.
The Shark Stratos Upright does an excellent job of cleaning crevices in its 'Hard Floor' setting. Its secondary soft roller helps dig into shallow and medium-depth cracks and dig out any lightweight debris. Still, use the crevice tool to clear out really deep cracks.