This is a review and overview of the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Upright Vacuum LA-301, which is part of Shark's Lift-Away series of vacuum cleaners. It features a fully sealed HEPA system that pulls in and traps 99.99% of dust and allergens, preventing them from being released back out into the environment when the air is exhausted.
"Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology® locks in 99.99% of dust and allergens, keeping them out of the air that you breathe (based on ASTM F1977 of particles .3 microns or larger)."
This model can be used on multiple floor types including Bamboo, Bare Floor, Carpet, Ceramic tile, Concrete, Cork, Engineered woods, Hardwoods, Laminate, Linoleum, Marble, Porcelain tile, Rugs, Tile, and Vinyl.
What is the Lift-Away Feature?
Shark has several Lift-Away models including the LA-301, the ZU503AMZ, and the NV356E. They are called Lift-Away because the top portion of the vacuum cleaner can be disconnected from the brushroll base to make cleaning with the hose easier. This is very handy when vacuuming stairs because the vacuum is lighter and easier to move around without that base. According to the specifications, the LA-301 is 16.31 pounds. However, the top portion alone weighs approximately 9 pounds.
While the Lift-Away feature makes cleaning much easier, the canister is very light when separated from the base. This means it gets pulled over easily if you place it directly on the floor. The first time I placed the canister on the floor while vacuuming, it fell over and slightly damaged a baseboard. Now I make sure there's nothing it can fall onto when I decide where to set it down.
Does it have Swivel Steering?
The vacuum has a wide range of motion and swivels easily. The brushroll base is smaller than on many vacuums which makes it easier to clean hard-to-reach areas. The Swivel Steering feature makes it easy to maneuver around furniture. However, while the base is small, it may not easily fit under beds that are low to the floor. My bed is only a few inches off the ground, so I have to use a robot vacuum to clean underneath.
Is the brushroll self-cleaning?
This particular model does not feature a self-cleaning brush-roll. If this option is a must-have, check out the Shark ZU503AMZ Navigator Lift-Away instead. With the LA-301, you will have to check the brush-roll regularly for hair wraps, tangles, and other stringy debris. According to the instruction manual, you have to carefully cut debris tangled around the brushroll with scissors and pull them off.
Is it self-propelled?
This Shark model is self-propelled, which makes it easier to push.
How long is the cord and is it retractable?
According to the specifications, the cord is 25 feet long, similar to many other vacuum cleaners. The cord is not retractable and must be manually wound onto the cord hooks on the side of the unit when storing. The upper hook rotates downward to easily and quickly release the cord without having to unwind it.
Does it work on fluffy rugs?
I have a fluffy area rug that immediately jams up the brushroll because the suction power is so strong. If you have any fluffy or shaggy rugs, you may not be able to clean them with this vacuum cleaner. I clean mine with a robot vacuum.
Does it come with accessories?
The vacuum comes with a Crevice Tool, Upholstery Tool, and a Dusting Brush. However, there are only two tool storage posts on the vacuum, so one of those tools has to be stored off the unit. This model doesn't come with a Pet Crevice Tool.
Can you control the amount of suction?
The vacuum comes with two cleaning options: hard floor and carpet. You also have some control over the amount of suction using a slider that goes from MAX to MIN. However, even MIN is quite powerful.
Why does the vacuum shut off while I'm using it?
The vacuum only runs when the upright portion is tilted down past about 20-degrees. When not angled like this, the motor shuts off.
Why does my vacuum get power when attached to the brush-roll base but not turn on in Lift-Away mode?
If the vacuum runs normally when attached to the base, but not when the canister is detached, check the hose for blockages. Any blockage in the hose will prevent the vacuum from powering on. Detach each piece of the hose and drop a coin through each one. If the coin doesn't come out the other side, it indicates that there is a blockage in that piece.
Does the LA-301 model have a headlight?
The specifications list it as having a headlight but there isn't one.
Is it easy to clean?
The dust cup is very easy to remove, empty, and clean. There’s one release switch to remove it and a one release button to open the trap door on the bottom, making it easy to empty the contents into a trash can. The dust cup and filters can be washed with water.
Is it easy to put together?
Yes. It took me just a few minutes to put together. There are no screws or similar types of hardware needed. The various pieces just snap into place.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 LT Wright