Reviewed by Louise Totton
I would imagine that most parents of young children feel like they spend a significant chunk of their lives cleaning the floor of the crumbs and bits of debris and detritus that kids invariably create. It can be anything, from toast crumbs and bits of crisps to glitter, playdough and my eldest’s Rapunzel-length hair, but it means that I feel like I am always sweeping, vacuuming and dusting. We actually have multiple cleaning machines in our house, from big multi-functional juggernauts to cordless stick vacuums and portable handheld devices, so I keep them in a large under-stair cupboard. This invariably means carting them to the lounge or the kitchen when I need to clean, which whilst not the end of the world by any stretch of the imagination, can be a bit of a pain. The thing is, I don’t have anywhere else in the house to keep them – even the smaller handheld machines are a little too large to be stored in either my kitchen or my lounge.
Well, that was until Gtech launched the brand new HyLite – the smallest, most compact, lightweight and agile stick vacuum cleaner I have ever seen! The HyLite is so small that it actually fits inside a standard kitchen or utility room drawer, which I know sounds ridiculous but it’s true. The HyLite is a tiny cordless vacuum cleaner, and includes lots of the brilliant little design features that make Gtech’s stand out. In brief, the HyLite features a 90w motor which is powered by a 14.4V battery. The powered head is the same trademark green as all of Gtech’s other products and is home to the vacuum bag, removable battery and a very useful set of headlights.
So, how does the HyLite manage to fit into that kitchen drawer? Well, it’s a case of very, very clever design – the powered head and the reclining handle are designed to clip together when you are using it in upright mode, and then unclip either when you are using it in handheld mode or for storage. The handle is also telescopic, so can retract to around 40cm from its working height of 1m at just the touch of a button.
The vacuum can either be used as an upright or as a little handheld device. As an upright, it is perfect for cleaning small areas and spills. It is absolutely the lightest and most nimble vacuum cleaner I have ever used, weighing in at around 1.5kg – its tiny size means that it can easily get underneath my settee and lounge furniture as well as around the legs of chairs and around standard lamps. Using it is a real doddle – if, like me, you have disassembled it for storage, it is a simple case of clicking the handle in place, pressing a button the release the telescopic handle and using your foot to press the power button the on the cleaner. The machine is so agile and the joint pretty much moves in every direction, meaning there are very few spots you can’t clean.
With the handle off, the Hylite is perfect for vacuuming upholstery or the stairs. It is the perfect width for holding comfortably in the hand, and again, because it is so light, it is no effort at all to use – it is perfect for the crumbs after the kids have been sat on the couch with a snack.
Unlike lots of modern vacuums, this one isn’t bagless. The body of the machine contains a small vacuum bag, which Gtech say probably needs changing roughly monthly. I actually like the fact that it uses a bag as it does keep any dust really well contained – there are no plumes of dust when you need to empty it and taking the bag out is simple and only takes a few seconds. The vacuum bags are not too expensive either, at £12.99 for 15 bags with free delivery. Four bags are included with your initial purchase.
Charging the HyLite takes around 2 hours, and you will get up to twenty minutes runtime on this charge, depending on the surface being vacuumed. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but I would imagine most people will just be using it as a second vacuum, so the twenty minutes is more than sufficient. Bigger batteries normally mean larger, heavier machines and as the fantastic thing about this machine is its small size and weight, so I wouldn’t expect long runtimes. It uses over 8 times less mains power than many corded vacuum cleaners need during use (per year) making it eco-friendlier as well, while still delivering excellent cleaning results.
We thought the cleaning power on this was great. It sucked up everything that I asked it to, and mostly on the first pass of the vacuum. A few bits required a second or third pass, but I still think the cleaning power is really good. It won’t replace our Gtech AirRam K9, but is compliments it very well. I don’t think it is designed to be a main vacuum cleaner, but it is so much handier to use in the lounge or kitchen as we can store it so easily then just pop it our when we need to use it. It is also pretty quiet in use, which the kids particularly appreciate when I am vacuuming the lounge and they are watching TV. I loved that even though space is at a premium on the device, Gtech have still managed to fit in the headlights – I’d never had a vacuum with this until recently but it is now a feature that I love and wouldn’t want to be without.
Gtech’s products are brilliant – they do what they do very well, with no fuss or unnecessary gimmicks. They seem to start with a problem and engineer a solution, and that’s exactly what they have done here – started with the issue of there not being a small, storable and powerful machine on the market and have developed the HyLite, which is brilliant and solves these issues in every way. The HyLite is perfect for use in a room where you may not be able to store a traditional vacuum, as well as for spaces like caravans and tents and for people who may struggle with strength issues as this is so light and manoeuvrable.
The Gtech HyLite is a very eco-friendly, compact and lightweight vacuum that delivers excellent results.
For more information or to buy online visit www.gtech.co.uk.