What is the Vax U85-AS-Ce Air Stretch Complete?
Aimed at those with larger homes or palatial spreads, the Vax Air Stretch Complete is a full-size bagless cleaner with massive cleaning reach. With its stretch hose, telescopic wand, extension hose and the longest cable we are yet to see on a cleaner, you could get around your whole house without moving plug socket.
It boasts a powerful 800watt motor, HEPA filtration, a full-size 1.5-litre bin and a quadruple A rating on the energy label. While this Vax Stretch reaches places other vacuum cleaners can’t, discounted prices mean it certainly won’t stretch your budget.
Vax U85-AS-Ce Air Stretch Complete – Design and Features
While the Air Stretch Complete’s main asset is its ample cleaning reach (more on that later), Vax certainly hasn’t skimped on the accessories. Attached at the rear of the body is a three-way tool, comprising a small crevice tool with a slide down dusting brush one side and upholstery tool the other. Both of the latter are rather compact for cleaning larger areas, but not as ‘micro’ as some miniature tools we have seen lately.
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Should the small crevice tool prove a little too bijou to get to those errant cobwebs behind cabinets or down the back of the radiator, you also get Vax’s bonkers looking Flexi crevice tool. At over 60cm long with a connector piece adding a further 10cm, this extra-long gadget can be used straight or formed into a curve to get into tight corners, recesses and under low furniture. It’s a fabulously useful tool although quite why it needs the additional connector piece and wasn’t made to fit straight onto the wand is a mystery.
For those really tough detail cleaning jobs Vax has also thrown in its mini turbo tool, making this a well tooled-up cleaner all round.
The handle on the rather fetching green and grey body is telescopic for easy storage, and then unclips clear of the cleaner to form the main wand. The main flexible suction hose from the dust bin simply unclips from the side of the floor head and clips onto the wand. This gives you a reasonable reach, better than most upright cleaners in this respect in fact.
Need more? Vax also supplies an additional hose, also stored on the body, that you can add to the ever lengthening rig. Both the body hose and the extension hose are ludicrously stretchy and combined with the telescopic wand give an incredible reach around the room. Add the ridiculously long crevice tool and you could probably reach your neighbour’s house.
If that wasn’t enough scope to get you into places other cleaners can’t reach, this Vax has the longest cable we have ever seen. Not only has this exceeded the previous TrustedReviews vacuum cleaner cord record of 11m, it goes a whopping 2.5m longer than that. Yes, that is 13.5m of cable and, with the cleaning wand and hose reach of at least 4m, that gives you a cleaning radius of well over 17m.That would do most of the ground floor of our house and get you a fair way down the garden too.
Should all that stretching and reaching prove a little too energetic, the Air Stretch Complete is a normal upright vacuum cleaner too. It has a substantially wide cleaning head with a large, powered rotating brush bar that is switchable from the top of the cleaner. The floor head has no fancy height adjustment or easy way to take it apart to clean, but does have an air-release slider on top should you find it getting stuck down on some surfaces.
Vax U85-AS-Ce Air Stretch Complete – Cleaning
As an upright, the Air Stretch Complete is quite a large cleaner with a firm feel in the hand. Its certainly no lightweight and, unusually these days, the head and the body only pivot up and down with no side to side movement. This makes steering distinctly old-school – pushing and pulling while moving a few inches over at a time. This came as quite a surprise after so many pivoting, steerable models on test but we soon got used to it.
It’s not too noisy, though. While the 86dB rating sounds a bit intrusive, the reality over carpet is a good few dB less, even if it is a fair bit louder than models specifically designed to be quiet.
Running over carpet you can certainly feel the Vax’s weight, made even firmer to move by the floor head sticking down to the carpet like a limpet. We had to use the slider on top of the floor head for most carpeted surfaces to ensure it moved relatively freely.
This is not an ideal scenario as you are losing a lot of suction power (and using more electricity than necessary) just to allow the head and cleaner to move freely. The lack of height adjustment on the floor head is the direct culprit here. Should the beater bar get really bogged down and jammed, a vivid green light shining up from the floor head turns red to let you know it’s time for some brush bar maintenance.
That close-to-your-carpet action and beater bar from the floor head and great suction power did mean the Air Stretch cleaned open carpets very well. The floor looked well-groomed with the pile lifted where the cleaner had passed and the test powder was removed completely in a single pass.
Edge cleaning results were also pretty good, thanks to the low positioned floor head and good suction. However, edge cleaning was better using the right side of the floor head compared to the left side – so this is a cleaner that favours right-handed users when it comes to edge cleaning.
Absolutely no such issues on hard floors and the super suction power and close-to-floor head meant every bit of our test porridge oats was cleaned in a single pass. The head has rear plastic rollers and only the thinnest of felt sliders at the front edges, so it did sound rather rough running over heavily textured floor tiles. The low front edge didn’t seem to push any debris out of the way, though.
Hard floors also gave the Vax time to shine manoeuvrability wise as its rear wheels allowed it to roll well and, without carpet sealing the floor head, the additional suction did not stick the head down.
When full the bin is delightfully easy to remove and empty with a couple of simple clips. There are two filters to make this a HEPA class cleaner, a washable pre-motor filter and a replaceable post motor filter for small particles. All Vax spares, tools, and accessories are readily available from the company’s website, and a dual filter pack is going to set you back just shy of twenty quid.