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AEG UltraCaptic Animal review

Tom Morgan
16 Jan 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
240
inc VAT

Excellent suction with minimal power draw makes the UltraCaptic a fantastic all-round vacuum

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AEG's UltraCaptic Animal looks more like a car engine block than a vacuum cleaner, with five plastic cylinders sat either side of the centrally mounted collection bin. It's a striking design, especially with bright purple or yellow highlights depending on whether you opt for the Origin or Animal model. The Animal model, which we've reviewed here, also has a rotating brush in the vacuum nozzle, designed to pick up hair from the floor.

The UltraCaptic is brilliantly easy to use thanks to a clever compacting bin design. The 1.8L bin might be smaller than that on most of the other cylinder vacuums we've tested, but the compacting mechanism can compress collected dust down to make room for more without having to empty it.

This also helps reduce mess when you do come to empty, as the compacted dust doesn't fly everywhere like loose dust from a standard bagless cleaner. As long as you hold the bin vertically, there should be no way for dust to escape from the top and, better yet, this can all be done one-handed. You can even replace the filter with one hand, although you'll have to flip the cleaner over as it slots into the bottom. The only concern with this design is if you overfill the bin. Once it is completely full, the excess dust gets trapped in the cylinder and will leave a mess when you finally go to remove the bin.

AEG UltraCaptic Animal rear

A single rotating castor at the front and two larger fixed wheels at the back aren't quite as flexible as other cleaners, and there's less than 2cm of ground clearance, but we could still pull the UltraCaptic over most cables and rugs without getting it stuck.

Rated at 1,400w, the UltraCaptic isn't the most powerful vacuum on paper. However, the cyclonic design helped it achieve an impressive 33.5kPa of suction with an empty bin, which only dropped to 33kPa when either half full or completely full. That makes it one of the best vacuums for suction that we've seen, which is an impressive achievement considering it uses significantly less power than its rivals. In both the carpet and hard floor tests at the maximum suction level we could vacuum up the full amount of dirt and debris in two quick strokes with the standard tube and brush head. It took an extra few strokes but we got everything up at the lowest suction level too.

When set to its maximum suction, the UltraCaptic is rather loud, with AEG rating it at 78dBA. This makes it one of the loudest vacuum cleaners we've tested, although it doesn't sound too bad when you're not standing right next to it.

The telescopic tube is fairly standard, as is the 7m cable which gives the vacuum a 10m range. The cord auto wind is button operated and rapidly retracts, and you can store the cleaner flat or vertically so it's quick to put away. Naturally an upholstery tool, crevice tool and dusting brush are included, and this Animal version of the UltraCaptic also includes two additional brush heads designed specifically to deal with pet hair. Essentially they have stiffer, longer bristles than the standard brush head, so will cope better when vigorously vacuuming carpets.

With excellent suction, an effective compression mechanism that negates many of the downsides of its small capacity and superb energy use, the UltraCaptic is a fantastic all-round vacuum cleaner. At £240 it's reasonably priced too, making it easy to recommend. Unless you have specific dust allergies and would be better served with a bagged cleaner, this is the model to buy.

Details

Price£240
Rating*****
AwardBest Buy

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