Product: Stowaway Canister Vacuum Designer: James Dyson & Co. Price: $500 Rating: Strong Recommend* The wait is over. After killing their first canister vacuum, Dyson has just released their follow-up act, The Stowaway. We put it through it's paces in our Test Lab and liked what we saw.
Having gotten used to Dyson's uber hi-tech design style, the Stowaway is a pleasingly cute, musclebound cannister that manages to fit ALL the attachments into postions on its body (and that includes a powerful rotating brush tool). Working with it we found it exceptionally powerful. It was even able to pull up sewing needles trapped between the floorboards that previous vacuums missed (we tested it in an apt that was coverted from a sweatshop, hence the needles). The hose and every attachment was easy to use and store, and the power brush was remarkably powerful as it is driven by a motor that is wired through the wand. The Stowaway was light enough to pick up comfortably and utilizes Dysons "you don't have to touch it" canister emptying design, which was nice. The wand retracts within itself, which means that you don't have to store extra wands. It's all one. It moved easily around the floor. Negatives? Only the hose. While the Stowaway smartly stows it's long hose ontop of itself, our testers thought it was "messy" and "unresolved". We also found it often fell off when moved about. And for the design conscious among us, it seemed to obscure the beauty of the machine beneath. But that is totally nitpicking. We appreciated that they had a plan for the hose in the first place. For the small NY apartment the Meile is still our favorite cannister, but at $800 for the Meile and $500 for the Dyson we'd have to say the Stowaway would be purchased first. *Our Ratings: Strong Recommend Recommend Weak Recommend Don't Recommend