Bosch Athlet Review

Bosch Bosch Athlet Review
  • Good price
  • Great design
  • Long battery life
  • Lightweight for an upright
  • Accessories are difficult to use
  • Lots of plastic

Introduction

The Bosch Athlet range of cordless vacuums promises to be the best cordless vacuum cleaner yet.  Well, that’s what Bosch say, let’s put it to the test and see how it really handles.

In this review we’ll be looking at the full Athlet range of which there are 8 models.  Many of the models are extremely similar, so it is important to understand the differences between them all so you can make an informed purchase.

To add to the complication the models are all model codes.  These are:

  • BCH625KTGB
  • BCH61840GB
  • BCH51830GB
  • BCH6RE8KGB
  • BCH6ATH1GB
  • BCH625K2GB
  • BCH65MSGB
  • BCH65MGKGB

Quite a mouthful.  Don’t worry though, we’ve done the hard work and listed each of the differences between the models below.  We have also included a link to purchase via Amazon against each model.

If you have pets be sure to check out our review of the Athlet ProAnimal range.  To be honest you should do this regardless of whether you have pets as the ProAnimal range includes everything the Athlet range does, and more, so might be worth a little extra if you’re considering the Athlet.

Performance

First off let’s look at the performance of the Athlet.  The first thing you notice when you turn on the Athlet is the plethora of lights on the front of the main container.  These act as battery and dust bin indicators.

The Athlet is extremely powerful for a cordless.  It has 3 power settings, the first doesn’t use the powered brush bar and is intended for hard floors.  All of the power settings are more powerful than we expected.

Bosch make a big deal about the battery life.  Depending on the model you can get between 40-75 minutes of battery life from a single charge.  That is an impressive figure for any cordless, but given the suction available we were even more impressed.

The head of the device is capable of picking up dirt and debris from carpets with ease.  One thing we did notice, which is something that the Dyson V8 range is particularly good at, is that the power available to the head in high pile carpets is a little lacking.  We aren’t talking about suction here, purely the power available to the spinning brush.  If you watch the video below and listen to the noise of the Athlet during the rug clean you will hear the bar struggling slightly.  That said, it cleans high pile carpets perfectly well.

Design and Features

There is no question that the Bosch Athlet is a good looking piece of kit.  As far as aesthetics goes it ticks all of the boxes.  But design is so much more than aesthetics.  Let’s take a look at some of the features and how they’ve been tailored to the vacuum.

SensorBagless™ Technology is the name given to the contraption used to store the dust in the Athlet.  To you and I it’s a little indicator on the front of the container telling you when its time to empty to the vacuum of dust.  It’s a little more than that though, as the Bosch will monitor the amount of air that is passing through the vacuum.  If the level of air flow is too low the vacuum will show that.  This is actually more useful than it may sound, as you could have a small bit of dust or hair preventing airflow, and thus suction, but you’d have no idea and continue vacuuming your entire home.

Bosch have worked hard to keep the Athlet a quiet vacuum.  It comes in at just 72dB on the lowest setting.  To give that some perspective, at that level you can be having a conversation with someone in the same room, turn the vacuum on, and continue that conversation without really needing to raise your voice.  The highest setting is obviously a lot louder, but it’s still relatively quiet, especially given the power output.

The dust container is very easy to remove, and the filters are very easy to get at.  In our experience people often don’t even think to clean their filters in their vacuum, but because they are so accessible in the Athlet it serves as a reminder of how important it is.

Weight

The Bosch Athlet weighs in at 3kg.  That is pretty light for an upright stick vacuum, especially a cordless.  Cordless vacuums are typically heavier than their wired counterparts due to the battery.

Because the Bosch Athlet is an upright stick vacuum it means that it’s designed to be kept upright.  That may sound obvious, but many cordless vacuums, such as the Dyson V8 which we reviewed recently, are actually handhelds that act like uprights.  The upright nature of the Athlet means that weight is far less of an issue, as it is usually resting against the floor, rather than being lifted and carried around.  Or so you would think…

Maneuverability

Bosch Athlet Maneuverability

So we find this next part a little odd.  The Athlet range comes with a shoulder strap and has been designed so that you can throw it over your shoulder and carry it round with you.  You can then remove the standard head and replace it with one of the hosed attachments.  We tried this, and you can’t help but feel like a Ghostbuster.

Once we got over the initial oddness of it all, it actually worked quite well.  You do need to ensure that the shoulder strap is tight enough so it doesn’t slip back off, which is particularly important when bending over (cleaning the stairs, for example).

The Athlet’s general maneuverability is actually quite good.  The neck – there the head meets the body of the vacuum – is highly maneuverable and allows for movement in all directions.  When gliding around you can really notice this maneuverability and everything flows naturally.  The lightness of the vacuum also helps in this department.

Bosch’s vacuum is also able to lie totally flat, which makes vacuuming underneath tables, chairs and raised furniture very easy.  With a relatively low profile body it’s even easier to pick up dirt in those hard-to-reach areas.

Battery Life

Battery life is arguably the main selling point of the Bosch Athlet range, so it’s safe to say that it performs well here.

The battery lasts between 40 minutes and 75 minutes depending on the power setting used.  Compare that to the likes of the Dyson V6-V8 range which only gets 6 minutes in high powered mode and 20-30mins in standard mode, you can see that the Athlet really performs well.

Bosch’s Athlet also has fast charge.  It will charge up to 80% of the battery in just 3 hours.  The remaining 20% of the battery takes another 3 hours, leaving 6 hours total charge.  This way of working is actually really useful, it means you don’t end up having to wait a day for you vacuum to charge if you forgot to charge it or if you run out of juice half way through a clean.

The only downside is the charger.  It’s a very basic 3-pin wall plug that charges the battery directly.  No mount, no pretty dock, just a plug in a wall.  It works, but it’s not pretty.  Probably not much of a big deal.

Bosch Athlet BCH625KTGB

Bosch Athlet BCH625KTGB

Now we’re into the individual models.  We’ll give you a quick breakdown of the features of each.

  • Standard set of features
  • 5000 RPM brush
  • Accessory kit includes hose, shoulder strap, upholstery nozzle and crevice nozzle
  • Up to 60min runtime
  • White
  • Available for £215 – Check pricing

Bosch Athlet BCH61840GB

Bosch Athlet BCH61840GB

  • All standard features
  • 5,000 RPM brush
  • Only 40 min battery
  • No accessories
  • Black
  • Available for £190 – Check pricing

Bosch Athlet BCH51830GB

Bosch Athlet BCH51830GB

  • All standard features
  • 5000 RPM brush bar
  • 60 min battery life
  • No additional accessories
  • Pastel blue
  • Available for £200 – Check pricing

Bosch Athlet BCH6RE8KGB

Bosch Athlet BCH6RE8KGB

  • All standard features
  • 5000 RPM brush bar
  • 40 min battery time
  • Accessory kit including hose, shoulder strap, upholstery nozzle and crevice nozzle
  • Lavy red
  • Available for £200 – Check pricing

Bosch Athlet BCH6ATH1GB

Bosch Athlet BCH6ATH1GB

  • All standard features
  • 5000 RPM brush bar
  • 60 min battery time
  • Accessory kit including hose, shoulder strap, upholstery nozzle and crevice tool
  • Mineral silver
  • Available for £215 – Check pricing

Bosch Athlet BCH625K2GB

Bosch Athlet BCH625K2GB

  • All standard features
  • 5000 RPM brush bar
  • 60 min battery time
  • Accessory kit including hose, shoulder strap, upholstery nozzle and crevice tool
  • Lavy red
  • Available for £165 – Check pricing

Bosch Athlet BCH65MSGB

Bosch Athlet BCH65MSGB

  • All standard features
  • 5000 RPM brush bar
  • 75 min battery time
  • Mineral silver
  • Difficult to source, most retailers don’t stock

Bosch Athlet BCH65MGKGB

Bosch Athlet BCH65MGKGB

  • All standard features
  • 5000 RPM brush bar
  • 75 min battery time
  • Accessory kit including hose, shoulder strap, upholstery nozzle and crevice tool
  • Marion Glace (an off black)
  • Available for £222 – Check pricing

The Facts

Power 1800W
Battery Run Time 60 Minutes
Charge Time 6 Hours
Weight 3KG
Capacity/Dust Box 0.9L
Noise Level 72dB
Good for Pets?
Additional Tools? 2

Our Ratings

Design

9/10

Features

8/10

Price

8/10

Summary

The Bosch Athlet range is versatile and powerful.  The power output from all of the models is superb and the battery life is second to none.

The number of models is very confusing, and the naming of these models doesn’t help in any way.  Hopefully our above guide will help you choose which is right for you.

Our recommendation?  This is an easy one, definitely go for the Bosch Athlet BCH65MGKGB.  It is the most expensive, but only just as nearly all of the models are around the £200-220 mark.  That extra £20 buys you a 75 mins battery (up from the 40 min of the lowest model) and a full accessory kit.  It also looks the best too, coming in ‘marron glacé’, which is an off-black colour in a sort of matte effect.  It definitely gets our vote.

Don’t forget to check out the Athlet ProAnimal range which we reviewed.  The models are extremely similar, but the ProAnimal range has slightly different accessories and brush bar for a very similar price.