Bosch Athlet ProAnimal Review
- ✔️ Amazing cordless vacuum for the price
- ✔️ Powerful suction
- ✔️ Incredible battery life (up to 75min depending on model)
- ❌ Accessories aren't easy to use
- ❌ Not as mobile as some competitors
Bosch are long-standing manufacturers of home appliances, and the Athlet and Athlet ProAnimal ranges are their cordless vacuum offering. We have reviewed the Bosch Athlet recently and found it to be a superb cordless vacuum and one of the most affordable on the market. The battery is brilliant and the suction is just as good, particularly given the long battery life.
The Athlet ProAnimal range is extremely similar in design and features. We have given the ProAnimal a higher rating than the standard Athlet range. This is down to the fact that it's effectively the same vacuum, but at a lower price and with more accessories. We're really not sure why Bosch have these price points, but one guess is supply and demand - more people want the ProAnimal, which drops the price. There are 3 models available in this range:
Catchy names, I know. We'll be running through each of them towards the end of this guide, highlighting what is available with each model and then giving our recommendation. Not really sure this advert quite shows off the cordless vacuum to its full potential, but you can at least get an idea of its size and ease of use...
Performance is obviously key for all cordless vacuums. The Bosch ProAnimal range fairs very well in terms of performance. There are 3 levels of power available. The first level does not spin the brush bar and is designed for vacuuming hard floors. We found level 2 to be more than adequate for carpet cleaning, and the lower the level you use the better in terms of your battery life and the longevity of your vacuum cleaner. The ProAnimal has a slightly different brush head which helps collect pet hair from carpets. We found the bristles of the brush to be a little firmer, which helps dislodge not just animal hair, but all dirt and debris from carpets and floors.
Design and Features
The first thing we noticed about the ProAnimal is the noise level. It's quiet. Really quiet. At 72dB you're able to hold a conversation in the same room without any trouble whatsoever. The next level up in power is obviously going to be louder, but even then it's by no means loud. At full power it can be a little noisy, but probably less so than your average vacuum, and you shouldn't really need to put it into full power unless you've got a stubborn area to work. Battery life on the ProAnimal range is superb. The ProAnimal has a very useful indicator of battery life on the front of the main body. This area of the cordless vacuum also has the SensorBagless™ Technology indicator on it.
SensorBagless is the name Bosch have given to the technology they use to try and detect blockages with airflow in the vacuum. Low airflow is usually caused by a full dust container, but it can also be caused by a dust or dirt blockage. Often you won't know there's a blockage until you come to empty the vacuum, at which point it's too late. The ProAnimal range also comes with pet accessories for getting pet hair out of carpet and upholstery. We found these tools to actually work quite well, but it will depend on the material you're trying to remove pet hair from.
We found the ProAnimal to be exceptionally light for such a high performance cordless. According to Bosch it weighs a mere 3kg, which is about the same as a house brick or a large (3 litre) bottle of pop/coke. For a large upright that is absolutely nothing at all. Our tests showed that this is a good thing and potentially a bad thing. Having a light cordless vacuum is good for the obvious mobility reasons, not to mention storage. It's also important when you consider that the vacuum can be put on your back when using the various attachments available (more on that shortly!). The only bad point of the low weight is down to pressure on the floor when vacuuming.
When you vacuum your floor it is the weight of the vacuum that pushes the brush head into your carpet. The more pressed there is against the carpet the more the bristles will hit the carpet. In theory this will help clean your carpets better. During our tests we made sure to keep an eye our for this as it's a problem with all light vacuum cleaners. However, there was absolutely no evidence of lift occurring - the ProAnimal kept itself flush to the carpet and picked up every bit of dirt we could give it.
The ProAnimal range is - just like the standard Anthlet range - very maneuverable. The neck of the unit, which sits above the main head and body of the vacuum, pivots in all angles to enable the head to move almost independently of the rest of the vacuum.
The vacuum also lies nearly totally flat to enable you to get right under the furniture. With the low profile head of the vacuum this helps immensely with maintaining a quick clean throughout the house. We have quite narrow dining room chairs, and one thing of note is that this is one of the few vacuums that I could clean under the entire table without needing to move anything out of the way.
The light weight also means that you're less likely to cause any damage when banging into something. A 3kg vacuum with a very light head bumping into a skirting board is very different to a large 8kg upright smashing into the skirting. Bosch's Athlet ranges are designed to be slung over your shoulder using the shoulder strap that comes as part of the accessory pack. The idea is to remove the head of the vacuum and replace it with the hole. You can then change the tool used on the end of the hose, stick the vacuum on your back, and off you go.
It's a good idea in theory, and while it does work we found something strange about the whole process. I did have to mess around a bit to get the strap in a place where the vacuum felt secure. Frequently the vacuum was slipping off my shoulder, particularly when leaning forwards or working on the stairs. Once I found the sweet spot of the strap though it was all fine - you'll only need to go through this once.
Battery life was clearly forefront of mind when the Bosch engineers were designing the Athlet range as the battery life is superb. Depending on the model purchased you can enjoy 40min, 60min or 75min of battery life. As part of ours tests we allowed each of the models to fully discharge and used them the full charge length. We found that the 75min started to lose power about 70minutes into the charge, the 60min model at around 55min and the 40min around 37min. This is quite standard for battery-powered vacuums, and a lot better than some models which begin to lose power much earlier on.
Bosch Athlet ProAnimal Models
There are 2 models of the ProAnimal available. Fortunately, these are much easier to understand than the standard Athlet range. Each model is identical, with the same accessories. The only difference is the battery level. We have listed the various models, battery levels and prices below.
|Battery Run Time||60 minutes|
|Charge Time||6 hours|
|Capacity/Dust Box||0.9 Litres|
|Noise Level||72 dB|
|Good for Pets?||✔️|
It's clear that the Bosch Athlet ProAnimal is a fantastic addition to any home. It's extremely powerful, nimble and a solid bit of kit. The battery life is hugely impressive for a cordless vacuum, and the powered brush bar picks up pet hair extremely easily. The only criticism we have of the vacuum is the way in which accessories are used. Everything plugs into the bottom of the base unit, which is where the main head normally sits. You then use the shoulder strap to carry the base unit around, using the hose and whatever attachment you want to use. I don't know why this is a criticism specifically, because it worked perfectly fine, but it just seems a little strange.
The pricing of the ProAnimal is great. For some reason, just like the standard Athlet range, the better models are actually cheaper, which should help make your purchasing decision that bit easier! If you really need our recommendation, it would be the fully-featured 75min battery Bosch Athlet ProAnimal BCH65TRPGB.