by Garrick Dee
Updated December 3rd, 2018
The Air Ram 1984 is a brand new product from Bissell that looks exactly like a product I talked about in this blog before.
The Bissell AirRam looks exactly like Gtech– from the color scheme down to the actual product design.
This makes me wonder if they bought the rights to this design. But that does seem to be the case because GTech still exists at least in the UK.
Since GTech isn’t available in Amazon and Bissell is, this is the better option because buying from GTech would entail paying for shipping to get the product over to the U.S.
Lightweight stick vacuum
Both of these products are lightweight stick vacuums that have above-average run , same swivel and fold flat feature that has endeared this product to thousands of consumers.
It may not match the power of a Dyson but it is an alternative if you’re looking for a stick vacuum at the $200 price range.
Bissell won’t have the same versatility as a Dyson but it gets the job one at least on floors.
A quick look at the features
- Uses a 22-volt “professional-grade” lithium ion battery than will run for 30 minutes without fading
- Capable of cleaning bare floor, rugs and carpet
- It takes 4 hours to fully charge this product
- Very maneuverable thanks to the swivel steering and fold flat feature
- LED headlights helps you see dust that’s almost invisible without a bright light source
- Easy to empty dirt bin (0.6 liter capacity)
- Collapsible handle allows this to be stored with less space
- 2 year warranty
- Lightweight and agile design make this a good high-traffic-area cleaner
- Very decent 30-minute run time
- Fold-flat feature allows this to clean areas under furniture
- For a stick vacuum, dirt bin is small – not great for large homes
- Not as powerful as a Dyson or even a Shark cordless
- No above the floor cleaning capabilities
- Felt filter design takes too long to dry
The Bissell Air Ram is an exact clone of the Gtech AirRam which is not available in the U.S. market right now.
It has the same exact design, same motor, battery, everything about this Bissell screams GTech but at a cheaper price.
This stick vacuum is aimed for small to medium sized home owners looking for a cordless alternative that would help them clean high traffic areas inside their homes without having to bring out the heavy and long-corded upright.
Kode1996 demonstrates the different features of the Bissell AirRam…
If you watched the video up to the end you’ll see a short demonstration on a rug. The results were pretty impressive – it was able to pick up all of the crackers.
The power button is at the base so you can turn this on with your foot.
22-volt Lithium Ion Battery
Bissell uses a professional-grade 22-volt lithium ion battery that will run 30 minutes, less if you turn on the motorized brush.
To fully charge, you’ll need to plug it in for 4 hours. This is around an hour less than a Dyson V8 that will run for about 40 minutes without any motorized attachments.
In from of this vacuum is what Bissell calls a “suction squeegee” that changes directions to open and close as you vacuum larger debris and give you superior edge cleaning.
Right in front of the base is a bright LED headlight that helps illuminate – this is helpful when cleaning in low lighted areas under furniture.
A bright light helps track down dust on hardwood and on carpet and helps you keep track on areas you have not cleaned.
What makes this a popular option for older people is the swivel option that makes this easier to maneuver around furniture. It also has a fold-flat feature where the vacuum lay almost flat which allows it to reach deep under beds.
Easy to Empty Dirt Bin
Perhaps one of my favorite features of this product is how easy it is to empty. One of the biggest problems with bagless vacuums is how statically charge dust that cling on to the inner walls of the dirt bin. You will need to use your fingers to remove them or bang the bin against the garbage can.
The Bissell AirRam has a lever that you simply push down that pushes dirt out of the bin – a clever innovation by Bissell.
Like the original AirRam, Bissell’s version comes with a removable battery. This is a great feature because it’s easy to replace just in case it fails.
LED lights on top indicate battery status.
Multi Surface Brush Roll
At the heart of the Bissell’s cleaning performance is the multi-surface brush roll that allows this vacuum to clean on a variety of surfaces from hardwood, carpet and rugs.
It also cleans all the way to the edges so you won’t need to bring out a handheld just to clean base boards.
Minimal Loss of Power
Unlike most uprights, the motor placement is different inside the AirRam. Instead of placing it on the body, Bissell moved it down at the cleaning head near the brush roll. Less distance between the motorized brush and motor means less power loss.
This is a design also used in the Shark Rocket and Gtech that made it such a hit in UK.
Based on consumer reviews the AirRam has really good suction and works great even on bare floor surfaces.
Cleaning performance is good. It won’t have any problem cleaning typical stuff like pet hair, dust and litter.
However it doesn’t come with a brush roll on/off feature that limits how this performs on bare floor. A bristled brush will have the tendency to scatter more dirt around or scratch it.
The beater bar inside the AirRam does not have as much bristles as a Dyson.
But the bristles in there are stiff so agitation is pretty good.
Consumers say that it had amazing suction and fully capable of picking up not just surface dirt but also embedded dirt trapped underneath carpet fibers.
The proof is in the pudding as they say so here’s a cleaning test…
One word. Impressive!
Here’s how much dirt it was able to pick up (mostly pet hair).
The bin is completely full.
Thanks to the power and agitation, this Bissell is fully capable of picking up pet hair on bare floor and carpet but I must warn you that if your home is teeming with dogs or cats, you may want to get a vacuum with a bigger bin because the 600ml capacity maybe too small but consumers were not complaining.
This vacuum is also capable of cleaning area rugs but I must warn you if the area rug is too light, you may want to use something less powerful because this will literally try to suck up the rug up with such force you won’t be able to push it back and forth.
It will take roughly 4 hours to fully charge this.
This version of the Air Ram has a rather unique filter design. Filter is at the middle of the bin which is similar to Dyson. The difference would the the felt-like material what wraps around a secondary filter located at the center.
Both of these parts are washable. One consumer complained that it takes too long to dry this filter (especially true if you live in a cold area) and replacement filters aren’t yet available so you will have to wait for it to completely dry before putting it back into the bin.
Bissell backs this up with a 2 year warranty.
|Brush roll on/off||No|
|Battery||22v Lithium Ion|
|Charging time||4 hours|
|Battery life||30 mins.|
|Net weight||7.8 pounds|
|Shipping weight||14.4 pounds|
|Filter type||Lifetime washable filter|
|Dust capacity||0.6 liters|
Bissell must be doing something right because of the positive reviews. Most consumers were happy with the performance on bare floor and carpet.
One of them recorded a video demonstrating how much dirt Bissell was able to pick up on her rug after cleaning it twice with a Rainbow vacuum. This is a surprise because Rainbow is one of the best deep cleaners available right now. She must have used the wrong tool.
It did particularly well with pet hair and litter – two problem areas for pet owners. Even on carpet the Air Ram is an absolute cleaning machine but I must warn you that it will not match a full sized upright in terms of deep cleaning.
Main complaints were the build quality and the filter – how long it takes to dry and the replacement part that is not yet available for sale.
You can buy this robot from Amazon for less than $180. And this is eligible for the 2-day free shipping if you join Prime. Amazon also sells extended warranties of up to 3-years if you want extra peace of mind.
The Bissell Air Ram is a great mid-priced alternative if you cannot afford other higher end brands like a Dyson that cost over $200.
It cannot clean anything above the floor so you will need to pair with a handheld vacuum.
Run time is exquisite at 30 minutes and it will only take 4 hours to recharge this which is pretty good considering that a Dyson V8 takes around 5 hours to fully charge.
If you own a small to medium sized home and looking for a stick vacuum that is powerful enough to clean dust, pet hair, scattered food like cheerios and pet litter, this is a great option.
Weighing less than 8 pounds you will not have any trouble bring lugging this up and down a flight of stairs and it is easy to store since the handle is collapsible.