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Bissell Bolt ION XRT 2-in-1 Vacuum Review

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As far as 2-in-1’s go, the Bissel Bolt ION XRT is one of the best. It doesn’t compromise too much on battery runtime, and has the best suction of the Bissell Bolt Series.

Similar to the Dyson V6 Series, there is a normal and turbo suction option which really helps for tougher cleanups when you don’t want to drag out the corded vacuum. On the normal setting, you can get up to 40 minutes of runtime. This is enough to vacuum an average apartment or several rooms in a house, but the only downside is the small dustbin and filter. It’s likely you will need to empty the dustbin at least once during that 40 minutes if you haven’t vacuumed in a while.

The Bolt ION XRT is not quite as versatile as the Dyson V6 series. For example, the Hand Vac does not have a motorized brush attachment for cleaning upholstery and stairs. Also, the durability of the plastic is not as great as Dyson. However, the price is nearly half that of the cheapest Dyson V6 2-in-1.

This is a great 2-in-1 for RV’s or boats mainly because of the folding handle. This isn’t a common feature, so definitely consider this 2-in-1 if you have small storage spaces.

The price difference between the Bissel Bolt ION XRT and the Bolt ION Plus is fairly small, so if you want great runtime and better suction then go for the Bissel Bolt ION XRT.

Features
    • 40 minute runtime
    • Variable Brushroll Speed
    • EdgeReach Technology
    • 2-Way Folding Handle
    • Swivel has great maneuverability
    • Lithium Ion Battery
    • Suction Boost Button
Concerns
    • Battery is NOT user replaceable
    • Very small dustbin
    • 2-in-1’s are less powerful than basic stick vacuums

Suction

The Bolt ION XRT easily has the best suction of the Bissell Bolt Series. The boost option, which is conveniently placed on the handle, is great when you have a major spot cleaning to do but don’t want to pull out the big corded vacuum.

This 2-in-1 has enough suction to compete with stick vacuums like the Hoover Linx. The smaller body also greatly limits the capacity of the dustbin and filter system. Unless the 2-in-1 feature is something that really appeals to you, then you will still see better performance in the larger stick vacuums like the Shark Navigator Freestyle and Hoover Air Cordless Series.

The low profile of this 2-in-1 does mean you will have trouble vacuuming up larger debris like pet food, but the hand vac may be a better option in those cases anyway.

The EdgeReach technology focuses the suction to the sides of the vacuum, so getting up close to walls, cabinets, and furniture is much easier.

Here is a demo of the EdgeReach feature,

Carpet Performance

You don’t see high marks for a 2-in-1 cordless vacuum when dealing with carpet. The Bolt ION XRT does a decent job on low-pile carpet and rugs. Much better than the other members of the Bissell Bolt Series.

With the suction boost option, you will be able to get up heavier debris, which is a feature you also see in the Dyson V6 and V8 series. The longer runtime also means you can go over problem areas a few times without being worried about the battery draining too much.

Bare Floor Performance

The Bolt ION XRT has great performance on bare floors and it’s where all 2-in-1’s shine. Bare floors are where you will get the longest runtime since you can turn the brushroll on low.

If your home is mostly hardwood then you will probably find this vacuum can do majority of the cleaning you ever need. The only downsides being the smaller width of the vacuum head and small dustbin, when compared to a traditional corded upright or canister. You will likely be emptying the dustbin a couple of time during a 40 minute session.

The low-profile head won’t roll over larger debris like pet food, so you may need to lift it somewhat, but the suction is definitely sufficient.

Attachments

  • Crevice Tool with Dusting Brush for Hand Vac
  • 6-inch Wide Tool for Hand Vac
  • Multi-surface brushroll

The things lacking in attachments are something for reach above-floor places like wall corners, shelving, and ceiling fans, as well as a motorized brush attachment. Luckily, an extended reach tool can be bought separately if need be at Amazon.

Stairs

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As stated before, this vacuum can handle stairs, but preferably stairs without carpet.

Since there is no motorized brush attachment, you will be using the Hand Vac with it’s 6-inch wide nozzle attachment. This won’t agitate the carpet much, but if your stair carpet isn’t thick then it would be fine.

The other option is to actually pick up the vacuum and move it along each stair. The vacuum is light enough to do that with ease, but you may find it awkward.

If you’re willing to buy another attachment, Bissel does have a Stair & Upholstery Tool(part# 1604257) for the Bolt Series. It’s still not a motorized brush but the bristles will help agitate dirt and dust out of the carpet, and it a great compromise for the price.

Battery & Runtime

The runtime is one of the best features about the Bolt ION XRT. The only downside is that it isn’t user replaceable. You will need to take it to a technician or send it back to Bissell if the battery fails.

You can leave the vacuum on the charging station when it’s not in use or finished charging.

  • 40 minutes
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • 3-4 Hour charge time
  • Battery is NOT user replaceable

Filtration

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The Bolt ION XRT uses a washable, replaceable filter for fine particles and a filter screen for larger debris. The filter isn’t meant to be washed after each use, only the filter cup that holds it.

Pet Hair

The Bissell Bolt XRT is one of the best 2-in-1’s for dealing with pet hair, but keep realistic expectations. As the filter and dustbin fill up, you will see decreased performance. Since they are so small, you will want to empty it several times for heavy messes.

Bissell does offer the Bolt XRT Pet 2-in-1, which comes with a tool for the Hand Vac and a specialized brushroll for pet hair. It has roughly half the battery runtime though, and has a NiMH battery instead of Lithium. NiMH is not as reliable as Lithium. It’s not clear if these differences make the Bolt XRT Pet a better vacuum for pets, but it is a cheaper one.

As usual, you will see the best performance on bare floors.

Regular Maintenance & Clog Removal

After each use, make sure any strings or hair wrapped around the brushroll are removed. Clean the filter cup and shake out the filter.

If you noticed reduced suction, check for clogs around the entrance to the pipe at the vacuum head and the dustbin. Remove clogs as early as possible to prevent damage to the motor.

Bissell recommends:

  • Wash the filter cup after each use
  • Shake out the filter
  • After heavy use, wash the filter and let dry for 24 hours
  • If the filter becomes worn, replace

Customer Reviews

Many customers mention it having as good or better suction than the Hoover Linx, which is a very popular stick vacuum.

A lot of people considering the Dyson V6 are put-off by the fact you have to hold the trigger to keep the vacuum running. Users that bought this vacuum instead were really happy with its performance.

One big complaint is the size of the dustbin and filter. They are tiny, which is to be expected with a 2-in-1. It’s important to have realistic expectations about what you can get out of a 2-in-1. Vacuuming an entire home is possible, but you will be cleaning the filter and dustbin multiple times.

As usual, the battery will eventually fail, and if yours does during the warranty period it will be taken care of by Bissell.

Warranty & Customer Service

The 2-year warranty does not cover routine maintenance components such as filters, bags(not applicable here), belts, or brushes.

Bissell has great customer service, and any issues customers reported were resolved by Bissell.

Price & Similar Products

Looking for something cheaper?

Willing to spend more?

Replacement Parts

Specifications

FeatureDescription
Form Factor2-in-1 Stick and Hand Vac
BaglessYes
CordlessYes
Brush Height AdjustmentNo
Battery TypeLithium Ion
Multi-Floor OptionYes
Charge IndicatorYes
Weight6 lbs
Runtime40 minutes
FilterWashable, replaceable
Charge Time4 hours
Warranty2 years
Model1311

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