James Dyson’s innovative cyclone vacuum cleaners, and similar technology tried by other manufacturers, have improved the cleaning power of all vacuum cleaners in recent years. Together with significant leaps forward in battery technology, this means you can now buy excellent cordless vacuums that almost make mains models redundant.

Some of today’s cordless units easily outdo pre-cyclone era mains vacuum cleaners. When you consider the lovely light weight and compact size of most portable vacuum cleaners, it’s really worth taking the time to find a good one to take away on any caravan holiday. And if you have children or dogs, or like to stay on rural, less pristine campsites, the need for an efficient way to clean up mud, grass, sand and spillages becomes all the more essential to keep your caravan in good condition. 

Each of the portable vacuum cleaners in our group test is listed as a separate accessory review: Hitachi Koki R18DSL, Sealey CPV144, Hoover Jovis Turbo Power SJ120CB, Argos 406/4815, Dyson DC44, Ryobi CHV182M, Halfords 12v Car Vacuum Cleaner, Makita BCL180Z, Draper 75033.

So how does the Dyson fare in Practical Caravan’s test of nine portable vacuum cleaners? We tested all the vacs for suction and battery life. We also factor in the cleaning attachments supplied, whether wet usage is possible, how frequently the unit needs emptying during use, and whether the filter can be washed or needs replacing once choked. As usual, value for money remains high on our judging agenda.  

Dyson DC44 

The DC44 is so powerful it makes mains vacs almost redundant and it’s not much bigger than a cordless hobby vac. At full blast, suction is almost half as much again as its nearest rival in our group test of nine portable vacuum cleaners.

Two rotating brush heads – narrow and wide – give superb results on carpet, and Dyson’s excellent cyclone technology ensures no drop in suction.

Battery duration is relatively short but improves when the unit’s switched out of turbo mode, and the suction’s still brilliant.