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Shark Stratos Corded Stick Vacuum Review [HZ3002]

Derek Hales

Written By: Derek Hales

Updated on:

Powerful Corded Stick Vacuum

Shark Stratos Corded Vacuum

Shark Stratos Corded Vacuum

The Shark Stratos HZ3002 is a corded stick vacuum that offers the highest suction power of any stick vacuum from Shark to date. It was designed with hair, especially pet hair in mind. The two main brush heads come with their HairPro and Self-Cleaning technologies that are designed to remove hair without prolonged tangling in the brush rollers. It also includes a HEPA filter and odor neutralizer to keep your cleaning experience free from allergens and unwanted smells.

Pros

  • Excellent cleaning performance with both human and pet hair
  • Easy to store with all parts together
  • Fantastic cleaning performance, especially on high-pile carpet, removed 99% of debris by weight on high pile carpets

Cons

  • Small tank capacity, 0.75 liters
  • Limited cleaning modes – just hardwood and carpet
  • Struggled more with larger debris like rice and cereal

Scoring

Powerful against pet hair and carpets
  • Design - 96%
    96%
  • Performance - 96%
    96%
  • Quality - 98%
    98%
  • Usability - 97%
    97%
  • Value - 98%
    98%
97%

Summary

The Shark Stratos is a corded stick vacuum with powerful suction and odor-neutralizing. It is designed for cleaning the entire home with its long-reaching cord and various accessories. It performed well in our cleaning tests, removing 96% of debris by weight in our 12 cleaning tests.s. While being relatively inexpensive, the Stratos is a solid option for a corded home vacuum.

In This Review

Cleaning Test | Long Hair Test | Pet Hair Test | Noise Test | Usability | Accessories | Size | Specs | Summary

Performance Tests

At Modern Castle, we use 6 different tests to measure the cleaning performance and usability of stick vacuums.

These tests include:

  • Cleaning test
  • Hair test
  • Pet hair test
  • Runtime test
  • Noise test
  • Usability test

Cleaning Test

To test cleaning performance of the Shark Stratos vacuum, we use 4 different debris types (sugar, kitty litter, rice, and cereal) on 3 different floor types (hardwood, low pile carpet, and high pile carpet).

Shark Stratos brush head flexibility
Shark Stratos vacuum cleaning

We then used the appropriate setting on the floor type being tested i.e. hardwood setting on hardwood testing lane and carpet setting on low and high pile carpet lanes. After each one, we measured the debris that was removed by weight.

Overall

96.0%

Hardwood

92.9%

Low Carpet

96.2%

High Carpet

99.0%

Cleaning performance on the Shark Stratos was quite strong overall. On high-pile carpets, it was able to remove virtually all of each debris type. However, on low-pile carpets, it left a bit behind. On hardwood floors, it struggled with a few types of debris.

Hardwood Floor Cleaning

The Stratos handled the smaller debris types with no issue. The rice and cereal debris gave it some challenges. In our tests, these larger debris types were pushed around and clung to the sides of the brush head without being fully vacuumed up. This left a considerable amount behind.

Sugar

99%

Kitty Litter

99%

Rice

83.2%

Cereal

90.4%

Rice gave the Stratos the most trouble, only having 83.2% removed. We could see the rice being pushed around and seemingly held at the sides of the brush head without it fully being sucked up.

Only the center of the brush head seemed to effectively remove this type of debris. Cereal was similar, but with a slightly larger effective area, having 90.4% removed.

Shark Stratos before hardwood test
Shark Stratos before hardwood test
Shark Stratos after hardwood test
Shark Stratos after hardwood test

In my view, the Stratos is capable of sucking up this debris, but it will require more passes with more thoughtful angles in mind.

Low Pile Carpet Cleaning

Performance was different on low pile carpet. We saw more of the smaller debris types get left behind and less of the larger debris types. However, overall performance was better compared to hardwood.

Sugar

91%

Kitty Litter

97.2%

Rice

99%

Cereal

97.4%

Shark Stratos before low pile carpet test
Shark Stratos before low pile carpet test
Shark Stratos after low pile carpet test
Shark Stratos after low pile carpet test

Sugar only had 91% of it removed on low pile carpet. Kitty litter was better, but a noticeable amount was still left behind. Opposite of the hardwood testing, the rice was the highest percentage removed, leaving just a grain or two behind.

We saw chunks get broken off the cereal and flung around, but otherwise 97.4% was removed.

High Pile Carpet Cleaning

It is the high-pile carpet that performed the best. Virtually no debris was left behind by the Shark Stratos during this test.

Sugar

99%

Kitty Litter

99%

Rice

99%

Cereal

99%

The higher pile carpet allowed the cereal enough friction to remain in place while the vacuum sucked it up. With smaller debris, the brush head and carpet setting seemed to work at its most optimal collecting significantly more than the low-pile test.

Shark Stratos high pile carpet before
Shark Stratos before high pile carpet test
Shark Stratos after high pile carpet test
Shark Stratos after high pile carpet test

Long Hair Test

For our hair test, we place strands of hair in the direct cleaning path of the vacuum. We then run the vacuum over it and check to see how much hair was removed, and if any tangled in the brushroll.

Removed?

100%

Tangled?

Minimal

The Stratos removed all of the hair used in the test. However, a small but noticeable amount was left tangled in the brush head. This tangled hair was only in the very center and in no other spots around the brush or the vacuum head.

Shark Stratos hairpro brushroll
Shark Stratos “HairPro” brushroll after human hair test

This is an excellent performance, but short of exceptional.

Pet Hair Test

Our pet hair test is similar to the long hair test, in that we place pet fur in the direct cleaning path of the vacuum, run the vacuum over it, and see how much is removed.

The difference in this one is that we grind the hair into the carpet to better simulate a home environment. For this test, we placed the pet hair on high pile carpet and ran the Shark Stratos on the carpet setting.

Pet hair in Shark Stratos dust bin
Pet hair in Shark Stratos dust bin

The Stratos was exceptional at removing pet hair. It was able to remove 100% of the pet hair placed for the test in only 2 passes. Shark does provide a smaller “HairPro” attachment to be used on furniture and stairs as well.

This is meant to be used in handheld mode in order to tackle everywhere else the standard brush head can’t go. 

Removed?

100%

Cleaning Passes?

Two

Overall, the Shark Stratos is a great vacuum if you have pets. The one caveat is that the storage tank is quite small. If you have multiple large, shedding dogs, this small capacity could prove annoying.

Noise Test

To test the noise of the Shark Stratos, we run the vacuum on high pile carpet on the different power modes and measure the amount of noise generated with a sound meter from about 3’ away.

Hardwood Mode

68.9 dB

Carpet Mode

70.3 dB

The Shark Stratos does not have different speeds or power modes like many other vacuums. It only has a carpet and hardwood cleaning mode.

Shark Stratos on hardwood floor setting
Shark Stratos on hardwood floor setting

The Stratos has a max noise range of 68.9 to 70.3 dB. The two settings are not notably different from one another.

Common noise levels:

  • 20 dB – rustling leaves
  • 30 dB – whisper
  • 40 dB – quiet library, babbling brook
  • 50 dB – refrigerator, moderate rainfall
  • 60 dB – normal conversation, dishwashers
  • 70 dB – traffic, showers
  • 80 dB – alarm clock, telephone dial tone

Usability

Usability on the Shark Stratos is fantastic. Setup takes little time, the controls are extremely minimal, and maintenance is quite easy. For a corded vacuum, it is light and easy to maneuver. Finally, it has a design for upright, compact storage.

Shark has many accessories that are compatible with the Stratos that can be purchased separately. However, the base purchase comes with a handful of essentials.

Shark Stratos assembly
Shark Stratos assembly

In addition, it comes with a wide range of accessories and tools that assist in cleaning.

Here is what comes in the box:

  • Stratos vacuum 
  • Wand (unadjustable)
  • Duoclean brushroll
  • Pet Power Brush
  • Crevice tool
  • Upholstery tool
  • Onboard storage clip
  • Odor neutralizer (packaged)

Setup

Setup on the Shark, Stratos takes less than 5 minutes.

You simply need to connect the bottom of the wand to the brushroll and the top to the handheld Stratos vacuum. Place the crevice and upholstery tools on each side of the storage clip. Then clip those tools onto the wand for easy access. 

Installing odor neutralizer into Shark Stratos
Installing odor neutralizer into Shark Stratos

The only novel aspect of the setup is the odor neutralizer. It comes in a package that you will need to open. You’ll install the small knoblike device into the clear opening on the side of the brushroll. There is a handle you can prop up to help you turn it until it clicks into place.

You can plug the cord into the wall for use or wrap it around the top and bottom hooks of the wand for storage.

Shark Stratos Compact Storage Mode
Shark Stratos in compact storage mode

Speaking of storage, there is a small opening on the side of the handheld Stratos just below the label “Handvac Storage Hook”. This can be placed on the bottom of the wand where there is a hook facing upwards. This allows for the vacuum to be stored upright at a waist-high level.

There is a foot pedal on the bottom of the brush head to disconnect the wand without having to bend over.

Controls & Display

There are few controls on the Shark Stratos. On the backside of the handheld vacuum is a round, black screen. Below this, there are two buttons – power and mode. The power simply turns on the device while the mode switches between “bare floor” and “carpet” modes.

Shark Stratos 2 button controls
Shark Stratos 2 button controls
Shark Stratos brush head released by foot pedal
Shark Stratos brush head released by foot pedal

When plugged in, you will see the “Shark” logo appear at the top center of the display. When turned on it will default to the “bare floor” mode meant for hardwood surfaces, represented by a square image on the left side. To switch, press the mode button on the right side and you will see a square carpet icon on the right of the display.

Maintenance

Maintenance on the Shark Stratos is easy as there are few things to track.

Here is what you need to do to maintain the Stratos:

  • Empty the dust cup when approaching capacity
  • Rinse the premotor filters monthly
  • Rinse the HEPA filter every 6 months
  • Periodically check for blockages or when needed
  • Switch to “carpet mode” on hardwood surfaces to clear brushroll of hair
  • Clean soft roller in brush head
  • Replace odor neutralizer every 6 months
Ejecting Shark Stratos brush roll
Ejecting Shark Stratos brush roll
Cleaning Shark Stratos brush roll
Cleaning Shark Stratos brush roll

To empty the dust cup, pinch the button on either side of the container and pull to release it from the vacuum. Open the top by pushing the yellow “Empty” button on the front of the container so you can release contents into the trash. Reinstalling is as easy as closing the top and pushing back into place in the vacuum.

Accessing Shark Stratos HEPA filter
Accessing Shark Stratos HEPA filter

Pre and post-motor filters can be accessed once the dust cup is removed. On the top of the dust cup, pinch both sides where it says “Filter Access”. Along with rinsing these filters once a month, Shark recommends replacing the pre-motor filters every 2.5 years and the post-motor filters every 3 years.

HEPA filter is accessible via a button located above the dust cup housing when it is removed. Shark recommends rinsing the HEPA filter every 6 months.

Shark Stratos dust bin removal
Shark Stratos dust bin release buttons
Removing and opening Shark Stratos dust bin
Removing and opening Shark Stratos dust bin

Shark claims these brushrolls are self-cleaning. Their advice for removing hair tangled around the center roller is to run the vacuum on carpet mode regardless of the surface. This will give it time to slip off of the roller and into the vacuum. If this does not work for you, you can always cut these tangles with scissors. 

Finally, there is an eject button on the side of the brush head. You can remove the front soft brush to clean it when needed.

Attachments & Accessories

The Shark Stratos comes with 3 alternative heads/tools to clean with. The 3 tools included in the purchase of the Stratos are:

  • Pet Power Brush
  • Crevice tool
  • Upholstery tool

The Pet Power Brush is a smaller version of the main brush head. They both have Shark’s HairPro and “self-cleaning” designs. The Pet Power Brush is designed for use on furniture, stairs, and other smaller places with carpet or upholstery. As the name implies it is for cleaning up pet hair and allergens pets produce.

All accessories for the Shark Stratos
All accessories for the Shark Stratos

The crevice tool is your standard angled plastic accessory. This is meant for corners and crevices that the main brush head can’t quite reach. There are fancier versions of the crevice tool available from Shark that include longer lengths and extendable brushes.

Every accessory is compatible with the wand or handheld vacuum.

Shark Stratos Pet Power Brush
Shark Stratos Pet Power Brush

Finally, there is a storage clip to fit the crevice and upholstery tools onto the vacuum wand. Unfortunately, the Pet Power Brush has no designated spot on the vacuum and is the one thing you will have to store separately. 

Size & Dimensions

The Shark Stratos is similar in size to other corded vacuums we’ve tested. It is highly maneuverable with either the wand attachment or handheld mode. While laying flat, however, the bottom of the handle prevents it from fully laying down.

Shark Stratos size comparison
Shark Stratos size comparison

Here are the dimensions of the Shark Stratos:

  • Width – 10.24″
  • Depth –  9.66″
  • Height – 46.26″
  • Weight – 8.68 lbs

Shark Stratos Corded Vacuum Specifications

Specifications
TypeCorded
ManufacturerShark
ModelStratos HZ3002
Height46.26″
Width10.24″
Length9.66″
Floor TypeAll
Dust Bin Capacity0.747 liters
Cord Length30 feet
Suction PowerStrong, Exact AW Unknown
CordlessNo
BaglessYes
ReturnsVaries by retailer
Warranty5 Years
PriceCheck Price

Should you buy the Shark Stratos Vacuum?

I would recommend the Shark Stratos if you are looking for the following features:

  • Endless runtime: As long as you don’t mind traveling with the cord, you will enjoy higher suction power and endless runtime with the weight and maneuverability of a cordless vacuum.
  • Exceptional hair performance: the design of the “self-cleaning” brushes makes for not only an effective vacuum against hair but one that requires less maintenance. Our tests showed little hair will get stuck within the rollers. Also, if you allow the carpet setting to run for an extended time, any hair that does get stuck will eventually slide off into the vacuum.
  • Fantastic cleaning on high-pile carpets: In our tests, we recorded near-perfect debris removal on high-pile carpets. If you’re wanting an effective vacuum on the high-pile carpet in your home, the Shark Stratos is a great option.

For more information or to buy the Shark Stratos Vacuum, click here.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ModernCastle.com. He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider, Realtor.com, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

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10 Comments on “Shark Stratos Corded Stick Vacuum Review [HZ3002]”

  1. Hi Derek, Thank you for this thorough review. I decided to purchase the HZ3002 today but I have one question and wondering if you might know the answer. Are all the attachments that fit the HZ2002 compatible with the HZ3002? I would like to purchase the Anti-Allergen Dust Brush
    Model #236FLIH390 that comes with the HZ2002 but am not certain if it will fit this newer model. If you have any insight, that would be very helpful.

    Reply
    • Unfortunately, I’m not sure about that. I have my Vertex parts in storage at the moment, otherwise I’d go get it and test it myself. Sorry 🙁

  2. Hello, Derek,
    I’ve kind of figured out that Shark models HZ2002 and HZ3002 come in three versions:
    as Upright Vacuum Cleaners,
    as Corded Stick Vacuum Cleaners and
    as DuoClean Vaccum Cleaners with a Lift-Away Canister.
    Would you be so kind as to tell me the main difference between the first two?
    Since the models are the same, I find it hard to compare prices and benefits.
    Many thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • The only difference that I can tell is the HZ3002 includes the odor neutralizer. Makes it a little better for pets. Beyond that, they are functionally the same.

  3. I am trying to figure out what the latest and best corded stick model is. Is it the vertex the stratos, the apex? Totally confusing. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Shark Stratos Cordless is latest and greatest, followed by Vertex, followed by Apex.

      Stratos just launched a few months ago. Vertex last year, Apex a few years ago.

  4. Did the Stratos stand upright on its own? I just put mine together and it will not stay upright. I have to lay it down. Or lean it against a wall. Shouldn’t it stand upright on its own?

    Reply