Pro Pack Shop Vacuum Review
The small size and boxlike shape of this shop vacuum from Ridgid make it easily portable, while its 5.0-peak-hp motor makes it more powerful than some units twice its size
Loading a standard barrel-shaped shop vacuum into the bed of a pickup truck is like trying to shove a round peg into a square hole. The vacuum is always the last thing I think of bringing, and it never plays nicely with the rest of my gear. If I do find enough space to fit the ungainly beast, the protruding wheels become snagged, the hose disconnects, and every attachment falls off the vac and sifts to the bottom of my truck bed. Somebody at Ridgid must have had a similar struggle, because the Pro Pack vac does away with these difficulties.
Weighing in at 15-1/2 lb., the 4-1/2-gal. Pro Pack looks more like a large toolbox than a shop vacuum. The sturdy outer shell, the easy-to-operate lid latches, and the hefty folding handle all look strong enough to handle life on a rough job site, and the 5.0-peak-hp motor makes the vac more powerful than some units twice its size.
Onboard storage is divided between two hinged side compartments. The deep bin on the left side holds the expandable hose, the crevice tool, and a 20-ft. power cord. The shallower right bin houses the dust-blower port, and both the standard utility-nozzle and brush attachments.
The Pro Pack’s 1-7/8-in.-dia. flexible hose reminds me of a Slinky. The hose can compress to less than 3 ft. long and can stretch to nearly 8 ft. All the attachments seem to fit nicely without much hassle, but I wish the hinged lids had a catch to hold them in the open position for better access.
The downside to such a compact vacuum is that the washable filter occupies so much interior space; expect to empty this unit often. That said, liquid pickup doesn’t require a filter, so the vac’s capacity increases. This vacuum won’t replace my larger model, but its power and convenience have earned it a regular spot in my pickup truck.