The Dyson Gen5outsize Is Proof That Size Matters

The Dyson Gen5outsize Is Proof That Size Matters
At Gizmodo, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

Cordless vacuum cleaners are the way of the future. Dyson has stopped making plug in vacuums, as have many other companies. But a common complaint is that the bins are too gosh darn small. I know that because I make that complaint frequently.

The Outsize models are Dyson’s way of giving people an option. However, is being able to fit an increased amount of junk in the trunk worth the other potential downsides? I spent months making sure my apartment was clean and tidy to find out.

What is the Dyson Gen5outsize?

Well, you know the Dyson Gen5detect? It’s that, but bigger.

Cyclone technology18 Cyclones
Suction power280 AW
Bin volume1.9L
FiltrationWhole-machine HEPA filtration
DimensionsHeight: 127cm, Length: 29cm, Width: 32cm, Weight: 3.9kg
Dyson Gen5outsize specification table

If you compare it directly to the Gen5detect, it has the same feature where you turn it on with a button instead of holding down a trigger for 45 minutes while you send the dust bunnies to hell. It’s got the same fluffy head with the little green laser that makes every cleaning session feel like a particularly low-stakes episode of CSI: Tuesday. It’s also got the same impressive suction power.

What makes it different is the bin is much larger, and there is a wider Motorbar cleaner head to clean more of the carpet.

Included in the box is a Fluffy Optic cleaner head, Digital Motorbar XL cleaner head, floor dock, hair screw tool, combination tool, built-in dusting and crevice tool and a charger, which is everything you’d need to keep your floor, car and furniture vacuumed. For $1,699, it would want to be.

What’s good about the Dyson Gen5outsize?

This is, hands down, the best stick vacuum cleaner Dyson has ever produced. That’s a big call, given stick vacuums are mostly Dyson’s whole thing, but the suction on this beast is excellent. I still love the laser fluffy head, ever since it was introduced on the V15 Detect, it’s made a huge difference to how clean my hardwood floors get. In fact, it’s spending time with the Fluffy Optic head and the Dyson dust study that led my family to stop wearing shoes indoors. Once you can see how gross everything is all the time, it’s difficult (but certainly not impossible) to go back to a lackadaisical cleaning routine, making sure you get the most out of your new vacuum cleaner.

If you’re not familiar with the base model of the Gen5outsize, it’s the upgrade to the V15 and uses a different, more powerful motor. Since the V10 and V15 already did an excellent job of cleaning, this difference is only noticeable if the bin is full or if you have a particularly intense carpet. But, while Dyson upgraded the motor, the company left the itty-bitty bin on the base model. It has also been criticised for having a smaller battery than would be ideal – capable of 70 minutes on the lowest setting, but roughly 35-40 minutes with normal use.

Being able to hot-swap the batteries in the Gen5 Detect regular and Outsize models means you can clean larger spaces without pausing for the four and a half hours it takes for the battery to charge. But the spare batteries are expensive (roughly $200, depending on where you get it from), and that’s a big ask on a vacuum cleaner that’s already this expensive.

Having the wider Digital Motorbar XL cleaner head is handy because you don’t have to do as many trips up and down the carpet to get everything clean, so that’s nice.

What isn’t so great about the Dyson Gen5outsize?

Image: Alice Clarke

While there is a lot to love about this vacuum cleaner, there are a few annoying things. The things you might be fine with in a less expensive vacuum cleaner, but that becomes a bit less acceptable in a premium model.

My biggest complaint is that while the Digital Motorbar XL cleaner head which is mostly for carpet (but can also do hard floors) is wider, the Fluffy Optic head is the same size as the regular size Gen5. It means that someone with hard flooring will need to spend more time walking up and down to clean their room than someone with carpet. As someone with hardwood floors, I don’t love that. Making both main heads wider seems like such a small thing for a $1,699 vacuum cleaner. It seems like such a stingy move from Dyson.

My medium-est complaint is that this vacuum cleaner is heavy. That makes sense, given it’s so big, but it does mean that people with less upper body strength, or restricted movement will have trouble with it. Oddly, it’s the same weight as the regular Gen5 (according to the website), but it certainly feels much heavier due to how the weight is distributed. That’s less of a design flaw than the smaller Fluffy Optic head and more of a reality of how mass works. It is something people will need to keep in mind when they consider the product.

I don’t like how long the battery takes to charge. It doesn’t have a super long run time, and yet the charge time of four and a half hours feels excessive.

It’s also really expensive. I’ve been to the R&D buildings, and I’ve seen the factory, and I understand how Dyson can justify the price. Knowing why something is expensive doesn’t make it less expensive in a cost-of-living crisis. 

What other models should I consider instead of the Dyson Gen5outsize?

If the Gen5outsize is your jam, but not quite in your budget, or there’s another reason why it doesn’t fit for you, there are other options.

If you want all the features, but need it to be a bit smaller and distribute the weight differently, there’s the regular sized Dyson Gen5detect. You’ll have to empty the bin more often, but you’ll save $150 and it might be a bit more comfortable on your wrist.

If you want almost the same level of suction, but it also mops, the Dyson V15s Detect Submarine is currently on sale for $999 (at the time of publication), which is a huge saving. I did not love the Submarine, but you might.

For a little less suction, but a similar level of cleaning, and no laser, with the Dyson name at less than half the price, the V10 Absolute is currently selling for $749.

If you only have hard floors, there’s the Dyson Omni-Glide for $499 (on sale).

If you’re willing to stray from Dyson, there’s the Samsung Bespoke Jet. It doesn’t have quite the same suction power, but it’s a dream to use and it’s good for allergies. The LG CordZero A9 Kompressor is another great option for allergy sufferers who don’t want to have to deal with the dust from their vacuum cleaner.

OK, but should I buy the Dyson Gen5outsize?

Image: Alice Clarke

That’s between you and your therapist. But I will say that, if I ignore the price, it’s the best vacuum cleaner I’ve reviewed, though it is much further from perfect for $1699 than I would like.

I just wonder with those couple of design choices mentioned above, the price, and whether most people will take full advantage of the extra power when there are less expensive Dyson models and competitor models available that will do a similar job. How much is not having to empty the bin often worth to you?

If you have a large house with carpet, you only like to clean in up to 40-minute bursts, and it fits in your budget (especially if you find it on sale), the Dyson Gen5outsize is an excellent option. If one of those descriptors doesn’t fit you, then I would recommend looking at one of the other vacuum cleaners listed above.

Where to buy the Dyson Gen5outsize?

Dyson for $1,649 | JB Hi-Fi for $1,649 | Harvey Norman for $1,649

Image: Alice Clarke

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

It’s the most popular NBN speed in Australia for a reason. Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Gizmodo, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.