The Invictus X9 promises much in its glitzy TV shopping commercials but delivers a mediocre performance. It performs no better than many stick vacuums that cost a fraction of the price. The additional wet vacuum system, which is also heavily marketed, is awkward and time-consuming to use. You'd get the job done faster, easier, and better with a simple wipe of the floor with a cloth. Our testers were very disappointed with this vacuum.
Price: $899.99 for the main vacuum, plus accessories. $234.99 for the X-Water 2.0 system.
The Invictus X9 is a cordless vacuum frequently promoted on home shopping channels. These segments, which last about 25–30 minutes, feature numerous customers praising its features, such as the LED lights on the crevice attachment, or how it's like "carrying a bag of feathers" up the stairs.
Keep watching, and you're encouraged to "call now" to take advantage of a "very special offer" for viewers which, at the time of the particular segment we watched, consisted of a free three-piece accessory kit and motorised mini brush – items which are already standard for many stick vacuums.
However, the price of the actual vacuum is never revealed until you call an operator.
While we don't know for sure if customers would get the same offer, we can reveal our buyers spent a whopping $1239.96 all up for the vacuum, its various attachments, and postage. The breakdown was:
- $899.99 for the main vacuum
- $234.99 for the X-Water 2.0 wet vacuum attachment
- $74.99 for a storage and charging set plus free battery
- $29.99 for postage and handling
- a free motorised mini power brush.
So is it really the fantastic cleaning system it claims to be?
What is the Invictus X9?
The Invictus X9 is a cordless stick vacuum that's also compatible with a wet cleaning attachment called the "X-Water 2.0" designed to suck up liquid spills.
What do you get with the Invictus X9?
The main unit comes with one soft roller head designed for use on both hard floors and carpet, and a removable battery.
When we ordered, we also received a mini motorised brush head, crevice tool and combination tool (upholstery/wide brush head).
But we had to pay extra for the charging dock, which came with a spare battery, as well as the X-Water 2.0 wet cleaning attachment.
The accessories supplied with the Invictus X9 may vary, and you may pay extra for attachments like the wet cleaning system or for spare batteries.
Invictus X9 stick vacuum performance
The advertising would have you believe the Invictus X9 is the best in its class, but it doesn't stand out from most other stick vacs we've tested.
The Invictus X9 advertisements don't meaningfully compare its soft roller head with other brush roller heads.
While we found it very good on hard floors, the single supplied soft roller head, designed for all surfaces, did not do well on our test carpet.
The television ad compares the Invictus's soft roller head versus other stick vacuums' brush-style heads in an unrealistic way, by manually hand raking each one across some sand without any spinning or suction action.
The ads claim that the universal brush "maintains contact with the floor surface", and while this is technically the case, our tests show it doesn't gather up the dirt from carpet in the same way a brush style would.
Invictus X9 wet cleaning system
Apart from the stick vacuum itself, television viewers are encouraged to buy the additional X-Water 2.0 attachment that sucks up liquid spills. This unit costs $234.99 and despite its claims to be better than paper towels or regular mops, it's very impractical.
Cleaning small spills with the X-Water 2.0 is a huge effort.
Water dripped from the cleaning attachment after use.
First, you place cold (or at most, lukewarm) water into a clean water compartment (a few drops of detergent is only advised "if necessary", and not in boost mode as foam may get sucked into the motor).
A spinning brush roll combines with the water to suck up spills, which then go into a dirty water compartment. That's all fine until you realise you need to rinse off the brush roll on the supplied cleaning tray. And then you have to empty the dirty water from the tanks.
Although it kind of works, it took us more than three minutes to clean a water and clay mixture from the floor, and you can forget it if your spill has any undissolvable "bits" in it, like the potting mix we tried to clean up, which got pushed around. Water also dripped from it after cleaning. In short, it's a huge effort if you've just spilled a bit of coffee!
You're also warned that it's "only suitable for vacuuming up small pieces of dirt and liquids", and not to use the appliance at an angle of less than 30° to the floor, "otherwise water could get into the main unit".
You need to clean the brush roll in the cleaning tray.
Battery and storage
The Invictus X9 is designed to be "self standing", meaning you can stand it up on its end in the middle of a room when it's not in use. This isn't, however, a gravity-defying unit, and we can see circumstances where a small nudge would send it crashing onto the floor. You'd be better off mounting it or simply leaning it against a wall. The swappable battery is a welcome inclusion.
Ease of use
Thankfully, the Invictus does have a few redeeming features: it has excellent reach under low furniture, and it's easy to empty the dust from the see-through bin into a garbage bag. The controls are also easy to operate on the main body.
How does it compare to other stick vacuums?
The Invictus X9 performance does not compare well with similarly-priced high-end models, and there are also far cheaper models we've reviewed which outrank it. Our testers observed how its design is surprisingly similar to another model we've reviewed, the i-vac Ultra Light Plus, which is just $249.99.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.