While we’re still in the midst of Spring and quickly approaching the Summer months, Black+Decker just informed us about an upgrade to their popular 3-in-1 leaf blower, vacuum, and mulcher combo, which is slated to be released just before Fall this year (2017).
The new Black+Decker 3-in-1 VACPACK features an easy-to-wear backpack leaf collection bag with 2x the capacity of its predecessor, the BV5600. Connecting the bag to the unit itself is a flexible vacuum tube, which allows for greater maneuverability. Empty, the entire system only weighs in at about 12 lbs.
The VACPACK’s bag incorporates a wide, zipper-free opening for quick emptying with no leaves getting stuck on the zipper teeth—a frustrating scenario with other systems.
The 12-amp corded VACKPACK blows at a respectable 250 MPH and 400 CFM, and incorporates Black+Decker’s POWERBOOST button for increased power on-demand. That’s a decent velocity, but not as powerful as others on the market today and at similar price points. The mulching ratio of the VACPACK is 16:1; also not as strong as others in the same category.
The Black+Decker 3-in-1 VACPACK will be available in August  for around $80 at retailers nationwide and, eventually, on Amazon.com. The unit comes with a two-year limited warranty and 30-day money back guarantee.
As the world continues to go cordless, longer runtimes are still oftentimes required. For the average homeowner, the corded 12-amp Black+Decker VACPACK seems like a decent—but not a remarkable—offering for a sub-$100 3-in-1 blower, vacuum, mulcher combo.
The VACPACK’s got more velocity than something like the WORX Turbine Fusion, but doesn’t move as much air—which is really what matters most when clearing large piles of leaves. And at a 16:1 vs. 24:1 mulching ratio, it doesn’t mulch as well as the WORX TF, either.
Still, the VACPACK’s roomy bag and backpack configuration make it [seemingly] easier to manage and will require less emptying, despite its lower mulching ratio (if we did our math correctly).