Ridgid Pro Pack 4.5 Gal. 5.0 Peak HP Portable Wet/Dry Vac – It Sucks, It Blows; It’s Great On The Go

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What's This?This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. If you’ve ever lugged a typical wet/dry vac from job to job, you know how cumbersome they can be: An unruly power cord; that ever-slithering hose. Accessories leaping from their holders like popcorn on a skillet; the bulbous canister and hard protrusions slam dancing against your shin. Maybe it’s time to consider a different kind of portable vacuum. This toolbox-looking Ridgid Pro Pack wet/dry vac was sent to us for evaluation. And after putting it through its paces, I like it even more than I expected; let me show you why.

Ridgid Pro Pack – A Spec-tacular Little Wet/Dry Vac

Oversized power button
The power switch is right up front, and large enough that even bulky gloves are no problem.

Here are some specs to get this orange ball rolling:

* 5 peak HP motor provides strong suction.
* 4.5 gallon drum. (Actual collection capacity is less; depends on what you’re sucking up.)
* Long 20′ power cord.
* Built-in accessory storage.
* Flexible 1-7/8” diameter hose stretches from 2′ – 7′. Has suction control too.
* Includes 2 extension wands, crevice tool, utility nozzle and a dusting brush nozzle.
* Comes with a 3-layer filter (other filter options sold separately).
* Easy to carry and store tool box design.
* Approx. dimensions: 13-1/4” tall; 20” wide; 14” deep (including wand storage).
* Weighs about 15-1/2 pounds w/empty canister.

Flexible stretch hose
The hose is nice and flexible and stretches pretty easily.


Ridgid Pro Pack Portable Wet/Dry Vac – Perfect For The Jobsite

Comfortable handle design
The beefy handle is easy to keep ahold of and never cuts into your fingers.

The first thing you’ll notice about the Ridgid Pro Pack is the shape. It looks like a tote-around tool box or fishing tackle box. The genius of this design may not be immediately obvious, but after using it for a bit, I’ve developed a true appreciation for it.

Extension wands
The two 20” extension wands snap cozily into and out of the clips on back, yet stay put when you want them to.

Some of the advantages I’ve noticed about this design include:

1) It’s far more convenient to carry around than any other portable vac I’ve ever owned; even the small ones.

2) The power cord, hose and nozzles are all stored in enclosed compartments. And the two extension wands clip into holders on the back.

3) When loading up for a job, it packs neatly in with the other tools and cases in your vehicle. Most portable vacs don’t pack worth a crap; and that’s a fact!

4) It’s easier to store than the usual round canister design.

Filter Options

3 layer filter
I like that the Pro Pack comes with the mid-grade filter, rather then the least expensive one.

The unit comes with the 3 layer filter. But other filter options include a basic 1-layer filter, a 5-layer HEPA filter, or a wet debris foam filter. For drywall and other powdery debris, try the dry pick-up bags.

I also like how the filters lock firmly into place (unlike some other vacs I use, where setting the unit down too hard can dislodge the filter without you knowing, until it’s too late).

Gull Winged Wet/Dry Vac – 0.00000108 Gigawatt (Give Or Take) Dust Capacitor

Gull wings
Legend has it that if you get this vac up to 88mph it will take you back to a time before you made the mess to begin with.

With the storage flaps open, the Ridgid Pro Pack looks like it just came back from the future. The lift-up doors, of course, are how the passengers get inside; those passengers being a hose, power cord and three accessory nozzles.

Accessory storage
The left side has a cavity to stow the hose, crevice tool and power cord. The utility nozzle and brush attachment both live in the shallow compartment on the other side of the vacuum.
Cord passage
The flap is notched so the power cord doesn’t get pinched.

The latches were a little fiddly the first handful of times I tried opening the storage covers. But before I knew it, they were broken in and working effortlessly every time (to where I forgot all about it). The latches that secure the collection canister, however, have worked perfectly every time, from the very first time. I’m also pleased that the canister has mated perfectly to the upper housing every time I’ve tried so far. I’ve never had to mess around to find proper alignment, like I often do with round canister vacs.

No Wheels – No Problem

A great auto detailing vac
Being able to carry the unit so easily comes in rather “handy”.

When the Ridgid Pro Pack arrived, my significant other’s first observation was “a ‘shop vac’ is supposed to have wheels”. I agreed; at first. But I quickly learned that not having wheels in this case is actually kind of nice. With a large canister unit, you would want to be able to roll it around the shop floor. But that’s not really what this is for.

Locking tabs
The hoses and extension wands have locking tabs. So everything stays connected; even if you tug the vac along by the hose, as we all tend to do.

The Pro Pack is all about convenient, no fuss portability. It’s something you can grab, load up with the rest of your tools and take with you. It’s not going to roll around in your vehicle; or have casters clogging with dirt and debris, then tracking it into your home (or worse, a customer’s home). And you’re not going to be losing any accessories on long bumpy rides.

Stay-put attachments
The attachments stay put too.

The Pro Pack As A Car Vac

Crevice tool
Use the crevice tool to reach those tight areas and inside corners.
Deep pockets
The crevice tool is also great for deep door pockets and other nooks that you just can’t get into any other way.

Right after the “no-wheels” observation, an even bigger revelation occurred to the lady of the house: the fact that I can use the Ridgid Pro Pack to vacuum out her car! Now, I’d already planned to do both of our vehicles (no, really!), but she spoke up before I could get it out, thus robbing my shot at being the thoughtful superhero. Perhaps I’ll surprise her by cleaning the bathrooms. Nah, let’s not get carried away with this whole “nice guy” thing!

Time to clean up.
Since I know what’s good for me, I did her car first.

Our driveway “mulch” is really just stump grindings from a house-threatening red oak I had removed right before last year’s hurricane Irma. Our shoes track it everywhere, especially when it’s wet.

What a mess!
The stiff wood fibers embed themselves into carpeting and don’t like to let go. This mess was under the mat in my car.
Getting the job done.
Pro Pack has plenty of suction to get the job done.
Better here than there.
Here’s the dirty, hairy harvest from both of our vehicles.

Like A Rock Star – Heavy Pebble

Don't cry over spilt gravel.
Oh silly me: I “accidentally” spilled this entire bag of gravel on my workbench! There is soooo much egg on my face right now!

You’d fully expect dirt, leaves and tiny wood fibers to be a piece of cake for just about any vacuum (though a lot of the splintery fibers were partially embedded into the cars’ carpeting). So I bought a 0.5 cubic foot bag of pea gravel to see how well the Ridgid Pro Pack can handle something a little more substantial.

No problem for the Pro Pack vac.
The Pro Pack vac greedily gobbled this gravel like a gorging glutton, as if I hadn’t fed it in a week. It didn’t even bother to chew.
Gravel pit
I was able to collect over half of the gravel before emptying the canister.

Variable Suction – Ridgid Pro Pack Only Sucks As Much As You Need It To

Variable suction control
The size of this opening can be varied to dial back the sucktitude quotient.

High suction is a hallmark of a good vacuum, but – believe it or not – there may be times when less is more. Adjust the vent on the handle of the hose to divert some power away from the business end.

Vacuuming a car mat.
Vacuuming low pile carpeting with a utility nozzle can become a game of tug of war, as the vac gloms on for dear life. But, reduce the suction and it requires a lot less effort.
A pain to clean up.
I often find messes like this around my shop, sometimes in drawers or hardware bins.
Reduced suction makes it a breeze.
Use reduced suction – along with the brush attachment – to clean up dust and shavings while leaving heavier material behind.
Wait, that was easy!
That was a lot easier than separating it out by hand. And it took only a few seconds.

Wet Vac – Quenching The Pro Pack’s Thirst

Filter removal
Remove the filter before sucking up water.

For the “wet” half of “wet/dry”, I put some H2O in a plastic tub and had a go at it. Granted, the Pro Pack’s canister is on the smaller end of the spectrum. But it makes quick work of a couple gallons of agua. So if you get there quickly enough after your leak detector texts you, the Pro Pack will take care of business.

Wet vac float
This float cuts off suction once water reaches the maximum fill level. When you hear the sound raise in pitch, it’s time to empty the canister.

I’ll definitely be using this the next time I need to drain a toilet tank (and I have a cracked one to replace). I’ve had the displeasure of uncorking plenty of toilet tanks – replacing fill valves, flush valve gaskets, bolt washers, and entire tanks. Flushing never drains all of the water from the tank, so I usually soak up the remaining puddle with old towels. The Pro Pack wet/dry vac will take care of it a lot faster and easier.

Chug, chug, chug!
This baby can suck up 2 gallons of water in 7 seconds or less.
Fluid transfer
The Pro Pack will drink you under the table, but it seems to max out at just over 2 gallons.

This is also an optional wet floor nozzle with removable squeegee.

Ridgid Pro Pack – The Little Blowhard That Could

Blower port
The blower port is hiding under one of the storage flaps.

So, we know little spitfire eagerly inhales water and dry matter. But she’s also good for a hearty breeze every now and then. You wouldn’t want to purchase the Ridgid Pro Pack as “a blower”, but it’s a nice secondary function.

Unfortunately, the flap won’t fully close when using the blower port.
Blow hard
The blower function is perfect for small areas!
Mower debris
I usually spend too long with a broom, sweeping away mower droppings from my half-paved driveway.
All gone!
I was able to blow away the leaves and grass clippings in no time.

Ridgid 4.5 Gal. 5.0-peak HP Portable Wet/Dry Vac – Wrap Up

Ridgid Pro Pack Wet/Dry Vac
Ridgid 4.5 gallon 5.0 peak HP Pro Pack Wet Dry Vac. Photo: HomeDepot.com

After using the Pro Pack a fair amount now, I still really like it. It’s convenient and relatively lightweight. And it has respectable power in a compact package. It’s close to perfect for what it is. I should point out, however, that I didn’t test every possible situation or type of debris to be vacuumed. Frankly, I’m taking both the “4.5 gallon” and “5.0 peak HP” claims with a grain of salt. I feel that those are optimistic figures. If you absolutely must have canister capacity of more than a couple gallons (especially for water), consider the 10-gallon Pro Pack Plus instead.

If I were asked to improve the Pro Pack, I’d notch out the one flap so it closes around the hose (while using the blower port). And honestly, that’s about it. I’d also love to see a battery powered version. Not having to run a power cord would truly take the “portable” to a place I think we’d all like it to be.

With all the Pro Pack has going for it (plus The Home Depot’s new low price) this little sucker is making a lot of happy customers. The online reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. I think, they’re well deserved.

Buy the Ridgid Pro Pack Wet/Dry Vac for under $80:

Buy Now - via Home Depot

I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with Home Fixated in sponsored content. As a part of the sponsorship, Home Fixated is receiving compensation for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are our own words. This post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

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About Steve

Steve made his first woodworking project at age 9 (in 1982) and whittled his first wooden chain at 18. He was also a consumer electronics repair tech and shop owner for a little over 20 years, until his impending obsolescence became impossible to ignore. Since then, Steve has focused passionately on manipulating his wood... in his workshop. Don't judge him.

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