Backpack Sprayer Reviews
We spent over 32 hours researching, testing, and spraying foliage to learn all we could about backpack sprayers. We knew we wanted to pick top quality products that were safe and easy to use. In the end, we found that we loved the Field King Professional No Leak Sprayer the best because it got the job done efficiently and with the least amount of hassle at a reasonable price.
Backpack Sprayer Buying Guide
What is a Backpack Sprayer?
Maintaining your garden is never easy, and it can be difficult physical work, but having the proper tools can make all the difference. A backpack sprayer can save you time and energy by making it possible to get your garden spraying done much quicker than if you were using a hand-held pump.
They attach to your back the same way that a backpack does by using two padded straps that go over your shoulders. Many sprayers also have a belt that you can tighten around your waist to help distribute the weight and make the sprayer more comfortable to use. Because they need to be carried around all day, they are designed to be lightweight and comfortable to use. Of course, their maximum weight will depend on the size of the tank and how much liquid it can hold.
To keep the sprayers lightweight, they are made of polyethylene plastic which is resistant to corrosion from any chemicals you might use in the tank. You can expect your sprayer to weigh anywhere between 15 and 45 pounds (commercial size) when fully loaded with liquid. Most sprayers have a tank size of about four gallons, and it helps to know that one gallon of liquid weighs approximately 8 pounds.
Backpack sprayers are designed to work best when your situation requires you to apply chemicals in small areas or when you need to be careful of surrounding plants and habitats. However, it’s important to note that the spray tanks should be rinsed completely after each use because pesticides can be corrosive and can eat away at and damage internal parts.
Another suggestion is to use a different sprayer for your pesticides than the one you use for herbicides. Many models will let you easily switch out the tanks which mean you won’t need to take off and clean out your tank each time you use a different chemical.
Types of Backpack Sprayers
Manually Powered – Equipped with a holding tank, a pump with pumping lever, a pressure-holding chamber and hose and wand with a control valve.
With manually powered sprayers the liquid is pumped via the pumping lever into the pressurized chamber where it is held until you pull the trigger.
- Piston Pump–A piston pump can generate more pressure than a diaphragm pump. Higher pressure in the sprayer can generate smaller droplets, and they will have a farther reach. This style of pump is perfect for spraying insecticide on larger shrubs and trees. Conversely, it is not great for sprayingweedkiller because the smaller droplets can blow in the wind and land in unwanted locations.
- Diaphragm Pump – Diaphragm pumps are completely enclosed systems, and they are more chemically resistant. As a rule of thumb, use a diaphragm pump if you mostly spray down because the diaphragm pump has alower pressure which therefore produces less drift.
Engine Powered – This style of pump is engine powered and not as common as the manually powered style. However, engine powered backpack sprayers can be helpful if you have hours of spraying ahead of you and want to avoid fatigue. These are more commonly used in commercial situations.
|Piston Pump||Diaphragm Pump|
|Pressure||Up to 6-barof pressure (equals 87.0 psi) if the plug is on the top of the pressure chamber.||Up to 4-barof pressure (equals 58.0 psi)|
|Use||Higher Pressure is easier to achieve||Higher Pressure is more difficult to achieve|
|Spray Liquid Type||For use with low viscosity liquids||For use with higher viscosity liquids and more abrasive and aggressive liquids|
|Resistance||More mechanically resistant||More chemically resistant|
|Output Volume||More reach because of higher pressure||Less reach because of lower pressure|
How We Selected
We knew we wanted to test backpack sprayers that were already loved by existing customers. This is a fantastic way to weed out faulty products and be sure you’re getting a well-designed unit.
At first, there were hundreds of models to choose from, but once we weeded out the models with only a so-so rating, we were left with around 50 units.
We read online reviews as well as scoured respected sites such as This Old House where contractor Tom Silva actually prefers to use a backpack sprayer to clean a deck before re-staining, versus a power washer.
Backpack sprayers are great garden tools that can be used for anything from spraying chemicals on grass, flowers, shrubs, or trees to keep them pest free and weed free. Some people also use them with cleaning chemicals such as those used on wood and concrete.
Because of the amount of work involved, you will likely be hauling around a backpack sprayer for long periods of time. This means that you certainly want a unit that’s comfortable and safe. If you’ve ever had a chemical burn, you know how important it is to choose a model with good seals that don’t leak. A hospital trip on a beautiful summer day is never what the doctor ordered!
We started by heading off to the garden and sprayed fertilizer on our vegetable plants. We paid attention to how comfortable each sprayer was to wear, and we tested how easy it was to adjust the straps and waist belt. We know that gardeners come in all shapes and sizes and there’s no use in hauling around a sprayer that is going to tire you out before the job is done.
Next, we looked out for safety components. Sometimes it can be easy to forget to follow through with cleaning the tank after use. We looked for models that offer anti-leak features and high-quality seals to be sure that you are protected from any chemicals while spraying.
It was also important to us that the trigger and nozzles were easy to use and easy to adjust. Again, when using strong chemicals, you want to be sure that they are being placed exactlyin the right spot that you want.
After much testing and deliberation, we were able to rate our top five models for this guide.
What We Liked
- We liked that the Smith Performance sprayer comes with a one-way valve that prevents spills if the tank ever becomes inverted.
- We liked that the Field King came with four different nozzles included in the box. This helped us to tackle any job we had. And, we found it helpful that its wand also accepts TeeJet nozzles.
What We Didn’t Like
- We didn’t like that the Roundup Sprayer seemed to take extra pumping compared to others to keep the pressure up.
- We didn’t like that the Smith Performance sprayer weighs a bit more than the other sprayers we tested. However, we felt that was a small price to pay for the many extra features, both safety, and comfort, that it offers.
Using a backpack sprayer is a great way to get your gardening work done quickly and efficiently. They can be relatively easy to use but can also be easy to misuse. You’ll need to read up a bit on how to properly use them to avoid any accidents. Accidents while using a backpack sprayer can be particularly dangerous due to the use of strong chemicals in the sprayer tank. If you feel the risks outweigh the rewards, look locally for landscaping companies near me to find a reputable company that can get the job done for you.
Backpack sprayers come in many shapes and sizes. These variations help them be both useful and versatile in many different situations. However, you’ll need to understand the pros and cons of all your possible choices to make the best decision for your needs.
Our guide helps you make your way through the purchasing process and also points out what to look for and what to be careful of when using your backpack sprayer. You’ll want to be sure and be well informed before the purchase.
Because we’ve done all the research, you only need to read our above guide, and you’ll soon be on your way making your garden look beautiful!