Best Backpack Sprayer

Backpack Sprayer Types

We spent over 32 hours researching, testing, and spraying foliage to learn all we couldlearn about backpack sprayers. We knew we wanted to be sure 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 of it got the job done efficiently and with the least amount of hassle at a reasonable price.

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Best Backpack Sprayer

Field King Professional No Leak Sprayer

We found the Field King to be a great all-around model, and it surpassed goals in every test we threw its way.  It has a 40-gallon tank and is perfect for both small and large landscaping jobs.

We never experienced a leak, and the shoulder harness was comfortable and ergonomic which made it easy to use over long-haul projects.  The 21-inch wand and the 50-inch poly hose were also helpful in reaching any spot we wanted to reach.

We love that it comes with four different nozzles for varying jobs, as well as a filtration basket that sits in the large tank opening to keep debris out of the tank.  The nozzles included are (1) brass adjustable, (2) flat fan, and (1) foaming.

The price of this model is more affordable than some of the other models we tested, and because it worked just as well, or better, in every way, we chose it as our best overall sprayer.


Best Commerical Backpack Sprayer

Chapin 61900 4-Gallon Sprayer

We can see why this is one of the most-loved backpack sprayers on the market. Customers love that it offers bonus features that help you get the most bang for your buck when using this model.

The Chapin 61900 is a manual, hand pump style sprayer with a translucent tank.  This see-through tank helps you to know the current level of liquid left in the tank which saves time and hassle while on the job.

We love the 4-inch, wide-mouth opening which makes this model easy to fill and clean.  The plastic tank is compatible with common fertilizers, pesticides, and weed killers and it won’t break down when in contact with them, making it leak free and durable.This sprayer’s seals worked like a charm, and we never experienced any leaks.

This sprayer also offers a three-stage filtration system with an in-tank, removable and cleanable filter which helps keep debris from clogging the wand.  This is a huge asset when you’re opening the tank and using the sprayer a lot – no clogs to worry about!

This sprayer is perfect for both Professional and DIY landscapers and is easy to assemble and clean.

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.
Backpack Sprayer Safety
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.
Backpack Sprayer Review

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

Backpack Sprayer Top

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.
Backpack Sprayer in Use

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.

Reviews

Chapin 61900 4-Gallon Sprayer

Chapin 61900 4-Gallon Sprayer
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Compared to similar models, the Chapin 61900 is a truly professional model and a force to be reckoned with.Chapin backpack sprayers are well-known for offering precise and efficient results, and we can’t disagree.  We loved using this model and found that it performed as perfectly as we expected.

When using the Chapin 61900, we found that it was easy to apply our chemicals with precision and ease.  We were able to reduce waste and keep ourselves from over applying product because of its precision nozzle and top-notch pump.

This sprayer has a large, oversized, 4-inch opening for easier and quicker refills and the increased comfort of the shoulder straps helped reduce fatigue on larger jobs.Before filling the tank, this sprayer weighs in at 11.5 pounds.

One simple but helpful feature of the sprayer is that the wand clips into the base rail when not in use.  This made the sprayer easy to store and carry around.

Field King Professional No Leak Sprayer

Field King Professional No Leak Sprayer
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Field King brings us this fantastic 4-gallon sprayer that was designed with a No Leak Pump – making it safer to use as chemicals won’t drip onto you, your clothing, or any surrounding area.  Safety first!

We found the internal piston pump easy to access and we were able to change the seals in minutes – without using any tools!

The poly wand is durable and at 21 inches long,allows you to reach areas you otherwise couldn’t. Especially because it is at the end of a 50-inch hose.  Both the wand and the hose are chemical resistant and won’t break down.

We loved that the wand’s seals are well designed, Viton seals, which are made to be chemically resistant.  This made us feel confident and secure while using this sprayer.

In the box, you will receive the sprayer along with four nozzles:  1 brass adjustable, 2 flat fans, and 1 foaming nozzle.

Roundup 190327 No Leak Sprayer

Roundup 190327 No Leak Sprayer
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Sporting the well-known name of Roundup, we fully expected this sprayer would execute a fine job of spraying, and we were right.  This sprayer definitely lives up to its name.

The Roundup brand is easily recognized by any garden enthusiast who knows that this company is topnotch in the market and is well known for manufacturing products that control weed and pests, grow flowers and vegetables, as well as clean decks and siding.  It’s only natural that they would also know how to design a sprayer that can perfectly spread their products.

This backpack sprayer also uses Viton Seals to ensure chemical resistance and offers superior shut-off valves that help you control application comfortably.  These seals can also stand up to the harsh chemicals that are added to the tank and not break down when in contact with them.

The padded shoulder harness was quite comfortable to use with its adjustable, padded straps and waist belt that includes a cinch strap.

This sprayer also offers a top handle for quick jobs that don’t require you to attach the sprayer to your back. Just grab it and go when you just have a quick spot to spray.

Smith NL403 Performance Sprayer

Smith NL403 Performance Sprayer
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Smith Performance brings us this professional-level, 4-gallon sprayer that can handle any tough job.  We realize that this model is on the higher end of the five backpack sprayers we tested, but you quickly see why it costs more when you use it.

All the components are made of high-quality, durable materials, and the patented pump has minimal, high-wear parts. Because of this,you will have fewer replacement parts to deal with even though each of them can be replaced in minutes without needing tools.  All of this means less down time which is great for professionals and frequent users.

The chamber can pressurize to 150 psi which allows it to shoot a stream up to 30 feet.  The built-in agitator is able to handle liquids, powders, and water-soluble solutions and can keep them mixed and ready to spray.

The wand is 21 inches long and is made of stainless steel.  It boasts a 5-psi, no-drip, check-valve with an integrated filter, meaning that chemicals will not drip from the wand when it is idle.  At the end of the wand, the nozzle is adjustable to 4 settings depending on the job you’re doing.  These include course fan, fine fan, pin, and crack and crevice.

The harness on this model is an upgrade from many of the basic models, and it offers full coverage by using a padded, ballistic nylon that is breathable and comfortable.  It even offers lumbar support which keeps the sprayer in place on your back with no bouncing while it’s in use.

This is a fantastic all-around sprayer and is worth the extra dip into your wallet if you can work it into your budget.

Solo 425 4-Gallon Professional Sprayer

Solo 425 4-Gallon Professional Sprayer
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This professional grade sprayer easily and effectively handles fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and liquid disinfectants along with a host of additional formulas for tree and shrub protection.We love the diversity it offers thanks to the four-nozzle assortment that comes with the sprayer, including a fan spray, a hollow cone, an adjustable and a jet stream nozzle.

It also offers a bonus feature of an interchange pump handle to accommodate either right or left-handed operation.  This is great for lefties who are thrilled to find left-handed tools and equipment which are not readily available to them.

With the high-performance piston pump that’s included on this model, you can reach increased pressure capabilities from as high as 6psi to 90 psi.  It also comes with a commercial shut off valve that has lock-on and lock-off features to minimize fatigue during use.

Like the other modelswe tested,this model offers Viton seals which are high-performance seals that ensure the sprayer will last a long time.  Because of their durability, they will stand up to contact with harsh chemicals and not break down or leak.

Additional features include an ultraviolet-resistant tank, a felt padded strap system, a heavy-duty pressure cylinder, and a reversible pump lever.  It also has a 28-inch unbreakable want and a 48-inch high-pressure hose.

This is the only model we tested that has a double-filtration system which will lengthen the lifetime of the sprayer.  This system helps by keeping debris and particles from entering the tiny spaces of the sprayer and blocking the liquid.

Conclusion

Using a backpack sprayer is a great way to get your gardening work done quickly and efficiently.  They can be relatively easy to use butcan 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.

Backpack sprayers come in many shapes and sizes.  These variations help them beboth useful and versatile in many different situations.  However, you’ll need to understand the pros and cons of all your possible choicesto make the best decision for your needs.

Our guide helps you make your way through the purchasing process and alsopoints out what to look for and what to be careful of whenusing 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!

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Author: Danielle G.

Danielle is an Editor for ReadPlease and in charge of product testing...she started out in the IT industry, but then her love of wellness & whole nutrition led her to the Institute of Integrative Nutrition...when she's not reading up on that, she is listening to music, gardening, or trying to meet John Mayer.

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