9 Best Backpack Sprayers: Reviewed, Rated & Compared

Best Budget Sprayer

The Chapin 61500 offers great value for money with 2 stage filtration & 4 inch mouth opening.

Best Battery Powered 

The My 4 Sons is battery powered for easy use. It also sprays up to 30 ft in length.

If you own a piece of land or even a garden which is bigger than average, you’ll be only too familiar with the non-stop battle against perennial weeds.

Many an evening or weekend of precious free time is inevitably devoted to the task of wielding a cumbersome hand pump sprayer, a string trimmer or even a watering can filled to the brim with evil chemicals. Perhaps you’re on the point of admitting defeat as the jungle seems to grow back even more vigorously each time.

Investing in a backpack sprayer is almost certain to be the best option to solve the problem, substantially reduce your workload, minimize fatigue and therefore increase efficiency. The chemical fix may not have been your ideal solution at the outset but desperation can eventually crack the most ardent environmentalist!

It’s not all about weeds, though! If you’re facing an insect infestation which is threatening your garden, you may well have reached the end of your tether with a hand-held bottle pump sprayer. And there are plenty of other garden applications for your sprayer, such as applying fungicide or fertilizer.

But it doesn’t have to stop in the garden – backpack sprayers are super-versatile and can be used for control of pesky insects like mosquitoes or household tasks like cleaning a car or boat, applying preservative to your decking, or even cleaning the exterior of your home.

What to Look for in a Good Backpack Sprayer

Durability Vs Usage

You don’t want to be going through the process of finding a replacement backpack weed sprayer too soon, so investing in the best quality you can afford makes good sense to ensure its longevity.

For use on your own land, the sprayer may only get an outing a couple of times a year and could last a lifetime. If you’re a commercial operator, it’ll be used on an almost daily basis, so dependability is as important as durability.

Shoulder & Back Comfort

Since you’re likely to be using your sprayer for longish periods – often hours at a time if you have a large area to spray - comfort is important. Moreover, since a full tank weighs a considerable amount, you must be careful not to do actual damage to your spine and shoulders.

Another factor to bear in mind is the width of the shoulder straps – the rule is that the wider the straps, the better the spread of the load. Padded shoulder straps are also worth looking out for to enhance comfort and back and shoulder strain.

Which Chemicals It Allows

You’ll need to do careful research into the chemicals which can be used in the sprayer. There’s little point in investing a considerable sum in the purchase and then finding that it’s not suitable for the chemicals you need to use.

Easy to Clean & Maintain

No one likes cleaning and maintaining tools like this but it is, of course, an essential job to ensure that the sprayer is kept in optimum condition and serves you well for a long time to come.

Some sprayers are more straightforward to maintain than others and it’s worth taking note of this before you purchase.

Safety Features

Working with chemicals is at best unpleasant and at worst actively dangerous, so it’s essential that the backpack weed sprayer you choose is designed with your safety and your health in mind. These aren’t things which should ever be compromized.


9 Backpack Sprayers Reviewed

1. Field King Max 190348 Professional Backpack Sprayer

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Type of Sprayer = Hand Pump
  • Size = 4 Gallons
  • PSI Range = 25-150 
  • Pump Type = Piston
  • Warranty = Yes – 1 Year

This sprayer from Field King is our top pick if you’re looking for the best manual backpack sprayer. It’s economical, practical and dependable for controlling weeds, fertilizing your lawn or applying pesticide, or a number of other garden and household applications.

The Field King Max features a built-in agitator which keeps liquids, powders and solutions mixed and ready to spray. Its unique internal No Leak Pump means that there’s no risk of your clothing or the skin of your back becoming wet and therefore coming into contact with the chemicals.

The internal seals are designed to be changed quickly without any need for tools and there’s a removable filter to minimize the chance of any clogging during use. The pump handle is foldable and is designed for either left- or right-handed use. Furthermore, the tank features a built-in carry handle and also wand storage facility.

This backpack sprayer comes complete with multiple brass nozzles to allow variation of stream depending on the job. The deluxe harness consists of a full back pad, a wide support waist belt and chest cinch strap which are all fully adjustable, ensuring comfort for the wearer.

You might also like to have a look at Field King’s older model which you’ll find here. It has many similar features and is a little less expensive.

Pros

  • Brass nozzles
  • Left or right-handed pump
  • Pressure regulator
  • Deluxe harness

Cons

  • Consistent pumping required to maintain pressure
  • Front strap on harness is a little high (but can be detached)

2. Chapin International 61500

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Type of Sprayer = Hand Pump
  • Size = 4 Gallons
  • PSI Range = Up To 90
  • Pump Type = NA
  • Warranty = Yes – 1 Year Limited

Whether you’re a pro or a having a go at DIY but you have a limited budget, then our suggestion for the most competitively-priced best backpack sprayer is the Chapin International 61500.

This sprayer is super-easy to use, so you’ll be able to get on with the job in no time and it’s really easy to clean up afterwards. You don’t need to worry about those unpleasant chemicals trickling down your back as this sprayer is virtually leak-free.

With a spray range of 25 feet horizontal and 23 feet vertical, it’ll be easier than you think to spray those hard-to-access areas. The 4-gallon tank will allow you to cover a large area quickly and efficiently and the padded straps and back pad make it comfortable to wear for as long as the job takes.

The plastic nozzle has a spray tip which adjusts from a fine mist to a focused stream depending on the job in hand.

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Ergonomic design
  • Easy to use
  • Translucent tank makes it easy to check liquid levels

Cons

  • Plastic nozzles
  • Plastic wand
  • Manual pumping can lead to fatigue

3. Roundup 190314 Backpack Sprayer

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Type of Sprayer = Hand Pump
  • Size = 4 Gallons
  • PSI Range = 25 - 150
  • Pump Type = Piston
  • Warranty = Yes – 1 Year Limited

If you’re looking for the best backpack sprayer for Roundup, then take a look at this selection, which is an economical and practical choice.

And it’s not just useful for spraying herbicide – it’s just as handy for cleaning large areas like walls and patios, fertilizing your lawn or tackling an insect infestation in your garden.

The piston pump means better pressure with fewer pumps and the Viton seals and gaskets are specially designed for chemical resistance. The tank has a large opening for easy filling and a basket filter to prevent debris entering the tank, so reducing clogging.

The pump handle is reversible for left or right-handers and there’s a built-in carry handle on the tank for easy manoeuvring. There are multiple nozzles included to create everything from a fine mist to a steady direct stream.

The harness is designed for comfort, with padded straps, waist belt and chest cinch strap – all this means that you can work in greater comfort for longer and get the job done.

Pros

  • Economically priced
  • Effective piston pump
  • Viton seals and gaskets
  • Reversible left or right-handed pump

Cons

  • Some reviewers complain about the amount of pumping required
  • Plastic wand and nozzles

4. My 4 Sons Battery Powered Backpack Sprayer

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Type of Sprayer = Battery Operated
  • Size = 4 Gallons
  • PSI Range = Up To 60 
  • Pump Type = Piston
  • Warranty = Yes – 1 Year (Limited)

Our top choice for the best battery powered commercial sprayer is this all-round domestic and garden helper from My 4 Sons.

If you’ve already had experience of manual pump sprayers and have had enough of the hard labor of constant pumping, then you’ll really appreciate this M4 battery-operated sprayer. If your budget allows, then don’t think twice about opting for a powered version.

The batteries pack a lot of punch and they can pump at least 200 gallons before requiring recharging with AC charger provided (recharge takes 8 hours). Changing the batteries is super-simple and quick – 30 seconds and you’re done!

The wand is made from durable stainless steel and the sprayer is supplied with a selection of nozzles to achieve a variety of spray effects. A plastic wand is also provided which is compatible with acids and bleaches.

The pressure output is variable, which makes this sprayer useful for a whole host of applications. Its versatility is one of the reasons the M4 sprayer is so popular for commercial use.

Pros

  • Long life, rechargeable batteries with AC charger included
  • Steel & plastic wands included
  • Selection of nozzle attachments
  • Large opening for easy filling and filter included

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Batteries need re-charging

5. Chapin International 63985

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Type of Sprayer = Battery Operated
  • Size = 4 Gallons
  • PSI Range = 35 - 40 
  • Pump Type = Piston
  • Warranty = Yes – 2 Year Limited

If you’re looking for a cheaper battery powered sprayer, then the Chapin International 63985 is a strong contender. It features a 20V Lithium Ion battery from Black & Decker which will give you nearly 2 hours of continuous spraying on one charge – that’s up to 50 gallons.

A battery charger is also included. Another great feature of this sprayer is that it has an exceptionally wide 6” mouth for easy filling and cleaning.

It’s also noticeably less heavy than many similar products which enhances comfort and the deluxe shoulder straps are padded too, to maximize comfort when using this sprayer. Of course, if you don’t have to pump manually, it’ll be a lot less physical effort for you to use this battery powered sprayer than a manual unit.

The unit comes with 3 nozzles for a variety of applications, from fertilizing to insect control. There’s also a built-in 3 stage filtration process to ensure that no debris clogs up the nozzle tip.

With its 35-40 psi pressure, this sprayer has an impressive 35ft maximum horizontal and 27ft vertical spray stream. Being a diaphragm pump, it can be used with wettable powder and liquid chemicals, including bleach.

Pros

  • Battery powered
  • 35-40 psi
  • 35ft horizontal and 27ft vertical spray stream
  • 6” wide mouth for easy filling and cleaning

Cons

  • Heavy when filled to capacity
  • Batteries need re-charging

6. Solo 475-B Diaphragm Pump Backpack Sprayer

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Type of Sprayer = Hand Pump
  • Size = 4 Gallons
  • PSI Range = 15 - 60
  • Pump Type = Diaphragm
  • Warranty = Yes – 1 Year Limited

Our recommendation for the best diaphragm backpack sprayer is this high-performing product from Solo. The benefit of a diaphragm sprayer is that is can be used with wettable powders, liquid formulations and bleach solutions.

The diaphragm is made from material designed for its resistance to harsh chemicals, including bleach, a feature which extends its useful life.

This sprayer is designed for all types of spraying jobs including disinfectants, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers. It’s supplied with 4 assorted durable brass and plastic nozzles for use in a variety of applications.

The adjustable pressure regulator means you can select from 4 options - 15, 30, 45 and 60 psi – which is a useful feature if you’re using the sprayer for different purposes around your property and household.

Comfort for the wearer is enhanced by deluxe padded straps and waist belt to ensure a snug fit. This sprayer stores away neatly when not in use, with a special wand retainer which also improves portability, so it won’t get in your way when you don’t need to use it.

Pros

  • Adjustable pressure regulator
  • Suitable for wettable as well as liquid products
  • Padded straps and waist belt for comfort

Cons

  • 10.7 pounds unladen weight
  • Some reviewers complain of leaks

7. Petra Electric Fogger Atomizer Backpack Sprayer

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Type of Sprayer = Electric
  • Size = 4 Gallons
  • PSI Range = Adjustable
  • Pump Type = Very High
  • Warranty = Yes – 120 Day Limited

If you’re in a situation where you have AC power available nearby, then why not save yourself the effort of pumping or the bother of re-charging batteries and choose an electric backpack sprayer?

This is our choice for the best electric powered sprayer. If you’re looking for the best atomizer sprayer/mist blower/fogger, then this is the one you’ve been searching for. It’s ideal for commercial pest control but also for home use to save money on paying commercial operators to do the job.

Its premium 1200W motor can shoot up to 15 ft of chemicals so you can cover your field, yard, crops, garden or orchards in record time. There’s an adjustable screw so you can easily change the rate of flow at any time to suit the conditions.

The Petra atomizer is industrial grade and can spray a wide variety of foliar feed chemicals as well as pest and disease control products.

Provided with a large commercial extended coil hose, you can easily extend this hose above your head to reach taller plants and trees and hard-to-reach areas.

The wide mouth opening makes it easy to fill and the screen filter will keep any debris from entering the tank and clogging the nozzle. The heavy-duty backpack straps are designed with comfort in mind, so you’ll be able to carry the atomizer comfortably for extended periods.

Pros

  • Powerful 1200W motor
  • 15ft range
  • Industrial quality but suitable for domestic use
  • Extended coil hose

Cons

  • Range limited by electric cable length
  • Designed as atomizer/fogger/mister rather than sprayer

8. Tomahawk Gas Power Pesticide/Fertilizer Backpack Sprayer

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Type of Sprayer = Gas
  • Size = 6.6 Gallons
  • PSI Range = Up To 435 
  • Pump Type = Motorized
  • Warranty = Yes

With its powerful but lightweight 1.8hp engine, this product from Tomahawk is our pick for the best gas powered sprayer, especially for commercial use.

It’s at the higher end of the price range for sprayers, so you may not want to invest so much if you’re looking for a domestic sprayer. If your budget allows, though, this unit would do a great job around the home – you’d end up saving money on paying for commercial services.

This gas powered sprayer works fast. Its 6.6 gallon tank allows you to cover 1 acre of land in just 15 minutes. There’s no stopping, starting or tiresome pumping to be done, which is one of the biggest benefits of gas powered versus manual sprayers.

It features reduced vibration to maintain operator comfort, with adjustable backpack straps and cushioning to distribute weight evenly to reduce fatigue. The impressive 30ft range of spraying power also helps to get the job done quicker.

The wand is adaptable to a wide range of attachments, so it’s suitable for all sorts of chemicals and applications whether domestic, commercial or agricultural.

Pros

  • 7 x faster than manual sprayers
  • Adjustable wands/nozzles for optimal spray coverage
  • Spray 1 acre in 15 minutes
  • Effective against ticks carrying Lyme disease
  • Effective against mosquitoes carrying Zika virus

Cons

  • High price point
  • 6.6 gallon tank is heavy when filled to capacity

9. Solo 451 Gas Powered Lightweight Mist Blower

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Type of Sprayer = Gas
  • Size = 3 Gallons
  • PSI Range = Very High
  • Pump Type = Mist Blower
  • Warranty = Yes – 1 Year

Our top choice for the best backpack mist blower is this unit from Solo, featuring a lightweight 2-stroke engine which delivers an impressive 2.9hp. At the top of the price range for backpack sprayers, the Solo 451 is perfect for commercial applications and is designed with large-scale operations in mind.

Not only is it perfect for plant protection, this mister can also be used for disinfection, parasite control in animal herds, in stables, storage areas, ships and containers and for mosquito control.

It comes with a range of accessories which increase its versatility, including a range of nozzles designed for different applications. You can increase the spray width with the wide spray grille. The nozzle with single-sided deflector enables easier spraying of rows of crops and also means you can reach underneath leaves.

There’s also a double-sided deflector so you can treat two rows at a time, improving efficiency and reducing spraying time. Chemical usage can be controlled effectively by the chemical metering valve, maximizing efficiency and minimizing waste.

Pros

  • Powerful yet fuel efficient 2.9hp engine
  • High grade, corrosion resistant tank
  • Chemical metering valve
  • Easy start, anti-vibration system

Cons

  • Top of price range

Main Components of a Backpack Sprayer

Tank

Most tanks have a capacity of 2-4 gallons of liquid and are made from lightweight, durable, UV resistant, polyethylene plastic. Bear in mind that a larger tank, when full to capacity, will weigh more than a smaller tank so be careful not to overburden yourself.  

Wand

This is the long shaft which guides the pressurized liquid down through the nozzle and enables you to direct the spray precisely at your target area. The length of the shaft allows you to reach tricky places such as above your head.

Nozzle

The nozzle controls the pattern of the spray and the rate of flow. Sprayers are usually sold with a selection of nozzles for different applications. These have various spray patterns such as narrow or wide stream, fan, cone or direct stream.

Some nozzles are manufactured from plastic but the longest lasting nozzles are bronze or brass. They’ll save you money and give you better service in the long term.

Pump

This draws the liquid from the tank and guides it into the pressurizing chamber. The seals and valves keep the liquid under pressure until the lever on the wand is triggered.

The liquid is then directed through the nozzle in whatever spray pattern has been selected for the task.

Shoulder Straps & Harness

It’s essential that both the straps and body harness are fully adjustable to ensure the best possible fit and maximum comfort. Wider straps will generally afford a better level of comfort.

The harness keeps the sprayer supported and your hands free to operate the lever and for other tasks. A well-fitting harness will also minimize fatigue for the operator.

best backpack sprayer for bleach

Types of Backpack Sprayers

When it comes to the wide variety of backpack sprayers on the market it is easy to get confused. There are many makes, models and sizes. These 2 styles of backpacks below are the main options that we have covered throughout out article.

Manual (Hand Pump)

Although manual pump sprayers are relatively inexpensive compared to their motorized counterparts and also the most commonly used, long term usage can cause fatigue in the hand and arm.

It all comes down to the size of the area you’re intending to treat. A manual pump will do an effective job if the area isn’t too large.

If you’re left-handed, you’ll probably benefit from tracking down a manual pump sprayer which can be adapted to left or right-hand operation.

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Most farms have at least one backpack sprayer. They are cheap to buy, easy to run and are an efficient way to get the sprays on the crop.


Motorized (Electric, Battery, Gas)

For larger areas, there’s no doubt that the preferable option is a motorized sprayer, powered either by battery, gas or in some cases electricity. They’re undoubtedly faster and certainly demand less physical effort but they’re more expensive, heavier and also need regular maintenance which adds to their running costs.

Difference Between Piston & Diaphragm Sprayers

Piston

These are easily identifiable by the up-and-down motion. The pistons are contained in a chamber inside the tank. They normally create a good level of pressure – usually about 90 psi. When you operate the lever, it creates pressure that forces the liquid into the wand. Although piston sprayers are often the cheaper option, they can’t be used for highly abrasive chemicals as they can destroy the piston.

Diaphragm

These can be more expensive. They work in a similar way to a piston pump, but without the internal cylinder. The pumping of the handle moves the diaphragm to create the pressure.

The benefit of diaphragm sprayers is that the mechanism is much more resistant to chemicals and you can use wettable powders as well as liquids. Diaphragm pumps give you quicker pressure when you need it. Bear in mind that diaphragm sprayers may require more maintenance to keep them functioning at an optimum level.

If you’re still unsure of the differences between piston and diaphragm sprayers, take a look at this explanatory video:


Benefits of Using Backpack Sprayers

  • Speed
  • Efficiency
  • Effective application
  • Even application
  • More targeted, so less waste (better for economy and environment)

What Chemicals Can You Spray

It’s vital that you check the manufacturer’s manual supplied with your sprayer to identify that it’s safe to use the particular chemicals you’re intending to use.

For example, it’s not recommended to use wettable powders with piston sprayers as they clog the mechanism. Similarly, you can’t use abrasive substances in a piston sprayer because they will damage the piston.

Depending on the type of sprayer you have, this is a range of possible substances you can use:

  • Weed killer
  • Insecticide
  • Fungicide
  • Bleach
  • Herbicide
  • Wallpaper remover
  • Mildew inhibitor
  • Decking cleaner

man spraying the field

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How do you calibrate a backpack sprayer?

This can be a complex task, albeit an important one to ensure maximum efficiency of your spraying campaign. The video below explains the necessary steps very simply.

How do you use a backpack sprayer efficiently?

The effectiveness of any treatment with a backpack sprayer comes down to the correct dosage. Pesticides and fertilizers, for example, are important for good crop yields but efficient use could save you money and/or increase yields.

Over-use, on the other hand, is potentially damaging for the environment. Accurate calibration of your sprayer is therefore crucial, especially if you’re using contact substances.

Two types of chemicals are used in agriculture/horticulture: systemic (the chemicals are absorbed by the plant and work from within) and contact (only effective where it makes direct contact with the plant).

When spraying systemic products spray coverage isn’t so important. With contact substances, on the other hand, it’s vital to get the correct coverage. If the liquid is divided into many small droplets (i.e. at a higher working pressure) good overall leaf coverage will be achieved.

Effectiveness of cover will also be affected by external factors and it’s important to bear these in mind when planning a spraying campaign:

  • Wind - Spraying in very windy conditions isn’t recommended because the droplets will drift from the target. Using nozzles that produce bigger droplets will help to counteract the effect of wind but generally spraying isn’t advisable in wind speeds of more than 6km/h.
  • Day temperature – Never spray during the hottest time of the day because the smaller droplets will evaporate into the air.
  • Stage of development and density of crop – Bear in mind that the bigger the crop, the higher the spray volume rate in liters/hectare that must be applied to get good spray coverage.

The recommended spray volume to cope with different conditions is usually indicated on the packaging of the product you are using. It may look something like this:

knapsack sprayer

Selecting the correct nozzle will also help with efficiency so be sure to consult the manual provided with the sprayer to identify the correct nozzle and spray pattern for the intended purpose and in the prevailing conditions.

What distance do these spray guns reach?

This will always vary depending on the power of the wand, the level of pressure, the choice of nozzle and the prevailing conditions. It’s important to make sure that the sprayer you buy has a sufficient reach for its intended purpose.

Failure to do this will result in wastage of expensive chemicals since they won’t reach their intended target, causing unnecessary environmental contamination and also a waste of money.

How do you take apart and clean or repair a backpack sprayer?

This will, of course, depend on the product you’ve purchased and you should always refer to the manufacturer’s manual for instructions.

On the whole, modern backpack sprayers are designed for ease of maintenance and only a few simple guidelines need to be followed to keep the equipment in optimum condition:

  • Read the service manual to check for particular requirements for your sprayer.
  • After each spraying job, clean the inside and outside of the sprayer thoroughly, including disassembling and cleaning each part meticulously, according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Check for wear and correct fitting of the ‘O’ rings - having a few spares on hand is advisable for quick and easy replacement.
  • Reassemble the unit and store in a clean and dry area.
  • Note that plastic sprayers should not be left out in the sun as they are affected by UV radiation which will harm the plastic and shorten the useful life of the equipment.
Are the spray systems comfortable and safe to carry?

Always follow manufacturer’s guidance on safe use of the equipment. Comfort levels vary but our suggestion is to look for backpack sprayers with fully adjustable preferably padded straps and harness to achieve the best fit and therefore greater comfort.

What other safety gear should I wear when spraying?

Make no mistake that many of the chemicals you’ll be handling pose a threat to human health. It’s essential, therefore, to wear appropriate personal protection equipment, including eye protection, chemical-resistant gloves, and coveralls and when necessary, chemical-resistant clothing and a respirator.

Don’t cut any corners when it comes to safety. Guidance will always be provided on the chemical packaging as to the correct safety gear for the product.


Conclusion

Armed with all these facts about what to look for in the best backpack sprayer and our list of reviewed products, you’re now much better informed and less likely to be bamboozled into buying the wrong sprayer for the job you want to do.

Working with chemicals is never pleasant and, of course, can be a threat to your health and to the environment, so making sure you’ve got the most efficient and effective product that’s specifically designed for the task is a step in the right direction.

Take a look at our selection of the best backpack sprayers for everything from weed control to insect infestation. Choose the right one for your needs and it’ll be a really versatile and labor-saving addition to your household and garden equipment.


  • Updated September 20, 2020
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