Are you searching for the best backpack sprayer?
I’ve used a number of backpack sprayers over the years and I’ve found that all models are not created equal. A quality backpack sprayer will not only make the job easier, but it will last you a lot longer. With that in mind, I have reviewed the most popular models available and after reading this article you will know my recommendations.
Check the quick list below for links to customer reviews and prices for my best backpack sprayer picks, or read on for the full review:
- Chapin International Black & Decker Backpack Sprayer
- Field King Max Backpack Sprayer
- Solo Professional Backpack Sprayer
- Field King Professional Backpack Sprayer
- Roundup Commercial Backpack Sprayer
Like any form of life, plants are significantly affected by the type of their environment. This dictates investing effort and care into maintaining a healthy surrounding, which can also be incredibly time-consuming. But have no worries, the backpack sprayer is here to help you get it all done easier and faster. In this guide, I’ll be giving you all the details you need to know before buying a backpack sprayer.
Selecting the Best Backpack Sprayer
If you’re looking to save yourself a huge amount of time and hassle, then getting a backpack sprayer should be on top of your to-do list. While being portable and quite simple to use, this tool ensures the delivery of all kinds of products to your plants in a controlled efficient way. From insecticides and herbicides all the way to fertilizers, a backpack sprayer proves to be a must-have item that guarantees the dispense of these chemicals both accurately and sufficiently no matter the size of your property.
Features to Look For
Backpack sprayers include various features that we need to wrap our heads around in order to fully understand what we are searching for.
Backpack Sprayer Design
A backpack sprayer usually has a big polyethylene tank to hold the product and a smaller tank where pressurizing takes place. The air enters the small tank and pushes through leading to the release of contents upon triggering via a pump. How the sprayer mechanism is built is a crucial factor to consider before making a purchase. This is divided mainly into two categories: method of operation and pump type.
Method of Operation
Basically, a backpack sprayer is either manually operated or battery powered.
Manually operated sprayers require you to do the pumping which is a huge downside if you use it frequently or your targeted area is spacious. It will definitely be a hindrance should you decide to widen your property size later on. Moreover, spraying patterns are far from consistent. On the upside, they are more affordable compared to motorized types, require less maintenance and of course, demand no charging.
On the other side, battery powered sprayers are automated, which means you get to save your arms and hands from all the pumping effort while also sparing yourself valuable time. Another important thing is the constant spray output they offer. They are also convenient for both light and hefty workloads if you need to cover large zones. Even though they are more reliable, battery-powered sprayers are heavier, more expensive and will need charging.
Backpack sprayer pumps are majorly split into piston pumps and diaphragm pumps.
Piston pumps produce more pressure which means a stronger and further stream, but their use is limited to non-corrosive substances as harsh chemicals will wear down and damage the piston. Piston pumps work through an up and down motion inside the tank which then pushes those chemicals into the spray wand and out for application.
Diaphragm pumps, on the other hand, provide lower pressure. However, you are able to work with all sorts of products, abrasive or not. They are easier to handle, more durable and allow you to use not only liquids but also wettable powders which isn’t possible with piston pumps. With diaphragm pumps, the movement of the diaphragm itself is what creates the pressure.
The backpack sprayer pressure translates into the force with which contents are pushed through the wand and out of the nozzle and how far they reach. Generally, pressure in sprayers ranges from 15 psi up to 95 psi. Some types can even reach a pressure of 150 psi. It’s essential for the pressure to remain constant to ensure a steady flow.
Weight and Capacity
The tank’s capacity directly contributes to the weight of your backpack sprayer. The tank itself, being made of polyethylene, is rather light and tough. It’s the volume of chemicals it holds that actually counts.
Typically tanks sizes go from two to six gallons. Obviously, if you lean towards a tank that is too small, it will be lighter but you will lose time due to repeated refilling. While picking a tank that is too large will burden you with unnecessary weight and will possibly waste some product.
Wand and Nozzle
The wand of the sprayer is where leakage most likely occurs. For this reason, you want to carefully select the wand’s material along with tightly secured seals.
At the end of the wand is the nozzle, which I consider to be the key to a flawless performance. It regulates the flow rate, pattern, and coverage. There are several types which you can choose from according to the task at hand.
Know This First
When choosing a backpack sprayer, it all comes down to your needs. You want your choice to best-suit the size of your property, type of chemicals you’ll be using and your workload. So it’s only wise to determine all that before aiming at a specific model.
While a manually operated sprayer is cheaper, it is time-consuming and exhausting if you use it for more than 15 mins. Consequently, a battery operated sprayer is more reliable, efficient and even if you’re throwing in more money, I think it’s totally worth it.
Backpack Sprayer Pump
There’s really no comparison here as the diaphragm type pump is considerably more popular for all the right reasons. It’s more durable, versatile and all around trouble-free.
As we previously established, you should avoid going too small or too big with the tank’s size. A four-gallon tank grants you the best of both worlds allowing for large loads of chemicals with a reasonable weight to support.
Putting thought into choosing the material of which the wand and nozzle are made of, makes such a huge difference in the long run. Plastic wands and nozzles cost less but live less and will often require replacement. Investing in brass or stainless steel nozzles and wands will save you money as they last a whole lot longer.
When you buy a backpack sprayer, it’s absolutely necessary to make sure that the shoulder and waist straps are well padded and can sufficiently support the tank’s weight. Remember you’ll be carrying the sprayer, so your comfort level is just as important as the features you’re looking for.
Stay Safe and Secure
Despite the simplicity of working with a backpack sprayer, mistakes can have dangerous consequences. Avoid this by thoroughly reading the instructions manual to completely grasp the ins and outs of the process.
Always wear protective clothing and gear to keep yourself from coming in contact with any chemicals in case seals get loose and leaking occurs. Don’t risk getting a serious injury.
Having a reliable warranty certificate is your guarantee for a high-quality product and an adequate service, so don’t forget to take that into account.
Top Rated Backpack Sprayers
With all of this taken into consideration, I have reviewed the top models available for performance, quality of construction, and durability. After much research, reviews, and trials, here are the top 5 backpack sprayers you can find on the market.
Chapin International Black & Decker Backpack Sprayer
Landing strong with a 20-volts Black & Decker lithium battery coupled with a 4-gallon tank capacity, the Chapin backpack sprayer definitely deserves our respect. Lasting up to 1 hour and 45 minutes of continuous runtime, it’s indeed fit for small gardens as well as large fields. The wide mouth Chapin sprayer pumps up to 35-40 psi allowing a 35-foot maximum horizontal stream. It also comes with a number of nozzles to accommodate for whatever spray style you want.
- Long lasting Black & Decker battery
- 35-foot horizontal stream
- Comfortable to wear
- Easy to clean
- Filters out debris to avoid blocking the nozzle
- Operates quietly
- The wand can be considered too short
- Improperly-cut threads on the mouth lid
- No mixing of the tank’s components
- Require charging for 3.5 hours before use
- Prone to leakage
Field King Max Backpack Sprayer
If you’re searching for a backpack sprayer with a high-pressure delivery, the field king max backpack sprayer should be right up your alley. Producing pressure up to a whopping 150 psi, this manually powered sprayer shows serious abilities to adapt to any sort of workload with outstanding coverage. It also bears a four-gallon container and a stainless steel wand that’s built to last. The field king max backpack sprayer features an internal no leak pump designed for safety and comes with four nozzles that can be simply changed.
- High endurance stainless steel material
- Internal no leak system
- Powerful and versatile
- Comfortable straps and grip
- Changing pump seals takes minimal time
- Too much pumping is required especially with higher pressure
- Complaints of receiving damaged parts on delivery
- Reports of leaks though it could be a result of poor maintenance
Solo Professional Backpack Sprayer
Thanks to its manually operated piston pump, the solo backpack sprayer provides pressure up to an impressive 90 psi resulting in a solid 25-foot stream. It comes with four interchangeable nozzles with a switching system that makes it ridiculously simple to go from one application to the other. Although the straps on the solo sprayer are padded, they suffer fitting issues and seem to be a little too rough for some people. The solo sprayer is equipped with Viton seals that are strategically placed to ensure durability with a resilient 4 gallons tank.
- Viton seals for extended lifetime
- The pump handle is compatible with both right and left-handed users
- Made of high-quality corrosion resistant plastic
- Straps can be loose and uncomfortable
- More in the heavy side
- Difficult to get information if parts are needed due outdated contact site
Field King Professional Backpack Sprayer
Carrying an 18-volt rechargeable lithium battery, the field king backpack sprayer will surely give you the no-effort pumping action you’ve been looking for. Just one charge grants you 4 hours of constant runtime and sprays up to 50 gallons of liquid. With its pre-set pressure of 40 psi, the battery-powered sprayer delivers a 24-foot vertical stream. It also includes Viton seals and powder coated steel frame for the highest chemical resistance. Supporting a four-gallon tank, the field king battery operated backpack sprayer is ideal for diverse everyday use whether for a yard or a field.
- 18-volt rechargeable lithium battery
- Triple filtration system responsible for smooth clog-free use
- Lasts for a lengthy duration of 4 hours per single charge
- An entirely padded back support
- No leakage
- Pressure drops at low volume levels, add extra product to avoid air entering the stream
- Confusing unit markings to some users
- Requires 3.5 hours of charging prior to use
Roundup Commercial Backpack Sprayer
Marketed as a multipurpose sprayer, the roundup 190426 really owns up to its reputation. It packs a capable piston pump which pressurizes the spray stream reaching 150 psi, allowing for far distance coverage. However, achieving such high pressure will cost you hefty pumping action, as expected from a manual sprayer. It comes with a poly wand suitable for heavy duty work, a four-gallon tank, and the standard four nozzles for further versatility. Although it could get too heavy, the roundup 190429 gives you the best value for your money. So if you’re on a budget, or like me you just like a good bargain, the roundup 1920426 sprayer is the one for you.
- Amazing price to performance ratio
- Wide coverage
- Multi-purpose use
- Offer lumber support
- Brass nozzles for durability
- The hand pump handle sticks out making storage troublesome
- The pump may get stuck, requires lubrication
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In my opinion, it all comes down to reliability and endurance. I should be able to depend on this product for years ahead in any situation that may arise. That’s why the field king 190515 backpack sprayer is the winner in my book. Not only does its battery practically does all the work for me, but also it runs up to four hours on a single charge. With its high-quality material, convenient four-gallon tank, and maximum comfort level, the field king 190515 just takes it all the way home.
Fred is the Ready Zeal owner and editor. He has been passionately pursuing all things emergency preparation since working alongside his grandfather as a boy growing up in the Midwest. When not working on the family homestead he can be found brewing coffee and reading a good book or backpacking in the wilderness. Contact Fred at [email protected]