Keeping a garden and yard properly maintained is a source of pleasure for many homeowners. Property maintenance projects include the use of many chemicals and tools that will keep everything looking great. One of those tools is a garden sprayer. These tools are used to apply everything from fertilizers to weed killing herbicides. The best garden sprayer designs will provide ease of use while saving time. The best backpack sprayer design incorporates these elements so this kind of sprayer is highly capable while it accomplishes the above mentioned tasks.
These devices carry notable amount of liquids and are worn just like their namesake while providing pressure for spraying through a pump handle or electric motor. That can save a person’s knees and back as they eliminate the need to use small hand sprayers for direct application.
So what is the best backpack sprayer? This article will examine the features a user should look for and review some of the best units out there today.
Why Would You Need a Backpack Sprayer?
Simply put, the best backpack sprayer offers the user a lot of versatility for applications that involve spraying. It can be used to disperse chemicals in on bushes or trees, in a garden, or across the lawn. A homeowner can use a backpack sprayer with detergents to clean their home exterior or other parts of their property. These sprayers can also be used to apply stains and water-sealants over wooden decks or fences.
A gardener may need to apply chemicals that will kill weeds near their vegetables. They may also need to treat a row or section of produce for bugs. In both cases, a backpack weed sprayer will save them energy and time. These dispersal devices can target individual plants or small groupings, or are capable of spraying larger swaths of vegetation.
Container gardens are popular choices, especially in more urban settings. Small containers that contain individual plants or larger ground containers that contain a variety of species can be sprayed using the same device. The plants can be covered quickly and without the chemicals spilling or spraying outside of the containers. A hanging garden is easier to maintain as the wand on a backpack sprayer provides an extended reach.
For those of us who constantly battle weeds in our yard, this type of sprayer allows us to cover our property quickly with a pinpoint application. This is also the case for driveways and sidewalks. The versatility of these sprayers makes treating bushes, shrubs, and trees easier. The extended reach provided by the wand can spray in locations that would require step-ladders otherwise.
Larger properties or community gardens can be sprayed more quickly. Individuals who operate a property maintenance service will find a backpack sprayer saves both money and time on the job site.
Features to Consider
Battery Powered Backpack Sprayers vs Manual Power
Traditionally, even the best backpack sprayers have been manual units. A handle is used to pump up the pressure in the backpack. One hand is used for pumping while the other hand is used to activate the wand and to direct the spray. A manual sprayer can tire an operator’s arm out, so a good feature to look for will be a sprayer that can be used either left or right-handed.
Due to their simple design, a manually powered sprayer weighs less than a motorized backpack will. The manual applicator does not rely on an electrical motor, making these units less expensive. The sprayer is ready to go at any time and will require less maintenance.
A battery powered backpack allows the user to spray without having to wear their arms out. An electric motor builds the pressure required for operation. Remember to keep in mind that a battery powered applicator will cost more, weigh more, and will require more upkeep.
The pump on a backpack sprayer builds-up pressure in the container, that is measured in Pounds per Square Inch (PSI). A backpack applicator is able to create pressures ranging from 15 to 95-psi (some commercial units can go even higher). Manually powered backpacks tend to spray around 60-psi or more. This is a feature that favors battery powered units for those who will require higher pressures.
The generated pressure provides the consistency of the spray as well as the distance that the spray reaches. Motorized sprayers are capable of reaching two or three times farther than manual backpack sprayers will. With some products, the pressure will decrease slowly as the reservoir is emptied. This will shorten the distance the sprayer is able to reach as the session progresses.
A decrease in the pressure can also affect the consistency of the spray as well. This can be important for chemical application and crucial for detergent, sealant, and stain coverage. A great feature to look for on backpack sprayers would be a valve that regulates pressure. Another item that can prove beneficial is a pressure gauge.
Main Components of a Backpack Sprayer
Tank and Capacity
One of the features that make a backpack sprayer stand out is the tank’s capacity. Most residential sprayers have a tank capable of holding anywhere from two gallons to four gallons of liquid. This size range should be fine for most residential properties. Larger properties may require tank sizes that are found on larger commercial backpack sprayers.
Another consideration is the wand attached to the backpack. The main advantage of a good wand is the reach that it provides. A wand allows the user to reach above their head to spray or to apply the liquids near the ground without having to bend over. They also allow a homeowner to reach into bushes or plants that contain branches or thorns that may be painful to touch. The wand and trigger should be comfortable to use over an extended period of time.
Garden Sprayer Nozzles
Nozzles provide the pattern and spray flow for the unit. The best backpack sprayer will have multiple nozzles for various patterns or an adjustable nozzle that eliminates the need for more than one nozzle.
The amount of liquid a nozzle can spray at one time is also an important consideration. Nozzles that can deliver up to a half-gallon of liquid per minute from the backpack fogger are satisfactory.
Backpack Sprayer Harness
Another design feature to look at is the harness of the backpack fogger. It should be comfortable to wear for extended periods. Waist straps can add additional support and provide increased stability while the backpack pump sprayer is being used.
Fertilizer, Pesticide and Herbicide Sprayer Features
Most garden sprayers will be required to be compatible with general liquid fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Due to the rigid materials used in modern weed sprayers, this should not be an issue. But as best practice, always rinse the backpack sprayer tank and wand before storage with fresh water to get rid of remains of chemicals.
Supporting your plants with natural fertilizers is always a good idea, if interested, check out our article about using Epsom salt on its own or enhance the effect of common fertilizers.
Best Garden Sprayer Reviews
Best Backpack Sprayer: Field King Professional 190328 No Leak Pump Backpack Sprayer
Tank Capacity (gallons)
This Field King model measures 15 x 22.5 x 9.5 inches and weighs 12.8 pounds. It employs a reversible handle for manual power, a nice design element that can help relieve arm fatigue. The tank holds four gallons of liquid that can reach 150-psi.
The 21-inch wand provides a fair extension for harder to reach places. Four nozzles are supplied that provide a conical, foaming nozzle, 30-degree, and 70-degree spray angles. A one-way valve and filtration basket are included and provide protection for the liquid contents while they are being used.
- Its pump handle is reversible for left or right-handed use
- A one-way valve helps to prevent liquid spills
- The tank seals require no tools to for replacement
- Outstanding 150 PSI pressure
- It can take extra pumps to build up initial pressure
Solo 425 4-Gallon Professional Piston Pump Backpack Sprayer
Tank Capacity (gallons)
The Solo 425 measures 15 x 10 x 21 inches and weighs 14-pounds. It has a pump handle that is reversible and includes a set of wand clips which is convenient for storage. The tank can hold four-gallons of liquids and can generate up to 90-psi, a great feature for those needing a greater reach from their spray.
The 28-inch wand and four-foot hose provide plenty of reach during operation. It has a commercial grade shut-off valve, and the on/off valve is lockable. These wand design elements are nice additions for control and operation. This set-up includes four nozzle attachments.
- The sprayer can produce pressures reaching 90-psi
- It includes a long wand and long pressure hose
- A lock-on and lock-off feature relieves hand fatigue
- Its spray pressure starts low when activated
- The shoulder straps are less durable and easily tangled
Chapin 61500 4-Gallon Euro Style Backpack Sprayer For Fertilizer, Herbicides, and Pesticides
Tank Capacity (gallons)
The Chapin 61500 measures 17.2 x 9.8 x 18.2 and weighs only 10.6-pounds. This sprayer may be good for those who struggle with carrying weighted loads. The extra carry handle offers a handhold for users who wish to carry it by hand. The four-gallon tank is capable of generating up to 80 psi.
The padded cushion grip on the handle is ergonomic in design and the 20-inch wand attaches to a four-foot hose for reach. The tank has a reasonably wide opening for filling and is covered by a limited lifetime warranty. It comes with two nozzles.
- The unit comes at an economical price point
- It is lightweight for a four-gallon backpack product
- Two-stage filtration can help to prevent clogging
- It requires a lot of pumping to maintain pressure
- The straps may feel uncomfortable with extended use
Best Battery Backpack Sprayer: My 4 Sons 4-Gallon Battery Powered Sprayer With Steel Wand
Tank Capacity (gallons)
My 4 Sons measures 23.0 x 8.0 x 16.0 inches and weighs 14.0-pounds. The electric motor can generate pressures up to 60-psi and the contents of the tank can spray up to 30-feet from the nozzle tip. A nice addition is the pressure dial that provides more exacting control.
Nine attachments are available for use with the plastic and curved metal wands that are included. A 15-foot hose extension offers great reach. The battery fully charges in eight-hours.
- The unit is able to provide consistent pressure
- It is able to cover up to 30-feet
- A large selection of nozzles provides various output
- Maximum pressure is lower than manual pump spray competitors at 60 PSI
- Its straps may slip and not great quality
Chapin 63985 4-Gallon 20-volt Wide Mouth Battery Backpack Sprayer
Tank Capacity (gallons)
The Chapin 63985 measures 14.8 x 8.8 x 22 inches and weighs 10.5-pounds, which is fairly light for a battery powered unit of this size. It can spray four-gallons of liquid up to 35-feet from the user at a pressure rating of 35-40 PSI. The cushion gripped wand and padded shoulder straps make this a good ergonomic choice.
It includes three nozzles for a variety of applications. The tank employs a three-stage filter system for maximum protection from debris. The Vitron gaskets and seals are chemically resistant.
- This unit weighs less than other four-gallon motorized units
- It can spray 50-plus gallons on a single charge
- The six-inch wide opening makes the tank easy to fill
- Low maximum pressure
- The battery sits at the bottom of a tapered tank
Best Alternative Pump Sprayer: Chapin 20002 2-Gallon Pump Sprayer
Tank Capacity (gallons)
This compact hand-held unit measures 8.1 x 8.1 x 18.2 inches and weighs 2.55-pounds. This unit may prove ideal for users who have limited needs or are looking for a small unit to use indoors and on patios. This simple design is not intended to produce high-pressure spraying at a distance but is built to deliver the two-gallons of liquid in a nozzle spray pattern close-up.
The 12-inch wand attaches to a 28-inch long hose and makes use of an adjustable tip for minor pattern adjustments. The pump handle is incorporated into the top of the tank.
- An economic price point for basic spraying jobs
- The two-gallon size is good for many home applications
- The hand-held tank may be difficult for users who struggle with weight
Conclusion – The Best Garden Sprayer
As we can see from the reviews above, there are many features that can make up the best backpack sprayer. One of the most important design features a user must consider is battery power or manual pumping. For smaller gardens or yards a handle pump backpack sprayer will work just fine. Larger properties or intensive workloads may require a homeowner to favor the less labor-intensive electric motor power for the backpack fogger.
The best garden sprayer will be capable of holding enough liquids to cover the project. It will also provide the reach needed to save time. Again, smaller gardens and projects can be covered by a hand-pump unit while a large yard will benefit from the extra spray length offered by a battery-powered applicator. A larger selection of nozzles will provide a greater variety of applications.
Finally, don’t forget that small hand-held tanks are available for those smaller jobs.