▷ Choosing the Best Backpack Sprayer (2018 Update)

Choosing the Best Backpack Sprayer

Written by Joseph Biggs and updated on June 7, 2018
Choosing the Best Backpack Sprayer

Relaxing in a well-maintained garden on a warm, sunny day can be very rewarding when you know it’s all your own handiwork you’re having the pleasure of enjoying. But, it takes a lot of time and effort to keep lawns green, crops thriving and flowers flourishing, and time is something many of us are short of these days. Investing in a decent backpack sprayer will not only help your garden but it will also free up more of your time to enable you to do something even more enjoyable than gardening.

What is a backpack sprayer made up of?

Before you go and buy a backpack sprayer it's a good idea to get to know a little more about them and how and they work. That way there will be no surprises when you get it home for the first time. You can simply pull it out of the box, fill it up, and start spraying your garden.

A basic backpack sprayer consists of 5 main parts:

1. Tank

The size of the tank varies across backpack sprayers, but most are equipped to hold anywhere between two and five gallons of liquid. This is definitely something to consider when making your purchase as the larger the capacity, the heavier it will be to carry. So if you’re someone who’s quite petite, you may find the smaller backpack sprayers more suitable.

In terms of their construction, most backpack sprayers these days are made from polyethylene plastic. Not only is it durable, but it’s also UV protected and resistant to chemicals, making it the perfect choice of material to use for a tank that’s going to be filled with fertilizer.  

2. Wand

This is the elongated part that allows you to spray the liquid onto the desired area. It enables you to get to hard to reach places such as areas above head height or those with prickly plants or bushes. There’s an attached trigger that when pulled, it sprays the liquid out in an even layer.   

3. Pump

The pump is one of the most important parts of the backpack sprayer as it’s what maintains the pressure in your tank. Without that build up of pressure, there would be very little liquid, if any, dispersed when you pulled the trigger.

There are two different pumps available when it comes to backpack sprayers: the piston pump, and the diaphragm pump. Piston pumps are contained within a chamber in the tank and move up and down like that of a car piston. As the lever is pumped, the pressure forces the liquid down the wand, allowing you to spray as you need to.

Diaphragm pumps work in a similar fashion, but unlike piston pumps, there’s no internal cylinder. When the handle is pumped it moves the diaphragm as to create pressure. Sprayers using piston pumps are almost always the cheaper option but are unsuitable for use with any highly abrasive chemicals. While diaphragm sprayers are resistant to pretty much any chemical, give you more pressure when you need it, and are suitable for powders as well as liquids, they are more expensive and may require more maintenance.     

The way the pump works is by drawing liquid in from the tank and then sending it to the pressure chamber. Here, the liquid is held under pressure by seals and valves until the wand’s lever is squeezed and the tank’s contents are sprayed out through the nozzle. It’s important to find the right pressure for you when using your backpack sprayer for the first time as this will enable you to maintain a steady pace.

4. Nozzle

The nozzle of the sprayer is another very important part as it controls both the pattern and flow of the spray. Most backpack sprayers come with several different nozzles to allow you to select the spray pattern that best suits you.

When shopping for your next backpack sprayer just be sure to take note of what the nozzle’s made out of. While plastic nozzles tend to make the sprayer cheaper, they will degrade much faster than brass or bronze ones.     

5. Straps

Backpack sprayers are fitted with either straps or a harness to help distribute the weight while carrying it. Having the tank supported in such a way enables you to have your hands free to carry out other tasks. Just make sure that the straps or harness holding the sprayer are well made and fit comfortably. 

What to consider when buying a backpack sprayer

Thankfully, as you can see from above, backpack sprayers are relatively simple tools. That being said, there are a still few things to bear in mind when making your purchase, including:

Durability 

Your main potential concern with a backpack sprayer is that it may leak. To try and avoid this issue look for a tank that’s made from polyethylene plastic with seals and hoses that are of industrial strength and are both leak and chemical resistant.

You also want to make sure the straps or harness is also strong and able to withstand hours of use. Spraying your lawn or crops with fertilizer may not be the hardest gardening task out there to do, but it can be quite time-consuming and having straps that are high quality will help make that task much easier. 

PSI Pressure

This is something that can vary quite a lot among backpack sprayers. As a general rule, most can quite comfortably achieve a range of pressure of around 15 to 95 psi.  While some heavy-duty professional-grade sprayers can kick out a staggering 150 psi, there’s not really much need for this unless you have an extremely large area to cover.

As long as the pressure of the tank remains consistent, it will continually spray the liquid until you release the handle or trigger. To counteract this problem, some backpack sprayers are fitted with a built-in pressure regulator that controls the pressure automatically.  

Motorized or manual? 

There are two main types of backpack sprayer - those that are motorized and those that are manual. Manual models are those which require you to operate the pump, while motorized sprayers are equipped with a powerful battery to do all the pumping for you. While motorized sprayers are, of course, heavier and more expensive, if you have a large area to cover, your hand will appreciate the help.    

Safety features 

You should always consider safety when carrying out any gardening task, however simple it may seem. As mentioned earlier, your main concern when using a backpack sprayer is the risk of it leaking. To try and combat this issue many manufacturers have included a lockable shut-off mechanism as part of their design. This allows you to stop any chemicals from dripping onto you unnecessarily.

Backpack sprayer reviews

My 4 Sons 4-Gallon Battery Powered Backpack Sprayer

Not for the faint-hearted, this 4-gallon backpack sprayer on offer from My 4 Sons is a beast of a machine. With a battery powered pump that’s able to deliver a psi of up to 60, and a range that can reach around 20ft vertically, what’s not to like? Weighing in at 12 pounds, this sprayer may be a little on the heavy side compared to some others out there, but it’s still pretty comfortable to wear.

4-Gallon Battery Powered Backpack Sprayer Wide Mouth With STEEL WAND and BRASS NOZZLE

It comes with both a plastic and steel wand to cater for all situations and there’s a lock-on feature meaning there’s no need to hold down the trigger continuously. There are several different nozzles included in the package including a jet one, a fine one mist one, and a brass adjustable one.

Pros
  • High-power battery pressure
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    Double wand option
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    Lock-on holding feature
Cons
  • Heavy
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    A little expensive
Field King Max 190348 Backpack Sprayer

If it’s quality you’re after then look no further than this heavy-duty backpack sprayer on offer from Field King Max. The tank itself is made using a durable plastic, while the 21” wand is made using top quality stainless steel with Viton seals for added chemical resistance. It also has a professional shut-off feature as part of its design to ensure an even spray and a comfortable hold.

Field King Max 190348 Backpack Sprayer for Professionals Applying Herbicides

One of the best things about this sprayer is its “Internal No Leak Pump Design”. With this feature intact, it’s by far one of the safest sprayers out there to use as no more will you have the risk of chemicals dripping down your back.

Pros
  • Internal ‘No Leak’ function
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    Professional shut-off feature
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    Quality Viton seals
Cons
  • Harness is bulky
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    Requires a lot of pumping
Chapin International 61500 4-Gallon Euro Style Backpack Sprayer

The best things in life don’t always have to cost a fortune, and that’s exactly the case with the Chapin 61500 4-Gallon Euro Style Backpack Sprayer. With a translucent tank that’s both easy to fill and clean, this is a great sprayer for anyone that’s new to gardening. It’s comfortable to wear and there’s no leakage.

Chapin International 61500 Chapin Euro Style Backpack Sprayer for Fertilizer, Herbicides, Pesticides and Common Household Cleaners, 4 gal, Translucent White

There is some minor assembly required with this sprayer, but it’s very minimal and should take no longer than around 10 minutes at most. The pump is easy to use, but due to its design can only be used on the left-hand side.

Pros
  • Translucent tank
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    Comfortable harness
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    Great price
Cons
  • Can only pump left-handed
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    Only 2 nozzles included
Chapin International Stanley 61804 Professional Backpack Sprayer

If you’re looking for a backpack sprayer that’s well made and super easy to use, then the Chapin 61804 backpack sprayer may be perfect for you. Weighing in at just over 10 pounds, this is one of the lightest 4-gallon sprayers out there. It’s equipped with a strainer basket to prevent contamination and has a number of different nozzles to make applying fertilizer easy in all kinds of situations.  

Chapin International Stanley 61804 Professional Backpack Poly 4-Gallon Sprayer

One of the best things about this sprayer is its large pump which allows fast pressurization and therefore less pumping. It also features a continuous spray function and an innovative filtration system that helps to prevent blockages.   

Pros
  • Lightweight
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    Easy to pump
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    Strainer basket prevents contamination
Cons
  • Straps are flimsy and uncomfortable
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    Hard to gauge what’s left in the tank
Roundup 190327 No Leak Pump Backpack Sprayer

When it comes to both looks and price, the Roundup No Leak Pump Backpack Sprayer has it covered. When it comes to ease of use and comfortability, those are covered too. And, considering it can spray up to 150 psi, you can’t really complain about the power either.

Roundup 190327 No Leak Pump Backpack Sprayer

But, where this high-pressured sprayer falls short is in the delivery of the spray. Although it’s fitted with quality seals and an inner filter to help prevent leakage, they just don’t work very well and you should expect some leakage while spraying with this product. The other main issue is that it doesn’t hold pressure very well, meaning lots of pumping is needed.   

Pros
  • Looks great
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    High-pressured
Cons
  • Leakages are common
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    Not very efficient

We hope you found the above article both informative and useful and are now one step closer to making your next backpack sprayer purchase.

After careful consideration, the best backpack sprayer out there (in our opinion) is the My 4 Sons 4-Gallon Battery Powered Backpack Sprayer. It’s easy to use, well made, and produces enough pressure to fertilize most small to medium sized gardens in no time at all. The fact that it’s motorized is a big plus and even though it’s a little on the heavy side, the wide, padded straps make carrying the sprayer quite comfortable. It might not be as cheap as some others out there and it might not produce as much pressure, but if you want a reliable sprayer that won’t leave you in the dry, we highly recommend this product.        

About the author

    Joseph Biggs

    Author and retired entrepreneur Joseph Biggs writes for Organic Daily Post exclusively, when he is not spending time outdoors with his family. He, his wife, and their children and grandchildren live on an extended mini-farm where they all practice conservationism and a whole-Earth approach to life.

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