What are the Best Backpack Sprayers for 2021? Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Sometimes the trusty old spray bottle just isn’t enough. If you’re dealing with a large patch of tangled weeds or treating a sizable lawn with fungicide, unless you’ve got the patience of a saint and a back of steel, you’ll need a backpack sprayer.

Not only will using a spray bottle take forever, leaving you with loads of aches and pains, it’s also inevitable that you’ll miss a few spots with your herbicide/fungicide.

What Are the Best Backpack Sprayers? Reviews and Buyer's Guide

Before you know it, the untreated weeds have seeded and spread, and the chink in your grass’s armor has been exploited by a nasty lawn disease, but don’t worry.

Having recently concluded my research on the best backpack sprayers for weed control and lawn care you can buy, I’m happy to share my results with you today.

Table of Contents show

Best Backpack Sprayers – Reviews

In a hurry? See our top picks…

CLICK on any option below to see Ratings and Reviews on Amazon

Best Overall
Field King 190328 Backpack Sprayer, 4 Gallon,
Best Premium
Chapin International 63985 Black & Decker Backpack Sprayer, 4...
Most Comfortable
Field King Max 190348 Backpack Sprayer for Professionals Applying...
Best for Seniors
Battery Powered Backpack Sprayer, KIMO 3 Gallon Garden Sprayer w/...
Best Budget
CHAPIN 61800 4Gal Backpack Sprayer with Adjustable and Fan Nozzle...
Field King 190328 Backpack Sprayer, 4 Gallon,
Chapin International 63985 Black & Decker Backpack Sprayer, 4...
Field King Max 190348 Backpack Sprayer for Professionals Applying...
Battery Powered Backpack Sprayer, KIMO 3 Gallon Garden Sprayer w/...
CHAPIN 61800 4Gal Backpack Sprayer with Adjustable and Fan Nozzle...
4,445 Reviews
1,146 Reviews
1,200 Reviews
760 Reviews
1,183 Reviews
Best Overall
Field King 190328 Backpack Sprayer, 4 Gallon,
Field King 190328 Backpack Sprayer, 4 Gallon,
4,445 Reviews
Best Premium
Chapin International 63985 Black & Decker Backpack Sprayer, 4...
Chapin International 63985 Black & Decker Backpack Sprayer, 4...
1,146 Reviews
Most Comfortable
Field King Max 190348 Backpack Sprayer for Professionals Applying...
Field King Max 190348 Backpack Sprayer for Professionals Applying...
1,200 Reviews
Best for Seniors
Battery Powered Backpack Sprayer, KIMO 3 Gallon Garden Sprayer w/...
Battery Powered Backpack Sprayer, KIMO 3 Gallon Garden Sprayer w/...
760 Reviews
Best Budget
CHAPIN 61800 4Gal Backpack Sprayer with Adjustable and Fan Nozzle...
CHAPIN 61800 4Gal Backpack Sprayer with Adjustable and Fan Nozzle...
1,183 Reviews

Affiliate links and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 2021-09-25

With one of these Ghostbuster-esque bits of gear on your back, no longer will your yard be haunted by weeds or fungus!

I see no merit in burying the lead here, so let’s dive straight in with some reviews.


Best Overall Backpack Sprayer — Field King Professional 190328, 4-Gallon Backpack Sprayer

Field King Professional backpack sprayer

The Field King Pro is the closest thing I could find to a one-size-fits-all backpack sprayer, which is why it earned my prestigious “Best Overall” badge of honor.

Boasting a 4-gallon holding tank, it has the capacity to cover a fairly large area or a number of smaller, discrete areas, with minimal refills. For those after specifics, 4 gallons equates to roughly 5805 square feet.

We have a super-powerful piston pump doing the heavy lifting here. Topping out at 150 PSI, it’s capable of atomizing particles and emitting a broader spray, increasing coverage per gallon, ensuring you get the job done as quickly as possible. 

This high-pressure potential makes the Pro a superb choice for use with contact herbicides used to tackle those irritating shallow-rooting annual weeds that crop up in the hundreds during spring and summer.

Piston pumps aren’t normally compatible with particulate solutions, but the Pro’s integrated paddle agitator ensures granular matter is fully incorporated into the mix, preventing friction damage, giving you the go-ahead to use things like wetted powders.

It’s a manual pump design, which means you’ll be using one arm to maintain the pressure whilst the other holds the application wand.

Manual pumps can be tiring to use, but thankfully, Field King has done their best to take the edge off by fitting soft-touch grips on both the pump and the applicator.

What’s more, the pump can be reversed, so once your strong hand is tired, you can simply switch it over and carry on pumping with your weaker hand.

The wand itself measures 21 inches, keeping chemicals at a safe distance, and the lock mechanism on the shutoff system helps to ease tension in the hand while spraying. 

It also features an in-line filter to prevent blockages, and thanks to some high-grade Viton seals and gaskets, you won’t have to worry about leaks for a very long time. Oh, and it comes with 4 different nozzles too, so you can forget about aftermarket purchases.

Being picky, I’d like to have seen a pressure gauge on this sprayer, but my only real gripe is that the harness and straps aren’t as supportive and comfortable as they could be, but it’s so efficient, you’ll have it off your back in no time anyway.

Pros

  • 150 PSI – Broad, fine particle spray is incredibly efficient.
  • Integrated Agitators – Enables the use of particulate solutions.
  • Soft Grips – Reduce hand fatigue.
  • Reversible Pump Handle – This allows you to switch hands when you gets tired.
  • High-Grade Seals and Gaskets – Won’t require maintenance for ages.

Cons

  • Harness and Straps – They’re not so supportive or comfortable.
  • No Pressure Gauge – It’s all guesswork.
Deal
Field King 190328 Backpack Sprayer, 4 Gallon,
4,445 Reviews
Field King 190328 Backpack Sprayer, 4 Gallon,
  • Internal No Leak Pump design is safer to use chemicals will not drip down your back. Internal piston pump delivers up to 150 PSI
  • Durable, 21 inch poly wand with the highest quality Viton seals can be used with Wet table powders and liquids for all applications does the work of both a piston and diaphragm backpack
  • Premium, lockable shut off with brass components and an in-line filter.

Affiliate links and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 2021-09-25


Best Premium Backpack Sprayer — Chapin 63985 4-Gallon Backpack Sprayer

Chapin backpack sprayer

It’s no exaggeration when I say that the Chaplin 63985 is a Motorized masterpiece of a backpack sprayer, so it was a shoo-in for my premium spot.

The motorized pump is powered by a 20V lithium-ion battery, meaning you don’t have to do any manual pumping whatsoever — just focus on spraying accurately and getting good coverage.

Motorized pumps are far more pressure-accurate than manual alternatives, providing a consistent spray pattern and uniform droplet size.

I was a little let down by the 1 hour and 45-minute battery life, but I can let that slide considering that equates to roughly 50 gallons of spraying action.

Just remember to charge it up once every so often, as there’s nothing more annoying than a dead battery halfway through a spraying session.

It has a 3-stage filtration system including a 3D net, so the internals stay squeaky clean, and even when you do need to give it a good once over, Chapin has made sure it’s an easy task.

The shutoff can be disassembled for servicing, and the main opening has a 6-inch diameter, so you can really get in there and give it a good scrub.

Pressure-wise, you’re looking at 35–40 PSI, which is perfect for home gardening applications and most professional work.

Despite the low pressure system, it can spray horizontally as far as 25 feet, which can make fighting weeds that spring up in strange, difficult-to-reach locations a total breeze.

I have very sensitive finger joints, so the soft grip is a welcome addition to the applicator wand, and the shoulder straps have just enough padding to keep things comfortable, even after a few 4-gallon refills. 

The harness provides a decent amount of lumbar support too, keeping you feeling fresh through what can be pretty grueling work.

Arriving with 3 nozzles, it’s a versatile unit, but if I’m being honest, the standard adjustable brass nozzle is likely all you’ll need. It’s a fantastic, easy-to-use design that can produce a wide fan, a needle stream, and everything in between, making it a delight for both spot and broad spraying.

Pros

  • Motorized Pump – No pumping fatigue. Consistent pressure, spray pattern, and droplet size.
  • 25-Foot Horizontal Spray – Target hard-to-reach vegetation from a distance.
  • Triple-Filtration System – Keeps the inner workings clean as a whistle.
  • Soft Grip – Easy on hand joints.
  • Harness and Padded Straps – Keep you comfortable and supported during long spraying sessions.

Cons

  • 35–40 PSI – Low pressure for an expensive unit.
  • Price – The price tag is scary but fair.
Deal
Chapin International 63985 Black & Decker Backpack Sprayer, 4...
1,146 Reviews
Chapin International 63985 Black & Decker Backpack Sprayer, 4...
  • Features a black & Decker 20-volt Lithium ion Battery for up to 1. 75 hours of continuous spraying
  • 35-40 psi with a 20-foot maximum horizontal spray stream
  • 4-gallon tank with 6-inch wide mouth funnel for easy filling and cleaning

Affiliate links and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 2021-09-25


Most Comfortable Backpack Sprayer — Field King Max 190348 4-Gallon Backpack Sprayer

Field King Max Backpack Sprayer

Field King may have let us down with the straps on the Pro, but in the Max, they more than redeem themselves.

At its core, the Max is the same sprayer as the Pro. It boasts the same leak-proof pump design held fast with military-grade Viton seals and gaskets. So, if you feel a dribble on your back, the good news is that it’s not fungicide or herbicide. The bad news is that a pigeon has used you as their toilet.

It also features the high-pressure piston pump capable of atomization, which helps to get better “mileage” out of the 4-gallon capacity. Then too, it has the same integrated agitation panels that allow the use of particulate sprays — normally a cardinal sin when it comes to piston pumps.

You can expect the same four nozzles (brass adjustable, 2 x flat fans, and a foaming nozzle) for a wide array of spraying shenanigans, and it even has identical soft grips on the pump handle and applicator wand. 

Right, I feel that’s enough about the things these two kings have in common. What about their differences? Well, the one I got most excited about is the uncompromising comfortability of the Max.

Arriving with a deluxe, ergonomically shaped pair of shoulder straps with tons of padding, it’s one of the least imposing sprayer designs on the market.

The deluxe straps include a breathable harness with a chest strap and adjustable lumbar support, an appointment you won’t take for granted if you’ve got a lot of land to cover.

In place of the polyethylene tubing, the Field King Max employs a poly-lined stainless steel applicator wand that’s both chemically resistant and incredibly durable, guaranteeing a long service life.

There’s also a fold away handle to enjoy on the Max, with little hooks to rest the applicator wand while in storage or not in use — a lovely touch!

Pros

  • Stainless Steel Wand – Extremely durable.
  • Deluxe Straps and Harness – Keeps you comfortable and supported no matter how long you spend spraying.
  • High-Grade Seals and Gaskets – Remains leakproof for a long, long time.
  • 150 PSI – Pro-level pressure creates broad spray with fine droplets.
  • Reversible Pump Handle – You can pump with your left and right hand.

Cons

  • Price – All these extras don’t come for nothing.
Deal
Field King Max 190348 Backpack Sprayer for Professionals Applying...
1,200 Reviews
Field King Max 190348 Backpack Sprayer for Professionals Applying...
  • Internal No Leak Pump design is safer to use - chemicals will not drip down your back.
  • Durable, 21 inch stainless steel wand with the highest quality Viton seals for chemical resistance.
  • Premium, lockable shut off with brass components and an in-line filter.

Affiliate links and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 2021-09-25


Best Backpack Sprayer for Seniors — Kimo 3-Gallon, Battery-Powered, Backpack Garden Sprayer

Kimo Backpack Sprayer

It can be hard for older gardeners to find a balanced backpack sprayer. A motorized pump takes a lot of the motion out of the activity, which is great, but the battery and motor can leave the sprayer feeling a little unwieldy.

However, I searched long and hard and eventually came across this Kimo sprayer. It has a battery-powered motor, eliminating the need to pump manually, yet the 3-gallon capacity offsets the weight of the excess materials.

Overall, the Kimo weighs an exceedingly feathery 11.03lbs, but simply being lightweight isn’t enough to earn a place on my list as the best backpack sprayer for seniors. To snag this position, a sprayer also has to be comfortable as can be, and the Kimo doesn’t disappoint.

Featuring generously padded shoulder straps and an adjustable harness for additional lumbar support, it imparts very little burden on the user. In fact, as the holding tank empties during a spraying session, it’s easy to forget you’re wearing it.

It has a max pressure rating of 70 PSI, which is powerful enough to create fine droplets, meaning it can be used for greenhouse misting and cooling, and the battery lasts for a whopping 6 hours.

For the average-sized yard, you’ll only have to charge it a handful of times per year, saving a few pennies on your energy bill.

The applicator wand has a lock-in function that holds the handgrip in place, much like the lock on an adjustable-length dog lead. It facilitates a relaxed grip, reducing user fatigue.

Measuring 23-inches in length, the plastic wand is all you’ll need for most applications, but just in case you need to water some hard-to-reach hanging baskets or tackle some weeds on an incline, it also comes with an extendable 43-inch metal wand.

Everything about the Kimo seems to be centered around reducing the struggle of the user, yet it doesn’t shirk on the technical stuff either. It gives green thumbs in their golden years the support they need to take it easy in their yard whilst staying firmly in control, and that’s why I love it!

Pros

  • Padded Shoulder Straps and Adjustable Harness – Easy on senior shoulders.
  • Extendable Metal Applicator – Helps the user reach awkward spots without putting themselves at risk.
  • Lock-In Activation – You can use it with a loose grip, which prevents hand fatigue.
  • 11.03lbs – Lightweight design eases the burden on backs.
  • Motorized Pump – Requires zero challenging or repetitive movements.

Cons

  • 3-Gallon Capacity – Will require quite a few refills to treat a large lawn.
  • Price – It’s the second most expensive sprayer on my list.
Battery Powered Backpack Sprayer, KIMO 3 Gallon Garden Sprayer w/...
760 Reviews
Battery Powered Backpack Sprayer, KIMO 3 Gallon Garden Sprayer w/...
  • 🌱【No Manual Pumping Required】 For the perfect union of convenience and versatility, nothing beats KIMO battery-powered Garden Sprayer. This one features a 70PSI pump for NO MORE HAND PUMP efficiency that runs off KIMO 2.0Ah battery, which support spraying 6 hours on a single charge. You don’t worry about the unevenly spraying coverage that makes you cost more strength. Set aside your traditional manual sprayer, get a new KIMO ZERO PUMP Electric Sprayer to help you save your labor and time.
  • 🌱【A Real Lifesaver for Those with Physical Injury】Equipped with an ergonomic backpack and detachable strap pads, this portable sprayer is practical and easy to carry. The lockable switch that users can hold the handgrip in the depressed position when the switch locked eliminates your hands fatigue. From assembling to filling to changing spray wands, KIMO sprayer for lawn is so easy to use. Both for professionals and for aging home users with their own grounds or garden to look after.
  • 🌱【A Beast for All Spraying Needs】Comed with a Metal Wand extended up to 43 inch and 20 Inch Plastic Wand, the lawn sprayer allows the stream to easily reach the top of two story house from ground level. You will like how far the wand extends which also comes in handy if you're spraying chemicals, keeping the mist spray as far away from you. Multiple nozzles included makes it ideal for misting, fertilizing, and applying micro-nutrient liquids to control nurseries, flowers, gardens, orchards.

Affiliate links and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 2021-07-28


Best Budget Backpack Sprayer —  Chapin 61800 4-Gallon Backpack Sprayer

Chapin Backpack Sprayer

Normally, I’d say that if you want to snatch a bargain backpack sprayer, you’re going to have to sacrifice some bells and whistles, but the Chapin 61800 proves me wrong.

With the same 3-stage filtration system as the much dearer Chapin 63985, the insides remain spick and span, eliminating wear and tear, so, despite the price tag, you’ll get along service life out of it.

Weighing only 9lbs, it’s easy on the back, even when filled to its 4-gallon capacity, which is why I’d recommend it for treating large areas. The padding in the shoulder straps isn’t great, but it’s enough to stop them digging into your skin, so you can focus up, and get the job done in record time.

The poly application wand features a comfortable, soft-grip handle, and a nifty locking feature that helps to reduce fatigue when you’ve got a variable jungle of weeds to tackle.

It’s rated for 40–60 PSI, right in the sweet spot for residential use, and it comes with three different nozzles to suit a variety of applications.

A 5¼-inch opening makes pouring your chemicals in without spilling a walk in the park, which means you never accidentally come into contact with any hazardous materials on the outside of the enclosure.

At the heart of operations, we have a manual piston pump, which means it’s not compatible with particulate solutions (a shame), but keep your chemicals smooth, and there’s no reason the pump won’t stand the test of time.

Pros

  • 40–60 PSI – Versatile enough for any residential application.
  • 3-Stage Filtration System – Prevents debris from interfering with your flow rate and droplet dimensions.
  • 9lbs – Not too much for the back to handle.
  • 5¼” Opening – Prevents chemical spills.

Cons

  • Shoulder Straps – More padding would be nice, but you can’t sweat the small stuff at this price point.
CHAPIN 61800 4Gal Backpack Sprayer with Adjustable and Fan Nozzle...
1,183 Reviews
CHAPIN 61800 4Gal Backpack Sprayer with Adjustable and Fan Nozzle...
  • Compatible with common fertilizers, weed killers and pesticides
  • 4-Gallon translucent tank with 4-inch wide mouth opening for easy filling and cleaning
  • 3-Stage Filtration system with in-tank removable/cleanable filter

Affiliate links and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 2021-09-25


Best Backpack Sprayers – Buyer’s Guide

You’d be forgiven for thinking that a backpack sprayer is a backpack sprayer and that’s that. It is a fairly simple device, after all. But there are actually quite a few factors to consider before committing yourself to a purchase.

In light of this, to make your journey from lawn lunacy to backyard bliss a little easier, I’ve composed an in-depth backpack sprayer buyer’s guide.

What Are Backpack Sprayers For and Do You Need One?

Perhaps you’re not sure if a backpack sprayer is the solution you’re looking for, so let’s quickly discuss what they’re used for and why they’re helpful.

Unless your yard is incredibly small, the answer to do you need a backpack sprayer will always be a resounding yes. You should consider yours an essential tool on par with your shovel, trowel, and leaf rake.

The ugly truth is that our yards are constantly in danger. Weeds, fungal diseases, pests, droughts, floods, and frosts are constantly gnawing away at, not just our lawns, but our flowers, trees, vegetables, and shrubs.

A backpack sprayer provides us with an efficient and economical way to protect our green kingdoms from the likes of powdery mildew, dollar spot, fairy rings, leaf blight, spider mites, and cutworms.

But knapsack sprayers aren’t just about defending. They’re multipurpose tools that can just as well be used for nurturing our lawns with an even spread of water or fertilizer.

Let’s face it, gardening is a constant battle, truly Sisyphean in nature, but a backpack sprayer makes that boulder we’re rolling up the hill each day feel more like a pebble.

They keep us from becoming overwhelmed by the sheer gravity of the task at hand, and for that, I’ll be eternally grateful!

Meeting Your Needs

The reason it can be so dang tricky finding the right backpack sprayer is that they’re all designed for different applications.

The same knapsack sprayer that will help the professional landscaper tend to large estates is decidedly different from the sprayer that will help a home gardener with lawn care.

As such, your first port of call should be to assess your situation. Ask yourself what you need from a backpack sprayer. Consider where it will be used, why, and how.

Backpack Sprayers — Features and Design

Once you’ve got a strong idea of what you’ll be using it for, it’s time to find one that meets your needs by assessing both the feature sets and designs of prospective backpack sprayers.

We have 5 main components of backpack sprayers to cover here, each with variations that will guide you directly to the perfect one for you and your yard.

Holding Tank — Scale of Application and Sprayer Weight

As I’m sure you’ve guessed, the holding tank of a backpack sprayer is the cavity that holds the spray formula.

While all backpack sprayers are designed to be as lightweight as possible, the larger the holding tank is, the more fluids will fit inside, and the harder it will be to lug around your yard or field.

Of course, the other side of the tank capacity coin is that the larger it is, the greater the ground you can cover without having to stop for refills. This means that more voluminous tanks are well suited to commercial and industrial applications.

For example, a landscaper will benefit from a bigger holding tank when tending to a large estate plot or sizable public garden, and a contractor would need something with a hefty capacity when treating a field.

That’s not to say a home gardener can’t invest in a backpack sprayer with a large holding tank, but they tend to cost a little more than their smaller counterparts. If you’re not going to take advantage of the extra volume, it’ll be money wasted.

Small horticulture, weed elimination, and lawn care operations usually only require a backpack sprayer with a 2–4 gallon holding tank capacity.

In terms of design, the holding tank should be made of a high-quality polyethylene plastic, a robust, chemically resistant material. Polyethylene is also UV-resistant, which is particularly important considering you’ll only be spraying on dry days when the sun is more likely to show its face.

The seal of the holding tank is normally composed of two parts, a filter and a screw seal. The filter layer allows you to fill the holding tank without worrying about large debris finding its way into and clogging the system.

The screw seal needs to be airtight to prevent the liquids and smells from seeping out of the holding tank. 

Sprayer Pump — Manual vs Motorized

Whereas the user has to manually pump some backpack sprayers in order to maintain adequate pressure, others use a battery-powered motor. The motor draws liquid from the holding tank and automatically transfers it into the pressure chamber.

A collection of airtight seals and valves then keep the pressurized liquid in stasis until the user triggers the valve release on the applicator.

A motorized pump does make things a lot easier, but they’re not right for everyone. Let’s take a look at some pros and cons.

Pros of A Motorized Pump

  • Zero pumping fatigue means they’re suitable for treating larger areas.
  • As they maintain pressure consistently, they release perfectly measured doses of solution.
  • The motor makes lawn maintenance easy for those that suffer from joint issues such as arthritis.

Cons of A Motorized Pump

  • The batteries and extra components make backpack sprayers with motorized pumps heavier.
  • Backpack sprayers with motorized pumps usually cost a pretty penny.
  • Motorized pumps are more complex devices than their manual counterparts, so maintenance can be a pain.

Pros of A Manual Pump

  • Manual pumps are great for smaller areas and fresh weed and fungal infections that haven’t had time to spread.
  • Manual pumps are quite a bit lighter than motorized pumps, so if you suffer from back, neck, or shoulder pain, they’re a smart choice.
  • Backpack sprayers with manual pumps tend to be more affordable, which is always a bonus.
  • Manual pumps are easier to maintain.

Cons of A Manual Pump

  • The biggest drawback to a manual pump is hand and arm fatigue. Your hand and arm will get tired, which is why I’d recommend choosing a backpack sprayer with a reversible pump handle. Sharing the burden between lefty and righty makes for a far more comfortable experience.

A Note On Batteries

Should you spring for a backpack sprayer with a motorized pump, you’ll need to factor battery quality into the equation. It should be able to shoulder both high and low pressure applications and provide a decent run time.

It’s annoying when you have to pause to refill your holding tank, but it’s even worse having to wait for a battery to recharge, so you’ll need to make sure it will last long enough for you to treat the entire square footage of your land.

A Note On Internal Seals

I know seals all just look like little black rings, but they can vary in quality quite a bit, so look for reassurance from the manufacturer. If they don’t mention the high standard of the seals, be suspicious. 

Poor seals will lead to leaks, and the last thing anyone wants is to suddenly be taking a chemical shower — no thanks!

A Note On Pump Type

On top of motorized and manual pumps, you’ll also have to decide between piston and diaphragm pumps.

Diaphragm pumps are widely considered the premium option, so they carry a higher price tag, but ultimately, which one you choose will come down to the substances you need to use.

The higher the pressure rating of a pump, the finer the droplets of the spray will be. As piston pumps can usually generate between 60 and 150 PSI, they’re suitable for substances that require finer mist application, such as contact herbicides.

While diaphragm pumps are more durable, they tend to max out at around 60 PSI, which means they’re more suited to substances that require larger droplet applications and less drift, such as wettable powders and systemic herbicides.

Applicator Wand — Bringing The Magic!

The applicator wand is the long stem that your spray will travel down before reaching the nozzle. Its job is to distance you from the spray, keeping you safe from any harsh chemicals in your solution.

Applicator wands are also designed to help you treat an area or spot economically.

All you really need to worry about on the wand front is that it’s long enough for your chosen application and that it feels comfortable in hand.

Some nifty nice-to-haves include extendability, a removable in-line filter for keeping the pathway clear, and a lockable trigger to reduce hand fatigue.

Spray Nozzles — Spray Pattern and Flow Rate

Spray nozzles are an incredibly important aspect of backpack sprayers. They define, not only the shape of the spray, but the flow rate of the spray (usually between 3 and 5 gallons per minute).

Do you need a fan pattern, cone pattern, wide stream, or direct dispersal? Sure, you can acquire the correct nozzle as an aftermarket purchase, but in an ideal world, your backpack sprayer will come with everything you need.

A standard adjustable nozzle is normally fine for residential use, but professionals such as farmers or landscapers may want to invest in some high-grade nozzles, just so they’re prepared for anything the landscape throws at them.

The Straps and Harness — Comfortability

Straps with oodles of padding are certainly a cozy prospect, but here’s the thing…if you’re only going to be spraying for a short amount of time, forking out for super comfortable straps is a little extravagant.

The support of the harness is far more important. It should distribute the weight of the holding tank evenly across your shoulders and back, otherwise, you’ll fatigue quicker and may even end up straining a muscle.

You’ll also need to make sure that the harness is just as supportive as the tank gets lighter over the course of the treatment.

Those that have a large area to treat will benefit from padded straps and tons of lumbar support. The more comfortable you are, the quicker you’ll be able to get the job done.

Chemical Rating — Intended Use

Chemicals aren’t just tough on weeds and fungus, some of them are so corrosive that they can give your backpack sprayer a hard time too! 

That’s why I always recommend sourcing any chemicals you may need before purchasing a backpack sprayer. Choose one that’s designed to handle those chemicals specifically, and you shouldn’t run into any problems. 

Maintenance

As I’ve already touched upon, certain facets of sprayer design can make them harder to maintain, but manufacturers should still be doing their best to keep maintenance as easy and pain-free as possible.

Keep an eye out for any special features that would streamline the maintenance process or make it easier to understand.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve covered a lot of ground here today already, nice work! But backpack sprayers and spraying in general are surprisingly broad topics, so I thought a brief FAQ segment would be the perfect way to bring this article to a nice, tidy close.

If you couldn’t find the answer to one or more of your backpack sprayer queries in my buyer’s guide, with any luck you’ll find it here, alongside tons of other key bits of information.

What Is The Best Backpack Sprayer?

It’s impossible to say what the best backpack sprayer for you is, as only you’re aware of your situation. It all depends on what you need from a sprayer, but the closest I found to a catch-all unit is the Field King 190328.

The application wand comes with an in-line filter, ensuring it stays clean; it has a 4-gallon tank capacity, which is large enough to cover some serious ground before it needs a refill; the seals are of the highest quality, and it arrives with 4 nozzles to suit almost any application.

Can You Use Bleach In A Backpack Sprayer?

As the seals are rarely rated for such a harsh chemical, it’s best not to use bleach in a standard garden sprayer. What’s more, piston pumps and bleach don’t play well. You’re best off looking for a bleach-specific backpack sprayer with a diaphragm pump.

What Should I Look For In A Backpack Sprayer?

The trick to finding the perfect backpack sprayer for you is to assess your needs and then look for design features that meet those needs.

For example, if you need to treat a large area, you should be looking for a backpack sprayer with a big holding tank, so you don’t need to interrupt your workflow to refill it.

You’ll also need something with a supportive harness and lots of padding in the shoulder straps, as you’ll be working for quite a long time.

A motorized pump is another must, as manual designs can fatigue your hands and arms pretty quickly.

If you only need to cover a small area with your backpack sprayer, the best course of action is to try and avoid unnecessary extras, thereby keeping the price nice and low. For instance, you won’t need a deluxe harness, and you can opt for a much lighter 2-gallon tank. 

It’s also important to bear in mind that the sprayer must be suitable for the chemicals you plan on using.

Is A Backpack Sprayer With A Motorized Pump Worth It?

Motorized pumps are definitely extravagant if you only have a small area to treat, but even then, they can be a handy feature.

Backpack sprayers with motorized pumps are particularly handy for seniors and the differently-abled, who perhaps don’t quite have the grip strength to pump manually.

What Is The Difference Between A Piston And A Diaphragm Sprayer?

Piston pumps usually have a higher PSI rating, meaning they produce a finer spray droplet and broader coverage, but they aren’t that durable. They’re typically used for spot spraying, to spread contact herbicides, and to aid in animal disease control.

Diaphragm pumps are more durable than piston pumps, but they’re only rated for around 60 PSI, meaning they have narrower dispersion and a larger spray droplet. They’re commonly used to spread systemic herbicides, wettable powders, and bleaches.

What Is The Operating Pressure Of A Backpack Sprayer, And Are They Safe To Wear While Spraying?

40 to 60 PSI should be a high enough working pressure for the average home gardener using their sprayer for lawn care and weed elimination purposes.

Professional green thumbs with vast areas to treat may choose to bump things up to the 100 PSI mark, as the wider dispersion will speed things up significantly.

In regard to wearing a backpack sprayer while using it, you shouldn’t run into any problems. If there is an issue with the system, it would simply lose pressure rather than explode.

The most prominent danger in wearing a backpack sprayer is actually a leak, as chemicals could find their way onto your clothes and skin; however, as long as you properly maintain your sprayer, this won’t be a problem.

Why Are Diaphragm Pumps More Durable Than Piston Pumps?

Piston pumps work like your standard bicycle pump. The piston runs through a cylinder, forcing air into the pressure chamber.

As the piston slides through the chamber, it creates a small amount of friction. This friction is exacerbated when particulate matter is introduced via the spraying solution.

Over time, the friction between the piston and the cylinder wears both components down.

A diaphragm pump, on the other hand, works more like a bellows, meaning there are no moving parts to rub against one another and create friction. Therefore, they can pump particulate matter safely.

Which Spray Nozzle Should I Be Using?

The spray nozzle you choose needs to suit the task at hand. Flat, fan-shaped nozzles are ideal for treating lawns efficiently. Just think of the width of the fan as the deck of a lawnmower, and make passes accordingly.

Cone nozzles are better for spot spraying and precision treatments, as are standard stream nozzles. Then there are fine mist nozzles, which are great for covering large areas with small amounts of liquid.

How Do I Prevent Spray From Drifting?

The best way to prevent spray drift is to wait for a still day. In fact, if you’re spreading chemicals, it’s best to wait until there’s no wind at all, otherwise, you risk contaminating surrounding vegetation.

If there are no still days forecast, try spraying at dusk or dawn, as these are the times air tends to be at its calmest throughout the day.

Another way you can reduce drift is by using lower pressure. The higher the pressure, the finer the droplet, and the more affected the spray will be air turbulence. Lower pressure makes for a larger, heavier droplet that won’t be as easily manipulated by a breeze.

How Am I Supposed To Know How Much I’m Spraying?

If you want to figure out how much you’re spraying, simply fill your holding tank, treat a discrete area, then measure how much liquid you have left in the tank.

It’s a great idea to measure out how much liquid you use on each area, so you can fill your tank accordingly.

Why Is It Important To Calibrate A Backpack Sprayer?

Calibrating a backpack sprayer is an essential practice and should be done before you use the sprayer for the first time or if you ever switch to a new substance.

Calibration ensures that your active ingredients are sufficiently diluted in water and that they’ll achieve the desired result over the treatment area without causing any negative, unforeseen side effects.

The Final Word

I’ve given you a lot to chew on here, so before we go our separate ways, let’s round things up with a quick summary.

Choosing your first backpack sprayer can be tricky, but as long as you think carefully about a few things first, finding the right one for you isn’t half as hard as it seems. You’ll need to consider…

  • The size of the area you plan on treating

For bigger lawns and expansive outdoor areas, it’s best to choose something with a large capacity, comfortable shoulder straps, an adjustable harness for lumbar support, and a motorized pump to reduce fatigue.

The Chapin 63985, my premium pick, checks all the boxes, although, if you’re after something with a little more pressure, I’d recommend the Field King Max.

  • The chemicals you plan on using

In most cases, a piston pump operates with higher pressure, but they’re not durable enough to handle particulate solutions. For those, you’ll need a sprayer with a diaphragm pump or one like the Field King Professional that has built-in agitators to fully incorporate granular matter.

  • Any physical limitations

Even though backpack sprayers are a convenient tool, they can be tough to use. If you’d prefer something less taxing, I can’t speak highly enough of the Kimo sprayer. It may only have a 3-gallon capacity, but it’s lightweight, motorized, comfortable, and comes with an extendable applicator wand.

  • How much you’re willing to spend

If money’s no option, feel free to treat yourself to a more advanced model, but if you’re trying to keep things lean, the Chapin 61800 is quite possibly the best bang for buck sprayer on the market.

…And that’s really all there is to it, folks. With any luck, this article has guided you directly to the backpack sprayer of your dreams, but don’t panic if none of them caught your eye. Simply use what you learned here today to continue your search with confidence!

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