Best Backpack Sprayers of 2017 – Reviews & Buying Guide

backpack sprayerA backpack sprayer is a spraying apparatus with straps which allow you to wear it on your back. With it, you can treat different plants with chemicals, insecticides, and supplements. Backpack sprayers come with a long wand and various nozzles which allow you to quickly and easily target specific plants. Combine this with its excellent portability and you have a highly versatile and efficient tool.

Since you’re here, we’ll assume that you’re tempted by the idea of a backpack sprayer. You’re making the right decision since backpack sprayers are very versatile and can be used for a wide range of spraying applications. What’s more, the fact that battery-operated backpack sprayers can provide hours of continuous use means that jobs can be completed quickly and easily. The best backpack sprayer can offer plenty of power for a respectable price.


The Best Backpack Sprayers of 2017

MODELPRODUCT DIMENSIONS
ITEM WEIGHT
USER RATINGPRICE
My 4 Sons M41000
My 4 Sons M41000
23 x 8 x 16 inches
14 pounds
4.7/5
$$$$$
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Field King Professional 190328
Field King Professional 190328
15 x 22.5 x 9.5 inches
12.8 pounds
4.6/5
$$
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Chapin 61500
Chapin 61500
17.2 x 9.8 x 18.2 inches
10.6 pounds
4.5/5
$
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Chapin 63985
Chapin 63985
14.8 x 8.8 x 22 inches
10.5 pounds
4.3/5
$$$$
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Solo 425
Solo 425
15 x 10 x 21 inches
14 pounds
4.1/5
$$$
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Now it’s time for the fun part! We’ve created a list of backpack sprayer reviews that we think will be of interest to you. These are products at various price points that are all considered to offer good quality. In order to help you narrow down the options, we’ve also included a buying guide with all the tips you need in order to make the right choice. So what are you waiting for? Read on!

1. Chapin 63985 – Best for Commercial Use

Chapin 63985Chapin has been making sprayers since 1903 and is well known in the industry. It’s perhaps unsurprising that it is the Chapin 63985 that takes first place. It features a Black & Decker 20-volt lithium ion battery which is said to offer up to 1hr 45 mins of continuous spraying which is about 50 gallons. PSI is a constant 35-40 with a maximum horizontal spray stream of 35 foot. This constant pressure means that it’s very convenient to use and there’s no need for manual pumping. One of the best features of this product is the 4-gallon poly tank which has a 6-inch wide mouth funnel (one of the widest in the industry) which makes filling and cleaning so much easier.

We like that the tank of this excellent backpack sprayer is translucent so it’s easy to see how much solution you have remaining. With regard to the wand, it’s 20-inches long while the hose measures at 4 feet which is on the short side. This unit comes with three different nozzles for a variety of applications. With regard to comfort, while the shoulder straps are padded, there is no padding provided for the back. At only 10.5 lbs, this is one of the lighter backpack sprayers available. Overall this product performs so well that it is rightfully the best backpack sprayer on the market.

Pros

  • The excellent battery allows for up to 1hr 45 mins of continuous use

  • 6-inch wide mouth funnel makes cleaning and filling very easy

  • At 10.5 lbs, this is one of the lighter backpack sprayers on the market

Cons

  • At 4 feet, the hose is fairly short which some may find limiting


2. Field King Professional 190328 – A Solid Pick

Field King Professional 190328One of the key selling points of the Field King Professional 190328 is that it’s a no leak backpack sprayer. The internal no leak pump design ensures that the product is safe to use with no risk of chemicals making contact with your clothes or worse, your skin! This unit has a lockable shut-off which offers comfortable grip as well as a lockable trigger so that you have to suffer the problem of hand fatigue. Capable of spraying up to 150 PSI, this unit ensures you can spray those hard-to-reach areas without any problem. This is helped by the fact that the wand is 21-inches long which should be more than enough for most people.

The pressure regulator helps maintain a steady 25 PSI which makes this a solid pick for spraying herbicides and weed killers. Comfort is offered in the form of adjustable padded straps, a waist belt, and chest strap. A handle on the top of the unit makes it much easier to move around. However, some people may find that the handle makes the unit hard to store so may wish to remove it if this is the case. The same can be said for the pump handle which protrudes from the unit. The Field King Professional 190328 comes with 4 nozzles, one of which is brass adjustable, two are flat fans and the other is a foaming nozzle. There are so few cons to this product that it’s definitely a solid pick.

Pros

  • Designed to ensure that there are no chemical leaks

  • The trigger is lockable which reduces hand fatigue

  • Wand is 21-inches long which is more than enough

Cons

  • The protruding pump handle makes storage a little tricky


3. Chapin 61500 – Best for the Money

Chapin 61500For a cheaper backpack sprayer option, consider the Chapin 61500. This 4-gallon unit has a 4-inch wide mouth opening which makes filling and cleaning easier. The tank is translucent which also helps in order to know how much solution is left. Another interesting feature is the 2-stage filtration system which is designed to prevent clogging. This unit weighs only 10.6 lbs and has padded shoulder straps to make carrying it around a little bit more comfortable, as well as a chest strap. For the price, it’s very comfortable to wear.

This is a backpack sprayer that is easy to use. The trigger is nice and light which means that minimal squeezing is required in order to get a full and strong spray. Releasing the trigger instantly cuts the flow which means there are no drips and no waste! This is a great product for anybody who wants minimal setup since assembly is very quick and easy. With so many advantages, the Chapin 61500 is, without a doubt, the best backpack sprayer for the money. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that this is quite a large unit. Also, a minority of consumers complain that they had to pump it too often in order to get the spray required.

Pros

  • Surprisingly comfortable to wear considering the price

  • Translucent tank so you know when to refill

  • Light trigger for minimal hand fatigue

Cons

  • Unit is on the bulky side which reduces portability and storage

  • Some consumers claim too much pumping is required


4. Solo 425

Solo 425The Solo 425 is a 4-gallon piston backpack sprayer which is available for a highly competitive price. With a piston pump, it is capable of up to 90 PSI which should be enough for most spraying tasks. This unit features an ultraviolet resistant tank made of high-density polyethylene. This material is corrosion resistant and there are no metal or rubber parts to be vulnerable to chemicals used. A 4.25-inch opening at the top of the tank means that you can easily fill and clean it when required. We like that the interchangeable pump handle allows for left or right-hand operation and has a hand trigger lock for continuous spray and reduced hand fatigue. Such features make this a very convenient backpack sprayer to use.

This product comes with 4 different nozzles including adjustable, fan spray, hollow cone, and jet stream nozzles. Unfortunately, this product is not without its problems. One of the main issues experienced seems to be the padded polyester straps which are not particularly comfortable and are prone to coming loose which can be highly problematic and annoying. This issue is made worse when you consider the weight of 14 lbs and the fact that it will weigh much more than this with a full tank. There also seems to be something of a problem with regard to quality control with numerous customers having to send products back for replacements. But if you want a backpack sprayer that is easy to use, maintain and offers good quality for the price, the Solo 425 is a very viable option.

Pros

  • Comes with 4 adjustable nozzles

  • Hand trigger lock makes spraying much easier

Cons

  • Polyester straps are said to be somewhat flimsy

  • Some issues with quality control required replacement units

  • It’s quite a heavy product at 14 lbs


5. My 4 Sons M41000

My 4 Sons M41000A highly-rated backpack sprayer, the M41000 from My 4 Sons has a lot of things going for it. In particular, it’s worth noting that it comes with a steel wand rather than those of some products which are often of plastic. The 4-gallon tank is translucent which makes it easy to see when it needs refilling. It features a large, wide mouth opening for easy filling as well as a filter to keep debris from entering the tank. While a well-built unit, one disadvantage of this product is that it’s quite heavy at 14 lbs. This may limit the amount of spray solution that a person can put in if the total weight becomes too much, particularly for long periods of work. However, the straps included are of a good standard which should help.

One of the best features of the M41000 is the adjustable wand. As previously mentioned, it’s made of steel. But the ability to adjust it between 20 and 40-inches makes this a very versatile backpack sprayer which allows you to reach everything you need, high and low. The product includes various nozzles which include adjustable brass, flat tee jet, fine mist and double. These are simple to attach and the whole setup is also very easy. Overall it’s a good value product with very few negatives of note.

Pros

  • The wand is adjustable and made of steel

  • Setup is very quick and easy

  • 4-gallon tank is translucent so you know when to refill

Cons

  • This unit weighs 14 lbs so is on the heavy side


Factors to Consider When Buying a Backpack Sprayer

If you’re still unsure as to which backpack sprayer is best for you, fear not! We’ll now take a look at the various factors to consider when buying a backpack sprayer. The best place to start is surely by looking at the 3 main types of backpack sprayers on the market:

3 Types of Backpack Sprayers

  1. Piston Pump Sprayer

A piston pump can generally create higher pressure than a diaphragm pump. As such, it can spray greater distances which is ideal for tall shrubs and even trees. It tends to be less expensive than the diaphragm pump and this is in part because the piston pump cannot be used with as many different types of herbicides.

  1. Diaphragm Pump Sprayer

A diaphragm pump is designed to be resistant to chemicals. So when you’re spraying anything corrosive, this is what you need to use. Diaphragm pump sprayers tend to be more durable and easier to repair. However, they are more expensive than piston pump sprayers and have lower pressure.

  1. Battery Operated Sprayer

When you need to do a significant amount of spraying, a battery operated sprayer can prove to be very useful indeed. With this type, you can charge the battery overnight and have your unit ready for uninterrupted spraying when the time comes. This option is best for reducing hand and arm fatigue. What’s more, they’re easy to operate and provide even pressure.

Backpack Sprayer Uses

It’s all well and good knowing about the different types of backpack sprayers, but what can you actually use it for? Here are the main applications to consider:

  • Pesticides

  • Insecticides

  • Herbicides

  • Fungicides

  • Weed killers

  • Bleach and disinfectant

  • Household cleaning

Weight

Backpack sprayers are designed to be portable but that doesn’t mean that all of them are light weight. As such, it’s important to consider what weight you feel safe carrying. The weights listed in product descriptions are the weight of the unit only. So you’ll also have to factor in the solution that you’ll be spraying. Most backpack sprayers on the market (such as those we’ve reviewed above) weigh between 10 and 15 lbs. This may not sound like much difference but if you’re spraying for an hour or more, you’ll begin to notice it! Factor in the solution and you’ve got something that weighs up to 40-50 lbs which may prove to be too much for some people. It’s therefore vital to strike a balance between capacity and usability.

Spray Wand

One of the main accessories on a backpack sprayer is the spray wand. This is what you use to apply whichever chemical you’re using. Spray wands are typically of plastic but some are made of steel which is obviously a lot more durable. More important than the material, however, is the length of the spray wand. If the wand isn’t long enough then you may struggle to reach your intended target, particularly if it’s a tree, for example. The best wands are easily adjustable, offering versatility as you get on with your work. Most spray wands should also be suitable for left and right-handed use.

Shoulder Straps

Whether you’re spraying for 10 minutes or an hour, you want to be sure that your backpack sprayer is comfortable to wear. One issue that we’ve already dealt with is the weight of a backpack sprayer. Another factor to take into account is the shoulder straps. Without the shoulder straps, a backpack sprayer isn’t a backpack sprayer at all! As such, you’ll find these on every product on the market. However, not all of them are padded and not all are comfortable as a result. We recommend you look for shoulder straps that are padded, fully adjustable and comfortable (you’ll have to read consumer comments for this). The more expensive the product, the better the straps tend to be. Cheap shoulder straps can come loose on occasion so try to avoid these.

Nozzles

It’s useful to know that most backpack sprayers include more than one nozzle. In fact, some include as many as three or four. Nozzles regulate the flow of the liquid and each one performs differently. Choosing the correct nozzle is very important because it determines how much of a solution you spray on a target as well as what sort of coverage it receives. The last thing you want is to accidentally spray anything else other than your intended target.

Luckily, most nozzles are coded, often by color. This means that it’s easy to choose the right nozzle for the right situation. Nozzles could be made from one of many different materials. In order of durability (from least to most durable) the materials are as follows: brass, plastic, stainless steel, hardened stainless steel, and ceramic. Let’s take a look at two of the most common nozzle types:

  1. Flat fan nozzles

A flat fan nozzle forms a tapered spray pattern with most of the flow towards the centre of the pattern and less towards the outer edge. There are numerous different types of flat fan nozzles such as the standard fan nozzle, extended-range flat-fan nozzle, and off-center fan.

  1. Cone nozzles

A cone nozzle produces a spray pattern that has a ring-shaped impact area. They’re good for treating individual plants thanks to the more targeted approach.

Top Safety and Maintenance Tips

Since the use of a backpack sprayer typically involves the use of chemicals, it’s important to not only know how to use it safely but also how to maintain it. Doing both will ensure that you get the very best use out of it. Here are our top safety and maintenance tips for your new backpack sprayer purchase!

  • If you want to ensure the longevity of your new purchase, be sure to clean it after every use. You can simply do this with clean water or a tank cleaner if you have one.

  • You can check for leaks by filling your tank with clean water before use. It’s far better to have clean water leaking than harmful chemicals!

  • Keep any spare parts that may come with your backpack sprayer. This will make it more likely that you can make the necessary repairs if there’s a leak, for example.

  • Wearing appropriate protective clothing is always a good idea when using a backpack sprayer. Open-toe shoes are not advised. Ensure arms and legs are covered.

  • Always spray downwind and try to avoid any drift. This will reduce the chance of chemicals coming back to you.


Conclusion

At the end of the day, the backpack sprayer you buy is entirely your choice. But with so many products to choose from, we understand that it can be a little overwhelming. By exploring the various features and accessories, you can decide what is most important to you whether you’re looking to spray crops in a large field or simply a few plants in your garden.

Hopefully, our reviews of backpack sprayers have provided you with some food for thought. There really is a product to suit everybody’s budget and, best of all, even the budget backpack sprayers can be effective. Keep in mind the things we have mentioned and we’re confident you’ll find a great product. Good luck!