Best Backpack Sprayers: How They Work & What to Buy - Backyard Boss
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Best Backpack Sprayers: How They Work & What to Buy

Do you love taking care of your yard but often feel overwhelmed by the amount of work it sometimes takes? Have a large property that needs regular weeding and maintenance, or flower beds that have to be fed from time to time? A backpack sprayer is a perfect solution to making these tasks more manageable, no matter whether your yard is large or small.

These tools are easy to work and depend on pressurized air to help evenly treat areas with insecticide, fertilizer, and weed killer. They make short work of these tasks and are a great addition to your arsenal of property maintenance products. Read on to determine which of these best backpack sprayers look right for your lawn and garden needs.

Best Backpack Sprayers Comparison Table

  • Capacity: 4 gallons
  • Type: Manual Piston Pump
  • eatures: Manual side pump, fan and foaming nozzles, padded shoulder straps
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  • Capacity: 4 gallons
  • Type: Manual piston and diaphragm sprayer
  • Features: 150 psi max, comfortable shoulder straps, easy to repair, multiple nozzles
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  • Capacity: 4 gallons
  • Type: Electric Piston
  • Features: Adjustable steel wand, soldered battery terminals, voltage output meter, up to a 30-foot spray
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  • Capacity: 4 gallons
  • Type: Electric Piston
  • Features: Various nozzle attachments, comfortable shoulder straps, high-pressure hose
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  • Capacity: 4 gallons
  • Type: Manual piston
  • Features: consistent pressure control, easy to pump, comfortable support
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What is a Backpack Sprayer?

Backpack sprayers are standard spray application tools that allow you to carry approximately 4 gallons of a sprayable product for widespread and isolated applications. You can easily cover more extensive lawns and yards as you walk and spray or spot-treat individual plants or specific areas.

Backpack sprayers can be either worn, like a backpack, or carried if you so desire, and generally pump up by hand or battery operated to build pressure. The main container is connected to a spray unit that allows you to control the type of stream provided and the stream’s direction.

best backpack sprayer tall man in coveralls treats lawn for weeds wearing backpack sprayerThey are an ideal choice for homeowners and even companies caring for confined or fenced in areas or places where a vehicle will not go. They also easily replace handheld spray bottles and allow you to purchase treatment concentrates, which can save you money.

How Does a Backpack Sprayer Work?

As described above, these tools have a container that opens to allow you to mix your treatment and a small battery-operated system that pressurizes and help provide a consistent spray during use. Hand pumped sprayers are still available but are not as popular due to how much more effort goes into the application. They are significantly cheaper, however, and very dependable.

You can either wear or carry the tank and then adjust the spray handle’s nozzle to change the type of stream you prefer. You can walk and spray for more widespread application or spot treat where needed.

What are the Benefits of a Backpack Sprayer?

There are a ton of benefits from using a backpack sprayer, as any user has discovered. For example, it is much easier to buy a concentrated treatment of fertilizer, pesticide, or weed killer compared to an already mixed bottle. If you regularly need to treat an area, this is a great way to save money.

It also is much easier to carry your mixture on your back instead of having to lift it from place to place or carry around a small handheld bottle that will run out and need to be refilled every few minutes. Most sprayers of this type hold at least a gallon of treatment and allow you to work for more extended periods without having to fill. In fact, over time, you can better gauge exactly how much you need for each area and mix accordingly.

Types of Backpack Sprayers to Consider

Besides deciding whether a hand-pumped or battery-operated pump is best for your budget, there are indeed only two types of backpack sprayers to consider: the piston pump or diaphragm pump. From the outside, they look the same but have some fundamental differences to take into account.

Piston Pumps

Piston pumps are more popular with home landscape maintenance. These pumps hold up to 90 psi (on average) and produce a steady, robust and fine droplet application. They provide what you need to treat higher trees and shrubs and what is along the ground. They are made to mix with liquid concentrates.

Diaphragm Pumps

Diaphragm pumps are made explicitly for spraying down. They are designed to work with both liquid concentrates and water-soluble powders without damaging the pumping mechanism by leaning behind a sand-like residue.

Other things to consider: tank size, seal and gasket care, comfort features of the pack, interchangeable nozzle options, and safety features such as shut-off valves, lock features, and drip control.

best backpack sprayer tall large area sprayer in use in commercial farm

Common Questions About Backpack Sprayers

The following are some common questions often asked about backpack sprayers. They help provide some necessary information you may be wondering about if you are new to the tool.

How far can a backpack sprayer spray?

This depends on the pack, but most can handle between 10 and 30 feet, with an average of 20 feet.

How much pressure should a pump sprayer have?

The majority of backpack sprayers hold, on average, 90- 150 psi. Some may hold more and always refer to your owner’s manual to determine

How do you calibrate a backpack sprayer?

Calibrating a backpack sprayer is the task you may want to consider before filling with a treatment. This process allows you to see how much you are spraying over a set amount of time and space. Your movements, the type of nozzle you are using, and the pressure will dictate how much treatment you lay down. You can practice this with just water to get a good idea of the application rate.

How many gallons does it take to spray an acre?

This is wholly dependent on your calibration and your application rate. You will need to calculate this based on what the treatment recommends. You can mark off a measured area and figure what it will take.

How many gallons of water does it take to spray 1000 square feet?

Again, this is entirely dependent on your calibration. See how to calibrate a backpack sprayer.

Common Problems with Backpack Sprayers

There are some issues with backpack sprayers from time to time. Seals and parts begin to wear, concentrations build-up, and pressure may not hold as well. It also may become clogged and make you wonder how to unclog a backpack sprayer?

Luckily, these are easy to take apart, have very few parts, and clean up without much issue. New seals and O-rings are also generally easy to find at local hardware stores and are inexpensive to purchase.

Top 5 Rated Backpack Sprayers

The following backpack sprayers are popular with consumers due to their ease of use and comfort while working. Take a look at how they do to determine which is best for you.

Best Budget Manual Backpack Sprayer

This manual piston pump-style sprayer has a 4-gallon capacity and a wide 4-inch mouth for easy treatment mixing. The 2 stage filtration system helps keep clogs from happening, and you can choose from either a fan style nozzle or a foaming one. The padded shoulder straps allow you to work in comfort for long periods.

It is easily pressured by a side angle that is easy to reach to help maintain pressure while you work. If you are on a budget but need a dependable sprayer, this is a great choice. The manual pressurized pump is easy to use, and the spray is reliable. It also cleans easily.

    Chapin 61500 Backpack Sprayer for Fertilizer, 4 gal

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    The Chapin Euro Style Backpack Sprayer has the traditional look and feel of a backpack sprayer with padded shoulder straps for a close fit to the back and a standard left-hand pump handle. The 4-Gallon poly tank has a 4-inch wide mouth opening for easy filling and cleaning. Featuring a 2-stage filtration system to prevent clogging, a translucent tank for viewing of fluid level, poly shut-off and 2 nozzles for a variety of applications. Viton seals provide compatibility with fertilizers, weed killers and pesticides.

Most Powerful Manual Backpack Sprayer

This highly specialized manual sprayer acts as both a piston and diaphragm pump and can handle powders and concentrates as it mixes the solution as you work to avoid clogs. It can be pressurized up to 150psi and has multiple nozzle tips to get whatever job you need to be done, done. Easy to replace seals and gaskets, this comes apart easily and can be repaired in just minutes.

Pressurized by a side pump, it is easy to work and is reliable while you get the job done. If you need a comprehensive system but need to save a bit of cash, this is an excellent manual system to consider. The ability to take any solution makes it a great choice.

    Field King Professional No Leak Pump Backpack Sprayer

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    Built-in agitator can handle liquids, powders, and water-soluble solutions. Internal paddles, activated by pump action, keeps them mixed, in solution, and ready to spray. Tested to over 1,000,000 cycles with a wettable powder without failure.

Most Powerful Battery Backpack Sprayer

This battery-powered backpack is a powerhouse and can spray up to 30 feet with the automatic pump. Avoid having to stay pressurized as it will do all the work for you, and allow you to choose between various nozzle ends to meet your needs. A battery light indicator gives you a warning and provides up to an 8-hour life. The largemouth opening makes mixing easy, and a screen filter helps you avoid clogs.

It handles all low viscosity liquids, including stains – making it very versatile. When you want to mix and go, this is a great option that lets you avoid handing pressure for continual use.

    M4 MY4SONS 4-Gallon Battery Powered Backpack Sprayer

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    Sprays For 6-8 hours on a single battery charge or over 200 gallons of solution so that you can spray all day on a single charge without worrying about pumping. Variable pressure switch that allows for precise flow control from 20-60psi

Best Battery-Powered Value Backpack Sprayer

The Petra Battery Powered Backpack is a great solution when you need to cover a lot of ground fast; the 4-gallon reservoir holds your treatment up to 70psi pressure and can spray all day on a single charge. The wide mouth lid makes all your mixing needs easy, and a screen filter ensures you don’t get a clog. A secondary cap holds various nozzles, so you always have what you need.

It is also easy to adjust the pressure for your spray strength and is completely spill-proof. This is yet another great battery operated option that provides extended use and a powerful spray for all your needs.

    Petra 4 Gallon Battery Powered Backpack Sprayer

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    Sprays For 6-8 hours on a single battery charge or over 200 gallons of solution so that you can spray all day on a single charge without worrying about pumping. 70 PSI pump with adjustable pressure knob. The 8AH lead-acid battery provides 4X the battery life of most other 2.0 lithium battery sprayers. If needed, the battery can be changed quickly. Includes a fully-automatic AC charger that completely charges the battery in 8 hours. (BATTERY AND CHARGER INCLUDED!)

Most Comfortable Manual Backpack Sprayer

The Roundup Brand name is synonymous with week killing, and their sprayer can help make that happen. With the ability to deliver up to 150 psi, consistent 25psi optimization makes it perfect for weed control applications. The four-nozzle system makes it easy to switch out and apply whatever treatment you are working with.

Incredibly comfortable, the backpack is considered one of the best padded and includes lumbar support and chest strap. If you have long spraying hours, this is an option to help you stay comfortable while you work.

    Roundup 190314 Backpack Sprayer

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    4-Gallon sprayer meets all your spraying needs (controlling weeds and pests, growing flowers and vegetables and cleaning decks and siding) Heavy-duty poly wand with shut-off featuring a comfort grip, lock for continuous spraying and an in-line filter Viton seals and gaskets throughout the pump and shut-off for long lasting chemical resistance


If a dependable backpack sprayer has been on your radar, these options are some of the best current choices you can consider. Reliable, durable, and easy to use- all have features to make them comfortable and powerful. If you were worried about how much a backpack sprayer cost, hopefully, this article has showcased the variable values to help you stay within budget.

We’d love to hear which you feel at best for you and why below. And if you own any of these models, please let us know your honest review of them. As always, please share!