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Best Backpack Sprayers of 2020

Best Backpack Sprayer Reviews of 2020

Best-in-class
Petra HD5000

Petra HD5000 Powered Backpack Sprayer with Custom Fitted Cart

Best two-in-one backpack sprayer

A versatile garden sprayer with custom-fitted cart suitable for big and small spraying jobs alike.

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1 Petra HD5000 Review

Whether you need to take care of a small backyard or large landscape, the Petra HD5000 is the best backpack sprayer around. Its greatest strength is the two-in-one design that allows you to use it as a backpack unit or fit it on the custom cart and drag it around the garden.

Apart from the cart, the unit comes with a long, 100-foot commercial quality hose you can use for heavy-duty, as well as precision applications.

Furthermore, an additional 4-foot hose can easily replace the long one if you decide to ditch the cart and use the unit as a backpack, while a selection of nozzles delivers target spraying exactly where needed.

Other highlights include 70 PSI automatic output and a quality lead-acid battery. It even comes with two wands that can withstand most types of chemicals. What else could you want?

Best value
Field King 190328

Field King Professional 190328 No Leak Pump Backpack Sprayer

Best for home gardeners

Internal no-leak pump and high pressure make it perfect for most homeowners and amateur gardeners.

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2 Field King 190328 Review

Designed for herbicides, but suitable to use with a variety of liquids, the Field King Professional 190328 is one of the best backpack sprayers for amateur gardeners and homeowners. What we like best is the internal no-leak pump that makes it safer to handle chemicals.

Nothing will drip down your back, so you’ll never have to worry about skin burns or stains on your garments.

Its strong construction also makes it perfect for tackling all spraying chores. For instance, you can use it to spray manure tea to fertilize your vegetables or lawn.

We also like the built-in agitator, a feature that makes it easy to handle all liquids. From dissolving powders to mixing water-soluble solutions, this pressure sprayer is really up to anything. Not to mention that it delivers 150 PSI for quick, effortless spraying of all products.

It doesn’t have the longest hose around, nor does it come with two wands and a cart. Yet, it boasts premium build quality, four nozzles, and an attractive price tag. By far, one of the best backpack sprayers your money can buy.

Also great
Cardinal CMD65

Cardinal CMD65 Backpack Fogger Blower Duster Leaf Blower 3-in-1 Sprayer

Best commercial backpack sprayer

Two-stroke, 3-horsepower engine brings all the power you need for commercial applications.

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3 Cardinal CMD65 Review

More than a backpack sprayer, the Cardinal CMD65 is a fogger, duster, and leaf blower in one. A powerful machine that packs user comfort and efficiency for quick dispersion of liquid or dust over your lawn or garden.

Designed to tackle big jobs, it’s a much more suitable choice for landscapers, professional gardeners, and pest control companies, although avid do-it-yourselfers will like it too.

One of its best features is the 30 feet mist range. Applying herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizer over a large area is incredibly easy.

Comfort is delivered by the thick, padded shoulder straps as well as the lightweight, 3.5-gallon tank. Thanks to smart design, the weight is distributed evenly on your shoulders to prevent back pain and fatigue.

The sprayer also impresses with an even chemical flow. Perfect for liquid or dust treatments, it’s an excellent choice for heavy-duty domestic or commercial applications.

Best budget
Roundup 190314

Roundup 190314 Backpack Sprayer for Fertilizers, Herbicides, Weed Killers & Insecticides

Best for small gardens

A compact yet capable hand pump sprayer ideal for homeowners on lower budgets.

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4 Roundup 190314 Review

The Roundup 190314 is compact yet mighty, impressing with a 4-gallon tank that can hold enough liquid for mid-sized to larger gardens. It’s not operated by batteries or an engine, but it’s ergonomic and incredibly easy to use.

Designed to meet your spraying needs, it features a heavy-duty poly wand with lock for continuous spraying and shut-off feature. These features, combined with the comfort grip, make it easy to tackle most jobs.

While a 4-gallon tank may seem heavy, the built-in lumbar support, waist belt, and adjustable padded straps make the sprayer easy to carry even when full. Furthermore, three nozzles – including low volume and high volume fan – bring further value for money.

Sure, it might not be the best choice for heavy-duty jobs, and overall, it is more suitable for smaller rather than bigger gardens. Yet, it’s an excellent choice for gardeners on a budget.

What is a backpack sprayer?

A backpack sprayer is an essential piece of gardening equipment used to spread liquid fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides over an agricultural land or lawn. It is the most versatile type of garden sprayer, designed for small and big jobs alike. In-between the small handheld sprayers and pull-behind garden sprayers (attached to lawn tractors), backpack sprayers can hold sufficient product for treating larger areas while being portable enough to carry on difficult terrain or confined areas where pull-behind units can’t go.

Their ease of use, portability, and versatility make backpack sprayers equally suitable for professionals and homeowners alike.

What can you use a backpack sprayer for?

A backpack sprayer is primarily designed for the spot-treatment of individual plants or weed control. Typically, they are used with commercial gardening products, but this doesn’t mean you can’t use them with eco-friendly, natural, or organic garden and lawn care products. For instance, you can spray: 

  • Manure tea to fertilize your vegetable garden and lawn
  • Vinegar or natural oils as organic herbicides
  • Homemade oil or other natural insecticides

Various types of backpack sprayers

One of the most important things to decide when buying a backpack pressure sprayer is what type you’d like. Essentially, there are three kinds of garden sprayers to choose from:

  • Manual backpack sprayers: Also known as pump sprayers, are the most common models out there. They are operated by a hand pump that transfers the liquid upward into the wand and prepares it for being sprayed. To prevent hand fatigue, some of the best backpack sprayers with manual pump boast a lock that ensures continuing spraying even when you’re not pumping. Their biggest advantage over the motorized backpack sprayers is the affordable price tag.
  • Electric backpack sprayers: A motorized type of weed sprayer, the electric sprayer, is operated by batteries. Most manufacturers use either lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries, and even if these units are heavier than the hand pump sprayers, they can pump the liquid by themselves, reducing fatigue and effort. A battery-powered backpack sprayer is usually more suitable for larger gardens than the manual kind.
  • Gas backpack sprayers: The most powerful types of backpack sprayers, gas sprayers often serve commercial purposes. They are larger, heavier, and more expensive than the other two types above but are ideal for treating large areas in no time. Most models also act as leaf blowers, but they release noxious fumes into the atmosphere, are noisy, and the motor vibrations can make them uncomfortable to carry for longer periods.

Is a motorized sprayer worth it?

Apart from the pumping method – done manually by you or automatically by a motor – there is no real difference between a manual and a motorized sprayer. So, whether or not a motorized sprayer is worth it comes down to work volume.

If you only need to spray some weed killer every now and then, a motorized backpack sprayer is not exactly a necessity. If you have a large garden that you’re spraying three or more times a week or if you’re a professional landscaper who uses the equipment for over an hour each day, then a motorized unit can save you plenty of effort.

Diaphragm pump vs. piston pump. What is the difference?

Backpack sprayers use a pump to create the pressure needed to move the liquid from the non-pressurized tank into a separate chamber, from where it will ultimately be sprayed into the wand and out of the nozzle. These pumps can be of two types:

  • Diaphragm pumps: Are ideal for handling strong pest and weed infestations, as they can handle harsher chemicals. They also let particulate material to pass through, making them ideal for spraying dissolved powders. However, these pumps are rather expensive.
  • Piston pumps: Can create more powerful pressure than the diaphragm variety and are cheaper, but they can’t handle harsh chemicals. Nevertheless, they are a perfect choice for gardeners using organic fertilizers as well as natural weed and pest control products.

What are the various backpack sprayer nozzles used for?

One of the first things you’ll notice when buying a backpack sprayer is the variety of nozzles the device comes with. Here are their most common types and uses:

Uses

Description

Flat fan nozzle

Delivers a uniform distribution of liquid. The spray has a large drop and medium velocity.

Application of weed or pest control on medium-sized to large areas.

Hallow cone nozzle

Forms a ring-shaped pattern that covers a wider or narrower area, depending on the nozzle size.

Directed spray and air-blast applications.

Full cone nozzle

Releases a circular pattern of liquid with coarser droplets.

Ideal for spot-treatment applications.

Streaming nozzle

Delivers a solid stream of spray over a larger area.

Ideal for the application of fertilizer.

How to calibrate a garden sprayer?

Calibrating a backpack sprayer before using it is essential if you want to ensure you’re using your equipment as efficiently as possible. If you’re planning to use the backpack sprayer as an herbicide sprayer – or for fertilizer or insecticide – you should calibrate your equipment in the following way.

How to calculate garden sprayer usage:

  1. Fill the sprayer with plain water and designate a test plot with a surface of 20 feet by 50 feet (1,000 square feet).
  2. Use a timer to record the number of seconds it takes to treat the test plot while walking at a comfortable pace.
  3. Place a large container on the ground and spray water into it for the amount of time calculated in step 2.
  4. Measure the quantity of liquid into the container, and use this number to calculate how much product you need to treat an area of any size.

If you want to use your backpack as a tree sprayer, you should calibrate it in the following way:

  1. Pick a reference tree.
  2. Fill the sprayer with plain water, then spray the tree as if you were applying paint with a paint sprayer. Record the number of seconds it takes to spray your reference tree properly.
  3. Spray water into a container for the same amount of time, then use this number to calculate how much product you need for the number of trees you want to treat.

Features to look for in backpack sprayers

Backpack sprayers might be the most versatile type of garden sprayers, but there are still a number of features to look for before buying.

  • Sprayer tank volume: Backpack sprayers come with tanks of various sizes, suitable for smaller or larger plots. For a smaller garden or occasional spot treatments, a unit with a tank volume up to 3.5 gallons could suffice. For larger plots or farms, aim for a tank volume of about 4 gallons or more.
  • Built quality: The best backpack sprayers must be made from strong yet lightweight materials. Also, check the tank mouth opening, and make sure it’s wide enough for easy filling and cleaning of the tank.
  • Shoulder straps: One of the most important things to consider in terms of comfort is the construction of the shoulder straps. They should be padded and, ideally, adjustable.
  • Wand: Most backpack sprayers come with wands made from a lightweight, plastic material, but some may feature metal wands. Some commercial backpack sprayers even come with multiple wands for various applications.
  • Sprayer nozzles: You should also check whether the sprayer you like comes with one or an assortment of nozzles. As a rule of thumb, you should look for sprayers with as many nozzles as possible, as they are suitable for a wider variety of applications.
  • Comfort: Always check the overall comfort. The best backpack sprayer must be comfortable to carry and handle. If you’re choosing a manual model, make sure it has a lock function to reduce fatigue.
  • Versatility: Some backpack sprayers come with carts and long hoses for heavy-duty applications. Others can also act as blowers or dusters. If you need any of these features, make sure the unit you want has them before buying.

Best Backpack Sprayer for the Money

Best value
Field King 190328

Field King Professional 190328 No Leak Pump Backpack Sprayer

Best for home gardeners

Internal no-leak pump and high pressure make it perfect for most homeowners and amateur gardeners.

Check price

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