The Complete Guide To Choosing A Backpack Sprayer

The Complete Guide To Choosing A Backpack Sprayer

Without a doubt, gardening is a relaxing, pleasurable activity. Few things in life are as rewarding as gardening. Nevertheless, in order to ensure that your lawn, flowers, and plants are healthy and in excellent condition, you should care for them accordingly. This implies having the right set of tools.

A necessary piece of equipment is a backpack sprayer. Using one will help you in keeping your garden in an excellent condition, free from pest infestations. That’s because it allows you to apply fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, and pesticides, depending on the given scenario. 

Backpack Sprayer

As usual, you can address your questions in the comment section. Also, make sure you check our upcoming guide, which features the best backpack sprayer reviews.

Most homeowners lack the time to do the research it takes to pick the best-rated backpack sprayer. That’s why we decided to do the hard work for you. We are hopeful that you’ll find this article constructive!

What Does A Backpack Sprayer Do?

If you’ve never owned a backpack sprayer, you should know that it is a standard piece of equipment designated primarily for gardening. For the most part, such an item is quite versatile, as it can be used in various operations such as treating particular plants or smaller areas in your garden.

At the same time, you can use one for spot-spraying weeds. In plain English, backpack sprayers are essential for gardeners; you use one to apply products in cramped spaces, or when you should be doubly mindful of your surroundings.

To that end, we could say that backpack sprayers provide you a hassle-free solution to coping with run-of-the-mill gardening tasks. You use it to apply fertilizers efficiently, without the need to touch those substances or undergo a comprehensive cleaning process once you’re done.

What Is A Backpack Sprayer Used For?

As you might expect, there are many ways in which you can use backpack sprayers. We’ll briefly outline the main uses of this piece of equipment.

Small Operations

For one thing, a backpack sprayer is efficient at completing small operations around the garden. So, if you find completing gardening chores tiresome, this equipment will make the completion of small operations effortless.

Man Using Backpack Sprayer

Confined Spaces

As we noted beforehand, a backpack sprayer is doubly effective because it allows you to reach confined spaces. So, if there are some spots in your garden that aren’t that accessible to you, this tool will unquestionably ease the job for you.

Difficult Terrain

Moving on, those of us who enjoy gardening are acquainted with the challenges linked to difficult terrain. Therefore, if you want to treat certain areas of your garden in a time effective manner, shopping for the best backpack sprayer for the money will do the trick.

Spot Spraying Weeds

Who doesn’t hate weeds? Not only that they ruin your landscaping and gardening efforts, but they also prevent your beautiful flowers from growing.

Presumably, one of the best things about backpack sprayers is that you can use one for spot spraying weeds. This way, you eliminate the weeds only, so that your garden is neat and tidy.  

What Are Backpack Sprayers Made Of And What Are Their Components?

In order to comprehend the way in which backpack sprayers work, you should know its basic components.

In the simplest terms, this tool is a hands-free unit you locate on your back. It enables you to freely move around the garden and disperse fertilizer, pesticide or water, depending on your needs.

It has five primary components, as following.


As a rule of thumb, most of today’s backpack sprayers are quite lightweight. Therefore, they are equipped with compact tanks. Most are made of polyethylene plastic, which is sturdy and withstands chemical use.

At the same time, polyethylene plastic is UV protected, which is equally significant for gardening.

Moving on, the tank may have a spray tank whose capacity ranges from two to four gallons of liquid. This capacity is excellent for residential purposes.

However, even though tanks are typically lightweight, in some instances, they are heavier, considering that they hold a higher capacity.

Extra tip: If you plan on using the sprayer for washing and cleaning, as well as applying fertilizers and pesticides, it’s highly advisable to get an extra tank. In this way, you’ll have two separate tanks designated for two distinct uses, without worrying about cross-contamination.


The pump pulls the liquid from the tank and transfers it to the pressurizing chamber. The valves and seals hold the liquid there under pressure until you squeeze the valve on the wand or the pumping lever so that the liquid reaches the desired area.

Backpack Sprayer Pump


The wand allows you to spray the liquid onto your target, even in those places that are more difficult to reach. So, thanks to the wand, you may reach difficult or remote areas safely.


We could argue that the nozzle is the most important component of a sprayer. That’s primarily because it controls the flow and pattern of the spray.

Backpack sprayers feature distinct types of nozzles that provide you with various types of spray patterns, just to name a few: a cone, fan, and wide stream, direct or adjustable stream.

Concurrently, the majority of backpack sprayers feature nozzles that are easily adjustable. As a matter of fact, some nozzles can supply 0.3 to 0.5 gallons of liquid every minute.

However, what are nozzles made of? It depends on the sprayer. For instance, there are sprayers whose nozzles are made of plastic, which might be on the affordable side. Nonetheless, the downside might be that this could speed up the wearing out process of the sprayer.

On the other side, some sprayers have nozzles made of brass or bronze. Evidently, these are considerably more expensive, but they are more durable. In other words, in the long run, they are well worth the upfront investment.

Straps Or Harness

Since backpack sprayers are designed to be portable, they are equipped with straps or a harness for versatility and functionality. You use them to fit the sprayer on your shoulders and across the chest so that the weight is evenly distributed.

Therefore, your hands are free so that you can use the wand where you need.

Plus, if the straps are padded, this maximizes your comfort as you use the sprayer. This can make the world of a difference, especially if you’re utilizing a bulky, sturdy backpack sprayer.

Are Backpack Sprayers Safe?

Since working with a backpack sprayer implies using certain fertilizers and pesticides that are associated with harmful effects, it makes sense to inquire about safety.

That being said, we’ll address some of the most frequently met questions regarding the use of backpack sprayers in a safe way.

Is The Whole Backpack Pressured?

As we noted beforehand, each part of the sprayer has a designated role. Additionally, the pump, wand, and nozzle are the ones that play a part in distributing the pressure where you want to direct the fertilizer, pesticide, so on and so forth.

Before every use, though, it is advisable to check that each part of the sprayer is clean and functions accordingly.

Man Checking Backpack Sprayer

At the same time, before storing a backpack sprayer, it is highly recommended to release remaining pressure. If you don’t do that, the lifespan of the tool will be negatively affected. In other words, this will place a lot of stress on the motor and pump.

What is more, this won’t leave sufficient room for the water to amplify inside the pressurized space. So, make sure you always release the pressure at the end of the day.

What Pressure Does It Reach?

When you’re going through backpack sprayer reviews, you should assess the pressure reached by the device. Generally speaking, most sprayers reach up to 95 psi of pressure.

In the meantime, there are also professional-grade sprayers that can easily reach a whopping 150 psi, which is not too shabby if you ask us. However, you should note that the maximum pressure attained by the sprayer varies by the product.

Even so, one thing to carry in mind is the following: always make sure that the pressure of the tank remains consistent. This way, the tool will evenly spray the liquid until you release the handle or trigger on the wand.

Also on the topic of pressure, depending on each unit, the pressure might steadily diminish as the quantity of liquid in the tank decreases.

So, if you want to deter the inconsistency in pressure, some manufacturers have implemented a built-in pressure regulator that controls the pressure.

Does It Leak?

It’s true that leaking accidents may occur when you least expect them to. For instance, you might be a tad bored or frustrated after doing the same chore over and over again. And this could impair your concentration as you fill and clean the tank.

That’s why our advice would be to look for a sprayer with an anti-leak feature. Without a doubt, this is a hassle-free solution that will help you to minimize the likelihood of unwanted incidents.

At the same time, it makes sense to take the necessary precautionary measures when you use such a tool. As a rule of thumb, you should always wear protective gear such as gloves, shirts, pants, hat, as needed.

Types Of Backpack Sprayers

If we were to categorize backpack sprayers based on their operations, there are two primary types of sprayers, namely manual and motorized. Let’s have a closer look at each.

Manual/Hand Pumped

For the most part, manual sprayers are the most commonly met. Operating them requires a hand pump. As you pump the handle, the liquid is transferred upward into the wand, preparing it for being sprayed.

The main reason why they are so common is their affordability. Evidently, they are more affordable in comparison with motorized sprayers. Nonetheless, the most notable downside is the fact that a manual tool might give you hand fatigue, especially if you use it for an extended timeframe.

Handpumped Backpack Sprayer

However, most state-of-the-art manual sprayers feature high-powered pumps. This makes them effortless to use, minimizing the hand fatigue.

At the same time, let’s say that your property is rather small, or you’re treating rather small infestations. In this scenario, a high-quality, manual device will do the job perfectly.

Moving on, there are some sprayers that are equipped with an adjustable handle. This allows you to change to the left or the right, making your job easier and less tiresome.

Motorized – Petrol/Electric

On the other side, motorized sprayers are recommended for treating larger areas. A motorized device will help you to get the job done in a breeze while relieving the pressure off your hands. In other words, if you own a large property, investing in a motorized sprayer makes more sense, as it covers extensive areas with minimum time and effort on your behalf.

At the same time, the best battery powered backpack sprayer could be significantly more expensive. Plus, motorized models are heavier, requiring more maintenance, in comparison with manual devices.

Plus, if you choose a battery-powered unit, you should make sure that the battery can withstand both low and high sprayer psi output. This way, it will function for a minimum of three to five hours, without recharging.

In the meantime, though, powered sprayers can accommodate more liquid than manual models. Plus, they have additional attachments.

Still, if we were to outline the best thing about battery powered devices, it would be that you can get to work at the drop of a hat. On the other side, gas-powered devices aren’t as convenient and as easy to use.

These elements make battery powered units more convenient, for both commercial and home utilization. Not to mention that they are more environmentally friendly than their counterparts.

Types Of Nozzles On Backpack Sprayers

As we already pointed, the nozzle is one of the most important components in a backpack sprayer. Although they are quite inexpensive, in comparison with other parts of the unit, they have an important mission, significantly influencing the performance of the sprayer.

For one thing, nozzles meter the amount of pesticide or herbicide you use per unit area. Concurrently, nozzles regulate application rates, as well as the variability of the spray. That is not all, though; nozzles affect the droplet size, influencing both the target coverage and spray drift risk.

That being said, here are the main types of nozzles on backpack sprayers. You can test various types of nozzles and determine which one suits your needs best.

Flat Fan

The flat fan nozzle creates a narrow, inverted letter V. Generally, flat fan nozzles deliver a uniform, even distribution of the liquid. That’s because they create a flat sheet of spray, characterized by large drop size and medium velocity.

Backpack Sprayer Flat Fan Nozzle

The impact of this spray pattern is high, in comparison with the full or hollow cone spray patterns. However, it is lower in contrast to the solid stream nozzle.

Cone Sprays

Moving on to cone sprays, there are two fundamental variations, namely hallow cone and full cone. The hallow cone, for instance, forms a ring-shaped pattern, being recommended for air blast applications and directed spray applications.

On the other side, full cone spray nozzles release a circular spray pattern. As a rule of thumb, full cones deliver coarse droplets, which come in larger quantities than in the case of hollow cone nozzles. As a result, full cones are more commonly met than their counterparts.

Streaming Nozzles

As a rule of thumb, streaming nozzles are widely used for liquid fertilizer application. However, they can be utilized in other configurations, as well.

The thing is that the solid stream spray pattern minimizes the foliar coverage. This reduces the leaf burn while projecting significantly more liquid on the soil. This way, the soil can easily absorb the liquid, so that the plants benefit from its properties.

Maintenance And Calibration Tips

Buying the best battery backpack sprayer isn’t sufficient to make sure that you get a lot of use out of the item. Maintaining it accordingly is just as important. Truthfully, implementing a correct set of practices is the key to maximizing your investment.

What Are The Most Important Maintenance Tips Worth Mentioning?

For starters, you should empty the sprayer at the end of the utilization. This is as easy as simply rinsing the equipment at the end of the day, by using plain water or a tank cleaner – it’s entirely up to you.

This is crucial in order to prolong the longevity of the backpack sprayer and minimize the need for repairs.

As a rule of thumb, you should run a gallon of fresh water (at the very least), through the sprayer for a thorough cleanse.

Moreover, if you’re storing the best gas-powered backpack sprayer in an unheated building (during the wintertime), you should check the manufacturer’s storing recommendations. Typically, you might be required to place antifreeze in the tank.

In general, automotive antifreeze is less destructive to spray equipment pumps in comparison to RV antifreeze.

Meanwhile, though, automotive antifreeze is toxic – thereupon, it has to be collected for reuse or, alternatively, it should be disposed of accordingly. On a different note, RV antifreeze isn’t toxic. This means you can spray it on the ground.

Checking Backpack Sprayer

This simple procedure will deter damage. Nonetheless, you should ensure that this is recommended by the manufacturer, for your specific unit. If possible, it would be better if you stored the unit in a place safe from freezing.

Moving on, after not using the device for a while, you should ensure that it is ready to work. In this respect, you should thoroughly clean and lubricate the O-rings and seals, as the manufacturer advises.

What is more, considering that you use the unit heavily, you might need to lubricate it every now and then, during the gardening season.

What About Calibration?

To start with, you should ensure that the sprayer is thoroughly cleansed. Afterward, you should fill the tank with water. The spray pattern should be uniform, so you must check that beforehand.

If the pattern is uneven, perhaps you should cleanse the nozzle, and replace it, if mandatory. Next, if you plan on applying a fixed broadcast rate per acre, you should follow these guidelines.

You should carry in mind that one gallon equals 128 fluid ounces. To that end, the calibration spray area has to be sized as such – 1/128 of an acre. This way, the fluid ounces equates to gallons per acre.

It’s equally important to time the number of seconds it takes to spray the area uniformly, as you utilize a side-to-side sweeping motion with the wand. It’s essential to maintain an even pressure, as you cover the area uniformly.

Also, as a rule of thumb, if the tank has 3 fluid ounces of water, the sprayer will supply herbicide solution at a rate of 3 gallons per acre. In other words, the amount of fluid ounces is equivalent to the number of gallons per acre.


If you take the time to shop for the best backpack sprayer, you’ll definitely ease your workload. Concurrently, this means you’ll work more efficiently, which should be a priority for each and every one of us.

While looking at backpack sprayer reviews pays off, you should note that each user has different needs. To that end, the answer to what is the best backpack sprayer is subjective, depending on the user.

Using Backpack Sprayer

However, your priority should be to assess your needs, analyzing the characteristics of various products, and choosing the one that will increase your efficiency.

At the same time, before taking any task, you should understand the way in which this tool works. This way, you’ll significantly reduce the likelihood of incidents.

We hope that you’ve found our guide useful. We wanted to make it as comprehensive as possible so that you can make an informed purchase.

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