Last updated on May 12th, 2022
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I’ve been using backpack sprayers for over 15 years both in a professional environment and at home. I mainly use them for spraying plants with fungicides and pesticides as well as using them with weedkillers and more recently patio cleaners.
They are perfect for treating larger areas as you can spray for much longer without having to refill the containers. I have to admit, over the years, they have become better and better with new innovative features such as adjustable rotating nozzles which provide different spray types as well as just general comfort and ease of use. However, the build quality is questionable on some models which is why I decided to do this guide on the best backpack sprayers.
With numerous options available in garden centres and online stores such as Amazon, it is hard to differentiate between quality sprayers and the not so good ones.
So, how do you choose a quality garden sprayer? One that is made from durable materials and will last for many years? A sprayer that is comfortable to carry on your back and doesn’t leak? I am going to address such concerns and more to help you make the right choice from the different knapsack sprayers available depending on your situation.
Below is the winner of my ‘Best Pick Award’, the Hozelock 16L Pressure Sprayer Pulsar Plus. It is the best garden sprayer for both home gardeners and professional gardeners alike due to its high-quality construction, large capacity, rotating adjustable nozzle with different spray patterns and not forgetting the 3-year warranty.
Be sure to read my full guide to learn more about the features available and how to decide which garden Knapsack sprayer would be suitable for your own needs.
BEST PROFESSIONAL SPRAYER
No pumping is needed when you go cordless!
The top 7 best backpack sprayers I have included in my review are listed below
- Hozelock 16L Pressure Sprayer Plus – BEST PICK
- Cooper Pegler Classic Knapsack CP15 – BEST PROFESSIONAL PICK
- Solo 416LI Pro Electric Backpack Sprayer – BEST PROFESSIONAL ELECTRIC PICK
- Faithfull 6AV Backpack Sprayer – BEST BUDGET PICK
- Greenkey 12L Knapsack Sprayer
- Oregon 518771 Backpack Sprayer
- Matabi Supergreen 16 Knapsack Sprayer
Best Knapsack Sprayer Reviews
The following are the best backpack sprayers in different capacities. Whether you are looking for a small backpack sprayer for your valued rose garden or a large sprayer to deal with the weeds in your patio or on your driveway, you are sure to find one that can finish the job perfectly. I start with my two favourite models from Hozelock and Copper Pegler.
1. Hozelock 16L Pressure Sprayer Pulsar Plus
There are a few versions of this Hozelock backpack sprayer but the newest versions have been slightly improved with what I think, is a much better innovative nozzle. The issue is, they are almost identical. Even if you order the older model, they might send the newest model anyway as this is what happened to me. I didn’t realise at the time but I’m glad they did. I suspect they will slowly phrase out the older model as stock becomes unavailable.
So the model I have is the Hozelock Pulsar Plus Knapsack Sprayer, with the “Pulsar” bit being the only difference in the name and sometimes it’s not even used in the product titles so check carefully before ordering. It’s available in a 16 litre version, which is the model I have but you can also get it in a slightly smaller 12 litres as well which may be a more manageable size for some people.
So first I will talk a little about the new innovative nozzle as this is how you know you buying the latest improved version which I think is the one you want.
So with most sprayers, good sprayers anyway, you usually have to change the nozzles to get different spray patterns depending on whether you need a mist or heavier spray. You littery have to unscrew the nozzle, change the inside bit and then re-screw the nozzle back on. However, I think the rotating nozzle on this model is excellent. You simply turn the nozzle and select numbers 1, 2 or 3 to adjust the spray pattern, absolutly brilliant design, no more losing the noozles.
On the lance itself which is very well made, there is also a pressure regular (the red part on the picture above) that keep the pressure at the lance at 1 bar. Now, this just keeps the pressure consistent and it gives a much more even spray so you get a much more even application that in turn, gives better results and helps avoid over application.
In terms of using the sprayer and comfort, it has a large substantial handle for keeping the tank pressurised and this works well. I’ve had no issues with this at all, it doesn’t take long to pressurise the tank and minimal pumping afterwards to keep it pressurised. If you have ever used cheap sprayers you will know you need to consistently keep pumping like made to maintain the pressure.
It’s comfortable on my back and I also like that it also has padded shoulder straps, as shown above, even the CP Pegler does have padded straps.
So what really matters is the spray, as mentioned you turn the nozzle to select between 3 different spray patterns. I have tried to capture them in the images below but it’s difficult, you should get a good idea of what the sprays are like.
The first spray pattern in more of a mist, this is great for spraying pesticides or fungicides.
Number 2 is more suited to weedkillers I would say, heavier and applied a heavier spray.
Number 3 is heaver again, now this is better for spraying patio cleaners than would benefit from a heavier spray.
So in terms of build quality, I think it’s excellent, no complaints there, everything is well made, very sturdy plastics, metal lance, certainly doesn’t feel cheap like some of the cheaper alternatives.
Something I do like is the two handled design and this is something that is often overlooked. So when you wash it out after use, you fill it with clean water, give it a good swell, run the lance through on spray but when it comes time to empty the water from the container, you need to pick it up pour the water out.
Now with some models, this is sometimes easier said than done with no easy place to hold the tank properly. However, with this model, you have a top handle, which also great for carrying it but you also have a handle under the tank so you can get a firm grip to empty the tank. Like I said often overlooked but super useful.
So when it arrived, there was some simple assembly to do, you need to attach the handle, left or right side, put the lance together but everything just slides and clicks together.
A little tip though, when you need to push the flexible tube onto the lance, put the end of the rubber tube into some boiling water for a few secocns and then push it on. Makes life much easier and gives a better seal.
Now one final feature worth mentioning, this model is super easy to store as the handle can be positioned in the upright position, it clicks into place. However, the lance also clicks into the handle so everything can be neatly stored. This just shows that Hozelock really has tried to think of everything.
And finally, this Hozelock sprayer comes with a three-year warranty, perhaps making a statement on its durability.
- Large capacity, choice of 12 and 16 litres.
- Ergonomic design, comfortable against your back.
- Adjustable padded straps puts less strain on your shoulders.
- Adjustable nozzle that you can turn to select 3 different spray patterns.
- 3 year warranty for full peace of mind
Overall, I’m really pleased with this backpack sprayer by Hozelock. Sometimes I feel like Hozelock use their name to put products onto the market but they cut corners on quality but still charge a premium for them. However, with this sprayer, I think they have really come up with one of the most innovative sprayers you can currently get and it’s very well made.
Personally, for most people, this is the sprayer I would recommend getting. Maybe for professional use, you might want to consider the Cooper Pegler I review below but for everyone else, you really can’t go wrong with investing in this sprayer.
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16 Litre model
12 litre model
2. Cooper Pegler Classic CP15 15L Knapsack Sprayer
BEST PROFESSIONAL PICK
This backpack sprayer comes packed with an array of unique features ideal for professional gardeners. Featuring a design that has been supported by professionals for more than three decades including myself, this sprayer is a standout amongst the most trusted garden knapsack sprayers but where they really excel in build quality and reliability. This sprayer has been used in the harshest and toughest situations around the world and passed the test.
The durability originates from the distinctive diaphragm pump and its integrated pressure control system. The diaphragm pump system is extremely tough with an improved outline to guarantee that there is no friction between the diaphragm and the surrounding surfaces.
This makes pumping far less demanding and the need for grease is killed, with just normal cleaning necessary. The unique polypropylene material used to build the pump additionally makes it pretty adaptable and tough, avoiding wear and tear brought on by filthy water and other abrasives you might use in then. I myself have one of these we use with weedkillers and have had for over 20 years and it’s still working fine. The CP15 pictured below is probably around 10 years old now and going strong.
The use of brass components also enhances the solidness of this sprayer as well as the UV stabilisation which prevent sun damage. Additionally, the 500mm glass fibre reinforced plastic lance and high-pressure resistant hose are both tough accessories, providing dependable performance with an extensive variety of applications.
The CP 15 sprayer features a large 140mm tank opening that averts chemical spillages when filling. The mesh strainer plays a great role in reducing the risk of dirt contaminating the tank. In addition, the pressure control valve has fixed settings for spraying either herbicides, fungicides and pesticides.
The tank’s ergonomic design offers comfortable and secure use in all circumstances. The polyester cushioned shoulder straps and carry handle ensure that working and transporting the CP15 is as easy and comfortable as possible though probably not quite as well designed as that by Hozelock.
There is a separate seal and air vent on the lid to ensure no fluid escapes while being used. The intelligent design of the pump means it can be operated with either right or left hand, making it workable for every user. The CP Classic 15 also comes with a convenient measuring jug.
- Ideal for professional use where they are expected to get used daily.
- Reinforced hose for high pressure resistance.
- Lid comes with separate seal and air vent for secure locking.
- UV stabilised polypropylene tank for durability.
- Low mesh strainer for filtering out dirt.
- Supplementary filter on trigger.
- Equipped with pressure control valve.
- This backpack sprayer is very expensive when it is compared to most other models.
The Cooper Pegler classic knapsack CP15 is a sophisticated backpack sprayer equipped with high-end materials. The 15-litre capacity is ideal for most users whether you have smaller or large areas to treat.
However, it is the most expensive item on my list but the quality and performance are unmatched. This is, by far the best option for professional use which is why we have used them around my families nursery for over 20 years.
However, at 3 to 4 times more expensive than most other sprayers on the market, it’s probably not suitable for all home users, solely because of the expensive price tag. For professional spraying though, you really can’t go wrong with this sprayer, you will only ever need to buy one.
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3. Solo 416 LI Pro Electric Backpack Sprayer
BEST PROFESSIONAL ELECTRIC PICK
The Solo 416 LI Pro Backpack Sprayer uses an electric pump that is powered by a lithium-ion battery to create the needed pressure for effective spraying on larger scales. No more consistently pumping a handle to keep the pressure high. If you have used large pump sprayers in the past then you will appreciate not having to pump as you spray and will know how tiring it can be, especially when the tank is also full of chemicals.
The 416Li model is updated from heavier previous models that used the old heavy led gel batteries. This model is powered by a 12V 7.8Ah lithium-ion battery that is supplied with its corresponding charger. When fully charged (after about 5 hours) you can enjoy a long-running time to ensure you get all the work done. At setting one, which is low pressure, 2.5 bar, you can get approximately 5.9 hours of spraying from a single charge. From setting two, at 4.3 bar, you get around 3.7 hours of spraying time. This is good enough for nearly all spraying jobs that you probably wouldn’t want to spend any longer than this with a sprayer on your back anyway.
With a capacity of 20 litres, you can cover a large area before requiring a refill. This sprayer body and tank is made of UV treated high-quality plastic to ensure it will last for many years.
As already mentioned, the sprayer features two pressure bars that you can choose from depending on how far you want the liquid in question to spray. The previous ratings quoted were a maximum pressure rating. If we look at discharge pressure, you can select the lower 1.4 bar or the higher 2.8 bar by adjusting the mechanism provided.
You will have no problems with reach thanks to the 50cm telescopic wand length and the 150cm hose. The 6.4kg model is supplied with a harness to balance the weight of the sprayer as you move around. Alongside the battery and charger, you will find a flat jet nozzle and a pressure gauge in the delivery box. Within a few minutes of assembly, this model will be ready to use.
- Perfect for professionals spraying inside large greenhouses or tunnels as well as large scale spraying outdoors.
- Powered by a 12v 7.8Ah battery which gives up to 5.5 hours of spraying from a full charge.
- Provides a large capacity 20 litre tank for effective coverage.
- Supplied with a flat jet nozzle and pressure gauge for convenience.
- Can hold different types of chemicals from pesticides to herbicides.
- Features a comfortable harness for easy manoeuvrability and comfort.
- Provides a telescopic wand for easy reach.
- Offers two pressure settings for better user control.
- Concealed drainage pipe at rear to make emptying the tank easy.
- 1 year warranty for full peace of mind.
- As with all knapsack sprayers, it can be quite heavy to carry along after a while.
We would recommend the Solo 416Li Pro Backpack Sprayer for those who have large gardens/greenhouses to tend to or are professional gardeners with lots of spraying to attend to.
Its large capacity and long-running time will allow you to cover a wide area quickly. We love that it comes with a padded comfortable harness as it is not the lightest sprayer there is.
It is a bit pricey, however, for professional gardeners, nurseries and garden centres, we think it’s a worthwhile investment and a big improvement on using the traditional pump and spray models.
4. Faithfull 6AV Backpack Sprayer
BEST BUDGET PICK
Faithfull has designed this sprayer with the bigger jobs in mind, and you can see this from the 16-litre capacity tank. Even with that large size, you’ll be surprised that the transparent container is pretty lightweight and far easier to carry than most other sprayers. The real value of the Faithfull SPRAY 16AV lies in the strong construction and high-quality design. We found that it is built from shatterproof and frost resistant materials.
The pump action is quite easy to use, and the sprayer is able to maintain a high-pressure right to the dregs of the liquid. You can easily cover a severely overgrown 200 sq. meter garden within an hour, with a single refill. Moreover, it is one of the few sprayers that is equipped with a safety valve. It can deal with difficult tasks that require sprinkling different garden chemicals including pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and composts. The adjustable spray nozzle even allows you to change between fine-to-stream splashing modes.
Working with this backpack sprayer is also simple. The straps are easy to fit and adjust, plus they are comfortable to wear even when the knapsack is full. Just stand the knapsack where you can kneel and slide your arms in backwards. We recommend having someone to assist you if you are planning to work with the knapsack with the whole 16-litres of liquid. If working alone, then at most 10 litres will be easier.
- Tough construction.
- Shatterproof and frost resistant.
- 16-litre easy carry knapsack.
- Trigger lock for continuous use.
- Adjustable spray nozzle.
- Some people might find the knapsack quite heavy when filled to capacity.
- Can be difficult to set on one’s back singlehandedly.
The Faithfull SPRAY 16AV is ideal for use in large areas such as greenhouses and vegetable plots. Or if you have an overgrown garden, then you’ll love this backpack sprayer as it will save time for refills. It is the cheapest on our list whilst still being manufactured to a very good standard.
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5. Greenkey 12L Knapsack Sprayer
The Greenkey 12L Knapsack Sprayer is ideal for expert gardeners who are searching for a relatively large capacity sprayer that is built for broad use. The sprayer comes with 4 separate nozzles that can be changed depending on what you have to spray. The four nozzles integrate a fan jet for precise spraying, a conical head cone spray that can be balanced from a fly to a fine mist, a dual conical head that produces two cone-shaped sprays and a 4-hole nozzle which is ideal for high volume spraying.
It comes with a long reach lance allowing you to make hard sprays that will get into harder to reach places. The trigger has a built-in lock to lessen the strain on your fingers during long periods of spraying. The translucent knapsack allows you to check at a glance how much solution is in the tank and in turn you are able to know when to refill.
The tank comes with adjustable shoulder straps along with shoulder pads to provide you with extra comfort. It is built from high-quality materials and is accompanied by a 2-year warranty. The box also contains assembly instructions for the lance, hose and handle.
- Long reach lance.
- Comes with 4 separate nozzles.
- Supplied with adjustable straps.
- We found that this sprayer cannot be used with solvent based fluids.
This is a top-quality sprayer that comes with an impressive 2-year warranty, which is quite generous because most products only come with a warranty of 12 months. The Greenkey 12L Knapsack Sprayer is built for both home gardeners and professionals to be used in various circumstances ranging from spraying pesticides and fungicides on extensive beds and borders to spraying weeds on modern car parks. Greenkey has managed to ensure it still offers excellent value for money whilst manufacturing a top-quality sprayer.
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6. Oregon 518771 Backpack Sprayer
We thought that the 16-litre capacity of the Faithfull SPRAY 16AV Pressure Sprayer Knapsack was something to boast about and then enters this beast! This Oregon Backpack Sprayer holds an incredible 20 litres of liquid when full, which can clear most large gardens with only one fill. It needs a bit of assembly, this does only take minutes despite the instructions not being that clear.
Lifting this sprayer onto your back will not be particularly easy and might take some jiggling around to get your second arm through the strap. But once on, it feels secure and comfortable. The main issue is how long you will be able to carry it around (when full) on your back; most people will struggle with this after around half an hour or so. It comes with two adjustable spray nozzles; the fan nozzle and the spray nozzle. The fan spray fits tight and sprays a storm with little effort, covering a wide area. The spray nozzle on the other hand gives you more control over where the liquid goes.
- Comes with lance and 2 adjustable spray nozzles.
- Maximum working pressure: 0.2-0.3 MPA and max pressure is 1.0 MPA.
- 0.9-litre pressurised chamber capacity.
- 20-litre working capacity.
- Non-pressurised tank type.
- One thing to note with this backpack sprayer is that it becomes heavy to wear over time, plus the straps are quite thin and not well padded.
- The assembly instructions are also tiny to read.
We love the size of the Oregon 518771 backpack sprayer but the discomfort that comes with carrying 20 litres can be unbearable for some. Otherwise, this is another sprayer to choose if you have a large garden and can handle the extra weight on your back.
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7. Matabi Supergreen 16 Knapsack Sprayer
The Matabi Supergreen 16 comes in a lightweight design and this helps to reduce fatigue whilst it is being used. The straps of this sprayer are adjustable meaning they can easily fit all sorts of bodies and the padding makes them pretty comfortable too. The filling mouth is large enough so there won’t be any spillages when refilling the knapsack.
It features a screw connected hose and that means there are no clamps needed for the hose connection. The fibreglass lance measures 3.2m, which is ideal for high spraying, it has an extension of 0.5m for horizontal and vertical applications, and up to 1.5m extensions for high work.
The pressure regulator is a big bonus considering not many sprayers are equipped with this feature. It has 3 functions; 1.5 bar for herbicide application, 3 bar function for fungicide and insecticide application, and the free flow function. The pressure regulator ensures even treatment and it’s quite environmentally friendly.
The sprayer comes with a conical hood and a rectangular hood which both work to protect the adjacent crops when applying herbicides. Just fix either on the nozzle end and you won’t be worried about spraying the chemicals in the air or perhaps even landing on your face. The box contains a set of nozzles designed for different applications – pesticides, fungicides and insecticides.
- Adjustable nozzle.
- Large filling mouth.
- Safety release valve.
- Level indicator.
- Adjustable padded straps.
- Automatic decompression valve.
- Adjustable pressure regulator.
- Internal tank reinforcing ribs.
- The sprayer requires constant pumping to keep up the pressure plus the straps can sometimes unhook.
The Matabi Supergreen 16 is one of the best-equipped sprayers available and it’s no surprise that the good features all combine with an expensive sprayer. We recommend using it for outdoor work such as vegetable plots and gardens or for crops where you must work with a single hand.
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Knapsack & Backpack Sprayer Buyer’s Guide
The current market has a variety of sprayers that you can use to get rid of any unwanted pests or weeds in your garden. There are two common main types available: diaphragm sprayers and piston sprayers. These cover wide areas without spreading the contents over unwanted areas.
Piston pumps are usually characterised by upward and downward motion whilst dispensing the liquid. Through pumping, the pressure required to spray the liquid is achieved. The piston pump can generate pressure as high as 90 psi.
Diaphragm pumps use the same principle of using pressure to dispense the liquid. The most notable difference between the two is that the diaphragm can withstand harsh chemicals. The other difference between them is that, the diaphragm is costlier and that it can pass smaller abrasive particles through its system.
Here are some of the things to consider before buying a sprayer:
- Functionality – Before selecting a pump that suits your needs, you need to check on functionality. Whether for woody plants or vegetables you may need sprayers that best serve the purpose. The solution to be used also determines the kind of sprayer to be used. Diaphragm sprayers are known to handle harsher chemicals better than piston sprayers. They also need to meet the pressure and area allocation requirements to carry out the intended purpose.
- Durability and maintenance – Depending on the overall number of uses, every garden requires a durable pump. It must be able to handle the liquid being dispensed. The tank especially, should be comprised of a high density material, preferably polyethylene strengthened by UV protection. The other parts like seals and hoses should be made of durable material to manage the constant wear and tear caused by chemicals.
- Motorised or manual? – This is entirely dependable on your preferences or if you are covering new ground. Generally, manual sprayers are generally recommended for treating foreign infestations. Motorised sprayers are usually used when large parts of land need to be covered. Be sure to keep an eye out for sprayers with switchable side nozzles to promote easy spraying.The main differences in motorised and manual sprayers are many. Some of the more notable ones include, motorised sprayers are heavier, more expensive and require more attention during maintenance than the manual ones. If you do opt for the motorised ones, be sure to check how long the batteries hold power without requiring recharge.
- Spray lance – To prevent harmful leaks from getting to unwanted places, select a spray wand capable of minimising leaks and still have accurate aim. Keep in mind to select spray wands that are compatible with the caps and nozzles. Insist on getting information on the quality of materials.
- Safety & Comfort – The overall comfort and health of the user is paramount. Features included, such as wand grip and pump handle, will relieve the operator of unwanted fatigue. The straps have to be padded and the tanks ergonomically designed just to make carriage easier. Search for rubber seals that are resistant to softening and swelling that causes prevalent leaks.
- Reputable brands – Look out for reputable brands that have great reviews from previous users. These brands provide high quality products with warranties and guarantees. When something goes wrong with the pump within the warranty, the company will be liable and you can quickly get the issue resolved.
- Maintenance – Depending on the pump used or the solution, you can use either water or a recommended tank cleaner so as to remove corrosive material and blockages in nozzles. During dire weather conditions like winter, the application of anti-freeze will enhance usage. Considering that anti-freeze is corrosive and toxic, you should take care when handling this compound. Lubricate all major joints to prevent rust and dryness that may lead to cracking. Cracking encourages leaks. Keep in stock spare parts that need constant replacing, so that you are able to fix issues when emergencies arise.
- Calibration – Proper calibration is crucial in setting trajectory. Factors to consider during calibration include, walking speed, required output per minute and the swath width.
Make sure to:
- Clean the nozzle and sprayer
- Measure out pressure requires for estimated surface
- Take a container and spray inside with equal pressure and time to work out the sprayers output.
With all this done you are now ready to pick out the best backpack sprayer according to your own needs and budget.
Buying a quality garden sprayer should be every gardener’s goal. There are several choices you can make and whilst some backpack sprayers are expensive, they are usually worth the money because you’ll be sure to have a long-lasting sprayer. There are still many quality models that won’t break the bank and counter-checking with our guide can help you land a reliable sprayer.
Amateur gardeners looking for a quality sprayer to use a few times a year can opt for cheaper models which when given proper maintenance, can serve you well for some years. Professional gardeners will be better off investing in a high-quality sprayer that is ideal for extensive use.
BEST PROFESSIONAL PICK
That’s it. I hope my guide and each Knapsack sprayer review have provided meaningful solutions to your spraying tasks.
Last update on 2022-03-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API