best pump backpack sprayer

10 Best Pump & Backpack Sprayers Reviewed + Buyers Guide

There nothing worse than catching sight of weeds smoothing out your garden, lawn, and yard. Despite all your efforts they just seem to multiply faster than you can remove them. If this sounds familiar, I hear you…, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

With the best pressure sprayers, you can stay right on top of weed control, and make enough time to sit back with a cold drink and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

And that’s our aim… to breakdown the different types of pressure sprayers on the market, provide you with step-by-step guidance on how best to use them and share our Landscaping expertise on the best models to buy to fulfill your requirements.

Choosing The Right Pressure Sprayers 

With such a wide variety of weed killer sprayers available on the market, choosing the right one requires some serious research and thought. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll take a look at the different types of sprayers you can buy, along with essential features that you should look out for. 

Backpack Sprayer 

Backpack sprayers are exactly that, mounted on your back, allowing you to carry a tank full of herbicide while you move freely as you work. As all the weight is directly on your back, these weed killer sprays are the most comfortable, especially when you do lengthy tasks.

The carry straps are a key feature, ideally, they are wide to prevent cutting into your shoulder, or better still padded in some way. They need to be strong and durable to hold the weight of a full tank and you need to look for connectors and adjusters that will stand regular use.

Like all pressure sprayers, the backpack design is fitted with a pump that usually requires manual actuation. The pump creates a pressure build-up inside the tank. It’s this pressure that forces the liquid through the spray head when the trigger is pressed.

You’ll also find a few models that have battery-powered backpack sprayers where the battery does the pumping for you. Generally, they are larger in size, making them perfect for medium to large-sized gardens or clearing out large areas of weed. 

Tank Sprayer

Available in both manual pumps and battery-powered versions, tank sprayers are free-standing units, with a handle that allows you to carry the tank from place to place as you work. Some models have a carry strap and the tank sits on your hip of your side. This limits mobility compared to a backpack sprayer, but it’s fine when working for short periods or covering small areas.

They are most often a cylinder shape, with an applicator wand attached to the end of a hose. You hold the wand in your hand and fire the trigger to release the spray.

Tank sprayers can be an excellent option for people with a tight budget as they tend to be cheaper than backpack sprayers.

Hand-Held Pressure Sprayer

Hand-held are the smallest design of pressure sprays, and are good for use in the garden, greenhouse as well as indoors when fertilizing, or applying insecticides. Although they can have many other useful applications around the home and garden.

Generally designed with a small pressure pump and a gun spray trigger they can be used single-handed.

Size and Capacity

While it’s obvious to want something compact and portable, you need to purchase a tank that allows you to be efficient and practical when working in your yard. So tank capacity is a major consideration.

Even within the different types of garden sprayers, tank capacity varies. You’ll find sizes ranging from 1 liter up to 25-gallons.

Obviously the smaller the product the lower the price, but don’t go into a purchasing decision based solely on price. If you buy a tank that is too small, uncomfortable, or poor performing, you just won’t use it and will have wasted your money.

Size Guide:

Hand-Held Sprayer: Aim for 1-2L, anything bigger then this starts to get a little tiresome on your wrist. If you are doing shorter periods of work like spraying a small area or feeding indoor plants this is the product to go for.

Tank Sprayers: This is the mid-size option. In most cases they will be between 1-4 gallon, anything larger than this will be too heavy to work with and feel comfortable. Most models will in fact be 1.5-2 Gallon.

Backpack Sprayers: These are the best choice for 3-7 gallons. Anything heavier than this will only be suited to those stronger users or people who use the backpack sprayer regularly and are accustomed to carrying this kind of weight around.

4 Best Weed Killer Pump Sprayers Reviewed 

We went on a mission to find the best pump sprayers available for general consumer use. Our main goal was to find a well-built product that is comfortable to use for the duration of two tank loads. Has a solid functionality and delivered excellent overall performance based on its intended use, whether that’s a garden sprayer, yard sprayer, or general-purpose chemical sprayer.

As well as our own expert’s product testing and experience of using these products, we take into consideration customer reviews across the major online retail platforms as well as home and garden forums. Show the level of customer satisfaction each pump sprayer has delivered to its thousands of users.

Best backpack Sprayer

1. Field King Max Backpack Sprayer 4Gal

Field King Max  Backpack Sprayer

UK Model

The Field King Max Back Pack Sprayer takes our top spot for all-round best tank sprayer. It has a solid manual pump system and is the most comfortable backpack on the list. Fitted with an internal pump that can offer 150 psi of pressure allowing for 30 ft of spraying distance. This system also has a built-in agitator, which is essentially two fans that blend the tank content as you pump, which we really find useful if using powder or fine granular ingredients.

As you would expect from a premium product, the wand is fitting with an in-line filter to protect the nozzle head from debris or power blockages. As a supplementary protection feature, the tank has a filter basket that you can place across the tank aperture to prevent large particles from falling into the tank during refills.

The shaft of the spray wand it made from stainless steel giving it a more durable feel than most of the plastic molded wands on our list. Plus you get a set of 4 interchangeable spray heads allowing you to choose the spray pattern to suit the job. The pump handle can be adjusted to suit left or right handed actuation.

Finally, the unit features a full harness, including padded back protection, made from a breathable fabric. There’s a waist strap to help secure the tank on your back and we managed a long session with this tank and could have continued working for some time without any problems. The product is shipped pretty much pre-built, all you will need to do is attached the pump handle and spray wand.

Field King Professionals Battery Powered Backpack Sprayer, 4 gal

Battery Powered Model: It’s worth pointing out this product is also available in a battery-powered version, linked above. This is another great product and the best battery powered backpack sprayer on the market in our opinion.

I have a personal preference for the manual pump models. For the simple reason that you save a little bit of weight and avoid potential issues with batteries running low on me whilst im working. Having said that, you will get an impressive 50 gallons worth of spray-time out of the Field King lithium battery’s.

Customer Reviews: The Field King Max Garden Sprayer achieved resounding support from the many customer who purchased the product. Scoring 4.7/5 across all major retail platforms and forums the build quality of the product shines through in the feedback, and we agree a really good piece of kit.

Pros 

  • Very high build quality
  • Stainless steel wand
  • Comfortable to wear for long periods
  • Also available in a battery-powered model

Cons

  • Nothing of significance


2. Roundup Backpack Sprayer 4Gal 

Roundup Backpack Sprayer for Fertilizers

This 4-gallon Roundup Backpack Sprayer model no. 190314 provides plenty of tank capacity to get a lot of weed prevention under your belt. Designed specifically with herbicide in mind the manufacturer has just about all bases covered.

It features a heavy-duty poly wand with a shut-off valve with comfort grip. You get a built-in spray lock for continuous spray, which is a really useful function to have when working with large areas. The design incorporates an in-line filter to keep dirt and debris flowing into the spray head and clogging it.

Plus the gaskets and seals as you would expect are designed for use with chemical liquids including herbicides, allowing for safe use with weed killers. You also get 4 different interchangeable nozzle heads to suit the spray pattern you require.

This backpack style pump sprayer is supplied with really comfortable padded straps, which makes spraying for extended periods less tiresome. There’s also a waist belt to provide you adequate lumbar support and reduce back fatigue while working. 

It’s well thought out and would be a good fit for even the tallest of users. I’m 6’3″ tall and I wore this backpack for a few hours and it was really comfortable. So what about the negatives? Well, none in our experience.

Customer Reviews: Not surprising that this backpack sprayer has received great feedback across all retail platforms and forums. 80% of customers rate it 5/5. A couple of comments mention a dripping nozzle.

Pros 

  • In-line filter to protect the nozzle
  • The waistband provides lumbar support
  • Comfortable padded straps

Cons

  • Not as well built as Field King Max

3. Husqvarna Bacpack Sprayer 4 Gal

pressure sprayer

So Husqvarna is a well known and very reputable brand in the garden tools category and this tank lives up to our expectations. We kind of knew what we were going to get, and we got it! A well-built, functional backpack sprayer that fires at 150 psi to reach nearly 30 ft of spray distance and provides enough power for a consistent spray pattern.

Built for use with liquid concentrates and powders the tank system features a re-enforced 50″ section of hose for a good range of motion. The want is stainless steel and the kit provides 3 different nozzle heads to adjust spray patterns.

Overall a good pressure pump sprayer and one we are happy to recommend. In our test, it was not as comfortable as some of our other models and lacks one or two features.

Customer Reviews: Scoring an average 4.5/5 across all major retail platforms and forums this product is appreciated for the build quality you would expect from Husqvarna,

Pros 

  • Well built from a highly regarded brand name
  • Solid feel and good spray pressure

Cons

  •  Not quite as comfortable as Field King or Roundup
  • Lacks a few features

4. Chapin Backpack Sprayer 4Gal 

Chapin 4Gal Backpack Sprayer

The Chapin 61800 4Gal Backpack Sprayer is a great low-cost backpack sprayer. It comes with padded shoulder straps that provide decent lumbar support, making it relatively easy to carry it around, even with a full tank. 

A 3-stage filtration system traps any debris, preventing it from clogging the unit while you’re working, this includes a basket filter for the tank aperture. It has an applicator wand with a cushion-grip and poly shut-off mechanism, which can be easily taken apart for cleaning out debris. Plus you get three different nozzles to adjust the spray pattern

While this pump is not as powerful as our top pick on the list we still got the spray to reach 20 ft which is more than enough for general use around the yard and garden.

The shoulder straps have average quality, but still good enough to get you through a few hours of work. So it’s not the best backpack sprayer in the world but for around half the price of our other backpacks it represents very good value for money, and we would be happy with it for light or occasional use.

Chapin Battery Backpack Sprayer

Battery Powered Model: The good news is, there is also a lithium battery-powered model available in the Chapin 4Gal Backpack. There are some reported issues around the battery quality, so a good product, but when you’re spending well over $150 on an electronic piece of kit, there’s no point taking chances!

Customer Reviews: Customers who purchased this product report a very fair 4.4/5, which demonstrates their general opinion that this product is great value for money. The battery-powered version has had a few negative reviews, so best avoid that model and opt for the Field King if you’re keen on getting a battery-powered sprayer.

Pros 

  • Value for money
  • Good for occasional use
  • Includes decent features

Cons

  • Not in the same league as some other product on our list

5. Solo 425 Backpack Sprayer 4 Gal

Solo 425 backpack sprayer

UK Model

The Solo 425 is on our list as a great versatile product available in 3 or 4-gallon tank sizes, with a manual pump, battery-powered pump, or gas-powered pump. Plus, this is a product that’s widely available in most regions, including America, the United Kingdom, and Europe. With that level of options and as a great product that’s and so well distributed, we had to feature it!

The model we are featuring here the Solo 425 has a manual piston pump capable of producing 90 psi which will shoot a good 20ft of spray. More than enough for domestic use. The pump handle is ambidextrous meaning it can be used on the left or right-hand side of the pump.

It’s a very good option for home use as a weed killer or fertilizer spray. It doesn’t generate enough pressure for too many other applications. It does not match up to our winner’s specifications, but in many regions, this is the best backpack pump on the market and we would be happy to recommend it to our readers as a machine we would happily use in our gardens.

Battery Powered Model: The Solo 416 Li is the Lithium battery-powered model. It features a 5-gallon tank that can feel a little top-heavy. Our advice is to stick with the manual version to go for the Field King Max if you have your heart set on a battery-powered model, based on reliability and comfort.

Customer Reviews: An overall customer feedback score of 4.4/5. There are a few customers in the US saying their product was delivered with a problem. Our sample was perfect, but maybe check your local distributor’s customer reviews to make sure there are no batch problems.

Pros 

  • Available across most regions and with several models available
  • A good weed sprayer for home use

Cons

  •  Battery powered models are top heavy and not as reliable as some other brands

Best Tank Sprayer

1. Scotts Battery Pump Sprayer 2Gal

Scotts Battery Powered Pump Zero Technology Sprayer

There’s not much to split the Scotts Battery Powered Tank Sprayer from the second place Smiths Contractor Tank Sprayer for the top spot. My preference is to usually stick to manual pump mechanisms to avoid any technical failures or running out of power mid-job. However, in the case of Scotts Tank, I am making an exception. In the short amount of time, I’ve used this product it’s been very good indeed. One of my colleagues has also been using this product at home for quite some time and it sings its praises.

So…my own bias aside, Scotts Battery Tank has to take the top spot, as it delivers on build quality, features, and a great reputation for a battery-powered sprayer. You will pay around an extra $40 for this product, but if you want a battery-powered unit then it will be worth the extra money over the long run.

Expect to get 12 full tanks with a single battery charge, with a re-enforces PVC hose and 3-in-1 nozzle settings for fan spray, stream spray, and cone spray. It’s comfortable to carry and produces a great spray pattern without dripping.

Customer Feedback: Full of praise for the quality of the manufacturing and extremely happy with battery performance, this product achieves 4.6/5 across all customer reviews and forums.

Pros 

  • Very reliable battery, 12 tanks per charge
  • Solid build quality with a 3-year warranty
  • 3-in-1 nozzle

Cons

  • Double the price of a manual pump version

2. Smith Contractor Pump Sprayer 2Gal

smiths contractor tank sprayer

The Smith 190216 2-Gallon Sprayer is good for Lawns, Gardens, and also suitable for commercial use. It’s really well-built with plenty of features with 1, 2, or 3 Gallon models in the product range. We were really happy with the build quality and performance and it was a really close second to Scott’s battery-powered sprayer.

This unit has a commercial-grade polymer wand, which is chemical resistant. The trigger handle incorporates an in-line filter to protect the nozzle from dirt ingress, plus you get 5 interchangeable nozzles as standard.

The sprayer is easy to carry by the handle and comes with a professional shut-off valve. In addition to this, the shoulder strap is another convenient addition that makes portability easy and reduces fatigue when you handle it in your hands. 

Additionally, it comes with Viton seals and gaskets, and a professional shut-off lock. The Viton seals of the pump make this sprayer resistant to chemicals. You won’t have to worry about any accidental spills after opening the tank thanks to a robust pressure release valve, which automatically vents at 60 psi as a nice backup safety feature. My only gripe is a 1-year warranty. Okay, the build quality is great, but things can go wrong. But still, a great price so well worth buying.

Customer Reviews: Achieving an overall online customer score of 4.6/5 there’s no doubt this is one of the most popular tank sprayers on the market.

Pros 

  • Excellent build quality
  • In-line filter
  • 5 changeable nozzles

Cons

  • Only 1 year warranty

3. Chapin Multi-Purpose Sprayer 1Gal

Chapin Lawn, Garden and Multi-Purpose Sprayer

This Chapin multi-purpose pressure sprayer is a very popular choice amongst internet buyers. It’s one of the best selling products on the market. The design and functions are pretty basic, but in a strange way that’s its strength. A thick and solid tank, a simple nozzle set up, and one basic internal filter.

You’re not going to get the pressure levels of the best sprays on this list but this is only a one-gallon tank. What you lose in design and pressure you get back with a lightweight, portable, and long-lasting tank sprayer.

Customer Reviews: A score of 4.5/5 reflects the customer’s appreciation of the convenience and simplicity of this product. Size isn’t everything! If you prefer a small, lighter model this may be the best choice for you.

Pros 

  • Simple design and very easy to use
  • Smallest tank on our list, so very portable

Cons

  • Does not have all of the features of some other pumps

4. Spear and Jackson Pressure Sprayer 1.85Gal

Spear and Jackson 8 Litre Pump Action Pressure Sprayer

The Spear & Jackson brand is a very well established brand in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe. This award-winning tank sprayer is another simple but solid performer. It has sold more units than all of the other tank sprayers on this list combined and scores 4.5/5. If that doesn’t prove its reliability I’m not sure what else we could say to convince you!

I’ve used this product as part of our trials, but I knew of its reputation many years ago. It’s comfortable to use, feels good on the trigger, and delivers a strong spray with a great spray pattern, simply twist the nozzle to adjust it. What you get here is reliability, which provides great value over many years of use.

Customer Reviews:

Pros 

  • A long-standing reputation
  • Simple, but hugely popular

Cons

  • Not many features

5. Vivosun Garden Pump Sprayer 1.85Gal

VIVOSUN 1.85 Gallon Lawn and Garden Pump Sprayer

The Vivosun tank sprayer is available in models ranging from 0.8-gallon up to 2-gallons. Controlled by a standard hand pump surrounded by an extra-large cup to make filling the tank nice and easy. Despite the orange appearance, the tank is translucent, allowing you to see the fluid level. The base is made from thicker plastic to hold the unit stable and prevent damage.

Each model comes with a heavy-duty shoulder strap and a pair of gloves. The 56cm wand has a comfort-grip handle incorporating a shut-off valve, so you can carry the sprayer over your shoulder and rest your hand while maintaining a constant flow. 

Customer Reviews: With a customer review score of 4.4/5 across all forums and retail outlets, this tank is very popular. The small size options receive great reviews for indoor use and for use as a foliage spray.

Pros 

  • Perfect for indoor and outdoor use  
  • Extra-wide easy fill cup
  • The thickened bottom significantly improves its durability and stability

Cons

  • Better options available in the 1.5-gallon + sizes

How to Use Weed Killer Sprayers: Step-by-Step 

  1. When spraying chemical solutions it is always advisable to wear protective clothing to prevent chemicals from making contact with your skin
  2. Before you attempt to unscrew the cap, lid, or top of your tank sprayer before opening the pressure valve, to release any pressure already trapped inside the tank.
  3. Turn the cap counter-clockwise to open and remove the pump mechanism
  4. Fill the tank with water up to the required level. Be sure to read the herbicide manufacturers instruction on dosage and dilution ratio before adding any weed killer, fertilizer, or other concentrates
  5. Pour the concentrate into the tank and reseal the tank lid and tighten until you get an air-tight seal.
  6. Grip the tank pump handle and slowly lift to extend the pump and push back down to begin to create pressure within the tank.
  7. You will know the tank is pressurized when the pumping motion becomes more difficult and you feel noticeable resistance
  8. Take the applicator wand and point the nozzle towards the floor. Using your protective gloves, use your hand to twist open the nozzle and gently press the trigger to perform a ‘test’ spray, to check the tank pressure and the spray pattern. Adjust as required.
  9. Wearing your protective equipment including respiratory mask, gloves and goggles deploy your spray in a downwind direction, until the area is treated.
  10. Remove the lid from the pump sprayer and rinse it out thoroughly using your garden hose.
  11. Dispose of the remaining water in a location where it won’t affect drinking water or accidentally kill your plants
  12. Store the sprayer in a covered location, out of the reach of children, when not in use

Check out 9 Best Ways How To Get Rid Of A Lawn Full Of Weeds

When Is the Best Time to Spray Weed Killer? 

Weeds are a seasonal phenomenon, and when they return, they’re stronger and seem to have multiplied over winter after the seed heads have dispersed, or the rhizomes crept further across your land. So when is the best time to kill weeds and does it actually matter?

The short answer is to kill them before they shed seeds, but let’s get under the skin of this point. In the introduction of this article, we promised to save you time so you could enjoy a cold drink and gaze with satisfaction on the fruits of your labor.

Time of Day

Early morning dew can dilute weed killer of cause run-off, meaning it hits the soil and not the plant. In late evening plant growth slows down so absorption rates decline and again you may experience dew through the night.

The optimum time to buckle up your backpack sprayer is mid-morning after the foliage has dried of any moisture or dew and before the sun is high enough to make your life uncomfortable while you work.

How Often Should I Spray Weed Killer? 

You can chase weeds around your garden like chasing shadows if you think it’s fun. But to be effective we can do two major weedkiller treatments, one in spring and one in fall.

In fall or autumn, ideally October. This is when weeds are preparing for winter and go through a process of storing as much nutrient resources as possible to not only survive the winter but come out of it ready to flower and set seed. It is similar to thinking about how hibernating animals prepared for winter.

Spray early October when the weeds are like sponges soaking it all up, use a post-emergent spray for this treatment. if I’m applying the treatment to areas of lawn etc I may also apply a pre-emergent weed killer 14 days later, that will sit overwinter and help prevent seed germination in early spring.

Pre-emergent is only really for lawns or areas where you get weeds like crabgrass. If your shooting for perennial weeds, then you are better off waiting until they show their location in spring. When they start to grow, target them with a strong weed killer spray leave it for 14 days. Rake off any dead thatch. If you are dealing with really thick dense weeded areas you may choose to go again with a second treatment.

However, you tackle it, do it before they seed, otherwise you will be tackling double the work next season.

Throughout any summer growing season you will get weeds germinating from the soil that has been turned over. Personally, I would not be chasing these guys with a pressure sprayer. I would handpick them, hoe them, or dig out tap-rooted perennials.

Check out Best Dandelion Removal Tools To Fix Your Lawn And Garden

You should always spray your weed killer cautiously. Using too much product can kill the desirable flowers and grass present in your yard, so make sure that you’re applying the product properly and in the right amount. 

It’s best not to mow before and after treating weeds. You should also avoid using sprinklers prior to or just after spraying, as weed killers need to sit on the weeds for an extended period to kill them effectively, and most sprays can get washed off when subjected to water. 

Conclusion 

Getting the right weed killer sprayers will ease your workload and make lawn care less cumbersome. Plus, you’ll get to work more efficiently, and who wouldn’t want that, right? 

After much deliberation, we found the Roundup 190314 Backpack Sprayer to be the perfect choice for an all-in-one weed killer sprayer. 

It has an impressive and functional design, which allows you to finish your tasks faster and more efficiently. The 4-gallon tank makes it one of the largest backpack sprayers at the market in terms of tank capacity, which is ideal for large gardens and lawns.

While looking at sprayer reviews pays off, you should note that each user has different needs. Still, we’re confident that our top picks tick all the right boxes, and you’ll find the perfect match for your lawn no matter what you choose.

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