Backpack Sprayer vs. Garden Sprayer: Which One is Best For You?

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A garden sprayer helps in making the task of spraying fertilizers, water or pesticide over the greens and plants easier. Out of several types, there are basically two that are found to be the commonest, that are traditional or handheld and backpack.

Whenever the topic arises, the battle of both the sprayer begins where either boasts their benefits to prove to be the best.

If you are someone looking for a sprayer and got stuck in the middle of the battle, then we have come up with a comparison write-up to shoo away your confusion. Read on to find out about backpack sprayer vs. garden sprayer.

Traditional Garden Sprayer

A traditional garden sprayer pressurizes the air that is left inside the tank through a manual pump mechanism like a handle after filling it up with liquid. The handle is mounted to a piston that you pump up so you can build the pressure in the tank.

As you empty the sprayer, the amount of air gets increased which mean you need to stop the operation so you can pump later more frequently. If the tank has less liquid, then it means you are required to pressurize more air. You can also call it a handheld garden sprayer.

Such sprayer is the simplest kind. It features a liquid capacity typically ranging around 3 gallons. You will find them quite easier to use.

If you want to use such sprayer, all you need to do is to pick up by the handle and carry the sprayer at your side. It helps in making sprayer great for different residential tasks such as:

  • Providing different plants and greens with fertilizer in the garden.
  • Watering plants gently that thrive in container.
  • Spraying pesticides over the leaves of around two plants or trees.

Essential features:

  • Around 3 gallons’ liquid capacity.
  • Manual pump mechanism.
  • Some models feature a valve to quick-release air pressure.


  • Very economical and cheaper than other types.
  • Moderately effective at treating outdoor space.
  • Easy to use.
  • Great for cleaning tasks.
  • Great for smaller garden.
  • Great for occasional use.


  • Very slow and lack power substantially.
  • Difficulty in maintaining a constant pressure.
  • Not for commercial pesticide applications.

Read Also: Backpack Sprayer- 11 Tips for Pesticide Spraying

For whom?

If you have a small outdoor area or garden, then a handheld sprayer is perfect for you. You should also know that this sprayer is going to be a bit frustrating due to slow operation.

Moreover, the sprayer is also great for the one whose budget is limited. You will find several handheld models at low cost.

Backpack sprayer

A backpack sprayer is stated to be the mack-daddy of weed treatment. It comes with a bigger tank that sits comfortably on your back like a backpack leaving you with free of one hand so you can engage in multitasking with more efficiency.

Almost similar to handheld sprayer, it requires spray pressure produced by a motorized pump or manual lever for the spraying job. Such sprayer features padded straps that are engineered to provide you with comfort while you work with it. A backpack sprayer is able to provide you with thorough atomization of droplets no matter if the garden is bigger in area. 

There will be a fixed hollow cone or three to four flat-fan nozzles on the boom that will not only make the sprayer easy to use but also calibrate.

You will also be provided with an easy to read pressure gauge so you can maintain same output throughout the yard. A backpack sprayer can be run by a hand-pump, motor or carbon-dioxide. It is able to accommodate around 5 to 7 gallons liquid capacity that lets you spend more time in operating and lesser time in refilling.

Check out  4 gallon backpack sprayer

Moreover, such sprayers are stated to be great for tasks like:

  • Carrying herbicide by a public-park for targeting weed patches
  • Spraying fertilizers on bigger garden area.
  • Applying pesticide across a midsized garden or orchard.
  • Treating plants or bigger areas.
  • Spot-spraying weeds.
  • Spraying over plants on tight spaces where bigger equipment cannot reach.

Essential features:

  • Around 5 to 7 gallons’ liquid capacity.
  • Motorized pump or manual lever.
  • Padded straps.
  • 3-4 flat-fan nozzles on boom.
  • Pressure gauge.
  • Powered by hand-pump, motor or carbon-dioxide.
  • Adjustable pressure of the jet according to preferences.


  • Used like a backpack leaving one of your hands free for multitasking.
  • You can spray for extended period of around 30 minutes with ease.
  • Wildly efficient and extremely powerful.
  • Optimized to let you treat the whole garden area in one sitting.
  • Easy to carry a substantial amount of liquid and store.
  • Offers easier control of pressure.
  • More time in working and lesser time in refilling.


  • Expensive than other types.
  • Weight can be a small issue and it may hurt your back for using longer period.

For whom?

Backpack sprayer is preferred mostly by residential area user or landscaping professional. If you have bigger garden area and you want to spend more time in spraying at one sitting, then a backpack sprayer is ideal for you.

Also, it will be great for the one who wishes to use sprayer for different tasks as well as for commercial applications.

Related Post: Backpack Sprayer: How to Use It In the Proper Way

Which one wins?

If budget is not really a problem and if you have a bigger garden area, then nothing beats a top quality backpack sprayer. In such case, it should win the battle. If you have a small garden, then a traditional sprayer would simply be the best. However, it still depends on your preferences to go with a type.

Take a note of your requirements and match them with the traditional and backpack. The one that will meet most of your requirements will certainly be a winner. But before that, the garden size should be taken into consideration.

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