In the fall when our yards are covered in leaves, leaf blowers save so much time and hassle. For smaller jobs, handheld blowers are usually sufficient – but for the bigger jobs when you need maximum power, a backpack leaf blower is usually a better option.
If you have a big yard or significant amounts of leaves to clear, a backpack version will blast through the job in a fraction of the time – so here are our top picks for best backpack leaf blower.
Let’s briefly talk about why you would want to buy a backpack leaf blower – after that, we can go on to look at a few of the things you should pay attention to when choosing one.
Why should you choose a backpack leaf blower?
In short, backpack leaf blowers give you more power.
Handheld blowers need to be light since you carry them in one hand. However, the trade-off is a smaller engine or motor, and this means less power.
With a backpack blower, since the weight is carried on your back and shoulders, they can be heavier, giving you increased power.
However, due to the increased size, they take up more storage space – and in the case of gas-powered models, they use up more gas than handheld versions too.
This means handheld blowers are better for smaller yards and jobs that don’t need such extreme power – whereas backpack blowers are more suited to heavy-duty jobs and clearing up larger areas of leaves.
How to choose
There are a few important points to think about when choosing a backpack blower. Here are some of the most important.
Gas, corded electric or battery-powered?
The first thing to consider is the power source.
- Gas-powered blowers are versatile machines that can run for a long time and can be used anywhere. They are also usually the most powerful. However, they are noisier, more polluting – and you need to buy gas to run them.
- Corded models are cleaner and quieter and can sometimes offer similar levels of power to gas. However, the cord limits range and mobility, and corded versions are less common.
- Battery-powered units are an alternative to gas. They have the range and versatility of gas-powered blowers, but battery life limits how long you can use them for. They are also often the least powerful type of blowers.
Power can be measured in different ways, but the ratings you need to take notice of are the wind speed and air displacement ratings.
Air speed, measured in miles per hour, is the speed at which the air comes out of the nozzle. This is important but needs to be combined with a good air displacement rating, measured in Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM).
If you have a high wind speed but only a low displacement, the blower won’t be very effective at shifting leaves – look for a unit with high ratings for both.
Comfort and weight
With backpack blowers, one of the most important features is comfort.
You should check that they are comfortable to wear and have straps that are easy to adjust.
Also, take note of the weight since you if it is too heavy, you will suffer when you need to use it for long periods.
2-cycle or 4-cycle?
If you are going for gas, you need to choose between a 2-cycle or 4-cycle engine.
Blowers with 2-cycle engines are most common. They are more powerful but also noisier than those with 4-cycle engines.
With 2-cycle engines, you also need to make up a gas and oil mixture for the fuel while 4-cycle engines run on pure gasoline.
Battery power and charge time
If you are choosing a battery-powered model, pay close attention to how long the battery lasts per charge and make sure it is enough for you to complete your work.
It is important to take note of how long a battery will last on a low setting as well as when running at full power since there can be a big difference.
Even if a battery doesn’t last long per charge, this can be mitigated by having one that recharges quickly. Some charge in as little as half an hour while others take up to five hours. A short charge time will mean less waiting in between charges.
The Best Backpack Leaf Blower on the Market 2019
1. (Our TOP PICK) Poulan Pro PR48BT 2-Cycle Gas Backpack Leaf Blower
If you are looking for a gas-powered backpack leaf blower with plenty of power for regular clearing jobs, this model from well-regarded brand Poulan should be worth checking out.
It runs on a 48cc 2-stroke engine that can give you wind speeds of up to 200mph and air displacement of up to 475CFM. This combination should be more than enough for most home users – although it doesn’t quite reach the power of the biggest commercial-grade units.
For a backpack-style blower, it is also relatively lightweight. Although many handhold blowers weigh much less, at under 20lbs, this is at the lower end of the scale when it comes to backpacks – again, making it convenient and manageable for home users.
Another feature that is designed for comfort is the easily adjustable shoulder straps that allow you to adjust the backpack according to your body size and shape.
This blower is also backed up by a two-year warranty, showing Poulan has confidence in the quality of its products.
On the downside, as we mentioned, it lacks the power of some of the bigger blowers. It is also quite a noisy machine – although this is to be expected with 2-stroke gas-powered tools.
Overall, this is a quality product that is ideal for anyone who wants a gas-powered blower for home use. However, if you need commercial-grade power and just a bit more kick, you might be better off looking elsewhere.
- 48cc engine – delivers 200mph wind speed and 475CFM displacement
- Adjustable shoulder straps – easy to adjust to the shape of your body
- Variable speed throttle allows you to choose the right power for the job
- Well-regarded brand – Poulan is one of the top brands for power tools
- Lightweight for a backpack blower – weighs less than 20lbs
- Slightly noisy operation – although this is normal for 2-stroke gas blowers
- Lacks the power of the biggest models – not made for the heaviest-duty jobs
2. (RUNNER UP) Husqvarna 150BT 2-Cycle Gas Backpack Leaf Blower
Husqvarna is another well-respected name in the world of garden tools. If you are looking for a solid and reliable backpack leaf blower that will take all the hassle out of leaf clearing in the fall, this could be an ideal option.
It delivers an impressive 251mph wind speed and air displacement of 434, giving you plenty of power to blast through any piles of leaves in your path.
The X-Torq engine is a big positive. It is designed to reduce harmful emissions by up to 75% while increasing fuel efficiency by up to 20%. This translates into a blower that is kinder on the environment while also saving you cash on fuel.
It features LowVib technology to reduce vibrations and also boasts a variable speed throttle with cruise control for added functionality and comfort. We also like the adjustable-length nozzle that reduces the need to bend over while working.
There’s lots to like here, but if we have to pick holes, we might say that it can be a little hard to start, especially cold. The instruction manual is also hard to understand at times and could be better written.
This is a reliable blower with plenty of features that improve power, efficiency and comfort while reducing harmful emissions. For even the toughest leaf blowing jobs around the home, this is a tool that will save you lots of time and hassle.
- X-Torq engine – designed to reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency
- Impressive amount of air power – rated at 251mph and 434CFM
- Variable speed control – also features cruise control for ease of operation
- LowVib system – reduces the amount of vibration during use
- Relatively lightweight – at 22.5lbs, easily manageable for most people
- Can be more difficult to start than other models – requires several pulls
- Instructions not well written – can be difficult to understand
3. (BEST FOR EXTRA POWER) Husqvarna 360BT 2-Cycle Gas Backpack Blower
If you like the sound of many of the features of the Husqvarna above but you feel you need something with more kick, this model, the 150BT’s bigger brother, should provide you with all the power you need.
Its large 65.5cc 2-stroke engine provides strong wind force with air displacement of up to 631CFM, enough for just about any leaf-clearing operation you are likely to need it for.
Another big plus for us is the large fuel tank. With a unit like this that is designed for heavy-duty work, the 74.4oz tank will allow you to keep working for longer until the job is complete.
This blower also incorporates the same X-Torq engine as the smaller version – here, cutting emissions by up to 60% and increasing fuel efficiency by up to 20%.
There are only a few negatives. With such a big, powerful machine, it will come as no surprise that this is a bit of a gas-guzzler, so if you want to spend less money on fuel, you might prefer to look elsewhere. It is also a noisy beast – but again, that’s only to be expected.
This is the right leaf blower for someone looking for the biggest, most powerful machine available. If that’s what you need, then this could be ideal. However, if you don’t need all that power, this machine will be overkill for clearing smaller yards.
- Big power – will blast through just about any job in no time
- X-Torq engine – designed to reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency
- Large fuel tank – 74.4oz tank allows you to keep working for longer
- Offset handle – stops your arm from being pulled downward by the wind force
- Comfortable to wear and operate – includes wide, easily-adjustable shoulder straps
- Makes a lot of noise – although not excessively so for a large 2-stroke engine
- Consumes a lot of fuel – as you would expect from a large, powerful machine
4. (BEST 4-STROKE COMMERCIAL) Makita EB7650WH 4-Stroke Backpack Blower
If you are looking for big power in a blower but prefer the quieter, cleaner, more efficient functioning of a 4-stroke engine, this model could be just right. It offers commercial-grade performance for professional landscapers and home users alike.
The large 75.6cc engine delivers up to a maximum of 670CFM and wind speeds of up to 200mph, enough to make short work of clearing leaves and debris in almost any situation.
However, since it incorporates a 4-stroke engine, it is much quieter than 2-stroke models of the same size, with a sound level rated at only 76dB.
The starting system features mechanical automatic engine decompression, which makes starting it quicker and easier. With the 4-stroke engine, there is no need to mix the fuel with oil since it runs on pure gasoline.
It is also built for comfort, with straps that are adjustable at multiple points as well as a handle that can be adjusted easily without the use of tools.
The major drawback is that for a top-end, powerful blower like this, you have to expect to pay top dollar. It is also too big smaller yards, so if you don’t need to clear large amounts of leaves, a blower of this size will be unnecessary.
However, for anyone looking for a powerful blower for big jobs and who prefers a 4-stroke engine, this unit is as good as any you’ll find.
- Huge blowing power – 670CFM and 200mph on the maximum setting
- Relatively quiet operation – at 76dB, quieter than comparable 2-stroke models
- Quick and easy to start – incorporates mechanical automatic engine decompression
- Many features designed for comfort – adjustable straps and handle
- No need to mix gas and oil – 4-stroke engines run on pure gasoline
- Expensive unit – quality and power don’t come cheap
- Too powerful for smaller yards – if you don’t have a large yard, best look elsewhere
5. (BEST BATTERY-POWERED BLOWER) Greenworks BPB80L2510 Cordless Backpack Blower
If you love the idea of all the power provided by a big backpack blower but prefer the convenience and ease of use of a battery-powered unit, this blower from Greenworks should be of interest.
First off, with ratings of 145mph and 580CFM, this backpack delivers the same power as many gas-powered backpack blowers, giving you plenty of wind power to blast through big piles of leaves.
However, it must be said that this is only when using the turbo function. During regular use, the output is a lot lower, and turbo tends to drain the battery quite quickly.
We love the simple and intuitive controls. Along with the turbo switch, it features a variable speed trigger as well as a cruise control option that means you don’t have to hold the button down the whole time.
Another big positive is the long warranty. The blower itself is guaranteed for four years while the battery is covered for two, showing the confidence the company has in its products.
We are big fans of Greenworks tools in general, and this backpack blower is another solid unit from this company. However, the main drawback with this blower is that the battery life is relatively short, especially if you need to use the turbo mode.
You can expect up to about 25 minutes with regular use, but perhaps only 10 or 15 if you need to use the higher settings. However, the battery can be fully charged in only 45 minutes, making this less of a problem.
For us, this is a well-designed tool that performs well. If you are looking for an alternative to gas and don’t mind the limitations of battery-powered options, this machine would be an excellent choice.
- Big power – at 145mph/580CFM, this blower matches many gas models for power
- Long warranties – 4 years for the blower and 2 years for the battery
- Intuitive controls – easy-to-use variable speed trigger, cruise control and turbo mode
- Lightweight – at only 14.64lbs, this is much lighter than most gas-powered versions
- Low noise levels – far quieter than most gas-powered leaf blowers
- Relatively short battery life – can’t match gas blowers for working time
- Need to use turbo for big jobs – regular settings a little lacking in power
6. (BEST NO-FRILLS BLOWER) Echo Gas Backpack Blower
This gas blower incorporates a 63.3cc 2-stroke engine that can deliver 234mph wind speeds and air displacement of up to 756CFM. The tank hold 68oz of gas, enough to let you keep working for longer, and is see-through so you know when to refill.
It is comfortable to wear and features padded shoulder straps as well as a ventilated back pad. The tube is also highly flexible, making it practical to use.
It is easy to assemble out of the box, and it is also very easy to fire up – expect the engine to start running after only one or two pulls. The controls are also easy to understand and use.
The only real negatives are that it is a relatively heavy unit – so perhaps less suitable for smaller people – and that it consumes quite a lot of gas.
This is a beefy, powerful leaf blower that would appeal to someone looking for a solid, functional unit that gets the job done with no frills. However, if you have a smaller yard or you prefer something more lightweight, some other models might be more suitable.
- Easy to assemble – you can have it ready to go out of the box in no time
- Simple to start – usually starts with only one or two pulls of the cord
- Comfortable to wear – includes padded shoulder straps and ventilated back padding
- Very powerful – at 234mph and 756CFM, this blower can shift a lot of leaves
- Large gas tank – holds 68oz of gas to allow you to keep working for longer
- Not light – this is a big, bulky blower compared to some others
- Consumes a lot of gas – as you would expect from a big, powerful machine
7. (BEST HIGH-POWER BATTERY BLOWER) EGO Bare Tool 56-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Electric Backpack Blower
This electric backpack leaf blower is powered by a 56V lithium-ion battery and offers much of the performance and power of a gas-powered unit but with far less noise and zero pollution.
It features a high-quality brushless motor that is designed to increase efficiency and power while also prolonging the tool’s working life.
It is capable of delivering highly respectable levels of power that can match the power produced by gas power tools – on the maximum setting, this blower can give you air displacement of 600CFM and wind speeds of up to 145mph.
Even with all this power, the noise level is kept to only around 64dB, many times quieter than a gas blower with similar power.
We also like that it is easy to put on and comfortable to wear and use.
On the lowest settings, the battery allows you to work for extended periods. However, in reality, you will need to use the higher settings to work effectively, and when used like this, the battery life is a lot shorter – although still long enough to let you complete most regular tasks.
To balance this out, batteries recharge quickly – between only 30 minutes and an hour. However, the battery and charger are not included and need to be bought separately.
Overall, this is another blower that gets a thumbs-up. It gives you plenty of power when you need it and is comfortable and practical to use. Having said that, if you need to work for longer periods, a gas model might be a better choice.
- Very quiet operation – much quieter than comparable gas models
- Efficient brushless motor – designed for power, efficiency and long life
- High maximum power settings – delivers up to 145mph and 600CFM
- Short recharge time – between 30 minutes and an hour
- Lightweight unit – lighter than most other backpack leaf blowers
- Battery life limited when used at full power – although better on lower settings
- Battery and charger not included – these need to be bought separately
Many options, many factors to consider
As you will already realize if you have started shopping for backpack leaf blowers, there are lots of options on the market and many factors to consider. With so much choice, making a decision can be tough – but if you’re having a hard time making up your mind, any of the backpack leaf blowers in this review would be a great place to start looking.
My name is Peter Weeks, Writer of The Daily Gardener. Gardening has always been my passion, nothing gives me quite the satisfaction that feeling the soil sift through my fingers does. Give me a spade, a shovel, and a rake, and I can happily while away the day transforming a patch of land into a beautiful oasis. To me, gardening is life. It’s not a career. It’s not a job. It’s something that I truly love doing. It’s a way of life, a passion that I’ve no intention of ever giving up.