Updated on by
First, let me get this out of the way, backpack leaf blowers are awesome!
They are powerful, comfortable, and make quick work of cleaning leaves and other yard debris. They are ideal for large yards or commercial business owners.
They aren’t without their drawbacks though, such as price. The best ones can be pretty expensive when compared to other designs.
But, are they worth it? Should you get one? Let’s find out!
Quick Look: Here are my top picks for 2019
- Husqvarna 350BT: the best backpack leaf blower for most people based on features and price
- Echo PB-770T: pro-grade unit, lightweight and comfortable to use
- Poulan Pro PR48BT: great model, very well priced from a good brand
- Husqvarna 150BT: very powerful – highest MPH rating in my list
- Makita EB7650WH MM4: best high end/consumer-grade backpack blower
- Greenworks PRO BPB80L2510: great battery-powered choice
How I Rated the Products
I researched hundreds of models and read tons of customer reviews to come up with my list of the best backpack leaf blowers to buy. I also have personal experience using some of the models listed.
I considered the pros and cons of both gas-powered and battery-powered models, and also considered their ease of use, reliability, cost, and performance to help you in finding the best backpack leaf blower.
I hope that my reviews of these top rated backpack leaf blowers will help you to make a knowledgeable purchasing decision. A few models also made my list of the best overall leaf blowers.
Keep reading to learn more about how I found the best professional backpack leaf blower.
Performance (MPH & CFM)
You buy a backpack blower because of the power. It is standard to measure this in MPH and CFM.
MPH stands for Miles Per Hour and is a measurement of air speed. The air speed tells you how fast the air comes out of the tube. The higher the MPH, the faster the air speed and the faster the air moves.
CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute and measures the volume of air leaving your blower. The higher the CFM, the more air the engine is pushing out.
These are the two most common measurements of power in a blower, but which is more important? The answer really depends on your goals.
If you want to cover a large outdoor area, then you’ll want high CFM output from your blower. If you move heavier items than leaves, you’ll want high air speed and MPH output.
However, the best backpack leaf blower will use a healthy combination of MPH and CFM to create a powerful output. Ideally, you will have balance out these two outputs. But most usually have one that is higher than the other.
When determining rankings, I used MPH air speed and CFM to measure their performance and honed in on ones who had the best balance between these two measurements.
Comfort in any machine that sits on your back is dependent on whether they’re designed to reduce vibration, have soft-grip, adjustable handles, or feature ergonomic padded harnesses with wide shoulder straps and thick hip belts.
These ergonomic components can make operating a backpack blower easier and more convenient, especially considering you are carrying the machine on your back while you use it.
The blowers reviewed had a variety of great ergonomic options. It was hard to find one that had every ergonomic option available. Most products included in this review had at least one ergonomic feature such as quality padding.
These features take some of the strain off of your neck, back, shoulders, and other upper body parts that often carry the weight of the blower housed on your back.
The ergonomics of each blower were taken into consideration when reviewing each one and measured equally alongside performance, functions, and even price.
Controls all varied slightly. Some were too close together and hard to differentiate while the machine is running while others were easier to find and operate while the machine was running. Some even had extra controls that made using the blower more convenient.
In this review, all of the controls were judged based on their location on the machine and how easy they are to understand and use while blowing leaves. Any extra controls included were also included in rating them.
They also have varying run times. Run times vary based on the power each leaf blower puts out, the size of the tank, the kind of fuel required, and what kind of features they include.
The way you use the blower (i.e. if you use it with the throttle wide open the entire time) also affects its runtime.
Ideally, you’d want a blower with the best, extensive runtime. However, a longer runtime might mean a larger tank and excess weight that could make the blower heavier and harder on your back or even decrease performance.
The run time for each model was taken into account for this review, among their various other components.
The backpack blowers chosen in this review have a variety of prices. Ranging from $200 to $600 and averaging $375, these 6 units were chosen based on the quality they provide for each of their price points.
Some units are more expensive than the others but offer more accessories and/or features. Each blower was not ranked on price alone, but on the quality it provides the user when combined with performance, ease of use, runtime, and more.
While you might want to get the best price you can get, you may also want to consider upping your budget for better performance. I want you to get the most bang for your buck!
Noise was also taken into consideration when reviewing these blowers. Noise is measured in decibels and the backpack leaf blowers in this review had varying degrees of noise levels.
Some blowers were specifically designed to minimize noise while others had no extra technology to minimize noise levels. Also, some blowers were just naturally louder than others.
The noise each backpack leaf blower made also depended on its power source.
Battery powered leaf blowers were naturally quieter than gas powered blowers. All of these factors were taken into account when reviewing and ranking the units.
Even if you choose a model that is relatively quiet, you should still take preventative measures and wear protective ear muffs or noise canceling headphones to avoid damaging your eardrums.
Ease of Use
The products reviewed were chosen because they were all relatively easy to use – meaning you don’t need to be a professional landscaper to use any of them. The best blower is simple and easy to use!
The best models should be chosen for their build qualities, their reliability, and for their warranties. They take a lot of abuse, so it’s important to get one with an outstanding warranty.
The blowers in this review have varying lengths to their included warranties, some lasting from 2 to 4 years and others lasting less than 2.
These warranties also include stipulations such as the type of fuel used and warranties on specific parts or tools, not the entire machine. When choosing a product, always keep the warranty in mind so you can get the best one for your needs.
Who Should Buy a Backpack Blower?
If you have a big yard or lots of debris to move on a regular basis, then a backpack blower is a must-have. If you only have a small piece of property without many trees, then you probably don’t need to spend the extra money.
Either way, here are a few good reasons why these blowers are the best you can purchase:
- Comfort – A backpack blower might tip the scales at about 17-22 pounds, but that weight is transferred comfortably to your shoulders and back.
- Power – Although they are generally are more expensive than a handheld blower, they give you loads of extra moving power.
- Air Movement – A backpack blower usually has a stronger air speed capacity than others, typically ranging from 140 MPH up to about 240 MPH or more!
- Ergonomic Design – Controls on modern a blower are specially designed to keep your wrist and hand in natural positions. This will reduce fatigue when you are moving piles of leaves for hours. In comparison, handheld blowers generally aren’t very comfortable to hold for longer periods of time.
- Large Areas – These blowers are especially suited for jobs over large areas of land.
What Should I Look for In a Backpack Blower?
Why should you choose one model over another? What are some of the key features you should look for? Should you choose a 2 cycle or 4 cycle backpack leaf blower? Maybe a cordless model would be better for your needs. Which model is the best?
Here is a checklist that you can use depending on your needs.
- Some of these blowers are much more comfortable than others. Look for models with a good ergonomic design that spreads the weight load and doesn’t place undue stress on your back, shoulders, or neck.
- Controls and handles – Look for controls that can be used without strain after long time periods of operation. The best handles can be personally adjusted to suit a particular operator.
- Look for flatter wider blower nozzles that are more flexible and more effective on leaves. Or better yet, look for one that has different nozzle attachments.
- A CARB compliant machine is your choice if you’re concerned about the environment.
- Look for a well-known and respected manufacturer with a solid warranty.
- Avoid the cheapest machines. Sometimes those deals are really too good to be true.
- These blowers can be noisy, and they have motors mounted in very close proximity to the head. If you suffer from hearing issues, you should consider a battery powered version. Regardless of which type you decide on, it is important to still use hearing protection.
Types of Backpack Blowers
The two main types of backpack blowers today are gas-powered and battery-powered. Both have their strengths and weaknesses.
- Weight – Backpack leaf blowers weigh approximately twice as much as handheld blowers. If too much weight is a concern for you, find a backpack leaf blower that has a hip belt. Generally, a battery powered blower will be lighter.
- Air Speed – The air that comes out of the backpack tube is measured in MPH (Miles Per Hour). A gas engine can reach 250+ MPH and a battery-powered blower can usually reach around 140 MPH. Of course, there are exceptions but in general, a gas engine will have a higher air speed and MPH output.
- Tube size and CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute) – The amount of air that can exit the backpack’s tube in a minute is measured as Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM). The higher the CFM, the more debris you can move. Gas powered blowers usually have a stronger CFM.
Gas-powered backpack blowers come in two main types – 2-stroke engines and 4-stroke engines.
Although 2-stroke engines are generally lighter than 4-stroke engines, they require a different type of fuel – which can be inconvenient. A mixture of oil and gas is required for the fuel tank which can either be purchased premixed or mixed yourself.
A 4-stroke engine uses the same type of fuel that your car uses, so you won’t need to mix anything or purchase a special fuel mixture. These engines are very powerful and very efficient, but that extra power comes at a price since the engines are generally heavier.
Electric battery-powered models are fairly new to the market. They’re not as forceful as a gas-powered blower, but they are getting better.
They also don’t have the same run time as a gas-powered model, so it’s a good idea to pick up a backup battery if you plan on using your blower for more than 25 minutes at a time.
On the plus side, they don’t emit carbon monoxide and they are lighter and much quieter.
They are an excellent choice if you live in an area with air pollution and noise regulations.
Battery powered models require very little if any maintenance.
As with operating any power tools or heavy machinery, it is imperative to take several safety precautions when using a backpack blower. As long as you strictly follow the operating manual, you should be good to go.
But here are a few other safety tips for you to keep in mind:
- Always fuel a gas-powered leaf blower on the ground and never fuel it while smoking.
- Make sure to use personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE is any kind of protective clothing or garment that protects your body from injury. This includes safety glasses, non slip gloves, noise canceling earmuffs, dust masks, and more.
- Tie back loose hair and avoid wearing loose clothing and jewelry. Never wear open toed shoes when operating your leaf blower.
- Make any adjustments necessary to make the device as comfortable as possible and distribute the weight on your back evenly before beginning.
- Make sure to observe your environment for any substances that could cause harm, like rocks or glass, before beginning. And always make note of the direction of the wind and any pedestrians nearby so as not to accidentally blow debris where it shouldn’t go.
- Unless you have a cordless blower, be aware of the cord at all times so as not to trip over it or cause damage.
4 Tips When Using a Backpack Blower
Using a backpack blower is as simple as “point and shoot.” However, there are several tips and tricks you can keep in mind when using it to streamline your efforts and make the whole process faster.
- Plan where you are going to collect and dispose of the leaves when you are done. Start at the opposite side of the yard and blow the leaves in the direction of your end point. Knowing where you are ending will help you avoid having to go over areas more than once. Also, consider placing a tarp down at your end point to make collecting the leaves easier.
- Take note of your surroundings. Is there wind blowing? Consider blowing in the direction of the wind to make the process easier. Are the leaves wet? Consider waiting until the leaves dry out so they don’t stick to the ground. Is there dust and dirt in the area? Make sure to use a mask so as not to breath in any contaminants.
- Start blowing the leaves by placing the nozzle close to the ground, pointing in the direction you want to move the leaves, and slowly raise it. When moving from area to area, point the nozzle down so as not to blow leaves everywhere and especially to avoid blowing them in areas you have already cleared.
- Be aware of items ricocheting back at you or towards other things is always a possibility, especially if you are blowing more than leaves. Make sure to never point the leaf blower at people, pets, windows, or vehicles and always wear protective gear.
Getting the most out of your backpack leaf blower comes down to how you care for and maintain it. Proper maintenance of your equipment is very important and can prolong its life, keeping you from having to buy a new one for many years.
The maintenance required will depend on what model you buy, but there are several things every owner should regularly check, replace, and/or maintain to keep it running in tip-top shape.
First, the air filter on your leaf blower should be cleaned and replaced when necessary. The air filter should be clean for optimum performance and to reduce engine wear.
The spark plugs should also be checked regularly and replaced when needed. The oil in your leaf blower is another component that should be checked, topped off, and replaced regularly for good performance and reducing engine wear.
Before removing any part of the unit, always make sure that every part has stopped moving. Also make sure to check any connections of removable parts or wires before starting the machine again.
Try to wipe down your leaf blower after each use to prevent the buildup of dirt, grease, oil, or any other materials that could damage it. Every season, especially if you haven’t used it in a while, remove the old gas from the tank and replace it with fresh gas.
Lastly, where you store your backpack blower is a very important part of its maintenance. Make sure it has cooled all the way down before you store and then place it somewhere that is dry and well-ventilated. Never leave it where children can reach it.
Just be diligent and give it the best care that you can!
Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Models
There are many differences between the cheap and expensive backpack leaf blower models. Needless to say, just because one model is cheaper than the other does not mean it is of lower quality.
I took the price into account when reviewing and ranking these leaf blowers, but I also made sure to focus on how effective and easy to use each model was in order to find the best one.
In my findings, the cheaper blowers generally have fewer accessories or features than the more expensive models. They also tended to have less power and airflow and were heavier and noisier.
I also found the more expensive blowers to be lighter, quieter, more powerful, have higher MPH and CFM, and have more ergonomic components like load-reducing harnesses and hip belts.
These were also the models that have extra technology, such as anti-vibration systems, that make using them more enjoyable.
As I mentioned before, while price was taken into account for each model’s rating, it is not the sole element reviews were based on. Make sure to take every aspect of the backpack leaf blowers listed into account before choosing which one is right for you.
Highest Rated & Top Selling Brands
- Poulon Pro
How Much Should I Expect To Pay?
The 6 best backpack leaf blowers reviewed here range from $200 to $600, with a median price of $375. The price you should expect to pay will depend on what you are looking for in a backpack leaf blower.
For instance, if you want a model that has all the works, such as having an anti-vibration system or being super lightweight and low-noise, you should expect to pay on the higher end of the price range.
However, if you just want a leaf blower with all the basic features and don’t need anything extra like ergonomic components or lightweight accessories, then you should be able to find a model in the lower end of this price range.
For instance, at the lower end of the price range, one model has a 2-stroke engine, a variable-speed throttle control, and a heavy-duty frame.
Another leaf blower on the high end of the price range is powerful, comfortable, and is made with great quality parts. It also uses a mixture of oil and gas and is easy to use.
The price you should expect to pay ultimately comes down to what you are looking for in a backpack leaf blower.
If price is a concern of yours, then you should expect to buy one with minimal components to fit a lower budget around $200 to $300. However, if price is not a concern and you are more concerned with the features you are getting, then you can expect to pay $500 to $600.
Best Backpack Blower Reviews
1) Husqvarna 350BT Backpack Leaf Blower
- Ventilated, integrated harness has a hip-belt that is shaped to the contour of the operator plus wide shoulder straps
- Constant fan speed is maintained with a cruise-control function
- Air purge function removes air from fuel system and carburetor for easier starting
- Gas tank could be larger
- Engine kill switch and throttle cruise control are one and the same
The Husqvarna 350BT is one of the most powerful gas backpack leaf blowers on the market today. It features a 2.1 HP X-Torq 2-stroke engine and can attain a maximum speed of 7,500 RPM, generating a wind speed of up to 180 MPH!
This engine uses 20% less fuel expenditure and approximately 60% fewer emissions.
2) Echo PB-770T Backpack Blower
- Assembly directions are easy to follow
- Lightweight and comfortable with padding and vented back pad
- High-quality padding in the shoulder straps
- See-through fuel tank makes it easy to know when to refuel
- If not careful, using the wrong fuel could ruin the carburetor and require it to be replaced
- Heavy and uses a significant quantity of gas
The Echo PB-770T is a very powerful backpack leaf blower! It features a 63.3 cc professional-grade 2-stroke engine, a variable speed tube-mounted throttle with cruise control, and a 68 fl oz see-through tank so you can see when fuel is getting low.
It can achieve a wind speed of 234 MPH and 756 CFM! For optimal user comfort, this backpack blower also has padding in the back and shoulder straps and a vented back pad for comfort in hot weather. The side mounted heavy-duty dual state air flow filtration gives this unit a longer life.
This backpack gas leaf blower has a wide-angle tube rotation and flexible tube that makes it very easy to use.
3) Poulan Pro PR48BT Backpack Blower
Light, sturdy and can be used for long periods of time without discomfort
- Strong enough to clear rocks, snow from the walkway, or dry your car
- Commercial grade backpack blower features an instant trigger response
- Assembly instructions are confusing
- Very loud and must be used with ear protection
The Poulan Pro PR48BT has a high-powered blowing force that easily handles the cleanup of yard debris and leaves. It has a heavy-duty frame, cruise control, a variable-speed throttle control, and a 2-stroke engine that attains speeds up to 200 MPH.
It comes with a 2-year limited warranty on parts and a detailed user guide.
4) Husqvarna 150BT Backpack Blower
This blower has an airspeed of 250 MPH, a cylinder displacement of 50.2 cm, and weighs just 22.5 pounds
- X-Torq engine increases fuel
efficiency20% and reduces exhaust emissions60%
- Ergonomic harness system includes padded hip-belt and harness
- Should come equipped with a narrow nozzle
- Can be tricky to start at first
The Husqvarna 150BT combines ease of use and very low weight to assist homeowners with a lot of land and who require it to be used for long periods of time. This blower provides reduced emissions and better fuel economy and boasts an X-Torq engine for expanded power.
It also has tube-mounted controls and a harness.
5) Makita EB7650WH MM4 Backpack Blower
- No fuel mixing helps this blower to idle smoother, run quieter, have lower emissions, and provide users with easier and quicker starts
- Lightweight, but also very powerful
- Very comfortable shoulder straps…some of the best out of all that were tested
- On/off button and throttle are located too close to one another
- Instructions are unclear on where to put tubing bands on
The Makita EB7650WH MM4 features a quiet 4-stroke engine (the world’s first!) that doesn’t require fuel mixing, plus an on-off switch and a hip-throttle with cruise control. This compact, lightweight (24.1) blower is engineered for both home owners and commercial work.
It has a maximum air-volume of 670 CFM and a maximum air-speed of 200 MPH.
6) Greenworks PRO BPB80L2510 Backpack Blower
- 145 / 580 CFM blows through debris and wet or dry leaves easily
- Turbo-button and variable-speed trigger provide on-demand power
- 2-year battery / 4-year tool guarantee
- Battery charge only gives 20 to 25 minutes
- Turbo feature really cuts down on run time
The Greenworks BPB80L2510 PRO 80V Max is touted as the most powerful cordless electric backpack blower available today. It weighs just 14.64 pounds and runs on a 2Ah battery charged with an 80V lithium-ion rapid charger.
It claims to have a 30-minute runtime, and uses zero gas, has zero emissions, and requires zero maintenance.
Question: How heavy is a backpack leaf blower?
Answer: The average weight of a backpack leaf blower is approximately 22 pounds. However, depending on the model you buy, it could weigh more or less than 22 pounds. Most range from 15 to 30 pounds.
Also, features such as padded straps and hip belts can lessen the weight felt on the user’s back, so even heavier blowers don’t feel heavy when in use.
Question: How loud (decibels) are backpack blowers?
Answer: A backpack blower can be 64 to 78 decibels when standing 50 feet away and 95 to 115 decibels to the operator of the leaf blower. However, some models feature motors that are less noisy than others or have noise reduction technology, so not all will be this loud.
For reference, a washing machine is usually 75 decibels and a chainsaw is 115 decibels. This is why it is very important to wear noise-cancelling ear protection when operating a backpack leaf blower.
Question: How long does a tank of gas usually last?
Answer: One tank of gas on a backpack leaf blower usually lasts about an hour. However, the amount of time one tank lasts really depends on the size of the tank, the size of the motor, the type of fuel used, and how strongly you use the throttle.
The tank of gas will last longer if you do not use it wide open the entire time you are operating it. If you use it full throttle, the gas tank will run empty sooner.
Question: What is active cooling and why is it important?
Answer: Active cooling is the use of energy to cool hot components of machinery instead of just air, such as with passive cooling. This could be something as simple as a fan coming on when using your backpack leaf blower for a long period of time or something complex like a water-cooling system.
Active cooling is important because, without cooling, the hot components could overheat and cause permanent damage to your machine, or even cause a worse problem such as a fire.
Question: Is vibration a concern?
Answer: Vibration is a common concern in even the best backpack leaf blowers, as is its loudness and sound. Most do not have an excessive amount of vibrating, especially the new designs.
You may feel a slight vibration, but this isn’t a concern. The concern comes in when it begins to vibrate excessively.
This could be a sign of an issue such as a damaged fan blade or an engine problem. If you find your backpack leaf blower is vibrating excessively, then turn it off immediately and inspect it for a problem and get it repaired, if need be, before using it again.
Question: Can I clean my gutters with my backpack blower?
Answer: Yes, you can clean your gutters with a backpack leaf blower if you take the proper safety precautions, such as wearing protective glasses, gloves, and ear muffs. It would be even safer if you could clean your gutters with two feet on the ground instead of climbing a ladder to use your blower.
If you plan on cleaning your gutters with a leaf blower, consider buying specific attachments to make it much easier and keep you from having to climb a ladder. There are a variety of kits available for purchase to make cleaning your gutters easier and safer.
Question: How to hang a backpack leaf blower
Answer: There are many different ways to hang a backpack leaf blower in your home. For starters, you could simply buy a premade storage rack.
There are a variety of premade racks available that hang your unit horizontal, vertical, through hooks, or on shelving. There are plenty of possibilities to meet your needs!
You could also build your own storage and use shelving, hooks, and more to hang your backpack leaf blower. To ensure it is nice and secure, consider using items such as bungee cords to keep it locked in place.
After careful and methodical reviews of over a hundred backpack leaf blowers, I have chosen the Husqvarna 350 as my top pick.
- X-torque engine: the x-torque engine design reduces harmful exhaust emissions by up to 60% and...
- Utilize full blow force with minimal Arm strain: The offset handle makes the blow forces easier to...
In my opinion, it offers the perfect combination of power, weight, and cost. This lightweight blower (22.5 pounds) provides reduced emissions (by approximately 60%), better fuel economy, and increased power.
It also has ergonomically designed controls, adjustable handles, and a harness that has been specially designed for ease of use and high capacity.
It provides the power to blow leaves from about 20 feet away, adjusting for wetness. It also is reasonably priced, easy to assemble, and comes with a cruise control feature.
This backpack leaf blower was my overall favorite.
I’d love to get your opinion as well – please leave a comment below!