Best Backpack Leaf Blowers In 2018
We’ve all been there, it’s a blustery fall day and the leaves on the gorgeous, tall maple tree in your front yard have turned a striking shade of red. You admire the changing foliage just long enough before a gust of wind strikes and, before long, your entire yard is covered in a thick layer of leaves. Before carving out an entire weekend of raking piles in the cool weather, think again. Leaf blowers aren’t just for professional landscape experts!
Table Of Contents
- 1 Product Reviews
- 2 Husqvarna 350 BT Backpack Leaf Blower
- 3 Makita Backpack Leaf Blower
- 4 Black + Decker BEBL7000 Backpack Leaf Blower And Vacuum
- 5 Troy-Bilt Backpack Blower With Jumpstart Technology
- 6 Greenworks PRO 80V Blower
- 7 Husqvarna 580 BTS Backpack Leaf Blower
- 8 Echo PB-580 Backpack Blower
- 9 Poulan Pro Backpack Leaf Blower
- 10 Buyer’s Guide
- 11 Handheld vs Backpack Leaf Blowers
This is why we have researched and compared the best backpack leaf blowers available to purchase below.
Husqvarna 350 BT Backpack Leaf Blower
No matter how many acres you’re caring for, even the most novice of landscape professionals can appreciate equipment that produces lower emissions.
If the idea of breathing in toxic chemicals all afternoon has you feeling more than a little queasy, look no further than the Husqvarna 350 BT Backpack Leaf Blower.
Husqvarna’s 350 BT model uses up to 20% less fuel and emits up to 60% fewer emissions compared to other backpack leaf blowers on the market.
Weighing only 22.5 pounds, the Husqvarna 350 BT Backpack Leaf Blower packs a big punch without inducing the dreaded backache that typically goes hand in hand with lawn work. In fact, the Husqvarna 350 BT model is capable of generating speeds upwards of 180 miles per hour and has a maximum power speed of 7,500 RPM (rotations per minute).
The Husqvarna 350 BT Backpack Leaf Blower even features a unique air purge function that is designed to remove unwanted air from the carburetor for a faster, effortless start-up. This high-quality, high-powered backpack leaf blower proves that you can get the project finished effectively and efficiently without clunky equipment or added weight.
Comfortable Harness & Shoulder Straps
Just because the 350 BT Backpack Leaf Blower is lightweight, doesn’t mean the folks at Husqvarna skimped out on comfort! Unlike other leaf blowers on the market, this model features a ventilated harness and hip strap for a more ergonomic landscaping experience. Like any expensive and high-quality backpack you’ve worn, this Husqvarna backpack blower features padding in the shoulder straps as well as the unit itself to reduce load-bearing.
The Backpack Leaf Blower also features an adjustable handle with soft-grip technology so you can easily adjust speed with just the flip of a switch.
Together, these comfort design features make for better maneuverability and efficiency: two of the most important qualities to consider when shopping around for a new backpack leaf blower.
One of the greatest features of this model is its high-volume, 2.1-horsepower engine. With its patented 2-stroke “X-Torq” technology, the Husqvarna Backpack Leaf Blower is strong enough to remove large quantities of leaves, twigs, mulch, and many other forms of debris.
This backpack leaf blower also features a 42.27-ounce tank which, according to Husqvarna, is capable of sustaining hours of continuous use. The blower also features built-in cruise control to maintain a consistent fan speed throughout your entire project.
Makita Backpack Leaf Blower
By now we’ve thrown around a lot of spec-specific equipment terms. From toque to air quality, stroke engines to horsepower and everything in between, it can be easy to get lost in the mechanical jargon. To understand one of the best features of the Makita Backpack Leaf Blower, we need to dive right into a couple of these terms: 2 versus 4-Stroke engines.
Otherwise known as 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines, these terms are really just a complicated way of describing how the engines run. We’ve boiled down the details for you with this quick-reference guide below:
- Require a mixture of gasoline (fuel) and oil to operate
- Easy to design and typically cheaper
- While cheaper than 4-Stroke engines, 2-Stroke models are usually much louder and emit more air pollutants
- Less common on the leaf blower market
- Only require gasoline to function (no mixing needed!)
- More fuel-efficient
- Typically heavier than 2-Stroke engines (more moving parts)
So, what sets the Makita Backpack Leaf Blower apart from other leaf blowers we’ve reviewed? For starters, this backpack leaf blower is one of the only models on the market featuring an efficient 4-Stroke engine without a significant amount of added weight. This important feature goes to show that you don’t need to sacrifice efficiency or speed when shopping for a quieter, single-fuel backpack leaf blower!
No Fuel Mix Needed
If you are already a landscape pro, chances are you’re well-acquainted with the proper fuel to oil ratio of your backpack leaf blower. However, if you’re a leaf blowing newbie, the idea of mixing combustible liquids might sound a little intimidating (if not a tad bit dangerous!).
Luckily for you, the Makita Backpack Leaf Blower has all of the perks of other high-quality leaf blowers on the market without the unnecessary at-home science project.
So, how does it all work? While most 2-stroke engine leaf blowers require both oil and gasoline to function, this Makita model has a 4-stroke engine that operates entirely on gasoline alone. This means you will never be caught low on oil or anxiously searching for the proper gasoline to oil recipe before tackling your next landscaping project!
Commercial Grade Airspeed
With a powerful 75.6 cc engine, the Makita Backpack Leaf Blower has a maximum speed capability of 200 miles per hour! Better yet, this commercial grade speed can produce an air volume of 670 cubic feet per minute (CFM) and can easily remove even the toughest debris from your lawn, driveway or sidewalk.
Makita’s backpack blower is also equipped with an automatic engine decompression, which makes for an easier, faster, and more efficient start-up time. Weighing in at only 22.6 pounds (that’s only 0.1 pounds more than our other Editor’s Choice!), the Makita Backpack Leaf Blower gives you all of the benefits of a high-powered, commercial grade leaf blower without the added headache of mixing fuel or carrying heavy equipment.
Another great feature of the Makita Backpack Leaf Blower is its built-in anti-vibration design. These mounts, located between the frame and the engine, have been specially designed to cut down vibrations during use for a more comfortable and quieter experience.
Similarly, this backpack leaf blower features padded shoulder straps that are designed to be tweaked for a custom fit along with a ventilated, padded back panel.
The customization possibilities don’t end there though since the Makita Backpack Leaf Blower also features an adjustable tube to meet the height of virtually any operator and a tool-less handle that can be adjusted in a matter of seconds. The built-in muffler also cuts down on sound (and that annoying ringing in your ears) for an ideal landscaping experience.
Black + Decker BEBL7000 Backpack Leaf Blower And Vacuum
Most backpack leaf blowers that are currently available on the market are just that: leaf blowers. What largely sets the Black + Decker BEBL7000 model apart from other leaf blowers is that it is a leaf blower and a leaf vacuum all in one! Black + Decker’s leaf blower also features a lightweight, portable backpack, power-boost technology, and a high-powered engine comparable to other traditional leaf blowers. In fact, this model can reach speeds up to 250 miles per hour and has a 400 CFM air volume.
The versatility of the Black + Decker BEBL7000 Backpack Leaf Blower and Vacuum makes it an ideal choice for anyone with a large yard, well-cared-for shrubbery, and beautiful, old trees (that always seem to shed their leaves each fall by the bucket load). We especially love that this model brings you the best of both worlds when it comes to lawn care, all at one low price!
Unlike other leaf blowers on the market that have clunky metal or plastic frames to tote around, Black + Decker’s BEBL7000 Backpack Leaf Blower features a durable cloth bag. With this model, the actual leaf blower is designed in the handle making space for all of those leaves and debris when using the vacuum function.
The Black + Decker BEBL7000 Backpack Leaf Blower and Vacuum only weighs 11.1 pounds, which is nearly half that of other models we’ve reviewed! This means you can enjoy hours of landscaping projects without the hassle of lugging around a heavy piece of equipment.
When using the Black + Decker BEBL7000 model as a leaf vacuum, the last thing you want to do is fumble around with a stuck zipper. Think of it this way, after you’ve spent hours vacuuming up all of the leaves and twigs on a crisp fall day, do you want all of that hard work to go to waste because you forced a zipper, sending a wave of debris cascading around you? We didn’t think so.
Black + Decker’s unique, easy-open bag ensures that your hard work stays put while you work and quickly dumps whenever you’re finished with your project. The best part? Since the backpack bag is lightweight to begin with (and those leaves you’re cleaning up weigh next to nothing themselves), you will never have to carry heavy weights on your back with this leaf blower!
Converts From Leaf Blower To Leaf Vacuum
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: versatility matters. When it comes to lawn care equipment, most of us would prefer not to have a shed full of miscellaneous blowers, vacuums, and mulchers. This is especially true if space is at a premium in your home or you lack the resources to invest in multiple pieces of equipment.
Whether you’re cleaning up fall’s foliage, mulching in the spring, or clearing clippings after a summertime mowing, the Black + Decker BEBL700 Leaf Blower and Vacuum is designed to tackle it all. With just the flip of a switch in the handheld engine, this model quickly converts from a leaf blower to a leaf vacuum as many times as you need!
Troy-Bilt Backpack Blower With Jumpstart Technology
At first glance, the Troy-Bilt Backpack Blower with Jumpstart Technology looks so compact that you may just wonder if it’s a leaf blower at all! Rest assured though, this lean machine packs a big punch and delivers a maximum airspeed of 150 miles per hour and 500 CFM air volume. Featuring a premium 32 cc, 4-Stroke engine, the Troy-Bilt Backpack Blower is capable of blowing large quantities of leaves, cuttings, sticks, and debris.
Weighing 21.8 pounds, Troy-Bilt’s model has a comparable weight to most leaf blowers on the market with added features like high torque, multiple blower speeds, a flexible tube to easily maneuver around any obstacles that may come your way, and a patented CoolFlex backpack designed to keep you cool during even the steamiest of summer days.
Most leaf blowers (backpack or handheld) require you to pull a start cord multiple times to rev up the equipment before use. The Troy-Bilt Backpack Blower, by comparison, features unique Jumpstart technology that eliminates the need to pull a start cord ever again! Once the engine is up and running (again, in only a matter of seconds), you can enjoy powerful torque and superior blowing capabilities to tackle even the largest pile of leaves! And, just like the Makita blower we reviewed earlier, you won’t need to worry about mixing fuel and oil with this 4-Stroke engine!
Another unique feature of the Troy-Bilt Backpack Blower is its spring-assist cord that effortlessly pulls the cord back into place after use. Unlike most leaf blowers on the market that feature traditional, non-spring cords, the Troy-Bilt model ensures that you’ll never get tangled in a floppy cord ever again.
Multiple Blower Speeds
Many backpack leaf blowers on the market feature two-speed settings: on and off. That’s all well and good until you are confronted with a mix of heavy and light types of debris on the job (which, let’s face it, most of us do). A small knob on the handle of the Troy-Bilt Backpack Blower puts the power in the palm of your hand, so you can quickly adjust the airspeed at a moment’s notice.
Greenworks PRO 80V Blower
In the age of smartphones, self-driving cars, and virtual reality, it’s a little startling that most of our home gadgets still need to be plugged into a wall outlet to function. Well, take a step into the future landscaping pros because the Greenworks PRO 80V Blower is completely cordless!
Packed with a slew of other great specs, it’s easy to see why the Greenworks leaf blower is one of the most popular cordless leaf blowers on the market. Some of the great features we love in this model include:
- Brushless motor for efficiency
- Variable speed trigger
- Turbo button for a blast of increased airflow when you need it
- 4-year device warranty
- 2-year battery warranty
- 145 miles per hour speed capacity
- 580 CFM air volume
- Only weighs 14.6 pounds!
Easy Start, Cordless Design
Featuring an 80-volt battery pack and charging station, the Greenworks PRO 80V backpack leaf blower is the only completely cordless model we’ve reviewed. Why? Well, as it turns out, it’s not easy to pack all of the benefits of a traditional leaf blower into a cordless, completely electric design.
Like most things in life, the Greenworks PRO 80V backpack leaf blower isn’t without its fair share of pluses and minuses though. Since this leaf blower is entirely cordless, you are somewhat limited by its battery life. According to the manufacturer, this leaf blower can run for up to 30 minutes when the battery is fully charged. This may be just fine if you’re working on smaller projects but, if you anticipate working for longer than 30 minutes at a time, this may not be the ideal leaf blower for you.
Fast Charge Time
Before you go and write off this cordless model completely due to its 30-minute run time, hear us out. Yes, the Greenworks PRO 80V Blower can only run for 30 minutes at a time, but did you know that it also only takes 30 minutes to charge completely? Think about it this way, in the time it would take you to enjoy a much-needed water break during a summer day of yard work or a cup of hot cocoa on a brisk fall day, this cordless leaf blower would be fully charged and ready to go wherever your next project may take you.
Cruise Control Capabilities
Just like some of the larger cord-style backpack leaf blowers we’ve reviewed, this Greenworks model comes packed with cruise control capabilities.
The biggest benefit of this feature is that you won’t need to keep your hand on the speed control toggle, thus cutting down hand strain and fatigue. The Greenworks PRO 80V Blower is also equipped with a turbo button, which provides you with a blast of powerful air when you need it during particularly tough jobs. This, combined with the Greenworks PRO’s powerful engine, makes it a great choice when you will be working on a variety of landscaping projects.
Husqvarna 580 BTS Backpack Leaf Blower
Similar to its 350 BT cousin, the Husqvarna 580 BTS Backpack Leaf Blower is designed to cut down on emissions for a cleaner, more efficient landscaping experience. What really sets this Husqvarna model apart though, are its increased speed capabilities and torque power. We like to think of the 350 BT model as a starter backpack leaf blower, while the super-charged 580 BTS is a truly professional grade piece of lawn care equipment.
As far as weight goes, the Husqvarna 580 BTS Backpack Leaf Blower weighs slightly more than its 350 counterpart at 25.8 pounds. This isn’t surprising considering that the engine packed in this professional model needs to be somewhat heavier to account for the greater speed capabilities, air volume, and overall torque.
Arguably the best feature of the Husqvarna 580 BTS Backpack Leaf Blower is its exhaust-reducing, eco-friendly design that cuts unwanted greenhouse emissions by up to 60%. Likewise, this backpack leaf blower increases fuel efficiency by up to 20% just like its 350 BT counterpart.
We love that Husqvarna has made a commitment to reducing emissions across its product line, so you can rest easy knowing your lawn care duties won’t hurt Mother Earth. And, as we’ve said before, lower emissions also make for increased efficiency and better fuel usage so you can make fewer trips to the gas station for a tank refill! With its super-charged, 75.6 cc engine, the Husqvarna 580 BTS Backpack Leaf Blower has a maximum capacity of 208 miles per hour!
Built-In Air Filtration
One feature that sets the 580 BTS model apart from the 350 BT blower is its unique, built-in air filtration system. Using a specially designed centrifugal air injection system, this cleaning system reduces large dust particles and debris well before they reach the air filter. This gives you fewer days spent cleaning out your backpack leaf blower’s air filter, a longer engine life, and less chance of accidentally swallowing a chunk of dirt or tree bark (because, let’s be honest, nobody needs fiber that much!).
Another great feature of the Husqvarna 580 BTS Backpack Leaf Blower is its entirely adjustable, completely customizable handle. Like its equally ergonomic features, the adjustable handle means you’ll never end your day outside with a backache from hunching over all afternoon!
Echo PB-580 Backpack Blower
When it comes to lawn care and landscaping equipment, one name consistently stands out above the rest: Echo.
As one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of leaf blowers, chainsaws, trimmers and tillers, it’s no surprise that the Echo PB-580 Backpack Blower made our list of the best backpack leaf blowers.
In addition to the amazing features discussed below, this Echo model also boasts:
- A metal wear ring to protect the blower pipe from typical wear and tear or damage on the job
- A specially-designed, pleated air filtration system to promote the longevity of your engine and backpack leaf blower’s life
- A vented back panel that allows for greater operator comfort on those steamy summer days
- Padded back pad and shoulder straps for added comfort
- Patented connectors that ensure the blower tube never falls out of place
- An adjustable throttle located conveniently in the palm of your hand on the handle
Large Capacity Fuel Tank
With a fuel capacity of 62 fl. oz., the Echo PB-580 backpack leaf blower has one of the largest fuel capacities of any of the models we reviewed. You’d think that this added capacity would mean a heavier device overall but, believe it or not, the Echo PB-580 Blower only weighs 22.6 pounds! This means that you can spend more time outside caring for the lawn, shrubbery or flowerbeds you love so much and less time filling up that classic red fuel tank at the gas station (you know the one we’re talking about – the one that usually collects dust in the back of your truck or garage!).
Operator Cooling Feature
Unlike other backpack leaf blowers on the market that feature a simple, padded back pad, the Echo PB-580 Blower has a unique ventilated fan in the back of the device to cool the operator during use. You read that right: your lawn care equipment can actually cool you down when you’re baking away on those steamy summer weekends! By allowing the air to circulate (instead of accumulate), you and the unit stay cooler for longer. This means you run less of a risk of experiencing an over-heated engine and will not need to cut your project short due to mechanical failure! Still unconvinced? Echo offers a 5-year consumer warranty and a 2-year commercial warranty, so your investment will be protected for years to come.
Another great feature of the Echo PB-580 backpack leaf blower is its built-in leaf guard. If you’re asking yourself something along the lines of, “Okay, but why should I care?” listen up: leaf guards ensure the longevity of your blower and help protect the engine. By eliminating the likelihood of unwanted leaves or debris getting caught in the engine, you can rest assured that you will also avoid dangerous back-up or engine damage.
Poulan Pro Backpack Leaf Blower
Another great name in lawn care equipment? Poulan! Known around the globe as a leading manufacturer of leaf blowers, Poulan’s Pro Backpack Leaf Blower is a great choice for landscaping enthusiasts and novices alike.
Featuring a contoured and ergonomic design, the Poulan Pro Backpack Leaf Blower can be tightened and adjusted for an optimal fit which, in turn, lowers fatigue and back pain.
This might not seem like an important feature now while you’re clicking away through reviews and products online but, believe us, your back will thank you for choosing a backpack leaf blower that prioritizes ergonomic design!
The Poulan Pro Backpack Leaf Blower also features a unique, cylinder displacement engine that can pack 475 CFM of air volume. Likewise, this backpack leaf blower can also reach speeds upwards of 200 miles per hour and can stand up to even the messiest of trimmings, fallen leaves, or miscellaneous debris.
Heavy Duty Frame
While many backpack leaf blowers are made of plastic, the Poulan Pro Backpack Leaf Blower is made of a heavy-duty steel frame. This design feature ensures that your backpack leaf blower will endure everything from everyday wear and tear to accidental drops, all the while preserving the integrity of its high-powered engine.
Another unique feature of the Poulan Pro’s frame? It is almost entirely ventilated! This ensures that the engine never over-heats and you can avoid carting around a burning-hot piece of lawn care equipment on your back for hours on end. We particularly love this feature since metal can tend to heat up faster than plastics and, without this ventilated design, this backpack leaf blower may become hot to the touch!
The only downside to an almost completely ventilated design, however, is an increased likelihood of debris to make its way into the device or engine. After all, leaf blowing does entail a certain amount of airborne leaves, twigs, mulch, and dirt, and the open design of this model may make it easier for this debris to become dislodged in the device itself.
Speed Throttle Control
When you’re shopping around for a new backpack leaf blower, convenience should be at the top of your priority list. That’s why we love that the Poulan Pro Backpack Leaf Blower features a high-tech variable speed control built right into the blower tube. With just the touch of a button, you can easily switch gears from cruise control to higher or lower airspeeds depending on the length and difficulty of your current landscaping project.
Just as the shoulder pads and back harness are ergonomic, so is the blower tube! Deliberately angled to naturally point in a downward direction, the Poulan Pro’s blower tube reduces wrist strain so you can easily remove debris from virtually any surface without reaching for an over-the-counter pain reliever (after all, nobody likes arm or wrist pain after a long, hot day working in the sun!).
Weighing in at 22 pounds, the Poulan Pro Backpack Leaf Blower is comparable to other 2-Stroke engine models we’ve reviewed. So, what makes this design feature unique to the Poulan leaf blower? Again, unlike other leaf blowers on the market, Poulan’s model is constructed from a top-of-the-line, durable steel frame. While you may think that this added hardiness would simultaneously mean a heavier weight, Poulan proves that you don’t need to sacrifice portability for durability!
While there are a lot of great options to choose from in the leaf blower market, our top choice for the best all-around backpack leaf blower is the Husqvarna 350 BT Backpack Leaf Blower. With a guarantee of lowering emissions by up to 60% in a design that simultaneously uses up to 20% less fuel, it’s easy to see why Husqvarna is such a beloved manufacturer in the landscaping industry. We also love that the 350 BT model is equipped with a high-volume tank without sacrificing comfort.
They say you can’t really compare apples to oranges and, in this case, that seems to be the case! We love the Husqvarna 350 BT Backpack Leaf Blower as our top choice for a 2-Stroke blower and are equally excited about the Makita Backpack Leaf Blower as our top choice in the 4-Stroke category.
As you’ve learned by now, there are advantages and disadvantages to both the 2-Stroke and 4-Stroke models out there, and we are delighted to be able to recommend such great products in both classifications. The Makita Backpack Leaf Blower is our clear choice for the best 4-Stroke backpack leaf blower on the market given its commercial airspeed and anti-vibration design, making it an ideal choice for landscaping pros that want all the perks of a 2-Stroke engine without the added noise.
First impressions matter and, in many ways, our outdoor living spaces are the first impressions that most people get before being welcomed into our homes. For that reason, we understand that you want your lawn, entryway, garden, and driveway to look their very best.
Adding a leaf blower into your landscaping routine can put the finishing touch on your lawn after a good mowing, put your expensive mulch back in its place after a rough storm, and save you hours of wasted time raking leaves the old-fashioned way.
Benefits Of A Backpack Leaf Blower
Even if you live in an environment where it stays warm all year round or on a property without falling leaves, a backpack leaf blower is still an important investment in your landscaping arsenal. If you pride yourself on having the greenest, most luscious lawn in the neighborhood, chances are you’ve mastered the fine art of a close mowing, but what about all of the cuttings and debris left behind afterward? With a backpack leaf blower, you’ll never have to sweep unwanted grass clippings from your driveway again. The same goes for those leftover twigs, needles, and leaves after trimming shrubbery, small trees, and even flowers!
No matter how big or small your outdoor space may be, we understand that you want this area to reflect the stylish and tidy qualities of the rest of your home. There is no better place to start in your landscaping journey than with a backpack leaf blower, so we’ve done all the hard work for you by researching the best models on the market today. Whether you’re looking for a professional-grade piece of equipment or a cordless model for smaller projects, as the saying goes, “There’s a leaf blower for that!”
Less Pain, More Gain
When it comes to leaf blowers, there is a reason that a bulk of the models available on the market today feature a backpack design: portability and comfort. By placing the majority of the equipment’s weight on your back as opposed to your hand or wrist, most manufacturers are able to more evenly distribute the pounds so you can avoid strains and pains on the job or during your next DIY project.
Projects You Can Tackle With a Backpack Leaf Blower
When you hear the words “leaf blower,” what are the first things that come to mind? If like us, visions of piles of fall leaves are dancing with your head, you’re not wrong; leaf blowers of all kinds are, in large part, designed to remove unwanted leaves in between seasons. But what if we told you that there are a bunch of other landscaping projects you can finish with a backpack leaf blower? The below projects truly are just the tip of the iceberg:
- Clean-up after lawn mowing
- Mulch cleaning
- Light snow removal
- Clean-up after fallen twigs or needles
- Clean-up after topiary sculpting or shrubbery trimming
Handheld vs Backpack Leaf Blowers
There are two basic designs in the leaf blower world: handheld models and backpack models. We’ve gone through the benefits of a backpack model, but what about equipment featuring a handheld design? We’ve saved you hours of researching by summarizing the pros and cons of handheld leaf blowers below:
Using Your Leaf Blower Responsibly
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, greenhouse gas emissions from lawn care equipment are an often overlooked contribution to our planet’s declining state. To reduce your carbon footprint (regardless of the backpack leaf blower you choose), follow these tips:
- Avoid unnecessarily idling your lawn care equipment
- Do not “warm up” your backpack leaf blower before use
- Use your backpack leaf blower efficiently (aka turn it off in between projects)
When you compare handheld models to backpack leaf blowers, it’s easy to see why backpack models are clearly a better investment. After all, you never know when your outdoor living space will grow or how long you will stay in that garden-level apartment with a tiny terrace. Since most of the handheld leaf blowers available on the market cost a pretty penny, it is a much better investment to opt for a leaf blower that can handle all of your projects now and in the future, both big and small!