Backpack Leaf Blowers

Husqvarna 150BT

Husqvarna 150BT

  • Power: Gas-Powered
  • Vacuum: No
  • Handling: Backpack
  • Weight: 22.5 lbs
  • Engine: 50.2 cc
  • Noise: 94 dB
  • MPH: Up to 251
  • Speed Settings: Variable Speed
  • CFM: Up to 434
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Echo PB-8010T

Echo PB-8010T

  • Power: Gas-Powered
  • Vacuum: No
  • Handling: Backpack
  • Weight: 24.5 lbs
  • Engine: 79.9 cc
  • Noise: 79.3 dB
  • MPH: Up to 211
  • Speed Settings: Variable Speed
  • CFM: Up to 1071
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Echo PB-755ST

Echo PB-755ST

  • Power: Gas-Powered
  • Vacuum: No
  • Handling: Backpack
  • Weight: 24.7 lbs
  • Engine: 63.3 cc
  • Noise: 74 dB
  • MPH: Up to 233
  • Speed Settings: Variable Speed
  • CFM: Up to 651
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Ryobi RY38BP

Ryobi RY38BP

  • Power: Gas-Powered
  • Vacuum: No
  • Handling: Backpack
  • Weight: 20.2 lbs
  • Engine: 38 cc
  • Noise: 75.5 dB
  • MPH: Up to 175
  • Speed Settings: Variable Speed
  • CFM: Up to 760
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Stihl BR 600

Stihl BR 600

  • Power: Gas-Powered
  • Vacuum: No
  • Handling: Backpack
  • Weight: 21.6 lbs
  • Engine: 64.8 cc
  • Noise: 75 dB
  • MPH: Up to 238
  • Speed Settings: Variable Speed
  • CFM: Up to 677
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Poulan Pro PR48BT

Poulan Pro PR48BT

  • Power: Gas-Powered
  • Vacuum: No
  • Handling: Backpack
  • Weight: 22 lbs
  • Engine: 48 cc
  • Noise: 96.7 dB
  • MPH: Up to 200
  • Speed Settings: Variable Speed
  • CFM: Up to 475
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RedMax EBZ8500

RedMax EBZ8500

  • Power: Gas-Powered
  • Vacuum: No
  • Handling: Backpack
  • Weight: 24.7 lbs
  • Engine: 75.6 cc
  • Noise: 103 dB
  • MPH: Up to 206
  • Speed Settings: Variable Speed
  • CFM: Up to 908
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Echo PB-8010H

Echo PB-8010H

  • Power: Gas-Powered
  • Vacuum: No
  • Handling: Backpack
  • Weight: 24.8 lbs
  • Engine: 79.9 cc
  • Noise: 79.3 dB
  • MPH: Up to 211
  • Speed Settings: Variable Speed
  • CFM: Up to 1071
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-14%
Stihl BR 350

Stihl BR 350

  • Power: Gas-Powered
  • Vacuum: No
  • Handling: Backpack
  • Weight: 22 lbs
  • Engine: 63.3 cc
  • Noise: 74 dB
  • MPH: Up to 201
  • Speed Settings: Variable Speed
  • CFM: Up to 436
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Echo PB-755SH

Echo PB-755SH

  • Power: Gas-Powered
  • Vacuum: No
  • Handling: Backpack
  • Weight: 24.7 lbs
  • Engine: 63.3 cc
  • Noise: 74 dB
  • MPH: Up to 233
  • Speed Settings: Variable Speed
  • CFM: Up to 651
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The Design

As their name suggests, backpack blowers are air blowing devices designed to be worn on the back of the user. The engine is situated in the backpack, along with a fuel tank, while the nozzle, through which the air is ejected, is connected via flexible tubing. This design allows for the utilization of larger, more powerful engines that could not be carried comfortably in hand, but are more mobile than walk-behind devices.

Characteristics – What to expect from Backpack Blowers

Power

Since backpack blowers have larger engines compared to handheld devices, with the average displacements of 61 cc and 26 cc respectively, it is reasonable to expect a higher blowing power from them and hence a higher CFM. When comparing their average values, backpacks beat the average of handheld devices by over 200. The MPH may vary based on the design, specifically the diameter of the nozzle and thus the averages come very close, differing only by 40. For a more detailed explanation of these two parameters, check our guide dedicated to MPH and CFM.

With that said, both backpack and handheld leaf blowers remain far behind the walk-behind models in terms of performance, since their average engine displacement constitutes 291 cc.

(Though this of course may not be the case when comparing two completely different price categories)

Power source

Backpack leaf blowers come in both gasoline and battery-powered variants. The gasoline engine types utilize both 2-stroke and 4-stroke designs without any discrimination.

The size and weight distribution of the backpacks allows for high volume tanks and batteries. The result are longer operation times and a higher wattage of the motor. In general, roughly 70 oz tanks and 7.5 Ah batteries can be expected. As for a comparison, handheld devices feature only roughly 20 oz tanks and 3 Ah batteries (few reaching 6 Ah).

Versatility

Backpack blowers generally offer a versatile experience. Variable speed settings are a common feature from the lower middle class devices upwards. However, none of the backpack devices listed in our database includes the ability to vacuum.

Handling

Backpack blowers are heavy. Their weight ranges from 11.7 to 37 lbs, although exceptions do exist. However, the overall comfort and the subjective feeling of heaviness boil down to the design of the device. The most comfortable devices will feature a hip belt and sufficiently padded straps. Many backpack blowers feature a tube-mount throttle and therefore allow you to keep your left hand free, whereas other blowers will have a hip-mount throttle, which can make it easier on your right hand if you operate them over an extended period of time.

The vast majority of the devices are designed as right handed, without the option to switch the side at which the nozzle is located. While flexibility of the nozzle varies by make, it is most commonly analogous to the flexibility of a cocktail straw.

As a result, the mobility of these devices may be limited compared to the handheld units, yet they are often far more comfortable to operate, especially when considering professional use.

Noise Rating

Backpack blowers are VERY LOUD. Their noise ratings of their gasoline versions reach commonly over 70 dB and up to 85 dB. The motor itself is situated just a few inches away from the user’s ears and thus, may impair his hearing. It is highly recommended to use high quality hearing protection when operating these devices, such as ear plugs or safety ear muffs. Be sure to also check up on any regulations in your area, since many leaf blowers may be outright banned in some cities.

Maintenance

The backpack leaf blower is quite large and will require more thorough cleaning than its handheld counterpart.

Price

Depending on the brand and power, the price of a backpack unit can greatly vary, starting at $151.07 for the cheapest backpack blower and reaching up to $822.12.

Popular brands

According to our research, the most popular products come from 4 brands in the following order. Stihl, Husqvarna, Echo and Makita. Most products of each of the brand occupy their own price category.

Who are they for?

By the listed criteria, it is obvious that backpack blowers are a more powerful substitute for handheld leaf blowers. When considering larger areas, which require more power, duration and operation time, backpacks are often the best option.

Their battery-powered version is a great solution in areas with strict noise or emission restrictions, since the power of cordless handheld blowers can often be insufficient, even for very basic chores.

However, due to the lack of their flexibility, they may be disqualified from leaf blowing that involves crevices and irregular terrain.

Their weight may be issue as well – Backpack leaf blowers may not be suitable for women, children and the elderly.

Lastly, if you lack the storage space for both a large device and a pile of leaves, look elsewhere – Blower vacs could be a better option, yet none of them come in a form of a backpack.

Summary

Backpack blowers provide substantial power and range, yet at a high price. While they may be quite comfortable compared to the handheld devices, they are louder, less flexible and more expensive. They also do not offer a vacuuming feature.

PROS:
  • Immense power
  • Long range
  • Large fuel/battery capacity
  • Comfortable

CONS:
  • Very loud (gas version)
  • Can be expensive
  • Large and heavy
  • Not flexible
  • No vacuum
  • Almost exclusively right handed

Leaf Blower Guide
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