The Best Backpack Leaf Blowers of 2022

Put down your rake and pick up one of these powerful landscape helpers. These backpack leaf blowers will make quick work of messy yard debris.

By Mark Wolfe | Updated Jun 25, 2022 7:37 PM

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Best Backpack Leaf Blower Options

Photo: Mark Wolfe

With a backpack leaf blower, yard cleanup is a snap. They make quick work of removing fallen leaves, grass clippings, dirt, and other debris from your property. Leaf blowers with adapter pipes can even clean rain gutters. If you want to spend less time on yard work, a leaf blower can help speed up many projects. With so many models of leaf blowers on the market, however, deciding on which one to buy can be a challenge.

Whether your yard is large or small, or whether you prioritize lower emissions, higher air velocity, or the least amount of noise, there’s probably a leaf blower that fits the bill for your needs. We tested the best backpack leaf blowers in several different categories. Be sure to check out our reviews a bit later. But first, we’ll take a look at the key considerations that elevated these blowers to the top of the list.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Husqvarna 360BT Backpack Blower
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Poulan Pro PR48BT, 2-Cycle Gas Backpack Leaf Blower
  3. BEST QUIET OPERATION: Makita EB5300TH 4-Stroke Engine Backpack Blower
  4. BEST LIGHTWEIGHT BATTERY: Greenworks Pro 80V Cordless Backpack Leaf Blower
  5. BEST LIGHTWEIGHT GAS: Schröder Backpack Gas Leaf Blower SR-6400L
  6. BEST FOR LARGE YARDS: Echo PB-580T 58.2 CC Back Pack Blower
  7. ALSO CONSIDER: EGO Power+ LB6000 600 CFM Backpack Blower
  8. HONORABLE MENTION: Ryobi 175 MPH 2-Cycle Gas Backpack Leaf Blower
Best Backpack Leaf Blower Options

Photo: Mark Wolfe

Types of Backpack Leaf Blowers

While there are many factors to consider when searching for the right backpack leaf blower, the main difference among the options is whether they are powered by either gasoline or electricity. The power source affects the leaf blower’s weight, airspeed, runtime, and other factors.

Gas-Powered 

Gas-powered blowers are the go-to choice for landscaping professionals because they offer high power and lots of runtime per tank of fuel. They efficiently clean up large properties without the user having to stop and refill the gas tank. Gas-powered blowers are ideal for yards of ½-acre and larger, where battery-powered blowers run out of power. They’re also great for smaller properties with heavy leaf cover that require more consistent power for efficient cleanup.

Gas powered blowers require both fuel and oil, which adds to their operating cost. They emit exhaust fumes and should only be used in well-ventilated outdoor spaces.

Battery-Powered 

Battery-powered backpack blowers offer a clean-running, lightweight alternative to gas-powered blowers. They work especially well for smaller properties of less than ½-acre, and where leaf cover is lighter. Runtime varies significantly among models. Power settings also have a lot to do with how long a blower will run: On average, battery-powered blowers can run for as short as 10 minutes on high power to as long as 1½ hours on low power.

The performance of most battery-powered backpack leaf blowers is similar to that of gas-powered blowers, but the battery-powered blowers run for a shorter length of time. Because it can take an hour or more to recharge a blower’s batteries, some owners buy additional batteries to avoid downtime.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Backpack Leaf Blower

There are several key considerations to bear in mind when shopping for a new leaf blower. It needs to be powerful enough to clear debris and have sufficient power (in the battery or in the fuel tank) to do the whole yard. In this section, we’ll take a close look at these and other important shopping considerations.

Yard Size 

Properties larger than ½-acre with leafy trees, lots of grass, outbuildings, and other areas that require detailed cleaning benefit from maximum runtime and airflow from a gas-powered blower. A powerful blower with a long runtime blows debris farther and faster than a less-powerful model. They’re also more efficient because users don’t have to stop their work to refuel or change the blower’s batteries.

A lightweight battery-powered blower is suitable for a smaller property or if only blowing leaves off the sidewalk, the patio, or the driveway.

Power Source and Runtime

Battery power is measured in volts (V). Battery-powered blowers usually have a limited runtime of about 1½ hours maximum for light-duty applications. Heavy-duty blowing decreases the runtime to as little as 10 to 15 minutes.

Gas-powered blowers are limited only by the size of their fuel tanks. Engine size is measured in cubic centimeters (cc). Most gas blowers’ tanks hold enough fuel to operate at high power for 1½ to 3 hours.

2-Cycle vs. 4-Cycle Engine

Gasoline-powered blowers have either a 2-cycle or a 4-cycle engine. A 2-cycle engine needs one revolution of the crankshaft to produce a powerstroke, while a 4-cycle engine needs two revolutions of the crankshaft to produce the powerstroke. A 2-cycle engine produces more power than the same size 4-cycle engine.

Blowers with 2-cycle engines require a fuel mixture of gas and oil that powers and lubricates the engine at the same time, while 4-cycle engines run on gasoline and have a separate oil reservoir to lubricate the engine. On average, efficient 2-cycle engines produce more power than 4-cycle engines of the same size, but clean-running 4-cycle engines produce lower emissions.

Air Volume and Speed

The two best measurements of a leaf blower’s performance are the air volume, measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm), and the airspeed, measured in miles per hour (mph). Air volume is how much air moves through the machine, while airspeed measures how fast it is moving. The better measurement of leaf-moving ability is cfm.

Manufacturers indicate the average maximum cfm and mph values on product labels, but the speed at which blowers truly operate depends on the user. Users control backpack blowers’ power settings via a trigger or a lever. The machine needs to run on full power to reach the maximum cfm and mph ratings indicated on the product’s package. To clean up hard surfaces like driveways and patios, 400 cfm blowers are sufficient. Use a 500 to 700 cfm blower for larger properties with significant lawn and leaf areas.

Weight 

Battery-operated backpack blowers weigh as little as 15 pounds, while their gasoline-powered counterparts average about 10 pounds heavier. Weight certainly affects comfort, especially on large properties where leaf blowing may take an hour or more.

A leaf blower’s weight generally coincides with its power, so it’s not always prudent to purchase the lightest model. Instead, choose the blower with an ideal combination of weight and high power.

Comfort Features

Comfort minimizes user fatigue and reduces the chance of injury. Features that affect user comfort include the leaf blower’s size, harness system, hand controls, and tube.

The user’s body size dictates which overall machine dimensions are appropriate. A tall and heavy user can operate any size blower, but an operator with a smaller frame would more likely be most comfortable using a compact blower.

The leaf blower’s harness system can feature an adjustable waist strap and adjustable shoulder straps, all with plenty of padding, plus a sternum strap for added stability and balance. Tubes that flex and rotate comfortably at the user’s elbow are usually more comfortable. The hand controls that are sensitive enough to work smoothly, single-handedly, are easier to use, too.

Noise

Backpack blowers average 95 to 105 decibels (dB), measured at the user’s ear level. To avoid hearing loss, it is important to wear earplugs or over-ear protection while operating a leaf blower.

Some municipalities have noise ordinances that dictate how loud machinery can be, so be sure to check local laws before purchasing a new blower. There are low-noise backpack leaf blowers on the market that average between 58 and 70 dB and are powerful to get the job done efficiently.

Accessories

Several safety accessories help minimize the risks of injury while operating a blower. In addition to hearing protection, leaf-blower manufacturers and OSHA recommend the use of safety glasses to keep lawn debris out of the eyes. A high-visibility safety vest, hat, and gloves allow users working near streets and sidewalks to be seen by oncoming traffic.

Other helpful accessories include extra batteries for cordless electric blowers and a spark plug wrench and fuel funnel for gasoline-powered blowers.

Our Top Picks

After weighing the shopping considerations outlined above, we tested eight of the industry’s best backpack blowers in our own backyard test course. Whether you maintain a large or a small property, and whether you need more power or less noise, you may find just the right fit on this list of some of the best backpack leaf blowers on the market.

Best Overall

Best Backpack Leaf Blower Options: Husqvarna 967144301
Photo: amazon.com

The Husqvarna 360BT gas-powered backpack leaf blower is a good all-around pick for large or small landscapes at a midrange price. The 65-cc 2-cycle X-Torq engine pushes up to 631 cfm of air at 232 mph for general landscape cleanup. This machine weighs in at 23.5 pounds. Its engine was louder than most of the others we tested, but it was easy to start and comfortable to carry. But this blower really excelled in air movement, easily outperforming all the others we tested.

Husqvarna’s X-Torq engine design reduces exhaust emissions by up to 60 percent and increases fuel efficiency by up to 20 percent. Dampeners between the engine and chassis reduce vibrations. The padded harness and hipbelt are shaped to fit the contours of the operator for more comfortable operation. The offset handle makes the blow force easier to control, preventing arm strain and fatigue. The variable speed throttle with cruise control can be set for easier handling.

Product Specs

  • Power source: 65-cc 2-cycle engine
  • Airflow: 631 cfm, 232 mph
  • Weight: 23.2 pounds

Pros

  • Professional quality performance
  • Low-profile suspension system
  • Large fuel tank for extended runtime
  • Reduced emissions compared with other gas blowers

Cons

  • Heavier than other models
  • Loud engine noise
  • Bulky, not as easy to store

Get the Husqvarna backpack leaf blower on Amazon and at Walmart.

Best Bang For the Buck

Best Backpack Leaf Blower Options: Poulan Pro PR48BT
Photo: amazon.com

The Poulan Pro PR48BT is a strong performer at an extremely competitive price point. Its 48-cc 2-stroke engine pushes 475 cfm at 200 mph. Weighing just 22 pounds, it is lighter than its competition, which weighs an average of about 24 pounds. This blower includes padded, adjustable shoulder straps and a heavy-duty frame. The variable-speed throttle has a cruise- control feature to reduce operator fatigue.

Poulan Pro tools are generally known for fair quality at a budget price, and in our tests this blower equals or outperforms that reputation. It started easily, ran smoothly, and was comfortable to carry. The airflow is adequate for dry or damp leaves and grass clippings, but not great for heavily matted or wet, heavy debris.

Product Specs

  • Power source: 48-cc 2-stroke engine
  • Airflow: 475 cfm, 200 mph
  • Weight: 22 pounds

Pros

  • Comfortable suspension system
  • Budget-friendly price point
  • Good fuel economy

Cons

  • Not as effective on heavy, wet debris
  • Sticky throttle trigger
  • Lower airflow than the competition

Get the Poulan backpack leaf blower on at Amazon, Tractor Supply, and Walmart.

Best Quiet Operation

Best Backpack Leaf Blower Options: Makita EB5300TH 4-Stroke Engine
Photo: amazon.com

The Makita EB5300TH features cleaner emissions than 2-cycle engines, and a 52.5-cc 4-cycle engine that uses only gasoline. It pushes up to 516 cfm of air at a velocity of 184 mph for strong cleaning capacity. At 70 dB, it is much quieter than the competition, which averages 95 to 105 dB. This blower weighs 26.5 pounds.

Makita did a great job mitigating heavier weight with thick padded shoulder straps and a well-balanced suspension system. The 4-stroke engine was easy to start, without mixing fuel, and it ran smoothly and surprisingly quietly. At full throttle it had adequate power for all of our test materials, including wet, matted leaves and heavy debris.

The EB5300TH features mechanical automatic engine decompression for fast, easy starts and a large-capacity air filter that is conveniently positioned for replacement as needed. Adjustable shoulder straps let the operator easily customize the fit. Toolless handle adjustment allows the operator to quickly change the position of the handle for maximum efficiency.

Product Specs

  • Power source: 52.5-cc 4-cycle engine
  • Airflow: 516 cfm, 184 mph
  • Weight: 26.5 pounds

Pros

  • 4-cylinder engine produces lower emissions
  • Quiet operation
  • Best overall suspension system
  • Easy to start

Cons

  • Heavier than comparable 4-cycle blowers
  • Slightly lower airflow
  • Bulky for storage

Get the Makita backpack leaf blower on Amazon.

Best Lightweight Battery

The Best Backpack Leaf Blower Option: Greenworks Pro 80V Cordless Backpack Leaf Blower
Photo: amazon.com

The Greenworks Pro 80V Cordless Backpack Leaf Blower is a powerful, clean-operating leaf blower for smaller landscapes. It moves up to 580 cfm of air at 145 mph and is powered by an 80-volt lithium-ion rechargeable battery. It weighs just 14.64 pounds.

Battery-powered leaf blower technology keeps improving. The Greenworks Pro 80-volt backpack leaf blower showed similar capability to that of the smaller gas-powered models, which is to say it easily handled dry and damp material, but struggled with the heaviest matted debris. Operating on the highest power setting, it ran for about 20 minutes, after which it took 45 minutes to recharge the battery.

The brushless motor delivers gas-equivalent performance, with up to 1.5 hours of runtime per charge on the low power setting. A variable-speed trigger and turbo button delivers on-demand power. Cruise control reduces operator fatigue. Adjustable, padded shoulder straps provide added comfort. The kit includes one 2.5-Ah battery and charger.

Product Specs

  • Power source: 80-volt rechargeable battery
  • Airflow: 580 cfm, 145 mph
  • Weight: 14.64 pounds

Pros

  • Good airflow, comparable to some gas models
  • Very lightweight, easy to carry
  • Low profile, easy to store
  • Battery works with other branded tools

Cons

  • Limited runtime per charge
  • Not great for heavy, wet debris
  • Higher price point than comparable models

Get the Greenworks backpack leaf blower on Amazon and at Walmart.

Best Lightweight Gas

Best Backpack Leaf Blower Options: Schröder Industrial Backpack Leaf Blower
Photo: amazon.com

The Schröder SR-6400L features a strong 63.3-cc 2-cycle engine that uses a 50:1 fuel mix. It pushes up to 920 cfm of air at a velocity of 230 mph for strong cleaning capacity. It weighs just 19.5 pounds.

The blower tube on this leaf blower is narrower than we’d like, which seems to result in a reduction of airflow. But this blower still capably moved all the debris in its path. The Schröder SR-6400L weighs less and has a slightly larger fuel tank, but it was not quite as well balanced on the backpack frame as its competitors. It has good power but was not super comfortable for hours of continuous work.

This blower produces enough power to easily move heavy, wet leaves and other hard-to-move landscape debris. The price is very competitive for this amount of power. The kit includes two different blower tube extensions, one with a round outlet and the other with a flat outlet, and a carburetor tool for fine-tuning.

Product Specs

  • Power source: 63.3-cc 2-cycle engine
  • Airflow: 920 cfm, 230 mph
  • Weight: 19.5 pounds

Pros

  • Thick padded shoulder straps
  • Quiet operation
  • Good power for most debris
  • Competitive price point

Cons

  • Suspension/harness attachments are awkward
  • Did not include a blower tool

Get the Schröder backpack leaf blower on Amazon and at Schroder USA.

Best for Large Yards

The Best Backpack Leaf Blower Option: Echo PB-580T 58.2 CC Back Pack Blower
Photo: amazon.com

With its 58-cc 2-cycle engine, this midsize blower offers a bit more power than the more budget-friendly models, and it weighs in at an easy-to-carry 22.6 pounds. But the weight is less noticeable here than on the others because of a well-balanced suspension system and generously padded, contoured shoulder straps. It moves up to 510 cubic feet of air per minute at up to 215 miles per hour. It’s not the highest airflow in its class, but it’s still capable of moving heavy, wet debris into piles.

This Echo backpack blower is a good choice for those with large yards, where cheaper models may suffer over time from consistent extended use. The controls on the handle and moving parts on the blower tube operate smoothly and feel much more durable than those on the competition. The only inconvenience was that this blower did not include a blower tool—a combination spark plug remover and screwdriver/carburetor adjustment tool—which most others include.

Product Specs

  • Power source: 58-cc 2-cycle engine
  • Airflow: 510 cfm, 215 mph
  • Weight: 22.6 pounds

Pros

  • Easy to start
  • Comfortable shoulder straps and suspension system
  • Vented back pad for comfort in hot weather
  • Durable construction

Cons

  • Did not include a blower tool
  • Slightly heavier than comparable models
  • Higher price point

Get the Echo backpack leaf blower on Amazon and at The Home Depot.

Also Consider

The Best Backpack Leaf Blower Option: EGO Power+ LB6000 600 CFM Backpack Blower
Photo: amazon.com

The EGO Power+ lineup of 56-volt power tools seems never-ending, including this impressive leaf blower. The interchangeable 56-volt battery (sold separately) works with dozens of branded lawn and garden power tools. On a full charge, it powers the blower at top speed for about 20 minutes, and then it takes about 50 minutes to recharge. The blower moves up to 600 cubic feet per minute at speeds up to 145 miles per hour.

If you are motivated to eliminate trips to the gas station and the chore of mixing and storing fuel, this blower fits the bill for small to midsize yards. Although it has a limited working time at full power, and full power is really necessary for most regular cleanup tasks, it does compare power-wise to smaller gas-powered backpack blowers. It pushed leaves and debris as well as our “Best Bang for the Buck” pick, until the battery ran out. It is priced comparably as well.

Product Specs

  • Power source: 56-volt rechargeable battery
  • Airflow: 600 cfm, 145 mph
  • Weight: 17.5 pounds

Pros

  • Comfortable suspension system
  • Airflow comparable to the “Best Lightweight Battery” pick
  • Competitive price point
  • Battery works with other branded tools

Cons

  • Limited runtime per charge
  • Not great for heavy, wet debris
  • Heavier than other battery-powered blowers

Get the EGO Power+ backpack leaf blower on Amazon and at Ace Hardware.

Honorable Mention

The Best Backpack Leaf Blower Option: Ryobi 175 MPH 2-Cycle Gas Backpack Leaf Blower
Photo: homedepot.com

Ryobi’s inexpensive leaf blower with its little 38-cc 2-cycle engine can’t really generate as much airflow as our “Best Overall” pick, can it? In our tests, it did. We were impressed by its ability to break up matted wet leaves, grass clippings, and even ant mounds, then blow them away without hesitation. The 760-cfm, 175-mph ratings seem to be almost surprisingly accurate.

This level of performance comes at a price, however. The unique rigid blower tube configuration does not allow the full range of movement that other backpack blowers offer. The operator can perform a sweeping motion but cannot rotate the control handle or easily direct the nozzle hard to the right. Still, the impressive blower force makes this a good tool for big jobs in open spaces, and it’s offered at a very affordable price.

Product Specs

  • Power source: 38-cc 2-cycle engine
  • Airflow: 760 cfm, 175 mph
  • Weight: 20.2 pounds

Pros

  • Good airflow for the price
  • Lightweight backpack blower
  • Good fuel economy

Cons

  • Limited flexibility in the blower tube
  • Bulky and awkward for storage
  • Smallest gas engine in the test group

Get the Ryobi backpack leaf blower at The Home Depot. 

Our Verdict

At the top-end of heavy-duty performance, the Husqvarna 360BT was extremely capable in every aspect and is suitable for most users in typical residential settings. It was comfortable to work with and easy to maneuver, but it was heavier and louder than the others.

For a combination of clean and quiet operation in a lightweight package that is compact and easy to store, the Greenworks Pro 80V backpack leaf blower makes an excellent choice. It was a high performer within its 20-minute battery runtime.

How We Tested the Best Backpack Leaf Blowers

Backpack blowers generally offer far greater airflow and dexterity than handheld blowers, so users can clean up big jobs quickly and with less fatigue. We focused our backpack blower field tests on ease of operation, user comfort, and airflow.

We assembled, fueled, or charged up the blowers according to the manufacturers’ instructions, then carefully adjusted the handle controls, suspension systems, and shoulder straps to fit comfortably. Then, one by one, we started the blowers and used them to blow fallen leaves on pavement, mowed lawn grass, and rough field grass, followed by old built-up debris in a wooded area. Finally, we used them to clear away wet sand and puddles from uneven pavement. Each of the blowers in this guide successfully completed the full range of testing.

The Advantages of Owning a Backpack Leaf Blower

To clean up leaves, grass clippings, dust, and other yard debris, it’s hard to beat the functionality of a backpack leaf blower. They help clean up leaves and grass in a fraction of the time it takes to rake, plus they move fine particles like dust and powdery snow with ease. They keep all outdoor areas clean and tidy, including lawns, landscape beds, driveways, porches, patios, and decks.

Backpack blowers are more powerful and versatile than handheld blowers. They easily remove matted, wet leaves from hard-to-reach areas like foundation plantings and fence corners. They can also be used to keep rain gutters clean.

  • Backpack blowers are less fatiguing than handheld blowers because the weight of the blower is carried on the user’s back and hips, rather than on the user’s arms.
  • They deliver plenty of air power for moving heavy debris.
  • The added power of a backpack blower gets the work done much faster than either raking or using a handheld blower.

FAQs

If you’re still unsure about whether a backpack leaf blower is right for you, continue reading. Ahead you’ll find answers to commonly asked questions about using backpack leaf blowers.

Q: How do you use a backpack leaf blower?

To pile up debris such as fallen leaves, start by determining where the pile should be. Then walk to the distant edge of the area and use a low, steady sweeping motion to move the leaves toward the pile. Aiming the air tube across the top of the debris keeps it low to the ground. To dislodge matted, wet leaves, aim the tube low and force air beneath it.

Q: Do backpack leaf blowers work on wet leaves?

Yes. The higher the cfm rating, the more effectively the blower moves wet leaves.

Q: Are backpack leaf blowers better than handheld ones?

On average, backpack leaf blowers are more powerful than handheld blowers. They also have the advantage of reducing operator fatigue by transferring the weight of the machine to larger core muscles in the body.

Q: Which is more important for a leaf blower, cfm or mph?

Between cfm and mph, cfm is more important, as it measures the volume of air that moves through the machine. Think of it this way: Tornadoes have faster wind speeds, but hurricanes do more damage.