In these reviews, we'll help you find the best backpack leaf blower on the market. The marketing hype surrounding leaf blowers can be extremely misleading. With air speed ratings of over 200 mph you can imagine pushing small boulders across your lawn with the flick of the wrist.
But the reality can be quite different.
We'll cut through all the hype and help you pick the model based on yard size and volume of leaves you need to move.
There are plenty of other things to consider besides just power, so don't let the marketing fool you. You don't want to buy a powerful blower at the expense of comfort, usability, or fuel economy. You need to focus on what's important to you.
But what is important to you?
We've broken up our top picks based on power (CFM) and features. The bigger your yard, the more powerful you will want your backpack blower to be to help you get the job done as quickly as possible, so we'll start off with commercial backpack blowers.
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Here is our list of the 8 best backpack leaf blowers on the market in 2019. Everything you need to know about each backpack leaf blower is below.
The RedMax EBZ8500RH is the best backpack leaf blower in 2019. RedMax is an industry leader in performance, and the EBZ8500RH is our top pick because it offers high CFM, high air speed, efficiency, and an air-cooling feature.
It's also super comfortable, so if you're working in hotter climates or for longer periods of time, you'll be able to work faster, carry it longer, and enjoy some cool air against your back.
It's a pricey solution, however; consider the purchase of this high-end commercial grade solution an investment.
This RedMax is a commercial grade backpack leaf blower. It's capable of blowing mountains of wet or dry leaves. It's a powerhouse for anyone with a huge yard or lots of deciduous trees.
Clearing a one acre yard with the RedMax took just over an hour. It was a little faster than our 2nd place blower by Echo.
The difference between the two? Very little. You get comparable performance from the Echo, but you'll typically pay a good bit less.
That said, the RedMax does have a few things going for it.
It weighs 24.7 pounds, which is much lighter than several of the less powerful backpack leaf blowers we've covered. With wide straps and a contoured back pad the RedMax was comfortable to wear even goin on two hours. This specific model also has a tube-mounted throttle for additional convenience and comfort during use.
The EBZ8500RH has extremely low emissions, given that it's such a high powered unit, with a 206 MPH air speed and 908 CFM. The Strato-charged two-stroke engine has 4.4 horsepower and a 75.6 cubic centimeter displacement.
Perhaps one of the "coolest" (pun intended of course) features of is the Max Cooled back pad, which uses the air that the fan housing sucks in to cool you as you work. This was especially nice on particularly hot days. I was comfortable for hours at a time and thoroughly enjoyed the lack of swampiness on my back.
With a tank capacity of 77.8 fluid ounces and excellent fuel efficiency, you can power through large areas before ever needing to refuel.
I would highly recommend ear protection as this guy runs at around 103dB wide open.
Here's a video that features both our top 2 competitors.
The Echo PB-770T is best commercial backpack leaf blower on the market in 2019.
Echo is a well-known producer of handheld outdoor power equipment, and the PB-770T is a no exception.
It offers high air speed, variable speed adjustment, and decent versatility with its interchangeable nozzle connections.
While it has a smaller engine and tank than the 1st place RedMax, its performance is pretty darn close. And with a considerably lower retail price this blower offers the best overall value.
It also has a vented back pad and cruise control, which means that it's easier to use. It is, however, second on our list as compared to our #1 choice, due to its lower fuel capacity, higher level of emissions, and smaller engine. It's not quite as efficient, but it's still a fantastic product.
The first thing I noticed when firing up the Echo is the noticeably better sound levels. At full throttle it runs at 74dB(A) which is almost 30dB quieter than the 2nd place RedMax. This is in-part due to Echo's anti-vibration design.
While this unit doesn't offer as much volume (in CFM) as the RedMax, it still has a ton of power. This combined with the high air speed of 234 MPH made quick work of moving even VERY large piles of leaves. That said, both our top 2 units will clear your yard of just about any kind of debris (or even small pets) so user beware.
The adjustable air speed feature comes in handy when just blowing grass clippings rather than heavier debris like wet leaves. The cruise control was really nice, as we were able to set the appropriate air speed and then forget about it for a while.
These features are also handy when working in tight spaces around landscaped areas. It's no exaggeration to say you can blow the leaves right off your plants and the mulch right off your beds.
The vented back pad, although not contoured, was comfortable enough. If you're working in hotter climate it might be worth taking a look at our second place blower as it offers forced air cooling along it's back pad.
Overall the Echo offers great performance at a pretty substantial discount to the more powerful Redmax.
Our top pick at the high end consumer level is the Echo PB580T. This tool is powerful enough for medium to large yards.
It doesn't come with the same extra-durable construction that the commercial units feature, but it's just fine for home use, not all-day-every-day leaf blowing.
The four-point vibration reduction system helps eliminate the aggravation on your hands that can be caused by holding a strongly vibrating handle for extended periods of time.
It utilizes a 2 cycle engine that requires a gas and oil mixture.
Echo products have always provided superior performance over many other manufacturers of handheld outdoor power equipment, and the PB580T is no exception. It has plenty of air flow and speed to tackle medium and large lots with many trees.
Sure, higher-priced units may do it a bit faster, but the PB580T will move 510 cubic feet of air per minute, so an acre lot will only take about an hour and a half to finish. This is definitely the best high-performing unit for the money. If you're not using it for commercial purposes, it has everything you need.
It weighs in at 22.6 pounds, which is pretty lightweight for a blower this powerful. The straps are not as comfortable as those on the PB-770 and it lacks a crossbody strap. Whether or not either issue bothers you will probably depend on how often you use it and how long it is worn.
If you're clearing lots of acreage you may not find it as comfortable as the PB-770, but for smaller lawns it's perfectly fine. The back pad is comfortable enough and breaths relatively well. It still isn't as nice as the forced air system used by the RedMax, but for the price it's a pretty impressive tool.
The Husqvarna 350BT backpack leaf blower is designed with medium sized yards in mind. It offers powerful performance, but it comes in second on our pro-sumer list because it is slightly smaller and is much louder than the Echo.
This blower has a 50 CC engine with 494 CFM air flow, and a max air speed of 180 MPH. It's not quite as strong as others in this class, but still provides you with extra features, like cruise control.
Husqvarna also uses a unique X-Torq engine in the 350bt, which produces fewer emissions and increases efficiency. The handles are adjustable and the controls are clustered to provide easier access.
While the Husqvarna 350BT's overall performance isn't as great as the #1 blower on our pro-sumer list, this blower definitely holds its own. It'll tackle big leaf piles with no problem, but you'll find that it's just not as fast or efficient as higher-powered motors.
You should expect this decreased performance because it only has a mid-sized engine, but that doesn't make it any less reliable. The fuel economy is great and it produces fewer emissions.
Had I not used a higher-powered machine before I tried this one, I really don't think I would have noticed the lack of power. In comparison to a handheld leaf blower, this is much more powerful, albeit loud. Ear protection is definitely recommended.
The Ryobi RY38BP is a budget backpack leaf blower that has a bigger engine and substantially greater airflow and power than the Husqvarna's budget leaf blower.
The downside is that it's a bit heavier than our second place pick.
The Ryobi has cruise control, adjustable speed, anti-vibration technology, and interchangeable nozzle connections.
It's the best budget leaf blower for people who can handle the extra weight, because it will tackle large piles of leaves and possibly even small rocks with no problem.
This blower offers a surprising amount of power for a budget model of this size. It's slightly larger than the Husqvarna, but its fuel economy is also a bit worse and this will become evident after prolonged use.
If you enjoy bright colors and sleek designs, then this is the unit for you. Its bright green body is definitely attention-grabbing, and the design looks a bit more professional than some of the other non-commercial varieties.
While not advertised as such, the RY38BP certainly seems to be built for people with larger frames; I say this because while it fit me comfortably, when my wife tried to use it, she said she didn't like it, because it felt heavy and unwieldy. But the RY38BP can tackle large piles of leaves, small rocks, and other debris without issue; if you have the build for it, the RY38BP is a really fantastic budget-friendly option.
Click here for the manual.
The best thing about a Husqvarna backpack leaf blower is that Husqvarna uses X-Torq engines that reduce emissions and increase efficiency. While the Husqvarna 130BT has a smaller tank, you may not notice because of its excellent fuel usage.
The ergonomic handle is adjustable, and the harness is padded and ergonomic, making the Husqvarna blower comfortable to wear, and to use.
The cruise control allows you to adjust the speed and then set it for easier handling.
Every Husqvarna backpack leaf blower has an air purge feature that makes them easier to start because they remove air from the carburetor and fuel lines. I found that sometimes the unit wouldn't start until the third or fourth pull, but if you clear the air first, it starts after a pull or two.
It's the best super lightweight unit and is exceptionally powerful for its size. The Husqvarna 130BT is a great option for people who aren't particularly strong, but want to remain independent and continue to do their own yard work.
The fuel economy is fantastic, so despite the smaller tank, I was able to get my work done efficiently on one tank of gas. It's best suited for small to medium-sized lots, however, and if you have a large lot or huge trees, this smaller Husqvarna blower may not work as well for you.
For the size, this Husqvarna blower was an perfect little companion when it came to clearing out piles of leaves; it's lightweight enough to tote comfortably for a couple of hours. Leaf blowers in this category have great air speed, but they move a lower volume, which you'll notice if you're trying to move heavier items, like rocks.
The Greenworks PRO 80V electric backpack leaf blower is one of the most powerful battery-operated platforms available.
It has zero emissions, and can power through your yard reliably and efficiently, requiring no maintenance or upkeep.
The Greenworks PRO offers cruise control, as well as a turbo feature that provides on-demand power. The rapid charger will ensure that your battery powers up quickly, so that even when your battery dies mid-job, the blower won't be out of commission long.
And while you pay a higher upfront cost with this model, you'll get a more reasonable cost of operation in return, if that's what matters to you.
A typical battery-powered backpack leaf blower might not run as long as a gas powered one will, but without the added weight of a full gas tank, you're carrying much lighter equipment.
And while we don't really expect the same performance out of an cordless backpack leaf blower as we do from a gas powered one, this particular model is on par with the pro-sumer options we have reviewed here.
If we compare and consider the pro's and con's of zero emissions and zero maintenance to the hassle of mixing gas and oil, and constantly spending money on upkeep, a cordless backpack leaf blower can be the right option for small yards.
They are undeniably much easier to handle and are best for people who don't need professional quality, or who have small yards and don't have the need of more than 30-45 minutes of blower run time.
The EGO LB6004 56V blower is another great cordless backpack leaf blower that combines convenience with power.
It's compact, lightweight, and efficient.
This model does not vibrate as much as a standard gas powered backpack leaf blower and, with zero emissions and no maintenance, you can feel pretty good about using it.
This blower is extremely quiet. In fact, it's much quieter than even the #1 cordless backpack leaf blower we reviewed, and a couple of pounds lighter, too.
The only reasons we ranked it number two are the shorter run time and higher noise output. The Greenworks offers considerably more runtime.
You can't expect to get the same performance from an electric leaf blower, for many reasons.
The battery simply won't last as long as a tank of gas, especially when using it at full power. Thankfully, the EGO LB6004 has a variable throttle, so you don't have to use full power when it's not needed, which helps conserve the battery somewhat.
You'll only get about thirty minutes out of the battery on full power, however, and that's not going to cut it if you have a big yard or lots of leaves. You also won't have as much power overall with a battery-powered model as you would with a gas leaf blower.
However, if you're looking for something that's incredibly quiet, has zero emissions, and no maintenance, this is the perfect choice.
You will experience much less noise than with a gas leaf blower and it won't harm the environment. The batteries charge quickly, so you'll be back up and running in no time; they are also interchangeable with other EGO products.
If you have a large yard with more trees than a national forest a commercial-grade backpack blower could be your new best friend. These leaf blowers can move TONS of leaves in a short amount of time and offer creature comforts for extended usage.
Here's some of what you get with a commercial grade leaf blower:
These pro-sumer models are for the consumer with an eye for equipment that elevates his lawn maintenance to a professional level. If you enjoy using better tools, but are on a budget, then these products are for you.
Leaf blowers in the pro-sumer class are not as powerful as commercial grade blowers. They have smaller engines, less airflow, and fewer options, but they're also quite a bit less expensive than the high-powered models.
They're still quite a bit more powerful than your average tools, so you'll still enjoy quite a bit of power and extra features than your basic handheld outdoor equipment.
While they do not have everything that a commercial backpack blower does, they are best suited for medium to large yards with trees galore. You'll be able to take advantage of the features they offer while enjoying a compact and lighter backpack unit.
These backpack blowers offer significantly reduced prices over the commercial and pro-sumer category units we've reviewed thus far, and they offer almost as much as the pro-sumer choices.
If you want to reduce strain on your arms and shoulders from using a handheld blower, a backpack model is a great solution. A backpack blower is a bit expensive when compared to handheld leaf blowers, but the budget options in the reviews above provide the best blend of the two.
These models offer many of the same features, so you won't find a lack in comfort or usability. The only downgrades you may experience when purchasing a budget backpack blower are reduced-capacity tanks, slightly less air flow, and smaller engines.
The most obvious primary benefit to electric backpack leaf blowers is that they don't use gas. All you have to do is remember to charge the battery. And with lithium-ion batteries this is a snap as they do best when left on the charger when not in use.
These machines are mid-sized blowers and offer comparable power to the pro-sumer category we discussed earlier. They're best for users who have medium to large yards with a lot of trees, or folks that may use their leaf blowers more frequently than once a week.
They're not as budget-friendly as some of the leaf blowers we've already reviewed, but they come without the frequent gas expenditures, so it's a great option for people who are looking for a good product and added savings.
Many consumers are confused about the difference between the miles per hour rating and the cubic feet per minute rating. CFM refers to the amount of air being pushed through the nozzle per minute, not the speed of the air. A blower with a rating of 600 moves 600 cubic feet of air through the nozzle every minute.
MPH refers to how fast the air is traveling when it escapes the nozzle. A 145 MPH blower pushes air out of the nozzle at 145 miles per hour. CFM is what gives the blower power. You can purchase a blower with a slower MPH rating and as long as the CFM rating is higher, it will likely push the leaves better.
You can read more about airflow and it's importance here.
Next, let's talk about what CC and dB mean. CC stands for cubic centimeters and refers to the size of the motor. The larger the motor, the more power the blower will have, but the heavier it will be. The higher the dB rating, the louder your blower will be.
Purchasing a blower with a heavier motor (remember: that's a higher CC number) will make it heavier, but even a few CC's heavier can put out so much more power that you get your work done in half the time.
Your best bet is to buy the leaf blower with the highest CFM and biggest motor your budget will allow. This gives you the most for your money. Don't worry about the MPH and only worry about the weight or the dB if it's really critical for your use.
People of shorter stature will probably be most comfortable with something light, but you have to make the decision for yourself based on how much power you want or need. You also need to be aware of how much noise your blower produces, and use the appropriate ear protection if necessary.
Backpack blowers come with two-stroke and four-stroke engines; sometimes you'll see these referred to as two-cycle and four-cycle engines. There are advantages and disadvantages of both, so you need to know what you're getting into before choosing.
A blower with a two-stroke engine needs a gas-oil mixture to run. This can be a pain for people who don't want to mess with properly mixing the two. You can buy premixed solutions, but they cost a bit extra.
A two-stroke engine also has fewer moving parts, is easier to build, and costs less. The equipment is lighter and more portable, which is always nice. However, two-stroke engines are louder, and they produce greater emissions.
Leaf blowers with four-stroke engines aren't as common. They have two separate compartments for oil and gas, so there is no need to worry about getting the right proportions in the mixture yourself. They also have greater efficiency. The other benefit to four-stroke leaf blower engines is that the oil doesn't burn off, producing fewer emissions. They can also provide a lot more power than a two-stroke engine, but they are much heavier and not as portable. They also have more moving parts and are more expensive.
We also consider ergonomics when choosing a backpack blower, and this aspect depends on more than just its design. While that is important, we also need to consider things like weight, adjustability, size, padding, power, and the time it takes to do the job.
Heavier leaf blowers tend to have the best power, so while they might be heavy, you will only be carrying them for a short time. Size can contribute to weight as well, so if you are a smaller person, you may not feel comfortable using a large leaf blower meant for a stronger person.
The harness should be adjustable and have the appropriate amount of padding, especially if the backpack blower is heavy. Some backpack blowers also have adjustable hoses so you can reach the controls easily.
Lastly, we feel that we should never have to compromise comfort for power. It's worth an extra thirty minutes of wearing a backpack blower we can handle comfortably rather than choosing something super powerful that will strain your back. If you're not comfortable using it, even for a short amount of time, you should choose another product.
Airflow is important to some people. Many backpack blowers have cooled or ventilated back pads to keep you comfortable while wearing the leaf blower; as a quick review, cooled back pads use the air intake to blow out cool air on your back and keep you cool, while ventilated back pads are simply designed to increase air flow.
Think about efficiency and maintenance when choosing a leaf blower as well. Gas-powered leaf blowers require that you purchase gas and oil, while electric leaf blowers need charging. One costs more money, and the other takes more time.
If you are worried about exhaust, then either an electric leaf blower or a gas-powered leaf blower with better fuel economy is the right choice for you. An electric leaf blower means much better cost of maintenance, but if you're interested in extreme power, a gas-powered leaf blower is definitely the way to go.
As you can see, there are plenty of things to think about when purchasing a leaf blower. Along with key specifications, there are design features and things that add to your personal comfort that make a big difference in choosing the right leaf blower for you.
Consider your budget and what's most important to you. Do you care about emissions, power, or comfort? Is it most important to you that you get the job done quickly, or do you want extra features like a ventilated back pad?
You may also want to consider spending a little extra on a trusted brand rather than taking a shot on something you've never heard of before. It can be an overwhelming decision, but just remember, there are plenty of options out there that will suit your needs. And we feel confident in saying that, if you do your homework and carefully choose from our reviewed products above, you'll be happy.
Jason is a work from home dad who has a passion for DIY projects, yard work, and SEC Football. His background is IT, but he's always fancied himself as a part-time ship welder, landscaper, and short order cook. During the week he can be found on his laptop 10 hours-a-day, but on the weekends he escapes to the local DIY Cave to play with REAL toys. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and can contact him via email.