Chapin International Backpack Sprayer
With a squatty, more compact European design than that of the Field King and other competitors, the unit is designed to fit close to the back with padded shoulder straps once loaded with liquid. Not everyone finds the design comfortable, but few have complaints about the wide mouth for filling, the easy-to-fill-and-clean translucent tank, and the 2-stage filtration system which all contribute to trouble-free spraying.
4 in. wide mouth opening and translucent tank for easy filling and cleaning
2-stage filtration system, 1 filter at the top and another filter at shut-off
Poly shut-off with 2 nozzles: poly fan, poly adjustable cone
Hose feeds from the top
Padded shoulder straps make it easy to carry a full backpack for most users
Made in the US with parts from around the world
Not a comfortable design for some users
Too heavy when full for many seniors and people of slight build
Poorly designed manual
The body of the Chapin 61500 is molded polyethylene, which works well with most herbicides and pesticides. The tank and other internal parts, the wand and shut off, nozzles, and most other parts are also poly. To prevent leaks, the seals and gaskets are Viton. The unit measures 17.25 x 9.75 x 18.25 inches.
The unit is meant to work with water-soluble herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers, weed and feed, and general-purpose cleaners. For disinfection, bleach can be diluted according to CDC guidelines; using vinegar, undiluted bleach, chlorine, or other chemicals can erode the seals. However, the company makes a wide array of spraying products that might accommodate what you need to spray.
A four-gallon sprayer is heavy when full and can cover up to 4,000 square feet of ground. If you need to check how much material you have left, as well as check for clogs or clean up, the translucent tank makes it easy to take a look.
One of the handiest features of this piston sprayer is the 4” wide mouth, which makes it easy to add product without spilling. Right inside the cover is a filter that prevents dirt and debris from getting in the mix. The hose is at the top, which is supposed to prevent leakage down the back. As is true with most sprayers, a few customers complained that they still had leaks, but this is not a widespread problem.
The material is distributed via a clear hose and a poly shut off which has another filter built in. For continuous spraying, you can put the handle in lock-on mode so you won’t have to hold the lever in place during the process.
The manual is vague about assembly and features; if you lose your original and need to rely on an online PDF, this version is hard to follow due to an odd layout in English and Spanish.
Pushing down the pump handle provides excellent pressure and good coverage, and users attest that the pump mechanism is smooth and sturdy. You do have to pump consistently, but the sprayer does exactly what it claims to do and as compared to a smaller hand-held unit, will save you time, multiple refills, and potential back pain when a large area requires spraying. After a few minutes, you should get into a rhythm when spraying as you hold the wand in one hand and pump with the other. While the exact pressure is determined by the nozzle, the Chapin 61500 can operate at 90 psi.
The nozzles that come with the 61500 are a poly fan and a poly adjustable cone, but brass versions are available as an extra replacement. You may also be able to get a foam nozzle and others, but make sure to check to make sure that the nozzle you want works on the 61500.
At 11 pounds, the unit is light, but each gallon of water adds 8.34 pounds. Fully loaded, the Chapin weighs over 44 pounds, which may be too heavy for an older or slighter person. Filling the vessel with less material would make it more manageable. Rather than trying to sling the unit over the shoulder, placing it on a table or deck rail, backing into it, and pulling up the shoulder straps might make positioning it easier.
The Chapin International 61500 has straps that keep the unit in place. Some customers have complained these are weak and lack enough padding, but replacements are readily available if the originals wear out.
Unlike many sprayers, the product feeds from the top, which may reduce the potential of leaks when seals are weak. Regardless of the system, it makes sense to wear protective clothing when wearing backpack sprayer.
Comparison to Others
The 61500 sprayer is not as powerful as the Field King 190328 or the Roundup 190314, only comes standard with two nozzles, and is more limited in what it can spray. The market for this tool is the consumer who needs a basic sprayer for dispersing liquid fertilizers, weed killers, and pesticides. The Chapin line has other alternatives for those who need other types of pesticides, vinegar, disinfectants, and other chemicals.