If I can save money by doing something myself I will, as long as I can do it relatively easily and quickly. Controlling weeds, insects and other pests around my home is one thing that falls into this category.
Tackling this job requires a reliable sprayer. If you have the same do-it-yourself mindset like me, you need to know that the tools you buy will work, and last for a reasonable amount of time. So that is why I am sharing my experience and thoughts on the Solo 475 Diaphragm Backpack Sprayer that I have been using for a couple of years. This review should shed light on if it works, how durable it is, and ultimately if it is worth it for you. Let’s get started!
About The Solo Model 475 Backpack Sprayer
The Solo model 475 backpack sprayer is a 4-gallon capacity sprayer for use with a variety of liquids. It features a diaphragm-style pump assembly that is suitable for wettable powders, bleach solutions, abrasive liquids, and many pesticides. It can produce a maximum pressure of 60 psi. It comes with a spray wand and 4 different nozzle styles.
Solo 475 Backpack Sprayer Features:
- Horizontal Spray Distance: About 25 ft (tested!)
- Vertical Spray Distance: About 20 ft
- Dry Weight: 11 lbs (weighed and confirmed!)
- Average Full Weight: 43 lbs with water
- Pump Type: Diaphragm
- Maximum Pressure: 60 psi
- 4 Feet of Hose
- 24 Inch Shut-off Valve & Wand
- Trigger Lock
- Interchangeable Nozzles
- Reversible left or right handle
The sprayer is only 11 pounds when empty. This is about par for most non-metallic backpack sprayers on the market. So while this doesn’t set the sprayer apart, this lightweight is a plus when you want to use a backpack sprayer.
With the lightweight naturally comes concerns about durability. While this sprayer is not going to be considered heavy-duty, it is fairly durable when considering the cost. There are definitely some aspects of the sprayer that are not as robust as I would like, and we will cover those later, but the tank, the pump assembly, and the hand are plenty durable.
Easy Maintenance and Part Availability
I appreciate how user-friendly this model is when it comes to maintenance. Parts are readily available and replacing them is straightforward. It is also possible to easily switch from piston to diaphragm pump or vice versa if desired.
The diaphragm’s resilience in this model deserves a special mention. I have used piston-style backpack sprayers before and while they do provide you with the potential for a little higher pressure, I still prefer the diaphragm style for a few reasons.
First, the diaphragm style is more forgiving. It is flexible where the piston style is not, meaning it is less likely to break when you “overpump” it. It also holds up to debris, particles, and wettable powders. Think granular fertilizers or herbicides.
Second, the diaphragm is less likely to get locked up than the piston style. Again, this is largely due to the flexible diaphragm.
Finally, the diaphragm pump tends to need less pumping. The more surface area on the diaphragm means that each time you work the handle to “pump up” the sprayer, you are increasing the pressure inside the tank faster.
This model has a few other features that are handy. I like the carry handle, I use this sprayer without even carrying it on my back. Instead, I use the handle and carry it around where I need it like a hand pump sprayer.
The hose is reinforced and because it is clear you can see the liquid inside. This can help if you are experiencing any issues with nothing coming out of the wand, you can see if there is liquid getting to the wand or not.
The sprayer does come with different nozzle options. The adjustable spray nozzle is the one that I use most often. It is very versatile and useful for spot spraying when you may need to cover a larger area or reach something a bit further or higher in the air. You can also use just about any other type of sprayer nozzle you choose as long as you have the proper adapters. You can learn all about adapting nozzles in this article on how to connect different types of spray nozzles to any sprayer.
Finally, the pump handle is reversible. You can install it on either the right or left side depending on your preference. I have seen online some people have some questions when it comes to how you install the handle so I did make a guide that shows the Solo backpack sprayer handle install.
The straps on the Solo 475, are somewhat lacking in strength and comfort. They haven’t broken on me, but they don’t inspire as much confidence as thicker straps would. This aspect could be improved for added reliability.
Additionally, the way the straps snap onto the bottom frame of the sprayer is not very heavy-duty or secure. It will work fine, but you must pay attention when putting the sprayer on your back or it can pop loose.
Comfort is average with the Solo 475. The strap pads are on the thinner side, which is noticeable during prolonged use. They don’t cause discomfort, but they don’t offer the level of comfort that some of the higher-end models provide.
Spray Wand Quality
The wand that comes on the sprayer is not the most durable one that I have used. For more details take a look at my comparison of different spray wands. I prefer the TeeJet wand over the solo but for the cost it is adequate. You can always upgrade to another wand if desired.
Filling the Sprayer
The basket strainer just inside the lid is a nice feature to keep out debris but it does not allow water through it very fast. I find that it takes about 3 times as long to fill the tank with the strainer than without.
Testing the Solo 475 Backpack Sprayer
I have had my solo backpack sprayer for a couple of years now. During that time I have done a couple of tests beyond normal use to determine if some of the advertised capabilities are accurate. I also wanted to get an idea of just how much more efficient a backpack sprayer will make me versus a hand pump sprayer. This way we can compare the cost of a backpack sprayer and a hand pump sprayer and see if it is truly worth it.
I wrote an extensive article about whether or not backpack sprayers are worth it. Be sure to read it if you are on the fence when it comes to deciding if you need a backpack sprayer or can get by with a hand pump sprayer.
During my testing, I determined that you can reach spray distances of around 25 ft and spray on a calm day about 20 ft in the air effectively. If you need to spray buildings or trees taller than this, I suggest looking into a diaphragm pump spray rig.
Insights After Using The Solo 475 Backpack Sprayer
The Solo 475 is a reliable workhorse for homeowners who don’t want to spend a ton of money on a tool that is important but not used daily. Its balance of cost, durability, and performance makes it a sensible choice for most spraying tasks. However, those looking for premium comfort and the best spray wand might need to look at higher-priced models.
If you are looking for a low-cost but still durable and reliable backpack sprayer, consider the Solo 475 Diaphragm Sprayer.