A battery backpack blower can start instantly and run quietly, but you need to charge it up when it runs out. They are also better for the environment than gas models. The quieter, gasoline-powered backpack leaf blowers are more reliable than their battery-powered counterparts. However, they can run indefinitely but require you to mix petrol and oil for fuel. They can also be more difficult to start than their battery powered counterparts.

A backpack leaf blower is the right tool for you. If you have a large area to cover or thick piles of leaves every fall, it’s worth considering. They cost $100 to $200 more than handhelds, so they’re probably overkill if you have a small yard or if you don’t have a lot of fallen leaves to deal with.

In CR’s leaf blower tests, we rope off a swath of grass and dump bag upon bag of leaves inside the boundary. Backpack blowers get a larger area with more leaves because they’re designed for larger yards. We track how long each blower takes and how thorough it cleans the pile. tool moves every last leaf—some leaf blowers struggle to get rid of the leaves near the bottom of the pile, which can become embedded in the grass. In our search for the best models, we go through approximately 2,500 pounds of leaves each fall.

We test leaf blowers from six brands, including backpack models. Below, we’ve highlighted five models that sit at the top of the heap in our tests. Last fall, we included data on owner satisfaction and predicted reliability for nearly every model in our ratings.

Check out our leaf blower buying guides for more information on how to shop for one. For information on how backpacks and other leaf blowers performed in our tests, CR members may refer to our comprehensive leaf-blower ratings.

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