This is one of my favourite knapsack sprayers because it is so comfortable, even when full. When you use a knapsack sprayer for any length of time, you quickly learn that the frame and shoulder rods are important.
The Vermorel knapsack sprayer uses a frame made by Lafuma, a French company famous for making rucksacks. It is Lafuma's knowledge and expertise that gives this sprayer is classic design, with the result that the sprayer's tank sits high on the user's back to distribute 50 per cent of the weight across the shoulders. If you want comfort, you can't go wrong with this unit - and the most recent models have a lot of other good features, like the zipped pouch for keeping your van keys handy.
The lever is another aspect I like. It is left/right reversible - and is quick to change - so you can swap when one arm gets tired of pumping. Also, it pumps on the down stroke and returns automatically, so it's only half the effort.
All in all, the 2000 is an excellent sprayer and would be well worth your time to source spare parts. You could try crop sprayer specialist Agratech in Lancashire (tel: 01706 211399). It has an on-line shop for spare parts at www.agratech.co.uk. Alternatively, go direct to French manufacturer Berthoud at www.berthoud.fr.
- Sally Drury has reported for HW and its forerunner GC&HTJ for 25 years, and has spent more than five years testing machinery for HW and What Kit? The advice in this helpline is independent.