Saptec Matabi

We generally say "you get what you pay for", but with the Matabi 16-litre knapsack you get a good deal more than you expect for your money. Yes, it looks a bit agricultural — there's knurling on the connections and no fancy moulding on the operating lever — but this compact sprayer has a lot of clever features that make it convenient.

The Matabi knapsack arrives boxed. The lance, trigger and hose are separate but the tank is ready assembled and is complete with straps. So what do we do? We take it all apart.
The first thing one of our testers notices is the metal lance. “I always like a metal lance, they don’t break so easily,” he says. “This one is particularly good. It is chrome-plated brass and it’s got a nice long filter in the grip. There is one big O-ring and three small ones in the trigger and the trigger is impressive. It’s the little things that make the difference and this one has a positive action. The last thing you need when you are spraying is to have the lock slipping all the time.”
An adjustable cone nozzle is supplied with the sprayer but there is a nozzle holder so a flat fan (extra) would be easy to fit. The hose has a good screw connection though it is plastic onto metal. The tester advises that such connections should not be joined outside in cold weather.
A loop from the rod enables the handle to be stowed safely and there is also a storage clip for the lance.
The straps on the Matabi show ingenuity at its best. They are strong and adjustable but not stitched. However, there are fittings to take the straps on both sides of the tank, so they can be swapped from one side to the other depending on whether you want left- or right-hand pumping. But only one side of the tank appears to be moulded for comfort on the back. “When spraying all day, one hand is pumping and the other is holding the lance. You do need to swap from time to time so the pumping hand has a rest and the holding hand gets some exercise. This sprayer allows you to do that easily,” says our man.
The filler is close to the edge and is a good size for easy filling. The cap has a one-way, non-drip valve. The tester suggests the mesh sides of the basket filter will eliminate splashback but he would prefer a deeper basket. The tank is made from injection-moulded plastic, is cross-braced and bonded to the shockproof base so there are no joints or seals.
An agitator in the tank stirs as the sprayer is pumped and it has moulding enabling it to double as a spanner.
“It’s a nice lightweight sprayer and the pressure chamber is a good size so there should be plenty of stored liquid so the operator doesn’t have to pump flat out all the time,” notes an observer.
Putting the sprayer into operation our second tester finds the sprayer lightweight and the lever is well positioned for smooth, comfortable pumping. The lance is just the right length. He says: “It’s not a sophisticated sprayer but it is good and solid and comes in at a very nice price.”
The Matabi’s accessories include rectangular and conical hoods, lance extension, telescopic lance, front quadruple nozzle and elbow for herbicides.

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