The 10 Best Tool Backpacks

Updated May 19, 2018 by Sam Kraft

10 Best Tool Backpacks
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We spent 46 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Plumbers, electricians and general contractors all need specialized gear to do their jobs. It makes sense that they would also need a specialized bag to carry everything, which is why we put together this list of tool backpacks. With multiple storage compartments and comfortable carrying straps, many of these can also hold laptops and phones and provide illumination for your workspace. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best tool backpack on Amazon.

10. Milwaukee Jobsite

Constructed from a thick, rugged fabric, the Milwaukee Jobsite has a molded base that keeps it standing upright once you take it off your back and set it down. Its heavy-duty harness helps reduce strain and fatigue as you haul it around all day.
  • handy exterior quick-access pocket
  • has a laptop sleeve
  • some slots and pockets are too small
Brand Milwaukee
Model 48-22-8200
Weight 6.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. ToolPak Original

The 108 pouches within the ToolPak Original are customizable, which means you can arrange them to hold tools that come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. It features six additional panels and three handy zippered compartments, all of which are easily accessible.
  • opens flat for easy tool checks
  • includes a drop light loop
  • limited space for large tools
Brand ToolPak
Model PKTK001
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Custom Leathercraft 1134

The Custom Leathercraft 1134 has two primary enclosures that can be secured shut with a zipper. It also features an adjustable compression pocket that can accommodate bulky items, such as extension cords, large tools and tarps, which is ideal for general contractors.
  • 2 sturdy top handles
  • adjustable chest strap
  • zipper is not very durable
Brand Custom Leathercraft
Model 1134
Weight 4.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Klein Tools Tradesman Pro

Since it looks like any other backpack, the Klein Tools Tradesman Pro won't stand out on the subway or in a classroom. When you open it up, however, you’ll discover a gold mine of specialized pockets and compartments for devices of various sizes.
  • special long screwdriver slots
  • rigid and stable rubber bottom
  • highly visible orange interior
Brand Klein Tools
Model 55421BP-14
Weight 7 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. DeWalt DGL523

Practical and versatile, the DeWalt DGL523 features a bright LED light built into its body, which can be used to illuminate the contents of your bag or directed onto your workspace. Its intuitive design makes it easy to organize your accessories.
  • foldable easy-access panels
  • light has 3 power settings
  • carrying handles with soft padding
Model DGL523
Weight 4.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Carhartt Legacy

Constructed to repel rain and resist tears and abrasions, the Carhartt Legacy is a dependable option, even in adverse conditions. It goes above and beyond just tool storage, offering a convenient interior panel with a key fob, pen loops and areas for smaller items.
  • mesh water bottle pockets
  • heavy-duty ykk zippers
  • attractive minimalist design
Brand Carhartt
Model 19032102
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

4. Veto Pro Pac MC

If you take a business-minded approach to your jobs, the Veto Pro Pac MC is one of the most practical models available. It allows you to organize your items into job-specific sections, which is ideal for inspectors, technicians and contractors with myriad responsibilities.
  • extensive storage capacity
  • cordless drill compartment
  • 2 large and 5 small d-rings
Model MC
Weight 4.6 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

3. Custom Leathercraft ECPL38

You won’t have to worry about your phone and laptop running out of juice while you’re on the job, since the Custom Leathercraft ECPL38 comes with a removable power bank that features built-in USB ports. It has five exterior pockets for grabbing frequently used items.
  • able to charge 2 devices at once
  • has a measuring tape clip
  • includes pencil and pen holders
Brand Custom Leathercraft
Model ECPL38
Weight 8.3 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

2. DeWalt DGCL33

Equipped with an internal charging compartment that can accommodate a tablet, phone, and camera all at once, there’s not much the DeWalt DGCL33 can’t handle. Its tough, durable zipper is smooth and reliable, which makes it simple to slide open.
  • bright led light system
  • feet on base prevent scratching
  • adjustable contoured shoulder straps
Model DGCL33
Weight 4.6 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. Veto Pro Pac Tech

If you're looking for one of the most functional, comfortable models out there today, try the Veto Pro Pac Tech. Not only does it feature two large storage bays and four sub-compartments, its utilitarian appearance makes you look and feel like a professional.
  • super-thick base for stability
  • 5-year warranty on defects
  • available in 3 different designs
Weight 9.8 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Why Tool Backpacks Are The Next Big Thing In Construction

Quality organizational systems in your workshop, like tool cabinets and storage racks, are certainly helpful when working from your home or office. But busy handymen and construction workers rarely stay in one place. When it's time to go to a work site, they need a reliable way to transport their tools, like a tool backpack. Regular backpacks will not suffice.

Tool backpacks are designed with material rugged enough to withstand being poked and prodded by sharp tools, as well as equipped with several well-organized pockets that make tools easily accessible. Unlike tool boxes, these backpacks leave a worker's hands-free. This is especially important when they need to climb a ladder to get to the problem area that needs fixing. Around 20 percent of occupational falls each year happen from a ladder. Having both hands to securely climb a ladder can hopefully reduce that number.

Tool backpacks can eliminate another construction place hazard - trips. Construction sites are typically littered with buckets, blocks of cement, step ladders, and other items. Leaving tool boxes on the floor presents yet another tripping hazard. Plus, when someone trips on a tool box, they typically knock it over, sending sharp tools sprawling onto the floor. This, too, can be quite dangerous. Some may argue that tool bags equally solve the problem of leaving boxes on the floor. But tool bags must be carried on just one side of the body and can put too much strain on one's shoulders and neck, adding to the list of chronic pains construction workers develop. Tool backpacks are designed to evenly distribute the weight of tools on the wearer, and to prevent back problems.

Another accessory some may argue rivals the tool backpack is the trolley. These have their merits, but they can present problems when one is working on a site with a lot of stairs and no working elevator. In that case, a worker is still forced to carry the trolley, much like they would a bag.

What Makes A Tool Back Pack Superior To A Regular One

Tool backpacks typically have solid bottoms that allow them to stand on their own, making it easy for a worker to grab tools without having to open the backpack each time. These are also commonly made from water-resistant materials to help protect tools from damp conditions.

Not only are these backpacks water-resistant, but they're also ruggedized and can withstand the harsh conditions of a construction site. This extends to the bottom, which usually has a little extra protection to survive being dragged across rough, unfinished floors. Tool backpacks have special pockets designed for each of the most commonly used tools on construction sites like wrenches, hole saws, and extension cords. Many models also contain a padded area for a tablet, so contractors can keep track of their work calendar and contacts without worrying about their tools scraping up their device's screen.

Even the more lightweight tool backpacks are designed to support heavy loads. For this reason, the shoulder pads are typically wide and extra-padded to provide the wearer comfort. One can usually find intelligent exterior pockets and loops on tool backpacks, too, for things like a measuring tape and flashlights. Poor lighting is a major occupational hazard. Workers cannot always control whether their environment will be well-lit, but keeping a flashlight within arms-reach can prevent slips and falls.

Essential Tools Every Tool Backpack Should Have

When rushing to a handyman job, unaware of exactly what sort of problem one will face, there are a few items one should always keep in their tool backpack. Safety goggles should be on a construction worker's person at all times. Workplace eye injuries send tens of thousands of people to the emergency room each year, and even the tiniest piece of scrap metal or handful of sawdust can cause severe damage.

Another crucial addition to a tool backpack is a laser measure. One cannot possibly properly mark areas that need to be drilled, or determine the exact amount of material that must be cut if they do not have an accurate measurement. Without one, construction would all be guesswork. If you work in construction for a living, you cannot be without a level, either. If you install something unevenly, you will likely be asked to redo the job for no additional pay.

Many of the power tools in your backpack may become unusable if you do not carry an extension cable with you. On busy work sites, there are rarely enough electrical outlets available where you need them. There will also be times when your tool needs to reach a roof or ceiling, and there are generally no outlets up there. One final tool that could save your life is a voltage tester, which can stop you from accidentally touching live electrical wires.

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Last updated on May 19, 2018 by Sam Kraft

Sam is a marketing/communications professional and freelance writer who resides in Chicago, IL and is perpetually celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory.

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