8 Best Tool Vests | March 2017

We spent 30 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Whether you are a home DIY-er or a construction professional, having all your tools close at hand will make any job go faster. Find the perfect tool vest for your next project from our comprehensive selection. Skip to the best tool vest on Amazon.
8 Best Tool Vests | March 2017

Overall Rank: 5
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 2
Best Inexpensive
The Stanley FMST530201 has a nice mesh lining to help you stay cool, a zipper front, and a convenient top carry handle, so you can pick it up and toss it into the back of your truck. The shoulder straps are adjustable, too.
The Blaklader Workwear Bantam Kangaroo comes in four sizes from medium to XXL, plus it has an expandable zipper that adds an additional 3". The two chest pockets have safety straps to keep items from falling out when bending over.
The Occidental Leather 2500 Stronghold has an open back design to keep you cooler on long work days, and 18 of the most commonly used tool pockets. Plus it has extra storage areas for cell phones and notepads.
The Vest Tech is comfortable even when fully loaded, as it has thick straps that don't dig into your shoulders. It is made from a tear and puncture resistant heavy-duty 1280 D nylon and can be worn with a construction harness.
  • will hold a 2 liter hydration pouch
  • built-in back support
  • internal belt strap makes it cumbersome
Brand Vest Tech
Weight 4.2 pounds
The C. K Tools MA2729 Magma is built for construction sites and other areas where high visibility is a must, as it sports a reflective strip and bright orange accents. Plus it stands up well to heavy daily use.
  • mesh lining adds breathability
  • total of 14 pockets and tool holders
  • has a front display id card holder
Brand C.K. TOOLS
Model MA2729
Weight 1.9 pounds
The Makita P-72089 is a great choice for carpenters who don't have to carry a lot of tools, but want quick access to those they need. It has a mesh window on the back to reduce sweating and four size-adjusting straps on the sides.
  • bright high-visibility shoulder straps
  • quick zipper opening and closing
  • inner carabiner clip for keys
Brand Makita P-72089
Model pending
Weight pending
The ToolUSA AB Jacket is a multifunctional addition to your toolbox. It's lightweight, yet durable, and features 8 pockets, along with two metal clips for hanging tools. Plus it's very affordable at less than $20.
  • doubles as a camping vest
  • reinforced shoulder areas
  • nylon material for less sweat absorption
Brand ToolUSA
Model pending
Weight 1.1 pounds
The Occidental Leather 2538 is packed with more pockets and tool holders than you'll ever need, plus a unique drill holster bag that allows for quick and easy drill access. It is ideal for those who crave organization.
  • front buckle keeps vest secure
  • has an even load distribution
  • allows full freedom of movement
Brand Occidental Leather
Model 2538
Weight 5.7 pounds

The Best Way To Have Tools On Hand

Any experienced contractor, mechanic, plumber, carpenter, electrician, or the dedicated DIY enthusiast will tell you that you simply must have the right tool for the job. When you try to complete any given task with a tool not fit for the job at hand, you risk damaging the tool and ruining your project.

A pair of needle nose pliers has no more business trying to grip a nut or bolt than a flathead screwdriver has being jammed into a Phillips screw, to name two of the more common examples of misused tools. When you use the wrong tool, you risk not only poor execution of the task at hand, but in fact might make more work for yourself by damaging the hardware or materials you're trying to work with.

It is with good reason that each profession has tools tailored to meet the needs that arise in their specific field. While an auto mechanic may use dozens of socket wrenches daily, these same tools might be next to useless for a carpenter, for example. Regardless of which tools you use in the course of your work or your hobbies, how you store and access your tools is an important part of their use. When you take the time to establish proper tool storage systems, you will always know where the items you need to use in your work are at a moment's notice. If you always do your work in the shop (or in your own garage or basement) then using a tool chest or drawers is a fine way to manage your hardware.

If, however, you are a professional builder or a plumber or electrician who makes regular service calls, you need to be ready with a mobile tool management system. The tool box has been the go to way for people to store and organize their tools for generations, but even a tool box can make quick and easy access of tools difficult, as the items in the box often end up jumbled about.

The best way to give yourself easy access to your tools -- and to distribute the weight of carrying all those items at the same time -- is to use a good tool vest.

Choosing The Right Tool Vest

Some tool vests are ready to accommodate everything from a cordless drill to an array of full sized hammers; others are decidedly smaller and are only suitable for hand tools like screwdrivers and pliers. The right tool vest for you is the one that puts the tools you use most often close at hand.

If you only tend to work with a few tools for most projects, then by all means get a simpler, lower priced tool vest. Many can be had for around twenty dollars that are more than adequate for light professional work or for the DIY hobbyist.

However, if you are a general contractor who tackles all sorts of projects, or if your specific line of work merits the use of myriad tools, you may want to consider treating yourself to a tool vest that costs a hundred dollars or more (some options cost more than two hundred dollars, in fact) but that can hold dozens of tools of varied size. A great tool vest will last for years and years of regular use, so consider its purchase an investment in long term convenience.

Don't overlook your own needs in terms of comfort and safety when buying a tool vest. Breathability is important if you work in a warm area or if you tend to sweat easily, and proper support is important for this long hours spend working.

Using Your Tool Vest

As with most aspects of life, so too is with the tool vest: safety and moderation are critical. If you try to put too many tools in your vest, you will not only weigh yourself down, but you will also end up with a cluttered and disorganized vest that makes accessing your tools a hassle instead of an easy process. It's alright to need a toolbox or tool chest as a backup storage system for those tools you use less frequently. Make sure to prioritize the tools you use the most commonly as the first ones you assign a place in your tool vest.

Always make sure to take advantage of any adjustment points your tool vest features. Making sure your vest is snug and secure on your body will maximize your comfort while reducing jostling and bouncing that might cause a tool to fall out of the vest. As a vest will tend to loosen throughout the course of the day, it's a good idea to tighten and readjust the straps from time to time, especially if your vest is heavily laden.

Take the time to clean your tool vest from time to time, ideally laundering it in a washing machine if its care instructions approve that cleaning method. If need be, wiping the vest down in general and spot cleaning problem areas will suffice as well. Regardless of how you clean your tool vest, it's important that you take the time to do so. From the sweat likely to build up on it every day to the spilled paint, solvents, and other liquids, a tool vest is exposed to lots of substances that can dirty it and that overtime can weaken the material.

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Last updated: 03/30/2017 | Authorship Information