Looking for a comfortable way to carry your tool kit to worksites wherever they might be? A tool backpack may be the right solution. They’re built to be durable, withstand the elements, and be comfortable to carry. We’ve rounded up the TOP 5 Tool Backpacks for this buyer’s guide to make choosing one less of a hassle. Things you’ll also learn from this guide: things to look for when shopping, answers to most common questions, pros and cons of using tool backpack, and usage tips.

Tool backpacks are convenient for moving a weighty toolset from point A to point B because it’s less straining to strap the load to your back than lug it around with your hands.

They can also keep water-sensitive items like power tools safe and dry in a water-resistant enclosure, and many are designed to organize dozens of smaller tools just as effectively as a tool bucket. There are tool backpacks specifically designed for professionals like welders, carpenters, and service technicians.

What You Will Learn from This Guide:

What exactly is a tool backpack?

Tool backpacks function the same way as tool buckets, organizing small tools with pockets and providing an enclosed space for larger items like power tools and bulky supplies.

The innovation they provide is putting this well-organized set of tools onto your back with a backpack. This makes walking long distances to a worksite less of a strain on your arms, and you can take your tools up ladders to hard-to-reach places.

Another advantage you get with a backpack is that your tools will stay dry during inclement weather in a zipped-up enclosure. This makes added cordless power tools to your travelling kit practical.

Best Tool Backpack Buying Guide

There are several features to consider when shopping for a tool backpack, but something to look for initially is a backpack designed specifically for the job you plan to do. Some backpacks are intended for carpenters, some are for welders, and others are well-suited to traveling service work. Below is a list of some basic features to compare.

  • Fabric & material: If you’re carrying loads over 30 pounds, you’ll want a durable canvas or nylon fabric. If you’ll be in wet conditions or outdoors, look for a backpack with a solid base and water-proofing.
  • Storage & pockets: Tool backpacks tend to be designed for carrying large sets of small tools or for carrying bulky items like power tools and clothing. When choosing a tool backpack, consider what you’ll need to carry.
  • Comfort: The heavier your tool kit, the more important comfort will be. This is especially true if you’ll need to hike for more than a few minutes at a time. Look for padded straps and backing to make the trip easier.
  • Size: Tool backpacks come in a variety of sizes, from smaller half-size bags to full-size hiking backpacks. The size will determine how many bulky items you can carry, not to mention whether you’ll be able to bring a laptop.

Top 5 Tool Backpacks for 2018

CLC 1134 Carpenter's Tool Backpack - for carpenters

Carpenter's Tool Backpack: photoCustom Leathercraft’s 1134 tool backpack is designed with carpenters in mind. The backpack is divided into two main compartments, one for tools and another for power tools.

This backpack is designed for comfort with extra padding for your back and shoulders and an adjustable chest strap. It comes with a pair of handles on top for lifting a heavy kit, and an exterior pocket puts often-needed items in reach.

Speaking of pockets, there’s a total of 48 provided for stowing a large toolset. Measuring about 14 inches wide, 9 inches deep, and 16 inches tall, the 1134 can carry 40 to 50 pounds of tools and equipment without any trouble.

The bottom has rubber feet to keep it out of puddles, and the material is water-resistant.

Revco Industries Revco GB100 BSX - for traveling to remote work sites

Revco GB100 BSX - for traveling: photo

Revco’s full-size GB100 BSX is one of the better tool backpacks if you need to take a welding kit to hard to reach work areas.

It comes with side pockets that are reinforced, a separate enclosure for carrying a welding helmet, and enough space to fit a jacket, gloves, and other tools. This isn’t a backpack for organizing a set of wrenches, but it comes with enough room to carry heavier welding tools like a grinder.

Just don’t expect it to be water-proof or fire resistant.

This backpack measures 13 inches wide, 17 inches deep, and 19 inches tall.

It’s made of strong material, so you can weigh it down with 20 or 30 pounds of tools without worrying about wearing it out. It’s not made for wet weather, nor is it intended to transport flammables like an acetylene bottle. It is handy for carrying all the safety gear that a welder would need to take to a worksite, though.

DEWALT DGL523 Lighted Tool Backpack - for work in badly lit areas

DEWALT Lighted Tool Backpack: photoDEWALT’s DGL523 is a tool backpack designed for working in poor lighting.

It comes with an LED light that illuminates its interior, so you can find the right tool or item without the need for a flashlight. The light’s brightness is adjustable with three different levels to choose, which makes it useful both for close-up searches in the backpack or to search the ground around you.

It’s also equipped with plenty of pockets to organize a collection of small tools with 48 pockets on the inside and 9 more on its outside. Measuring about 7 inches wide, 8 inches tall, and 5 inches deep, this is not a large pack for carrying bulky items.

It’s well-padded to keep both your back and shoulders comfortable, and it has base feet to keep it upright and off damp surfaces. If you don’t need the extra space for large tools, it’s a great way to keep your toolset organized on the go.

Milwaukee 48-22-8200 Jobsite Backpack - for bigger tools

Milwaukee Backpack - for bigger tools: photo

Milwaukee’s Jobsite Backpack is designed to carry a large tool kit.

It has two compartments and a total of 35 pockets for organizing a toolset. With a solid base designed to take a beating, it’s not likely to fall over when you set it down.

The material used is Kevlar, so you can rest assured it’ll resist rips and tears. The shoulder straps are also designed to keep you comfortable when you sling it over a shoulder to climb ladders. To round it out, you also get a pocket that can hold a 15-inch laptop.

This is a larger backpack measuring 15 inches wide, 24 inches tall, and 9 inches deep, so there’s plenty of open room for large items like jackets and power tools in addition to a set of smaller tools. The material is waterproof to make it safe to carry water-sensitive items like batteries and laptops.

VETO PRO PAC Tech Pac LT - for business travel

VETO PRO PAC for business travel: photo

VETO PRO PAC’s Tech Pac LT is another large multi-purpose tool backpack that can accommodate both a set of tools as well as a 15” laptop.

You get a total of 27 tool pockets to work with, and VETO PRO PAC paid attention to the need for a tablet slot and storage for office supplies. This let you use it as a travel bag as well as a tool kit. The nylon fabric is fully waterproofed, and it also has a sturdy molded plastic base. It’s a good choice for service technicians to use for trips to customer sites.

Measuring in at 14 inches wide, 19 inches tall and 9 inches deep, it’s not as large as Milwaukee Jobsite Backpack, but it does accommodate business travel better, not to mention a larger collection of small tools.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are tool backpacks waterproof or resistant?
Yes, most tool backpacks are at least water resistant. You’ll want to check each product’s water resistance when shopping for a new backpack, though, because the level of protection offered does vary.

Do tool backpacks come with a lunchbox?
Most tool backpacks do not include a lunch box. Some are large enough to fit a lunch box into their larger enclosures, and there are tool backpacks with exterior pockets intended to hold small lunch boxes.

What is the best material for a tool backpack?
For heavy tool kits that weigh 40 to 50 pounds, you’ll want to look for durable materials like nylon or Kevlar. Leather and heavy canvas are also good choices for durability.

How many pockets in a tool backpack are optimal?
If you have large wrench and screwdriver sets to organize, you’ll want a backpack with at least a couple dozen pockets. Some backpacks can accommodate up to 50 separate tools, but the bulkiness of your tools also determines the backpack to choose.

Can tool backpacks be folded, and if yes which ones?
No, tool backpacks are not foldable when loaded with tools. They work in the same way as normal backpacks but tend to be more rigid with solid bases.

Pros & Cons of Tool Backpacks

Pros

  • They make carrying heavy tool kits up ladders or for long distances easier
  • Efficient for organizing many smaller tools
  • Can make it safer to carry power tools outdoors

Cons

  • You may not have much space available for other items like clothes, laptops, or lunches
  • Be careful to check if a tool backpack is waterproof if you need it to be

Tips and Lifehacks

  • If you have a specialty profession with a tool backpack made for it, consider getting it. There are tool backpacks with lunch box compartments, helmet containers, and laptop sleeves.
  • Keeping power tools dry can be accomplished with water-proofing sprays and other treatments if your backpack isn’t fully waterproofed off the shelf.

Comparative Chart of Tool Backpacks

Custom Leathercraft

Carpenter's Tool Backpack min: photo

  • Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Material: Nylon & leather
  • Pockets: 48


Revco

Revco GB100 BSX - for traveling min: photo

  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Material: Nylon polyester blend
  • Pockets: 4


DEWALT

DEWALT Lighted Tool Backpack min: photo

  • Weight: 5 pounds
  • Material: Heavy canvas
  • Pockets: 57


Milwaukee

Milwaukee Backpack - for bigger tools min: photo

  • Weight: 7.25 pounds
  • Material: Kevlar
  • Pockets: 35


VETO PRO PAC

VETO PRO PAC for business travel min: photo

  • Weight: 6 pounds
  • Material: Nylon
  • Pockets: 27

Conclusion

That concludes this year’s round-up of the top 5 tool backpacks. Keep your eyes open for new tool backpacks that appear on the market during the holidays as this type of tool kit carrier continues to win new converts and give toolmakers a reason to keep developing new products.

In the meantime, one of the five backpacks we covered today should keep your tools organized and dry wherever you need to take them.