Backpacks are now synonymous with the word tools, prompting manufacturers to constantly upgrade and refine their backpack designs to meet the demands of handymen everywhere. If you search for practical and reliable backpacks, you will find a wealth of options with numerous price ranges and sizes. Narrowing down your choices can take time, so we took it upon ourselves to compile a comprehensive list of the best tool backpacks in the market to help you save time and guide you in the right direction.
The Best Tool Backpack
With a long and illustrious history under its belt, Klein Tools was bound to design a backpack that takes the cake in terms of organizing and storage capabilities. The Klein backpack weighs 6 pounds and comes with a safety compartment where you can keep your glasses and phone within reach and away from your sharp tools. It is also fitted with 39 pockets that vary in height and width so you can pack up things like long screwdrivers and wrenches with ease.
Zipper pockets are also located inside and outside the Klein backpack for small and easy-to-misplace tools. The bottom is hard molded, meaning that the backpack has a solid base to protect your gear. The eye-catching orange color provides high contrast against the tools and the fabric itself is made out of a tight and dense ballistic weave that is both tear resistant and durable. It also comes with four handles and wide, padded shoulder straps to help distribute the backpack’s weight.
- Orange Interior to enhance tool visibility
- 39 Pockets to help you organize your tools
- Padded shoulder straps for comfort
- 1680D ballistic weave
- Hard shell front pocket for glasses
- Fully molded bottom
- Brand Klein Tools
- Model 55421BP-14
- Weight 6.05 lbs
Specializing in work gear, Custom Leathercraft has designed a tool backpack with six compartments and 75 pockets that allow you to pack as many tools as possible inside one durable bag. At 5 pounds, the clc tool backpack is lightweight and comes with a separate storage area especially made for a cordless drill.
There is also a hook and loop compartment with flap pockets to keep your tools from falling out. The padded handles are great for carrying the backpack even when the zippers are open and the shoulder straps were designed with your comfort in mind. The bag is also made from high-grade ballistic polyester fabric and comes with a plastic tray that you can use to store small items like nuts and bolts.
- 75 pockets distributed over 6 compartments, each with a separate zipper
- Special storage area dedicated to cordless drill
- 2 Padded handles and adjustable shoulder straps
- Sturdy ballistic polyester fabric
- Fitted with a multi-compartment plastic tray for smaller hardware items
- Heavy-duty zippers
- Brand Custom Leathercraft
- Model 1132
- Weight 5 lbs
Toolbag manufacturer Veto Pro Pac is the architect behind this weatherproof backpack. Custom made for service technicians, the backpack is equipped with 56 pockets and has enough room for cordless drills and bulky items such as cable wires and tablets. The tech bag weighs 9 pounds and also comes with a special central panel for long tools and a large tool bay compartment with a quick release mechanism for easy access.
The padding on this bag is not limited to the shoulder straps and is also present in the back panel for added comfort and stability. The extra padding combined with the molded waterproof base prevents the backpack from tipping over. This Veto Pro Pac creation also has memory stick pockets, a measuring tape clip made of stainless steel and an aluminum hook used to hang the pack off the ground.
- 56 interior and exterior pockets
- Enough space for bulky items and cordless drills
- Ergonomic rubber handle and padded adjustable shoulder straps
- Made of long-lasting, weatherproof dernier nylon
- Multi-purpose zippered pocket for tablet
- EVA back padding for added comfort
- Brand VETO PRO PAC
- Model TECH PAC
- Weight 9 lbs
DeWalt’s backpack weighs 4.6 pounds and comes with many features including full zippers and a built-in LED light. The rotating light can be used to find tools inside the rucksack or it can come in handy in tight spaces with limited light. There are 57 pockets in total and 9 of them can be found inside the front zippered pouch. Tools like drills and extension cords can be easily packed inside the DeWalt tool backpack and the full zippers allow you to unzip it all the way down from the sides. Padding is also available in the handles and the back in addition to the shoulder straps.
- 57 pockets in total – 9 of them located in the front zippered pouch
- Capable of holding a large collection of tools including drills and wrench sets
- Padded shoulder straps and cushioned, ergonomic back
- Battery powered LED light with 3 output levels
- Protective base pad bottom
- Full zipper for better and wider access to tools
- Brand DEWALT
- Model DGL523
- Weight 5 lbs
This compact backpack is wear-proof with a bright orange interior and 40 pockets that can be used to hold essential everyday tools like wrenches, measuring tape and pliers. There is also room for a drill and other power tools. The 1680 Denier polyester fabric is lightweight, tough and made to last and so is the durable rubber base that prevents it from tipping over. The base acts as a shield against rain and other harmful weather conditions that may damage your gear. Padding is incorporated into the shoulder straps and the back as well with a bonus chest strap that you can fasten around your waist for better weight distribution and extra back support.
- 40 reinforced pockets to help organize your tools
- Made of 1680 Denier polyester fabric
- Hardshell base
- Chest strap for balancing weight
- Padded shoulder straps
- Padded back lumbar support
- Brand Rugged Tools
- Model RTOOLS-TOOL-BACKPACK-PRO
- Weight 5.82 lbs
The L255 Tech Gear lighted backpack is another offering from CLC featuring two cinch straps and two compartments that can be unzipped at the same time. This model comes with 53 pockets divided into three categories: tool, accessory and multi-use pockets. The LED light has three different settings and can be used to illuminate the interior of the backpack. The roomy side pockets can hold pens and other smaller items while the zippered compartments allow you to keep everyday tools within reach. This functional backpack has two wide handles and is padded where it counts.
- 53 pockets for numerous functions
- Built-in LED light with 3 brightness levels (Batteries included)
- Large base for a more steady and shielded bag
- Dual compartments
- Padded shoulder pads with sternum belt
- Cinch straps for cordless drill and battery charger
- Brand Custom Leathercraft
- Model L255
- Weight 5 lbs
The Jobsite Backpack from Milwaukee comes with a fold down pocket that is large enough to hold a drill and extension cords and is built to last thanks to its 1680 Dernier fabric and hard shell bottom. The molded bottom is resistant to water and will keep your tools safe from harm. The backpack is equipped with 35 pockets and has a laptop compartment that can accommodate a 15.6-inch notebook.
Clip-on storage is also available in the shape of daisy chains that you can use to attach external gear. Offering back support are two padded shoulder straps with a harness to make carrying the bag more comfortable and to stop the straps from sliding off your shoulders.
- 35 pockets to keep tools organized
- Laptop compartment
- Impact resistant mold base
- Made of 1680 D heavy duty material
- Fold down pocket for power tools such as drills
- Padded shoulder straps with load bearing harness
- Brand Milwaukee
- Model 48-22-8200
- Weight 4.41 lbs
Veto Pro Pac has another technician bag in their collection and this one happens to be lighter and a lot more compact yet serves its purpose as a service, repair or installation bag. Boasting 44 pockets and a central panel that can hold over 50 tools, this tool bag is both durable and easy to carry. The backpack comes with two storage bays and neoprene side pockets for extra items such as pens, flashlight and measuring tape.
The thick base is made out of polypropylene and the rest of the bag is manufactured from weatherproof Denier nylon. The bag comes equipped with D rings and a stainless steel clip for holding tape. Padded shoulder straps are also available in this model.
- Two storage bays with 44 vertical pockets
- Can hold over 50 tools, including a compact cordless drill
- Heavy-duty plastic coil zippers
- Weatherproof body made of 1200 PVC infused Denier nylon
- 2 Neoprene pockets
- Weatherproof polypropylene base
- Brand Veto
- Model TECH-MCT
- Weight 7 lbs
DeWalt and CLC combined forces to provide a backpack with charging capabilities. Thanks to the internal charging compartments, you can easily charge two devices at the same time using the DeWalt USB charging battery dock. This compartment can hold your tablet, phone and any other extra devices that need charging. When it comes to storage, the backpack has 17 pockets including three exterior fold down pockets for quick grab-and-stow items. The easy charging feature comes with an indicator light that displays the status of the battery.
- Custom-made battery dock to stow DeWalt lithium-ion battery (battery not included)
- Dual charging feature for phones and tablets
- 20 vertical pockets -17 for tools and 3 for electronic devices
- Compact design
- Heavy duty bottom
- Low battery cut-off protection monitor
- Brand DEWALT
- Model DGC530
- Weight 3.75 lbs
This tool backpack has 36 pockets and separate storage compartments with two-way zippers. There is room for a laptop in the back compartment where a protective cover is added to keep fragile devices safe. Both the shoulder straps and the back itself are made out of padded, water-resistant fabric.
- Laptop compartment with protective cover
- Strong back support offered by padded back and shoulder straps
- Brand XtremepowerUS
- Model 90702-XP
- Weight 7.3 lbs
What to Look for in a Tool Backpack
Size is one of the most important factors that come into play when choosing a tool backpack. You need a bag that is somewhere between large and small and can carry all of your tools without it being too heavy and bulky. If you choose the wrong bag, you might end up with a severe pocket shortage and a disorganized, overstuffed backpack.
The best tool backpacks on the market are ones that are divided into two compartments. Height plays a major role in terms of packing your lengthy tools and so the average backpack is around 15 inches long to accommodate things like long screwdrivers and even laptops. Thickness, however, tells a different story that revolves around storage capacity and internal loop numbers. A thicker backpack will carry more tools but it will also be difficult to squeeze into tight spaces if your job demands it. In this case, opting for a smaller backpack is the best and most convenient choice.
A large and spacious bag without enough pockets is a waste of money. Look for backpacks that have a suitable amount of shallow pockets and zippered ones to store accessory bits and smaller tools as well. Vertical pockets are a must for your gear and they need to be stretchy and designed to hold tools of different shapes and sizes. A bag with evenly distributed pockets is also better in terms of weight and will be easier to carry around on your shoulders.
There is nothing better than a well-organized workspace and this applies to backpacks as well. An organized tool backpack saves you time and makes it easier to find the tools you need. Not having enough pockets to store your tools will only prompt you to crowd them together in one compartment, putting them at risk of damage and knocking against one another. Velcro straps are also essential when it comes to fastening those pockets, especially the ones that fold over in the front. If the backpack is equipped with loops, then those need to secure your tools properly.
- Weight Distribution
A heavy backpack with inadequate weight distribution can take its toll on your back. Luckily, big name manufacturers paid attention to this particular issue and designed padded shoulder straps for their tool backpacks. The padded straps help distribute the weight equally between your shoulders while providing comfortable and ergonomic cushioning at the same time. Chest straps are a bonus feature found in some backpacks and they also help spread the weight across the body. Make sure that the shoulder straps are adjustable so you do not end up with a tight fit that ends up harming rather than supporting your shoulders.
Investing in a tool backpack with weatherproof fabric is a step in the right direction. First of all, the fabric will shield your tools against rain or other hazards that you may encounter in your field of work. Heavy duty ballistic nylon is the fabric of choice for some manufacturers.
A backpack with a durable rubber bottom is ideal for carrying the backpack in stormy weather. The water-resistant base gives you the freedom to put your backpack on any surface, wet or dry. This solid foundation also prevents it from tipping over, which is also a bonus. Durability saves you money in the long run, so make sure you learn more about the fabrics used in order to rule out any subpar quality products.
- Opening and Closing Mechanism
Zippers are next on the list and they sometimes are the weakest link in backpacks. Sturdy zippers are ones that work no matter how many times you open them, and those are usually made from quality material that is lightweight, rustproof and heat resistant too. Some people opt for bucket style bags that come without a zipper but if you happen to work on ladders or in construction sites, then a tool backpack with zippers is the best and safest choice for you.
Some backpacks have extra padding in the area where your lower back meets the bag. This point is where the bag itself holds most of the weight and can rub against your body. Lumbar support is great for handymen who carry their heavy backpacks from one place to another.
Why You Need a Tool Backpack
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 20% of workplace injuries were caused by falling from ladders in the past decade. This percentage alone is enough reason to encourage professionals to exercise caution when climbing up and down their respective ladders. Caution paired with a handy tool backpack can make a world of difference to handymen everywhere. Replacing your toolbox with a backpack allows you to use both your hands to carry ladders and other essential gear. Keeping your tools organized inside your backpack will eliminate any tripping hazards or accidents caused by leaving your power drill or hammer on the floor. Compact backpacks can hold enough tools and also come with a stainless steel hook that allows you to hang them from your ladder.
Professional tool makers saw the need for such durable bags and now the market is flooded with a wide selection of tool rucksacks. These specialized bags offer many benefits in comparison to the average backpack, including vertical pockets, LED lighting and weatherproof fabric that helps prolong the shelf life of your tools. In summary, you need a tool backpack for safety and organizational purposes. A good quality tool backpack is also lightweight and padded, so not only do you get to climb the ladder with both hands, but you also receive the added bonus of protecting your back from injuries.
Tool Rucksack for Different Types of Handyman
Handymen have different needs according to their respective professions, so for example, an HVAC technician might go for a tool backpack with a cordless drill pocket and room for his voltage tester. Every profession demands its own set of tools and hence requires a different kind of backpack.
Carpenters use more heavy and bulky tools that take up more space and so they need a backpack that can carry this heavy load of equipment. Adjustable compression pockets come in handy for this type of handyman. Heavy duty zippers are also necessary to withstand the weight and frequency of opening the bag. Multiple compartments large enough to accommodate circular saws, hammers and screwdrivers are one of many features that make a tool backpack fit for a carpenter.
When it comes to electricians, the more pockets the merrier. Their tools do not take up much space, so a compact yet functional backpack can do the trick just as long as there is ample room for their drills and hand tools.
- HVAC Technician
This particular handyman’s job revolves around heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning, meaning that he has to venture into dark and damp spaces. Therefore, he needs a bag that will serve him to the max in such conditions. The ideal HVAC tool backpack is water-resistant with durable zippers and a reinforced molded base. This feature alone can make a difference when it comes to protecting tools from chemicals and other workplace hazards. Dark spaces mean having to hold a flashlight and so a backpack with built-in LED light is more than ideal for this scenario. Throw in a lightweight fabric with enough pockets and loops to keep things organized and you get a backpack that ticks all the right HVAC boxes.
Mason backpacks are usually wider and are tall enough to accommodate power saws and other large tools that take up a ton of space. A handful of pockets is more than enough for masons whose jobs involve working in construction sites. Therefore, the best tool backpack for this profession is one with exterior pockets that can be used to stow protective gear. Reinforced handles are also a plus.
Convenience is key when it comes to this profession, so a tool bag with good ergonomic features, zipped pockets and the high-grade polyester fabric is ideal for plumbers. LED light is also a great feature for handymen who need a stable light source when working.
Types of Backpack Tool Bags
- Heavyweight Tool Backpack
Heavyweight applies to every component of the bag, from the zippers to the stitching. This tool backpack is the go-to bag for professionals who care about durability and quality fabric. It is specially designed to hold heavy power tools and other bulkier items. This type of tool backpack is usually resistant to wear and tear and is able to withstand the test of time.
- Regular Tool Backpack
Regular backpacks were designed to carry a lighter load and have enough pockets to help you transport everyday tools. It is more geared towards people who want easy access to their supplies minus the hassle of carrying a toolbox around the workplace. Regular tool backpacks also function as great outdoors and survival bags that can hold camping gear with ease.
Best Tool Backpacks FAQ:
Q: Are all of these capable of holding a cordless drill?
A: Nine of the above backpacks are capable of holding a cordless drill but the narrow, more compact backpacks such as the Veto Pro Pac Tech- MCT Tool Bag can accommodate a compact drill that is designed to fit in tight areas.
Q: Are all of the backpacks listed above waterproof?
Q: What type of closure might be best for a tool backpack?
A: A zip style closure is best for tool backpacks because it stops everything from spilling out. Handymen who use ladders in their line of work can benefit from this closure mechanism because it is safe and keeps everything intact. However, professionals who do most of their work on the solid ground have the option of buying a bucket style bag. Bucket style is easy to open from the top. At the end of the day, it all depends on the type of work you do and whether or not you want zippers in your bag of choice.
Q: What sort of zipper should I choose?
A: Full zippers allow you to peel open the bag all the way from the sides. This provides better access to your tools and allows you to stow them inside their designated pockets with ease. Dual zippers are also a great way for you to grab one of your tools without having to open the whole bag in order to get it. Both the full and dual zippers are good options for tool backpacks.
Our Top Pick
The Klein Tools Tradesman Organizer Backpack made it to the top of our list because it combines durability with optimal functionality. This model has it all, from different sized compartments to a hard molded pocket that is perfectly suited for safety glasses and phones. The Klein Tradesman Organizer is also reasonably priced and is available in a distinctive orange color that catches the eye and makes it easier to find and grab the tools you need. Add in a heavy-duty ballistic weave and a hard molded bottom to the mix and you get a wholesome tool backpack for organized and practical handymen everywhere.