LAST UPDATED: October 10, 2019
Best Tool Bags: Lug Around Your Equipment with Ease
Conveniently carry all your favorite tools anywhere with these high-quality tool bags
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PUBLISHED ON October 10, 2019
Keeping your tools in one convenient toolbox is a great way to keep them organized. However, there may be a time when you need to bring them somewhere else, and carrying around the toolbox just won’t cut it. That’s when an easy-to-carry tool bag comes in handy. You can store all the necessary items inside neatly and securely to complete your project. Here are some of the best tool bags to make life a little easier.
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Benefits of Tool Bags
- Stay organized. Using a tool bag will help you stay organized by keeping all of your tools in one place. Most bags also have pockets, compartments, and dividers within the bag. This can help you to stay even more organized.
- Portability. When you keep your tools in an easy-to-carry bag, you can be more portable. Unlike a toolbox, you can grab the bag and travel from one project to the next.
- Bring more tools. Without a bag, you’re limited to the tools you can carry in your pants pockets or arms. A tool bag increases this number so that you can bring more with you in a single trip.
Types of Tool Bags
If you need to carry a lot of tools or have a larger piece of equipment that you need to carry, then a duffel tool bag is the way to go. These large bags come in a variety of sizes, but they all generally look like a typical duffel bag from the outside. They’ll have two shorter carrying straps and one longer one.
Look for a bag that has reinforcements at the strap connection points. Pay attention to the durability of the zipper so that you’ll be able to secure the bag closed. Then look at the pockets; some have exterior and interior open pockets. Others only have internal space dividers.
If you only have a small set of tools that you need while working, then a bucket can be a great way to keep them with you. These are ideal for someone working in construction or as a lineman. The bucket helps you keep the job-required tools with you, so you don’t have to stop and run to the truck while working.
A bucket style of bag is shaped like an open bucket with carrying handles or a crossbody/shoulder strap. Then there are several small pockets lining the inside and outside of the bucket. The bottom is flat and made of a durable material like polypropylene. The bottom will also have drain holes.
If you travel with your tools a lot, then having them in a backpack is a convenient and easy way to carry them. The dual straps make the bag easier to carry by looping them over your arms. Look for straps with plenty of cushion and support to protect your shoulders. The bag should also have additional straps for support to protect your back.
Unlike a traditional backpack with one large open compartment, these bags typically have several organizational pockets. This helps keep your tools organized inside the bag. You can then open it up and have everything displayed and readily within reach.
Founded in 1924, the Milwaukee name has become known worldwide for its industry-leading products. The company has consistently developed innovative solutions to help craftsmen be more productive. Check out the durability for yourself with the Milwaukee PACKOUT Backpack.
Founded in Leola, Pennsylvania, in 1924, DeWalt began with the invention of the radial arm saw. The company has since expanded its product line to include a wide range of tools and accessories that are distributed throughout the world. The DEWALT DG5511 Pro Contractor's Gear Bag is a perfect example of the company’s commitment to excellence.
This American power tool manufacturer was founded in 1910 in Baltimore. It’s known as one of the industry-leading manufacturers of hardware, power tools, accessories, and general home improvement products. The BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Drill & Home Tool Kit comes with all of the tools in it and is great for someone starting out.
Tool Bags Pricing
- Under $50: You’ll find two types of bags in this price range. There are low-quality bags that will fall apart quickly. There are also high-quality bags that are smaller in size.
- $50 to $100: This is where the majority of tool bags are priced. They’re an average size, come in a variety of types, use durable construction, and have a variety of features.
- $100 and up: Bags in this price range are typically quite large. They’re designed for carrying large equipment. You’ll also find some bags that come with a set of tools already in them.
The bigger the bag, the more tools it can hold. You should match the storage capacity of the bag with how many tools you need to carry. If you only need a bag to hold task-related tools, then you can use a rather small bag. If you’re looking for a carry-all to keep you mobile, then you may need quite a large bag.
Take a look at the construction of the bag. It needs to be made of durable and tough material. The stitching needs to also be strong enough to support the weight of the tools and keep the bag held together. The bag also needs to be strong enough to withstand daily wear and tear. This could mean that the bottom is reinforced and there is extra support at the stress points.
It’s one thing to buy a bag that can hold a lot; it’s another when that bag can help you organize those tools. Look for a bag with multiple compartments and pockets. You’ll want them to be on both the interior and exterior of the bag. It’s also good if at least some of these compartments have a closure, such as a zipper or Velcro flap.
- Weight Capacity. Tools become very heavy when you pack them all into one bag. You need a bag that can handle this weight. The bag should evenly distribute the weight to make the bag easier to carry. There should also be features to make carrying a large amount of weight easier. This could be extra padding on the shoulder straps or handles.
- Portability. You should be able to pick up and move your tool bag. After all, isn’t that the whole point of having a tool bag? Otherwise, you could keep your tools in a chest. Look for a bag that has handles or a long strap you can loop over your body.
- Type. The type of tool bag you buy will depend on the number of tools you need to carry and your personal preferences. A backpack may be great for when you’re on the go, while a bucket bag will work better when you’re stationary and working on one project. A duffle-style bag is smart when you have a lot of tools you need to carry.
Best Tool Bags Reviews & Recommendations 2020
There are an impressive 50 pockets in this tool bag. There’s a large center compartment for carrying your larger tools. Then the exterior has a zip-out panel that reveals multiple pockets for smaller tools. The bag comes with two padded carrying handles on the top and a longer textured and padded shoulder strap. Dimensions of the bag are 18 x 7 x 14 inches.
What makes this bag nice is that the pockets are all vertical for quick access. The bag is also spill-proof to help keep your tools organized and in place. The main compartment has heavy-duty zippers to secure it closed or open it wide for easy access.
Unfortunately, the seams on this bag aren't as durable as the bag itself and can burst. The clips that hold the shoulder strap to the bag are also not as durable and can break, rendering the shoulder strap useless. The bag is not water-resistant, so if it gets wet, your tools will get wet, too.
This wide mouth duffle-style tool bag measures 9 x 16 x 11 inches. It’s made from 600D polyester fabric and features a double layer construction. There’s a single large interior space with eight interior and 13 exterior pockets. The outside also has eight belts for holding hand tools. There are dual carrying handles with an extra padded wrap closure. The shoulder strap connects at the top of the bag and has an extra-cushioned pad.
What makes this bag stand out is the hidden internal frame in the top. This lets you open the top of the bag wide, and it holds in place. There’s a double-pull zipper to give you easy access and secure closure. The entire bag is abrasion-resistant and waterproof to keep your tools safe.
Unfortunately, the fabric can easily rip and tear when you put tools in the pockets. The bottom of the bag is plastic, which is sewn to the body of the bag. This creates a weak point in the bag and can cause the bottom to fall out of the bag from excess weight.
This duffel-style tool bag has 28 pockets. It’s made from ballistic poly and heavy-duty poly fabric. The bottom of the bag has an extra layer of protective padding to protect it. There are two carry handles and a shoulder strap attached to the top. There’s a large main compartment on the interior of the bag that zippers closed or open wide for top access. The bag measures 18 x 9.5 x 10.5 inches.
What’s nice about this bag is that three of the pockets have a protective flap closure. There’s also a drawstring pocket for holding small tools or hardware bits. The shoulder strap is adjustable, which makes carrying this tool bag more comfortable.
The downside of this bag is that the stitching is weak. This can cause the pockets to come loose so they can no longer securely hold your tools upright. The shoulder strap clips are also weak and can break during use. You’ll also want to be careful with the zipper as it can burst, come off track, or pull away from the stitching.
This tool bag comes with a sturdy molded base. You can choose from either black or brown for the color. There’s a large main compartment for holding your larger tools along with 16 internal pockets. On the exterior, there are 28 pockets and loops for organizing tools. The construction of the bag is from a sturdy synthetic fabric that’s treated with a Rain Defender repellent. The dimensions of the bag are 18 x 14.5 x 11 inches.
What makes this bag stand out is the internal frame. It keeps the bag standing upright, so you never have to worry about the bag folding in on itself. The construction of the bag is also durable with YKK zippers, metal hardware, and triple needle stitching throughout.
The downside of this bag is that the metal frame isn’t strong enough to support heavier or larger tools. This can cause the bag to fold in on itself despite the support frame. The external pockets aren’t reinforced, which can cause the bottoms to rip, which can allow your tools to get lost.
This tool tote bag is designed for carrying tools that are larger or outside of the construction industry. It features a large and wide mouth, plastic base, and adjustable shoulder strap. On the inside of the bag is a single large compartment that has dividers and loops for organizing your equipment. The bag comes with two carrying handles and a long shoulder strap. The bag’s dimensions measure 21 x 5 x 8.5 inches.
What makes this bag stand out is the durable and solid plastic bottom. This gives your tools more support. The large internal compartment is nice for holding larger tools that won’t fit in other tool bags.
The major downside of this bag is that there is a serious lack of pockets, loops, or compartments. This is not the bag for carrying smaller tools and hardware. The bag is also all black on the inside, which makes it difficult to see what you’re doing or what you need.
This small contractor’s bag measures 16 x 9 x 10 inches. It features the classic Milwaukee red and black styling. It’s made from 600D fabric that is both durable and water-resistant. The top has dual handles for carrying, and it comes with a longer shoulder strap. The top has a zipper closure.
What’s nice about this bag is that there’s an internal metal frame to help the bag stand upright and wide open when the zipper is undone. There is reinforcement at the stress points to give the bag more durability.
Unfortunately, the zipper isn’t completely sewn into the bag at the end. This creates a weak point where the zipper can start to pull away from the bag or become misaligned. There is also no pad or strap to hold the carrying handles together. This means it requires more effort to pick up the bag by these handles.
This red and black tool bag from Husky is water-resistant and made from 600D polyester fabric. The bag measures 18 x 10 x 10 inches. There are 13 internal and 16 external pockets to help you stay organized. The bag has two carrying handles and comes with a shoulder strap.
What makes this bag stand out is the stitching. The entire construction of the bag is done with sturdy and durable Bartec stitching. The handles are reinforced with cross stitching to give them a higher weight capacity.
The downside of this bag is that it doesn’t have any internal support. This means that it can’t stand up on its own and will fall over or collapse in on itself. The pockets are also awkwardly sized for tools, with some too narrow and others too large.
This rugged backpack is made from 1680D polyester fabric. It has a molded hard bottom that creates a flat yet durable surface when you set the bag down. There are 40 pockets of various sizes throughout the bag to hold all of your gear. There are 34 internal, four exterior, and two side pockets. The dimensions of the bag are 19.5 x 14.5 x 7.5 inches.
What’s nice about this backpack is that the back panel and shoulder straps are all padded. This makes carrying the bag more comfortable. There is also an additional chest strap for added support.
Unfortunately, there are no supports throughout the body of the backpack, so it won’t stand upright on its own with or without tools. The zippers are lacking durability and can break or rip from the seams.
This large duffle bag measures 20 x 10 x 11 inches. It’s constructed from industrial fabric and has high-quality zippers for closing the main compartment. The exterior of the bag has three large pockets. The bag has dual carrying handles and a shoulder strap.
What’s nice about this bag is the reinforced stitching on the carrying handles and shoulder strap. This makes them stronger and better able to carry heavier weight. The size of the bag is also nice and large. The long shape makes it easier to carry longer and larger tools.
One major drawback of this bag is the lack of pockets for organizing your tools. There are no internal pockets. The three exterior pockets are large and lack support for securely holding tools in them. The bag also lacks internal support, so when it’s empty, it collapses in on itself like a regular duffel bag would.
This tool bucket has an impressive 29 pockets. There are 15 on the interior and 14 on the exterior. The center of the bucket is open for larger tools. A polyester denier fabric is used for the construction. You’ll be able to carry the bag with the two large handles.
You’ll appreciate the smaller details of this bag. The bottom is a molded polypropylene for increased strength and durability. It has drain holes in it to help keep your bag clean and clear of water or sand. There are also two large holes that are reinforced with metal grommets for a longer strap.
One major drawback of this bag is that it doesn’t come with a carrying strap. This means you’re limited to the handles or have to buy one separately. The pockets aren’t supported, which makes them flimsy on the side of the bag, and tools could potentially fall out.
- Consider keeping the most useful or needed tools in the easiest-to-reach pockets. You don’t want to have to dig or search through tools to find what you need.
- Make sure all the tools are firmly in their pouches before carrying the bag. They can fall out if they are not secured.
- Make sure tools with sharp edges are pointed away from you when placing them in the bag. You don’t want to reach in and get accidentally cut.
- If you want a tool bag to match the equipment you already own, you may be able to find a similar brand.
Q: Can I adjust the length of the shoulder strap on a tool bag?
A: To make the bag more comfortable on your shoulder, you can usually adjust the length of the strap. Bringing it closer to your torso may make things easier to carry while wearing it lower can increase the chance of back pain and make it more difficult to walk.
Q: How many tools can a bag carry?
A: Bags are only rated to handle a certain amount of weight before they become too difficult to lift and carry efficiently. Only pack the tools you need when bringing the bag with you to make it lighter and easier for you to handle.
Q: Where should I keep a tool bag when I’m not using it?
A: When not using the bag, make sure you store it somewhere that it won’t get wet and animals can’t get to it. Water can weaken the fabric, while an animal may try to claw its way inside the bag. Consider storing it someplace high, like on a shelf or on top of your original toolbox.
For one of the strongest and most versatile tool bags on the market, consider the CLC Custom LeatherCraft Multi-Compartment 50 Pocket Tool Bag.
Or there’s the budget-friendly Workpro Wide Mouth Tool Bag, which is durable and features a lot of space.