The 5 Best Tool Backpacks [Ranked]
Tool backpacks are ideal work accessories for contractors and technicians who need to transport large quantities of specialty tools and maintain easy access to them while on job sites (Source).
Tool backpacks commonly feature a variety of strategically sized and located internal/external pockets, top carrying handles, impact and water resistant molded bases, padded shoulder straps, and ballistic fabric weaves (Source).
How they compare
The Milwaukee jobsite backpack includes an integrated laptop sleeve- a feature the other tool backpacks lack.
While the Carhartt does also have a laptop/tablet sleeve- it's not a 'true' tool backpack with dozens of different-sized pocket compartments for tools. More of a rugged, everyday backpack, if anything.
The DeWalt DGL523 distinguished itself with an integrated LED light- you can use it to illuminate its interior or on the job site itself. The DeWalt also has the most pockets (57), with 48 inside and 9 outside.
Our Top Pick: Leathercraft Tool Backpack
- ACCURATE AND RELIABLE - Accurately determine your SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation levels), pulse rate and pulse strength in 10 seconds and display it conveniently on a large digital LED display.
- Custom LeatherCraft markets this tool bag for service professionals, repairmen, technicians and installers who want a hands-free tool transport solution (Source).
- This is helpful when climbing ladders, or when you need to use your hands to haul bulky equipment.
- It includes 48 different-sized and configured, 41 inside and 7 outside.
- Buyers range from HVAC repairmen, to cable technicians, and wind turbine service professionals.
Leathercraft Video Overview
|Tool Backpacks||Our Rating||Price ($)||# Of Pockets|
|The Custom Leathercraft Carpentry Tool Backpack||4.5||$||44|
|The Klein Tools Tradesman Pro Tool Organizer Backpack||4.5||$$||39|
|The DeWalt Lighted Tool Backpack Bag||4.5||$$||57|
|The Carhartt Legacy Work Backpack||4.5||$||N/A|
|The Milwaukee Jobsite Tool Backpack||4.5||$$||35|
Best Tool Backpacks For 2023
Ease of Use
This tool backpack offered by Custom Leathercraft is durable, comfortable to carry, and spacious. Users love the adjustable compression pocket for bulky items, but some do note that the zipper breaks.
The Custom Leathercraft tool backpack measures 8.5” x 13.3” x 16”, and it features two main zipped compartments, a comfortable padded back support, a shoulder strap, an adjustable chest strap, a convenient exterior pocket, and dual handles. Another great thing about this carpenter’s backpack is that it has 41 inside pockets and 7 outside pockets so that you can store plenty of tools.
A purchaser observes that the tool bag is made of thick, sturdy material and that he can fit all his tools inside with room to spare. He states that after a few months of heavy use, it’s still as good as new. Another user mentions that the zippers seem sturdy and that the shoulder straps are very comfortable.
He highly recommends it as the best tool backpack for carpenters. A buyer also notes that you can carry the backpack without much effort, even if you fill it with tools. He adds that the two top handles are very convenient when you want to haul the bag without spilling your tools.
However, some customers have said that the CLC backpack is not as comfortable as they expected and that the bottom digs into your back.
Custom Leathercraft Video Demo
- 49 pockets
- A padded back support
- A shoulder strap
- An adjustable chest strap
- Dual handles
- An adjustable compression pocket
- Bottom digs into the back according to some users
- Zipper breaks
Ease of Use
If you need a bag to carry your tools to work, you might take a look at the Tradesman Pro r backpack offered by Klein tools. Users love the elegant design, but some do note that it’s not so easy to access the tools as they expected.
The Klein Tools backpack measures 14.7” x 18.6” x 12.5”, and it features 39 pockets, including a front zipped pocket for small tools, interiors pockets which are perfect for long screwdrivers, a tape measure holder, an electrical tape thong, and a fully molded bottom for protection.
Another great thing about this tool bag is that it’s made of 1680D ballistic weave for durability.
A reviewer comments that the Klein Tools backpack is the perfect gift for every electrician and that it’s roomy, well-stitched, and sturdy. She also observes that the bottom of the bag is plastic, but nevertheless, it’s comfortable and light.
Another user shares that the tool organizing bag is holding up well after a couple of months of regular, extensive use and that her husband finds it easy to carry around.
A purchaser adds that the plastic bottom is waterproofed and that it allows the bag to stay upright.However, some customers have said that the backpack’s zipper broke in a couple of months and that it gets stuck from time to time. Some also note that the bag is heavy.
Klein Tools Video Demo
- 39 pockets
- Too heavy for some users
- Zipper issues
- Not easy access to the tool according to some customers
Ease of Use
This tool bag offered by Dewalt is sturdy, handy, and a perfect choice for electricians or carpenters. Users love the LED light that they can use to illuminate a work area, but some do note that the bag is made in China.
The Dewalt lighted tool bag measures 7.4” x 8.5” x 4.45”, and it features three levels of light output, 48 multi-use inside pockets, nine outside pockets for easy access to your tools, and a weight of five pounds. Another great thing about this tool organizer bag is that it has large pads on the back in combination with padded carrying handles and adjustable shoulder straps.
A reviewer shares that the Dewalt tool backpack is very spacious and that you can fit almost anything in it. The buyer also observes that the stitching is well-done and that the material is top-notched.
He highly recommends it as the best tool bag. Another user states that the light is extremely useful when you have to grab a tool from inside the backpack and that the straps are comfortable and durable. A purchaser adds that the load is distributed evenly and that your back and shoulders don’t get too strained.
However, some customers have said that the shoulder strap broke in a few months and that they had issues with the light.
DeWalt Video Demo
- LED lights
- Numerous pockets
- A padded back
- Padded handles
- Adjustable shoulder straps
- Shoulder strap issues
- Complaints about the light
Ease of Use
If you need a comfortable bag to carry your laptop around, you might take a look at this brown tool backpack offered by Carhartt Legacy. Users love the laptop sleeve and the tablet space, but some do note that it’s not as spacious as they expected.
The Carhartt Legacy work backpack measures 12” x 18” x 11”, and it features a zippered inside compartment, two mesh pockets, two zippered pockets on the front, small slash pockets, and a weight of 1.4 pounds. Another great thing about this bag is that it’s made of 1200 D polyester with an abrasion-resistant base.
Moreover, this tool backpack has contoured shoulder straps and a padded back panel to ensure your comfort.
A purchaser comments that his 13.3” laptop fits nicely in the Carhartt Legacy tool bag and that it’s tough, durable and well-stitched. Another online reviewer shares that the shoulder straps are comfortable and that the bag stands upright due to the rubber bottom. He highly recommends it for students who need a durable work backpack for books or laptops.
A user adds that this is a great everyday backpack and that he hasn’t had any issues with it even though he carries 30 pounds in it. He states that it’s one the best student work backpacks that he has ever used. However, one customer has said that the quality of the zippers is not what he expected.
Carhartt Video Demo
- A laptop sleeve
- A tablet space
- Zippered compartments
- Mesh pockets
- Contoured shoulder straps
- Padded back panel
- Zipper complaints
- Not spacious enough for some users
Ease of Use
This work organizer backpack offered by Milwaukee is tough, roomy, and well-balanced. Users love the laptop sleeve, which is suitable for laptops up to 15.6”, but some do note that the bag is made in China.
The Milwaukee jobsite bag measures 8” x 14.3” x 23.4”, and it features 35 pockets which are perfect for organizing your tools, an impact-resistant molded base, and a padded, breathable, load-bearing harness. Another great thing about this back is that it’s made of 1680 ballistic material for durability.
Moreover, this bag has a fold-down front pocket for easy access.
As a whole, purchasers are satisfied with the functionality and the usefulness of the Milwaukee jobsite backpack, and they highly recommend it as the best work bag.
A reviewer comments that the bag turned out to be far more durable than he expected and that it has enough pockets to fit everything you might need. He adds that the tool backpack is comfortable to carry and your shoulders don’t get sore. Another buyer mentions that the bag doesn’t topple even if you stuff it full and that the zippers close well.
A purchaser also notes that he has been using this jobsite bag for more than six months and he is very impressed by its sturdiness. However, some customers have said that there are not enough small pockets for tools and that some of the pockets are too small.
Milwaukee Video Demo
- 35 pockets
- An impact- resistant base
- A padded harness
- Durable material
- A fold-down front pocket
- Small pockets
What Are Buyers Saying?
The first tool backpack we examined was the Custom Leathercraft option- it features integrated back support cushioning and has 44 different pockets. Because some of these pockets are compression pockets- they are size adjustable, meaning that large and bulky objects can be fit into them.
As an aside, if you're looking for a truck tool box, check out the link- they provide a rundown of the best storage chests that can sit in your truck.
As well, another convenient feature is the carry handle is at the top of the bag- this makes it simple to transport your tools around the job site without having to strap the backpack onto your back.
Examining their marketing materials, we see that it is marketed towards repair technicians, carpenters, electricians, anyone doing installation work on construction sites or home renovation projects.
One specific application being for service personnel climbing up ladders who need hands-free access to their specialty diagnostic equipment. Indeed, this is especially handy for satellite and cable television installers who frequently transport a large variety of specialty power hand tools to job sites and need access to them in difficult places.
- Buyers say that when you fill it up with tools, it does stand up straight on its own, although it does lean forward slightly.
- Another reviewer says that on average, once it's fully packed with carpenters tools, it weighs anywhere between 40 and 50 pounds.
- One electrician we interviewed who's been using the bag for about a year now tells us that it is durably built and can accommodate every size and shape tool with space left over for his lunch.
- An IT professional who travels to remote work locations tells us that he prefers this option over a traditional toolbox because once the sides are zipped they easily display and provide access to all of the tools he needs as opposed to having to unpack everything as is the case with a steel toolbox.
- Some of the objects he loads it up with include gloves, tool belt organizers, male connectors, punch down tools, voltage detectors, forehead mounted lights, wall plates, cable hooked tools- and many, many more items.
The second organizer backpack we examined is provided by Klein Tools- it features 39 different pockets with a molded bottom to protect against inclement outdoor elements like snow and rain.
- One buyer says he was able to cram his 17 inch Asus laptop into it, telling us that the fit is somewhat tight, but it does zip.
- Because of a hard casing, some electricians prefer it because it provides protective insulation against impact to ensure expensive hand tools are not damaged.
- Another buyer had it monogrammed with his initials so that it was readily identifiable on the worksite.
- Another buyer tells us he carries it up ladders on his back and appreciates the plastic bottom because you can drop it in puddles without concern for water damage- plus it means that it stands up straight when you settle it down on the ground.
The third tool backpack we examined is produced by DeWalt- it differentiates itself by including an integrated LED light that you can use to shine into the backpack itself or to illuminate a dark construction area.
This light is actually adjustable- featuring three different illumination levels, making it sensitive for far or close applications. It's marketed as a convenient way to store and transport accessories and tools including drill bits, pliers, extension cords, wrench sets, testers, and screws.
The internal pockets are strategically organized- there are 48 of them, all of which are marketed towards contractors who need a variety of different-sized storage compartments that are easily accessed. Buyers endorse the arrangement of the front pockets- this is a great place to store tools that you need access to the most.
- One buyer wondered whether he be able to fit a toolbelt in it. He discovered that it really depends on the size of it. The workaround is to strap it to the bag itself with a durable bungee cord.
- Buyers say it will fit a laptop- though you should be careful to keep it away from other tools in the back so it doesn't get scratched.
- Engineers applaud the top handles which make it easy to log in the bag around the job site, even when it's loaded and heavy, without side zippers exploding and unleashing its contents onto the ground.
- Another buyer praised the distribution of the pockets, saying that it is designed to distribute weight evenly which makes it more comfortable to carry even when loaded with over 40 pounds of tools.
- Another buyer managed to load it up with over 100 pounds of equipment, saying that it's held up well with the integrated light helping him see into its interior when it is dark in the early morning hours.
The fourth work backpack we examined is manufactured by Carhartt. It comes in brown and black colors and is built from polyester with rain resistant coating and a Duravax base.
- One buyer said he was pleased by his minimalistic design appearance, its sturdy construction, its ability to stand rather than flop over when settled on the ground and how comfortable the curved shoulder straps are.
- This bag is not really as a robust an option for storing tools- it's more of a grab and go solution for buyers who want to shuttle their laptop and some other accessories in a rugged way.
- Buyers do love it, however, saying that while not equipped to store hundreds of tools and carry 100 pounds, it's a rugged option for smaller-scale transport, even functioning as an every day backpack.
The last job site backpack we examined is manufactured by Milwaukee- it features an integrated laptop sleeve, and impact resistant base, and 35 different organizing pockets.
- Buyers, were for the most part fairly pleased, saying that it is a tough option that can accommodate hand tools, a laptop, without exerting uncomfortable pressure on the shoulders when transporting.
- One technician tells us that doing appliance repair means he needs quick and ready access to a ton of different tools-this option enabled him to store everything without having to walk back to his truck to find a forgotten item.