Best Overall: DEWALT DGC530 USB Charging Tool Backpack
Dewalt has been part of the tool revolution for quite some time. They make some of the most trusted worksite tools and/or equipment on the market. Everyone can spot a DEWALT product from a mile away with their black/yellow color scheme. As such, the DGC530 is one of the best options on our list, coming in under $100 with features that will absolutely keep you going all day long. Forget heavy bags and awkward tool belts … the DGC530 from DEWALT should be your next tool backpack.
Premium Pick: Klein Tools Electrician Tool Backpack
While the title might narrow your thoughts about this tool backpack, this is an extremely versatile option for those who are constantly on-the-go. While the price tag is a little higher than most of our other options, it can withstand a lot of abuse without failing. It is extremely comfortable with a lot of extra padding and reinforced stitching/zippers. Whatever you put in here will be safe, no matter how rough you are.
Best Value: WORKPRO Tool Backpack
For those who want a tool backpack but cannot afford a huge price tag, the WORKPRO tool backpack is perfect. It comes in under $50, has more than 60 pockets for tool storage, and can adjust to any situation and/or build. PLUS, it comes with some amazing reviews, making it a great option for anyone looking for a great budget-friendly tool backpack.
How We Picked
Buying a tool backpack is an investment. There are plenty of products on the market to choose from but knowing which one is right for you can be hard. We know that you work hard for your money, so we have broken down the four most important factors to consider when looking for a tool backpack.
In the past, a man was defined by his tools in the bag that he carried them in. A large bag filled with tools from a reputable brand was seen as a sign of superiority and/or achievement. In fact, it moved from the size of the bag to the size of a toolbox. Men were literally trying to find the biggest toolbox for their shop and/or truck.
Things have changed since then…
Now, instead of bringing everything that you own at one time, you bring only those items which you consider it essential to the job. The large, oversized bags that weighed 50+ pounds have now been replaced with smaller backpacks. Plus, backpacks are even replacing the standard toolbelt, proving themselves to be more efficient and practical.
There are plenty of tool backpacks on the market to choose from. Knowing which one is right for you can be difficult, especially with marketing departments working overtime to ensure you buy their products. Today, we are going to show you the ten best tool backpacks currently on the market. Further down, we are going to explain what we used to rank each of these.
Ultimately, we looked past all the marketing jargon so that you would not have to. Our goal is to help you find the best tool backpack for your needs. We are not concerned with you buying “Brand X” over “Brand Z”. As such, this will become the most valuable resource for you as you search for the best tool backpack for your needs.
#1 CLC Custom Leathercraft Carpenter’s Tool Backpack
Water Resistant: Yes
Weight: 4.6 Pounds
Custom Leathercraft (CLC) has been around the block for quite a while, making quality products that have withstood the test of time. With more than 50 years of experience, they know what their customers want.
Starting out our list is the CLC Carpenter’s Tool Backpack. As the title would imply, it is designed for carpenters, though it could easily work for any profession. It is extremely light (when unloaded) at only 4.6 pounds; however, it is built from high-quality leather with heavy-duty, reinforced stitching to hold most anything you can think of in it.
It is built for comfort, with two large, oversized straps for exceptional load balancing. Making it even more comfortable, they have included padding on the back (for your back), helping to reduce any pressure you might feel from an overweight bag. Of course, if you want to carry it like a standard tool bag, you have the option with two large, reinforced carrying straps.
For storage, you have a total of 48 compartments/pockets; 7 easily accessible front pockets and 41 interior pockets. Of course, this can hold most tools, though it might not be the best option for large laptops and/or power tools.
As far as looks go, this is a rather muted product offering. It comes in one color scheme: black/brown. As such, it blends in well in almost any work environment. The leather outer does provide water-resistance and scratch resistance, while the base is strong and flat enough to allow this to stand on its own.
What We Like
With so many pockets and compartments, what can we complain about? This is an extremely well thought out backpack with plenty of added “comfort” features. The leather makes this durable and water-resistant, making this a great worksite option, especially for the price.
For those who need plenty of storage options, the CLC Carpenter’s Backpack is right up your alley. With 48 compartments/pockets (7 front, 41 interior), you will have a hard time filling them all up. Plus, it is built for high-impact environments, surrounded by a durable leather outer that resists scratches and water while looking great no matter what profession you are in. Do not let the name trick you, this is a backpack that will work for anyone, not just carpenters.
#2 Klein Tools Tradesman Pro Organizer Electrician Tool Backpack
Water Resistant: Yes
Weight: 6.05 Pounds
Klein Tools is a highly respected brand, creating quality products for over 100 years! As such, when they create a tool backpack, you expect it to perform just as well. For the most part, this bag is built for electricians, but it could be used by other professions too.
This is another lightweight backpack, weighing in at only 6.05 pounds. Most of that weight comes from the heavy-duty, fully molded bottom. Using a high-quality 1680D ballistic weave material, it can easily handle most worksite abuse without showing signs of fatigue or stress. The bottom absorbs plenty of abuse while the material provides scratch resistance and water resistance. Of course, it comes with two back straps for great load balancing and two top-mounting carrying straps if you want to tote it like a standard tool bag.
It comes with plenty of storage options with 39 interior pockets with 2 exterior pockets (one hard-case) for fast access in a pinch. The exterior, hard-case pocket is perfect for carrying safety glasses or your phone. This is a longer backpack, giving you the ability to store longer tools such as specialized screwdrivers and/or pry bars.
As for looks, it has a bold color scheme of black/gray/orange. It is built for the common worksite, standing out in a more professional setting. If you are not on a construction site, this might not be the best option (style-wise) for you. However, if perception does not matter to you, then this is a great option.
What We Like
The fully molded bottom gives this a great base to sit on. As such, this makes it easy to open your tool bag for instant access to almost any tool in your bag. The durable 1680D ballistic weave provides extreme durability for all your tools, regardless of how abusive you are.
Klein Tools has been around since 1857. During that time, they managed to build a brand built on quality and performance. The Tradesmans Pro Organized backpack is perfect for almost any profession but built specifically for those with longer tools and/or attachments. If you use a lot of long-length screwdrivers or pry bars, this should be on your buying wish list for sure
#3 Carhartt Legacy Work Backpack With Padded Laptop/Tablet Sleeve
Water Resistant: Yes
Weight: 1.70 Pounds
Next on our list is a backpack from a company with a BIG name in the construction industry. Carhartt has a very unique, bland look that stands for ruggedness and durability. Carhartt creates equipment for workers, not pretenders. And the Legacy Work Backpack is not a pretender!
This is an extremely light backpack, weighing in at 1.70 pounds unloaded. To keep the weight down, Carhartt used 1200D polyester material with a Rain Defender coating paired with a Duravax, abrasion-resistant bottom. It comes with two back straps that are contoured to give you a more comfortable, natural feel, wrapping around the shoulders rather than just resting on them. On the top of the back is a carrying handle which can double as a hook rest too.
While it is not loaded with storage compartments, it does have six separate areas (2 front, 2 side, and 2 interior). The two front enclosures are separate and protected by a heavy-duty, high-use zipper. The interior is separated by dividers giving you room to store your laptop and/or tablet while keeping your papers and other accessories separated. This is built for the worksite, but it is tailored more for the office professional and/or site foreman than as a tool carrier. Even so, it could be used to carry your tools, though you would need to use a mini-toolbox to help keep everything separated.
Again, this is a bland offering (as is everything from Carhartt). It comes in one color – tan. Other than a splash of white/orange for the logo and the gray meshing on the back and/or bottle holders, this is a simple and clean design without any major frills. It could work in an office environment or in the trenches of a construction zone.
What We Like
Most of the bags on our list are focused on the onsite work professional, totally forgetting that there is another side that works in the field too – the office professionals and supervisors. This bag is designed to provide the ruggedness and durability of the worksite while being clean and simple enough to be carried into any business meeting without drawing negative ire.
For the office professionals who need a little extra protection in the field, the Legacy from Carhartt is perfect. It provides plenty of protection from the 1200D polyester outer while ensuring you have enough space for your laptops, tablets, and other accessories. With this backpack, a little rain will not leave you running for the nearest overhang.
#4 Milwaukee Jobsite Backpack with Laptop Sleeve
Water Resistant: Yes
Weight: 4.41 Pounds
Next up is a brand that has a proven track record on the jobsite – Milwaukee. For years, workers have trusted Milwaukee products to keep up with their rigorous demands, and now they have another option for transporting all their gear too.
Starting out, this is not a heavy backpack, weighing in at 4.41 pounds when empty. Of course, when you have a fully molded plastic base that is completely waterproof, that is to be expected. Plus, they did not skimp on the quality of the material, using 1680D fabric which resists scratching and helps to keep rain out. The back straps are rounded, designed to rest on the middle of your neck and shoulders while sweeping down and around the waist (this is great for men with a little bit of a belly). Adding even more support, you can even attach a load-bearing harness across the middle of the straps (and your belly) to help keep everything in place (great for running). For those who desire, it can also be carried using a heavy-duty, reinforced carrying handle located on the top of the backpack.
Unlike most of the other offerings on our list so far, this is a more versatile option as it comes with 35 pockets (different sizes) on this inside and/or outside. For those who need to carry tools and electronics, it comes with a laptop/tablet sleeve that allows you to keep everything in one place (perfect for technicians).
As far as looks, this is one of the boldest looks on our list. While DEWALT has a unique and bright color scheme, nothing screams power, aggression, and function like the red/black color scheme of this backpack. Now, it is not atrocious, but you might not want to take it into the office.
What We Like
Again, this is more of a multi-function/multi-purpose tool backpack. Yes, you can carry large power tools in it, drill bit sets, multimeters, and even your laptop. As the name implies, this is a jobsite backpack, so it is not custom-tailored to a specific profession.
If you want to stick with a brand that you know, Milwaukee is a great option. The Jobsite Backpack is perfect for almost any profession while the black/red color scheme is sure to draw the attention of your coworkers. It comes with a completely waterproof base, a water-resistant 1680D polyester outer, and a laptop/tablet sleeve that makes is one of the best tool backpacks on the market right now.
#5 DEWALT DGC530 Lighted USB Charging Tool Backpack
Water Resistant: Yes
Weight: 5.75 Pounds
Now, there is no way you missed seeing this brand at a jobsite. DEWALT is one of the most trusted power tool companies in existence. And they are known for quality, durability, and innovation. Which is one of the reasons why their backpack landed on our list!
Now, this is a heavy backpack when compared to most of the other offerings on our list, but there are a few good reasons for this. First, it has a strong, durable bottom with rubber feet for abrasion resistance and water resistance. Next, it comes with a lighting system that provides light for your back even in low-light situations. And finally, it comes with a battery docking/battery system that can provide power to your USB devices.
Carrying the DGC530 is easy (and comfortable) with the padded web carrying handles and large padding shoulder straps. The zippers are easy to pull but heavily reinforced for years of use. The base is strong and flat, allowing you to fold down the front of the backpack revealing a plethora of pockets and compartments for all your tools. The back has room for a laptop, with plenty of protection between you, the tools, and your highly sensitive equipment.
Just like the Milwaukee offering above, this has an extremely bold color pattern of black/yellow. As you know, DEWALT is very well-known for the color pattern, so it should have been expected (although we would have liked a black-out option; hint). However, the way that they balanced out the colors makes this a little more aesthetically pleasing and office-friendly.
What We Like
For the professional on-the-go, this is the bag for you. With the ability to connect a 20V DEWALT battery and power up your devices, you will never be left stranded looking for a power outlet again. Plus, the built-in LED light makes finding stuff in the dark a breeze.
DEWALT goes above and beyond and this jobsite backpack is the perfect example. With the ability to carry a 20V DEWALT battery inside (which can be used with your tools too), you will always have spare power. The backpack is tough and durable and built to withstand the worksite. And while it is rough and tough, it can still be used in an office environment.
#6 VETO PRO PAC TECH-MCT Backpack
Water Resistant: Yes
Weight: 5.47 Pounds
Our next option is not focused on getting anyone out of office, but it intends to remove any non-performers when it comes to worksite carrying cases. The VETO PRO PAC is a unique offering from a company that intends to shake up the market.
This is another heavy backpack, weighing in at 5.47 pounds. Now, it does not have a built-in LED light or a portable battery pack, so what gives? For starters, it has a weatherproof 3mm injection-molded base. Next, it uses multiple weatherproof fabrics including 1200 PVC for the body and 1800 PVC for the pocket fabric. Plus, all the rivets and rings are made from steel, not aluminum.
And while this is a heavy backpack, it is easy to carry, even when fully loaded. The carrying handle is oversized and molded, with extra reinforcement at the seams for years of use (it is backed by a five-year warranty). This also comes with shoulder straps, though they are not built as much for comfort, but rather for function.
Where this really shines is all the interior space and pockets. With 44 pockets to work with, there is a place for everything. In fact, you can carry power tools, multimeters, memory sticks, drill bits, electrical taps, measuring tapes, lasers, and more without breaking a sweat. This can easily hold more than 50 tools at one time.
For looks, VETO went for the industrial/aggressive look; this is an eye-catcher for sure. With a black/gray/white/red color scheme, it looks menacing. In fact, it looks like a small/undersized backpack until you open it up – then the angels start singing. This would work on the jobsite or in the office, it is a versatile jobsite backpack with a color scheme that is bold (just not too bold).
What We Like
If looks could kill, nothing else would be standing when you bring this to work. This is one of the best-looking backpacks on our list. Even better, it can hold a ton of tools and uses plenty of weatherproof materials to ensure everything stays dry (even on a bad day at work).
While the VETO brand might not be as well-known as Milwaukee or DEWALT, they back up their products with a five-year warranty. They trust their products on the field, and they intend to change the landscape in a hurry. If you want a bag that not only looks rough and tough but is, then you have the consider the PRO PAC.
#7 AmazonBasics Tool Bag Backpack
Water Resistant: Yes
Weight: 2.8 Pounds
AmazonBasics is a good, bottom-line contender that makes decent products for those on a shoestring budget. Of course, the products are “backed” by Amazon, so they have to pass certain quality checks. Of course, one of the reasons this made our list is that it checks off all the boxes we looked at while keeping the costs reasonable.
This is a lightweight backpack, weighing in at 2.8 pounds. It does not have a sturdy, fully molded bottom, but the interior is completely protected by a PVC coating which gives it basic water resistance.
The shoulder straps are padded with adjustments to help fit small-to-large frames. It does come with reflective strips, something that most of the other backpacks on our list failed to add. And while this is a budget-friendly option, it still manages to give you 23 pockets (9 interior, 14 exterior) to work with. Three of the front pockets are perfect for smaller accessories like cell phones and cameras.
In the looks department, it is a completely blacked-out backpack. However, the outside sheen looks too glossy and cheap. However, it will not stand out like a “sore thumb” and can be used in an office environment or at a construction site interchangeably.
What We Like
This is a good, basic option for those who do not have a lot to spend. Are their better offerings on our list – yes! Are they remotely close to this price – no! If all you need is a basic backpack, this will work great.
Amazon has carved out a budget-niche with plenty of products to choose from. This is just another offering from them that fits a need without burning your wallet. If you have been on the fence about a tool backpack, this is your first step towards tool freedom!
#8 WORKPRO Tool Backpack
Water Resistant: Yes
Weight: 4.74 Pounds
Getting close to the end of our list, WORKPRO has a middle-weight contender for you. Equipped with a fully molded bottom, it will keep all your tools dry (even in the back of a wet truck bed). The outer material is comprised of 600D polyester, which is light and durable, while still providing scratch resistance. The back straps are fully padded with adjustments to make sure everything is snug. If you want, you can use the included carrying handle which is reinforced for heavier weights.
For storage, there is not a better option. It comes with 60 pockets in total (20 pockets, 15 belts, 40 pockets from included insert). No matter what you need to carry with you, it has the room. Now, it does look small, and it is, but that is a good thing. Instead of having a deep base to work from (for things to bounce around), everything stays nice and compact (easy to find; less movement); it is still large enough to carry a laptop if needed.
For looks, it comes with a very bold (but cheap looking) black/red color option. Plus, they plastered the logo on the front. While it is great marketing, we wish they would have left the logo off. Otherwise, it will look great in the field and tucked away under your desk at the office (though you might get asked if you brought your kid’s backpack to work).
What We Like
This is another budget-friendly option that gives you a ton of space! If you need to carry a LOT of tools, then this is perfect. We love the easy access front and the included insert with 40-tool capacity.
WORKPRO is designed for onsite professionals. If you need to carry your tools with you, then this relatively inexpensive option is perfect. While the outer may look a little cheap, it is what is on the inside that matters – what is inside will make you giddy!
#9 Dead On Tools DES Gear Destroyer Tech Pack Backpack
Water Resistant: Yes
Weight: 7.1 Pounds
Now, we are going to talk about the heaviest backpack on our list. This is an absolute beast, with a name that you will never forget. The Destroyer is what nightmares (or dreams) are made of.
Constructed using a 1680D polyester material, scratches and water will have to retreat in fear. The base is exceptionally strong, with a molded bottom that resists water, scratches, and bumps. The back straps are fully adjustable and padded while the carrying handle is built for weightlifting.
Storage-wise, you have several options from the front pockets with storage compartments, to the middle pockets with even more storage options, to the rear where you can store your laptop and notepads.
This is not a small backpack, with an overall footprint of 20” x 17” x 10”, but it manages to look great doing it. It is completely blacked out (very aggressive) with the Dead On logo (a skull) imprinted on the front. In an office setting, this might be frowned upon, but the construction site will be a different story.
What We Like
This is one of the most robust offerings on our list. It is a little heavier than all the other models, but it is rugged! The base is extremely sturdy, and the imprinted logo protects everything behind it. Not to mention, we can take our laptop wherever we want without fear.
For those who want plenty of storage with the strength of the dead, this is perfect. Dead On was “dead on” when they built this backpack. It comes with TONS of storage with enough features to make it a worthwhile investment. For those who want a long-lasting backpack, it would be unwise to pass on this backpack.
#10 Rugged Tools Worksite Tool Backpack
Water Resistant: Yes
Weight: 6.4 Pounds
Finishing out our list, Rugged Tools has put together a backpack worth your time and money. Remember when we said that a backpack was an investment? Here is where you will get a great return-on-investment (ROI).
Rugged Tools understands that you need a strong, reliable backpack for day-in and day-out work. As such, they built this using heavy-duty polyester material that is water-resistant, while making sure that all seams are reinforced with zippers that can withstand thousands of pulls. Plus, the straps are curved, providing exceptional support for most frames. In fact, it even comes with a load-bearing harness to help support heavier bags/tools.
For storage, you have a total of 68 compartments to choose from! 30 tools pockets, 29 utility organizers, 4 zippered pockets, 2 side pockets, 1 utility clip, 1 utility strap, 1 laptop sleeve, and even a USB power port (for use with a battery pack; not included). Honestly, you could probably fit all the tools from your toolbox in this backpack.
As for looks, this is one of the best looking, with a clean, black front that does not have a large logo. The logo is framed properly in the middle, but it is not overwhelming. The blacked-out look would work great in any environment.
What We Like
We love storage options, and this is one of the largest storage options we could find. Of course, it does not hurt that it comes with a portable battery charger either.
If you want a backpack that will outlast your current job, then you must buy the Rugged Tools Worksite Backpack. The name says it all – RUGGED!
Buyer’s Guide To Finding The Best Tool Backpack
Finding the right tool backpack really comes down to knowing the right qualities to consider. With that in mind, these are the top factors to take into consideration.
One of the most important factors of a tool backpack is how much it can carry. Of course, this is generally equated to the size. If you have been on the worksite long enough, it evidently you have heard a joke about “size” once or twice. And while size does matter, it is only part of the equation.
At times, having a big tool backpack might be more of a problem than it is worth. While you could, in theory, carried all your tools on your back, why would you? At the end of the day, you would be tired and worn out from lugging around all your tools. The purpose of a tool backpack is to have the most commonly used tools with you for your job. If you look like you are about to head out for a hiking expedition, then you probably have a tool backpack that is too big for you.
When looking for a tool backpack, look for one that fits your frame while giving you the ability to carry all the tools you need. If you do not know what tools are essential, then this is a good time to take inventory. Know what you need to carry so that you can find a tool backpack with enough space and strength to support your tools.
While a tool backpack is primarily designed to be used on the worksite, it should still look good. Gone are the days where a dusty, dirty, dingy, ripped up tool bag is a sign of manliness. Today, manliness is defined by a plethora of factors that have nothing to do with how rough and growth your tool bag looks. In fact, people tend to trust professionals with clean vehicles, tools, and tool bags.
Of course, a tool backpack will look fairly similar to most of the other options on our list as they all hang from your back. However, each one will come with certain features that give it a unique look. Some will come with colored stitching while others might come with multiple outside pockets. Some will have special color schemes where others will stray from standing out. Consider your working environment and how you want to be perceived. If a bright color scheme would stand out tremendously, then it might not be the best option for you.
How long can you last?
Well, this is not about you. Instead, your next tool backpack needs to be able to handle all your tools and the worksite life without giving up too soon. Unfortunately, most of the tool backpacks available on the market right now leave you wanting more. But, the ones on our list are built to take a beating and keep on going.
Remember, some of these tool backpacks are fairly expensive. How would you feel if one of them gave out during the middle of your job? As such, you need to look at the quality of the materials, the stitching, the seams, the zippers, the cushioning, the support, and more to find a great backpack that will last. Something that somehow gets overlooked in this process is if the bag is water-resistant. While it probably will not survive a swim in a pool, it should be able to withstand sprinklers and rain.
Ultimately, you do not want to buy a bag that only lasts for a year or less. Make sure you buy from a reputable brand that uses quality fabrics and reinforced stitching.
And the last major factor to consider when looking for a tool backpack is the base. We preach the importance of a good foundation for relationships, for financial security, and even for worksites. As such, you need a good base for your backpack to sit on.
Most of the time, your backpack will have a lot of tools to support and a weak base will leave you slumped over. If your base is made from a soft, pliable material, it may not be able to stand on its own. Of course, this may not be an issue for you. For some, having a bag that stands and opens flat is a big priority. The faster they can get to their tools, the quicker they can finish the job. Plus, a good base will not rip and will help to absorb any potential drops.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tool Backpacks
If you have not used a tool backpack, you probably have a lot of questions. Below, we will address some of the most commonly asked questions. Of course, if we do not answer your question, let us know so that we can help you and all our future visitors.
Q: What are tool backpacks?
A: Tool backpacks are tool bags that have gone on a weight loss program. They serve the same function of a tool bag, but they add a level of convenience that a standard tool bag does not. They can be carried on your shoulders/back, making it easier to spread the load out (versus leaning to one side for extended periods of time). Plus, most of the backpacks are loaded with pockets and storage compartments while tool bags have one or two main compartments. In fact, backpacks are even replacing the tool belt as they keep everything from falling out, even when you lose your balance.
Q: What is different about a regular backpack and a tool backpack?
A: The biggest difference between a regular backpack and a tool backpack is related to durability. While Jansport and North Face have great backpacks, they are not nearly as resilient as the ones on our list. A tool backpack is designed to support heavier loads, withstand scrapes and bumps, handle hundreds of zipper pulls, and more. In fact, most even come with some type of water resistance. Plus, a tool backpack has more compartments to work with, sometimes eclipsing 50 separate storage locations for all types of tools and/or parts.
Q: What are the benefits of using a tool backpack?
A: One of the most important benefits of using a tool backpack is the ability to carry it without using your hands. A large tool bag would be hard to carry up a ladder, but a tool backpack rests on your back. Another great feature is load balancing – this is the ability to support the weight across your whole body versus one side or the other. No one likes trying to balance 75+ pounds on a ladder while staying upright.
Q: What professions usually use tool backpacks?
A: Honestly, any profession can use a tool backpack, even a doctor! However, most tool backpacks are used by carpenters, electricians, network administrators, heating and air repairmen, linemen, and more. The reason is simple, tool backpacks give them access to the most commonly used tools without looking out of place or weighing them down.
So, that is our list of the best tool backpacks currently on the market!
Hopefully, you were able to find a tool backpack that fits ALL your needs. We tried to give you everything you needed to make an informed decision. We highlighted some of the best options, picked out a few that stood out, and even gave you a buyer’s guide. In fact, we even tried to answer all your questions too (if we did not, let us know so that we can).
Our goal was to help you find the best, longest-lasting tool backpack without breaking the bank. We looked beyond the marketing jargon to give you an unbiased look at each of the tool backpacks on our list. Ultimately, we hope that your search is over. If not, now you know exactly what to look for when searching for tool backpacks.
Product Boxes: Last updated on 2019-08-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API