When I was younger all the dads had a mustache, they drank Budweiser and pretty much all had the same leather tool belt. Today there are a lot of options for carrying your tools with you no matter what your trade. The Tool Belt is not dead yet, it’s still the staple for keeping tools close at hand but they have certainly evolved and there are now lots and lots of other options, from tool vests, tool aprons, tool backpacks and much more!
Ergodyne recently launched their tool aprons, the most popular version 22 Pocket Canvas Apron 5704 ($23) abrasion resistant, pocket for everything and it distributes the weight much better than your standard similarly priced tool belt.
The Tool Vest has also grown in popularity, Blaklader has several nice tool vest options such as the Roughneck Utility Vest ($49) which is heavy duty material with pockets literally designed to hold nails. Again with the weight being dispersed over the shoulders you can wear a tool vest much more comfortably than a tool belt with different pockets to keep all your gear well organized.
Tool Back Packs are probably the biggest trend we’ve seen and especially with the younger generation. Why wear your tools at all if you can keep them well organized in a back pack that can easily be set in front of you to easily see everything all at once and not have any additional weight. Some options include the Milwaukee Backpack 48-22-8200 ($99), Ergodyne Arsenal Backpack 5843 ($115) or the very aggressively prices Southwire Backpack BAGBP ($66). All these and most others offer 20-30+ various pockets with hard bottoms that will allow the bag to sit up and provide easy access to tools.
Of course there are plenty of reasons and various applications where you might use a tool belt in one situation, a backpack in another or even a Tool Kilt in another situation (we don’t judge). The good news is we are no longer have just one option for personal tool storage.