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The Best Tool Backpacks 2021

best tool backpacks


If you’re looking for maximum mobility when it comes to tool storage, a dedicated tool backpack is the way to go. Much like tool bags, tool backpacks provide an impressive amount of organizational storage, making it easy to find what you’re looking for without much searching around. Most even have a large enough area for storing larger items, like a full-sized power drill and batteries. They’re also designed to be much more durable than regular backpacks, and can stand up to the abuse of a busy garage or workshop, as well as the sharp and pointed tools you’ll keep inside.

What to Consider

If you’re considering a tool backpack, you should first think about what you plan on using it for. If it’s going to act as more of a home base for your home tool collection, go with an option that has a lot of exterior pockets, making it easier to find what you’re looking for. If you plan on frequently taking your backpack out of the house and tossing it in a truck bed, you may want to go with one that prioritizes durability a bit more. Thinking about tackling projects in low-light conditions, one of our selections includes its own convenient LED work light.

How We Selected

When assembling this list of tool backpacks, we called upon our extensive experience as a residential carpenter in New York City, where we exclusively used tool backpacks to organize and transport our tools to different job sites nearly every day. This experience not only gave us a good idea of the brands that are reliable and durable, but also which features were the most beneficial. We also made sure to include a range of budget options, so whether you’re looking for a basic model or a higher-end pack, you should find an option in your price range.

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Best with Work Light

DEWALT DGL523 Lighted Tool Backpack

This model has been our go-to backpack choice for years, and has held up in some really rough conditions. The LED light built into the top of the unit not only lights up your workspace, but can also be rotated to illuminate the inside of the bag as well. 

The bag itself strikes a nice balance of comfort and durability, thanks to its padded straps, weight distribution, and extra heavy-duty fabric that can stand up to sharp and pointy tools you toss inside. A handy Velcro strap on the bottom of the main storage compartment is great for securing your power drill during transport. 

  • 57 pockets
  • Three LED settings
  • Side tape measure pouch


Best Water-Resistant Option

Klein Tools 55421BP-14 Tool Backpack

Klein Tools


We love how deep the waterproof base is on this Klein Tools backpack, making it well-suited for wet or messy environments that could damage the valuable power tools you have inside. This bag is designed to fully zip open, making it easy to access all of the 39 pockets and storage compartments. 

Our favorite feature of this bag is the molded front pocket, which has a hard outer shell and is perfect for storing fragile or delicate items that could otherwise get damaged in a softer pocket. The metal tape measure slot on the side is a great perk, too.

  • Tall enough for long tools
  • Sturdy base makes it easier to keep upright


Most Durable Option

Milwaukee Ultimate Jobsite Tool Bag



It’s not the most budget-friendly option out there, but we think this Milwaukee backpack could be worth the price to the right DIY-er. What we love the most about this model is its focus on durability, not only for the pack itself, but for anything you store inside. 

Constructed with heavy-duty 1680d ballistic nylon and designed with several hardshell compartments, this model provides a safe and secure protection for fragile items like electronics or safety glasses. The impact-resistant base also helps prevent damage to your tools from drops or falls, and also keeps the bag upright when you set it down. 

  • Comfortable padded harness
  • Very expensive
  • Heavier than most


Best for Storing an Extension Cord

Custom Leathercraft Carpenter’s Tool Backpack

Custom Leathercraft

This bag and its variety of 44 pockets and sleeves provides a ton of storage options for your tools and accessories. Plus, a pair of Velcro straps on one of the interior compartments allow you to secure your power drill in place, which can prevent it from getting knocked around or accidentally turning on and draining the battery. We also appreciate the several small pockets on the outside of the bag that allow for convenient access to pens, pencils, or flashlights. 

At 16 inches tall, this is one of the more compact backpacks we included, which could be beneficial for those who want a less bulky option. 

  • Exterior pouch for securing large items
  • Raised feet keep the bottom dry


Best for Maximum Pockets

Custom Leathercraft 75-Pocket Tool Backpack

Custom Leathercraft


$110.45 (26% off)

With almost a ridiculous amount of storage compartments, this 75 pocket model would be ideal for those who have a lot of hand tools and equipment to keep organized. It even includes a separate plastic tray for storing small fasteners and accessories, which is a huge plus in our book. Three full-size sections provide even more options to separate different tool types than most bags, allowing you to designate a different area to a specific purpose or project. This amount of storage might be a bit overkill for the casual hobbyist though, so keep that in mind.

  • Hook-and-loop flaps prevent spillage
  • Two padded handles
  • Not practical if you don’t have many tools
  • Expensive


Best for USB charging

DEWALT DGC530 USB Charging Tool Backpack

This bag could be a no-brainer if you already have a collection of 20-volt DeWalt power tools. Designed with a built-in USB charging dock, this bag allows you to use one of your existing 20-volt DeWalt batteries to conveniently charge two mobile devices at the same time. It even has a thin, wide pocket that can fit a tablet device. 

This backpack doesn’t have the storage capacity of most of our other options, but if you don’t have a lot of tools to carry and are looking for something a little more functional, this could be a great choice. 

  • Less useful if you don’t plan on charging any devices


Best for Bulky items

Klein Tools 55482 Tool Bag Backpack

Klein Tools


The spacious main storage compartment of this backpack would be convenient for those who need to transport bulky items like power drills or extension cords, in addition to a collection of smaller hand tools. 

Our favorite feature of this model is its bright orange interior, which makes it easy to spot and grab the tool you’re looking for, as opposed to all-black options. Its unique shape also allows you to unzip it halfway—or fully, to create a workstation platform. It also has a built-in elastic strap to hold an LED worklight, though that would need to be purchased separately.

  • Exterior tape measure slot
  • Does not have a rubber base
  • Heavier than most options


Best Compact Option

Rugged Tools Tradesman Tool Backpack

Even though it costs less than the rest of our options, and doesn’t have the most impressive storage capacity, this affordable bag still has some of the convenient features you find in more expensive models. Its molded bottom keeps the interior dry in the event of a job site spill, and since it’s constructed using the same 1680D polyester of other Rugged Tools products, it’s less likely to rip or tear.

With 28 pockets — including a large flap for a tablet or clipboard— this pack makes it easy to keep a decent amount of tools organized and easy to find. 

  • May be too small for some

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