Although tool boxes and rolling tool bags offer plenty of storage, tool belts allow greater mobility and provide quick and easy access to the tools that you use most often. They are especially useful when work needs to be done from a ladder or on a roof. But the weight of a loaded tool belt can cause discomfort during long work hours, which is where a pair of tool belt suspenders (or a tool-belt-and-suspenders combo, also called a rig) comes in, taking some of the load off the lower back while still keeping essentials in reach.
These helpful pieces of gear come in a wide variety of materials, capacities, formats, and prices, which can make it challenging to decide on the model that best suits your situation while still providing good value. Use this guide to learn about important physical and technical aspects to keep in mind when shopping and read up on some of the best tool belt suspenders currently available.
- BEST OVERALL: Jackson Palmer Professional Comfort-Rig Tool Belt
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: YYST Duty Tool Belt Suspender
- BEST FOR DIY: Bucket Boss Airlift Tool Belt with Suspenders
- BEST FOR CARPENTERS: Dickies 4-Piece Carpenter’s Rig
- BEST FOR ELECTRICIANS: TradeGear Electrician’s 4-Point Suspender Harness
- BEST FOR FRAMERS: DeWalt 20-Pocket Pro Framer’s Apron and Suspenders
- BEST MAGNETIC: MeloTough Magnetic Tool Belt Suspender Pro
- BEST LEATHER: Occidental Leather Stronghold Suspension System
- BEST HIGH-VIZ: AISENIN Construction Tool Belt Suspenders, 3 Point
The weight of a tool belt carried around the waist can soon cause discomfort, particularly in the lower back. Tool belt suspenders spread the load across the shoulders and chest, providing valuable additional support. They can also help prevent a tool belt from rotating as you work, often increasing freedom of movement as a result. When choosing the best tool belt suspenders for your needs, each of the following aspects will have an impact on your choice.
Tool belt suspenders are often subject to harsh conditions and they seldom get much care, so durability is vital. The materials most commonly used are leather, nylon, and polyester.
Leather is usually seen as a sign of high quality, and despite advances in technology, it’s still one of the toughest materials available. Both rain and strong sun can, however, weaken leather, leading it to crack and split unless occasionally treated with leather oil for maintenance.
Nylon and polyester (often the less costly option) are both very strong, lighter than leather, and require no maintenance. But it can be difficult to judge the quality of these materials. A denier (D) number, indicating thickness, may be given; 300D is considered lightweight, while 600D is heavy duty. The term “ballistic” nylon may also be used. This dense weave, originally developed for flak jackets to protect airmen from shrapnel, is typically 600D to 1,000D.
Canvas, often combined with nylon or polyester for added wear resistance, is also sometimes used to manufacture tool belt suspenders.
Support System and Comfort
The support system refers to the number of straps that provide attachment points between the suspenders and the belt. Generally speaking, more straps means better weight distribution. Lightweight tool belt suspenders may have just three straps, while four is the most common (two front, two back), and some models boast five. Straps are adjustable to accommodate people of different heights. A chest strap further helps with weight distribution.
The wider the straps, the less they will dig into the shoulders. Plus, even a basic pair of tool belt suspenders will have some padding in the shoulder area. Neck yokes and back pads offer further comfort by spreading the load across a wider area.
Breathable fabric (and sometimes the foam in padded areas) helps prevent sweat buildup that can cause chafing where suspenders, shirt, and skin can rub together.
The way the support system attaches to the tool belt varies. With tool-belt-and-suspender combos that are designed to work together, the belt will often have preinstalled D-rings, and the straps simply clip in using quick-release hooks fitted to the end.
Stand-alone tool belt suspenders (for those who already have a belt) come with loops to fit around the belt, often secured with Velcro. Each of these has a D ring attached, and, again, the quick-release hooks on the suspenders clip into these. It’s important to check size. Some loops are designed for 2-inch belts while some are for 3-inch belts.
Note: D rings on tool belt suspenders should never be used as attachment points for safety harnesses.
There are a number of extra features that can improve durability, usability, and safety.
- Suspender-and-belt combos may boast a range of different tool storage options, including pouches and pockets, power tool hooks, hammer holders, and the like. Think carefully about your needs and what storage makes sense for you.
- Magnetic pads on tool belt suspenders canbe useful for holding screws, nuts and bolts, etc., while working.
- Places to stow necessary items beyond tools, such as pens, a tape measure, and a cell phone, are also of value.
- Double or triple rows of stitching, or tight cross-stitching, provide reinforcement in high-wear or high-stress areas.
- Reflectors or high-viz straps make it easier to see the wearer in low light.
Our Top Picks
Armed with the information above, you’re well prepared to investigate some real-world examples. The following are what we believe to be the best tool belt suspenders on the market right now. These picks offer solutions for a wide range of different professional and DIY situations.
Choosing a single best set of tool belt suspenders isn’t easy, but the Jackson Palmer Comfort-Rig Tool Belt has a range of features that will make it attractive to DIYers, home remodelers, and even light-duty trade users.
Of the five attachment points, three are fixed at the back to a very supportive, padded yoke that extends over the shoulders. The other two straps attach at the front in a traditional vertical layout, with the additional benefit of a chest strap. Quick-release clips are described as iron but are in fact steel, which is stronger under load. Stitching is reinforced at stress points.
The belt itself can be adjusted from 30 inches to 50 inches and has multiple attachment points. There are two multipurpose detachable pockets with power tool hooks, plus an additional hammer holder.
Although it is not the lightest rig, it is comfortable and spreads the weight well. Complaints are rare, but there have been occasional production faults, and pocket material is not designed for heavy-duty use.
- Material: Nylon and nylon canvas
- Weight: 5.3 pounds
- Attachment points: 5
- Excellent adjustability, support, and comfort
- Versatile tool carrying
- Competitive price
- Occasional quality-control issues
- Not heavy-duty
Get the Jackson Palmer tool belt suspenders on Amazon.
Those looking for a bargain on suspenders to add to an existing tool belt should check out this pair from YYST. They’re strong and supportive despite the very low price. The material is a high-density nylon webbing that is light but tough. There are two vertical straps in front, while the back uses an X-style strap layout that helps spread belt load. All the straps are adjustable, and there is double stitching at high-wear areas. Thick neoprene pads protect the shoulders.
The drawback in our view is that snap hooks, swivels, and attachment hoops are plastic, not metal, which would be stronger and more resistant to impact. Also, the Velcro belt loops will only fit 2-inch belts, not heavy-duty 3-inch models.
- Material: Nylon
- Weight: 10.4 ounces
- Attachment points: 4
- Durable nylon webbing
- Very light
- Low cost
- Plastic hardware
- Fits 2-inch belts only
Get the YYST tool belt suspenders on Amazon.
DIY enthusiasts who take on a host of home improvement projects should appreciate the Bucket Boss Airlift Tool Belt with Suspenders because of its ability to carry a variety of different tools and accessories. Made of tough 600D ripstop polyester, it also boasts durable construction that is able to resist tearing, even if cut or punctured. It offers excellent comfort thanks to a four-point attachment with a cross pattern on the back and straight straps at the front; a chest strap is also fitted. Shoulders are well padded, and the material is breathable to reduce sweat buildup.
Pouches have a number of dividers for versatility, are barrel bottomed for increased capacity, and reinforced to resist wear from things like nails and screws. The belt has metal grommets and can be adjusted out to a 52-inch waist. However, doing so means removing the pouches, which is a little frustrating. We would also like to have seen a power tool hook in addition to the hammer holder, but these are minor complaints for what is otherwise an excellent combo.
- Material: 600D polyester
- Weight: 3.35 pounds
- Attachment points: 4
- High-quality, durable construction
- Reinforced, removable pouches
- Fits up to a 52-inch waist
- Fiddly belt adjustment
- No power tool hooks
Get the Bucket Boss tool belt suspenders on Amazon or Acme Tools.
Dickies has been around for a hundred years, so few brands have more experience making tough workwear. The company’s 4-Piece Carpenter’s Rig—a belt-and-suspenders combo—is particularly suited for carpenters due to its impressive capacity.There are two main pouches with a total of 14 pockets and three tool loops, plus a phone pouch on the suspenders. A 2-inch-wide outer belt allows for further accessories to be added.
The rig is made of heavy-duty canvas with a cotton-polyester woven webbing that’s tough enough for jobsite use. Moisture-wicking shoulder straps have gel padding for all-day comfort. The 5-inch-wide belt is also moisture wicking. It has a double row of steel grommets and fits waists from 32 to 50 inches.
There is little to criticize with the Dickies 4-Piece Carpenter’s Rig, though slim users found it to feel large. Also, the suspenders are permanently attached to the belt, so the latter cannot be used separately.
- Material: Cotton polyester canvas
- Weight: 3.7 pounds
- Attachment points: 4
- Very durable construction
- High capacity and versatility
- Further pouches can be added
- Belt cannot be separated
- Not ideal for slender people
Get the Dickies tool belt suspenders on Amazon.
Electricians who feel weighed down wearing their existing tool belt may find this TradeGear model the perfect solution for support and comfort. The suspenders are made from wear-resistant polyester mesh with a shoulder harness that is padded to defer soreness and breathable to prevent sweat buildup. There’s also a chest strap to further spread load.
The four-point attachments can be hooked directly to D rings on an existing belt, if available, or electricians can use the Velcro loops provided. There’s a large phone pocket on one side that could also hold a circuit tester or multimeter. On the other side, there are carabiners to keep important tools or rolls of tape and wire handy; loops for screwdrivers, pliers, and pencils; plus a magnetic pad for screws or other small components.
Though described as “one-size-fits-all,” some shorter users complained of insufficient adjustment options. We have also heard of occasional stitching failures—not of the suspenders themselves, but of the pockets or tool loops.
- Material: 600D polyester
- Weight: 1.15 pounds
- Attachment points: 4
- Lightweight and hard-wearing
- Breathable mesh padding
- Very affordable
- Occasional stitching failures
- Straps need more adjustment
Get the TradeGear tool belt suspenders on Amazon.
Framing up a building requires having at least one heavy hammer and plenty of nails at the ready, and this DeWalt apron-style belt-and-suspenders combo has the versatile capacity to serve and satisfy professional framers. The two main pouches, which have useful carry handles, offer a total of 20 pockets for tools and accessories, and they’re tough enough to carry nails. Of course there’s a hammer holder, plus a detachable phone pocket on the right-hand front suspender.
DeWalt has earned a reputation for professionally focused tools and workwear, so it’s no surprise that these suspenders made the list. This model is made of polyester, which should prove to be very hard-wearing. Shoulder yoke and belt are both padded and use breathable, moisture-wicking material.
The belt fits waist sizes from 29 inches to 46 inches, which isn’t as large a range as some other belts. The DeWalt framers belt and suspenders also come with a premium price tag.
- Material: Polyester
- Weight: 4.8 pounds
- Attachment points: 4
- Tough enough for jobsite use
- Terrific versatility
- Pouches have carry handles
- Premium price
- Limited belt size
Get the DeWalt tool belt suspenders on Amazon or Acme Tools.
These MeloTough suspenders are another well-made option for those who already own a tool belt, and it could be clipped onto the belt loops of work pants (it fits 32-inch to 44-inch waists). It is made of tough nylon webbing and has a particularly wide and supportive shoulder yoke that is breathable to reduce sweat buildup. A chest strap is also provided.
The key feature is the removable magnetic pad that can either fit on the suspenders or be worn around the wrist. Six magnets provide powerful grip for screws, nails, or small tools.There’s also a large, removable phone holder, and a three-loop area for pencils, screwdrivers, and other small items. The MeloTough magnetic tool belt is available in six colors, including high-viz yellow.
Photography shows a useful drill hook, but unfortunately that’s an additional purchase. We have seen reports of stitching failure and straps becoming detached, but these are rare.
- Material: Nylon
- Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Attachment points: 4
- Removable magnetic wrist strap
- Wide, comfortable shoulder yoke
- Good value
- Occasional stitching faults
- Drill hook not included
Get the MeloTough tool belt suspenders on Amazon.
The Occidental Leather Stronghold Suspension System is made in the U.S. to a very high standard. Both the leather and the associated hardware are of excellent quality.
The shoulder yoke is extremely broad for maximum support, and with moisture-wicking Dri-Lex padding, it is also very comfortable. An adjustable chest strap has a quick-release catch for easy in and out. A D ring at the back can be used to hang up the suspenders when not in use. Each of the front straps has a small pocket.
The suspenders can either clip into a tool belt or the included loops can be used to fit belts up to 3 inches wide. Complaints about them are rare, but the Occidental Leather suspenders are expensive. For those over 6 feet 2 inches, an extension kit is recommended, further adding to the price.
- Material: Leather
- Weight: 2.09 pounds
- Attachment points: 4
- Superb comfort and high durability
- Dri-Lex moisture-wicking yoke
- Made in the U.S.
- Extension required for tall users
Get the Occidental Leather tool belt suspenders at Amazon, Acme Tools, or Toolbarn.
Working in low light or poor weather can increase the chances of an accident. The reflective high-visibility strips on the AISENIN tool belt suspenders are designed to increase safety in such situations. Loops can provide attachment to belts up to 3 inches wide.
The AISENIN suspenders are made from ballistic nylon, which is very strong and resistant to cuts and tears. The supportive shoulder yoke has breathable mesh with Dri-Lex moisture-wicking padding. A chest strap is also fitted. There is a large phone pocket on one side and a three-loop tool holder on the other.
Having only three attachment points means we would not recommend it for heavy tool belts. There have also been a few complaints that the padding tears easily. This isn’t a heavy-duty option, but, in terms of visibility, it’s a safety boon for folks working in dim light.
- Material: 600D ballistic nylon
- Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Attachment points: 3
- Reflective strips for added safety
- Light but strong
- Relatively inexpensive
- Not for heavy tool belts
- Padding can tear
Get the AISENIN tool belt suspenders on Amazon.
The Jackson Palmer tool belt suspenders are versatile, comfortable, and affordable. They’re an ideal choice for keen DIYers and might suit some contractors, though they lack the toughness for full-time construction work and other heavy-duty trades. Those DIYers looking for inexpensive tool belt suspenders will not be disappointed by the YYST tool belt suspenders—they’re basic, but they do the job. Pros wanting something more task-specific should investigate the high-quality options made by Dickies and DeWalt.
The author is a veteran DIYer and has undertaken several substantial remodeling jobs. He has owned a few different tool belts and almost always uses tool belt suspenders with them. His personal experience was supported with market research, looking at dozens of different manufacturers and the variety they offer. The aim wasn’t just to focus on the best tool belt suspenders for professionals but to find solutions for as wide a variety of different users as possible.
We were also very aware of prices. Artisan-made leather tool belt suspenders might look superb and offer tremendous durability, but they are too expensive for many. Our top picks provide something for all budgets.
The detailed information in the sections above will have answered many questions about shopping for the best tool belt suspenders. Queries of a more general nature are answered below.
Q. How do I attach my suspenders to a tool belt?
If your tool belt has existing D rings or loops, the suspenders will attach using the clips fitted to them. Most suspenders also provide nylon or leather loops with a D ring that can go around the belt, and usually have Velcro closures to keep them in place. The clips then attach to the D rings.
Q. Which brands of tool belt suspenders are the best rated?
We believe all of our top picks are the best-rated tool belt suspenders in their categories, though brands like Jackson Palmer, Bucket Boss, DeWalt, Dickies, and Occidental Leather are perhaps the best known. Equally important to a quality brand is how well the suspenders suit your needs and budget.
Q. What should I carry in my tool belt?
The best tool belts can carry a wide variety of equipment and fixings. You would normally carry the things that you use most often or those tools that are relevant for a particular job.
Q.How much does a loaded tool belt weigh?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a fully loaded tool belt can weigh over 50 pounds. It’s important to balance the weight as much as possible to avoid lower back or hip strain.