The Best Tool Vests to Make Your Projects Even Easier

Make sure all of your essential tools are within arm’s reach with the right tool vest for the job.

Best Overall

The Snickers Workwear AllroundWork Tool Vest on a white background.

Snickers Workwear AllroundWork Tool Vest

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Best Bang For The Buck

The Jorestech Hi-Vis Adjustable Tool Vest on a white background.

Jorestech Hi-Vis Adjustable Tool Vest

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Upgrade Pick

The Atlas 46 AIMS Saratoga Tool Vest on a white background.

Atlas 46 AIMS Saratoga Tool Vest

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There are plenty of good reasons to trade in that old tool belt for a tool vest. Since tool vests have far more surface area for pockets and pouches, they can hold more tools and fasteners. They also do a much better job of evenly distributing weight across the body, which makes them more comfortable to wear over longer periods.

Tool vests come in a variety of styles and a broad range of price points, which can make choosing the right one a challenge. We researched 20 different models, comparing specs and scouring customer reviews, to come up with our list of some of the best tool vests out there.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Snickers Workwear AllroundWork Tool Vest
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Jorestech Hi-Vis Adjustable Tool Vest
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Atlas 46 AIMS Saratoga Tool Vest
  4. BEST CARPENTER: Makita TH3 Work Vest
  5. BEST LEATHER: Occidental Leather Stronghold SuspendaVest
  6. BEST VISIBILITY: Aisenin Reflective Safety Tool Vest
  7. BEST PROFESSIONAL: Diamondback Dos Clavos 701 Vest System
A person wearing a black and orange safety tool vest and gloves while working on an electrical box.
Photo: amazon.com

How We Chose the Best Tool Vests

We considered several elements when selecting the best tool vests. A good tool vest should be able to hold a lot of tools of various kinds, so we chose vests with numerous pockets, pouches, straps, and clips for carrying tools. A tool vest also needs to be comfortable to wear, so we chose models that do a good job of distributing weight evenly across the wearer’s body.

Our list of tool vests includes a broad range of price points, ranging from basic models for those who need a tool vest for occasional home projects to high-end vests that feature customizable designs and durable premium materials for professionals.

Our Top Picks

The list below includes tool vests that allow you to carry essential tools comfortably, whether working at home or at the professional jobsite. Included are basic tool vests for DIYers along with heavy-duty models designed with professionals in mind.

Best Overall

Snickers Workwear AllroundWork Tool Vest

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Product Specs

  • Material: 69 percent polyamide, 31 percent cotton
  • Sizes: Small, medium, large, XL, XXL
  • Customizable: No

Pros

  • Durable Cordura material is breathable and durable
  • Numerous pockets for tools and supplies at the chest, midsection, and hips
  • Shoulder straps are adjustable for fit, and vest expands to fit over a coat

Cons

  • Some customers wish there was a holster or pouch for a drill

This tool vest combines durable construction with a functional design to make it one of the best all-around options for those who prefer a tool vest while they work. It’s made from a blend of polyamide and cotton, which gives it excellent durability. There’s also plenty of mesh for ventilation to prevent the wearer from getting sweaty while they work.

It comes equipped with numerous pockets at the chest and midsection. There’s also a mobile phone compartment and knife holder at the hips. Elastic shoulder straps are adjustable for a snug fit, and the vest expands to fit over a winter coat for

cold weather

work.

Get the Snickers Workwear tool vest at Amazon.

Best Bang For The Buck

Jorestech Hi-Vis Adjustable Tool Vest

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Product Specs

  • Material: Nylon Cordura
  • Sizes: 1 size fits most, with adjustable straps to fit medium to 2XL
  • Customizable: No

Pros

  • Makes wearer more visible with brightly colored highlights and reflective strips
  • Pockets, clips, and pouches can hold a variety of tools and supplies
  • 3 adjustable straps allow it to fit a variety of different sizes

Cons

  • Some customers complain that the vest’s material doesn’t breathe well

The bright yellow or orange highlights and reflective strips on the back makes this affordable

safety garment

ideal for working in locations where being visible is crucial. Along with its high visibility, this vest is also tough enough to handle daily use with its heavy-duty nylon Cordura construction.

With its numerous pockets, gear loops, pouches, and clips, it’s capable of carrying flashlights, screwdrivers, fasteners, a hammer, and various other tools. Though the Jorestech tool vest is only available in one size, there are three side straps that make it adjustable from medium to 2XL in size.

Get the Jorestech tool vest at Amazon.

Upgrade Pick

Atlas 46 AIMS Saratoga Tool Vest

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Product Specs

  • Material: Nylon Cordura
  • Sizes: Small, medium
  • Customizable: Yes

Pros

  • Customizable design allows users to add and arrange pouches to suit their needs
  • Constructed from rugged mesh that’s durable and breathable
  • Comes in multiple sizes and has shoulder and side adjustment straps for snug fit

Cons

  • Vest is expensive and doesn’t come with pouches, which must be purchased separately

With its webbing straps and hook-and-loop fasteners, this is one of the most customizable tool vests out there. The wearer can attach custom pouches to the vest’s AIMS webbing and straps to suit their preferences. There’s also hook-and-loop patches on the chest and shoulders for patches and panels.

While this vest is very customizable, all the pouches and holders are sold separately, which makes this one of the priciest work vests out there. The vest also comes equipped with loops that fit around a 2-inch belt and zippered pockets. Adjustable side straps and shoulders allow one to get a snug fit, and the vest is made from mesh for breathability.

Get the Atlas 46 tool vest at Amazon or Atlas 46.

Best Carpenter

Makita Tool Vest for Carpenters

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Product Specs

  • Material: Not available
  • Sizes: 1 size fits all
  • Customizable: No

Pros

  • Numerous pockets and sleeves can hold a variety of tools and supplies
  • Made from rugged material that can hold up to life in a workshop
  • Multiple side straps make it easy to get a snug fit

Cons

  • Some customers complain that the vest isn’t very breathable

This vest from well-known tool brand Makita features numerous pockets and pouches for hand tools, making it an ideal choice for carpenters and DIYers. Elastic tools holders on the front of the vest can hold a full set of screwdrivers and various sets of pliers. There’s also places for pencils and multiple pouches for fasteners, large hand tools, and an elastic phone holder.

A metal ring at the hip can hold a cordless drill or impact driver, while straps on the back of the vest make it easy to loosen or tighten the vest to get a secure fit. With its rugged nylon material, it can hold up to the rigors of a workshop.

Get the Makita tool vest at Amazon.

Best Leather

Occidental Leather Stronghold SuspendaVest

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Product Specs

  • Material: Leather and nylon
  • Sizes: 1 size fits all
  • Customizable: Yes

Pros

  • Leather belt provides strength and support for pockets and suspenders
  • Shoulders are padded and use a nylon material that wicks away moisture
  • 17 pockets and holders fit a variety of hand tools

Cons

  • Some customers complain that the pockets are too tight

Leather work vests can often be uncomfortably hot. Not so with the SuspendaVest, which positions its pockets mainly around the waist, allowing it to have an open chest and back, Couple that with padded shoulder straps that use moisture-wicking Dri Lex nylon and this vest is one of the cooler leather models out there.

Its 18 pockets and holders can handle a broad range of common hand tools and supplies, including screwdrivers, pliers, a notepad, and a cell phone. There’s also a place to hang a hammer, and smaller pockets on the chest straps are handy for pencils and pens. The vest strategically uses leather to add strength and support, including a 3-inch band of leather around the waist and leather reinforcements for the suspenders.

Get the Occidental Leather tool vest at Amazon or Occidental Leather.

Best Visibility

Aisenin Reflective Safety Tool Vest

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Product Specs

  • Material: Nylon mesh
  • Sizes: 1 size fits all
  • Customizable: No

Pros

  • Reflective strips make the wearer more visible at night
  • Plenty of pouches and holders for holding hand tools and a cell phone
  • Breathable nylon material allows airflow through the vest

Cons

  • Some customers complain that pockets are too shallow to hold tools in place

This tool vest has reflective strips on the shoulders, chest, and back, making it more visible at night than most tool vests. Along with making the wearer easier to spot, it also boasts plenty of storage, with its 17 pockets and pouches that are capable of holding screwdrivers, wrenches, and other hand tools along with a cell phone. It comes equipped with a hammer loop and tape measure holder as well.

While this vest is one-size-fits-all, its shoulder straps and waist are adjustable. The vest is made from breathable mesh, helping the wearer to keep cool in warmer weather.

Get the Aisenin tool vest at Amazon.

Best Professional

Diamondback Dos Clavos 701 Vest System

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Product Specs

  • Material: Nylon mesh
  • Sizes: Medium, large, XL
  • Customizable: Yes

Pros

  • Uses high-quality materials and construction that will last for a long time
  • Numerous pockets and holders can secure various tools and fasteners
  • Removable pockets allow users to customize the vest to their needs
  • 10 points of adjustment allows the user to create a good fit

Cons

  • Much more expensive than other tool vests

The top-notch quality of the Diamondback Dos Clavos system makes it one of the best tool vests on the market. The vest distributes weight evenly to keep the wearer comfortable for the whole day, and there are also 10 adjustment points, allowing the user to get a good fit.

The 701 system comes with pockets and holders for a hammer and cordless drill along with pockets for hand tools, a tape measure, and nails or screws. Since the Diamondback utility pockets attach and detach easily, users can customize their vest to fit their needs. While the 701 is professional grade, it also comes with a pro price. It’s one of the most expensive tool vests out there.

Get the Diamondback tool vest at Diamondback.

Jump to Our Top Picks

A person wearing a tool vest, tool belt, and hard hat while carrying a power tool case and tool box.
Photo: istock.com

What to Consider When Choosing a Tool Vest

The number and type of pockets and holders as well as the comfort and fit are critical when shopping for a tool vest. We also sought advice on what to look for in the best tool vests from Docia Boylen, owner of the Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, Handyman Connection location, which provides handyman services to consumers.

Pockets and Holders

Tool vests come equipped with various means of holding tools and supplies, including elastic straps, pouches, holsters, clips, and pockets. They can carry a broad range of tools, including screwdrivers, cordless drills, tape measures, and hammers. Many tool vests also have large pockets that can hold fasteners, such as nails and screws, along with smaller pockets for pencils. Pockets for smartphones are also a common feature.

While the amount of storage that a tool vest offers can vary significantly, most have between 15 and 20 holders. The pockets and holders on some tool vests are fixed, but many tool vests are modular, allowing the user to add and remove various holders to suit their needs and preferences.

Donnelly advises not to simply choose a tool vest with the most pockets and holders. “Look for something that has an organizational system, not just random pockets,” he says. “The pockets should be placed in a way that you can easily get the tool or material out and be held safely when in the vest.”

Fabric and Care

Most tool vests are made of some type of nylon mesh or a mix of nylon mesh and leather. That’s because these two materials are very durable and resist ripping and tearing better than other materials. Donnelly says along with materials, it’s also important to pay attention to construction quality: “Think reinforced stitching around the wear-and-tear areas and sturdy zippers and clasps.”

The vest material should also breathe well, so you don’t end up sweaty. “You will be working, so getting something with breathable fabric—mesh or wicking fabric-–will help keep you cool while working,” he says.

Tool vests are not indestructible and must be handled with care when cleaning. Donnelly suggests getting a model you can throw in the washing machine. If the vest isn’t washing machine–safe, you’ll need to spot-clean it using a damp cloth and, when necessary, mild detergent.

Comfort and Fit

Tool vests are designed to hold a fair amount of weight and are often worn throughout an 8-hour workday, so comfort is paramount. Most tool vests have straps on the sides, against the back, and at the shoulders to make adjustments that ensure a good fit, so the weight of the tools is evenly distributed across the wearer’s back. These adjusters are especially important with tool vests that are one-size-fits-all.

“You need a snug fit when the vest is weighed down so it doesn’t slip and slide,” Donnelly says. “Don’t get it too small thinking it will stay up because it will be too restrictive and be uncomfortable to wear.” Padded shoulders are also a plus.

FAQs  

Below, find out how long you can expect your tool vest to last and why tool vests may be a better option than a tool belt.

Q. How long do tool vests last?

How long a tool vest lasts depends on the material and build quality. Higher-end tool vests designed for professionals and made from high-quality mesh nylon and leather can last a lifetime if cared for properly. Cheaper tool vests may only last 5 or so years before the stitching in the seams starts breaking down or holes begin to form in the pouches.

Q. Are tool vests better than tool belts?

Whether tool vests are better than tool belts comes down to personal preference and what you find more comfortable. Tool belts distribute weight across the wearer’s hips, whereas a tool vest distributes the weight through the back and shoulders. Tool vests often allow for more storage since they can have pockets on the abdomen, but they can also be hotter.

Q. Do tool vests come in different sizes?

Whether a tool vest comes in different sizes varies depending on the vest. While some tool vests come in sizes ranging from small to extra large, many tool vests are one-size-fits-all and have straps that allow the user to tailor the vest to meet their body size.

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Tony Carrick

Contributing Writer

Tony Carrick is a freelance writer who has contributed to BobVila.com since 2020. He writes how-to articles and product reviews in the areas of lawn and garden, home maintenance, home improvement, auto maintenance, housewares, and technology.

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