With its Flex tool bag, FastCap is trying to address the problem that no matter which tool bag you choose, it never seems to have the right number of pockets, or have the the right-sized pocket in the right place. To accomplish this, they’ve created a tool bag where you can place removable pockets both inside and outside the bag.
The Flex tool bag is 18″ wide by 9″ deep by 11″ tall. Made from heavy-duty ballistic nylon, it’s covered both inside and out with Velcro-style “industrial” hook-and-loop fasteners. The pockets also have hook-and-loop fasteners on the back to attach to the bag and come in four sizes: 1″, 2″, 3″ and 4″.
The carrying handle can be rigidly fixed in the upright position, or you can remove a screw to allow it to swivel from side to side to get easier access to the inside of the bag.
The length of the 3″ wide shoulder strap is also covered in hook-and-loop fasteners, allowing you to easily adjust its length. It also allows you to use the shoulder strap as a tool belt, where the pockets can be attached directly to the fastener strip on the belt.
For $87 you get the Flex Toolbag with 14 pockets – (2) 1″, (6) 2″, (3) 3″, and (3) 4″ – and a 3 x 54″ shoulder strap/tool belt. You can also order additional pockets:
- 1″ pocket $4.40 each
- 2″ pocket $5.50 each
- 3″ pocket $7.7o each
- 4″ pocket $8.80 each
Buy Now (Toolbag via FastCap)
Buy Now (Extra Pockets via FastCap)
At first I thought this was a pretty neat idea, but after thinking about it I have a few reservations.
I worry about the usability of the Velcro-style hook-and-loop fasteners after time on the jobsite. Hook-and-loop materials tend to attract sawdust, strings, and hair. I just wonder how well the pockets will stay in place after the hook-and-loop is filled with debris.
Even if the fasteners still hold fast after getting dirty, I wonder if it is really strong enough to hold the exterior pocket in place under the rigors of use. Will they be ripped off if you catch your bag (or “belt”) on the edge of a door frame?
The tool belt really seems like an after thought — like they designed the tool bag and decided they needed a tool belt that worked with it rather than designing a system that works together.
Other companies have modular tool belts that work with tool bags. Above you can see the Iron Dog Tool Gear system. The pockets and tool holders clip onto the tool belt and bags via a metal clip — I think I’d trust that over Velcro-style hook-and-loop any day.
If they make one with wheels and interior configurable pockets and i will buy it on the spot
The configurable pockets look like a good idea. I especially like the fact that you can buy extra pockets in the sizes you need. The toolbelt is interesting, but I’d have to try it to see if it was actually going to be used, how much trouble to take apart, etc. Like Steve, my immediate reaction is that I wouldn’t look at a large toolbag without good, sturdy wheels. My Stanley is still going strong after about 5 years, despite some abuse. It’s a shoulder saver. Also, yes, the configurable pockets on the inside would be key.
My dad had a tool bag with Velcro similar to this. In all fairness, it was a cheap bag that fell apart quickly. But the most annoying part was the Velcro. As you said, it filled with every imaginable substance. If you got something like construction adhesive on it, it became a worthless bag.
It also wasn’t as useful as I expected. It would have been nice to have a pouch with electricians tools, that you could pull off to take up a ladder. Pouches were too small to hold all the tools, and after a dozen times taking it off and on, the Velcro wore out.
The military has a tried and true modular system that would take minimal effort to adapt to a tool bag.
Yeah, needs laser cut molle instead of the velcro.
I have same concerns about pockets being ripped off, and what damage their contents might suffer when they hit the floor. I’d also worry about a falling pouch with something heavy in it doing damage to the customer’s floor or walls (which I then have to repair).
Husky has their style that has clips with a bunch of different types of bags. It looks pretty cool and i’ve bought a couple but it didn’t end up working out for me lol.
Wera has come out with something similar recently, Wera 2 Go, http://products.wera.de/en/wera_2go.html
They also have toolsets that come in compatible pouches.
Haven’t seen it in the flesh, let alone used it, so can’t comment on usability.
Just to clarify “Recently” was about a year and a half ago, if not longer.
The Fastcap version is much more usable than the Wera system but I have the same concerns about the velcro collecting misc debris. Good hook and loop is plenty strong but having it all over is asking for issues. I like the Husky-style custom options but even then, button rivets would be a great addition to hold them where they’re installed.
Toughbuilt seems to have some good ideas for customization that involve clips that lock instead of just a standard tape measure clip.
I’m using CLC bags that I modify. Sometimes I cut out pockets/dividers and sometimes I add dividers. Wax thread and a sewing awl is very useful in this regard. It takes less time to modify a bag that’s close to perfect than to keep researching and not finding something perfect…just make it perfect yourself.
I kinda lost confidence in the Toughbuilt clip when the in store demo in Menards was broken. It didn’t look like abuse, but a weak point in the clip. Maybe the clips need to be designed more robustly or made of metal.
Otherwise I really liked the rail system. All your pouches hang on a rail and you pull the ones you need for the job off and put them on the tool belt.
I haven’t tried them and good reviews are hard to come by, sadly. I agree about the rail system, it’s the closest to a good modular system that’s come out thus far…too bad it’s not metal clips.
I have seen the Wera products in the “flesh” and while as with their other products they are well designed and well made they are very expensive and designed primarily for “technicans” carrying a selection of specialised tools rather than as a general tool transport.
Depends on what hook and loop they use – there is some out there that is quite strong a durable – even tested to 1000 release and reapplications to maintain qualified strength.
As far as hooking on a door or something and ripping off the bag – I think I’d prefer that than having the bag rip off a piece of trim or say ripping the bag and dumping contents on the floor. In this case the pouch might come off with tool inclosed and might actually prevent damage.
I agree the strap sounds like an afterthought at first. And I bet it was but more along the lines of – hey you know we put a strap on this – what if we put hook and loop on it – added the hardware to make it a belt and then you could put the pouches on it too. Price is a bit steep but I might give it a try.
Meh, the modular thing is all the fad now across many consumables – from backpacking (or “onebagging”) to now I see this. It satisfies some ego boost about having one thing that “does it all” but in the end it ends up being unsatisfying and, more importantly, puts lots more money in the hands of the seller and creates more landfill and purchases. Hard pass.
Modularity can make packing bags of any kind easier.
For Milwaukee’s NPS18 media event, I packed everything in “cubes” for the first time, and it made everything a lot easier to pack and work out of for a few days. I did the same with the Craftsman event, but with a backpack with a single large compartment that wouldn’t have worked well with everything simply jammed in.
With tool bags, I’ll sometimes do the same, using open or zippered pouches to help keep things more easily accessible.
That said, sometimes there are benefits, other times it’s easier, more convenient, and perhaps more effective to grab an off-the-shelf tool bag, which might have a “one size fits most” approach to pockets, pouches, and compartments.
Speaking as someone who often doesn’t fit the “one size fits most” approach, I at least like having modular options available.
I certainly like packing cubes and modularity inside bags. But i don’t like proprietary systems that are inherently lacking and rely on you buying more and modularity to do well.
with this system nothing prevents you or anyone else from making your own pouches.
It’s not propriety attachment – hook and loop. Even if it’s a high test strength rating verion – they can easily be had open market.
Question – I just realized in the last picture it looks like there are hook and loop tabs that hold the sides together.
Is that correct or are they sewn together. If they are hook and loop does that mean if you pull them apart you can drop one of the sides down – or both?
I had the same thought — that the tabs hold the sides up. Maybe the whole side panel is removable, there are tabs on the bottom too.