I recently spoke with a contractor who plans to buy an Occidental Leather lefty-style tool belt, which has the tool pouch and fastener pockets on opposites sides compared to the regular righty style.
He didn’t outright mention Occidental Leather, but words like crazy cost clued me in really quick.
I wrote about Occidental Leather only once before, when discussing their pricey now-discontinued Dr. Wood tool bag.
Contractors, and others who desire quick access to their tools and fasteners, usually look for 3 qualities: functionality, durability, and comfort. Are there any other qualities that matter?
Cost would be the fourth factor, but that’s the one quality that doesn’t really affect the tool belt or user after the first day it’s put to use.
Occidental Leather makes their tool belts and pouches here in the USA, which is going to be a plus for a lot of users. But that also contributes to their cost.
Occidental Leather’s products are also very, very expensive.
Generally, if I have to use something everyday, cost is one of the lesser factors that I consider when making a purchase. But cost cannot be ignored entirely.
I own a tool belt – a ToughBuilt one I bought from Sears for cheap a few holiday seasons ago, and very rarely use it. I use pouches somewhat more frequently, but that still amounts to little use.
To me, Occidental Leather’s tool belts and pouches look great, but I can’t tell if their designs and USA manufacturing add up to the higher cost. Is their tool belt 5 times better than Custom Leathercraft’s at 5x the price?
If Occidental Leather’s belts, bags, and accessories are even 2x better, or better in notable ways, that could help justify the cost premium.
Occidental Leather designs look better, but a better looking design doesn’t always mean a more functional, durable, or comfortable product.
The user reviews I’ve seen are almost all extremely positive. But, with products such as these, self-justification could be at play. Nobody wants to think that their investment in a premium product doesn’t result in anything other than a better product.
For those of you who have used Occidental Leather’s tool belts or pouches before, are they worth the price?
If you use a tool belt or pouches, have you avoided Occidental Leather products due to their prices?