In response to my preview of Dewalt’s new lighted tool backpack, John said:
Backpacks belong in a classroom not out in the field.
John’s not the only pro to have this opinion. I have also heard that tool backpacks are a solution in need of a problem. Tool backpacks are, however, quite popular with a lot of users.
A couple of months ago, a facilities maintenance tech came by to fix something, and he was sporting a very large tool backpack. Other techs might carry small tool bags – or nothing at all – forcing them to leave to retrieve a tool they need but don’t have on them. Sometimes they’ll just ask to borrow my tools if something they need is in plain sight.
Tool bags can get heavy really fast. They also need to be carried by hand, at least most of the time.
Backpacks, on the other hand, distribute weight a lot differently, and can be more comfortable for longer treks. Sometimes a tool bag or box and a wheeled cart or dolly is a better option, but isn’t always feasible, such as when crowds or stairs are involved.
I once saw a tech in Manhattan traveling between jobs with a tool backpack on.
Tool backpacks make a lot of sense to me, at least for certain work environments. It’s the same reason you go hiking with a backpack and not a messenger bag – two straps around the shoulders are easier to bear than one in the hand or around the shoulder.
So what do you think – do tool bags have a place in professional work environments, or are they better left to student and hikers?