Tool Pouches or Vest?


I have noticed some previous threads about tool pouches and belts, but I have a question in regards to tool vests. On the toolsforstagecraft web site there is a tool vest for sale.

I am pretty interested in this because I don't like how a pouch just hangs off my belt. Plus the items in my pouch have a tendancy to shift around, with the vest there are many pockets for all my tools, quite a few are double redundant, but helpful none the less.

I am curious to hear what everyone else thinks about this, Vest or Pouch the pros and cons.
Depending on what youare doing, a tool vest would be hard to move around in I would imagin. I mean how nasty woudl it be to be crawing up 4 or 5 level set to put in a screw or two carrying 15 pounds on your shoulders. I think they are just to bulky for stage building. I could see the practicality if u really have an issue with the belt and you don't have any stage hands around to hand you items.

Stage hands are the best tool belts :D
Agreed that the walking tool box is most people's best friend.

Wore body armor and shoulder harness supported war belt for many years. Much less stressful and tiring while on one's shoulders as opposed to when as a tool belt. Just something about distribution of weight when at the hips verses at the shoulders once used to is easier to deal with.

On the other hand, unless some form of grip on movie set, you in having the tool belt vest are a nerd. Yep, even at times stylish or impressive, we cross over into nerd status - respected and needed roving toolbox or not.

Better distribution of weight, more secure tools and their locations of better or not, you in using such a thing if the only one are still the nerd of the bunch.

Go tool belt for now at most if not just all in one pouch with a few add on pouches. Chalk pouches for rock climbers are also really useful.

It won't be the ultimate set up, but in only haveing a decent pouch or two won't in other than carpenter type belt be moving about that much either.

Sorry to state it, but comfort or not, at some point what's useful is also a factor in coolness factor in being comfortable in wearing it. Not to mention even if advertised not to, in sweating up a storm in wearing the vest.

Have no fear, them that walk about in their safety harness in being cool are even less so than the compitent person in having a vest or gear that is useful in using it. Just something about the safety gear warn when not being used that while it might seem cool in that you wear it is not other than when in use.
ship said:
Have no fear, them that walk about in their safety harness in being cool are even less so than the compitent person in having a vest or gear that is useful in using it. Just something about the safety gear warn when not being used that while it might seem cool in that you wear it is not other than when in use.

I told you I wasn't finished focusing yet. Actually, I don't take it off until I'm sure I'm done with it because it's such a pain to get on and off.

I want the tool ankle holster. Then I can be the ninja lampie.
While on the topic, what is everyone's impression of the SetWear belts, pouches, gloves, and leashes? I'm looking at getting a belt and some pouches and some leashes for tools soon for my school, because we don't own tool leashes, which is really dangerous, and attaching them to a belt would be much more comfortable than to your wrist. Plus, the added tool storage is really nice.
Its the setwear line that actually started to get me thinking about it. I had seen the vest on Tools 4 backstage and was farely impressed, but the setwear combo pouch is rather appealing and a little less expensive (especially considering the prices on Dr. Bobs's).

But I think Ship is right, I am already the tech nerd for having every tool I will typically need on me, and usually in redundant numbers.

But as an aside is there an equvilant glove to the EZ-Fit out there for less?
generally, i find thay my pockets provide ample and comfortable storage for what I am doing. Especially, when working as an electrician, what more do you need than your wrench on a bit of tie-line and clipped to your belt, and your multi-tool of choice attached to you belt? maybe a maglite in your back pocket and pair of gloves on your hands.

I dunno, it works for me.
disc2slick said:
generally, i find thay my pockets provide ample and comfortable storage for what I am doing. Especially, when working as an electrician, what more do you need than your wrench on a bit of tie-line and clipped to your belt, and your multi-tool of choice attached to you belt? maybe a maglite in your back pocket and pair of gloves on your hands.

I dunno, it works for me.

Ah' but a few years later in going low profile, how many rear pants pockets do you find with holes in them?

Have this shoulder harness for my own cordless. Was for years known as the roving tool box - but useful. Won't give up my shoulder harness screw gun as the best design, but in some way when people - even tech people wearing it in moving thru a croud of them, it's while useful still statement that is commented upon. That shoulder harness for the pistol grip screw gun is perfect, but still is statement. Had I warn it plus more as in past years, that statement would be much more in extent.

Balance this difference in you doing your job properly in having what you need with what you really need in being that roving tool box and guy showing off because you have it all on hand.

Once and somewhere in my moving boxes is the OSHA approved military person I have a drawing of. Intent is the same in once you have "all the gear" and it's distributed in load and much more wise in how it's laid out than others would invest in, you still have to worry about personal statement. This much less weight in general. At one point in shop work I still walked around with a scaled down belt that had many of my main tools and my Linesmens pliers that were my main tool or hammer. Helped in career, but in always having the proper tool, it also made a statement about me with those that don't I did not wish for. This in being scaled down.

You get what intent you intend. On the other hand, that name that attributes you to some use, is not your true use, instead it's that of your being willing to carry the tools for others thus why you are really called.

The vest might be somewhat extreme though very useful. Find some belt that's low in scale and a tool pouch or two that will get the job done. You will note when at the end of the day it get's removed, but it's as per some high school Jock abuse type way, still something that's easier not to emphasize.
Well to put a close to this thread I have made my decision. Ship, you are right. There comes a point where having the equiptment on hand is not worth the ridicule of haveing the equiptment on hand. Therefore, I have purchased the Setwear Combo Pouch, along with a pair of EZ-fit gloves. Granted I won't be carrying a tape measure, but I think I am going to put my GAM check Jr.s there.

Thanks for all the comments folks.
Sorry but it's coming from someone that was known for years as the roving toolbox. All my friends went out to play, I was stuck at home carrying the water..... as it were.

My call sign on the radio was Rogue I, still is in many ways careerwise in that I'm never a part of a crew. I was most often indipendant party in fixing anything but taking pride in traveling heavy. This back than after the crews did the main part of the work of which my crew most often set records in getting stuff done fastest - that time afterwards when most would be distributing tables or un-loading trucks, I was wandering about fixing deadbolt locks or doing other special projects.

Should some day - if you do become that Rogue tech person status and on the professional level - by choice than perhaps in needing to be able to do anything perhaps it's time to reconsider. Not something I recommend unless walking around a park all day at times a half mile from a fresh battery or more drywall screws with a few million people between you and getting into your golf cart to drive back for more supplies. That's why I started traveling heavy as I hated walking back for gear, much less you set a tool down like a screw gun and turn your back and it very likely would be stolen. Most of us traveled fairly heavy those days and we even had bumper mounted tool boxes for our cushman carts. I just traveled a bit more heavy than most where they had a crew to carry 5gal. buckets full of batteries and spare parts.

I am of course wrong, in your option for this vest having been a very good idea. I just wanted to caution you against what I became known for. I had been many years the butt of jokes even if useful. First be useful, than by choice be that butt of the joke.

Let's see in my day (as it were), I had a black military style tool belt with linesmens pliers holster, ring for 22oz hammer, electrician's pouch for various screw drivers, wrenches and ready access things such as a utility knife speed square, reinforced Wagner Power scraper with knife like chisel edge and torpedo level, a padded camera lens pouch for screws, and my military butt pack which had two extra batteries, stuff like plumbers tape, spare scenery bolts, tie wire, cable ties, duct tape, #10 fender washers, 14.4v battery system based xenon flash light, mini pry bar, extra saw blade and screw gun tips, etc. and a shoulder holster for my cordless drill. This in addition to the cordless saw on a shoulder strap.

It was all "well distributed" though the belt itself probably weighed 30# and by the end of the day taking my boots off was a good thing. Though I had military suspenders/harness for it, I never used them.

I was still in shape from the days in the military where I would be using my butt pack to carry at times a poncho, almost a day's worth or rations (sometimes stuck in long crew chief meetings) socks, etc. in addition to the normal combat loading of first aid, gun magazines and water. Only major difference was lack of suspenders and body armor, much less the local police probably would not want my shoulder strap mounted K-Bar with compass case attached as a part of my work gear - though it would be an awsome rope cutter. All in all, a good 12 years of me traveling heavy between the military and next six years in working special events.

Took many years to lighten my load, granted my road box weighs well over 3/4 ton now thus it sits up on blocks so the casters don't get a flat spot on them. Normally in the shop I just have the Nextel and a folding utility knife these days.

Used to be when I started traveling lighter, (as a stage electrician instead of a carpenter) back than I had a 1" webbing belt with 16' tape measure, linesemens pliers, camera case (like a chulk case for repelling but it closes and has seperations) for various parts and black Bucket Buddy pouch for the Fluke 1AC voltage sniffer, electrician's scissors, silver and black sharpee, aluminum encased pen, Leatherman, Mag Light, 8" Insulated C-Wrench, and Shop keys. This also a tape fob.

Than as needed: Conduit Pliers, Wire Strippers, Dikes, philips, and two flat head screw drivers would fit into the pouch. I wear it now only when I'm on a project away from my work table - such as in a semi-trailer in wiring it up for display purposes. Granted most of my work comes to see me or I'll either walk to my work area for tools or use what's laying around.

In any case, traveling light allows me to travel light. While I'm not on shows, traveling light still has it's advantages in if nothing else you don't get as warn down by carying all those tools all day long in a long day.

Hope it helps. I do hate to post about something that would be the best solution, but I also remember the days of traveling heavy both as necessity and out of coolness in me automatically having it but also being the but of most jokes when it came to roaving tool box type jokes.
Well I got my new pouch and gloves today. The pouch rocks, although my wire striper is a little large for it. The multiple pockets on the inside are nice. However if Setwear were to ask for a suggestion I would have to say to add a D ring so you can attach your leashes to the pouch. But other than that its a pretty nice rig.

Thanks again for your suggestions ship.

PS I really like the Setwear EZ-fit gloves.

How many tools do you really need to carry all the time? I've always believed in using the right tool for the job. Back in my contractor days, I wore a carpenters belt with 3 pouches. I needed suspenders just to keep the thing from falling around my ankles. I hated to stop working to walk over to a tool box and grab a tool, so I carried almost every tool I would ever need on my belt! After a few years, my back convinced my brain that I don't have to lug around stuff I hardly ever use.

When I entered show biz full time, I switched to a 3 Tier system for tools. The first level is what I always carry with me, day or night, on the job or off. I have a small belt holster that contains a Gerber multi Tool, a mini Mag light (soon to be changed to a new LED flashlight as I hate Mini Mags now), a tiny tweeker sized screwdriver and a T Driver screwdriver. In addition, I carry a Spderco Rescue knife in my pocket.
I find that for most day to day needs, and most on the gig needs, what I carry is enough. If I have to focus lights, I slip a Cresent on a Lanyard into my pocket.

The T driver is a folding screwdriver from Sabertooth tools that is about the size of a pen, but folds into a T shape in use. I bought mine at HarborTools, but I have seen similar ones at other tool places.

The next level of tools is a tool bag and belt pouch that I use when I am a stage carpenter, or when I need a bunch of tools. Its a Bucket Boss bag and Bucket Boss Contractor briefcase that has a bunch of common carpentry and electrical tools and meters. I can tie in power, repair gear, or build and fix stuff with the tools in those two soft cases. I also keep a tool belt and pouch in the bag so I can wear tools as I work. While the bag has a cordless drill, I can also add a Ryobe cordless kit that has a bigger drill, flashlight, and even cordless circ saw if I need some power tools.

I used to carry the above in 2 hard cases with even more tools, but scalled back when my back told me to.

The last level is a big road case with corded power tools and basically a complete shop inside. This case is what I take on the road with a tour, or to big one-off gigs. If I had a position at just one theater or arena, I would leave the road case at work.

I do have one other tool set up, and that is my FLY PACK. I have 2 boxes that I carry with me to fly dates (where I am either a sound guy, a lighting guy, or stage manager). One box is carry on, and contains things like my laptop, light meter, audio meters, portable CD player and CDs, headphones, gaff tape, and anything else they will let me carry on a plane. The other case is for all the tools and stuff that I can't carry inside the plane. Except for the power tools, and extra parts, the FLY PACK contains everything I could need at a show.


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