In the last Klein Tools Backpack review, Johnny Sanders explained the nuances of electricians’ tool bag needs. He does rough-in and trim-out electrical work exclusively, so he requires a large tool bag for all the tools he needs at his disposal. With respect to the tool bag Johnny was reviewing, another co-worker asked, “what would I do with all that tool storage space?“ This question makes some sense: he does mostly service work, and he can carry what he needs in a small tool pouch.
But what if your electrical work takes you across the electrical service spectrum, say, from rough-ins to service calls? Well, I think that’s who Klein has in mind with their new backpack. With a ton of storage and a detachable tool caddy, the Klein Tool Master Backpack covers a lot of bases.
It looks to be the biggest and baddest of the company’s line of Tradesman Pro organizers.
Editor’s Note: G & G Electrical has some 70 electricians on staff. For this review, we put the backpack in the hands of Pete Disher, one of their crew that focuses mainly on commercial jobs.
What Sets It Apart?
A Lot of Space for a Lot of Pockets
A few things about the Klein Tool Master Backpack stand out immediately. The first thing revolves around the bag’s available space and organizational capacity. It’s one of the largest backpack options on the market right now. It’s got space in spades, which is great for those of use that have a fair few tools to lug around at the job site.
This bag has 48 intelligently-placed pockets to keep things organized. On the inside of the pack, Klein has 36 of these pockets, which can house various tools and meters.
The outside has a large, adjustable pocket that I find works well for carrying a couple of my cordless drills. I also really like the molded, impact-resistant, zippered shell where I can keep my more-easily-damaged items, like cell phones and safety glasses.
What if I don’t necessarily need all my power tools and a ton of accessories at a particular site?
Let’s say I’m just showing up to a service call, and all I really need are a few drivers, meters, and accessories. The Klein Tool Master backpack has a removable tool caddy that fits into the main storage compartment of the bag. I have the option of leaving the bag in the truck, bringing only the essentials with me. The removable tool caddy includes a D-ring so that I can hang it up next to where I work or on a tool belt to keep it in easier reach.
While Klein typically makes durable tool storage solutions to begin with, this one feels especially rugged. Klein uses abrasion and puncture resistant 1680D ballistic weave, and they’ve double stitched all of the seams. The padded carry handle wraps around heavy-duty aircraft cable, and the bag includes robust zippers with lockable pulls.
It includes a thick metal hook in case you’d prefer to hang the bag from a wall or ladder. However, if you’d rather stand it up on the floor, Klein includes a plastic molded bottom that not only keeps the bottom of the bag dry but also keeps it standing upright.
Weight always plays a vital part in a tool’s ergonomics. I work mainly on commercial jobs, and I usually carry one of Klein’s duffel-style bags. While it holds all of my tools, batteries, and chargers, I end lugging around 80 pounds worth of jumbled-up tools everywhere I go. That weight starts to wear on my arms and shoulders.
The Klein Tool Master Backpack, by virtue of its design, has some obvious benefits, as you might imagine. The weight of the tools I’m carrying gets evenly distributed across my back, rather than focusing that weight on my arms or across one shoulder. The shoulder straps have a good amount of padding, making it comfortable across my shoulders.
It also includes waist and chest straps that help with weight distribution. Rather than sagging off my back, these straps keep the bag snug across my waist and chest, keeping some of the weight riding up on my hips.
The Klein Tool Master Backpack, without any tools in it, weighs 13 lbs. While this fact points back to the bag’s overall durability, it doesn’t exactly start out light.
Even though it has a lot of space, I can’t fit all of my tools into it like I can with my duffel-style bag. Personally, I don’t consider this a mark against the bag, as I could stand to leave some of my lesser-used tools at the truck. Still, with the backpack’s starting weight, and the weight of my essential tools, I’m not entirely sure how much weight I’m saving myself.
Like I said before, it’s far more comfortable to carry, though.
Out of The Loop
If there’s one criticism to make here, I don’t love some of the elastic loops on the inside of the Klein Tool Master Backpack. Clearly, they’re designed for housing longer-handled tools, but they’re placed far too close to the top of the bag for practical use. I suppose that if a tool is shorter than the pocket, these elastic straps might prevent the tool from sinking down below the edge of the pocket.
I would find them more useful if Klein had moved them down, closer to the lip of the pocket.
The Klein Tool Master Backpack retails for $178.13. No lie, it’s pretty expensive, and you’ll definitely want to consider how much space you’ll need before you jump headfirst into purchasing this backpack. Klein does have some options that still present a durable, space-saving design that won’t break the bank.
However, if you like a big, durable bag with a ton of pockets and a lot of flexibility, the Klein Tools Master Backpack makes a lot of sense. Plus, since this backpack seems just about as close as you can get to bulletproof, the chances are pretty good that you’ll only need to buy this item once.
The Bottom Line
It’s hard not to like the Klein Tool Master Backpack. Its strength lays in its all-purpose nature, made possible by the ample storage space and its removable tool caddy for work requiring fewer tools. Whether you’re trimming out, roughing in, performing service work, or something in between, this bag will keep you organized and efficient.
Klein Tool Master Backpack Features
- Backpack with 48 total pockets to easily keep everything organized
- Removable tool caddy with carrying handles and a D-ring for hanging
- Aircraft cable heavily reinforces the handle as well as a heavy-duty zipper with lockable pulls (lock not included)
- Made of durable 1680d ballistic weave material and a molded bottom to help protect from the elements
- Hang the bag from the heavy-duty metal hook for easy access into the bag
- Well-padded shoulder straps have a buckled chest strap along with lower straps that adjust for a perfect fit
- Tool caddy has a zipper pocket and closed pouches for small tools and parts as well as open pockets and straps ideal for long drivers
- Adjustable front pouch for quick tool retrieval, a mid-sized front zipper pocket fits tablets in protective covers, and a front zipper pocket for smaller items
- Molded front pocket helps protect items like phones and safety glasses
- Orange interior helps find tools easily and a large interior space for larger hand tools
Klein Tool Master Backpack Specifications
- Item Number: 55485
- Type: Tool Backpack
- Application: Tool Carrying
- Special Features: Removable 11 Pocket Tool Caddy
- Length: 11 inches
- Height: 19.5 inches
- Width: 13.5 inches
- Material: 1680d Ballistic Weave Body; Hard Molded Polypropylene Bottom
- Color: Black with Orange/Gray
- Interior Pockets: 36
- Exterior Pockets: 12
- Number of Pockets: 48
- Closure Type: Zipper
- Handle: Shoulder Straps, Cable Reinforced Handle
- Weight: 13.2 pounds
- Price: $173.06