Tool boxes. These are the things that keep us from walking back our truck, driving back to the shop, or worse yet, driving to the hardware store to get the tool we need to finish a job. They seem to come in two sizes: too big and too small. They seem too small when we think of the tools that will not fit into them. They seem too big when we have to carry them through an airport.
Enough first impressions, let’s see what this bag can do with a payload of tools. As a test, I took my A/V installer kit that travels in a Pelican 1500 and packed as much of it into the Veto Pro Pac MC as possible. This kit of tools was selected because it is a relatively small set of tools that is targeted to a very specific task and most of the tools are small hand tools: this is the target audience for the MC. It should be stated that it was obvious from the outset that the MC would not be able to hold everything the Pelican could because the Pelican exceeds the MC in both volume and internal diagonal length.
The Veto Pro Pac MC tool bag has exterior dimensions of 12-1/2” H x 10” L x 8” W, first impressions are that this bag falls into the “small” category of bags. To give you a sense of the feel of this bag:
- The interior dimensions at the base of the MC are about 11-1/2” H x 10” L x 8” W. The 8” W dimension is split into 4” on either side of an interior divider that runs the entire height and length of the bag. The bag tapers towards the top, which makes it easy to carry, but abbreviates the interior space.
- If the MC did not have an interior divider, you could probably stack a couple 6-packs of cans inside with some ice.
- A 12” drill bit extension fits diagonally in the bag when it is loaded with tools. A full-size claw hammer does not fit in the bag at all.
- The “selfie” which follows will give readers a good sense of the size of the Veto Pro Pac MC, showing the 11-1/2” H x 10” W dimensions of the bag.
The Veto Pro Pac MC swallowed most of my kit and contained the tools in a more secure, more organized manner than my Pelican. Loading tools into the bag was achieved without a lot of fuss; I just kept stashing tools into nooks and crannies. I found that putting taller/longer tools next to the divider used vertical space more effectively. Dedicated pencil holder loops in the front held pencils a little too rigidly and I was afraid that they might break when the front flap pushed against them, so I just stood pencils up in the front-left corner of the bag.
When it came time to zip the flaps closed, I did not have to resort to any feats of strength to mash an over-stuffed bag closed – the zippers pulled the flaps closed easily and smoothly. Fully loaded, this kit weighed about 22 pounds and carried nicely without clunking against my leg. All in all, I am very happy with this bag.
For the record, the tools that fit into the Veto Pro Pac MC were:
- Compact 1/2″ Bosch Drill/Driver
- Spare battery for Bosch
- Safety glasses and gloves
- A collection of about six pencils, pens, and Sharpies
- Torpedo level (9-7/8” long)
- 3/8” ratchet driver with set of sockets
- Utility knife
- Drill driver extender (12” long)
- Drywall saw (cardboard scabbard removed for photo)
- Rotary wire stripper
- Hex wrench set
- Tape measure
- 2” hole saw
- Set of four small pliers, snips
- Set of three full-size pliers, snips
- Tape – blue masking and black electrical
- Stud finder
- Wire stripper
- Set of five screwdrivers
- Drill bit set
- Yellow parts case
Taking a look at the MC’s construction shows that it is made of stern stuff. The body of the bag is made of a 1500 Denier nylon which is impregnated with PVC. This makes the sides of the bag waterproof, though the bag itself is not considered to be waterproof because the zippers are not waterproof. This thick, stout fabric also serves to push tools into place without bulging or stretching.
The zippers are large-toothed and pull the stiff flaps of the MC together with smooth authority. The pull tabs on the zippers are large enough to be glove friendly and provide good leverage when zipping the flaps closed.
The carrying handle is made of rubber and is molded around a nylon strap that supports the full weight of the bag. The handle is comfortable and evokes the feel of the handle of a high-quality hammer. Too often, rubber handles droop under load, causing discomfort. This handle stays stiff and does not deform while carrying a load of tools.
Finally, the design of the bottom of the MC bears mention. It is a cast tub made of some kind of plastic to which the 1500 Denier nylon sides and flaps are riveted. This smart, plastic tub overcomes problems I have encountered with tool bags that have nylon fabric bottoms. My litany of woe for tool bags with nylon bottoms goes like this: (1) nylon fabric bottoms pick up foreign material which scratches surfaces the tool bag is placed upon, so (2) manufacturers add feet, but the feet fall off, which (3) sometimes exposes metal fasteners that scratch more surfaces. The molded plastic bottom of the MC avoids all these problems with the added benefit of being waterproof.
The only disappointment about the MC is that it does not come with a shoulder strap. However, the version of the MC that was reviewed included an online product registration process that entitled the purchaser to a free shoulder strap. This is a robust, bare strap without any fussy sliding pads and is a worthwhile addition to the MC.
So what didn’t fit into the bag from my A/V installer tool kit?
- A push rod consisting of ten 18” segments
- A 10oz hammer (13.5” in length)
- A fish tape
- Some parts boxes.
- Drill-driver battery charger.
As can be seen from the photos of the bag when it is loaded with tools, there is empty space left over. Some bags of parts could easily be stashed in these voids, but due to the dimensions of the MC, the push rod, hammer, and fish tape would not fit at all.
One feature that is not in the MC’s repertoire is large external pouches and perhaps this is to encourage a clean, compact appearance. There is a single small external pouch on the front flap and another on the back flap. These pouches could hold some business cards, but since they don’t have flap closures, they would not make good long term carriers for objects like iPhones.
Overall, the Veto Pro Pac MC does a great job of organizing a set of hand tools where none of the tools are much longer than 11”. The MC holds tools in an upright position, like pencils in a pencil holder, and as a result they stay organized and easily accessible. Anyone with a set of small tools that is knocking around in a 5 gallon bucket, the trunk of a car, or a kitchen drawer would appreciate using the MC to organize and protect their tools. This bag would fit very nicely in the back of a truck, the trunk of a car, beneath a kitchen sink, the knee hole of a desk, or the credenza of an office cubicle. With only a small stretch of the imagination, it is easy to imagine any artist or crafts person using this rugged, compact bag to organize a kit of equipment.
Veto Pro Pac MC Specifications:
- Width: 8”
- Length: 10”
- Height: 12.5”
- Weight (empty): 4.0 lbs.
- Warranty: 5 Years (see Veto warranty terms and conditions)
- MSRP: $104.99
- Waterproof Base: 3mm Injection Molded Polypropylene
- Waterproof Body Fabric: 1200 PVC Impregnated Denier Nylon
- Waterproof Tool Pocket Fabric: 1200 PVC Impregnated Denier Nylon
- Handle: Webbed handle with over-molded rubber grip
- Zippers: Double Stitched, Heavy Duty Plastic Coil Zippers with Oversized Zipper Tabs
- D-Rings: Powder Coated Steel
- Rivets: 38 zinc, marine grade rivets
- Stitching: Industrial Strength Double Nylon Stitching
- Vertical Tool Pockets: 20 interior and 2 exterior
- Interior Side A: 4 vertical pockets for tools like screwdrivers; 4 squarish pockets for tools like pliers, tape measures, diagnostic tools; 7 pockets for tools like pencils; spare room on bottom.
- Interior Side B: 3 squarish pockets; spare room on bottom.
- Exterior: 2 pockets (without gussets or flaps) approx. 4″ D x 3-1/2″ W.
- D-Rings: 2 large (for shoulder strap) and 5 small (four exterior and one interior)
- Meters and compact cordless drill/driver compartment. (Reviewer thinks this might refer to the spare room on the bottom of Interior Size B. When a drill/driver is in this location, it mashes one of the squarish pockets flat, rendering the pocket pretty much useless for holding any other tool.)