Autocar product test: What is the best tool bag?

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Whether you’re doing DIY or professional work, these are the best tool bags for your car

Tool bags are incredibly useful, whether you need space for your emergency kit and a screwdriver or two, or if you regularly carry a full line-up of tools.

A bag is more malleable than a box, is easier to carry and fill, and will take less toll on your boot lining. For this product test, we are looking at the best tool bags available, taking into account the price, build quality, space and practicality.

WINNER: Stanley Fatmax Hard Base Tool Bag 18’’

Price £24.99

Size 230mm x 457mm x 260mm

Buy from Screwfix

The 11 external and five interior pockets of the Stanley Fatmax hard base tool bag are very useful. It’s a very heavy-duty and well-made bag, constructed from 600-denier fabric reinforced with leather, so will be long-lasting. The rigid plastic waterproof base offers sturdiness and protection, and it has tough double zips and an adjustable shoulder strap with padding. It’s a great-value tool bag that can carry up to 20kg. 

Autocar says 5 stars

RECOMMENDED: Silverline Tool Bag Hard Base Wide Mouth

Price £12.64

Size 200mm x ‎400mm x 300mm

Buy from Amazon

If you’re looking for a really well-priced tool bag that’s practical, well made and sturdy, with lots of space for tools, the Silverline tool bag is a great buy. It has 10 external pockets, eight internal pockets, a key fob and an adjustable 1.2m shoulder strap to help carry it around while full. This bag does only come with one zip, but the loading window is wide for easy loading and unloading. The functional plastic base keeps tools dry if the weather isn’t great, and the rest of the bag is made from water-resistant nylon.

Autocar says 4.5 stars

Others to consider

Draper Tools Tool backpack

Price £34.74

Size 300mm x 170mm x 450mm

Buy from SJ Tools

This is the only tool backpack we tested. We really liked that we could carry a heavy bag and distribute the weight across our shoulders, without having to hurt our hands or carry it on one shoulder. It comes with reinforced padded straps and padded back panels too. It has a rigid base, so you can still put it on wet ground, and the whole bag is made from water-resistant polyester, so everything stays dry. There are seven internal pockets, two side ones and five external pockets, along with four loops for screwdrivers.

Autocar says 4.5 stars

VonHaus Rolling Tool Bag

Price £69.99

Size 280mm x 470mm x 425mm

Buy from VonHaus

The VonHaus rolling tool bag is the most expensive on our list. But you do get what you pay for. It looks good, is high quality, is robust and has plenty of storage pockets. It’s easy to move around with the telescopic handle, tough plastic wheels (we would like these to be made of rubber) and three stopper legs. The huge inner space has a wide aperture with lots of room for larger tools such as drills, plus it has six inner pockets and a large document section. On the outside, there are 11 well-sized pockets, one of which is covered. It can hold up to 25kg. 

Autocar says 4 stars

DeWalt TSTAK Soft Storage Bag

Price £63.99

Size 250mm x 450mm x 300mm

Buy from Screwfix

The DeWalt TSTAK soft storage tool bag is very high quality, durable, sturdy and can hold an impressive 30kg. You do pay for the quality, though: it’s one of the most expensive tool bags we tested. Inside, there are 12 pockets, and on the outside two large zip pockets (one at the front, one at the back). The pocket on the front of the bag comprises a smaller zip pocket, two shallow pockets, plus 12 further pockets. The plastic base will protect the contents from wet ground, and if you own other TSTAK products, this bag will connect to them for easy stacking.  

Autocar says 4 stars

AIRAJ 18-Inch Tool Bag

Price £33.99

Size 470mm x 270mm x 310mm

Buy from Amazon

The wide opening of the Airaj tool bag has two zips that can be locked. For ease of carrying, the two handles slot together. It feels well made and is constructed from waterproof material with a thick plastic base. There are eight exterior pockets, three with a sealable flap on to stop things falling out, although we would like them to be a bit deeper. Inside, there are eight more pockets, and the bag comes with a small removable plastic tray. In terms of price, it’s in the middle of the bags we tested. 

Autocar says 4 stars

Draper Tools Tote Tool Bag

Price £15.40

Size 305mm x 230mm x 420mm

Buy from Amazon

This tool tote bag is the only open one we tested. It’s robust and well built, as well as good value for money. It has a solid skeleton, but the whole thing is wrapped in heavy-duty fabric, which could wear over time. To carry it around, there’s a soft grip handle and an adjustable shoulder strap. It’s not the largest tool bag we tested, but it packs a lot into its compact size with 15 external pockets, one with an elasticated strap for taller tools, 10 inside pockets and eight elasticated tool holding loops. It did, however, fall over a couple of times while we were driving around.

Autocar says 3.5 stars

Amazon Basics Tool Bag – 30.5cm

Price £13.34

Size 310mm x 140mm x 200mm

Buy from Amazon

This Amazon Basics tool bag is available in two sizes. We tested the smaller, 30.5cm bag. The material it’s made from is strong, and it has a useful two-zip fastening, although we did struggle to close this once we’d loaded the bag as it became a little misshapen. It comes with six exterior tool loops, three open front pockets, three back mesh pockets and nine interior pockets. We didn’t love that the inside pockets are made from the same lightweight nylon that lines the interior, which feels quite flimsy. 

Autocar says 3 stars

And the two to avoid…

Firedog roll up tool bag

Price £16.99

Size 457mm x 279mm x 25mm

Buy from Amazon

This little roll-up bag is useful to keep your smaller tools separated. If you need access to them, you can use the convenient D buckle to hang the roll over the back of a car seat. It has five zipped sections, so keeps things separate, but for larger tools or an emergency kit, you’ll struggle to fit it in. Made from canvas, it’s very lightweight but does still feel quite robust and looks smart too.

Autocar says 2.5 stars

Silverline TB50 Canvas Tool Bag

Price £5.61

Size 460mm x 180mm x 130mm

Buy from Amazon

The cheapest tool bag on our list is, unsurprisingly, the most simple too. Made from heavy cotton canvas, with a nylon zip and webbing handles, it’s a useful size to keep your tools together. However, it doesn’t have any additional pockets or storage areas, and doesn’t have a waterproof or rubber base to keep everything dry. If you’re planning to keep it in the boot of your car, it will be fine to keep things relatively organised, and is cheap to buy.

Autocar says 2.5 stars

Rachael Hogg

Source: Autocar

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