Construction workers, service technicians, and specialist repair people know that a job is only as good as the tools you use. Traveling with your tools can be a challenge, especially if you have to fly. Tools need to be stored in a logical way, carried safely, and kept secure. Arriving at your destination from a quick hop on a flight only to find your tools have been damaged or even fallen out of your duffel bag can be really upsetting. So you choose a tool bag, right? But which one? There are hundreds of tool bags on the market, each insisting it’s best for your precious tools. Knowing how to choose the best tool bag for air travel is what ensures your next contract is a success. With our recommendations for air travel bags for tools, you won’t go wrong.
Table of Contents
- 1 Reviews for Best Rolling Tool Bag for Travel
- 2 How to Choose the Best Travel Bag for Tools
- 3 FAQs
Reviews for Best Rolling Tool Bag for Travel
Klein Tools 55452RTB Tool Bag
With 6-inch wheels, the Klein Tools 55452RTB Tool Bag measures 19.9 x 16.3 x 11 inches and is made from a 600D ballistic weave material, making it fully rip and water resistant. It can handle a whopping 200 lbs in weight, making this one of the best tool bags for traveling tradesmen. It weighs 19 lbs, so it’s not a light bag. Its design makes it the most like rolling carry on luggage.
It has 24 pockets, so you can easily store all the tools that you need. With all of these pockets, every tool stays in its place, meaning you can easily access it and work more efficiently. The reinforced metal frame also allows the bag to stay open for easy packing and unpacking.
If you need a tool bag for travel and if you need to roll it over rough terrain, then the Klein Tools bag is perfect for you. In addition to the tough wheels, it has a molded kick plate to protect it while you roll it over gravel or construction site debris. The two front feet prevent it from tipping over when stationary. Its telescopic handle extends to a good 39.5″.
With enough storage, you can neatly pack and sort all your small, medium, and large hand and power tools, making it ideal for the outdoors handyman.
- Water resistant.
- Ideal for handling over rough terrain for those outdoor projects.
- Has a molded kick plate to help protect the bag from damage.
- Easy access and storage for large hand and power tools with the wide open interior.
- Great handle that is long enough for tall people so when you pull, the bag doesn’t clip your heels.
- When empty, the bag weighs 19 pounds.
- The pockets are deep and tight.
Husky GP-43196N13 18″ Contractor’s Rolling Tool Tote Bag
The Husky GP-43196N13 Contractor’s Rolling Tool Tote Bag measures 18 x 17 x 9 inches, weighs just under 12 pounds, and is made with easy drying polyester. It is ideal for travel since you can wheel it around while it’s balanced over two back wheels and 3 front feet, and the bottom of the tote is reinforced with Bartec stitching and 600 denier polyester spun tuff fabric. This means your tools won’t rip out the bottom of the tote bag. This tool bag can hold up to 100 lbs in large main compartment.
The height of the telescopic handle from the floor when fully extended is 39 inches and is sturdy. You can easily move heavy tools without putting your back out. You can even stack a smaller duffel or backpack over it if you have a luggage strap to help attach it. The dual top handles are also sturdy so you don’t need to worry about a heavy bag dragging on the handles or breaking the straps (or your shoulders) while you carry it around.
You’ll also have enough space for all your tools since the bag boasts 18 pockets. There are 11 exterior and 7 interior pockets for all your tooling needs.
In stylish red and black, this roller tote tool bag is ideal for your tools while you travel. It comes with a limited 3 year warranty. With enough storage space and pockets, everything can stay neat and organized, ensuring you are more productive while on the job.
- Water resistant.
- Has exterior pockets with tape measure loops, a business card holder, and more.
- The telescopic handle offers enough length that it can be comfortably pulled behind you as you head to the plane or walk miles at an airport.
- Has more exterior than interior pockets.
- Some reviewers state they would like a shoulder strap too.
STANLEY FMST1-80148 Fat Max Rolling Bag
The STANLEY FMST1-80148 Fat Max Rolling Bag is one of the best tool cases with wheels, and it offers a long telescopic handle so you can roll the bag easily while on job sites or at the airport. It is made with a durable 600 denier material, so you can be sure this tool bag is long-lasting. In terms of dimensions, the tool bag measures 19.7 x 14.2 x 16.1 inches and weighs just under 11 lbs.
The bag has several outer pockets along with attachment points for a measuring tape and a luggage strap so that you can piggyback another bag on top of this one. A large and wide zippered pocket on the front can be used as a workstation in addition to being used to store more tools. The main inner compartment is divided by a removable divider so that you can pack with flexibility. There are several pockets and loops around the inside walls for smaller tools.
The durable wheels, long telescopic handle, and dual grab handles make transportation easy. The three front feet ensure that the bag stays upright while stationary.
With easy mobility and large storage space, it is an ideal tool bag for travel if you mostly have small and medium-sized power and hand tools, as well as some accessories.
- Large inner storage capacity for accessories, power tools, and hand tools with a wide top access and efficient organization.
- The wheels are good for rough terrain and are durable.
- The telescopic handle works well but feels a bit weak.
- Some reviewers would like the bag to have a shoulder strap.
Stark Rolling Wide Mouth Tool Bag Tote
The Stark 20″ Rolling Wide Mouth Tool Bag Tote is an affordable alternative to many of the others on this list. In addition to handyman tools, it is also a good bag for traveling with hair styling tools or artist supplies.
Thanks to the strong and thick ballistic material used in creating the bag, it is able to handle the weight of your frequently used tools and equipment. Its dimensions of 20 x 17 x 12 inches make it quite compact, which makes it easy to carry even just by its top carry handles.
It also has a telescopic handlebar that extends to a maximum of 41″, which promotes ease in rolling the bag behind you. The traction wheels allow you to roll it over smooth or rough terrain and the three front feet keeps it stable.
It has the ability to store small power and hand tools, as the interior has removable dividers and compartments that are well-designed to hold a variety of them. There are around fourteen pockets in the bag’s interior and on top of that, the bag’s exterior has eight pockets that make working with the most common tools easy. There are also 2 external tape measure attachment points.
- Lots of efficient pockets inside and outside.
- The wheels are treaded and good for all terrains.
- Good ballistic material for the shell.
- Plenty of storage space.
- The telescopic handle is a bit wobbly.
DEWALT DGL571 Lighted Roller Tool Bag
The DEWALT DGL571 Lighted Roller Tool Bag is fitted with heavy-duty wheels so you can easily pull it whether the terrain is rough or smooth. Its dimensions are 19.5 x 13 x 16.5 inches, weighs about 8 lbs, and is about 41 inches from the floor to top of the fully extended handle. Its load capacity is around 100 lbs.
There is a magnetic folding zipper top that you can attach to the telescopic handle when you want the lid to stay open; this provides easy access into the main interior storage space. There are 6 pockets inside this space, while there are 11 on the outside.
Dual padded web carrying handles makes this bag ideal if you need to climb stairs and pull the bag. There’s a built-in LED light on the telescoping handle to help you identify tools inside the bag or illuminate your path. Its brightness can be adjusted between 3 levels. The 2 AAA batteries for the LED light are even included in the purchase!
With 17 pockets, a telescopic LED light handle, heavy-duty wheels, and carrying handles, this tool bag does it all—whether you need to pull it over smooth or rough terrain, carry the bag upstairs, or park it at your workstation.
- The main storage compartment opens wide so you can easily take out and store your tools.
- Heavy-duty treaded wheels so you can easily pull the bag over rough terrain.
- Lightweight bag, weighing 8 pounds when empty.
- Not many pockets for the inside storage, so if you want to keep your tools neat and tidy, this could be problematic.
- Pockets on the outside are open, so your tools are not secure and could fall out.
- The telescopic handle is not the strongest.
CLC Custom Leathercraft L258 TechGear Roller Tool Bag
With 6 multi-use inside pockets and 11 outside pockets, you can store a variety of tools in your CLC Custom Leathercraft L258 TechGear Roller Tool Bag while you travel and work. It is almost identical to the Dewalt tool bag above, so either choice should be good.
It is durable with heavy-duty threaded wheels, padded web carrying handles, and a telescoping 39 Lumens max LED light handle with an adjustable light so you can work even when the light conditions are less than bright. The bag has a large interior and its overall dimensions are 17 x 9.5 x 12.5 inches.
The CLC Custom tool bag is also lightweight, measuring about 8 pounds when it is empty. However, it is still a durable bag with the heavy-duty wheels and padded handles. With this spacious tool bag, you can pack all the tools you’ll need. And the light is a big advantage!
- The adjustable light is great if you work in low-light conditions or need to see inside the tool bag.
- Can easily pull the bag over rough terrain.
- Easy and full access to the inside storage compartment with the magnetic folding top that attaches to the telescopic handle.
- Batteries for the LED handle light are included.
- Fewer interior pockets than exterior ones.
- Wheels may be noisy when you roll the bag over concrete flooring.
How to Choose the Best Travel Bag for Tools
When you are about to invest in a new specialist tool, you would consider all aspects that make that tool the best and the most appropriate choice out of the other tools. Your tool bag is no different, especially when you will be traveling with it. Before taking tools on a flight, make sure you’re clear about which types are allowed, whether in your carry on or checked baggage.
Weight and Size
Some tool bags are so heavily reinforced that they already weigh a substantial chunk with all the padding and lining. Therefore, you should look at the overall weight of the tool bag, factor in the additional weight of your tools, and then decide whether your new tool bag will be manageable while traveling.
Should you be flying with small tools, you may be able to take your tool bag as carry-on luggage. TSA approved tool bags should conform to the usual airline carry on limits. However, this can be a problem when your bag is too big or too heavy, as all airlines have restrictions on the maximum weight and dimensions allowed for carry on bags.
If you have even a single tool that is more than 7 inches long, you have to pack it in your checked luggage. Your tool bag will have to come under the maximum total linear dimensions of 62 inches and be 50 pounds or less in weight once all your tools are packed. Although the weight can exceed this, you’ll need to pay for excess baggage, so the bag should ideally be light enough on its own to allow you to pack even some heavy tools.
If you have a large selection of tools, consider the carrying capacity because you don’t want your tools ripping out the bottom of the bag.
Carrying Methods and Mobility
Because most tools are heavy, it’s a good idea to get a wheeled tool bag instead of trying to lug it around just by its handles or shoulder strap. This article will concentrate on finding the best rolling tool bag for air travel. The telescopic handle should be sturdy and preferably height adjustable to minimize arm and shoulder strain. The two inline wheels should roll smoothly over most terrain. You don’t want the bag tipping over when it’s stationary, so make sure it has front feet or a stand for it to remain upright.
Of course, there will be times when you will need to pick the bag up from the luggage carousel or haul it into a car boot or maybe even a flight of stairs, so the handles or shoulder strap should be padded for comfort and be attached to the bag with reinforced stitching.
Choose a bag that will keep all your tools in the right places. Tool bags that are not designed for air travel tend to have lots of exterior pockets for easy access but this is not a good idea if you’re checking your tool bag for air travel. Even if there are external pockets, those should remain empty until your retrieve the bag after the flight or should only hold items that won’t fall out. Many interior pockets, dividing sections, and Velcro flaps are a great way to ensure order in bag land. While in transit, it is easy for tools to jostle together and get damaged, so there should be enough padding or straps to keep them in place.
Zippers can be weight-sensitive. If your tools weigh a lot, you may find the zippers will be strained and can break. Choose the best quality zippers that are anti-seizing, have locking features to help with security, and that offer the best drawing action when the bag is full.
Tool bags need to be tear-resistant, and they should also be water repellent, if not waterproof. Since you have spent quite a bit on your tools, you want to ensure they are safe and protected from rain that can cause rust or malfunction with electronic tools.
Your tool bag will also be seeing a lot of use and it’s natural that there will be some wear, but scuffing, pilling, and ripping isn’t acceptable in a quality tool bag. Be sure to check for double-stitched linings and reinforcement to prevent the bottom of your tool bag from ripping out.
Having a tool bag that is made from a heat-resistant material is another plus, as fire can be a hazard with work sites. Double-layered canvas is usually the option of pros, however, a polyester tool bag will dry quicker than canvas and be lighter. This is important when you have to think about the overall weight of the bag.
Tool bags are generally made of polyester, nylon, or canvas. Since tools can be heavy, the bag should be made with a strong, durable material. Nylon and canvas are the stronger options, but polyester retains color well, so your bag may look new for longer.
Yes, you can fly with a tool box as checked luggage. When you travel with a tool box, you should ensure that there are no containers with flammable liquids, micro torches, utility lighters, or other items that are not allowed by TSA on an airplane.
Small hand and power tools that are 7 inches or shorter, when assembled and measured from one end to the other, are allowed in carry-on bags. Tools that are bigger in size are not allowed in carry-on baggage.
Yes, you can bring hair styling tools on a plane. In your carry-on luggage, you can pack flat irons, hair straighteners, and curling irons; however, if your hair styling tools are gas or Butane-powered, then you are only allowed to pack one of these in a suitcase. We have a more detailed guide about packing hair styling tools for air travel.