I’m not sure when it happened. At some point in the last two decades a conspiracy secretly plotted the future storage of all tools. Backed by the multi-zillion dollar bucket and bucket accessory lobby, the goal was simple: one by one, to replace all prior forms of tool storage (even the venerable tool box) with five gallon buckets. The conspiracy was powerful, and soon, everyone from weekend warriors to professional contractors could be seen toting around their tools in a five gallon bucket. People seemed content, but were they really? Eventually, a few people started to ask themselves, “Why the eff am I carrying around all my tools in a bucket with an apron on it?!”
I too, became one of those to question the masses using tool buckets as tool boxes. For years I’ve had a bucket and “accessory” that stored an odd medley of tools I’d tote around the house for various projects. It was handy. But it was also problematic. My tool bucket collected a special assortment of wood chips, sawdust, nails, screws, small rodents and anything else unlucky enough to fall into the bottom of the bucket. Despite being a little over a foot tall, the base of the bucket might as well be the bottom of a deep well. Finding and retrieving anything below the top layer was a true challenge.
Another one of the people to question the tool bucket trend was Roger Brouard, inventor of the Veto Pro Pac series of tool carriers. Veto has been very active in the media world, and they offered to ship out their Veto Pro Pac LC for a HomeFixated review. After testing it for a couple months, we think the Veto Pro Pac might mark the beginning of the end for tool bucket supremacy, at least for those willing to pay for it.
The Veto Pro Pac Model LC is 13.5″ wide, 9.5″ deep and about 11.5″ tall. It sports 57 pockets and can hold over 75 hand tools. A patented center panel not only forms a nice divide between the two sides of the bag, but it also helps keep everything upright. The center panel also culminates in a very rugged carry handle. The handle has a nice grip on it and is pretty comfortable, even with some weight in the bag. If you compare the handle’s comfort to a five gallon bucket handle, you’ll no doubt find the Veto handle infinitely more ergonomic.
A waterproof base made from 3mm thick polypropylene ingeniously makes the bottom of the LC impervious to moisture. This feature is great for crawl space adventures and those little plumbing projects that accidentally turn into floods. The sides feature a very accessible clip for your measuring tape and a couple pockets for a pencil and utility knife. Little hyper-user-friendly details like these all add up to make the Veto Pro Pac LC a very carefully thought out product.
To say the build quality is solid is a bit of an understatement. The 1800 denier body fabric appears downright bullet-proof (please note HomeFixated lawyers emphatically state we are not suggesting you shoot at your Veto Pro Pac). Speaking of bullet-proof and shooting perfectly good tool storage, we were talking with a couple of our buddies over at ToolsInAction.com, and it turns out they literally fired a couple hundred rounds at a Veto bag. Check out the video for yourself. The Veto held up very impressively despite the barrage of rounds from an AR-15, shotgun and more:
Special note to US presidents: Do NOT draft Dan into any front-line military service under any circumstances!
Marine-grade rivets abound, and beefy zipper pulls make unzipping and zipping do-able, even with gloves on. We did find the zippers would bind occasionally, but they’re so sizable getting back on track is a breeze. As you might deduce from people-watching at McDonalds, with beef comes weight. Don’t expect an ultra-light, minimal case here. We weighed the empty LC and found it weighed in around 7 pounds. We did find that one nice byproduct of that weight is that the LC is less likely to tip over.
If you find your loaded Veto Pro Pac is more than you want to bicep curl, Veto thoughtfully included a nicely padded shoulder strap. They even put velcro on it and on the top of the LC so you can “park” it out of the way. Small, velcro circles are sewn into the area below the LC’s handle, and the large band of velcro on the strap itself make it easy to keep the strap from annoying you. It’s downright ingenious! Who wants a shoulder strap standing between you and your tools anyway?
As an obsessive organizer, I also greatly appreciated the two identical sides. This makes it easy to separate two types of tools easily. One side might be for electrical, another for carpentry, plumbing, etc. Varying pocket sizes make storage for everything from bits to small cordless tools a snap. Speaking of snaps, Veto even included snaps on the zip down pockets for each side. These snaps let you roll the sides out of the way for unrestricted access to your tools. Its another great feature for keeping tools visible and within easy reach.
If you’re ready for a serious alternative to the 5 Gallon Bucket organizer, check out the Veto Pro Pac’s full line of closed and open-top models. The Veto Pro Pac LC runs about $129 straight from Veto. More spendy than a bucket apron, but worth it if you value your tools and efficiency. Just try to resist the urge to shoot it with your assault rifle, OK?
2 thoughts on “Veto Pro Pac LC Review- Goodbye Tool Bucket Conspiracy”
Marc, you’ve gone and done it; You hit on one of my firmly established carpentry related pet peeves. Please hear me out for now I must rant…
I HATE this bag. I hate all Veto bags. And I really hate bucket tool bags (Bucket Boss).
Well, they come with the intention of holding all of your tools, or at least as many as you can squeeze in them (bigger is better, right?). The result is a bag full of tools that weighs about 100 lbs. I would rather carry four 25lb bags than one 100lb bag. Not to mention, when you are tackling a specific project, they might hold all the tools you need for that project but along with all those tools you don’t need.
Personally, I separate my tools into project specific bags, boxes, cases, and buckets. Plumbing tools in one tool box, electrical tools in the electrical bag, mechanic tools in their own tool box, etc. I even have a random tool “problem solver” tool box. Also, while it can be admittedly more expensive, I try to have multiples of tools so I don’t need to rob from any set. For example, I have like 4 different screwdriver sets and several muti-bit drivers all divvied out to different sets (different because they were chosen to specifically suit their task).
I am willing to bet that if you did a scientific study of Veto owners, you’d find that out of the 100 or so tools in their bags, they probably only use about 20 on a regular basis. Which again prompts me to recommend that one just figures out which 20 tools they use most and put those in one small case to carry around then leave the rest in the truck. Even if there are occasions that you must run back to the truck to retrieve a forgotten tool, I think it stands to reason that making a second trip to the truck every so often is far better than busting your nuts lugging all the tools you own to and from the job every single day.
In general I hate products which claim to make you more efficient by forcing you to lug around an entire arsenal of tools when all you really needed was a bit of forethought and a handful of well chosen implements.
Also I just can’t see spending the $130 on a Veto. I mean, a tool is a tool…it can make it’s worth back in one job. But tool storage only comes with the value of the time you might save looking for a tool. The payback is not there if you gotta sift through 100 tools to find the one you need. My small tool cases cost between $0 and $30. They are cheap so I don’t need to care about them. If one isn’t fitting my needs I toss it and find a better one. If I spend $130 on a bag and I find after awhile that it doesn’t fit my needs, then what? Sell it or suffer, I guess.
Well, I was going to get you a Veto Pro Pac for Christmas, but now that’s clearly not going to work! Thanks for sharing your anti-all-in-one tool storage opinions. Different strokes for different folks.