When I spotted Iron Dog’s toolbelt at a recent trade show, I was immediately drawn to it. I liked that the toolbelt could be customized to fit the way a builder works—whether demolishing an old deck, screwing down new decking, or installing trim—thanks to a modular system of interchangeable pouches and tool holders that clip to the belt. You start by picking the right-sized belt ($40; another $40 if you also want suspenders), then you select the holsters or pouches that you want, all of which have been deliberately designed for a specific tool or purpose. Pouches start at about $30, while a utility-knife holder costs $10 and a tape holder, $15. Drill holders ($29) are available in both right-hand and left-hand versions; you won’t have to switch hands when holstering or unholstering your drill.
Construction is sturdy, with top-quality leather and tough ballistic nylon, hardy stitching, and secure clips. The leather belt is built with loops that run its full length, so gear can be positioned anywhere along the belt. Another nice feature of the pouch design is that it allows you to double-hang gear: Clip a nail pouch onto the belt, then clip a framing-square holder onto the nail pouch. Even when the belt is fully loaded, it’s comfortable.
The pouches and holsters slip on and clip into place all in one motion, while removal requires a bit more work. To detach a pouch, I needed to lift each clip and wiggle it free. It’s not a quick-release system, but it’s reassuring to know that the pouches aren’t moving until I want them to.
Sheena Klien (deckcritic.com) lives in Las Vegas, Nev.