FatMax Xtreme Tool Vest - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

Ample storage, light in weight, and air mesh fabric that makes it light and airy

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FatMax Xtreme Tool Vest



If you prefer a tool vest over a tool pouch, then the new FatMax Xtreme Tool Vest (1-95-629) has a range of features you'll want to check out.
 
Empty, the vest might weigh all of 2 pounds; when strapped on and adjusted, it fits very comfortably. The vest is made of a breathable, nylon mesh fabric, with the strapping and pockets sewn onto the fabric. All the straps are hook and loop, making them quick and easy to adjust, yet hold firmly in place. If you take a few minutes to adjust the vest to suit your body, you can achieve an almost glove like fit. The fit is made easy by the means of the hook and loop straps on the shoulders and at the waist, and adjustable nylon buckles on the sides. I like a nice tight fit, as it keeps the vest from moving about too much. And of course you can adjust the strapping to accommodate extra clothing as the season gets cooler.
 
There is a sturdy nylon zipper that works well - the plastic teeth engage quickly and slide smoothly. However, the metal slider could be larger to make it easier to grasp when wearing gloves. There are reflective yellow safety strips across the front and back of the vest, making you more visible in darker lighting conditions or at night. This vest should be able to accommodate just about everyone - unless you come in a Shaq size.


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Mesh construction makes for a super light vest
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Sturdy nylon zipper; metal slider could be larger
There are 15 pockets in this vest, two of which are in a removable pouch. The pouch can only be mounted on the left side; if mounted on the right side it obstructs the measuring tape holder. You can carry a lot of nails, screws, wire nuts, or other hardware in the larger 6-1/2" x 6-1/2" and smaller 4-1/2" x 5" pockets. The hammer holder comes attached to the back of the vest, however you could move it to the right side.

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Removable 2-pocket pouch
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Pocket for cell phone/MP3 player, and key ring
On the right side of the vest are seven pockets. At the top is a hook & loop covered pocket sized to hold a cell phone or MP3 player. Beside this pocket is a handy key ring. Just below the pocket is a slot covered with clear plastic into which you can insert an ID card or a business card.

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Measuring tape holder
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ID/business card holder
Below this is an arrangement of two narrow pockets (ideal for screwdrivers, awls, or other narrow tools), two small pockets (about 3" x 4") and a larger pocket (6" x 4"). There is also a key ring attached to one of the narrow pockets. Finally, beneath the lower arrangement of pockets is a deep 6-1/2" x 7-1/2" pocket, secured by a hook and look strip. It's ideal for storing a notebook, wallet, blueprints, gloves or the like.

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Adjustable side buckles
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Adjustable front hook and loop straps
On the left side you'll find eight pockets. At the top are two narrow pockets about 4-3/4" deep; too shallow for holding most hand tools, but ok for short rulers, voltage testers, pens and the like. Beside these pockets are two elastic straps sized to hold pens and pencils. Below this is another arrangement of 5 pockets - four narrow and one medium sized. These are deep enough to hold hand tools up to about 8" long - screwdrivers, pliers, snips, utility knives and the like. As on the right side, there is another 'hidden' pocket underneath this cluster of pockets.

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Ample storage space, very light and comfortable
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Back is somewhat short
 
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Inner storage for notebook, blueprints, or the like
I loaded up the FatMax Xtreme Tool Vest with as many tools as it would carry, and found it to be seriously light, and quite comfortable to wear. I did find that the back of the vest tended to creep up a bit, no matter how I adjusted the strapping. I would have liked a longer back.
 
Not a bad vest for around $60. Maybe not as flexible in terms of tool layout as other vests I've seen, but it does provide for a lot of storage, has those reflective safety strips, and the air mesh fabric makes it light and airy, which you'll appreciate on those hot, humid days.
 

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 KEY FEATURES:

  • Nylon air mesh construction
  • Reflective safety strips
  • Nylon zipper
  • Two expanding straps each side
  • Adjustable hook & loop shoulder straps
  • Expandable waist straps
  • Vest hanging tab
  • 15 pockets
  • 2 key rings
  • ID window
  • Removable tool pouch
  • Removable hammer holder
  • Tape holder
  • One size fits all

MANUFACTURER:Stanley
AVAILABLE FROM:Tool and equipment suppliers nationwide
RETAIL PRICE:$59.99
MODEL #:1-95-629
MADE IN:USA
Carl Duguay, August 2010
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