Skiller Flexitoolvest - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

Light, durable, expandable - and the coolest looking vest around

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Skiller Flexitoolvest



If you work on a job site, chances are you wear a tool belt of one kind or another. There are, however, other options that can provide considerable convenience and versatility for toting your tools. Skiller Workwear has  come up with a cleverly designed tool vest, the Skiller Flexitoolvest (4294-04) that has a number of interesting features.
 
The Flexitoolvest vest consists of a mesh fabric with an overlay of canvas fabric that houses the pockets, belt, and fastener system. The fabric is made from Canvas+, a blend of 60% cotton and 40% polyester, while the mesh is made from 100% polyester. The result is a remarkably light vest that is super comfortable to wear, particularly in hot, humid weather. When the weather gets cooler, no problem. There is integrated side expander with a sturdy plastic zipper that gives you an extra 2" of width, so that the vest fits comfortably over a hoodie or heavy jacket. The shoulders of the vest are 3-1/2" wide, and serve to distribute the weight of the vest somewhat evenly across the shoulders. The zipper is double stitched. The plastic teeth engage quickly and slide smoothly. The slider is large enough that you can easily grasp it, even with gloves on. Likewise, the plastic quick release belt buckle is large and easily adjustable.


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Mesh fabric
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Copious use of the mesh fabric makes the Flexitoolvest light and comfortable
The vest itself has an assortment of 17 pockets in a range of sizes. These pockets are ideal for pencils, pens, cell phone, measuring, marking and layout tools, various narrow tools, and hardware that you need frequent access to. The binding on the pocket covers is double stitched, but the rest of the pockets are single stitched. Even when fully loaded, this vest is remarkably light; due I think to the use of a mesh underlay. I did notice that the vest has a tendency to rise up off the back and slide a bit forward, probably because all the weight is in the front of the vest. A longer back might help rectify this, as well as provide some additional lower back coverage, which would be nice in colder temperatures.

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Easy manipulated plastic zipper
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Quick release buckle
So, here is what you get. On the right top is 1 large pocket (6-3/4" wide x 5" deep) with a snap cover. Oddly, it's the only snap used on pockets. I find it's a bit awkward to close, and would have preferred a hook & loop fastener here. I store items that I don't need frequently here. Just under this pocket is a medium sized pocket (2-3/4" x 5") and a small pocket (2" x 5"), into which my Milwaukee flip pocket knife fits perfectly There are three straps running across these two smaller pockets to which you can attach clip-on tools (circuit tester, wire strippers, Sharpie marker).
 
Beneath this set of pockets is yet again another large pocket. On the right bottom are two small pockets (4-1/2" x 5" and 3-1/2" x 3-3/4") and two slot pockets (1-1/4" x 3-3/4" and 1" x 3-3/4"), all coved by a hook & loop cover. I store various fasteners, driver bits, hex adapters and a small awl here.


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Integrated side expander
 
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Wearing a hoodie or jacket under the vest is no problem
On the left top is one large pocket (6" x 5"). There isn't any cover on this pocket, and it does tend to accumulate dust and debris. However, without a cover it's very quick to access the contents. I store whatever it is I plan to be using very frequently during the day; usually it's 1-3/4" #8 screws, which I use by the boat load. Immediately underneath this pocket is a medium pocket (3" x 5") with a hook & look cover (perfect for my cell phone), and flanked by two slot pockets (pencils, pens, long driver bits).
 
On the left bottom is a large pocket (5" x 5") in which I store various fasteners, a medium pocket (3-1/4" x 3-1/2") that holds a spare battery, and a slot pocket (screwdriver), all covered by a hook & loop cover. On the side of this pocket is another slot pocket (which I haven't found anything to put in yet). Finally, there is a large pocket on the inside of the right panel which is ideal for notebook, wallet, papers, and, of course some Krispy Kernels.


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Right side top and bottom pockets
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Left side top and bottom pockets
Along the bottom edge of the vest is a unique hook & loop fastener system to which you can add various removable pockets and a hammer loop (the hammer loop comes with the vest, the pockets can be purchased separately). This system is great; you can quickly fasten one the pockets you need, and then remove them when they're not needed. The process takes under a minute. And, I like not having to carry around all that extra weight if I don't need it.

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Auxiliary tool pouch fastener system
 
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Pouches can be attached/removed in seconds
The #9708 large tool pouch ($37.00) has a total of 15 pockets and 5 straps The two large front pockets have two layers of material, increasing their durability. Along the back of the pouch there is a rigid 2" wide piece of plastic, which serves to stiffen the pouch. The large tool pouch holds pretty well all the hand tools I use regularly on a job site; the tools I load up vary depending on what I'm working on for the week. Generally though it holds a FatMax measuring tape and a small Ryobi flashlight.

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Large tool pouch (#9708)
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Tool pouch/nail bag (#9709)
There is also a #9709 tool pouch/nail bag ($35.00). It has two large pockets, 7" x 7" and 6" x 5-1/2", for various nails or screws. The remaining 6 pockets (2 medium, 4 slot) hold a variety of tools (screwdriver, piers, utility knife, spare blades, nail sets, etc). On both sides of the pouch are two elasticized loops that I use to hold a small pry bar and a finish hammer.

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Now that I've been using the Skiller Flexitoolvest for the past month I doubt if I'll go back to a tool belt. The Flexitoolvest is light, durable and expandable. It holds all the tools I need on a regular basis, and I really like the option of removing the side pouches when I don't need them. Besides, it's the coolest looking tool vest around.

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KEY FEATURES:

  • Made from Canvas+ fabric (60% cotton, 40% polyester) and 100% polyester mesh
  • 17 pockets
  • Removable plastic hammer holder
  • Hook & loop pocket fasteners
  • Hook & loop fasteners for adding optional pouches
  • Integrated side expander with two way zipper
  • Adjustable ergonomic belt
  • Sizes S to XXL (38" to 52" chest size)

MANUFACTURER:Skillers Workwear
AVAILABLE FROM:This product ceased production in April 2011
RETAIL PRICE:$74.00
MODEL #:4294-04
MADE IN:USA
NOTE: This product is no longer available

Carl Duguay, March 2010
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