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Last Post 01/23/2018 11:19 PM by  joefriday2
Toolbelt Review
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BobH
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12/07/2014 12:53 PM

    I have been a fan of the customtoolbelt.com (cat-man-do) toolbelt for 9 years, and thought I would do a  brief review for those who haven't tried it.

    This is not an advertisement, I am not being paid. This is an unsolicited opinion to help those who are walking around holding a clipboard in their hands.

    That is the heart and soul of the customtoolbelt.com system, you don't have to hold anything. 

    That isn't a big deal for "lightweight" claims - but if you have ever worked a bad fire where you can't set anything down (soot) or do steep roofs - you need to be hands free.

    I do a lot of 2-story-steep / Rope & Harness work (thank you Kevin). This toolbelt kicks ass. There is no way I could get around these widow-maker roofs while holding a clipboard. If there was only one part of the system that I could keep, it would be the "sword in scabbard" style of keeping the clipboard in the pocket that it slides into. 

    I am uploading a photo of my older cat-man-do belt, showing how the stuff on the belt could eventually tug down on the belt. I still loved that system, and had no problem with it. And you can see that it does not interfere with rope & harness.

    I recently got a newer toolbelt, to see how the updated design would work. Nothing can "pull down" because they have secured the belt to an inner padding in a way that is bomb-proof. I have been using it for 2 months and really put it through it's paces. It is bomb-proof.

    I have been on my current deployment for over 6 months, so it was interesting to use the older version for 4 months and the newer one for 2. Initially I was bummed out that I couldn't move my old pouches and ammo-bag things over. The new design is sort of "sewn together" in a way that makes it harder to mix and match. 

    But after the first couple days I saw the reason for the design. Nothing sags. Nothing gets pulled down from the weight of all the junk I carry (50' tape, Disto, 30' tape, camera, clamps to secure ladder to fascia, pitch gauge, putty knife, spare batteries, chalk, flashlight, gloves, webbing with clamps to shingles if no gutters). I did find places for all the things that I carry, and have grown to appreciate the thought that has gone into the current design. It has plenty of storage.

    Again, this photo is of the older one, not the ones currently sold. You can see the newer ones at their site. The newer one has a better design storage pocket above the clipboard, and other tweaks that are all improvements. They even put reinforcement at the bottom corner of the pouch that holds the clipboard. That is the area that gets scraped on shingles when going down a steep roof, and my older one was cut through. 

    I have to fly to deployments (I live in a rural part of California). With limited stuff I can take in 2 suitcases, I always start with the toolbelt & my rope gear. Then I will fit in what I can, and buy the rest when I arrive to the site. If I don't have my toolbelt, I am screwed.

    Bob H
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    BobH
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    12/08/2014 9:45 PM

    OK so the newer toolbelts have this padding that really helps to distribute the weight of your gear. The actual belt that the various stuff attaches to is SEWN to the backing.