44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2009
Brown Bag Company 30299 ToolRider GSR
I can vouch for the quality of the ToolRider GSR, as I have just received mine.
I've been a professional finish carpenter for 35 years. I wear my tool belt with the pouches in the rear, not in the front, as this makes climbing and bending over much easier. I bought my last tool belt 23 years ago. It was also nylon ("Cordura") and is still in good condition.
I really hadn't thought of replacing it until I saw all the features of the current generation of tool belts at various sites online.
The main features that made me want to upgrade were:
~ Sheer number of pockets
~ Easily adjustable belt
~ Gel-foam padded suspenders with breathable fabric
~ Padded belt with breathable fabric
Since I expected this to be the last tool rig I would ever need, I ended up doing quite a bit of online research of possibly every brand of tool rig made with one or more of these features. I also considered buying belts and suspenders separately.
Ultimately, I picked the Brown Bag ToolRider GSR because it had all the right features at a reasonable price, in one package. I ordered it from Amazon at the lowest price on the Web including the free shipping, and it arrived in 5 days.
I was not disappointed, except for the fact that it was made in China, like many U.S. name-brand tools are now. The workmanship and materials, however, are very impressive. The nylon material is 1680 denier, the toughest I could find. I was relieved to see that it has a nylon hammer loop in front of the right bag, which is where I have always carried mine. It was hard to tell from the pictures if it had one or not.
Most of the smaller pencil and tool pockets are located inside the large right bag. It is nice to have a dedicated place for each small tool. No more fishing around with several floating items. There is a dedicated pocket behind the left nail pouches for my 8 inch Speed Square. Also nice is having three pouches on the left side for fasteners instead of the usual one. There's even a business card-sized transparent pocket in back so you won't miss an opportunity to bag another client while working on the job!
My old belt has a large plastic clip-type "buckle" on the belt. To adjust the size, I have to take the belt off and tediously move the belt through plastic loop-style adjusters. The GSR has a twin-tine "normal style" metal buckle, so adjustment is instantaneous every time I put it on.
I had standard, unpadded suspenders attached to my old belt, and they worked just fine, but would collect sweat during the hot summer months. The GSR's not only have a breathable mesh layer underneath, but substantial gel-foam padding that can be adjusted to rest perfectly on the tops of the shoulders. Also important is the adjustable connecting strap between the two straps in front that helps keep the shoulder pads in the most comfortable spot. The suspenders also have three pencil sleeves and a bonus carabiner on the right strap and a padded cell phone or PDA pocket with a velcro lid on the left. There is also an identical cell phone pocket on the belt. The slightly stretchy pocket is a snug fit for my oversize MDA Pocket PC PDA/phone.
The exact color and appearance was hard to tell from various photos online. With the name "Brown Bag", and from some pictures, I thought it would probably be a grayish tan, and I was concerned that the tool belt and suspenders matched. Actually, they do, but the main color is an attractive, slightly silvery charcoal gray, with black edging and gray stitching. The mesh fabric covering the padding on the waist belt and suspenders is a lighter gray. The black edging around the rims of the various pouches contains a stiffer core that can be bent to shape the pouches "just right". All the metal hardware is plated with an attractive "black chrome" finish.
I used to have a problem with the bags shifting positions on the belt. The GSR has velcro between them, so I can adjust them once, lock it in and forget it.
All in all, I consider this one of the best tool investments I've ever made. I find new features just about every time I wear it. Someone really must have put in a lot of time and thought into its design and function. I, myself, did the same in researching and shopping for it. I hope my efforts save you a lot of time and trouble.
There may be equal or better rigs out there, but I consider this to be the best value for the money. If you buy this rig, I seriously doubt that you will be disappointed.
UPDATE. JULY 2015 (6.5 years later)
Still happy with this purchase! Being at the center of any job I do, it's always a pleasure to strap this on at the beginning, knowing it will make it easier and more comfortable. It's held up well, with absolutely no repairs needed.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2008
I will start this off by saying; I am not a professional Framer or contractor. I'm a DIY'er that tends to tackle big projects. For the last couple of weekends I've been repairing and re-shingling my garage from the damage that IKE caused.
I knew I wanted more support from a belt that only suspenders could provide. I chose the Toolrider because I have a pair of their knee pads and they are comfortable as well.
Now, I was looking for three things in a belt. Fit, Function and Comfort.
Fit- I'm 6'3", so the length of the suspenders was a concern for me. Having a long torso, I didn't want the belt wrapped around my belly. After extending the suspenders fully, they put the belt in the perfect position for me. For anyone that is taller, I would assume that they belt would ride up.
The belt's fit was great, with plenty of room to adjust based on your waist size. The large padded back provided plenty of support with all pockets full of tools and other stuff.
Function- Now being an amateur woodworker and DIY'er, there are more pockets than I could possible fill for one job. I can't see professionals needing any more storage space, but if they do, The Brown Bag Company makes another belt with even more pockets.
The pockets were well placed and sized perfectly. With the belt and suspenders adjusted, I was able to easily reach every nook and cranny of this belt and my tools. In addition, the pockets can be re-configured or removed from the belt completely, based on your needs. The suspenders can be removed as well, if you only want to use the belt. The padded electronic pocket was a nice touch as well. I have an Iphone and it fit perfectly.
Comfort- The padded suspenders and belt distributes the weight around great. It makes you feel as if you not carry anything at all. For the past two weekends, I've been on my roof for 8 hours a day and have not once questioned the comfort of this product. My last belt (Dewalt), felt like I had a gym weight belt on the whole time.
Summary- In closing, I and my back are extremely satisfied with this product. So far this belt is the total package. I would say all DIY'er would be completely satisfied and most Professionals would be as well. The only thing that remains is durability. I can't answer that yet as I've only used it for 2 weekends on the roof. But, I would be surprised if it let me down in that area as well. I will keep everyone posted.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2010
I've been a professional frame to finish carpenter for the past 15+ years. In which time I've chewed up various, and numerous belts. Only finding one other that I was happy with and that was about 12 years ago. I am very hard on belts and I have been using this one without a hitch for 5 months now. This thing seems to be bullet proof, it's comfortable and rides well all day. My only gripe: I'm right handed and normally pull my tape with my left and mark with my right. The tape clip is in the right bag, as well as the pencil slots. No real big deal, I just sacrificed the small top nail pocket in the left bag to my tape, still plenty of room for nails, never had much luck with those clips anyway.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2010
I recently bought the tool rider. I am a carpenter by profession, and am pretty hard on tools and expect them to last. My last bags lasted about 10 years, as did the ones before that. There are plenty of pockets, and small places for things like countersinks, and drill bits and tips. The suspender system is pretty comfortable, which is important if you wear your bags all day. I could have spent way more, like for the occidental leather bags, but since I am almost done with this work, I don't need these bags to last for 40 years. I looked at all the bags before choosing these, and I'm satisfied with my choice. My only complaint is that the chisel pocket liner, which is plastic, has cracked a little, but it doesn't affect anything, so it's no big deal to me. Go ahead and get these bags.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2011
Here's a quick review/ my .02, I haven't gotten to wear the belt for a full day but I do have it fitted and rearranged.
I love the suspenders. perfect cell phone holder, gel inserts seem to be comfortable, and they fit perfect! I am a short and stout guy, 5'7" 190lbs, and if I were ANY smaller they would be too big for me. They also have a few loops and a D-ring, seems useful.
The belt and cushion combo seems to be ok. the cushion does not go all the way around your body like my current husky belt does(the husky Velcros together in the front then the belt gets tightened), which leaves not a whole lot of room for all the bags to be attached to it, but i made it work.
NO SPEED SQUARE POCKET! AH I'm pissed about that. Knife holder, pencil holders, nail set holders, nice deep pockets, a few other tool holders, and no speed square holder. I hate the noise of a speed square hitting concrete or ashphalt..
There is also no metal hammer loop attached to the bags. just a fabric one as well as loops for a combo square and cats paw. However, it does come with a free standing loop which I can't find any space for except on the very back of my right hip which I think is too far away, I'd rather have it right at the bag
The fabric really doesn't seem to be thin to me. It seems very very well constructed and probably about 75% thicker than my husky.
Overall on the first day Im going to give it a B or B+ we'll see how they hold up!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2011
I am a contractor and have had several rigs over the years. I found this one and thought for 100 bucks i could get good bags and a great suspension system all in one. Well the bags are great can't be ripped, torn, etc. (this remains to be seen) But like other reviewers the suspenders are not made for people over 6 foot they just dont sit on your shoulders the way they should. I gave them to one of my subs and they work for him but he is also several inches shorter than me. I like the belt it came with but I am so use to using leather I swapped it out for that. My reccommendations if you want just the bags go to menards $60.00 bucks. if you want the whole thing and are under 6ft. then this is a great rig.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2011
I looked long and hard after my old leather tool belt wore out. It was the old style and the pockets were mounted high and tools would poke me in the stomach when bending over. I am semi-professional as I don't use it everyday but work some jobs as handyman.
Out of all the new ones I've seen, this one is one of the best for me although it was most expensive. The belt is easy to use and is separate from padding. The rings for the suspenders are velcro belt loops on the padded belt, not the on bags as on some designs like AWP. This gives you more flexibility arranging your bags. And if you want, the bags come on/off individually and can be moved around. They are deep pockets, and hold themselves open. This is my first belt with the layered pockets but works for me and is easy to move around with.
There is a slot behind one of the lower bags for a carpenters square. There is a small neoprene style stretch pocket on the belt AND suspenders either of which may hold a cell phone - although seems small for like a Android type phone, but I have a razr. Another Another looks like it was designed for a utility knife, some called it a chisel pocket. I was hoping it had electrical sort of bag pack with it - could not tell from picture, it does not, but I can add one easily enough if I need it. really its got a lot of capacity and is only missing a few screwdriver slots and a tape hanger. One minor gripe, is that for me I'm not sure what some of the pockets are designed for, as I have never seen some of those designs before, and there is no brownbagcompany website nor any pictures to show you what they designed to fit where. Sure, I'll play with it but if they had a picture that would have been worth something as I seem to lacking imagination to figure it all out.
The most used part, the measuring tape bag in the middle in the Amazon picture, is the opposite of my old belt which was snug and sometimes a bit of tussle to get tape out, on this one its an open pocket that is way bigger than the tape and is only held in by gravity, which makes it fast and easy to use, time will tell if it lets the tape fall out however if you're climbing or scrambling around. Having said that, I'm assuming that is the pocket for the tape, but it doesn't show what pockets are for so I'm guessing.
The supplied suspenders are well padded with gel, however as some noted the padded part is not all that long and you have to adjust it for your best fit and position on your shoulder. I'm 6' and mostly long torso and I had to tighten up the shoulder straps, so it should have enough adjustment for most tall folks. The waist band is long and is nearly bottomed out at my 34" waist, but fits fine. The excess belt is not that easily stored it seems, it does have velcro on it but you have to feed it under the bag to keep it from flopping, and since there is no quick release like my old belt you have to take it out and back in every time you put it on, or at least loosen it. I may cut off the long part since I don't plan on being really fat.
Business card holder is a great idea. The ballistic nylon seems very durable, they provide a sample you can try to tear (good luck). There are no rivets only heavy tacking the stress points, but with that material I assume ts going to last, and that may weigh less. For what it is, unloaded it is pretty light.
True it will lighten your wallet a bunch, but for a very comfortable tool belt with tons of room for tools and cell phones, etc., this maybe an easy expense to justify.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2010
The suspenders that came with the first set I received were not made correctly. I'm 6'0" tall and had to adjust the back two straps out as far as they would go to get the padded section of the shoulder strap in the proper position on my shoulders. The problem was one of the straps would not adjust out as far as the other one. They were different lengths. I sent them back and received a set that were made correctly. I really like the bags, but the suspenders are definitely made for people under 6' tall. Mine are adjusted all the way out and I would prefer to have a little more adjustment still. Other than that, they seem to be a good quality product. Very durable and good bag compartment design. If the suspenders fit me correctly, even the second set I received, I would have given a 5 star review.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2011
Pros: Well made, lots of bags spaces & pockets, comfortable to wear (would like to make back straps shorter), saves time since I have everything I need on top of the ladder. My opinion: It's the Lexus of tool belt systems.
Cons: I'm average height @5'10". Would like to make back straps shorter but it's still comfortable to wear.
Definitely recommend this product 100%
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2010
For the most part I really like this tool belt. Very well built, quality material and workmanship, pouches are rugged, the shoulder pads are comfortable and the
belt and buckle is pretty tough. The only drawback is the strap adjustment. I'm 5'7" and I have the straps adjusted as short as they can go. I like the shoulder pads to be
centered on my shoulder. Minor issue and if you are taller, it won't be. All in all, for the price it is a very nice rig.