Roger Bisby attempts to carry all before him as he reviews the Snickers 4250 AllroundWork tool vest.
I’m glad to see the Snickers toolvest being given a new lease of life. In fact I recently heard a fellow tradesman say that it’s probably the most underrated item in the company’s catalogue, and I tend to agree.
Showing my age here possibly, but I have one of the early models in that blue shiny fabric which is now well over 20 years old. It has stood me in good stead while working at heights, and also for those wiring jobs where all you need to carry is a set of electrician’s termination tools. Funnily enough, you often see the police wearing a variation on this jacket when they’re on the beat and the army also use another style to carry all their kit.
Essentially it’s ideal for carrying a lot of equipment because it distributes the weight in the most efficient way but, be warned, you need to be organised or you’ll spend all day patting pockets looking for items. Take it out, use it and put it back in the same pocket is the rule of thumb I’ve always stuck to.
Last year I got my hands on the hi-vis version of this vest because I was working on a hotel doing second fix bathrooms and I didn’t want to wear a hi-vis vest over my old blue toolvest. I found I could carry all I needed in the way of hand tools.
This new 4250 toolvest is the non hi-vis version, and has a few new refinements that make it more comfortable to wear in all weathers. The biggest difference is the mesh back, which allows air to circulate and moisture to escape. The arm holes are dropped down to give you plenty of free movement and there’s also an integrated inside expander, like a kind of zip gusset, which expands the girth. At first I thought this feature was just there for the days when you’ve had a big lunch, but I soon realised it’s intended to allow you to wear the toolvest over a jacket in the winter.
If you chose to carry an entire tool kit in this vest you could be walking around with anything up to 10kg, which is a lot. The key to the design is to distribute the weight across your shoulders and waist to make it more comfortable, and this is done by having wide shoulders and a really broad clip buckle belt. The shoulders are now adjustable up and down so if you’re long or short in the body it’s still possible to have the belt around your waist.
If this vest is fully loaded it can take some time to put all those tools back in the boxes and bags, so I sometimes hang the vest up in the van fully loaded if I’m working on the same job for a number of days. The holster pockets on the vest are also very useful but they tend to swing around if you’re moving in and out of a loft space, for example, and if you have holster trousers then there can be a lot of flappy pockets around the waist.
For further information on the Snickers 4250 AllroundWork tool vest visit: www.snickersworkwear.co.uk