Tuesday, June 8, 2010

CLC Tool Backpack: The Official Tool Bag of The Bodyweight Files

Years ago, when I was single and used to get tax returns rather than having to pay huge chunks of my fun-money to Uncle Sam, I decided that I wanted to set myself up with a nice set of tools. One huge pet peeve of mine is lack of organization that most tool holders have. My job demands a certain level of mechanical inclination and I am enormously fussy about having my tools in their proper place. I just can't stand wasting time looking for the right tool, especially when I'm stuck in a position where I could be making $500 every 15 minutes of break-down time!

For those of you who have jobs like mine, if you have never heard of MSC Direct, I have one thing to say: YOU POOR, LITTLE BABIES! They're just like Grainger catalog... only way, Way, WAY, WAY BETTER! Their catalog is the bible! At over 3,000pages, it's bigger than Obama's Health Care Bill. So, I figured that they have to have some sort of tool pouch or pack that I could use.

Did they ever! I found the CLC Tool Backpack. It was just what I was looking for! It's made out of some seriously-tough nylon and wears like crazy! It has all kinds of compartments, with around 100 different pouches inside so every tool has it's place. I have two sets of box wrenches, a set of screwdrivers, pliers, vice grips, hex wrenches, a 3/8" drive socket set, electrical tools, fasteners, hammer, and more all inside of one normal-sized backpack that can easily fit behind the passenger side of my two-seater pick-up truck!

So, what does this have to do with strength training? Weighted vest! Duh! I was contemplating buying either some sort of weighted vest or maybe even some big, heavy chain. That costs money though and I'm like a lot of other people out there: I don't have as much as I'd like. So, I realized that while it might be, like, really KEWL to do pull-ups and dips with chains wrapped around my body, I already have an equally super-cool CLC tool backpack that weighs in at 40 lbs with most of my tools in it. I figured that's all I need for now.

Since I'm highly motivated to improvise and not depend on only adding weight to make the exercise more difficult, I arrived at doing a towel pull-up. In order to make it more relevant to the thick rope climbing training that I'm doing, I grabbed a bath towel instead of my ubiquitous hand towels. I can't supinate my grip on it just yet but it's still a brutally hard pull-up that I currently do in sets of 6.

Like I said in my 3rd anniversary post, it's always about improvisation. It's what I have and I make it work. That's what it's all about. If you want a really cool backpack to hold tools in a very organized manner that also doubles as a good weighted backpack for making your calisthenics more delightfully miserable, then this your backpack.


John Cintron said...


Really cool Post. I have a twenty lb weight vest and I am going to have to up the load. Buying extra weight is expensive it's actually cheaper to buy a new vest. I am thinking of buying the chains and wrapping them around my weight vest.

John Cintron

Justin_PS said...

Thanks John,

I was doing my homework about this a while back, mulling over whether to buy a vest or chains. Vests are much, much cheaper until you hit 40 lbs. After that, vests become, for some reason, very expensive and it's cheaper to invest in chains.

Chain isn't really worth looking into unless you buy 1/2" or 5/8" links. 3/4" is often times, far too expensive for it's weight, probably due to the fact that it's pretty rare. You can look for this on the internet but I've noticed that shipping this stuff kills the savings. This is a time where you'd be better suited to buy from a local source. For chain this big, look for rigging hardware dealers. Most heavy truck repair shops will sell this stuff.


Good luck!

John Cintron said...


I had 40lbs total but I made it lighter they got all messed up fool of greaase so I had to through them out. I paid 25 dolars for the weight know it cost more than double. In home depot they had some nice thick chains I am going to by two 5 feet chains and try them out.