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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Beaches of South Walton, FL
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    Default Inspection vest?

    I was wondering, what - if any experience folks have had wearing a vest to hold inspection tools?

    I have been thinking about this for a while, and was in Bass Pro Shops today, and they have a nice mesh vest (albeit expensive), that MIGHT work...although the pockets seem to be above the waste, so it might not be as easy to access. I have been inspecting long enough to have pared down the tools I carry on my person. I usually have 2 GFI testers, stubby ratchet screw driver with bits, mini head light, Protimeter, small amp meter, sometimes an infrared thermo gun, roll of 3/4" painters tape and a 2 way radio...and that is about it. I carry a pen, notebook, Sharpie marker and digital thermometer probe in a shirt pocket and use a PDA in an old Otterbox and wear a Streamlight Polystinger on my belt with a flashlight ring, along with my cell phone. I usually carry my digital camera in the front pocket in my pants, or cargo pocket on shorts.

    I used to wear a canvas carpenter's apron, and about 5 months ago switched to a wider belt and carpenters side bag combo, but I don't like it pulling on my hip(s) or on my back, and sometimes when I were it into an attic, I have to be extra careful not to lose any equipment when ducking between the framing.

    To hold any larger / additional equipment I have an electricians tote, but that generally stays in the vehicle, unless I know a head of time, that I will need something.

    So...anyone have any experience they would like to share?

    Thanks in advance, and inspect safely!

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    JD Johnson
    Beach To Bayou Property Inspections

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    I wear a one side bag with a padded wide belt. When I go into attics or crawlspaces, all I take out of my belt is my moisture meter and my flashlight. I take a probe in the crawl, but not in the attic.

    If I find I need something else, I come out and get it and go back in.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Beaches of South Walton, FL
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    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I wear a one side bag with a padded wide belt. When I go into attics or crawlspaces, all I take out of my belt is my moisture meter and my flashlight. I take a probe in the crawl, but not in the attic.

    If I find I need something else, I come out and get it and go back in.
    Thanks Jack...that is basically what I wear now, and the wide padded belt (with velcro and a clip) eliminates the pulling / stress on my lower back, but it is bulky, and I feel like a cop, strapping on a gun holster, every time I put it on. :-) I guess I could take the belt off every time I climb in to an attic, but when I do, that is about the time, that I wish I had bought X (surveyor's tape, or painters tape, or something else).

    JD Johnson
    Beach To Bayou Property Inspections

  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
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    Chicago, IL
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    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 01-09-2010 at 09:15 PM.
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Beaches of South Walton, FL
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    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    Thanks Michael...I saw these online. How hot is it in the summer? I was thinking about something mesh, that might breath (dissipate body heat), a little better than a solid fabric...it is pretty warm 7 months of the year here.

    JD Johnson
    Beach To Bayou Property Inspections

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Chicago, IL
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    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    I don't find it a problem in summer, though I do carry two and often change them between inspections, usually because they are dirty - one nice summer feature is that the low hanging pockets (where I keep meters, ect) hang down below a Cool Vest if I wear one into an attic, the Cool Vest goes right on over the Skiller.

    The biggest problem I have with the Skiller is that things tend to fall out of the large pockets in crawls, I usually remove other tools and just take a pin-type meter in a chest pocket - that would be a problem if you are working in an area were the access is outside the building (here, access is usually from the inside).

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    St Paul, MN
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    1,628

    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    I carry my digi camera in a belt holder along with my cell phone. I've got an laser thermometer in another belt holder. Rechargeable mag light on a belt ring. A GFCI tester in my left front pocket and a voltage sniffer in my right front pocket. Report is done on a 12" tablet notebook pc.

    All other equipment stays in my bag until it's needed.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    New Mexico
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    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    Mine is very similar to Michael's. I've been using them for six years, and love it. It may just be me, but I've spent enough time with tool bags on in my life. My model looks a little different, but it's basically the same concept. I tried the fishing vest, but it didn't work, and then moved to the camera type vest, which worked much better. It's marketed as a Humvee Safari Vest through various retailers.

    [IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Jim/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-1.jpg[/IMG][IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Jim/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-2.jpg[/IMG]

    [IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Jim/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot.jpg[/IMG]

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Chicago IL
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    1,984

    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    Festool carpenters apron. Used to wear a pouch type thing, got tired of the dirty looks when I would turn around and bump things with the pouch. My cart is always nearby so I don't need to carry much on person anyway.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Beaches of South Walton, FL
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    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Robinson View Post
    Mine is very similar to Michael's. I've been using them for six years, and love it. It may just be me, but I've spent enough time with tool bags on in my life. My model looks a little different, but it's basically the same concept. I tried the fishing vest, but it didn't work, and then moved to the camera type vest, which worked much better. It's marketed as a Humvee Safari Vest through various retailers.

    [IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Jim/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-1.jpg[/IMG][IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Jim/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-2.jpg[/IMG]

    [IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Jim/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot.jpg[/IMG]
    Thanks Jim - I found this model as well....and I liked it better, but think a mesh vest would be cooler. I found some mesh "shooting vests", but they seem limited on pockets. I may give this one a try, but hate to spend $X, and wind up with it hanging in my closet.

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    JD Johnson
    Beach To Bayou Property Inspections

  11. #11
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    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    Over the past 15 years I have tried the vest and a belt hung tool pouch. I found that I used about 3 tools out of the 20 or so things I toted around! Now I pretty much carry everything I need in my pant pockets. Voltage sniffer and outlet tester are in one pocket and the camera is in the other front pocket. Flashlight is in hand a good part of the time or on my belt.

    For the crawlspace or any other time I need a few more tools, I have a fanny pack that I can sling over my shoulder or around my waist.

    My tool bag with all of my other goodies stays in the kitchen. If I need something, I go get it, but that is not very often.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  12. #12

    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    I use a molle tactical vest, I have used other vests, photographer & DT pro, but they don't hold up like the molle & being modular it is easy to change or reconfigure to suit your needs.

    Clarksville Home Inspection
    JW Goad
    TN License #307 | KY License #2402

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    JD Johnson,

    I have a Skillers vest I'll part with for a fair price. I don't know if it is your size though.

    I'm 5'10" and about 175-180lbs. The vest is a medium and I paid $80 for it. It's hardly used and I'll sell it for $40. Navy Blue in color with a mesh back.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Holladay, UT
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    565

    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    I'm a pockets guy. Voltage tester, camera, small flashlight and multi screwdriver. Bag is never too far away.

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  15. #15
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    Charlotte NC
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    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    [quote=Scott Patterson;115618].

    For the crawlspace or any other time I need a few more tools, I have a fanny pack that I can sling over my shoulder or around my waist.[quote]

    In the crawlspace I use a tool tray out of an old metal tool box. Gives me a nice handle to crawl over debris and mud. I have not lost any tools in the crawl since I adopted the rule that nothing gets set down unless it goes in the tray. It also can be used as a shield or weapon if I ever run into rats. Just snakes, spiders, and the odd cat so far. I hope I never have to test my gladiator skills .


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post


    In the crawlspace I use a tool tray out of an old metal tool box. Gives me a nice handle to crawl over debris and mud. I have not lost any tools in the crawl since I adopted the rule that nothing gets set down unless it goes in the tray. It also can be used as a shield or weapon if I ever run into rats. Just snakes, spiders, and the odd cat so far. I hope I never have to test my gladiator skills .
    Hey Vern, that is a pretty good idea...but most of my crawls are on my belly.

    JD Johnson
    Beach To Bayou Property Inspections

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    Quote Originally Posted by JD Johnson View Post
    Hey Vern, that is a pretty good idea...but most of my crawls are on my belly.
    All the more reason to have your shield and saber .


  18. #18
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    I bought a Krawlgear last January and it changed my life. My knees and hips thank me.


  19. #19
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    Feb 2009
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    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    I had to wear a toolbelt or a cruiser's vest full of survival gear in my other lifetimes.
    For inspections, my camera and cellphone are on my belt. A narrow slot screwdriver (probe) and the outlet testers go in my pocket. Flashlight in the hand.
    The rest is in a bucket-style tool bag, it goes to the electrical panel, then is parked by the entry door. My moisture meter is in a clip-on pouch for sometimes, like tiled bathrooms. Level and sundry spare tools, out in the truck. Dust mask, clipped to my attic ladder.

    I'd like to try the Krawlgear, that's like a short skateboard, right? NFG on dirt?


  20. #20
    Eric Russell's Avatar
    Eric Russell Guest

    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    I saw this vest and thought it might be worth the $39.95. Might work for you. This company is very reliable and ships quickly.


    Blaklader Toughguy Kangaroo Vest - Navy Blue - Tool Experts-Home Inspection, Maintenance, and Testing Instruments


  21. #21
    mitch buchanan's Avatar
    mitch buchanan Guest

    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    I use a single sided tool belt that holds most everything I need and a flashlight with loop on the other side for nice balance. One thing that I did to customize my tool belt pocket was to carefully cut and shape a piece of foam to securely hold my tools in place - no digging around for whatever. Everything is always in the same place and I can grab a screwdriver, etc. with out even looking. I can also see with a quick look if I've left something in the home by accident - no more lost tools!


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    Quote Originally Posted by mitch buchanan View Post
    I use a single sided tool belt that holds most everything I need and a flashlight with loop on the other side for nice balance. One thing that I did to customize my tool belt pocket was to carefully cut and shape a piece of foam to securely hold my tools in place - no digging around for whatever. Everything is always in the same place and I can grab a screwdriver, etc. with out even looking. I can also see with a quick look if I've left something in the home by accident - no more lost tools!
    Mitch, that sounds like a neat idea...have you got a photo of it?

    JD Johnson
    Beach To Bayou Property Inspections

  23. #23
    mitch buchanan's Avatar
    mitch buchanan Guest

    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    JD,

    No, I just took a car sponge and cut it up - it took a couple of tries, but with a utility knife, hacksaw and CAREFULLY drilling holes for tools, I was able to make it work. It takes lots of patience and I had to cut the material slowly for clean cuts!
    I got the idea from thinking back to when I worked in TV - we humped all our expensive gear all over the place in metal cases with stiff foam inserts that were sliced and diced from the factory for a custom fit. Come to think of it, maybe there's a site out there that supplies custom foam inserts in small sizes - I'll look around the web when I get a chance!


  24. #24
    Eric Russell's Avatar
    Eric Russell Guest

    Default Re: Inspection vest?

    Seems like a vest would be a lot less trouble. If you're really considering putting foam inserts in a tool belt, get you a can of Great Stuff and spray a little in each pocket, then drill it out to fit your tools after it dries. I just take my flashlight, a probe, and the digital camera into the crawl initially. I wear a tyvek coverall that zips and my shirt has a chest pocket where I keep the camera, while the flashlight and probe are in my gloved hands, doubling as weapons if needed. If I need extra equipment, I come out for it and go in again. Most of the time, that's enough.


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