Doug Mahoney
Cargo totes work best with large bulky items that can be thrown into the same compartment. Small tools are best stored in other types of carriers.
Doug Mahoney Cargo totes work best with large bulky items that can be thrown into the same compartment. Small tools are best stored in other types of carriers.
The CT-XL (left) is larger than the CT-LC (right). The totes are easy to load because they stand up and stay open when empty.
Doug Mahoney The CT-XL (left) is larger than the CT-LC (right). The totes are easy to load because they stand up and stay open when empty.

For years I’ve used the Pro Pack XL as my primary tool bag so when the Cargo Tote came out I was happy to test it. The Veto Cargo Tote is basically a souped-up industrial-grade beach bag. The inside is just one giant compartment, so while you’re not likely to use it to lug your wrenches, pliers, and nail sets, it’s ideal for larger, bulkier items.

The totes share many characteristics with the Pro Packs, even though they’re meant to carry different things. For one, the bottom of the tote is a durable polypropylene shell. This not only protects the bag and its contents, but the hard rectangular shape of the shell holds the walls of the bag stiff and upright. The walls won’t cave inward while you’re loading and unloading the tote so there’s never any awkward grasping for the handles.

As with the Pro Pack, the walls of this bag are made of an 1800 denier fabric. Denier is a measurement of the bulk/weight of the fiber used in the fabric; the higher the number the coarser and more rugged the fabric is (a light-weight camping tent might be 70-denier). In my experience, 1800 Denier fabric is nearly impossible to cut, rip, scuff, or wear in any way. I’ve had my Pro Pack on jobsites for over four years and when I blow the sawdust off, it looks brand new.

Each Cargo Tote has a couple small exterior pockets and four D-rings where an optional shoulder strap can be attached, or maybe a carabineer with a roll of tape.

What these formidable bags can hold is entirely up to you. For me, the Totes are perfect for the gear I need that is too big and bulky for my regular Pro Pack. This includes extension cords, duct tape, caulking guns, framing square, 2-foot level, worm drive, clamps, work lights, and a framing gun. Items like these usually end up on their own, bouncing around the back of the truck in a disorganized fashion. They’re also the tools that create multiple, awkward trips from the truck to the work area.

Another carpenter who saw them told me he would ditch his tool cases, and use the totes to carry his cordless set-up, saying the bag was perfect for a recip saw. I could also see it being good for tiling gear, plumbing equipment, or drywall tools—anything where containing the cargo is more important than keeping it organized.

The one thing to watch out for with the totes is the polypropylene bottom. If one of these bags ends up in the back of the truck out in the rain, there’s nowhere for the water to go but to pool up at the bottom of the bag. You could fix that problem by drilling drain holes but then you’d have to be careful where you put the bags down because water could come in the drain holes. Except for this one minor problem, there’s nothing I don’t like about these bags. They’re incredibly durable and easy to use, and really helpful to have around.

The totes are available in two sizes; the CT-LC goes for $85 and the larger CT-XL runs $100. At first glance the pricing may seem on the high side, but considering the usefulness and probable longevity of these bags, it makes sense. For something that you’re going to use everyday that will likely last well past a decade, $100 is a sound investment. Besides, there are plenty of high quality Linesman’s bags in a similar price range.

Veto Cargo Totes
CT-LC (Height: 14.5 Length: 13.5 Width: 9.5)
CT-XL (Height: 16.5, Length: 17, Width: 9.5)
COO: China
Price: $85-$100.