In 1889 a company called Carhatt was founded. Shortly after, other companies such as Dickies sprang up. In the span of thirty years, the workwear business became a manufacturing powerhouse. During both world wars, many workwear companies were sequestered to produce army uniforms. When World War II finally ended, workwear companies were no longer needed by the government. They began producing heavy duty clothing for miners, as well as factory and construction workers. The workwear brands recognized the need for industry specific designs and created “carpenter’s aprons”. These aprons were similar to today’s “overalls” and quickly gained popularity among carpenters.

During the first half of the 20th century, carpenter’s overalls were further perfected to include simple tool loops and fastener pockets. These heavy overalls offered protection from the weather and job-site scrapes and abrasions. It was that very weight however, that also constricted movement and left the workers feeling very hot during the day.

Because of the movement constraint, by the 1940s many carpenters had traded their overalls in for jeans and cloth aprons. The aprons were cooler and easier to move in, but they wore out quickly, and did not have the necessary support structure to stay open at the top, to allow for easy tool reach. Therefore, the cloth aprons proved to be difficult for carrying multiple tools.

“Although I missed wearing the white carpenter’s overalls I used to buy at Sears, they were one of the first things that had to go. They had a dozen pockets and offered some protection from both the weather and from job-site scrapes and abrasions. What they didn’t offer was the freedom of movement I got with a pair of jeans and a cloth nail apron. I wore the cloth apron for a few months, but I couldn’t get my big hand in the nail pockets without having to straighten up every time I wanted to grab a handful of nails.” – Larry Haun, Carpenter Legend

The leather toolbelt revolution

It was not until the 1950s that the leather tool belt was born. The first models were often cobbled together at home or custom-made by shoe repair and saddle shops. The leather belts offered durability and large open pouches for 16 and 8 penny nails, as well as the variety of hand tools common at the time.

“Then I noticed that some of the pieceworkers were wearing leather belts with a hammer loop and two easy-to-reach leather bags worn on the back. These first nail bags were made at a local shoe-repair shop. By 1955, I was wearing this uniform, along with most framers. In the early 1960s, I added suspenders to take some weight off my waist.”

Larry haun

The market for leather tool belts began to grow in the 1970s. That’s when a handful of premium companies separated themselves from the less expensive brands by focusing on selling the leather tool belt. While the leather tool belt was much better than any of the previous items carpenters had to choose from for workwear, the significant downside of the leather tool belt was its weight. Because the leather tool belts were so heavy, they constantly slid down on the job and caused back strain. As a way to keep the leather tool belt from sliding down and relieve strain on carpenters’ hips, many carpenters added suspenders to their workwear arsenal. 

The Diamondback® tool belt is born

By the 1990’s, Jim Skelton began experimenting with a revolutionary tool belt design that combined a harness with heavy duty nylon. The harness was similar to those used in rappelling and windsurfing, and was therefore extremely tough. Skelton combined the harness with extra durable, but lightweight nylon, that was utilized in winter sports equipment. This is when the Diamondback® tool belt was born. 

The new Diamondback® belt design provided back support and was worn above the hips to reduce stress on both the lower back and hips. Meanwhile, the lightweight nylon was as durable as premium leather, at a fraction of the weight. Skelton was able to stitch a wide variety of pockets, tool slots and other features in the more pliable nylon while giving the bags structure with foam and webbing.

Today, Diamondback® continues to innovate tool belt design by incorporating many features from industries which rely on durable, light weight products. For example, features such as our quick release buckles, increased modularity and a suspension system are all based on advancements in the mountain climbing industry.

All of our products are made from water, odor and sweat resistant materials. The foam we use does not absorb odor, making your workday a little less smelly. 

We are also revolutionizing modular tool vests by incorporating technology developed by the U.S. military for the most ergonomic load bearing capacity and easy mobility.  


Created with Sketch.
311 Reviews
  • “Our Customers absolutely LOVE these Belts!!! Diamondback has been a great seller for us the moment we brought them in.”
  • 2 weeks ago
    “I wasn’t sure about this rig at first. I tried the Denali setup on the 701 vest. Turns out I absolutely love it. I hate trips back and forth to the truck or tool box. I have a specific framing rig setup, but I carry things I ALWAYS end up using throughout the day. I used occidental for a couple years but my back has been giving me fits- not because of the occidental bags but because (apparently) I’m not in my 20’s anymore. The vest takes a huge load off my hips and I keep the vest belt tight around my waist. The shoulder support coupled with the belt not sagging has been SUCH an improvement. I really like the hammer holster in the front, it gets in the way climbing through rafters so I just move the hammer to the back loop- so easy. I LOVE the dedicated spot for a screw gun. The one improvement over occidental is that the rear cats paw sleeve as well as the sleeve for your combo square are much more accessible. I had to contort myself to see where I was reaching on the occidentals. The wrangell pouch sits lower and allows me to easily turn my head and slide everything where it goes. It sounds petty but if you’re on a roof screwing around in a tight spot trying to put your tools away while your buddy is squawking at you- it IS a big deal. There is one buckle on the right side that won’t stop maladjusting in my side. It annoys me but I think it’s because I have a lot crammed in the Elías pouches. The other thing is, sometimes when I bend forward the bags flop forward, BUT, nothing has ever fallen out of the pouches. Ever. That is a huge bonus because stuff would fall out of my occidental rig if I leaned too far forward. Overall five stars. The pictures are from working on my house and helping a buddy on his project.”
  • “I'm an electrician. Decided to buy the Niko with a 4" belt and 2 db saks. It's only been a week but the belt is super comfortable and there's plenty of space and compartments in the pouch, I'm sure I'll be reaching blind to grab tools and replace them in no time just need to get used to the new placement. I'm right handed and hold my tape measure with my left hand I've ordered a holder for my tape measure so I don't have to continually reach across my body to grab it. I'm very happy with my purchase and am happy I made the investment. Thanks Diamondback!!”
  • “I really like the organization available with these bags. They are very comfortable to carry. I do a lot of remodel/finish work and end up carrying a lot of miscellaneous handy tools and fasteners all day. The belt sizing is a little weird- I measured, as recommended, and ordered a Medium belt, I’m 6’0” 180’lbs, and it was TOO big. I returned the belt for a small and had to eat the shipping charges. The SMALL fits but the buckle is far off center and the bags sit behind my hip bones. I understand the design and really appreciate the construction of waist belt, but I think there needs to be a S/M size worked into the sizing specs. I built a custom set with the Miter bag on my dominate side, and the Wrangle on my off side. I REALLY like this set up. It will give me a lot of versatility for a large scope of work. I have found that some of the small sleeves for pencils, nail punches, etc are hard to access because of how the side pouch over laps them. That being said, I am really excited for these bags. I love how modular they are!”