Brown paper packages . . .

 . . . tied up with string. This is how your purchase from the Adventure Tool Company arrives. Stylish—and more importantly, it speaks of pride in the contents.

It's no secret I'm a fan of tool rolls for traveling tool kits. They're easy to organize, they don't rattle—a side benefit is that tools stay in better shape if they're not banging around in a box—and they can be stuffed next to other gear without damaging it. Whether you use them on their own, or as sub-organizers inside a larger case, as I often do, they contribute to a smooth work flow when maintenance or repairs are needed in the field.

Happily, high-quality tool rolls seem to be experiencing something of a renaissance. Off Road Trail Tools, after a short hiatus, is back making (in the U.S.) excellent heavy-duty nylon tool rolls in a couple of configurations (here). Bucket Boss makes a couple of decent models, and you can occasionally find others on the web from various companies.

But my favorite tool roll remains the Land Cruiser factory kit I profiled here, made from a stout oiled canvas that fills the air with a heady scent whenever it's opened, reminding me of the surplus military rucksack I first backpacked with, my Barbour jackets, the Australian duster Roseann wears horseback riding. All, you'll note, products of legendary reputation for durability and legendary style.

So when the package from the Adventure Tool Company wafted the same aroma past my nose, I expected good things. And I was not disappointed.

Paul and Amy Carrill started the Adventure Tool Company just two years ago, in Nederland, Colorado, where all their as-yet nascent range of products is produced. They sent me a sample of their ShopRoll tool roll, which is the standard-bearer of a line that so far also includes pouches, a tow-strap throw bag, an intriguing wool camp blanket, and a nifty oiled canvas tarp perfect for protecting the fender of a car you're working on or placing underneath it to lie on. 

The ShopRoll is superbly well-made of 12-ounce oiled canvas, with straight stiching and bound edges. Opened up, it's generously sized, as you can see here with a 24mm wrench for scale:

The top flap functions as a place to lay out tools out of the dirt. It's also zippered and forms a huge flattish compartment—into which, I'm told, that canvas tarp folds perfectly. Brilliant. A larger zippered pocket is on the left, and three small flapped pockets on the right. Thirteen variously sized slots take up the center section. Last cunning (and thoughtful) touch - look inside the top flap and you find this:

 . . . a tiny pocket with a "busted knuckle" band-aid kit.

So, what does it hold? I got out my Pelican 1550 cased tool kit, which if you've been following along on past posts you'll know is . . . comprehensively . . . equipped. With little trouble, I transferred the following to the ATC roll:


  • Wrenches from 8 to 24mm
  • 3/8ths ratchet, two extensions
  • Shallow sockets from 10 to 24mm, deep sockets from 10 to 15mm
  • Three screwdrivers plus an interchangeable bit driver
  • A steel and a brass drift and a cold chisel
  • Channel-lock pliers
  • Vise-grip pliers
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Side cutters
  • Wire stripper/cutter
  • Box knife
  • Tin snips
  • Hemostat
  • Flashlight
  • Two hammers
  • Hacksaw

I could have stuffed in a bit more, but the ShopRoll took all this easily and rolled tidily. If I were attempting to construct a full kit with the ATC rolls I'd add at least one more, but with the selection I fit in this one I'd feel confident tackling many repairs and maintenance items.

This is a fine piece of gear, and well worth its premium $90 price. I'd like to see ATC add other configurations, especially a dedicated wrench roll with enough slots to actually take a full set of wrenches, unlike virtually every other wrench roll on the market. (That's at least 17 slots, Paul and Amy! Call me and we'll talk . . .) In the meantime, I'd like to add one of those nifty tarps to this kit, then give it some work in the field.

Paul and Amy will be at the 2014 Overland Expo in Flagstaff, Arizona, May 16-18. And I am delighted to announce that they will be producing our custom flapped musette shoulder bags, which everyone who signs up for an Overland Experience package will receive. They'll be our best bags yet.

If you can't wait, the Adventure Tool Company website is here.