Let Us Help You Find the Best Backpacking Multi Tool After 2015
Backpacking is a rewarding experience, but to really enjoy your excursions, you need to be prepared. After all, you never know what you’ll face out in the wild. A multitool can be used in dire survival situations, or for ordinary tasks, like setting up camp. They’re compact, easy to carry and can be an absolute lifesaver in certain situations.
Leatherman 830846 Skeletool 7-in-1 Multi-Tool
Our favorite for 2017
Stansport Emergency Camper’s Multi-Tool
A great value option
Whetstone Cutlery Multi-Function 10-in-1 Camping Tool
Great for camping
A good multitool should be on your hiking essentials list, but how do you find the right one? Here’s what to look at when comparing models:
- Versatility: How many tools do you need? Are you looking for just a few basic (but important) ones, or do you want a tool for just about any situation you may come across? The answer to this will likely depend on which supplies you already have. If you already have a small hammer or axe, you may not need a multitool that includes one. The versatility of the model will affect the price, and sometimes, the quality.
- Quality: Naturally, you want a tool that is durable and reliable. Quality comes at a price, but you can still get a great multitool for a very reasonable price (depending on what you need). Make sure that the tool is made with high quality materials (440 stainless steel is best), and that the tools (at least most of them) are spring loaded for easy one-handed deployment.
- Reputation: Do users like the tool, or are they complaining that it’s poorly made? Feedback from users is important, and can help you determine which tool will be worth buying (or avoiding altogether).
We look at all of these factors when comparing multitools, so we can provide you with reviews of the best models on the market. Here are our top five picks for the best multitool for backpackers this year.
These five backpacking tools are versatile, reliable, durable and affordable.
Leatherman Skeletool – Made by one of the leading brands in the industry, the Leatherman Skeletool features handle scales made of 6061-T6 aluminum and a stainless steel body. With blades that are accessible from the outside, this multi-purpose tool can be opened quickly using just one hand.
The bit driver technology allows the tool to be customized for any job, and at just 5 ounces, this ultralight multi tool is easy to store in your backpack or pocket.
As far as tools go, the Skeletool includes: pliers, stainless steel blade, bottle opener and a removable pocket clip.
Backed by a 25-year warranty, the Skeletool is one of the most durable and well-built models on the market.
Stansport Emergency Camper’s Multi-Tool – Looking for a multitool that offers a little more versatility and comes at a much lower price? The Stransport Emergency Camper’s Multi-Tool is a great option.
This one simple tool includes just about everything campers need when out in the wild, including: pliers, axe, knife, hammer, multiple blades, saw, screwdrivers (flathead and Philips), can opener, wrench, file, and wire cutter.
The tool bodies are made of heavy duty stainless steel, and they’re all attached to a sturdy wood handle. The tool features a handle safety lock and spring action for added safety and easy deployment.
Stansport even includes a carrying bag that has a belt loop for easy carry.
Durable, reliable and versatile, we recommend this emergency multi-tool to all campers.
Leatherman Wingman – Another excellent tool from Leatherman, the Wingman is a multi-tool that all campers should have. The 420HC combination knife includes needlenose pliers, regular pliers, wire stripper, wire cutters, Philips screwdriver, scissors, and a medium and small screwdriver. A bottle opener, can opener and metal/wood file is also built in.
When closed, this tool spans just 3.8 inches. The blade itself is 2.6 inches. Weighing just 7 ounces, this tool can easily fit in your backpack and won’t weigh you down.
Like other Leatherman tools, this model is backed by a 25-year warranty.
Affordably priced, the Wingman multitool is ideal for backpackers looking for a mid-range model.
Whetstone Cutlery 10-in-1 Camping Tool – The look and design of Whetstone Cutlery’s 10-in-1 tool is very similar to the Stansport multitool we reviewed earlier, but this model comes in lower on our list because it doesn’t include quite as many tools.
With this model, you’ll get a: nail file, Philips screwdriver, hammer, axe, pliers, flathead screwdriver, bottle opener, fish scaler, serrated blade and a flat blade. It also comes with a convenient carrying case that has a belt loop for easy transport.
Compact in size, this tool is just 5.25” x 2.75” x 0.75”. It’s affordable, too, so it’s a great option for backpackers on a budget.
Rapsil Multitool – The Rapsil multitool isn’t quite on par with the Leatherman tools in the quality department, but it’s versatile, affordable and comes with a nice bonus: a keychain multitool.
The wooden handle is easy to grip, and the spring action allows for easy one-hand use. It also has a locking mechanism for added safety.
Rapsil includes many tools in this model, including nose pliers, can opener, regular pliers, wooden saw (ruler included), wire cutter, flat screwdriver, scissors, large and small knife, a Philips screwdriver and more.
A few of the tools (like the scissors) are actually built into the included keychain, which is nice. The main tool folds up, so it’s compact and easy to carry. All of the tools are easy to deploy and even easier to use.
Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Best Multitool for Survival When You’re Out Camping
All five of these models are great, but which one is best for you? Buying a multitool is a personal decision, but there are some things that you want to keep in mind:
- Included Tools: How many tools are included? How many do you need? For backpacking, you want to make sure that you at least have a few knives included. Can openers and bottle openers are especially useful, and if you don’t already have them, you may want to choose model that has a hammer or an axe. These can come in handy in survival situations. But ultimately, the number of tools you need will depend on which tools you already have.
- Size and Weight: As a backpacker, you want to travel as lightly as possible without having to sacrifice important tools and supplies. Having a multitool is great for this reason – it allows you to access multiple tools in one simple device. But not all multitools are small and light. Ideally, you want a model that weighs less than one pound, so it won’t add more weight than you need when you’re hiking.
- Budget: The price of the tool will probably be the deciding factor for you (isn’t it always?). But don’t just automatically spring for the cheapest model. Make sure that the tool has everything you need and will meet your quality standards. It’s better to pay a little bit more for a tool that will last years than to pay very little for a tool that will break when you need it most.