For backpacking enthusiasts and survivalists everywhere, finding the best multitool for backpacking will prove invaluable both out on the trail and at the campsite. Whether you’re on the hunt for a new multitool to replace your current one or have zero idea what to look for to pick the best backpacking multitool, we’ve got you covered.
First, we’re going to walk you through exactly what you need to look for when purchasing the best multitool for backpacking. Next, we’ll review the top 5 options on the market currently that are all going to be strong contenders for your outdoor gear. Finally, we’ll reveal the final winner from the bunch to help you make the decision that is right for you.
The top 5 multitool for backpacking we recommend for 2021:
The first step in choosing the best multitool for backpacking is to understand what types and options are available. Here are the main types of multitools you’ll have to pick from.
If you’re looking for a smaller, portable, super basic multitool that you can take with you just about anywhere, a pocket multitool could be your best bet. Similar to the traditional Swiss Army Knife, a pocket multitool sports plenty of tools that fold into the device, with the main attraction being that they are more compact and easier to carry.
One element to consider with pocket multitools is that you won’t typically be able to lock in any of the tools when they’re in the open position. Also, you usually won’t have much beyond the standard pliers and scissors. So, if you’re looking for something with more bells and whistles, you might prefer a different option.
Folding multitools, on the other hand, are regular sized and the traditional variety that most backpackers prefer. Folding multitools feature a collapsible design with pliers and additional tools that fold out of each of the handles. When the tools aren’t extended for use, they fold in a butterfly shape and rest around the top of the pliers.
You’ll definitely get plenty of use out of your investment with a folding multitool, as this type often sports the most components. Also, the handles on folding multitools typically lock into place to ensure user safety.
The tradeoff for the higher quantity of tools and extra durability is that folding multitools are usually bulkier than other varieties and will take up a bit too much space to carry in your pocket. That’s why most folding multitools include a pouch so you can easily carry the tool on your belt.
The one-piece multitool variety is definitely the most basic, compact, and light to carry option available. One-piece multitools are manufactured from titanium or steel, designed into standard tools such as a flathead screwdriver or bottle opener.
A keychain multitool is a great choice to carry with you both out on the trail and off. Keychain multitools sport a very small and light design similar to the folding and pocket varieties. If portability is your main concern, a keychain multitool might be just what you’re looking for.
Some multitools feature a specialty design, with cool add-ons like a spork or wrenches. If you’re looking for extra apparatuses, special multitools might be your best choice.
Wallet multitools are very unique in the sense that they are incredibly thin so you can store them in small, tight spaces like your wallet! They are very cost effective, but not really meant for frequent use.
These types of multitools really come in handy though if you forget your regular multitool and need another option to fall back on. They feature sharp edges to use for a blade, along with handy tools like a ruler, bottle opener, and wrenches.
Here are a few things you need to consider before making your final choice.
What is the purpose for which you need the best multitool for backpacking? Do you want a multitool that you can use every day as well as on the trail or one for wilderness adventures only?
Your multitool needs to be durable enough to suffice for outdoor tasks with enough tools to serve your usage needs out on the road.
You should also consider the design of the best backpacking multitool when selecting the product that is right for you. The majority of multitools are single units secured with specialty bolts. These kinds of multitools can be tough to fix when you’re out on the trail, so you’ll want to consider options that allow for repairs if needed.
The blade on your multitool’s knife should be sharp with a long edge for cutting to ensure it doesn’t become dull with use. The best multitool for backpacking is also going to include hinges and other locking features for stability and durability. If a multitool wobbles or sports small tools that are difficult to use, you don’t want it.
The best multitool for backpacking also needs to be manufactured with a material that is corrosion and rust resistant, to ensure you get the longest use out of your investment possible.
You should also consider how sound the best multitool for backpacking is ergonomically, to ensure your hand doesn’t get cut or pinched when you use the tools. For example, if it includes a pair of pliers that aren’t smooth with rolled edges, you’re going to have a very tough time maneuvering the tool.
The best multitool for backpacking is comfortable to use and makes it easy for the user to access any of the integrated tools as needed.
Consider the size of the multitool you’re looking at. Will it be bulky to carry around?
You don’t want a multitool that is so large you feel weighed down but you also don’t want a multitool so small that you are constantly fishing in your pocket trying to find it. The best multitool for backpacking is going to strike a balance, with features for easy carrying like a sheath or pocket clips.
Consider the weight of the best multitool for backpacking. Even smaller multitools can significantly increase the weight in your pack, so think about how much extra weight you’re willing to carry when making your selection.
Pricier multitools are usually heavier because the tools featured are of a higher quality and far more durable. You’ll need to compare the weight against your usage needs to decide what’s a deal breaker for you.
Check out our top 5 picks for the best multitool for backpacking, including the pros and cons of each to decide which meets the key items on your wish list.
The first best multitool for backpacking on our list sports an impressive 22 tools surrounding a plier design that will prove invaluable whether you’re on the campsite or off the grid. The design of the Victorinox SwissTool is very stylish and functional, manufactured from durable stainless steel with a polished finish.
We loved that the Victorinox Swiss Army Swiss Tool sports wire cutters, a file, pliers, screwdrivers, and a saw as part of its total tool arsenal. The multitool is very lightweight and portable, featuring a handy lock with a spring release.
The handles sport a contour shape for easy carrying, while the compact design is just 3 ¼ inches long and weighs in at 5.75 ounces.
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The next best multitool for backpacking in this review is the Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman Pocket Knife, sporting 15 individual functionalities for versatile use when out on the trail. We were really impressed by tools such as the screwdriver and bottle opener, backpack saw, corkscrew, scissors, and sharp 2.45-inch blade.
For user safety, the multitool comes with a leather pouch with a handy clip. We really liked this best multitool for backpacking for its durable stainless-steel design and expert finish.
For a lightweight option that features just about all the tools you’ll need when backpacking, it’s hard to beat the Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman Pocket Knife, which you can use for everything from fishing, to camping, to wilderness adventures. The blade is sharp yet dependable, while the design is compact enough that you can store the multitool in your pocket.
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The Leatherman Charge TTI Multitool offers an array of pliers, a wire stripper, wire cutters, standard knives, saw, wire crimper, ruler, screwdrivers, bottle openers, and files, making it a highly practical and functional choice for novice and experienced backpackers alike.
We love that this multitool features so many useful functionalities, plus you only need to use one hand to open it and access your pick of the total of 19 tools included. Since some multitools require both hands to engage one of the tools, the one-hand design is a huge plus.
We were also happy to see the integrated locked blade for optimal user safety that doesn’t compromise accessibility. The ergonomic handles are designed with titanium, making them super light to carry and very aesthetically pleasing. The clip point knife sports S30V stainless steel for incredible durability too.
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The Leatherman Crunch Multitool is one of our picks for the best multitool for backpacking due to its versatile and durable toolset that you can release with the simple click of a button. We were impressed by the substantial locking pliers that easily fold inward for compact storage.
If you’re worried about the safety aspect of transporting a multitool with you, you can set your mind at ease with the secure locking mechanisms this tool offers.
The pliers lock into place and you can lock the blades to safeguard from injury. The design of this multitool is a force to be reckoned with, manufactured from 100% quality grade stainless steel.
The toolset even includes small, medium, and large screwdrivers, a Phillips screwdriver, a hex bit driver, and a ruler! One thing we noticed was that you have to release the pliers to unlock the rest of the tools, so this could prove annoying if you don’t need to use the pliers often.
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The final best multitool for backpacking on our list is the Hoffman Richter HR-100 13-in-1 Multitool, with 13 incredibly durable and versatile tools integrated into the design. We liked the 440 stainless steel and titanium coating to ensure long-lasting use for everything from short camping trips to lengthy backpacking adventures.
The 13 tools will serve you well for more labor-intensive tasks too, such as cutting ropes and branches.
The Hoffman Richter HR-100 13-in-1 Multitool features a pair of pliers with loaded springs and needle-nose configuration. You won’t have to worry about objects slipping out of the pliers, as they sport grippers for a durable hold. The toolset also includes a Phillips screwdriver, flathead screwdriver, and wire cutters amongst other handy devices.
We liked that each tool folds into the device’s handles and the handles rest around the top of the pliers, making the multitool one of the most compact options available. The multitool also comes with a nylon carrying pouch that you can secure to your belt, so no need to weigh down your pack!
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There’s one multitool that stands above the rest in terms of versatility, user functionality, durability, and compact design — the Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman Pocket Knife. We loved that it sports 15 different tools, including everything from a backpack saw and corkscrew to scissors and a trusty 2.45-inch blade.
You won’t have to worry about the security of the blade, with the durable leather pouch featuring a clip for safe storage. For us, the stainless-steel design and quality finish really sealed the deal. Whether you’re planning an extensive backpacking adventure or a weekend camping trip, the Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman Pocket Knife stands out as the best multitool for backpacking.