Quick Answer: BEST MULTITOOL FOR BACKPACKING
For backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts out there, you must need the best multitool for backpacking. A good multitool could save the day in many dire situations.
There is an array of multi-tools available to choose from. But we know that picking out the best of the best multi-tool from all these options for your specific needs is a daunting task.
That is why we have put together this post with the reviews of some of the best multi-tool for backpacking. Along with that, you will also find a detailed buying guide on multitool for backpacking, hiking, or overlanding.
Best Multitool For Backpacking
Best Multitool for Backpacking – Reviews
The Stanley 84-519K is a 12-in-1 multi-purpose tool. It is made with stainless steel, which makes it rust or corrosion-resistant.
You will get 2 Pliers, 2 knives, 4 screwdrivers, bottle opener, file, wire cutter, and saw in this multi-tool.
It features a butterfly opening and one-handed operation compatible. The net dimension of the tool is 8.30 x 5.50 x 2.00 inches and it weighs only 6.40 ounces.
When closed the tool is 4-¼ inches and when opened it is just 6 inches. You are also getting a free pouch with it.
What Previous Buyers Said?
The buyers of this multi-tool have said that it has a great price to performance ratio. They have also stated that it can carry out most jobs at camping even though it is small.
As per them, it is a great EDC multitool for the price and functionality. Overall, most buyers are happy about their purchase.
- Comes with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty
- Comes with a free nylon pouch
- Compatible with one-hand operation
- Reasonable price, good quality, and many functionalities
- Not good like the high-quality Leatherman multi-tools (but for the price, you should not expect that)
This is also another 12 in 1 multi-tool. However, this multitool has a hammer, which is very rare to get on a multi-tool of such small size.
This is also made of stainless steel. The closed size is 5.4” x2.7”x 0.9” inch and the opened size is 5.4”x3.1”x 0.9” inch. It weighs only 8.11 ounces. You are getting a free nylon carrying pouch with it as well.
Even without the pouch, it can easily be stored in your backpack. It is perfect for camping, backpacking, DIY jobs, and more. You can even offer this as a gift to any of your friends and family.
What Previous Buyers Said?
The previous buyers are very happy about the performance of this multi-tool. They are saying that for the price, this is a good purchase as it comes with all the must-have features and more.
- Cheap price
- Comes with a free pouch
- Portable, small, yet functional
- 2 locks for pliers and screwdrivers
- The build quality could be better (in that sense, the price is not higher as well)
This is a very unique multi-tool on our list. From the image and name, you already know that it is a bracelet. This is also made of stainless steel making it corrosion and rust-resistant.
It has 29 functions and available in 2 colors that are silver and black. Interestingly, this is customizable.
It has various emergency tools like wrenches, ring spanner, bottle openers, screwdrivers, SIM card pickers, cutting hook, and more even though it is a small tool.
The only drawback of this design is that there is no knife or cutter.
What Previous Buyers Said?
Most past buyers said positive things about the survival multi-tool bracelet. They have liked it because it is travel-friendly.
Also, you don’t need any additional pouch or belt to carry it as you can wear it on your wrist.
- Travel-friendly unique design
- Adjustable length of the bracelet
- Made with stainless steel
- No knife or cutter accessories
Victorinox is a famous brand for manufacturing top-quality outdoor survival gear. Now, this particular ‘Swiss Army’ type multi-tool from Victorinox is a combination of ultimate durability and diverse functionality.
It has 27 functions. The best part about the design is that you can access every tool from outside.
Also, the locking mechanism and the locking function is very reliable. This is made in Switzerland and made of stainless steel. The all stainless steel construction makes it resistant to rust and corrosion.
The build quality is so good that we can attest that it will last a long time. Additionally, it comes with a leather pouch and a lanyard hole.
When opened, it measures 4.13 (L) x 1.24 (H) inches. And when closed it has a length of only 3 ¼ inches. The multi-tool weighs about 9.75 ounces.
It comes with the most necessary accessories like needle-nose pliers, saws, bottle openers, wire cutters, blade, scissors, screwdrivers, and more. All in all, this is a very good multi-tool but with a high price tag.
What Previous Buyers Said?
According to many users, this is the ultimate best Swiss Army multi-tool in this price range. They are overly satisfied with the performance and durability of this gadget.
In addition, they also admired the warranty policy and after-sales service of Victorinox.
- Comes with a free leather pouch
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Robust build quality
- A bit pricey
Leatherman doesn’t need any introduction when it comes to outdoor survival gadgets. They have set a sky-high standard in this industry.
This particular multitool is an upgraded version of their best-selling multi-tool ever. In this version, they have improved and added replaceable wire cutters. In total, the Wave+ has 18 tools.
This ‘Swiss Army’ styled backpacking multi-tool is available in two colors such as stainless steel and black. This is made with high-quality stainless steel.
Some of the notable tools included on this are saws, knives, wire strippers, wire cutters (replaceable), ruler, bottle opener, screwdrivers, files, spring-action scissors, and needle-nose pliers.
The closed size of this multi-tool is 4×1.5x 0.8 inches. It weighs 8.5 ounces. You can easily use it with only one hand.
Additionally, all these Leatherman products are made in the USA and are covered by a reliable 25-year warranty. So, you can definitely go with them without any second thought.
What Previous Buyers Said?
The majority of the users loved this backpacking multi-tool from Leatherman. Most of them are actually recommending the gadget to other outdoor enthusiasts.
They have said that it has the perfect balance of size vs. functionality. Also, it is quite durable.
- Comes with a 25-year warranty
- Comes with a free leather pouch
- It features an all-locking blade
- Compatible with one-hand operation
- Made in the USA
- Rugged build quality, long-lasting and reliable
- A bit expensive
This multitool from Gerber is an improved version of the usual keychain multitool. The overall length of this one is 4.25 inches.
Plus, the closed length is only 2.75 inches, whereas it weighs just 2.2 ounces. It doesn’t come with any carrying pouches. But as it is very compact, you can carry it on a keychain without any issue.
It features the butterfly opening style. As well, this tool comes with stainless steel construction. In addition, this is available in 3 colors such as black, red, and green.
There are 12 tools included in this including tweezers, bottle opener, retail package opener, screwdrivers, lanyard ring, fine file, coarse, fine-edge blade, wire cutters, and spring-loaded pliers of multiple kinds.
For small and portable multi-tool like this, it has a lot of functionality. So, if you are looking to travel light yet have a multitool, then this should make your list of the top portable multi-tool for backpacking.
What Previous Buyers Said?
This is a very popular multitool among many outdoor enthusiasts. Most buyers liked that it is very cheap yet useful. The small size makes it easy to carry and hold.
You can easily carry it in your pocket. As per the customers, this is one of the best EDC multitools for the price.
- It features spring-loaded pliers
- Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
- Very lightweight and compact
- Reasonable price
- The quality could be a bit better
Buying Guide – Best Multi-tool for Backpacking
As with any other camping equipment, you should consider a lot of factors before purchasing a multi-tool for backpacking. We will be talking about some of those in this section.
Types of Multi-tool
You can classify multi tools in many categories depending on the design, mechanism, and usage. Let’s have a look at some of those.
As the name implies, this type of multi-tool can be kept in your pocket. They are typically folding multi tools with a lot of functionality.
They tend to be small like a pocket knife or Swiss Army knife. However, due to the small size, they are not usually cut out for tougher jobs.
This type of multi-tool is also folding yet they are bigger compared to pocket multitool. They tend to have more functionality and tools.
Also, they are more robust, which makes them perfect for tougher jobs. But remember they are not pocket-able.
This type of multitool is the most portable one. You can literally slip them into your wallet as they are credit card size.
The tools have gaps and notches, which act as drivers, cutters, or wrenches. Once again, they are not suitable for bigger jobs.
As the name suggests, this type of multi-tool can be attached to your keychain. However, they don’t usually have much functionality.
They might come with only a folding blade or a bottle opener. However, some might also come with more functionality and a bigger size.
A specialty multi-tool is a tool that can be used for only a specific type of job. For example, a pocket chainsaw could be a great example of this.
This type of multi-tool is the best option for people that like to travel light.
As the name suggests, this type of multi-tool is made of a single piece of metal. There will be no moving parts in this.
Typically, you will have a wrench or screwdriver, or bottle opener at the end of the one-piece multitool.
Bottle Opener vs. Survival Tool
If you think that a basic screwdriver or a bottle opener would do the job for you, then you can go with a simple bottle opener type multitool.
However, in the wild, carrying a simple multi-tool might not be the most wise option.
In that sense, you can go with a feature-rich survival tool. Similarly, you don’t need a multitool with all the options and functions in the world every time you go on overlanding.
So, it is better to go with a multi-tool that has the best of both worlds.
EDC or Backpacking Use Only
EDC stands for ‘Everyday Carry’. Depending on your usage, you can buy a multi-tool for EDC use or simply for backpacking events.
If you have the space on your storage or backpack, then you can go with a high-end backpacking multitool with the most functionality. On the contrary, for day to day use, you can try an EDC multitool.
Remember, most of the functional multi-tools are not travel-friendly. Typically, if your multi-tool contains a blade or cutter, it would be an issue in case of flying.
So, if you are planning to take your multi-tool on the plane, you should opt for a travel-friendly one. However, it is also true that most travel-friendly multi-tools sacrifice a ton of functionality.
As the name suggests, multitool comes with various tools. One of the most important factors of choosing a multi-tool is the accessibility and user-friendliness of each of the tools in your multitool. For instance…
One-Handed Opening vs. Butterfly design
Typically, most ergonomic multi tools would have a one-handed opening design. That way, you will be able to access the important tools like the knife or the screwdriver using one hand. On the other hand, some come with butterfly design.
This design also allows flipping it open using only one hand. However, there are not many multi-tools that allow access to multiple tools using one hand only.
You must use both of your hands if you want to access other tools except for a few most used ones.
Blade in vs. blade out design
The ‘Blade in’ design refers to the backpacking multitool that has a folding mechanism. That means the knife will be folded and secured inside the handle. To access the knife, you will have to unfold it.
Conversely, some multi-tools come with the blade out design, where the blade will be on the outside of the tool. Thus, the blade is readily accessible whenever you need it.
Depending on the usage of yours, you have to choose the design you want to go with.
One of the most important factors in choosing a multitool is ergonomics. If the multitool is not user-friendly, you will not be able to get the most out of it even if it has all the top features in the world.
So, make sure, you are getting a multitool that is ergonomically designed. That way you will feel comfortable holding and working with it even for a longer period of time. It is really worth it to find an ergonomic multitool.
Weight vs. Functionality
Simply put, if you are going to get a feature-rich backpacking multitool, it will also be a bit on the heavy side. It is because of the additional tools.
At the same time, if you are looking to go light, then you might have to sacrifice functionalities.
Luckily, there are a few brands out there that produce lightweight yet multi-functional multi tools.
However, you have to remember that those gadgets might be a bit pricey as they use lighter and pricier raw materials like carbon fiber to manufacture those.
There are many dangerous tools in a multitool. So, you will want a backpacking multitool that has a reliable locking mechanism.
You don’t want the blade or the cutter to rotate all of a sudden due to a poor locking mechanism. On top of that, you don’t want the knife to open out accidentally.
Most top brands offer individual locking mechanisms for each of the tools. But if you are going for cheap, you should at least make sure that the knife blade or the sharp instruments come with a reliable locking mechanism.
That way the chance of accidents will be minimized.
You will be using your multitool in the wilderness under various weather conditions and environments. Thus you will need a tough and robustly built outdoor gadget.
In general, the most expensive and heavier multi tools tend to be the most durable ones.
So, if you are going to need your multitool on a daily basis and want a long-lasting performance, then getting one from a well-reputed brand is a must.
In addition, getting a multitool with a rugged carrying pouch would also be a good option. That case could easily extend the lifespan of the gadget to a greater extent.
Arguably, one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a multitool for backpacking is portability. There is no other way without going for a portable backpacking multitool when you are backpacking.
At the same time, a very portable and lightweight multitool doesn’t have the most functionalities.
On the other hand, a bigger feature-rich multitool might be a bit too heavy or large to carry on with you easily. So, for the top choice, you should find one that has both portability and functionality suitable for your particular needs.
It is always better if you can get one that has some carrying means like MOLLE compatibility, or belt loops, or pocket clips, or a carrying pouch.
The construction quality of any multitool or survival tool should be top-notch. Because good construction quality equals better safety.
You don’t want the tool to break in the middle of your work all of a sudden. This could lead to injuries. Thus, there is no compromise when it comes to safety.
A lot of multi-tools come as a single unit and multiple tool bolted or screwed together. Those are good if you want portability and easy access.
However, they are hard to repair. Try to find one that is repairable and spare parts are available.
Also, the quality of the hinge and locking mechanism are also very important things to consider.
The hinge should not be wobbly and should feel snappier. Additionally, it should lock perfectly and should not be unlocked unintentionally.
A ruggedly built backpacking multitool will also last a long time compared to a cheaply built one. Remember, some brands offer aesthetically pleasing multitool that might seem sturdy.
But in reality, they are not. So, you should make sure you are getting a sturdy and reliable multitool for your money.
As usual, the price of a multitool is also another very key aspect of picking one. Generally, most top brands will offer their multitool for a higher price.
Conversely, cheaper ones will be cheaply built. Then again, you don’t have to get the most expensive one to get the best one.
You should assess your requirements first, and then you can easily decide on the price range of your next multitool. Now, if you want better portability and more power, you might have to spend more. For instance, you can buy the pocket knife and the pocket knife sharpener separately.
As the included one on your multitool won’t be that good for tough jobs. That way, you can get a simple multitool for everyday use.
Additionally, you can buy other important survival gadgets separately. Make sure you are getting the best price to performance ratio from your purchase.
Common Mistakes When Purchasing a Multitool
Buying The Multitool With The Most Features
It might be very tempting to buy a multitool with the most functions. After all, you need all the functionalities in the world, don’t you? Wrong!
If you assess your needs carefully, you will find out that there are many instruments on your multitool that you will never need. On the other hand, there are a few instruments that are must-have like the knife, bottle openers, screwdriver, etc.
Now, if you get a multitool with the most functions, it will ultimately be heavyweight. That means you will have a hard time carrying it with you.
Also, because of the bigger size, it will not be easy to pack on your backpack. On the opposite, you can get a lightweight multitool from a reputed brand. That way it will be easier to carry and use.
Also, most top brands offer multitool that can be used for most types of jobs in the wild. The best multi-tool for backpacking would be the one that is easy to carry, user-friendly, and robust in build quality.
You don’t need the multitool with the most functions in that sense.
Buying The Cheapest Multitool
Another mistake you can do is to buy the cheapest multitool. To be noted, we are not also saying to buy the most expensive one as well.
It is very important to find a multitool that has sturdy build quality, a reliable locking mechanism, user-friendly, tighter tolerance, and portable.
At the same time, it must have most of the vital survival tools. In that regard, it is inevitable that you will have to pay a bit higher to get a perfect multitool.
Not Getting one With the Most Important Tools
It is pretty simple. You must get a multitool that comes with the must-have tools. There are many types of multitool with many types of instruments included.
Initially, you should determine where you are going to use it and what the most important tools you will need in that situation are. That way, you will be able to get a survival multitool that is the most suitable for you.
Who makes the best multi-tool?
We wish we could give a straightforward answer to this question. The market is overwhelmed by multitool brands. Of course, not all of them are the top ones. Yet, not all of them are the worst as well.
There are a few brands like Leatherman, Victorinox, Gerber, etc. are known to manufacture high-end, reliable, and long-lasting multitool.
For your convenience, we have already included multitool from these brands in our review above.
What is the best multi-tool?
Once again, there is no single ‘best’ multitool out there. The best multi-tool would vary from user to user. Thus, it is better to determine your particular needs first and then choose a multitool that checks all the boxes.
What is the best Leatherman?
Leatherman is a well-reputed brand in the outdoor gadgets and knife manufacturing industry. They have loads of products in the multi-tool category.
So, it is very hard to find the best multi-tool from Leatherman. We have already included the ‘Leatherman Wave + Multitool’ in our review, you can definitely check that out.
Final Words – Best Multitool for Backpacking
A multitool can be a very helpful gadget for every outdoor enthusiast. Whether you are mounting a bike or kayak rack or doing some DIY works, or if you are a camper, backpacker, or planning a bug out bag, you must include a multitool in your accessory list.
We have reviewed 6 of the top multi-tool above. All of these are great in many ways. Still, not all of these will be suitable for you.
When buying a multitool for you, you should check the build quality, user-friendliness, functionality, portability, and price of the product.
For making things easier for you, we think either the ‘Leatherman Wave+’ or the ‘Victorinox Swiss tool Spirit X’ is the best multitool on our list. So, you can go with either of them depending on your budget and requirement.