Best Multitool For Backpacking

When you’re about to set off backpacking, there are quite a few things that you will need to fill that backpack.

One thing that you might not think of straightaway is a multitool. 

Multitools are, as the name suggests, tools that have a wide range of features. It’s an easy way of carrying around multiple tools, without having to cram your whole toolbox into your backpack.

You probably know multitools better as “Swiss Army knives”, as they are the best-known multitool brand.

Multitools vary and finding the most useful one for your backpacking trip is important. Not every multitool will suit every trip.

You need to consider exactly where you’re going and what situations you might come across that might require certain tools.

Best Multitool For Backpacking

Buying any kind of tool can be confusing and you can become overwhelmed if you’re not sure where to start. It’s also difficult to foresee what tools you might end up needing.

But, this is the beauty of the multitool. Multitools allow you to be prepared for pretty much any situation. So to help you choose the right one for you, we’ve put together a list of the best multitools for backpacking.

One important thing before we get started: due to the presence of knives on multitools, some states have laws concerning carrying them. Make sure to double-check the law in your state before purchasing.

Eager to head off and don’t have time to browse? No problem, here’s our top pick for the best multitool for backpacking.

Top 4 Best Multitools for Backpacking

OUR TOP PICK

Victorinox Swiss Army Swisstool Spirit X with Leather Pouch

Specifications at a glance:

  • Tools Included:
  • Needle-Nosed Pliers
  • Wire Cutter for thin and soft wire
  • Hard Wire Cutter
  • Large Blade
  • Phillips Screwdriver ½ 
  • Reamer, Punch
  • Can Opener
  • Screwdriver, 3mm
  • Bottle Opener
  • Screwdriver 6mm
  • Crate Opener
  • Wire Bender
  • Scissors
  • Wood Saw
  • Metal Saw
  • Metal File
  • Screwdriver 2mm
  • Chisel 7mm
  • Cable Cover Longitudinal Cutter
  • Cable Cover Crossways Cutter
  • Wire Stripper and Scraper
  • Lanyard Hole
  • Coupling for Corkscrew
  • Size: 0.03” x 0.08” x 0.03”
  • Weight: 5oz

It is probably no surprise that the inventors of the Swiss Army Knife have come top of our list of the best multitools.

This multitool has so many features included but isn’t too big or too heavy. You can trust that this tool to have been made to perfection and that it will last you a long time, if not a lifetime. 

Victorinox multitools are intended to be bought once and then kept for life. That’s why this tool is so expensive. These are the kinds of tools you invest in and keep forever.

It’s the kind of tool you will pass on to your children or give as a gift. If you’re about to go on a trip and are considering buying a multitool just in case you need it, then you should probably go for one of the cheaper options on this list. 

Some of the unusual tools featured on this multitool are the safety whistle and the diamond-coated sharpener. The safety whistle will be really useful for backpacking, especially if you’re planning on going alone to any remote areas. 

The diamond-coated sharpener is an especially interesting feature. Including a sharpener is unique enough, but a diamond-coated sharpener is a feature of the extra quality that will make this multitool last. 

The leather pouch that is included is very classic and very smart. If you are looking for a classic multitool, then this is the one to buy.  

Pros

  • The maker of the original Swiss Army Knife
  • Multiple versions available
  • Unique tools included
  • Leather pouch included 

Cons

  • Expensive

EDITORS CHOICE

LEATHERMAN, Signal Camping Multitool with Fire Starter, Hammer and Emergency Whistle, Stainless Steel with Nylon Sheath (FFP)

Specifications at a glance:

  • Tools Included:
  • Needlenose Pliers
  • Regular Pliers
  • 154cm Replaceable Wire Cutters
  • 154cm Replaceable Hard-Wire Cutters
  • Wire Stripper
  • 420HC Combo Knife
  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Awl with Thread Loop
  • Can Opener
  • ¼” Hex Bit Driver
  • Bit Driver
  • ¼” Hex Bit Driver
  • Bit Driver
  • ¼” Box Wrench
  • Carabiner
  • 3/16” Box Wrench
  • Safety Whistle
  • Ferrocerium Rod
  • Diamond-Coated Sharpener
  • Size: 9.3” x 6.34” x 4.5”
  • Weight: 7.5 oz

When it comes to multitools, Leatherman is one of the most well-known and well-respected brands (for the Swiss Army Knife, it’s the tool more than the brand that is famous).

You can guarantee that you will be getting a good quality product if it’s a Leatherman.

This multitool has an amazing range of features so you will never find yourself short. But, because of this and because of its high quality, it is very expensive.

This multitool has a 25 year guarantee and is intended for those with experience who are regularly out backpacking. So this is not the sort of tool to just buy because it might come in handy.

But, if you’re an experienced backpacker and are looking for a good quality tool that you can invest in, then absolutely go for this Leatherman.

Pros

  • Well-known, reliable name
  • High number of tools
  • Includes sharpener
  • 25-year guarantee 

Cons

  • Expensive

BEST VALUE

Multitool Knife, POHAKU 13 in 1 Portable Multifunctional Multi tool with 3' Large Blade, Spring-Action Plier, Safety Locking Design, and Durable Pouch for Outdoor, Camping, Fishing, Survival and More

Specifications at a glance:

  • Tools Included:
  • Needlenose Pliers
  • Standard Pliers
  • Wire Cutters
  • Bastard File
  • Second File
  • Large Slotted Screwdriver
  • Can Opener
  • Medium Slotted Screwdriver
  • Rope Cutter
  • Saw
  • Multifunction Knife
  • Serrated Knife
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Size: 4.2” x 1.44” x 0.91”
  • Weight: 8oz

This multitool might seem like the sort of thing you would only take on a survival expedition, but it can be useful in pretty much any situation.

There is an extra-large knife that is partially serrated and has a tapered blade that is the main unique feature of this multitool. There is also another serrated blade that is intended to be used as a saw.

This is a sturdy multitool with a good number of features, but it is still affordable. This is a great choice for the casual backpacker who doesn’t want to invest in an expensive classic tool.  

The style of this tool is much more industrial and modern than most classic multitools but is still a classic design. 

Pros

  • Modern style
  • Large blade
  • Compact
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not as many tools as others, but a good number for this price

RUNNER UP

Rose Kuli 7'' Portable Multipurpose Multitool Multifunctional Pocket Mini Tools with Axe Hammer Plier Set Wooden Handle for Camping Hiking Outdoor Survival Gear Kit, Gift for Men Women

Specifications at a glance:

  • Tools Included:
  • Axe
  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Wire Cutter
  • Knife
  • Screwdriver
  • Hatchet
  • Wire Cutter
  • Saw
  • Chisel
  • Wrench
  • Nail FIle
  • Bottle Opener
  • Mini Wood Saw
  • Wrench
  • Size: 7.09” x 3.54” x 0.98”
  • Weight: 13.7oz

This miniature multitool is a great option if you’re not 100% sure if you will need tools on your backpacking trip, but want to take one just in case.

This multitool is very small but still features plenty of useful tools. 

It is the most affordable option on this list, so you won’t have to break the bank to be able to take it with you.

Depending on where you’re backpacking, taking something expensive with you might not be such a great idea. If your backpack is likely to get lost or stolen, then you don’t want to be carrying anything expensive. 

But you still want a good quality multitool that won’t break when subjected to pressure or force so this Rose Kuli 7” is ideal.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Small
  • Available in two different styles
  • Includes some unique tools as well as the standard

Cons

  • Smaller range of tools included, but there is a good number for the price
  • Heavy

Best Multitool For Backpacking Buying Guide

Tools

One of the main reasons for buying a multitool is to reduce the need for large tools. They are useful things to have on you, but they shouldn’t get in the way.

Multitools can vary in size, but shouldn’t be too heavy or cumbersome. The tools included should all be lightweight. If the manufacturer of the multitool tries to do too much by adding countless tools, then they can become heavy.

The tools may also need to have been made so small that they are almost unusable. So, don’t assume that the multitool with the most tools is the best.

For backpacking, you will at the very least need pliers, a knife, wire cutters, and a screwdriver. Essentially, you need something to cut with and something to fix your other items with.

Beyond that, you need to consider exactly where you are going and what you will be doing. It’s impossible to predict what emergencies and accidents will happen, but a good multitool will make sure that you’re covered for most situations. (Because of this, make sure you also have a first aid kit).

Weight

That leads us on to weight and density. As more tools are added, the multitool will become heavier. In order to make the tools lighter, either the body of the multitool or the tools themselves will need to be made lighter and thinner. 

So, when there are a huge number of tools included, there is a chance that the multitool will either be very heavy and dense or the tools will be thinner and weaker.

When you’re backpacking, making sure to only take objects that are either small or easy to pack down is essential. That’s why a multitool is such a useful thing to have, as you only need to take one item for 100 different jobs. 

But, if the multitool is big or heavy then this kind of defeats the purpose. As well as looking into the tools available, make sure you check the weight and dimensions of the multitool. You don’t want to find yourself with a load of tools that only work to weigh you down.

Durability and Efficiency

Using a multitool should be quick and easy. Make sure to look over the whole design of the tool and see how it functions. The arrangement of the tools should be sleek and compact and no tool should get in the way of any other.

The tools should also be able to lock into the body. This is especially true for knives and other sharp tools. Multitools aren’t very dangerous but any tool, especially ones with knives, can result in damage to the other items in your backpack or injuries to yourself.

You don’t want any blades or sharp objects coming loose in your bag and accidentally cutting your clothes or your tent. And you certainly don’t want them coming loose in your pocket and potentially injuring you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are multitools legal to carry?

Generally, yes. But, make sure to double-check the laws in your state or wherever you are traveling to.

Different states and countries will have different laws.

These laws will generally refer to carrying knives and may not affect your multitool, but as it has a knife it is still worth checking out.

Are multitools dangerous?

Any tool is dangerous as they are intended for forceful manual work.

But multitools are intended to be stored close to your person, so they won’t be too dangerous. 

So long as you are careful when you use them and always make sure that the tools are all tucked away properly, you should be okay.

What can multitools be used for?

Multitools, as you can probably guess from the name, can be used for a huge number of things.

Multitools are designed to be compact and make you prepared for every possible situation. The tools available on multitools will vary depending on brand and size, so make sure you look closely at everything included so you get one that you will really use.

As mentioned above, it can be difficult to know exactly what events and circumstances will lead to you needing specific tools. So, it’s useful to have a pocket multitool on yourself pretty much all of the time.

They are especially useful when backpacking as they allow you to carry lots of tools without taking up too much space.

But they can be useful anywhere, whether you need to hammer down the pegs of a tent or fix a squeaky chair. '

The products listed above are the best for backpacking, but most will be good to have in your backpack or pocket pretty much all of the time.

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