Best Backpacking Multi Tool: Our Top 7 Picks

Are you looking for a multi tool for your hiking or camping trip? Well, we have you covered. The best backpacking multi tool will give you amazing features at great value. Having one of these in you backpack or as part of your electric bike kit could save you a load of time and a lot of hassle. Multi tools are typically made of stainless steel and the best manufacturers offer lifetime guarantees for their products. Therefore, making the right purchase today could last you a lifetime. 

Our top tip when picking the best multi tool for you is that less is more. Just because a tool has a lot of features does not mean it is the right one for you. Loads of features means added weight and increased size. That being said, make sure you get what you need because there is nothing worse than being out on the trail before realising that you multi tool doesn’t have the feature you need. 

If you have any questions, drop down to our ultimate buyer’s guide where we can talk you through the different options and functions the best multi tool for backpacking have to offer. 

Table of Contents

Best Backpacking Multi Tool - At A Glance

Best Backpacking Multi Tool - In Detail

Best Backpacking Multi Tool: Buyer's Guide

Types of Multi tool

Folding

This is one of the most functional and versatile types of multi tool. It usually contains all the gadgets from a knife to pliers to wire cutters etc. You can tell a folding multi tool from the other types because it is usually larger and slightly heavier. This could be an issue if you are looking for a compact option for carrying in your pocket or small bag.

Pocket

These are the traditional multi tool and are probably what you had in mind when you searched for the best backpacking multi tool. As their name suggests these are small by nature and will fit in your pocket. If you are looking for a pocket multi tool, then we would advise investing in one from a reputable brand. This is because they will offer a durable design and will be able to withstand the type of work suitable for a pocket multi tool. It is important not to just go for the cheapest option because this will (usually) be made from the cheapest materials and metals which might do in the short-term but in our experience rarely last in the long term.

Keychain

Again, the name of this multi tool describes it perfectly. It is intended for use on your keyring. It will not have as many of the features like a folding or pocket multi tool, but it will offer enough for the average backpacker to get by with. The real advantage of this tool is that it will be ultra-lightweight, compact and, given it is on your keys, will not be forgotten or left behind. The best keychain multi tool will also offer you amazing durability and could last you for years.

One-piece

A one-piece is the simplest and most convenient type of multi tool. They are ideal for people want a smaller multi tool for light duty use in a flash. And while one-piece multi tools might not have the most functional design, they make up for it in durability and portability. The beauty of a one-piece is in its simplicity which is due to having no moving parts. They may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but a one-piece is certainly a solid choice for those who are space conscious.

Wallet

The wallet multi tool is a great piece of kit which has many uses. Again, as the name implies, it is a wallet replacement so has dual functionality. There will be space for cash, cards etc. whilst offering other items such as a bottle opener, screwdriver and much more. This is a great choice for those who don’t want to carry a wallet on the hike.

Speciality

This is the most basic multi tool. It will often have one main function and offer some form of secondary use. A good example of a speciality multi tool is a ‘spork’ which can be used as a spoon, knife and fork for eating. A speciality multi tool is a great piece of kit for those who are wanting to take things back to basics and have a clear goal in mind for this piece of kit.

What Tools Do You Need?

The big question when looking to invest in a best backpacking multi tool is what tool options you need. The tool options you’ll usually find while browsing multi tools are knives, screwdrivers, bottle openers, can openers, rulers, pliers, wire cutters, scissors, and more. Having all of these options is great but it should not be the case that you just go for the one with the most options. Instead, think carefully about which ones you actually need. The more options the heavier and less compact the multi tool will be. Furthermore, if you know you will only use one or two of the options you should focus on picking up a tool which specialise in those options. This will help reduce weight and, hopefully, increase the quality of the tools you need.

Decision Making Factors

Functionality

The key question to ask yourself is does this multi tool offer me everything I need. If the answer is yes, then great; you probably have picked a good product for your needs. If no, then keep looking for your best backpacking multi tool.

The best multi tool for backpacking can have a load of different features. Our advice would be that if you are looking for a multi tool to perform basic camping and hiking needs such as opening food tins etc. 10 functions is probably enough. Remember that the quality of the tools/functions are just as important as the quantity.

Weight

The basic rule is the more functions the more weight. If you are looking for a backpacking multi tool for hiking and are conscious about the weigh, try to pick one which has few functions but is still made of strong materials/metals. This should keep you bag nice and light for when you are out on the trail.

Suitability

Make sure you pick the best backpacking multi tool for you! Avoid picking one based on how it looks or because it has fancy extra functions that you will never use. Since you are backpacking it is likely that you will want something lightweight and compact, so it doesn’t take up too much room. Keep in mind though that a good multi tool can eliminate the need for other gear so picking a slightly bigger option may actually help you reduce your load.

Ease of Use

The last thing you will want when hiking is struggling with using your multi tool. Therefore, ensure the tool has a well-thought-out design which fits nicely in your hand and is easy to use. The main thing to ensure is that each function is easy to open and close. Another consideration for tools with blades is that they may need to be sharpened so pick a product which needs this to be done infrequently.

Legality

The legality of your multi tool only needs to be a consideration if you have a blade. If so, check the local multi tool laws so that you don’t run into any complications or misunderstandings.

Common Mistakes When Buying a Multi Tool

Too Many Functions

This is probably the most common mistake people make when buying a backpacking multi tool. There seems to be an assumption that more is better when actually less could be more. Having too many functions will increase the weight and size of your product whilst reducing the functionality.

Go For The Cheapest

Some multi tools can retail for well over a $100. Therefore, it may look like a bargain when you are picking something up for a fraction of the price with loads of tools, but the reality is that you get what you pay for with multi tools. If you want a durable, long-lasting tool which is made of strong stuff – the chances are you will need to spend more than basement price.

If you are cost conscious, we would recommend reducing the tool options the multi tool offers and maintaining the high-quality materials and metals it is made from. That way you are still getting a great, long-lasting product for an acceptable price.

Not Enough Functions

Throughout this article we have been talking up the virtue of ‘less is more’ when picking the best backpacking multi tool for you. We stand by this. But. It is also important to ensure that the option you choose offers you all of the functionality which you need for your hike or camping trip. You may be required to return home or back to base if you don’t have a multi tool which offers you everything you need.

Conclusion: Best Backpacking Multi Tool

The best backpacking multi tool is the Victorinox Swiss Army Explorer. Not only is the manufacturer a world-class and renowned brand – the product is amazing. Made from high-quality materials and with a lifetime guarantee this will certainly be the last hiking multi tool you buy. Furthermore, this multi tool is lightweight with loads of features making it ideal for campers and hikers alike. 

If you are after a great value pick we love the adventure guys credit card multi tool. This comes with 10 features and fits perfectly in your wallet or purse. Even more impressive is the manufacturers promise that this tool is indestructible. 

We have reviewed a wide range of products to help you find the best backpacking multi tool for you. 

 

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