5 Best Camping Multi-Tool For Hiking And Backpacking & Guide

by Jason | Last Updated:   October 19th, 2021
5 Best Camping Multi-Tool For Hiking And Backpacking & Guide


Are you looking for something that can help you take on multiple tasks while you’re out camping?

Well,  one of the best things to have in your camping arsenal is a multi-tool. With the right multi-tool, you can take on tasks like cooking, first aid, or fixing stuff. 

You’ve probably heard of Swiss Army Knives, which quickly became one of the top multi-tools.

A great multi-tool for camping will have a number of functions, from a Phillips screwdriver, knife, pliers, spring action scissors, and much more.

And here’s the thing:

Multi-tools aren’t great for camping, there also fantastic having around the house; you never know when it will come in handy, but when it does, you’ll be happy you have it.

To help you find the best camping multi-tool, I’ve listed five of my favorites. And to make things better, I’m going to show you how I picked them.

So, let’s get going:

IN A HURRY? HERE ARE OUR TOP PICKS…

Reviewing The 5 Best Camping Multi-Tools

Leatherman Wave Plus Multitool

The Leatherman Wave Plus is made with stainless steel and comes with 18 tool functions in its quiver. One of the standout tools has to be the premium replaceable wire cutters which can tackle any job you chuck at it.

The Leatherman Wave Plus also features locking blades from knives to saws. Thanks to the locking blades, you don’t have to worry when taking on cutting tasks.

They wanted the Leatherman Wave tools to be as easy to handle as possible, which is why they focused on being able to open with one hand. All the tools are easily accessible from the inside and the outside.

One of the great things about the tool is it comes with a 25-year guarantee, which shows the company has faith in its products.

Pros
  • Having a one-handed operation makes the multi-tool extremely easy to use.
  • The blades are incredibly sharp so that you can cut with confidence.
  • The premium replaceable wire cutters are a great touch
Cons
  • Some people say it feels too heavy to carry around in the pocket on a daily basis.
  • It doesn’t come with a pocket clip, so you can’t connect it to your belt.

RoverTac Pocket Knife Multitool

It’s made with stainless steel and is colored black to add some style to the tools. The RoverTac multi-tool comes with 16 tool functions at your disposal, including a 9-in-1 bit driver set and replaceable wire cutters.

One of the best things about the RoverTac pocket knife is it comes with a lifetime guarantee. To make things better, you don’t need to give any reason, which makes it an excellent purchase option.

They also included a safeguard locking mechanism that is discreetly integrated into the handle. The feature offers exceptional protection, so you don’t cut your fingers off for no reason.

Another great feature is the durable nylon pouch which comes with a belt loop, which makes it easier to carry with you on a daily basis.

Pros
  • The 9-in-1 Phillips bit driver set fits into the pouch easily, which gives you great options.
  • It’s super compact, so you don’t feel like it takes up too much room.
  • The main blade is very sturdy and cuts very well.
Cons
  • The pliers aren’t the strongest, and they can twist pretty easily.

RoverTac Multitool Camping Accessories Survival Gear

Considering the tools that come with the multi-tool, it’s very compact. All in all, the stainless steel multi-tool comes with 14 different tool functions. The tools include a hammer, axe, replaceable wire cutters, pocket knife blade, and saw, which really helps in survival and camping situations.

The tools are made with black oxidation stainless steel, while the handle comes with either red oxidation or green oxidation.  

To make the tools easier to transport, they include a durable nylon pouch which they updated in 2020. You can attach the nylon pouch to your belt, which makes it far more convenient.

Again, the RoverTac multi-tool features a lifetime warranty on their camping multi-tools with a no-questions-asked return.

Pros
  • Outstanding quality construction provides confidence in the product.
  • Having an axe on the camping multi-tool is a great added bonus.
  • The nylon sheath is very well built and makes it easy to carry your multi-tool.
Cons
  • The axe is small, so it’s only suitable for cutting small branches.

Gerber Gear Multitool

The Gerber Gear multi-tool is made with stainless steel and comes with a titanium color to add to the style. Inside the camping tool, you’ll find 12 integrated tool functions in a butterfly design, making it easier to carry.

The lightweight multi-tool is extremely easy to carry and extremely easy to open. When you open the Gerber Gear tool, you’ll find needle nose pliers, hard-wire cutters, a pocket knife blade, a bottle opener, and much more.

To the needle-nose pliers, Gerber Gear added a spring-loaded handle to make your using the pliers easier.

They also included a Saf.T.Plus locking system, which was designed to keep your tools in place when you’re using them.

Pros
  • The pliers were extremely strong, and the spring-loaded handle makes it easier to use.
  • The spring action scissors and wire cutters were sharp and cut very well.
  • You don’t need to open the pliers to access all the tools.
Cons
  • The velcro on the nylon sheath is tough to use and loses its grip very quickly.

POHAKU Multitool

The POHAKU multi-tool is made with high-quality stainless steel, which provides strength to the overall design. Thanks to the tool being rust-proof and anti-corrosion, you’ll find it last a lot longer than other brands.

It’s also great to see a larger blade incorporated into a tool. It gives you more of a cutting grip and is more suitable for heavy-duty cutting.

Overall the tool comes with 13 tool functions, including needle-nose pliers, Phillips bit driver, wire cutters, wire strippers, a rope cutter, bottle opener, and much more.

But one of the best features is how easy the multi-tool is to use with one hand. Everything is perfectly placed, making it extremely easy to use.

Pros
  • Everything feels excellent and locks into place nicely when you open them.
  • The larger blade is a huge selling point.
  • Incredible value for money.
Cons
  • The sheath feels pretty cheap and probably won’t last a long time.
  • The blade doesn’t stay sharp for very long.

Our Top Choice


Okay, you made it to the end of the product review section; well done. By now, you’re probably wondering which multi-tool is the best.  

Which one is the best depends entirely on what you’re looking for and what you’re going to be using it for.

That being said, I do want to give you my personal best option. For me, it has to be the Gerber Gear.

The whole tool is very well made and performs its tasks very well. The butterfly design is excellent and opens up very well. The long handles also provide more leverage on the pliers, so it feels easier to use. 

It’s also great to see a looking function on the handles, which provides more safety when using the blades.

I hope this has helped guide you in the right direction to finding the perfect multi-tool for your next camping trip.

Remember, before you make your decision, follow the buying guide I’ve provided you below. It will help you make the right choice. If you like any of the options I mentioned above, click on the link to find out more.

And if you don’t think a multi-tool is what you’re looking for, why not check out our list of the best camping knives?

What You Should Look For When Buying The Best Camping Multi-Tool

Are you wondering how I picked the list for the best camping multi-tool? 

And it’s an understandable thing to think about. There’s hundred if not thousands of camping multi-tools out there, but what makes the best camping multi-tools?

Well, in this section, I’m going to explain everything I look for when choosing a camping multi-tool:

Number of Tools/Functions

When you think about is the different functions and the number of tools, you have to understand what you will be using the camping multi-tools for. For some people, having a 24 piece tool is too much of an overkill; they just wouldn’t get around to using all the tools.

Most people will get by with 12 piece multi-tools, as long as it comes with cutting materials, a bit driver, wire cutters, a metal file, and a bottle opener. 

The other thing to remember is the more tools it has, the heavier and larger the multi-tools are going to be, which makes it harder to carry. 

Construction Quality 

The majority of multi-tools will be made of stainless steel, and there’s an excellent reason for that. Stainless steel is a very rugged material, so it’s strong and resistant to rust and corrosion.

The problem with stainless steel is it’s pretty heavy, but luckily the manufacturers are getting cleaver in reducing weight.

Some brands like to use durable plastic polymers on the tools to try and save weight. But if I’m honest, I’d stay away from anything that doesn’t use stainless steel. It has less chance of breaking.

Multi-Tool Design

The main design you’ll find is that camping multi-tools come with a butterfly design, which is where the tools are enclosed in two casings. The two casings also serve as the collapsible arms for the pair of pliers.

What makes this design so effective is its portability and functionality. It makes it incredibly and easy to use.

That being said, there are other styles you can look at, but in my personal opinion is the butterfly design is the best for camping multi-tools. 

Size

Size should play a considerable part in how you choose your camping multi-tool. If you’re looking to carry the multi-tools in your pocket, you should aim for around 3”- 4” in closed length

But remember, the more tools you have included, the larger the tool is going to be.

Weight

Another essential aspect to consider is how much the camping multi-tool is going to weigh. You don’t want it to feel like pulling your trousers down as you’re walking. And again, the more tools it includes, the heavier it’s going to be.And again, the more tools it includes, the heavier it’s going to be.

Legality 

One thing to remember is it’s illegal to carry a blade with you over a certain length in most places. If your tool doesn’t come with any blades, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

But due to most multi-tools having some sort of blade, you should check out the regulations in your local area before you purchase.

With that being said, if your blade is under 3”, you’re usually okay to carry your multi-tool around with you. 

Usability 

One of the key aspects you should be looking for from your camping multi-tool is usability. You want it to be as easy to use as possible.

Look for tools that make it easy to access and use each component. But this can be hard online.

You should look at the pictures to see which ones look easiest to use and read comments from people who have already purchased the tool.

You should also check out the handle to ensure it is comfortable, just in case you have to use it for several hours.

Price

If you’re looking for the best camping multi-tool, you need to think about the price you’re prepared to pay for it.

You can pick up cheap multi-tools from most shops, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be the best. 

Some of the very best multi-tools can be anywhere between $100-$150, which isn’t in everyone’s budget.

If you’re looking for quality multi-tools for your required budget, you should first set a price in your head. If it’s $40, stick to it, and use the guide above to determine which one is the best for your budget.

Types Of Muti-Tools

Another thing I want to take some time out to explain is there are many different styles of multi-tools out there. And which one will work best for you depends on what your needs are.

In this section, I’m going to break down the types of multi-tools so you can decide which one suits your needs the best:

Pocket Multi-Tools

Pocket multi-tools are usually very small and packed with functionality. The problem is they aren’t capable of taking on more significant tasks. When people think of a pocket multi-tool, the first one that comes to mind is a swiss army multi-tool pocket knife. 

Folding Muti-Tools

A folding camping multitool is usually a lot larger than a pocket multi-tool. It also comes with plenty of gadgets to play with that you wouldn’t find in a pocket multi-tool. The robust nature means you can tackle large, more challenging jobs.

One-Piece Multi-Tools

As the name suggests, it’s one piece of metal and has no moving parts. They usually resemble bottle openers and have a Phillips screwdriver or wrenches included. 

Keychain Multi-Tools

It’s a tiny multi-tool that can attach your keyring. They usually don’t have many functions and can’t be used for big jobs.

Wallet Multi-Tools

They are usually as slim as a credit card and are designed to fit inside your wallet. Most of them include a small blade, a bottle opener, and some hex wrenches.

The Biggest Mistakes People Make When Buying A Multi-Tool

Over the years, I’ve found that people usually make the same mistakes when they buy a multi-tool, and I don’t want that for you.

So in this section, I’m going to list the two most common mistakes people make:

  1. Buying the tool with the most functions: For some reason, people think that the more devices it includes, the better. But that’s not the case; you should look at a multi-tool that as the tools you actually need.
  2. Buying the cheapest multi-tool: You should never go for the cheapest multi-tool you can find. Most of the time, they are made with low-quality materials and aren’t worth the time or money.

The best way to think when you’re buying a multi-tool is less is more. Try to imagine the scenarios you might use the tool while you’re camping. If you can’t imagine the scenario, you probably don’t need the tool.

And when it comes to price, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars, but equally, it should be more than $10.

Do You Need A Multi-Tool For Camping?

It’s a question that many people want to know the answer to, and it’s your personal choice when it comes down to it. Carrying a multi-tool comes with many advantages, but it also has a few disadvantages, so today, I’m going to explain both sides:

The Advantages Of Taking A Multi-Tool Camping

There are so many advantages to taking a multi-tool with you while you’re camping, but I’m only going to show you six:

1) No Unnecessary Tool

One of the problems with having separate tools is you might not use them while you’re camping. 

If you’re camping, you might take a hatchet, a serrated blade, a knife, and a can opener, which can take up a lot of room and are completely unnecessary if you don’t use them.

But, if you have them all in one tool, it doesn’t feel as bad if you don’t have to use them. 

2) Good For Simple Tasks 

While you’re camping, there’s a fantastic amount of simple tasks that can become quite challenging if you don’t have a multi-tool.

Here are a few tasks you might come across:

  • Feathering sticks
  • Shaving tinder
  • Making wooden stakes
  • Pulling out tent pegs
  • Cutting cord
  • Sawing branches

All of these tasks are a lot easier when you’re carrying a multi-tool with you. Plus, it stops you from having to take multiple tools with you. 

3) They Are Lightweight

Another great thing about multi-tools is they are very lightweight and have multiple uses. This means you don’t have to carry as much gear with you. 

If you’re looking to reduce the weight in your backpack, then having a multi-tool might be the perfect option for you.

4) There are Multiple Uses

You have so many things you can use a multi-tool for, and with a little bit of creativity, you can probably think of more uses.

It’s incredible how valuable multi-tools can be in situations that you could never imagine. And this is why multi-tools are such an essential piece of kit to have in your backpack.

5) It’s Good To Have Redundancies

Having redundancies ready when you need them can save your life when you’re camping. And that’s why it’s so essential why to have everything so conveniently packed into one tool.

The problem is, you can have the best gear in the world, but it won’t last a lifetime. Some piece might last a year, while other may live longer.

But, if it does break, you need to be prepared for the worst. And that’s why I also carry a multi-tool in my backpack. 

6) Everything Is One Place

In a large backpack, it can be pretty easy to miss place something. It’s also very easy for something to roll onto the forest floor and be lost forever. 

Having everything in one place can make your life easy in the long run. You’ll always know you have your multi-tool in your backpack when you need it.

The Cons Of Taking A Multi-Tool Camping 

Okay, we’ve gone through the good points, but what about the downsides? Well, in this section, we’re going to explain the three worst things about multi-tools:

1) Good For Everything, Perfect For Nothing

One problem with multi-tools is that they are good for everything, but they’re not perfect for anything. In other words, it won’t do the job perfectly, but it will get the job done with a lot of effort.

2) It’s Hard To Get Leverage

Another massive problem with multi-tools is the lack of leverage they provide. They are compact and small by design, which means you don’t get much leverage.

This can make it very hard to take screws out of things or split logs/sticks. And to make it worse, if you apply too much pressure, the multi-tool can easily snap.

And this can be extremely dangerous.

3) You Can’t Use Two Tools At The Same Time

You have so many different tools put into one application, but sometimes you’ll need to use two tools for one job. And unfortunately, this is something a multi-tool doesn’t offer you.

The way the tool folds makes it utterly impossible to use two things at the same time. And for me, this is the biggest problem with a multi-tool. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Multi-Tool Do Navy SEALs Use?

From my understanding, the current multi-tool of choice for the Navy SEALS is the Gerber Multi-Plier 600. The reason why is the functionality the Gerber Gear multi-tool provides.

The key feature of the camping multitool is how easy the tool is to use with one hand. With just a flick of the wrist, you can get the pliers to lock into position, which is essential when you’re holding a gun.

But under after a bit of research, I’ve also found that the SOG multitool is becoming a top choice for the Navy SEALS. Again, the multi-tool focuses on being able to use it with one hand. But one of the tool’s key features is the knife can deploy at the touch of the button.

As you can imagine, having a quick-release blade is vital if you’re in a combat situation and makes it one of the best tools on the market. 

Are Multi Tools Travel-Friendly?

If you plan to fly somewhere without checked luggage, you should know if the multi-tool is travel-friendly or not. The general rule is, if it’s got a blade, it’s not coming on the flight; it’s as simple as that.

The TSA (Transport Security Administration) will take it off you quicker than you can count to three.
That being said, if your multi-tool doesn’t have any sharp objects, then you definitely have a chance of taking it on board.

If you’re planning on traveling anywhere, you should always check state and country laws before you go anywhere.

What Is The Best Multi-Tool To Buy?

The problem with multi-tools is there isn’t a perfect tool for everyone. Not everyone needs the same tools in a kit.

And that’s something you need to think about carefully before you purchase the best multi-tool. Any one of the five options I’ve given above will work very well.

But, to find the best multi-tools on the market, you should follow my buying guide above. That will give you the best chance of finding the right tool. If the ones above don’t take your fancy, you should take a look at some of these options:

Victorinox Swiss Army Swisstool Spirit X
Leatherman Signal
Leatherman Surge
Swiss Army Knives

The problem with these knives above is they cost over $50, so if you’re on a budget they might be out of your price range.

Are Multi Tools Worth It?

Due to the versatility and functionality of multi-tools, they are definitely worth the purchase. A good multi-tool can take on plenty of household tasks. Whether that’s small DIY tasks or taking with you on a camping trip, you can find hundreds of tasks that can be completed with a multi-tool.

Hey, my name's Jason, and before I was a writer, I worked as an outdoor activity instructor where I took groups kayaking and camping. Now I use my personal experiences to share tips and tricks I've learned over the years. For as long as I can remember, I've been passionate about the outdoors, and now I want to share that passion with my readers.