5 Best Multitools for Backpacking – Reviews & Buying Guide

By Kevin Arnold | Camping

Jan 04
best multi tools for Backpacking


Carrying a multitool for your wild adventurous trips might save a lot of backpacking space and hassle as well. Best multitools for backpacking are highly significant, especially when it is for backcountry survival. From first aid to even cooking, multitools are always there to come to your rescue at all times.

To be precise, a multi-tool is a pocket-sized gear that is encompassed with a bunch of features found in any typical toolbox. Now you don't need to carry knives, saw, pliers, screwdrivers and the likes of it, a multi-tool is going to do all that for you! And you know what’s even best? Its petite size yet power-packed features!

You already know that a multi-tool is a convenient gear for outdoor tasks, now all you need to do is choose one. With so many options of every type, different designs, varieties of features, it gets mind-boggling to decide on one.

No worries. We have reviewed Top 5 Best Multitools for backpacking here, each carrying some unique set of features. Further, a detailed buying guide and FAQs is going to assist you in making a well-thought decision!

Name of the Multitool

Number of Functions



Hoffman Richter HR-100 Multitool - budget Multi-tool

​13 Functions

Huntsman Victorinox Swiss Army Knife - best multi-tool for Camping

​15 Functions

Leatherman - Crunch Multi-Tool

​15 Functions

Leatherman - Charge TTI Multitool

​19 Functions

Victorinox SwissTool - best Multi tools for backpacking

​22 Functions

Reviews of the Best Multitools for Backpacking

Victorinox SwissTool Spirit X - Best Multi-Tools for Backpacking

Victorinox SwissTool Spirit X

A masterpiece in itself introduced by an excellent multitool manufacturing brand Victorinox, is this fantastic Swiss Tool Spirit X. Victorinox has been manufacturing multitools for over a century now, so you are only to get the premium quality of products from this brand.

By the looks of it, you can tell that the body configuration of Spirit X is quite robust and is built to last longer. Nothing here seems to be cheap or fragile.

Swiss Army Knife with Plier Tools

Unlike other typical multitools in the market, the Spirit X features 22 unique pliers-based set of tools that come handy during emergency situations. Swiss Tool looks quite classy and sleek, thanks to its complete stainless steel build and polished finishing.


Uniquely designed Spirit X features saw, pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutters, file and many such excellent functionalities.

What we love about Spirit X is that smaller tools can be easily locked one-handedly with the help of tiny spring-loaded release. And, the slightly contoured design of the handles makes it very easy to hold the multitool in both open and closed positions without getting pinched.

Encasing such amazing features, the compact Spirit X still measures about 3 ¼” in length and weighs 5.75 oz.

Things We Liked

  • ​Lifetime warranty
  • Compact, Lightweight and sturdy
  • Pliers do not wobble and are quite solid
  • All stainless steel body does not entertain rust
  • Graceful design and polished finish
  • All blades can be opened from outside

Things We Didn't Like

  • ​Deploying some tools might be difficult
  • Expensive

Customer Reviews

Users have found all the 22 functions of Spirit X to be smooth in action and easy to deploy. When folded, the blades in Swiss Tool are very secure and tightly integrated. And, customers have also loved how the tools are accessible from outside, without having to open the pliers.

 All in all, the Spirit X certainly stands up to its expensive price and does not disappoint at all.

Final Impression

No fancy casing, no imprinted symbols, the Spirit X is made for pure business and screams only “durability” with its full stainless steel body.

Some excellent functions of Spirit X are its metal saw, Philips screwdriver, wire cutters, pliers and so on. If you who don’t have an issue with its hefty price tag, then Spirit X will certainly impress you to the core. It is hands-down one of the best multitool for backpacking and tops in Editor’s Choice!

Huntsman Victorinox Swiss Army Knife - best multi-tool for camping

Huntsman Victorinox Swiss Army Knife

Coming from a prominent brand like Victorinox Swiss Army, the Huntsman Multitool sure does not fail to impress you with its Swiss-made quality and excellent durability.

The Huntsman is a typical classic SAK and comes with pretty much all functions you’d need for backpacking. Exclusively made in Switzerland, the Huntsman Swiss Army Knife features 15 different functions that will equip you during adventures.


To name a few, the Huntsman comes with a 2.45” blade, backpack saw, bottle opener along with a screwdriver, corkscrew, and scissors. All of the gear is housed in a leather pouch with clip closure.

What makes it the best pocket knife, its stainless steel construction, and high-quality craftsmanship. This 3 ½” Victorinox knife has 15 tools, all of which are enclosed in red polished ABS scales.

Things We Liked

  • ​Swiss-made quality
  • Lightweight gear
  • Very compact; Fits in pocket
  • Robust and durable construction

Things We Didn't Like

  • ​Pulling the tools out is quite difficult
  • The knife is not fully enclosed and is prone to rust
  • Red case scrapes easily
  • The knife blade cannot be locked

Customer Reviews

Customers seem to love the versatility that this cool multitool has to offer. Considering the price point, users have found all 15 tools to be of premium quality; not even single seems to be poorly made. Some of the best and most liked features of the Huntsman is corkscrew, wood saw, and small/large blades. But, users do not fancy the glossy red casing on this one.

Final Impression

The Huntsman, with its delicate design, goes right into your pocket and is a perfect multitool for hiking, camping, fishing or any other outdoor adventures. All of the 15 tools are well-made and feature sturdy stainless steel construction. If you are looking for a small yet sharp and durable knife blade, go for this one.

Leatherman - Charge TTI Multitool

​leatherman - charge tti multitool

The leading brand “Leatherman” is known for its top quality of pliers-based multi-tools and has become very popular in a short period. One of their finest model viz. Charge TTI is a highly practical multitool to be used during expected and unexpected situations.

Pliers-based features

Myriads of pliers, cutting hook, wire stripper, wire crimper, wire cutters, regular knives, saw, serrated knives, spring-action scissors, screwdrivers, a ruler, can/bottle openers and files are some of the excellent functions encompassed in one sleek and functional multitool.

Without a doubt, it is one of the best multi-tool for backpacking and for those who love to have varieties of pliers in a multitool than knives.

Single handed operation

Many times, we only have one hand in spare to operate a tool and what we love about Charge TTI is that it requires only one hand for the opening and utilizing any of the 19 tools. Not just that, even those tools that are not accessible from the outside can be used single-handedly. And that's an outstanding feature.

Locking blade feature makes its usability even more secure.

Premium construction

When Leatherman designed Charge TTi, it included most-requested features into it and sculpted it with titanium handle scales for a lustrous look and lightweight feel. The clip-point knife is crafted from S30V stainless steel that takes its durability to a whole new level.

Things We Liked

  • ​Comfort-sculpted handles provide an ergonomic grip
  • 25 years of Limited warranty
  • Durable and solid construction
  • All tools are accessible in closed or folded position
  • Locking features make it secure (except plier's head)
  • Every tool can be opened and operated single-handedly
  • SS Knife has a long cutting edge and holds it well

Things We Didn't Like

  • ​Customer service of Leatherman is not responsive

Customer reviews

Customers have recommended Charge TTi due to its highly versatile features, lightweight design and topnotch built. The nylon sheath is also of the best quality you could ever receive. Overall, users have found Charge TTi to have a solid set of pliers, high-quality of metals used (titanium and steel) and the multitool looks like it's here to last.

Final Impression

Even though Charge TTi carries a heavy price tag, the 19 highly functional features are worth investing for. For every adventurous person out there who would love to have wide varieties of pliers in a multitool than a useless set of tools, then go for this Leatherman Charge TTi, it's guaranteed you are going to love it.

Leatherman - Crunch Multi-Tool

Leatherman - Crunch Multi-Tool

Leatherman is an internationally renowned brand and a famous manufacturer of a rugged, bold and durable range of multitool products. Looking for “foldable locking pliers”? Another exceptional multitool model viz. Leatherman Crunch offers you just that.

Locking blades will release with a swift push of a button, and the Crunch is ready and in action!

Hardy Crunch Multitool

Deliberately made for “do-it-yourself” people and serious professionals out there, the Leatherman Crunch is an ideal multipurpose tool. Locking pliers expand far-off, enough to clamp 1-inch diameter of the pipe. But, it also folds down into a neat 4” package for quick storage in your pocket.

Locking Features

The most impressive feature of the Crunch Multitool is its locking abilities. The pliers can be locked in place, so both your hands are free to do other work. Moreover, all of the internal blades can be locked as well, for optimal security.

What makes it one of the best multitool for backpacking, you may ask? The Crunch is crafted from 100% high-grade stainless steel, so it excels in longevity and power. What’s more interesting is that you get Phillips screwdriver, small/medium/large screwdrivers, a ruler and hex bit driver, all in one great package!

Things We Liked

  • ​Locking pliers
  • Hex bit driver and Phillips screwdriver included
  • Robust 100% SS construction
  • 25 years of limited warranty
  • Each tool locks in place
  • The push-button mechanism for quick deploy

Things We Didn't Like

  • ​Pliers cannot endure severe work; Ideal for small jobs
  • Tools are small
  • To access other tools, you need to deploy pliers

Customer Reviews

The pliers on Leatherman Crunch are solid and have tremendous grip, say users. Most of the customers have loved SS construction and its durability. But, they have also expressed the Crunch to be ideal only for small jobs and not for mission-oriented tasks. For foldable locking pliers, you have to compromise with its rigidity.

Final Impression

As stated above, the Crunch is for those people who seek fold-away locking pliers in a multitool. It compactly folds down and fits into your pocket or bag. Such locking feature will allow you to use both your hands for other work. But, you have to keep in mind that the pliers cannot withstand hard-core jobs.

Hoffman Richter HR-100 Multitool - Budget Choice

hoffman richter hr-100 multitool review

Hoffman Richter HR-100 stands on 5th position in our list based on its 13 amazing functions, strength, longevity, and compact design. Made from 440 stainless steel and further coated with titanium, the HR-100 can effortlessly endure any job you throw its way during adventures.

13-in-1 Features

Encompassing 13 different features, this backpacking multitool can be used for sawing branches and even cut ropes. The most exceptional feature of HR-100 is its set of spring-loaded pliers with needle-nose design in its main body.

The pliers also feature grippers to hold rounded objects or crack nuts. Some unique functions of HR-100 include small/medium/large flathead screwdriver, a saw, Phillips screwdriver, wire cutters and so on.


Every tool folds away neatly into handles, and the handles again fold around the tip of pliers. Thus, this compact multitool can go right into your backpack’s pouch or pocket.

Hoffman also offers a tough nylon pouch along with the multitool for easy portability. The belt loop on this nylon pouch can be used to hook it around your belt for handy use.

If you look closely, the innovative cut-out design on the metal handles is not just for the show but is there to reduce tool’s weight, without affecting its strength and power.

Things We Liked

  • ​Includes tool lock for ultimate safety
  • Comes with tough 100D nylon pouch
  • Rugged 440 SS construction
  • Pliers, wire cutters, saw, slotted screwdrivers, Phillips screwdriver included

Things We Didn't Like

  • ​Wire cutters tool are not of the best quality
  • Tools are too small
  • Knife is dull

Customer Reviews

For such a shockingly low price, users have found Hoffman HR-100 to be versatile and of good build quality. Except for knife blade, users have liked all the other tools as they are quite solid and usable. Users have suggested that HR-100 is a perfect multitool for people with limited budget. Not to mention, the pliers are quite good and strong.

Final Impression

HR-100’s entire toolkit is optimum for the household as well as outdoor needs such as camping, survival and self-defense situations. HR-100 is backed with a lifetime guarantee, and that alone tells a lot about its first-grade build quality and ruggedness.

How to Select Best Multitool for backpacking?

1.What is your type of application?

Once you decide on whether you want pliers or not, a further process of selecting your best multi-tool for backpacking is quite easy. You need to check whether the onboard tools in the package are useful to you or not.

Figure out what is the purpose that you’re going to use multitool for. Are you going to use it every day for household or office work? Or, are you going to save it for outdoor camping and hiking?

  • A good backpack multitool needs to be robust enough to handle outdoor jobs. So, you need to check an assortment of tools included and their size before finalizing.

2. Construction

Most of the multitools are screwed as one, with the help of specialty bolts. Some of them even press fit. Both such types of construction do not allow easy repairing of the tool, especially when you are out in the wild world.

So, it is better to avoid factory fixed multitools that are irreparable. What will you do if the tool does not withstand the abuse? Some more factors that signify its solid construction are:

  • check
    Check whether the tools are tightly integrated and do not wobble unnecessarily
  • check
    The blade on the knife needs to be sharp and have long cutting edge. Otherwise, it becomes pointless
  • check
    Locking mechanisms and hinges reveal a lot about a tool’s build quality. Tight tolerances, sturdy materials used and innovative design aspects are all qualities of a good multitool
  • check
    Small and inaccessible tools, fragile materials and wobbly operation are all signs of a poorly constructed multitool
  • check
    A good multitool needs to be resistant to rust and corrosion 

3. Ergonomic Design

Multi-tool that lacks ergonomic design is probably going to pinch your hand or give small cuts, especially when operated in a hurry.

If a pliers-based multitool does not have smooth handles with rolled edges, you are going to have a hard time handling it.

Most commonly, handles is the place where all of the tools are integrated. Some models allow accessing tools from outside, whereas others need you to open the handles to access tools. In such cases, if the edges are not rolled, there are high chances of you being injured during emergency situations.

An ergonomically designed multitool will be very comfortable to handle and will allow easy accessibility of features.

4. Price

The longer and sturdier the tool, more expensive will be its cost. From cheap knock-offs to finest of pieces, multitools come in a widespread range of models. Expensive ones tend to last longer than the cheap ones, but there are few exceptions as well.

If you want it for real jobs like severe outdoor situations, invest in the premium quality of the multi-tool

For everyday use, you can opt for averagely priced ones

5. Some functions

You don't want to roam around with a multi-tool that has a useless bunch of features. Check the utility of each feature before selecting your ideal tool.

The versatility of functions included and type of application is what defines your best multi-tool for backpacking.

A multitool with few best and useful features is far better than a multitool that is crammed with useless features.

6. Portability

How big is the multitool you selected? Will it be difficult to carry it around? A very compact multitool will be time-consuming and hard-to-find from your pocket or toolbox. And, that’s not something desirable during emergencies.

On the contrary, a big multi-tool is going to be heavy and strenuous to carry.

Best multitool for backpacking is the one that is not too tiny nor too large. Look for the ones that provide some carrying means such as a sheath, belt loops or pocket clips for added convenience.

7. Weight

Even if you are not a fan of light backpacking, you need to consider the weight of your multitool.

Although multitools look tiny, they could easily add few pounds of weight to your backpack gear. And, it gets even worse if you don’t even use it frequently.

Often, expensive multitools are heavy due high-quality of materials used. But, they are also equally durable and strong.

FAQs about Multitools

1. Is multi-tool ideal for hardcore jobs?

You will need a big and bulky tool to perform hardcore mechanical work. So if a multi-tool offers you that, then go for it. But most of the multitools are deliberately made for light-duty tasks, so check its size before buying.

2. Is it better to buy a multitool with a knife or get a separate knife?

Multi-tool manufacturers are now upgrading their design to include knife blade in the package to appeal the customers. But since it is paired up with other tools, it is prone to corrosion and premature blade dulling. If the knife blade is your most-required feature, then check the quality of knife blade in multitool and make sure it’s great. Otherwise, get a separate knife.

3. Do you need to clean multitools?

For the proper and smooth functioning of multi-tool, you need to clean it thoroughly, especially those that you carry around in your pocket all throughout the day. Time and time again, you have to clean it, dry it and re-oil it for smooth operation.

Final verdict

The bottom line is, the Editor’s Choice and the best multi-tool for backpacking on this list has to be the Victorinox Spirit X. Why? Because despite its heavyweight and expensive cost, it excels in its rugged construction and premium grade of the locking mechanism as compared to other tools.

Even after years of use, you will find the scissors and knife blade to be good and sharp. Even the pliers are durable and show no signs of wear after repeated use. And, given such reliability and longevity, we will recommend Spirit X for anyone who wants to have a handy multitool to carry in their pocket!

Conclusively, we would say that make sure you consider all the factors stated above before deciding on a purchase. Check for its functions, build quality, weight, price, and usability of functions.

A good backpacking multitool is going to make a huge difference to your adventurous trip and might even come handy during survival emergencies. Make sure you don't burden yourself with an unnecessary set of tools, instead go for something that is secure and usable.