The Best Camping Multi-Tools in 2021

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On the lookout for the best camping multi-tool to handle any situation?

Fantastic, because we have what you’re looking for.

With the right multi-tool in hand, you can solve nearly any problem in the backcountry. But, deciphering precisely what tool functions you need and finding the right model can be exceptionally difficult.

Thankfully, we’re here to help. In fact, there are three features that make a great camping multi-tool, including :

  • Quality functions. The most useful multi-tools will have between 5 to 20 functions, including a knife, screwdriver, and pliers.
  • Lightweight. All of those functions can add weight to your pack, so it’s best to look for a multi-tool that’s less than 10oz (283g) whenever possible.
  • Durable. Multi-tools should be made from strong materials, like steel or aluminum for long-lasting durability.

Read More : 4 Things to Look for in a Camping Multi-tool

To get you started on your search for your next camping multi-tool, we’ve curated 10 of the best models on the market.

Our top picks

Here’s a quick summary of our picks. Read on for more camping multi-tools recommendations.

Best Overall : Leatherman Wave Plus
“A best-selling companion for any camping adventure.”

Value for Money : Leatherman Tread
“A wearable multi-tool with all the functionality of a more traditional model.”

Budget Option : Stanley 12-in-1 Multi-tool
“An affordable solution for campers that don’t need a lot of extra bells and whistles.”

For Everyday Use : Gerber Suspension NXT
“A revamped version of Gerber’s original multi-tool design that’s crafted specifically for with everyday carry.”

Best Lightweight : Swiss+Tech 19-in-1 Multi-tool
“Weighs in at just 3.2oz and can fit on a keychain for any adventure.”

Leatherman Wave Plus Multi-tool

Leatherman Wave Plus Camping Multi-Tools
Photo Credit : Leatherman
  • Tool Count : 18
  • Open / Closed Length : 6.0” / 4.0”
  • Weight : 8.5oz / 241g

The Leatherman Wave Plus is a best-selling companion for any camping adventure. It features 18 tools that are all accessible from the outside and can be opened and closed with just one hand.

At 8.5oz (241g), it’s on the heavier side for a tool this size, but it’s made with durable stainless steel and comes with both a straight edge and a serrated blade.

Additionally, the Leatherman Wave Plus multi-tool comes with a pair of replaceable wire cutters for long-term functionality. It’s also backed by Leatherman’s 25-year guarantee against any damage or defects.

What We Like

  • One-hand operation. All tools can be operated with just one hand.
  • Compact. Slightly heavy, but has a slim shape.
  • Outside access. All tools can be accessed from the outside.

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive. One of the more expensive options available.

Leatherman Tread Wearable Multi-tool

Leatherman Tread Camping Multi-Tools
Photo Credit : Leatherman
  • Tool Count : 29
  • Closed Length : 8.6”
  • Weight : 5.9oz / 168g

Perhaps the most unique design in our review, the Leatherman Tread is a wearable multi-tool with all the functionality of a more traditional model.

The Tread features 29 different tools, such as Allen wrenches, box wrenches, and screwdrivers, each linked together as a stainless steel bracelet. To use any of these tools, you simply need to take off the bracelet, find the tool you want, and get to work.

One of the main benefits of this tool, besides its portability, is that it’s airline-approved. That way, you don’t have to worry about airport security confiscating your Leatherman Tread when you travel.

What We Like

  • Very portable. Designed as a bracelet for maximum convenience.
  • Highly versatile. Includes an impressive 29 different tools.
  • Airline approved. Can be used for air travel around the world.

What We Don't Like

  • No knife. Only includes drill bits and other small tools.
  • Very pricey. One of the most expensive multi-tools around.

Stanley 12-in-1 Multi-tool

Stanley 12-in-1 Camping Multi-Tools
Photo Credit : Stanley
  • Tool Count : 12
  • Open / Closed Length : 6.5” / 4.5”
  • Weight : 6.4oz / 181g

Built for the budget-conscious camper, the Stanley 12-in-1 multi-tool is an affordable solution for campers that don’t need a lot of extra bells and whistles.

This multi-tool has a durable stainless steel construction and includes all of the most essential functions, such as two knives, screwdrivers, wire cutters, and pliers. It all comes neatly packaged with a sleek profile for easy storage in your pocket.

Alternatively, the Stanley 12-in1 multi-tool also comes with a small nylon pouch. This pouch can be attached to the outside of a backpack or to a belt for easier packing on the go.

What We Like

  • Affordable. Budget-friendly functionality for regular adventures.
  • Portable. Includes a nylon carry pouch for protection.
  • Simple. Includes the basics but nothing to weigh you down.

What We Don't Like

  • Non-locking blade. Knife blade does not lock.
  • Inside access only. Needs to be open for tool access.

Gerber Suspension NXT Multi-tool

Gerber Suspension NXT Camping Multi-Tools
Photo Credit : Gerber
  • Tool Count : 15
  • Open / Closed Length : 6.3” / 4.3”
  • Weight : 6.7oz / 190g

The Gerber Suspension NXT is a revamped version of Gerber’s original multi-tool design that’s crafted especially with everyday carry and camping in mind. It has a slim shape that fits easily in a pocket, but can also be carried on a belt, thanks to its pocket clip.

It features one 2.5” plain edge/serrated blade combo, as well as multiple screwdrivers, scissors, and a grand total of 15 tools, including a wire stripper.

Thanks to its open-frame design, the Gerber Suspension NXT multi-tool is also one of the lighter multi-tools with 10+ tools on the market today.

What We Like

  • Lightweight. Among the lightest options with 10+ tools
  • Accessible. All tools are accessible from the outside.
  • Affordable. One of the more budget-friendly full-function tools.

What We Don't Like

  • Knife limitations. Only has one plain/serrated knife blade.

Swiss+Tech 19-in-1 Multi-tool

Swiss+Tech 19-in-1 Camping Multi-Tools
Photo Credit : Swiss+Tech
  • Tool Count : 19
  • Closed Length : 1.9”
  • Weight : 3.2oz / 91g

For campers that need the lightest and most compact gear, the Swiss+Tech 19-in-1 multi-tool is a solid choice. This 19-in1 tool weighs in at just 3.2oz and can fit on a keychain for any adventure.

It includes a number of different wrenches, screwdrivers, rulers, hand drills, pliers, and wire cutters, all in one tiny package.

Plus, the Swiss+Tech 19-in-1 multi-tool has a full stainless steel construction for maximum durability in harsh environments. It’s also airport-friendly, so you can take it on all of your travels without fear of losing it at security.

What We Like

  • Highly affordable. Budget-friendly price for campers.
  • Packable. Keychain-sized for maximum portability.
  • Lifetime warranty. Includes lifetime protection on defects.

What We Don't Like

  • No knife. Does not include a blade.

Victorinox Swiss Army Champ Knife

Victorinox Swiss Army Champ Camping Multi-Tools
Photo Credit : Victorinox
  • Tool Count : 33
  • Closed Length : 3.6”
  • Weight : 6.5oz / 185g

With an impressive 33 functions, the Victorinox Swiss Army Champ Knife has nearly anything you need to solve a problem while camping. Plus, it packs all these functions into a sleek case with the classic Victorinox design for maximum portability in the mountains.

As one of the few Swiss Army knives with both wire cutters and pliers, this multi-tool can do pretty much any of the functions that you might find in a bulkier alternative.

Additionally, the Victorinox Swiss Army Champ Knife comes with two plain edges and one serrated metal saw for quickly chopping up kindling in camp.

What We Like

  • Compact. 33 tools fit into a tiny, portable package.
  • Lifetime guarantee. Backed by Victorinox’s lifetime warranty.
  • Three knives. Includes two plain edges and one saw.

What We Don't Like

  • Not one-handed. Requires two hands to open and operate.

Leatherman Skeletool CX Multi-tool

Leatherman Skeletool CX Camping Multi-Tools
Photo Credit : Leatherman
  • Tool Count : 7
  • Open / Closed Length : 6.0” / 4.0”
  • Weight : 5.0oz / 142g

Made with weight savings in mind, the Leatherman Skeletool CX uses a unique open-frame design to cut its weight down to an astonishing 5oz.

This tool has 7 different functions, including two kinds of pliers, hard-wire cutters, a locking combo knife, and a swappable bit driver with built-in storage, all of which are accessible from the outside.

The Leatherman Skeletool CX multi-tool is designed to be operated with just one hand for convenience. It also has a built-in carabiner for easy storage on a pack or belt loop.

What We Like

  • Super light. Tips the scales at just 5oz.
  • Bit storage. Can store screw bits when not in use.
  • Easy transport. Integrated carabiner provides for easy packing.

What We Don't Like

  • Very expensive. Pricey for a model with only 7 tools.

SOG PowerLitre Multi-tool

SOG PowerLitre Camping Multi-Tools
Photo Credit : SOG
  • Tool Count : 17
  • Open / Closed Length : 5.0” / 3.2”
  • Weight : 4.6oz / 130g

A tiny device that packs a lot of functionality into a compact package, the SOG PowerLitre is a good option for weight-conscious campers. It’s built using durable stainless steel components that are corrosion-resistant for long-term use.

SOG managed to pack 17 useful tools in this multi-tool, including multiple screwdrivers and bit drivers, pliers, wire-cutters, and even a corkscrew for your adult beverages.

Like all SOG multitools, the SOG PowerLitre multi-tool uses the company’s proprietary Compound Leverage system that allows for smooth opening and closing for quicker access to your tools.

What We Like

  • Smooth opening. Compound Leverage system provides quick tool access.
  • Robust. Full stainless steel construction for durability.
  • Lightweight. A compact option for campers at just 4.6oz.

What We Don't Like

  • No saw. Doesn’t have a saw for cutting branches.

Gerber Truss Multi-tool

Gerber Truss Camping Multi-Tools
Photo Credit : Gerber
  • Tool Count : 17
  • Closed Length : 4.4”
  • Weight : 8.4oz / 238g

The Gerber Truss was designed for professional handymen, but it’s uber-functionality makes it a good choice for camping. In particular, it’s constructed from a single piece of steel, which provides it with durability and a compact, slender profile.

Additionally, this tool features an industry-leading 4 blades, including two straight edges, one serrated/combo blade, and one wood saw, which is perfect for all your camping needs.

The Gerber Truss multi-tool also has spring-loaded pliers which helps to reduce hand fatigue and increase comfort with repeated use.

What We Like

  • Slim design. Crafted from a single piece of steel.
  • Spring-loaded. Pliers are spring-loaded for added comfort.
  • Four knives. Multiple blade options for any camping task.

What We Don't Like

  • Inside access. Tools not accessible from the outside.

Victorinox Swiss Army Swisstool Spirit X

Victorinox Swiss Army Spirit X Camping Multi-Tools
Photo Credit : Victorinox
  • Tool Count : 24
  • Open / Closed Length : 6.0” / 4.1”
  • Weight : 7.4oz / 209g

Although it doesn’t have the classic Swiss Army knife shape, the Victorinox Swiss Army Swisstool Spirit X comes built with the same level of quality and precision as other models in the company’s line-up.

It is compact and relatively lightweight, despite its full stainless steel design. This tool contains 24 different functions, including a large straight edge and two different saws.

The Victorinox Swiss Army Swisstool Spirit X’s plain edge is also lockable, which is a unique feature in the multi-tool world. It also comes in a sleek leather pouch to protect it from damage in transport.

What We Like

  • Lockable blade. Plain edge is fully lockable for safety.
  • Fire-starting companion. Has two saws for chopping branches
  • Portable. Includes a leather pouch for transport.

What We Don't Like

  • Not one-handed. Requires two hands for all functions.

Camping Multi-tools Buying Guide

Camping multi-tools are inherently complex pieces of gear because they have so many functions. Up next, we’ll help you decipher the world of multi-tools so you can find the right one for your needs.

Here are 4 of the most important things to keep in mind as you shop.

Number of functions

When it comes to multi-tools, it’s easy to think that more functions are better than fewer functions. However, there comes a point where more functions make a multi-tool so heavy and unwieldy that it’s not really convenient to carry around.

At the end of the day, if your multi-tool is so big that you never carry it, it’s not serving any useful purpose.

So, choosing a camping multi-tool is all about finding a balance between the number of functions, weight, and value. 

Somewhere between 5 to 20 functions is ideal for most campers, though it’s about quality, more than quantity.

Here are some of the most useful functions to have on a multi-tool for camping :

  • Knife (plain edge and serrated)
  • Saw
  • Pliers
  • Assorted screwdrivers and bits

That might seem like a pretty short list of essential tools. The fact of the matter is that you don’t necessarily need to carry a whole toolbox into the woods unless you have gear that requires specific tools to repair.

In many situations, these tools are more than sufficient for backcountry travelers. Having additional features is certainly handy, but it’s best not to let a desire for more tools (which might not be very useful outside) weigh down your pack while camping.

Thankfully, there are plenty of great tools, like both the Victorinox Swiss Army Swisstool Spirit X and the Gerber Suspension NXT that combine lots of functions with a light weight for maximum versatility.

Construction quality

The vast majority of multi-tools, such as the Leatherman Wave Plus and the SOG PowerLitre, feature a stainless steel construction, and for good reason.

Stainless steel is strong enough to withstand the rigors of a rugged environment.

While stainless steel is generally quite a heavy material, models like the Leatherman Skeletool CX and the Swiss+Tech 19-in-1 have compact designs that allow for great weight savings.

Alternatively, Victorinox is known for using durable plastic polymers on their tools, such as the Victorinox Swiss Army Champ Knife, which helps to save weight without sacrificing functionality

Multi-tool design

For the most part, multi-tools feature a butterfly design, where all of the tools are enclosed in two casings that also serve as the arms of a set of collapsible pliers.

This design allows the tool to be both portable and functional at the same time.

However, there are other design concepts to keep in mind as you shop, some functions, like a lockable knife, are useful safety features, especially for younger campers.

Alternatively, a few models, such as the Gerber Truss, also have spring-loaded pliers, which reduces fatigue and improves hand comfort.

Size

Most multi-tools fall within the range of 3oz to 10oz (85g to 284g), with anything under 7oz (198.4g) considered to be fairly lightweight, such as the Stanley 12-in-1 multi-tool.

Size-wise, most tools will be between 3” to 4” (7.6 to 10.2cm) while closed since they need to be small enough to fit in a pocket. 

Some companies, such as Leatherman, took the concept of portability to a new level by creating wearable multi-tools, like the Tread, which cuts down both on weight and bulk in your pack.

Gaby Pilson

Gaby is a professional mountain guide with a master’s degree in outdoor education. She works primarily in the polar regions as an expedition guide, though she can be found hiking, climbing, skiing, sailing, or paddling in some of the world’s most amazing places when not at work.