Best Multitool for Backpacking or Camping – Updated for 2020

| Last Updated: January 14, 2022

Great. The lighter fluid is out in the lantern, and it can't be opened without a screwdriver. Oh, and we need a knife to pry the lid off. A multi-tool would come in REALLY handy right about now....

Comparison of the Best Multitool for Backpacking or Camping




Leatherman Wingman

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Best Overall

Leatherman Wave

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Gerber MP600

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Best for the Money

Leatherman Surge Multi-Tool

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Looking for the Best Multi-tool for Survival or Bushcraft?

In this article we're going to go over the best multipurpose tools that can massively benefit you on your backpacking journeys.

Very rarely will you be able to bring your trusty pocket knife on every trip and have all the tools you need. Which is why we recommend investing in your first multipurpose tool to ensure that in whatever situation you find yourself, you're prepared in the best way possible!

Leatherman Surge Multi-Tool has 21 tools that you can use for different purposes.

What Makes a Great Multi-tool?

A great multitool doesn't place too much importance on one tool, rather it is mediocre at best at a lot of useful tools. So don't expect to have the best pocket knife in the world with the best pair of pliers attached. Not gonna happen. 

But we can help you realize which multi tools might be better for you than others. We're going to go over questions like how will you carry it, what are YOUR specific needs for the multi tool, do you really need a multi tool or a specific tool, and how to avoid the phonies.

How Will You Carry it?

Are you wanting something that will fit in your pocket, or something that can attach to your belt, or maybe something that you just keep in your backpack?

What Are Your Specific Needs?

Are you needing this for a survival situation only, or do you want something that can be used to fix your glasses as well, and what about servicing machinery or guns? Once you nail down what you're looking to use the tool for it makes finding the right one much easier. 

If you're looking for a more specialized tool for certain situations like fixing a bike, you'll want to go with a tool that has less options than others, but those options are specifically unique to what you're doing.

Multi-tool or Unique Tools?

While it's great to have multiple options for tools in one package, you need to know if it's a smart decision to have those tools you need attached to one piece of metal. While the tools in a multi tool are usable, they're miniature versions of the actual tool you might need.

So don't attempt to rely on a multi tool for your sole survival in all situations. We've all seen the knife blades that come on these things after all. So if you need something more substantial don't rely on the multi tool alone.

Leatherman Wave 

Quick Take: 
Our Top 3 Choices

In a hurry? Here's a snapshot of what's below:

Review of the Best Multi-tool for Backpacking or Camping

Here are the best options of the year:

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If you're on a budget and looking for the best of the best then you're going to want to go with the Leatherman Wingman. This multipurpose tool is perfect for a newcomer to backpacking, and will provide more than enough resources to get the job done in most situations.

The specs on this tool are as follows: All Locking Outside Blades.Stainless Steel Handles.Size: 3.8 in | 9.7 cm (Closed).Blade Length: .6 in | 6.6 cm.Weight: 7 oz | 198.4 g.

The stainless steel design gives it the weight in your hands that you would expect from a sturdy tool, and you'll love the ease with which the tools fold out and slide back into place. This multi-tool has all the basics from small scissors, file, can opener, both a phillips head and flat head screw driver (perfect if you need to work on a bike or simple equipment) and of course a 3" blade with pliers.

This multi-tool offers great versatility in a compact and sturdy frame!

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If you're wanting to graduate from the basic wingman you can upgrade to the slightly larger Leatherman Wave multi-tool. This bad boy has quite a few more gadgets that come installed, this is not a tool for a beginner, but someone who knows what they're going to need for a specific situation.

This is not a boy scouts multi-tool in the least! The specs are as follows: Weight: 85 ounces Length (closed): 4 inches Material: stainless steel (Black Oxide finish optional)

With tools that cover personal grooming with the smaller scissors, all the way up to the jigsaw blade that could be used to saw down a small tree, this among the best multi-tools for backpacking around!

With a 25 year warranty as well, the company is putting their money where their mouth is by saying that you'll need to give great effort to render this thing close to useless!

Best for the Money:
Gerber MP600 

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This tool rivals the wave in very close ways, but one advantage it has over the wave is the size and compact design. Where as the Leatherman Wave weighs a grand 85 ounces, the Gerber MP600 is a mere 9 ounces thanks to it's sleek design and compact stainless steel material. And this multitool still boasts an impressive 14 locking components that could be useful on your backpacking adventures.

The Gerber MP600 isn't a multipurpose shovel, in fact that's the only tool that seems to have been left off this piece of equipment, but it has everything in between! There are multiple reasons why the much-applauded needlenose multi-plier belongs on your belt, but the most important ones are its profound versatility, high performance, rock-solid design, and construction that also pleases the eye.

It's constructed of high-quality stainless steel with a black oxide coating to prevent corrosion and it includes Gerber's patented one-handed opening pliers. The needlenose multi-plier 600 is backed by a limited lifetime warranty, and it offers 14 fully locking components.

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And now the moment you've been waiting for, the unveiling of the best of the best when it comes to multitools for backpacking, the Leatherman Surge Multi-tool! Now this is what every man dreams of when considering a multi-tool for themselves. It boasts a weighty 1 whole pound of weight, by far one of the heaviest multi-tools you'll find on the market! But that weight speaks for over 21 double sided utensils in this piece!

When you're wanting the best of the best this is the tool that you should consider above all else! If you're building a cabinet or a small house this multi-tool will get the job done with ease. Not to mention it comes with all the essentials to repair a minor problem on a bike, and some not so minor ones. We love this tool for the fact that for having so many uses it is still less than four inches tall and that is amazing!

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2 thoughts on “Best Multitool for Backpacking or Camping – Updated for 2020”

    • Absolutely, thank you for your comment Scott

      I checked out your site and you have a great deal of useful information! Please keep in touch.


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