A decent multi-tool will look after you for years. But if you’re not careful, you can end up buying rubbishy equipment that’s a total waste of time and money. To be honest, many so-called multi-tools are more of a gimmick than a useful piece of equipment.
If you want to avoid throwing away your money on equipment that will only decorate your pocket, I hope this article helps you out.
I sifted through hundreds of junky multitools to find the best 12 options for camping in 2021. Whether you’re on a budget or ready to invest in a lifelong piece of kit, there should be something for you!
Without further ado, here’s my review of the best multi-tools for camping!
In a Hurry? Here Are My Top 3 Picks
12 Best Camping Multi-Tools Review
One of the following top three choices should meet most people’s needs. But if you still don’t find what you’re searching for, keep scrolling for more inspiration.
RoverTac 12 In 1 Multitool
The RoverTac 12 In 1 Multitool offers an outstanding balance between price and quality. It might not be the best choice for serious bushcraft, but it’ll be sturdy enough for most campers' needs.
Tools include a screwdriver, a knife, a bottle opener, a can opener, wire cutters, and pliers. It’s made from rust-proof stainless steel and comes with a pouch so that you can wear all your tools on your belt.
The RoverTac is a convenient piece of kit that you’ll find yourself using a lot. But don’t abuse it. A few users were disappointed that it deteriorated pretty quickly, but one admitted to using it as a hammer.
I’ll point out that a hammer is not one of the included tools, so it’s not a good idea to start whacking it against the floor or walls.
Overall, this is a handy tool for all kinds of little tasks. But you need to respect the quality you are paying for and not overestimate what you can do with it. (You wouldn’t try to put out a house fire with a watering can!)
Victorinox Swiss Army Classic
When it comes to multitools, I’m a firm believer that less is more. As someone who packs light, I would choose the Victorinox Swiss Army Classic.
It has a good quality knife, a pair of scissors, tweezers, a screwdriver, and a nail file. (Ok, it also has a reusable toothpick, but I’ve never met anyone who actually uses that!)
For me, this is more than enough. I’d be able to use it for any splinters or nail mishaps on the trail. It’s super important to look after your toenails on a long hike, or you can end up with nasty blisters. The knife is well made, and the whole thing is compact and lightweight.
I don’t think I’d use half the tools on a more complex multi-tool, but I appreciate that this has a screwdriver just in case any of my kit needs tightening up on the trail.
Swiss army knives have an excellent reputation in the outdoors world, and my dad always had a few around the house when I was growing up. For nostalgic and practical reasons, this would be my choice!
LEATHERMAN Multitool & Pocket Knife
I struggled to decide which multitool should be my top recommendation. After far too much time spent reading product specifications and analyzing countless online reviews, I decided that the Leatherman Multitool and Pocket Knife came out on top.
This multitool has a good knife, bottle opener, spring scissors, and file, as well as a few different-sized screwdrivers. The tools are solid and lock into place thanks to built-in magnets.
This multi-tool doesn’t have tons of features like pliers and wire cutters, but most people will not need all that extra weight for a camping trip.
What you do have are a few reliable and better quality tools instead of loads of shoddy ones. The parts are easy to open with a press of your thumb, so you won’t be snapping fingernails like you would with some less ergonomic models.
Overall, this is a decent-quality bit of kit with the right balance between functionality, portability, and price.
It looks fantastic and comes highly reviewed. The only drawback is that a few parts are made of polymer plastic, which detracts from the overall aesthetic and quality feel. The plastic parts do make the tool lighter, though, so it’s not a complete disaster.
LEATHERMAN Titanium Multitool
If you want something with a bit more functionality, you might prefer the Leatherman Titanium Multitool. It comes with all the standard tools, like a knife and screwdrivers, as well as high-quality wire cutters and pliers.
User reviews are generally very positive, and you’ll be equipped for pretty much anything. The tool looks great and folds down nice and compact, with locking parts and a quick-release lanyard ring, so it’s always at hand.
This Leatherman model is pretty pricey compared to some of the other tools I’ve recommended, but you do get what you pay for in terms of quality and durability.
My only reservation is that I’m not sure I can 100% trust that it’s made of titanium as it claims. This is because of the weight, which seems too light to be genuine titanium to me. I might be wrong, but my doubt did stop me from putting this as my top recommendation.
Otherwise, it’s a nice piece of kit that I would highly recommend if it’s in your budget.
Xinja Wallet Multi-Tool
The Xinja Wallet Multi-Tool is a really interesting piece of kit. I’ve never used anything like it, so I can’t vouch for how it will perform in the flesh. But the idea intrigues me, so I thought I’d share it with you all the same.
The Xinja slips into your wallet like a regular credit card, but it has 50 built-in tools. From a bottle opener to a wire cutter to screwdrivers and wrenches, it’s incredible what they have managed to fit into this tiny card. I was a bit dubious about the quality, but the user reviews are positive.
It’s made from stainless steel and weighs only 27 grams. Sure, you won’t be doing any construction projects with this thing but you also won’t even notice it in your camping pack, and it could come in handy in a tight spot.
Just so you know, many knock-offs are going around now, but this seems to be the original design. The reviews for the cheaper versions are a lot less positive, so make sure to go for this one. It certainly won’t break the bank!
RoverTac Folding Multi-Tool Knife
The credit card multi-tool was cool, but it won’t be the most robust choice. If you want something for bigger jobs, I’d go with the RoverTac Folding Multi-Tool Knife. Amongst other things, it comes with a sharp knife, pliers, a bottle opener, a can opener, and wire cutters.
I love that this multitool has nine different screwdriver heads that you can switch in and out. It’s all very well and good to have one screwdriver on your multi-tool, but that won’t be the right size for every situation. The extra heads aren’t heavy, and they don’t take up much space, so it makes sense to bring them along.
You can get this multi-tool in a few different colors. I’d personally go for bright yellow because I’m constantly losing things. It’s harder to misplace something that doesn’t blend in with the scenery!
The user reviews are massively positive for this tool, and the safety lock and belt pouch will keep everything secure when you’re on the go. At 0.49 pounds, it won’t weigh you down, either!
Victorinox Huntsman Lite Swiss Army Knife
You already know how much I like Swiss Army knives! This version comes with more tools than my top choice, including a neat little LED flashlight.
It also has serrated and non-serrated knives, a bottle opener, and a couple of screwdrivers that could be helpful on a camping trip.
I can’t figure out why they included a hook, though. I’m not talking about a fishing hook, but a much thicker metal hook that doesn’t detach from the knife. This is seriously bugging me, so if you know what it’s for, please leave a comment and let me know!
The Huntsman isn’t the cheapest of options, but user reviews are really positive. People love the quality, portability, and durability of this penknife. It weighs only 80 grams, which is astounding considering the strength and variety of tools.
The only drawback is that some people find opening the tools to be a bit tricky. I don’t have a problem with this, but you might struggle to get the knives out if you bite your nails down to stumps.
Albatross 6-in-1 Survival Knife
The Albatross 6-in-1 Survival Knife has a sharp blade, rope cutter, fire starter, glass breaker, and flashlight built-in. It also has a bottle opener, but that’s probably not an essential feature of a survival knife!
You can use the rope cutter to cut a seat belt, so some people choose to keep this in the glove compartments of their cars.
This tool would be just as useful on a camping trip, though, and I love the built-in pocket clip. This feature allows you to pop the knife in your pants without having to worry about losing it on the trails. It’ll be much easier to grab than if you zipped it up in your pack.
This knife is slightly shorter than a $20 bill and weighs around 155 grams. It’s not the most compact of choices, but it’s a good option if you’re on a tight budget. It is an inexpensive and reasonable-quality knife, but it won’t last you for decades.
Most users like this tool, but a few people complained that the flashlight arrived broken. It looks like they didn’t realize that you have to remove the small plastic film inside the battery compartment for it to work.
If Albatross didn’t include this, the battery would start running down on its way to you. So long as you remove this, you shouldn’t have a problem.
Victorinox Swiss Army Swisstool CS Plus
This premium Swiss Army knife is a real investment. Honestly, I think it’s worth the extra money because this multi-tool is like having an entire toolbox in a little belt pouch.
You have a good pair of pliers, multiple screwdrivers, sharp knife blades, a bottle and can opener, wrenches, and several tools for dealing with wires. The tool is made from stainless steel, but it comes in a high-quality leather pouch that you can slide onto your belt or keep in your pack.
It may have 37 functions, but it weighs only 210 grams. Sure, it’s not the best choice for ultralight backpacking but it’ll have your back in many situations.
I’d use it for car camping, cycle packing, and long-term backpacking. Users say that it stays in excellent condition for years, and they love the craftsmanship that went into this.
The only drawback is the size, which isn’t suitable for all campers. But at 6 x 6 x 4 inches, it’s not humongous, either.
FANTASTICAR 15 in 1 Multi-Tool
The Fantasticar 15 in 1 Multi-Tool is much more affordable than the top-end Swiss Army model that I just mentioned. It won’t last as long or do such heavy jobs, but it’s still helpful to have on a camping trip for lighter use.
I recommend that you sharpen the blade when it arrives. Otherwise, this is pretty sturdy considering the price. It comes with small scissors, a couple of screwdrivers, and tools to open your cans and bottles.
The serrated knives are useful for cutting things like bread, but don’t try to prepare firewood with them!
This tool comes with a hook so that you can pop it straight onto a belt loop and have it close at hand. For the price, you can’t ask for much more.
WORKPRO 15-in-1 Multitool
This Workpro looks quite similar to the top-end Swiss Army multitool that I recommended earlier. It’s a fraction of the price, and the quality does suffer somewhat for that.
The main drawback is that the pliers aren’t very strong, so don’t buy this if pliers are a priority.
If you’ll be using the pliers only occasionally, the quality of the other tools makes this device worth considering.
You have 15 tools, including blades, a bottle opener, a screwdriver, a nail file, scissors, and a wire cutter. But you have only one screwdriver head, so that limits the overall functionality of this multitool.
Most of the tools lock for safety, and the knife is of a reasonable quality once you sharpen the blade. I would personally save up a bit more money to buy a much better version of this multi-tool from a higher-end brand.
But if you don’t have the budget for that, this is not a bad shout. (Just don’t say that I didn’t warn you about the pliers!)
Swiss+Tech Multitool Knife
If you’re looking for something simpler, you may want to check out the Swiss + Tech Multitool Knife. It doesn’t have tons of functions, but you’ll probably find that you don’t need 30 tools on your camping trip.
This multitool does have a good, sharp blade, a bottler opener, a glass breaker, a file, and a couple of screwdrivers. There’s also a built-in wire stripper, but you probably won’t be doing any wiring on your next camping trip!
The handle is comfortable to grip, and the overall aesthetics of this tool are great. It’s a good value for money, and users like it a lot. It doesn’t have any scissors, which I find pretty useful on a multitool.
But if you want a straightforward bit of kit to cover your basic needs, this is a perfectly reasonable choice.
Camping Multi-Tools Buying Guide
Whether you’re a camping minimalist or a gadget lover, I’m pretty confident that you’ll have already found the perfect multitool in this article.
But if you’re looking for more pointers to help you make the right choice, this buying guide will help you out.
Less Is More
The more tools that are packed into a multitool, the lower the quality of those tools is likely to be. So it might seem like a better value to go for a 50-in-1 multitool, but the 5-in-1 penknife at the same price will be better quality for what you pay.
Besides, why would you want to carry 50 tools you’re never going to use?
Rather than getting dazzled by a hundred different screwdriver heads, stop and think about which device will be the best for your needs.
Personally, I’d want to go for a stainless steel multi-tool because I think it offers the best balance between weight and quality.
You could also consider titanium, but watch out! Many aluminum tools with a titanium coating get labeled as titanium, so you end up paying more for something you aren't actually getting.
You can usually work out whether a tool is genuine titanium by checking out the user reviews. You can also protect yourself from scams by sticking to reputable brands.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with a multi-tool that has some polymer parts. This will help keep the weight down, but plastic is also less robust than metal. It’s up to you as to whether you want to prioritize portability or durability.
If you’re car camping, you can afford to bring a bigger and heavier multi-tool. But if you’re backpacking, you want to keep your pack at less than 20% of your body weight.
I would take a simple pen knife with a few extra tools for a thru-hike, though a bulkier set of tools would be great for some situations.
I’d advise bike packers to bring a better-equipped multitool to help with any tire changes or quick fixes on your bike.
Honestly, it is so easy to overpack, and you probably will on your first camping trips! But you’ll soon work out what you need and what you can safely leave at home.
If you buy a cheap multi-tool, it probably won’t last for years. But there are certainly some things you can do to extend the life of your kit. Regularly sharpen knives with a whetstone and wipe your tools dry if they get damp.
Keep your knife clean so that grime doesn’t build up in the joints, and be realistic about what you can use it for. If you try to cut wood with a serrated bread knife, your equipment will not last for long.
Check out the local laws on carrying knives. You might find that you can go camping only with a knife that doesn’t lock, or there might be restrictions on the size of the blade that you can take with you.
The rules vary massively from place to place, so I’ll leave that research to you.
A multi-tool is a fantastic piece of kit to bring along on a camping trip. Backpackers don’t need much more than a couple of blades, a bottle opener, and perhaps a couple of screwdrivers.
But if you’re bike packing or car camping, it’s worth bringing something better equipped, with more wrenches and screwdrivers in case you need to fix your bicycle or cooking system.
Personally, I’d go for the Victorinox Swiss Army Classic because I prefer to keep things minimal, and I have a soft spot for Swiss Army knives.
But the best overall choice would be the LEATHERMAN Multitool and Pocket Knife if you can afford it.
I hope you found this article on the best multi-tools for camping helpful, and I wish you many happy camping adventures!
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Rachel is a freelance adventure writer and founder of Highly Sensitive Nomad. When she isn’t writing, she can be found wild camping in the mountains and swimming in the lakes of Europe.