If you hike, backpack or camp regularly, odds are you may have found yourself in a situation where you or someone else in your party was missing the right tool for the job – cooking, cleaning, building or any of the other tasks that may be required when you spend time in the outdoors. Fortunately, with many great multi-tools available on the market, you can easily pack the gear you need without adding much bulk or weight. Here are eight of the best outdoor lifestyle multi-tools for your consideration.
1. Leatherman Charge TTI
This tool made it to the top of the list because of its high-quality materials, its multitude of useful tools and the elegant, ergonomic design. The blades are made of lightweight titanium, which helps cut down weight to 8.89 ounces. Its closed length is 4 inches. The 30sv blade is extraordinarily sharp, and the pliers need very little flexing to get the job done. For more reviews of the Leatherman Charge TTI, click here and here.
2. Leatherman Wave+
This tool is an upgrade of the normal Leatherman Wave, with a more modern design, but keeping the fundamental features that made it so loved. This multi tool has pliers, an electrical crimper and also knife blades and wire cutters. The difference between this tool and the previous wave original is the fact that the wire cutter blades are removable. While using it, we found out that it allowed for excellent craftsmanship and the tools were easy to use. A minus for us was the fact that the sheath came in nylon and the tools required both hands to open. In case you are looking for something a little less expensive, this one of the multi tools offers great value for money. This website describes the Wave as a “must-have for any camping trip.” The Wave also made Truck Camping Magazine’s list of 32 essential pocket tools. Oh, and don’t forget the secret compartment.
3. Leatherman Wingman
With an overall length spanning 3.8 inches and a weight of not more than 7.0 ounces, the wingman is a complete multi tool. You can even get a pliers that are spring loaded. These pliers have proven to be of extraordinary value, with fine teeth and nicely lined jaws. They have proven to be efficient in bolt manipulation, staple pulling and wire cutting. Among the tool’s functions that can be particularly useful on camping or backpacking trips: serrated knife, can opener and scissors. The drawbacks: the hybrid blade will require regular sharpening, for which I usually turn to a professional. Also some backpackers might find the tool a little bulky for long trips. For another review of the Wingman, click here.
4. Stanley 12 in 1
This tool functions remarkably for its price. The Stanley can hold its own when it comes to casual applications. Its rounded, ergonomically designed handles help prevent pinching when opening and using the pliers. The versatility and low price make it a good choice for casual campers and day hikers, especially for those worried about damaging or losing a more expensive tool. For a video review of the 12 in 1, click here.
5. Leatherman Crunch
If you are looking for pliers, look no further: this is the one for you. However, you will have to give up some the functionalities of other tools, such as easy blade access. It has a remarkably small size and when gripped. Its blades are not too stiff, neither are they too loose. The handles can be manipulated very easily, as well as the jaws. This tool can performs a whopping fifteen functions including regular and Philips head screw drivers, an 8-inch ruler, wire cutters and a hex bit driver. Like the Wave, this tool made the Truck Camper list. For review of the Crunch, click here and here.
6. SOG Baton Q4
Primarily used as a screwdriver, the Q4 also has pliers and a few other functions. Its small size (5.8 inches) is a selling point as well. KnifeCenter praises the Q4 as “adaptable to suit your custom needs in the moment…armed with next-level necessities for urban and wilderness adventures.” For another review of the Baton Q4, click here.
7. Gerber Dime
The Dime is only 2.75 inches long and can fit on a key chain. It is considered very travel friendly. With this portability comes the compromise of less durability, but the Dime and its ten functions (hence the name) can still be a handy companion on a hike. The tweezers are one of the tools that can potentially be helpful in the outdoors. For a review of the Gerber Dime, click here.
8. Leatherman – Squirt PS4 Multitool
Like the Dime, the Squirt is small and can be fit on a key chain. Its base is a strong set of spring pliers which also has a pair of scissors and a file, screwdrivers, knife blade, flathead driver and wire cutter. These other tools are nicely tucked away and can be removed quite easily. The tips of the pliers are so fine that using them as tweezers is not far fetched. For reviews of the Squirt PS4, click here and here.
So, what do you think of these tools? Which one would you use? Do you agree with this review, do well to post your thoughts below.
Author’s bio: Thomas Glare tried all the presented multi tools and much more both in everyday situations and specific jobs to be able to tell which work the best and in what situation. An enthusiastic multi tool user himself, he really knows what he wants from his tools.