Best Leatherman for Camping: Experience-Based Reviews
As an avid fan of hiking, I’ve been into this awesome activity since childhood. Therefore, now I can share my experience with you to let you get ready for your upcoming trips better. In this article, I share 7 reviews of my favorite leatherman for hiking and camping. Are you still wondering whether you really need one? Of course!
A multitool for hiking is a universal instrument that can help you to solve a variety of problems in the wild. An average multi-tool provides you with a knife, scissors, a corkscrew, wire cutters, a can opener, pliers, tweezers, and more. To pick up the right model for your trip, you have to compare your needs with the tools offered by each model. I include a detailed description of the purposes for each leatherman so that you can make a deliberate choice faster.
1.Gerber 30-000469 Dime Mini Multi-Tool – Compact Multitool for Backpacking
The Gerber multi-tool by Dime is a basic instrument that offers 10 essential tools that can help you deal with a variety of tasks during your camping or backpacking trip. I usually take it along if I need a lightweight item, and I’m sure that I won’t need to complete any tasks that require particular instruments. Let’s take a look at each of them one by one.
The most useful tools for backpacking and camping that you can find in this model are a fine edge blade, standard pliers, and a bottle opener. The material of the blade is firm enough to let you open cans, cut small springs, meat, vegetables, and other foods. You can also use it to pick mushrooms. Standard pliers are another universal thing that you can utilize while installing/uninstalling your tent and for rough fixing of your gear.
Other items include mini scissors, flat and cross drivers, a wire cutter, a coarse and fine file, a retail package opener, needle nose pliers, and a tweezer. Initially, these tools weren’t designed for classic camping tasks. However, you can easily come up with a variety of applications for them. For example, a retail package opener is a convenient tiny knife for opening many types of food packages, and a wire cutter can help you to cut ivies and other plants that may potentially block your way.
All the items included in Gerber are made of light stainless steel and fused with relatively large bolts that don’t let the construction to become loose. Even if it does, which is not likely to happen, you can easily fix it with a cross driver.
What I don’t like about this model is the absence of a specialized can opener and a mini saw for cutting thicker springs. I also lack a spork to leave a bigger one at home. On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine such a small multi-tool without disadvantages. I recommend Gerber multitool for camping and backpacking fans who don’t want to reduce their trip gear as much as possible. You can also clip it to your keychain after the weekend and achieve plenty of benefits in your everyday life.
- Compact size;
- Sturdy & durable construction;
- Includes 10 tools;
- Easy to clip to your belt or backpack.
- No mini saw and can opener;
- Only basic tools included.
2. Titanium 18-in-1 Multi-Purpose Pocket Knife – Universal Leatherman for Hiking & Camping
Titanium Pocket Knife by Bibury is a real monster that’s suitable for all kinds of safe and extreme trips. It’s made of 420 stainless steel that’s highly resistant to corrosion and distortions. The compact 4-inch butterfly hold provides a convenient grip to let you complete time-taking operations avoiding blisters. It’s also quite ponderous (11.4 ounces), which is a positive feature in case you need to use the knife frequently. If you need a small keychain multitool, you’d better consider the previous item.
This product includes 18 handy instruments that will be extremely useful during any trip. A long 3-inch knife is an excellent substitute for your pocket knife as it’s made of sharp durable steel. It can easily cut thick ropes, sticks, cans, and plenty of other things. Unlike the previous item, you don’t have to use this blade for opening cans as this leatherman includes a combined opener for cans and bottles, which also works as a portable multi-diameter wrench.
A hook-shaped rope cutter is a must-have tool for hiking as it lets you cut tangled ropes in a single move instead of dealing with them using a simple knife. It is also totally safe to climb with this tool open.
When the leatherman is folded, it’s still useful due to a safety hammer on the lower end. Although it’s intended for breaking car windows, I usually use it for cracking nuts and tenderize tough meat. Another nice bonus is a hidden slot with 2 double-sided drivers. You can take the one you need and magnet it into the small slot on the lower end. It’s easy to switch between them, but they’re not useful if screws are hidden deeper than one inch.
I love this leatherman for backpacking & hiking due to its surprising versatility and ultimately convenient grip that’s suitable for both rough and fine works. This item’s not a lightweight solution, but it’s obviously a comprehensive one.
- 18 high-quality tools;
- Convenient 4-inch grip;
- Made of stainless 420 steel;
- Set of professional instruments;
- 10-year after-sale service.
- It’s relatively heavy.
3. RoverTac Pocket Knife – Powerful Multitool for Camping
RoverTac Pocket Knife is an impressively convenient and compact switchblade that includes 8 extra tools that can be used simultaneously. All of them are hidden within a single slim grip, which makes it easy to switch between tools even in one-handed mode. The knife blade is rather long and easy to use due to the anti-skid texture of the handle. You can also release the blade with a thumb and be sure that it’s ready for use due to the automatic safety lock. Another positive peculiarity of this blade is that it’s combined with the emergency saw.
The next advantage is the 3-in-1 pliers. It includes a sharp wire cutter, standard pliers, and needle-nose pliers. I like that I can open them all together and choose which one to use without switching between tools. At the bottom of the handle, you can find a standard bottle and can openers, and a universal 9-in-1 screwdriver. You can use it without nozzles to wrap up flat and cross screws quickly. For better grip, use the magnetic driver adaptor and pick one of 9 nozzles. The set includes 3 types of cross drivers, 3 flat drivers, and 3 most common Torx drivers. If such a wide range of drivers seems not enough, you can use the slotted screwdriver to access deepened screws.
RoverTac provides the multitool along with a lightweight nylon pouch that you can clip to your belt for fast access. It also offers additional corrosion protection and some extra offloading. I’d recommend this leatherman to those campers and hikers who need a knife-centered solution. You will also enjoy it if you like constructing something in the countryside. Looking for an adventurous present? This item comes in a gift box at no extra price.
- Convenient heavy-duty blade combined with an emergency saw;
- Comes with a nylon belt pouch and a gift box;
- 9-in-1 magnetic screwdriver set;
- 3-in-1 pliers;
- Available in 3 colors.
- Colored models are more expensive than the standard one.
4. RoverTac Multitool Camping Tool – Superior Multitool for Backpacking & Survival
This 14-in-1 multitool is significantly bigger and heavier than all other multitools on the list, but it’s also much more convenient for performing such tasks as sawing, fish cleansing, wood chopping, hammering, and many more. Using the compact ax, you can easily chop wood and branches for the campfire and traps. This leatherman weights 15 oz, which is heavy enough for real lengthy work in the countryside. Of course, it’s quite difficult to hack a log with a small ax blade, but you can use a rock or an extra hammer to hit the tool and help it cut wood without chances to break the construction.
The hammer side doesn’t have any flaws and provides spotless experience in the majority of cases. I usually use it while setting up a tent as it speeds up the process significantly. Other tools on the heavy side include standard plier, flat jaw pliers, and a powerful wire cutter. It’s easy to use each of these tools due to a prolonged plier handle with a bouncy spring. Unfortunately, there’s no space for needle-nose pliers.
Coming down to the handle, you can see a 3,5-inch knife. It’s good enough for all average tasks. However, it’s not as convenient as other knives on the list because of the heavy counterbalance on the ax-hammer side. However, if you don’t mind a little muscle training while cutting something, it’s not a big problem. On the other hand, some extra weight makes it easier to use the wood saw. If you like fishing, you will also appreciate a heavy-grip fish descaler. It’s long enough to clean big fishes really quickly.
Finally, you can benefit from a universal Philips screwdriver and an assorted hex wrench. These tools are very helpful when you go on long bicycle trips in the wild as they’re compatible with the vast majority of screws and bolts. Still, don’t forget to take a set of Torx drivers as they’re not included. RoverTac Multitool isn’t the most compact item, but it’s definitely the best choice for the majority of camping tasks that require heavy equipment as it lets you ditch your heavy camping ax and hammer.
- Full-size hammer and compact ax;
- Special safe case with a belt clip;
- 14 heavy-duty tools for a low price;
- Anti-corrosion covering.
- It’s quite heavy;
- Only thick pliers are included.
5. LEATHERMAN – Wave Plus Multitool – Extra Tools for Extra Work
Wave Plus Multitool is an upgraded version of the popular Wave leatherman for hiking. It includes 18 heavy-duty tools, such as longer knives, strengthened pliers, and security locks for each blade. I compared this item with the older Wave leatherman, and I can’t say that the classic version is significantly worse. If you’re planning to buy your first multitool by this brand, I recommend you to give preference to the newer model as it’s more sturdy and flexible due to replaceable wire cutters. You should also replace the old Wave version if your 25-year warranty is about to expire.
The central tools of this product are the combined pliers with a wire cutter. On the other end, you can access 4 universal blades, including a standard straight knife, thin wire stripper, wood saw, and a serrated knife. Such a combination makes Wave Plus one of the best cutting tools on my list and definitely the most compact 4-blade solution. The rest of the tools include small spring-action scissors, Philips screwdriver, a bottle/can opener, and a micro driver for fixing items that have small screws. You can use it to fix your glasses, flashlight, radio, some heavy-duty smartphones, and other electronics. Unfortunately, there are no Torx drivers, so you’ll have to take an extra Torx set along if you know that you may need it.
This leatherman model is very useful for hiking as it lets you fix your equipment and cut ropes quickly in case of an emergency. It’s also an excellent multitool for camping that lets you cut food, wood, and other soft or hard materials. I recommend Wave Plus to avid campers and hikers who use all their instruments proactively and need to be sure that their multitool is ready for severe challenges. If you are looking for a high-quality solution, but you aren’t planning to use it intensively, give a try to cheaper tools from this list.
- 25-year warranty;
- Ultra compact size;
- 18 heavy-duty tools;
- Easy one-hand operation;
- Premium stainless steel.
- Too expensive for rare seasonal trips.
- No Torx drivers.
6. LEATHERMAN – Surge Heavy Duty Multitool – a Unique Replaceable Tools System
Surge Heavy Duty Multitool is an older brother of the previous item. It has a 3-inch longer holding than Wave Plus and a wider range of capabilities. For example, the wire cutter of this model lets you deal with regular, hard, and even stranded wires. The inner part of the cutter can also work as an electrical crimper. The pliers of this model are likewise the longest ones amongst the entire line of leatherman for camping.
The longer serrated knife works similar to the short version, while the new saw presents a patented blade exchanger that’s compatible with average t-shank blades, which you can buy in your local hardware store or order online. An extra blade for the slot comes inside the box too. Popular Bosch Jig Saw blades and their analogs can fit as well.
The huge benefit of this system is that you don’t have to sharpen the saw blade or look for a master who can do it for you. Just replace the blade when it gets blunt, and you are ready to go. Another exciting instrument is the awl that can cut smooth holes within the wood, plastic, and other hard materials. You have to rotate it to drill into things, applying minimal effort.
The item comes in a sleek leather case that you can attach to your belt. Unlike RoverTac’s and Bibury cases, this one has a metal clasp instead of a Velcro, which makes it much harder to close the case quickly. On the other hand, such a solution is much more durable and resistant to the changing weather conditions. However, my friend ordered the same item several months later, and he received a fiber case with a Velcro, so it seems to be a matter of luck too.
All in all, Surge Heavy Duty Multitool by Leatherman is a top-notch product that combines versatility and premium quality. I recommend it to camping and hiking pros who know what they need exactly. It’s an expensive piece of gear, so you should choose it only if you are going to use the tools frequently enough to justify the ultimate durability and the innovative blade exchanger.
- 21 tools in an ultra compact handle;
- Replaceable blades and wire cutters;
- 25-year warranty;
- Heavy-duty tools;
- Nylon sheath included.
- Relatively heavy;
7. LEATHERMAN – Tread Bracelet – Stylish Wearable Multitool
Tread Bracelet by Leatherman looks like a brand new casual accessory by a rap star, but it’s actually a patented universal customizable instrument that has no analogs. The manufacturer has used the standard metal watch bracelet and modified its units by adding screwdrivers and wrenches.
The package includes 29 items that you can link in any order you like to adjust the size, weight, and to make your setup meet your everyday traveling and needs. Each element is quarter-inch or half-inch size for extra flexibility. You can utilize this leatherman for backpacking, camping, fishing, hiking, sailing, and even traveling as it’s not prohibited for carry-on luggage on airplanes and ships due to TSA-compliant design.
The list of tools includes several small and medium-size box wrenches that you can use to fix your bicycle or off-road motorcycle and to operate oxygen tanks when you go diving. Leatherman high-class stainless steel is sustainable to corrosion so that you can keep this multitool on even when you dive deep into salty water.
Using flat and Phillips screwdrivers, you can fix a large variety of camping and hiking equipment and electronics, including glasses, navigators, and more. Square and hex drivers are also compatible with a large variety of mechanical and electronic equipment. But you shouldn’t use them with activated electronics to avoid getting injured by electricity. Extra tools include a bottle opener, a carbide glass breaker, and a sharp cutting hook that can easily deal with thick ropes in your hiking equipment.
Operating this multi-tool requires a bit of practice as it doesn’t have handles. On the other hand, you can fold it to create the most convenient grip for your current task, which has some advantages over traditional handles. Leatherman Tread Bracelet is a robust solution for campers and hikers who need extra tools that are usually absent in traditional multitools. This item is also highly portable and flexible, which makes it a worthy complement for your main set of tools. You can even modify it with a real watch module to adapt the tool for everyday life.
- Brutal accessory;
- Always on hand;
- Fully customizable modular design;
- 25-year US-based warranty;
- 29 replaceable tools.
- Rather heavy.
Using a savvy and high-quality leatherman for camping, you will be able to make a route through dense forests and up steep rocks without facing any problems. A multitool is a must-have piece of gear that will excellently complement your camping and hiking gear. This small instrument is much more important than it looks as it lets you take more tools without adding excess weight to your backpack.
Are you using a multitool for camping already? Share your experience with me and other readers of CleverWander in the comments section below the article. For more useful tips and gear reviews stay tuned. Always plan your trips in advance and make sure that you have more than enough instruments to be able to deal with extreme situations. Our review of emergency survival kits may help you with it.