Experience Essentials: 5 Of The Best Multitools For Hiking And Camping

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If you're looking to instill a little adventure in your life by going camping, you're probably going to bring some gear with you. One way to condense and minimize what you'll have to carry is by bringing a multitool, a single product that can conveniently perform several functions. A wide variety of multitools are available, coming in different shapes and sizes, with assorted tools included in each set. If you're going hiking, a lightweight multitool that can clip onto your keys, belt, or backpack can be an essential asset for your weekend adventure.

With so many different multitools on the market, it could be difficult to know which one is right for you. Often, the weight and size of a multitool might be the main factor in choosing one, as well as its cost. If you're looking for a specific tool that's included, like a can opener, you'll want to make sure it's part of the multitool you're buying. Here are five of the best multitools for hiking and camping.

Leatherman Skeletool CX

Leatherman Skeletool CX

Leatherman is probably the most well-known name when it comes to quality multitools. If you're selecting one of its various products, you can be confident that it will be reliable, tough, and easy to use. When deciding which one to purchase, the choice will really come down to what size you prefer and which included tools are most important to you.

If you're unsure, the Leatherman Skeletool CX is a great multitool that will come in handy if you're hiking or camping. It's a slim, light tool that can easily clip onto a backpack or belt, and it's made of durable material — you won't have to worry about its 154-centimeter premium steel blade becoming dull. That blade pops out and locks into place smoothly with a one-handed movement and is one of seven tools included in the product. The other six are wire cutters, hard-wire cutters, a large-bit driver, a carabiner/bottle opener, regular pliers, and a precise set of needlenose pliers.

The Skeletool CX naturally lacks some of the tools you'd find on a larger multitool, like the Leatherman Free P2. You'll want to opt for the latter if you're camping and want your multitool to include functions like a saw, file, can opener, and scissors. If you already have those and want a slimmer multitool for more basic uses, you can find the Leatherman Skeletool CX on Amazon for $89.95. Leatherman offers the tool with a 25-year warranty.

DeWalt MT16 Multi Tool

DeWalt MT16 Multi Tool

DeWalt is well-known for making power tools, but they also have a line of quality hand tools, including the MT16 Multi Tool. The "16" in its name refers to how many tools are packed into it, making it a very useful and versatile item to have on hand when you're in the wilderness. Many of the tools can be used while the MT16 is in the closed position, making it more convenient when you're working quickly. It's resistant to rust and very durable, thanks in part to its stainless steel construction, and it comes with a comfortable, soft grip. It also has robust scissors and two pairs of strong spring-loaded pliers. Other tools include a straight blade and serrated blade, file, wire cutter, wire stripper, fold-out carabiner, ruler, bottle opener, can opener, and four types of screwdrivers. Despite having so much in one tool, it's a very affordable product — priced more like a keychain multitool at under $25.

However, it's a fairly heavy and bulky item that might belong more in a toolbox than in your pocket. Depending on how much gear you're willing to take with you when camping or hiking, you might want to go with something slimmer. However, if size doesn't matter, you can purchase the DeWalt MT16 Multi Tool for $24 from Amazon and Home Depot.

Gerber Dime

black Gerber Dime

Along with Leatherman and Victorinox, Gerber is one the most well-known brands when it comes to multitools, and you can find a number of different products to suit your needs when adventuring outdoors. (One even comes with a camera tripod.) The Gerber Dime is a small multitool that fits 11 tools into its frame and a small lanyard ring that will clip onto your backpack, belt, or even your keys. If you're looking for a lightweight multitool you can forget until you need it, the Gerber Dime is a solid choice.

The tools include standard accessories like a file, tweezers, bottle opener, wire cutters, scissors, two pairs of pliers, two different screwdrivers, and a fine-edge blade, as well as a clamshell cutter for opening packages and other boxes. The bottle opener is smartly placed on the outside of the tool, so you can pop open a drink without opening the tool.

The Gerber Dime is one of the few multitools that also comes in different colors — you can get the keychain tool in black, green, red, or blue. It's not without its flaws, though. Its knife blade doesn't lock securely into place, and the pliers aren't big enough to be very strong. But if you're looking for a multitool that's small and easy to carry, the Gerber Dime is one of the best options available. Depending on which color you'd like, it costs between $25 and $29 on Amazon.

NexTool Mini Sailor

NexTool Mini Sailor

The NexTool Mini Sailor is a keychain multitool that is just 2.63 inches long, but it fits in 10 different tools: a knife, can opener, bottle opener, scissors, SIM card needle, three different pliers, and both flat head and crosshead screwdrivers. Its small size is its biggest asset, and it comes in a stylish blue-gray color that will look good hanging off your keys. It's built with durable stainless steel and a hollow structure, making it lighter and more ergonomic.

Because it's sized for a keychain, it's flimsier than its larger counterparts, and you could risk bending or breaking some of the tools if you're using it for heavier-duty tasks. It might also be too small for what you really need while camping or hiking. However, if you're looking for an everyday multitool and don't want to buy an additional one for adventuring, you might consider the Mini Sailor. It could also make for a good backup while camping, or serve as your primary tool if you don't expect to need a bigger set of tools. The NexTool Mini Sailor has a list price of $22.98 on Amazon.

Swiss Champ XXL

Swiss Champ XXL

The Swiss Army Knife is probably the most iconic multitool, combining several tools in one sleek unit that is usually firehouse red and emblazoned with the Swiss flag. Victorinox makes Swiss Army products, and there are numerous iterations of the product — you can find various keychain-sized tools, heftier tools that cram dozens of accessories into one, and everything in between.

If you want a tool for every occasion while hiking or camping, a good option is the Swiss Champ XXL, which has more included tools than any other Swiss Army Knife. It has a whopping 73 functions despite being just 3.6 inches long and weighing 12.5 ounces. In addition to standard features like a file, bottle opener, and blade, the multitool comes with tools like a magnifying glass, corkscrew, fish scaler, bit wrench, pharmaceutical spatula, ballpoint pen, and much more.

One drawback to having so many tools in one is that they're built so close to one another that it can be tricky and frustrating to pull one out when needed. If you're looking for a lighter, more traditional multitool with just the basics but will be more convenient, you can opt for another Victorinox product like the Swiss Army Hiker. But if you want to cover all your bases and have an entire toolbox in the palm of your hand, you can purchase the Swiss Champ XXL for $344.54 on Amazon.

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