Kershaw brand is well-known for its quality. From chopping veggies to whittling wood, we used these knives throughout our backpacking trips and daily lives while performing a series of rigorous tests. It’s incredibly easy to clean the knife with a minimalistic and rugged profile. We could cut through a length of cardboard much faster than with some of the sharper knives. Included are a 5-in-1 pocket knife, and a 5-in-10 knife sharpener, meaning that you’ll get 10 different uses out of this great value-for-money set. We loved the handle’s non-slip textured surface and its ergonomic profile. One of the beauties of this knife, though, is how customizable it is. We’ve carefully selected 7 knives we feel to address a broad enough set of needs and possible uses. Compared to the other knives in our test, it’s just…decent. You’ll find out what’s unique about each knife and why it’s worth your time. Being able to complete basic tasks like bushcraft and camp chores (or just cooking) to defending myself if needed is an absolute must. Our all-around top pick is the Spyderco Delica 4 for its perfect balance of compact design and durability. Now let’s talk about a higher quality knife. Opinel No8 Stainless Steel Blade Folding Knife, Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife, How to Hang a Hammock: 4 Best Ways (w/ Videos), How to Use Hammock Straps: 5 Steps (w/ Videos! The stainless steel construction is resistant to corrosion and fantastically well-suited to expensive outdoor use. Take your time and get a knife you’ll keep around for ages – good luck! No Lock – Many small knives don’t have room for a locking mechanism. #1 Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife This one earns top marks for blade design, handle design, and color. When it came to anything beyond basic slicing, though, it just didn’t hold up. The blade shape is a drop point design with piercing in mind. The slick handle also wasn’t the best for tougher tasks that require a precise, stable grip. The Gerber Obsidian knife is a great every day carry multi-tool pocket knife. A good knife is one of the most essential backcountry tools you can carry. Q: What Should I Look for in a Best Backpacking Knife? The open frame helps to keep the knife as light and functional as possible – without losing any grip strength or durability. For weight-conscious backpackers who recognize that a knife is still an essential part of their kit, or for anyone who wants an ultralight backup knife, the Honeybee is a sweet little piece of gear at a great price. Getting the best backpacking knife is all about getting the perfect knife for you. The Honeybee was capable of whittling wood, although it was awkward and hazardous due to the lack of a locking mechanism. It’s far from the easiest knife to hold. You’ll need resistance to rust, corrosion, and have a handle that’s non-slip and comfortable. Buy on Amazon Gerber Obsidian Pocket Knife. Seeking the best pocket knife? Folding backpacking knives can be compact and lightweight. This EDC has a thickness of 3" 3 mm steel blade. Mini Review: The Classic SD is one of the most popular knives on the trail for good reason. With a little experience and practice, you’ll learn how to care and handle this knife at its best. Fixed Blade – Although heavier, quality fixed-blade knives can be stronger and more durable than folding knives. Considering what you’re getting for the money, this knife is hard to simply pass over. The ESEE Izula II won the day for heavy-duty and survival usage. ): 1.6 oz. This is a knife that can endure some pretty rough treatment and harsh elements. Using a knife with no lock requires extra care, and these knives generally won’t feel as stable. Of course, it is a good choice for backpacking and camping. The Tactical Knife & Pocket Knife Sharpener Set is an amazingly affordable choice in Best Backpacking Knife options. We did manage to get a fire started. Overall, this is a great pocket knife with an extremely sharp blade. While it’s an assisted opening, the action is very smooth and consistent. This means if you make a purchase after clicking through one, at no extra cost to you we may earn a commission. It needs to be able to cut through ropes and possibly have a wire-cutter and a serrated portion on the blade. You’ll want to get a sheath made for this knife if possible, as it’s bulky. Best Knife For Backpacking – The Top 10 Best Options Available. It wasn’t the sharpest knife in our test, but it more than made up for it with its long blade. The blade is secured by a Virobloc safety ring which hasn’t been changed in over 100 years. The Opinel No8 Stainless Steel Blade Folding Knife. Check Price on Amazon. It's an engraved quality small pocket knife of 3.5 inches. We did really love the large carabiner hole for clipping the knife to our packs for quick access. ), Backpacking Gear List Spreadsheet (w/ Weight Calculator). Thick cardboard is a challenge for knives due to its abrasive and inconsistent surface. From sharp cutting edges and saws to field scissors and screwdrivers, this knife has pretty much everything a backpacker needs. Striking the back of the blade with the knife closed eventually produced a spark, but it started to melt the plastic. Alex’s well-worn Classic SD has a permanent spot on his keychain. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, or, Top 7 Best Backpacking Knife Reviews in 2020. Apart from this, the knife’s built-quality is superior and it’s available at a reasonable price. Secured in a nylon sheath, this best backpacking pocket knife option can be stowed safely away when it’s not being used. This would make an excellent gift for both kids and adults who are interested in the outdoors or are passionate about backpacking. It’s no camp hatchet, but it’ll do in a pinch. It’s tip-locked when it’s closed and this stops accidental blade opening. From their price and performance to more subtle features like sheaths and carrying options, we’ll show you what’s worth paying attention to. You’ve got a smooth straight edge with razor sharpness and awesome cutting power. Folding – Most backpacking knives are folding knives. The handle is slick, and combined with the minuscule size, it requires a careful grip. COMPACT CARRY. You could easily see when the lock was engaged, and it felt safer than some of the frame locks. All that’s left is for you to make your choice. Picking the best knife for backpacking is a very personnel and subjective task. The handle is crafted from durable and robust Beechwood and shaped in a very ergonomic and intuitive way. Feel free to go back over any of the knives that interested you. In our paper test, it did more tearing than cutting. 99Boulders owner and editor Alex Beale has used the Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD as his pocket knife and ultralight backpacking knife for nearly two years. Opinel is a French knife that’s become iconic. It’s designed for wilderness and survival usage and made by Randall’s Adventure and Training, which started as a jungle survival school in the Peruvian Amazon. If you won’t be doing heavy cutting, like trimming branches or dressing game, you can look for the best inexpensive knife that will suit your simple needs. It’s naturally non-slip and the broader base of the handle gives you even better control of the blade. It’s a small knife, and we don’t expect it to be as comfortable as knives with a more generous handle, but it never felt stable in our tester’s hands. (Coincidentally, some hardcore ultralight backpackers intentionally remove the plastic sides to shave a little weight.). This lightweight, military-grade sheath is mildew resistant and allows you to carry the knife either horizontally or vertically. These days he keeps the Classic SD on his keychain for simple everyday tasks and takes it with him on short backpacking trips. It’s technically a multi-tool and is of the lightest options available. A longer blade is best for hunting tasks, providing a longer knife stroke. Its assisted open is sharp and snappy, and the frame lock felt solid and reliable. Stephanie grew up in Pennsylvania and is a life-long adventurer. MINI VERSION: No. These allow for one-handed closing of the knife. Note: If you’re looking for knives you can use while camping and aren’t as concerned about weight, check out our guide to the best camping knives. Some knives are much better at it than others, and some require using the blade which can eventually damage it. It impressed us with how durable it actually was, though. For travelers and backpackers, this is a complete set of tools that will come in … Some Benchmade products need a little sharpening right out of the box, so just keep that in mind. The Leek was the heaviest knife in our test (not counting the ESEE Izula II, which could be customized for lighter weight). Back Lock – A piece of metal along the back of the handle holds the knife open. 7 / VICTORINOX CLASSIC SD / KERSHAW LEEK / BENCHMADE 585 MINI-BARRAGE On multi-day backpacking adventures a knife can be useful for cooking, the odd repair job, or small cutting tasks around camp. It’s ultra-lightweight and one of the easiest knives to take on a backpacking trip. This pocket clip has just the right balance between being functional and sturdy. Over the last seven years, we've purchased and tested 37+ unique folding knives side by side, with 18 knives in our 2020 review line-up. It was one of the sharpest knives right out of the box and sliced through a sheet of paper like butter. No other knife in our test felt as precise and solid in-hand as the Delica 4 (although the Izula II was close). If you like having different colors to choose from, here’s a great selection. Liner Lock – Similar to a frame lock, here a small metal liner inside the frame holds the blade open. You should now have a good idea of what you’re looking for the performance and quality you can expect at the different price points. With 20 different tools, you’re getting almost unparalleled utility and performance. Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD. Beyond this, it’s up to your personal preference. Use the information contained in this website at your own risk, and do not depend on the information contained in this website for personal safety or for determining whether to attempt any activity described herein. This knife combines a light weight of only 2.5 oz with a razor sharp blade and a remarkably comfortable, solid grip. Related Reads # Tools. They are compact and don’t require the added weight of a sheath. Frame Lock – A piece of the frame will slide over behind the blade to hold it open. In our paper test, it was one of the sharpest knives we tested. Benchmade Griptilian 551. One blade is all you need, but it has to be the right one. This best backpacking knife are compact, versatile, and an overall fantastic choice if you’re on a tight budget and still want decent performance and durability. A sharp knife should be able to slice through a piece of standard printer paper cleanly with minimal effort. The blade wasn’t as stable as the Delica 4 during tasks like whittling wood or boring holes, and we could feel a small amount of give in the handle. JUMP TO: OPINEL NO. Best Pocket Knives of 2020. You don’t have to deal with “iffy” linear locks and back-locks that accidentally release half-way through cutting. Despite its tiny size, it made short work of 2 feet of cardboard in our testing. Before anything else, we tested each knife’s sharpness right out of the box. One minor one is that its short blade wasn’t the greatest for slicing food. This shorter blade’s tip is strong and sturdy, giving you plenty of versatility and piercing power. However, cutting or carving wood, chopping veggies, and most other camp tasks were awkward at best. Knife Features Locking Blade. In general, softer steels will shape easily into a razor sharp edge and will be easier to sharpen, but they tend to be less durable and lose their edge quicker. The knife is a solid option for ultralight backpackers with minimal needs, he says. While this means it might not be as durable, it’s exquisitely sharp. Overall, this is the best backpacking knife and possibly inexpensive backpacking knife with this kind of performance and ruggedness. I prefer folding knives for backpacking as they’re more compact and easy to carry. The Leatherman Juice B2 gives you 2 good blade options, straight and serrated, for getting any cutting job done right. The sheath adds another 0.8 oz. This, combined with how lightweight the knife is, makes it exceptionally effortless to handle and work with. Kershaw Leek Pocket Knife; Gerber Paraframe Mini Knife; Spyderco Delica Lightweight Folding Knife; Opinel Folding Knife; ESEE Knives Izula-II Fixed Knife; Spyderco HoneyBee Folding Knife; Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool; Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Q: What Should I Look for in a Best Backpacking Knife? It’s a fantastic all-rounder knife for adventurers and travelers. The handle is easy to remove, leaving you with a barebones knife of only 2.2 oz. The seven functions include: blade, scissors, nail file, screwdriver (2.5 mm), key ring, toothpick, and tweezers. The blade’s tip is lowered slightly to bring it closer to the centerline of the knife. The Victorinox Swiss Army Pocket Knife is the right tool to get you set for anything in the jungle. The traveler set pocket knife has compact dimensions (1.57inch x 1.57inch x 4.13inch and just about 3.5 inches when closed) which is amazing considering just how many tools you’ll find in there. She has taught English in Taiwan; backpacked through Asia, Europe, and South America; worked as a North American tour guide; mentored at-risk teenagers in Utah’s wilderness; and worked as an outdoor educator for elementary school students. The best wilderness knife will allow to do heavy duty work, but will likely cost you more money than a simple pocket knife for light chores like cutting twine or opening packages of food. You can clip the knife to almost anything and it slides onto a belt with no trouble. The knife feels extremely solid and well made. On backcountry trips he mostly uses the blade for opening food packages and the scissors for cutting his nails. You’ll build a clear idea of what it takes to make a great backpacking knife. It has a frame locked design to keep the blade safely in place and is super-secure. It tended to move back and forth against the lock slightly, though not enough to bother us. Also Read: Best Pocket Knife Under $50 – Excellent for the Outdoors. Morakniv Eldris Fixed-Blade Pocket-Sized Knife This is a durable knife that won’t disappoint you. The Classic SD handled cutting thin cordage really well. But it’s incapable of any heavy duty cutting work. The Best Knife for Backpacking and Hiking Fallkniven U2: $90 With laminated steel, a dead simple design, and Grilon handles, the U2 is an excellent … The ambidextrous thumb studs aren’t too pronounced – they’re just the right size for a quick one-handed opening and closing. DO NOT participate in these activities unless you are an expert, have sought or obtained qualified professional instruction or guidance, are knowledgeable about the risks involved, and are willing to assume personal responsibility for all risks associated with these activities. Benchmade Mini Griptilian This company makes some of the best pocket knives around. Here’s a fantastic value-for-money knife if you want something sleek and compact. Mini fixed blades, folding, serrated, plain, automatic, flipper, and ball-berring knives. A lighter, more practical handle for the Izula II. The MSRP is a little steep, but we’ve regularly seen the Izula on sale. The ESEE Izula II was the only fixed-blade knife in our review. Now that we’ve taken a look at considerations and the importance of a knife for backpacking, it is now time to start shopping! Just so you know, this page contains affiliate links. Some people like small folders, some like tradition Swiss Army Knives while other will only take a fixed blade knife. He also takes it with him on short backpacking trips as an ultralight backpacking knife. Pros. We measured the number of strikes it took on a ferrocerium rod to get a ball of dryer lint to ignite. Right out of the box, the blade was by far the dullest. Its low price point and light weight made it seem like a shoe-in for our best value pick. The knife comes with a handy black sheath that’s well-fitted and robust. In other words, this knife is legit. Finally, the Deejo Wood 37g won an honorable mention for its beautiful design and high-quality blade. This set offers a plethora of functions, all bundled in two compact bundles. You’re getting all the corrosion and rust resistance you’d need in a robust outdoor knife. Also, it is the best EDC knife available in the market right now. The company's reputation is the reason that Benchmade knives are sold in stores worldwide. 99Boulders LLC further disclaims any responsibility for injuries or death incurred by any person engaging in these activities. It has qualities of cutting ropes and some forms of glass. For backpacking, though, we found that its tools weren’t super useful, and we preferred a larger, more capable blade. It’s a camping knife made with a beefy drop point profile, nearly full-bevel, and deeply inset finger relief. If you carry a fire starter (aka ferrocerium rod) backpacking, the ability to strike a spark with your knife will be crucial. Our experts test each knife while exploring backcountry terrain throughout the United States, preparing food, camping, mountain climbing, and more. If you are hoping to find the ideal knife for any backpacking situation, there are some things you are going to want to consider when reviewing your options. 2. Most knives are made from steel, but there are hundreds of varieties out there, each with its own unique characteristics. The Deejo Wood 37g is a sleek, lightweight, and well-designed knife with an amazing blade. BEST BUDGET POCKET KNIFE. You’ll love the sleek profile of the knife and how light it feels in your hands. Benchmade is a name synonymous with superiority in the world of knives. It’s a handy feature that lets this knife double as a tactical carry. For example, the Opinel No8 uses a small ring of metal to block the blade from closing, and the Kershaw Leek uses a tip slider to hold the blade closed. The 2.9” blade is legal in many places as an EDC knife. Let’s get into the best backpacking knife reviews! The best pocket knife for the money will vary from person to person with myriad factors coming into play as we have discussed above. A simple paracord wrap made it even better. Overall, you’re getting a knife with premium performance, utility, and versatility. While a shorter blade is ideal for tasks such as opening packets, cutting cord and nylon, and chipping wood. The classic Opinel No8 is our best value pick and an incredible knife for the price. Still, it can get the job done if you really need it to. The 410 stainless steel is rugged and the polished silver finish looks fantastic. A: The knife needs to be pretty versatile. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. We brought each knife with us on our camping and backpacking trips, and used them for daily activities for over a month. We put 9 of the best backpacking knives to the test. It even held up to some mild batoning (splitting wood) without chipping or wearing the coating. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. After our tests, we couldn’t detect any noticeable change in the sharpness of its blade. You’ll need a strong tip for piercing and a sharp edge with decent edge retention for quick cutting and slicing. At 2.63” long, the blade is legal to carry as an EDC knife in many states and countries. Overall, you’re getting one of the most popular picks for the best backpacking knife for the money. Striking the blade itself gave us sparks, but we stopped pretty quickly to prevent damage to the thin blade. Let’s jump into the guide! You can pop open wine bottles just as easily as you can cut a wire caught in your motorbike wheel. The knife’s red plastic sides even fell off at some point. While the MSRP is on the high side, it’s frequently on sale for less. It’s made from 1095HC steel which isn’t super-common and quite easy to sharpen. This 3.5” folding knife is just the right size to give you awesome versatility and functionality without being too bulky or heavy. We’ll show what’s important in these knives and the kind of value you should expect. In our testing, the Leek was the sharpest right out of the box. On everyday hikes, it can open food packets, cut twine, and shave kindling; in a survival situation, it can help you do everything from build a shelter to catch fish. There’s a finger ring at the bottom of the handle that lets you slip your pinky or pointer finger into depending on the way you grip the knife. There’s an opening hole for your finger at the base of the blade to help you get a better grip for heavier duty cutting and slicing. The more snagging and catching, the duller the knife. It was one of the slower knives in our cutting speed test, but that was mainly because of its tiny size. The Spyderco Honeybee packs a lot of punch into a tiny package. While it did show some wear and weaknesses, it was more capable than we expected. The blade is held in its open position by a frame lock that’s extremely secure and reliable. If we were unable to get a spark from the spine of a knife, we used the blade. There’s nothing worse than having a knife that keeps slipping out of place when you’re backpacking. If you already have (or plan to buy) the Spatha for your climbing gear, it can capably double as a backpacking knife. We timed how long it took to cut through a 2-foot section of cardboard with each knife. 6 PROS: Very affordable, very lightweight, secure collar lock, comfortable handle, inconspicuous CONS: Not as sharp as some, slower two-handed open (nail nick and collar lock), no pocket clip BOTTOM LINE: The Opinel No. Read on for our full reviews and tips on how to choose the right backpacking knife for your needs. We’ve seen this knife on sale at many online retailers. Opinel is a French knife making company that really outdid themselves in the last couple of years. With folding knives, we prefer knives that can easily strike a spark from their spine while closed for safety reasons. It’s friction-held and gives you all the protection you’d need for using this knife outdoors. In my opinion, this is the best backpacking knife under $100. Overall, this is a great little tool for carrying around town and having on hand. We think its design, style, and weight make the Leek better suited to everyday carry than the backcountry. Top 7 Best Backpacking Knife Reviews in 2020. It’s rugged steel that’s pretty easy to maintain and keep sharp. While it’s not a cheap backpacking knife considering its size, it’s money well-spent. It’s a very simple and minimalistic knife with a lanyard hole for fixing it to a belt or bag. Here’s a must-have outdoor knife for backpackers to have. Throughout our testing, we just never found an instance where we needed the scissors or file and couldn’t just as easily use a knife. If you’re in the market for a fixed-blade knife that’s light enough for backpacking, capable in survival situations, and fun to own, this is your knife. Harder steels, on the other hand, are more durable but harder to sharpen. Q: How to Sharpen the Serrated Edge of a Blade? Best Backpacking Knife Buying Guide Shopping for the right backpacking knife can mean the difference between carrying multiple tools or one light-weight multi-purpose product. There is no wrong answer as to what works best in the backcountry. Even without the full handle, the Izula was comfortable to hold. It has excellent edge retention and can be sharpened to a razor’s edge without too much difficulty. Review for pocket knife models from Kershaw, Gerber, CRKT, SOG, Spyderco, the James Brand and more. That’s it for our guide and review! For the price, this is an incredible knife. The flat-ground edge is extremely sharp and easy to maintain. Here are the best backpacking knives: Spyderco Delica 4; ESEE Izula II; Kershaw Leek; Spyderco Honeybee; Opinel No8 Stainless Steel Folding Knife; Deejo Wood 37g; Petzl Spatha; Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife; Gerber Paraframe Mini; How to Choose the Best Backpacking Knife for Your Needs Types of Backpacking Knives If you want to be covered in almost any situation, this might be the perfect pocket knife for you. Best of all it is one of the lightest options on our list. The Spyderco Delica 4 blew us away in nearly every aspect of our testing. A good full-tang knife (where the steel of the blade extends all the way to the end of the handle) is a simple, virtually indestructible tool, ideal for heavy duty or survival usage. Also Read: Best Camping Knives – Reviewed and Complete Buyer’s Guide. If you get the Izula with the handle and sheath, it’s a touch on the heavy side for backpacking. 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