Best Backpacking Knife

Best Backpacking Knife Review: Top Picks for This Year

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For outdoor adventurers, a good backpacking knife is an essential accessory. Nowadays, backpacking knives are very impressive simply because they offer convenience and power.

Backpacking knives are small in size with a simple blade that is lightweight and durable. They are useful in several situations.

Due to its convenience and power, there are now lots of backpacking knives available on the market. But, what is the best backpacking knife that you can buy?

Well, this is where this content comes into play.

Here, we will show you the most practical, functional, and durable backpacking knives to narrow down your options. Each of them comes with unique features that you will surely like.

​Sit back and relax and choose the best backpacking knife which you think suits you the most.

​Best Backpacking Knives Comparison

Product Name

Handle Material

Blade Length

Rating

Price

​Stainless Steel Pommel

4.75 inches

​Aluminum

​3 ¼ inches

​Stainless Steel

​2.75 inches

​Black Nylon

​3.5 inches

​Glass-reinforced nylon / G10

​2.125 inches

Reviews of the Best Backpacking Knives

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife - Best Backpacking Knife

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife
1,608 Reviews
Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife
  • ½ Serrated High Carbon Stainless Steel Drop Point Blade - Ideal for edge retention and cutting rope
  • Ergonomic Textured Rubber Grip - Maximizes comfort and reduces slippage
  • Stainless Steel Pommel - At base of handle for hammering
  • Fire Starter - Ferrocerium rod locks into sheath, striker notch incorporated into back of knife blade
  • Nylon Sheath - Lightweight, military-grade, mildew resistant

This knife is constructed by Gerber, one of the most reliable knife makers today. Moreover, it is supported by Bear Grylls which is also an all-time favorite survival expert.

The Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate is loaded with innovative and impressive features that aren’t present in other top survival knives.

Durable and Sharp Blade

This best knife comes with a versatile 4.75” drop-point blade. The blade, on the other hand, is half serrated which allows you to cut fibrous materials and ropes more rapidly and with ease.

For overall durability, it also comes with a full-tang built and is made of solid stainless steel that allows for exceptional edge retention.

Ergonomic and Innovative Design 

The Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife is very easy to easy owing to its ergonomic and innovative design. This best camping knife features a rubberized and comfortable grip that is textured to avoid slippage.

Furthermore, its handle comes with 2 holes for lashing it securely, while the handle base is designed using stainless steel which can be used for hammering and pounding.

Military-Grade Nylon Sheath

The military-grade sheath of this knife folds open to reveal the diamond sharpener. It also comes with a life-saving fire starter pole locked to a water-tight container.

​For further functionality and versatility, the nylon sheath contains water resistant “Priority of Survival” guide placed to a defensive pocket on the rear side of the sheath.

​What We Liked

  • ​Durable and Sharp Blade
  • ​Military-grade nylon sheath
  • ​Ergonomic and Innovative design
  • ​Comfortable grip
  • ​Versatile

​What We Didn’t Like

  • ​Its serrated blade makes honing difficult
  • ​The Velcro band isn’t elastic
  • ​It’s a bit pricey

Customer Reviews

Lots of consumers have utilized this product, and they are satisfied with its functionalities. Customers have loved the point that it can be utilized for various purposes, owing to its versatility.

However, some customers find it a bit pricey.

Verdict

The Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife comes with innovative features which allows you to finish your job with ease,

​Moreover, its serrated edge, ergonomic grip, and sturdy construction make it one of the top survival knives that deserves your attention.


Tac Force Dagger Style Folding Knife - Best Budget/Cheap Backpacking Knife

Sale
Tac Force Dagger Style Folding Knife
479 Reviews
Tac Force Dagger Style Folding Knife
  • Spring Assisted
  • Black Aluminum Handle and Stainless Steel Red Cross Overlay
  • 4" 3mm Thick Blade, Stainless Steel
  • Includes Pocket Clip
  • Black Blade with Blood Groove

A Tac Force Knife is one of the best and most important accessories that you can bring on our next hiking trip.

A sharp and foldable knife such as Tac Force Dagger can aid you to deal with thick bushes as well as prepare your next outdoor meals.

This backpacking knife can also help you stay alive in the wilderness and can be utilized for all types of application.

Durability 

When it comes to durability, you can always depend on the Tac Force Dagger style. Whether your cutting kindle wood, preparing meat or cutting over thickets this one of the best camping knives has got you covered. On the other hand, the joints are extremely tough as well as offer protection.

Styles

Regarding styles, there are lots of options where you can choose from. However, all styles are spring assisted. However, they differ from one another when it comes to aesthetics and colors.

Value 

Irrespective of its durability and impressive performance the Tac Force is one of the cheapest backpacking knives.

​What We Liked

  • ​Durable
  • ​Versatile
  • ​Affordable
  • ​Comes with handy features such as glass breaker, belt clip, and can opener
  • ​The blade is extremely sharp

​What We Didn’t Like

  • ​The can opener isn’t as functional as it is advertised

Customer Reviews

Customers rant that this knife from Tac Force is incredibly durable and sharp notwithstanding its affordable price.

Moreover, lots of happy consumers have noted in online reviews that this product is ideal for camping trips and home use. They also like its spring assisted design.

Verdict

A great backpacking knife for hiking or camping that can be bought at a very affordable price. And even though it doesn’t have the tools that you’ll find in Swiss army knives, it is still worth considering.

​The blade came sharp and didn’t need honing at all.


Kershaw Cryo Foldable Knife

Kershaw Cryo Folding Knife
2,505 Reviews
Kershaw Cryo Folding Knife
  • Designed by Rick Hinderer and precision engineered by Kershaw
  • 2.75-inch 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade features excellent toughness, edge retention and wear and corrosion resistance
  • Great companion for any hiker, landscaper, backpacker, hunter, wilderness guide, electrician or anyone in need of a reliable everyday carry
  • All-steel construction is coated with a matte gray titanium carbo-nitride, increasing the blade's hardness, edge retention and overall lifetime
  • Excellent everyday carry for numerous tasks including opening packages, stripping wire, removing splinters, cutting zip-ties, aggressive animal defense and making fire kindling

Kershaw is a well-known name that offers high-quality products at a very affordable price. Not so long ago, Kershaw introduced its one of the best budget folding knives the Kershaw 1555TI Cryo.

The well-known Rick Hinderer designed this knife. However, if you want to have a Rick Hinderer knife but you’re on a tight budget, this one is for you.

Blade

The Kershaw Cryo comes equipped with a stainless steel blade that is coated using a matte gray titanium carbo-nitride.

On the other hand, Cryo’s blade also features excellent strength for several uses, and it is made to durable yet aesthetically appealing.

Value and Cost

We can proudly say that it is one of the best backpacking knives that can be purchased at a reasonable price.

Even though it’s a bit cheap, you can assume that the Kershaw Cryo will perform better and last for several years.

Tear and Wear Resistant

​This knife is made to endure the test of time. The Kershaw Cryo boasts corrosion resistant as well as edge-retention exterior, making it ideal for those who are looking for an affordable yet durable and well-constructed backpacking knife.

​What We Liked

  • ​Tear and wear resistant
  • ​Nice and comfortable grip
  • ​Durable
  • ​It is easy to open and close
  • ​Affordable
  • ​Nice Finish

​What We Didn’t Like

  • ​It is a bit  heavy
  • ​The thumb hoops are useless
  • ​The knife does not center especially when closed

Customer Reviews

According to various customers, this affordable backpacking knife performs very well. They also revealed that the Kershaw Cyro had helped them a lot during their camping and hiking trips.

Verdict

Another award-winning knife from Kershaw. Either way, if you’re looking for a versatile and durable backpacking knife, you can always count on Kershaw Cryo.


Ontario 8846 RAT Folding Knife

Sale
Ontario 8846 Rat Folding Knife
459 Reviews
Ontario 8846 Rat Folding Knife
  • Made of AUS-8 Steel
  • 3.5 inch plain edge blade
  • Knife Closed Length: 4.5-Inch
  • Knife Open Length: 8.5-Inch
  • Weighs 5 ounces

Ontario Knife is one of the famous names in the knives and forks industry today. Ontario, on the other hand, has built its status because of its quality components and materials as well as uncompromising craftsmanship. 

Even so, Ontario 8846 RAT folding knife is one of the best backpacking knives these days. So if you want to know more about this knife then keep on reading.

Blade and General Dimensions

This knife has an overall length of 8.5” and weighs five ounces. This backpacking knife, on the other hand, comes with a 3.5 inches blade that looks striking thanks to its drop point shape.

What's more, its practical and sturdy blade is perfect for slicing various stuff.

Handle

This best backpacking knife from Ontario features a comfortable and ergonomic handle which allows you to finish your job with ease.

On the other hand, the handle is made of black nylon that is proven durable and can withstand heavy uses.

Moreover, it is equipped with a pocket clip, thus carrying this pocket knife is a breeze.

Lock-up 

​The liner lock of this backpacking knife is very crisp and solid. Apart from that, it also feels secure. Even so, the lockup is made of thick as well as a durable piece of steel.

​What We Liked

  • ​Durable Construction
  • ​Sturdy, sharp, and practical blade
  • ​Great knife for the money
  • ​Crisp and solid liner lock

​What We Didn’t Like

  • ​There is an issue about its weight
  • ​It’s a bit long

Customer Reviews

As stated by lots of customers this product from Ontario Knife performs its job very well. Furthermore, they also liked its overall construction and of course, its price tag.

On the other hand, other customers also revealed that this backpacking knife very easy to hone and can be opened using one hand. Either way, the blade is sharp, say users.

Verdict

With Ontario 8846 RAT Folding Knife, you will definitively get a premium-quality, well-constructed, and great backpacking knife without spending hundreds of dollars.

​Moreover, this product is capable of slicing or cutting various types of stuff.


CRKT Minimalist Bowie Neck Knife

Sale
CRKT Minimalist Bowie Neck Knife
1,350 Reviews
CRKT Minimalist Bowie Neck Knife
  • Bead Blast Blade Finish
  • Compact Utility Neck Knife
  • Glass-Reinforced Nylon Sheath
  • Designed by Alan Folts in Melbourne, Florida
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty covers any defects in materials or workmanship, see company site for details

CRKT has been manufacturing outstanding tools and knives since 1994. Furthermore, it is known as one of the best great knife creators in America.

However, Minimalist Bowie Neck Knife is one of the best and inexpensive knives made by CRKT that caught the attention of many consumers.

These knives are made for very concealable and compact carry but have a durable blade that can be utilized for various purposes.

Size and Weight

It is a lightweight and small knife that offers surprising control and comfort owing to the uncommon geometry of its full-tang blade supported with 3-finger choils.

Unlike small neck knives, the handle of this product is fully functional for various daily slicing tasks.

Sheath

The sheath of this backpacking knife is made from Zytel a solid plastic that is the same to Kydex.

On the other hand, the sheath’s retention is very excellent while the blade locks hooked on the place by a lenient click. Also, this knife is very secure and safe to use.

Versatility

​Regarding versatility, you can also count on CRKT Minimalist Bowie Neck Knife. This product makes a nice wilderness carry as well as can be utilized for cooking camp chores, and dressing and skinning in a pinch.

​What We Liked

  • ​Versatile
  • ​Durable
  • ​Lightweight
  • ​Small size
  • ​Great Sheath

​What We Didn’t Like

  • ​The steel used isn’t durable as some of the other models
  • ​They did not utilize Kydex for the knife’s sheath

Customer Reviews 

According to a myriad of users, the grip of this knife is extraordinarily well-designed. Not only that they also like its small size and lightweight.

Regarding durability and versatility, customers admitted that the CRKT Minimalist Bowie Neck Knife doesn’t disappoint them.

Verdict

​Even though it does not have the robust simplicity of other backpacking knives, it does provide a more definite level of handler control. Also, it is one of the most hiking essentials that deserve your attention.

Things to Consider When Buying A Backpacking Knife

Choosing the best backpacking knife is can be more challenging than choosing a standard knife.

To make things easier for you, we have listed some of the essential things that you need to consider when making a purchase.

Blade De​​​​sign 

Since we are talking about backpacking knives, we advised you to go for a model that sports a drop point blade design.

This blade is a typically accepted American service knife profile that has a beefy and thick blade which tappers a little along the length.

More: Best Backpacking Chair Reviews

Size 

When it comes to backpacking knives bigger isn’t always better. For instance, if your chosen knife is too big, you will have a hard time carrying it during your camping or hiking trips.

But if it’s too small, you may not be able other cutting tasks. That is why, make sure to choose the knife that you can carry with ease but, capable of, doing your cutting needs especially if you’re in the wilderness.

Sheath 

The knife’s sheath may seem not crucial for you. But the truth is, sheath greatly affects how you draw and carry your knife. Thus, we are advising you to choose a backpacking knife that comes equipped with a durable sheath.

More: The Best Hydration Bladder Review

Blade Thickness

Look for a backpacking knife that comes with a thick blade. Thicker blades can withstand the mishandling of wood prying and chop as well as they are solid. 

​For sure, you don’t want to have a backpacking knife that has plenty of bend in the blade.

Tang

The tang of knives is the part of the blade which extends down to the handle. Both the blade and the tang are made of solid steel.

A tang or full tang which goes all the way to the handle’s base is deliberated the best for a high-quality backpacking knife. The full tang, on the other hand, can offer the whole knife strength.

More: The Best Folding Chairs For Camping and Hiking

Weight

Irrespective of what distance you want to travel, considering the knife’s weight is very important.

If you the kind of traveler who doesn’t want to carry heavy stuff, then it's best for you to look for a lightweight backpacking knife like the CRKT Minimalist Bowie Neck Knife. 

Blade Material

If you want to have a backpacking knife that can be maintained easily, then a knife that is equipped with a stainless steel blade can be a great option. But if you want to use a lighter blade, then a titanium blade is worth considering.

More: Check Best Compact Umbrella here

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Where Can I Used A Backpacking Knife?

Backpacking knives are very durable and versatile. Either way, you can use your knife for various purposes such as:

  • Gear repairs
  • Self-defense
  • Firestarter
  • Kindling
  • First Aid
  • Cooking
  • Whittling
  • Cutting or Slicing

Q. What Blade Size Do I Need?

Yes, 12 inches blades look cool, but it is too big for everyday backpacking applications. However, a 3.4” blade could be a nice option for backpackers, because blades that are larger than that are cumbersome. 

On the other hand, if you are backpacking on established trails, you don’t have to bring a 6” knife that has a fishing line and fire starter.

Q. How Do I Carry My Backpacking Knife?

​If you will use it all the time, storing it on your bag is not a good idea. In a combat or survival situation keeping it attached to your hip is highly recommended.

Final Words

As you can see, there are lots of backpacking knives where you can choose from. However, no matter what your taste or needs are, you’re certain that there is at least one model that works best for you.

Nevertheless, all the products mentioned above are top-rated, fully functional, versatile, durable, and loaded with impressive and unique features.

But the best backpacking knife for us is the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife. This is our top pick simply because it comes with impressive features that are certain to help finish your job easily.

We also loved its serrated edge, sturdy construction, as well as ergonomic grip. What’s more, it comes with added features like an emergency whistle, fire starter, and life-saving handbook. 

​Hopefully, this guide helps you a lot in choosing the best backpacking knife that suits your needs and budget.

Here is the list of Amazon best sellers as of today

Bestseller No. 1
Gerber STL 2.0 Knife [22-41122]
1,016 Reviews
Gerber STL 2.0 Knife [22-41122]
  • Ultralight 1 oz. powerhouse
  • Cut out in the blade offers easy one-handed opening
  • Ultra-thin blade is perfect for detailed jobs
  • 440A stainless steel blade
  • STL (Strong. Thin. Light.)
SaleBestseller No. 2
Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade, 4.1-Inch, Military Green
1,064 Reviews
Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade, 4.1-Inch, Military Green
  • Versatile fixed-blade outdoor knife with a 4.1-inch hardened Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade is ideal for carving, food prep, and cutting tinder
  • High-quality Swedish steel is razor sharp and exceptionally tough; stainless steel blade stays sharp longer than carbon steel, and is less prone to rust
  • Patterned, high-friction grip sits comfortably in the hand, for greater control, safety, and performance, especially in wet and cold conditions
  • Blade length: 4.1 inches (104 mm), blade thickness: 0.1 inch (2.5 mm), overall length: 8.6 inches (218 mm), weight w/ sheath: 4.1 oz. (116 g)
  • Includes a color-matching plastic sheath with belt clip; manufacturer's limited lifetime warranty; made in Sweden
Bestseller No. 3
Kershaw Clash Black Serrated Pocket Knife (1605CKTST) 3.1' Stainless Steel Blade with Black-Oxide Coating; Glass-Filled Nylon Handle with SpeedSafe Open, Locking Liner and Reversible Pocketclip; 4.3oz
1,666 Reviews
Kershaw Clash Black Serrated Pocket Knife (1605CKTST) 3.1" Stainless Steel Blade with Black-Oxide Coating; Glass-Filled Nylon Handle with SpeedSafe Open, Locking Liner and Reversible Pocketclip; 4.3oz
  • 3.1" 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade with black-oxide finish for excellent toughness, edge retention and wear resistance
  • Textured Glass-filled nylon handle scales offer a solid grip with Gentle Contour and comfortable in-hand feel
  • Drop-point, partially serrated blade is perfect for tackling everyday tasks like opening Cardboard boxes, cutting rope, stripping Wire and more
  • Feature rich handle includes SpeedSafe assisted opening, built-in flipper, secure locking liner and convenient reversible pocket clip
  • The Black clash is a great tool for any hiker, hunter, angler, gardener, mechanic, Backpacker or anyone in need of a solid, reliable EDC

About the Author Tim Fox

Since the age of 10, Tim, a writer at Outdoor With J, has enjoyed camping in the great outdoors. Although he loves the peace and quiet of the outdoors, he also likes his creature comforts. Tim’s mission is to make camping a fun and comfortable experience for all. You can find more about him here

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