The Finest Knives for Mountaineering & Backpacking of 2022

Hikers desire a mild, dependable, and versatile pocket knife to be used on the path. Beneath, we’ve rounded up the perfect knives for backpacking and mountaineering.

Summer season is right here, and when you hear carefully you’ll hear the siren’s name to the path. Whether or not it’s a day hike with the children or a thru-hike of the Appalachian Path, a knife is an exceptionally useful merchandise to have with you. With one of many knives listed under, we are able to guarantee you you’ll have probably the greatest path knives cash should buy.

From meals prep to recreation processing to beginning a hearth, a high-quality knife may also help significantly with out of doors duties. And whereas a full-size mounted blade just like the Bark River Bravo 1 is a wonderful alternative for plenty of out of doors duties, mobility and weight considerations on the path dictate carrying a smaller knife, typically, one which folds.

For extra details about mountaineering and backpacking knives and the way we examined them, take a look at our purchaser’s information and FAQ on the finish of this text.

In search of a fast overview of every mannequin’s worth and options? Take a look at our helpful comparability chart. In any other case, scroll by to see all of our beneficial buys or soar to the class you’re on the lookout for:

The Finest Knife for Backpacking and Mountaineering

Finest General: Fallkniven U2

Falkniven U2 hiking knife

With laminated metal, a lifeless easy design, and Grilon handles, the U2 ($90) is a wonderful backpacking knife for individuals who are involved about weight and complexity. Your entire bundle is available in at 1.58 ounces, which is sort of good for a knife with a blade size of two.5 inches.

At $90 at Blade HQ, you’re paying for the metal, which incorporates Tremendous Gold Powder Metal because the core. This metal, hardly ever seen within the knife world, has glorious edge retention, superior to extra widespread high-end steels like S30V.

With a easy folding design and supreme metal in a light-weight bundle, it’s laborious to beat this knife for high quality assurance (which is necessary if you’re miles off the overwhelmed monitor).

  • Blade size: 2.5″
  • Whole Size: 5.875″
  • Weight: 1.58 oz
  • Blade Materials: 3G
  • Deal with Materials: Zytel
  • Good worth
  • Light-weight
  • Easy, sturdy design
  • Nice edge retention
  • Not essentially the most ergonomic deal with

Examine Value at Blade HQCheck Value at Knife Nation USA

Finest Price range: Morakniv Eldris

Morakniv Eldris

The Mora Eldris has been a favourite of ours for a few years. For simply $30, this small mounted blade knife presents loads of utility.

Because of the brief, stubby 2.3″ blade, the Eldris has an odd look. The grippy polymer deal with is for much longer than the blade. Due to this, customers can apply strain to a minimize with out worrying that the blade will break. Should you prefer to whittle hardwood, the Eldris is the proper instrument.

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The backbone of the blade can be utilized as a striker for hearth metal or magnesium. Even after a number of seasons of use, the working fringe of the Eldris remained sharp and undamaged.

For $20 extra, this knife will be bought with an equipment package that features a neck lanyard, hearth metal, and an additional silicone security button. General, this knife is a cut price that received’t crush your pack.

  • Blade size: 2.2″
  • Whole Size: 5.6″
  • Weight: 2.8 oz
  • Blade Materials: Sandvik 12C27 chrome steel
  • Deal with Materials: Polymer grip
  • Good worth
  • Excellent for whittling
  • Snug deal with

Examine Value at AmazonCheck Value at Blade HQ

Finest Blade Size-to-Weight Ratio: Benchmade Bugout

Benchmade Bugout

With probably the greatest blade length-to-weight ratios within the knife world, the Bugout ($144) is among the finest knives for backpacking and mountaineering. Its easy, virtually fundamental traces and basic drop-point blade are environment friendly for a lot of duties. The value, whereas larger than most on our listing, is truthful for what you get. The knife additionally has among the tightest tolerances I’ve seen on an AXIS lock, leading to rock-solid lockup.

Solely two considerations maintain it again from being the perfect path knife out there. First, the pocket clip, a shortened model of the Benchmade deep-carry clip, does permit the knife to come out of the pocket extra simply than most knives. Should you’re performing some actual scrambling on mountainsides, you may discover that your Bugout has liberated itself out of your pocket unexpectedly.

Second, the knife has a really pronounced, uncovered rear tang, permitting for filth, grime, and pocket lint to gather within the inner workings of the knife. Nonetheless, when you want most blade size per ounce, this can be a good selection.

Benchmade additionally makes a barely upgraded model of the Bugout that launched in 2020. It has a stiffer and lighter graphite black molded CF-Elite carbon fiber–bolstered nylon deal with scales. In testing, they proved to be stiffer than the unique Bugout and for some could also be well worth the small upcharge. Take a look at the Bugout CF-Elite.

For more information, learn our full Benchmade Bugout overview.

  • Blade size: 3.24″
  • Whole Size: 4.22″
  • Weight: 1.8 oz
  • Blade Materials: CPM-S30V
  • Deal with Materials: Fiberglass bolstered nylon
  • Spectacular blade length-to-weight ratio
  • Rock strong lockup
  • Sturdy deal with
  • Inner workings have a tendency to gather filth and dirt

Examine Value at REI

Finest Light-weight Full-Dimension Knife: Three Rivers Manufacturing Neutron

Three Rivers Manufacturing Neutron
TRM Neutron in Jade G10 with FourSevens Preon III

The sphere of full-size, weight-conscious knives is fairly crowded proper now. Benchmade’s Bugout has been fairly widespread, and Spyderco simply launched a light-weight model of its smash hit, the Para3. Each are available underneath 2.5 ounces and each sport blades of no less than 3 inches in size.

However the mild, full-size knife (a knife with a blade of three inches or extra) I like the perfect comes from a small producer in my residence state of Massachusetts: Three Rivers Manufacturing. The Neutron’s 20CV blade is healthier than the metal on the Bugout (S30V) or the Para3 (BD1N). Moreover, the deal with is extra comfy than the Para3’s and sturdier than the Bugout’s versatile grip.

At $176 the value is fairly excessive, however you’re getting state-of-the-art metal in a super-slim, super-slicey bundle. And the truth that it’s made within the U.S. is a bonus.

  • Blade size: 3″
  • Whole Size: 7″
  • Weight: 2 oz
  • Blade Materials: CPM 20CV
  • Deal with Materials: Unknown
  • Light-weight
  • Slim profile
  • Sharp and sturdy blade

Examine Availability at Blade HQ

Finest Mounted Blade: ESEE Candiru

ESEE Candiru
ESEE Candiru with a lay-flat nylon sheath

Mounted-blade knives are typically too large for the path, however a design revolution has taken place within the fixed-blade knife world, leading to quite a lot of tiny slicers that aren’t “prebroken.” Amongst my favorites is the ESEE Candiru ($65-80).

With a complete size of 5.125 inches, the Candiru is the dimensions of a giant folder when closed. It sports activities ESEE’s glorious 1095 heat-treated carbon metal, and comes with a good material sheath that lays fairly flat within the pocket.

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At round $60, the Candiru can do numerous work that almost all folding knives can’t. And when you resolve you wish to transfer past the flat, skeletonized deal with, there’s an adjunct package that provides sculpted Micarta scales and a snap-fit Kydex sheath.

  • Blade size: 2″
  • Whole Size: 5.125″
  • Weight: 2 oz
  • Blade Materials: 1095 powder coated carbon metal
  • Deal with Materials: 1095 powder coated carbon metal
  • Good worth
  • Lies flat within the pocket
  • Sharp and sturdy blade
  • Not essentially the most moveable because of size

Examine Value at AmazonCheck Value at Blade HQ

Better of the Relaxation

Spyderco Native 5 FRN in LC200N

Spyderco Native 5 FRN in LC200N

The Native 5 ($143) is one other mild, full-size knife. However it provides one other cool ingredient to the superior knife recipe — LC200N.

This metal, which has been round for many years exterior the knife business, is simply now making inroads within the cutlery world. Its just about rustproof composition is good, however the true step up in comparison with different corrosion-resistant steels is its hardness.

In contrast to H1, LC200N is roughly as laborious as 154CM, making it the primary metal I really feel comfy recommending for any use. It’s powerful, laborious, rustproof, comparatively simple to sharpen, and never costly for what you get at $143. The Native 5 is a bit bulkier within the pocket than the Three Rivers Neutron, however when you want really rustproof metal for probably moist climates, that is your knife.

  • Blade size: 2.95″
  • Whole Size: 4″
  • Weight: 2.5 oz
  • Blade Materials: LC200N
  • Deal with Materials: Fiberglass Bolstered Nylon
  • Primarily rustproof blade
  • Straightforward to sharpen
  • A bit cumbersome within the pocket

Examine Value at Blade HQ


Why You Ought to Belief Us

The oldsters behind GearJunkie are avid hikers, backpackers, hunters, anglers, and climbers. Within the context of all types of out of doors actions, knives can supply immense utility and performance. We’ve been testing knives for a few years, and this listing of suggestions is the results of our first-hand expertise.

We used these knives to chop paracord, make wooden shavings, fillet fish, and rather more. We’ve thought-about the professionals and cons of blade supplies, blade size, and deal with girth. Our testing assed portability, ergonomics, total sturdiness, and blade integrity.

As new knives hit the market, we’ll you’ll want to test them out in consideration for this roundup. At any given time, our listing will embody the perfect of the perfect.

Purchaser’s Information: Find out how to Purchase the Finest Mountaineering and Backpacking Knives

Blade Size

Mountaineering and backpacking knives ought to have a blade between one and 4 inches in size. Finally, the perfect blade size for you relies on a wide range of components. If you would like most portability, a shorter blade is finest for you. Should you generally tackle heavy use circumstances like kindling splitting, go for a blade that’s no less than 2.5 inches.

Blade Materials and Integrity

Everybody needs a pointy knife. When individuals discuss blade “sharpness,” they’re normally referring to a much wider vary of things together with blade geometry, blade supplies, and blade sturdiness.

It doesn’t matter what it’s created from, each knife will have to be resharpened finally. Nonetheless, potential knife patrons ought to have a fundamental understanding of the completely different out there blade supplies.

The entire knives on this listing have blades created from some type of metal. Metal is an alloy created from iron, carbon, and plenty of different potential components. Knife blade metal alloys have to be laborious sufficient to carry out properly and resist dulling, however delicate sufficient to stay intact and sharpen successfully.

The entire knives on this listing have blades created from high quality metal that can deal with the usual wants of a hiker or backpacker. Should you’re on the lookout for a suggestion, we discovered that the Tremendous Gold Powder Metal of the Fallkniven U2 has top-notch edge retention.

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Straight vs. Serrated

Straight blades have one persistently easy and clear innovative, whereas serrated knives have notched blades that are perfect for sawing by powerful supplies. Many knives will be ordered with both choice. Should you plan to make use of your knife for whittling, go for a straight blade. Should you’ll have to noticed by rope or filet a closely scaled fish, search for a serrated choice.

Folding Knife vs. Mounted Blade

Mounted blade knives are stronger and extra sturdy, whereas folding knives are typically lighter and extra moveable. To hold a set blade, you want a sheath to guard the blade safely.

On this listing, the ESEE Candiru is our favourite fixed-blade mountaineering knife. The Three Rivers Manufacturing Neutron is a good low-profile folding choice.

Deal with and Ergonomics

Efficient chopping requires a powerful, sturdy, and comfy deal with. Repetitive knife work could cause cramping and hand fatigue, and an ergonomic deal with shouldn’t be missed.

For many customers, longer handles are extra comfy and ergonomic to make use of. Should you’re looking for most consolation within the hand, search for a deal with with a rounded form. On this listing, the Morakniv Eldris has a wonderful deal with for whittling and heavy use.


benchmade bugout - hiking and backapcking knife

Backpackers and hikers want a knife that’s light-weight and doesn’t take up an excessive amount of house. Nonetheless, if you need a conveyable knife, you might have to make some sacrifices in ergonomics or blade size.

On this listing, the Benchmade Bugout is an impressively moveable knife with an unbeatable blade length-to-weight ratio.


Does Blade Materials Matter?

Sure, a knife’s blade materials is among the most necessary components it is best to contemplate when buying a knife. It additionally has an enormous impact on the value of a knife, as knife metal varies dramatically in price because of manufacturing challenges.

When contemplating knife metal, there are six necessary components to know: edge retention, corrosion resistance, energy, toughness, and ease of sharpening. Many knife steels excel in a single or two of those classes at the price of others. Some newer premium knife steels measure up properly in lots of classes however command a excessive worth.

Study extra about knife metal right here.

Ought to I Purchase a Folding Knife or a Mounted Blade?

Mounted blade and folding knives each have necessary locations within the knife world. For on a regular basis carry, mountaineering, and plenty of different makes use of the place measurement is a premium, folding knives are a wonderful alternative. They slot in a pocket, normally clipping to the within for safety. They’re simple to deploy shortly, and with fashionable locks, present a safe, protected instrument for many makes use of.

Mounted blade knives are stronger than folding knives. Thus, they’re a wonderful alternative for “laborious use” circumstances. For bushcraft, survival, army, and looking and fishing, mounted blades are very fashionable selections.

How Do I Clear and Care For My Knife?

Clear your knife in heat, soapy water and dry it with a material or air dry. Shield your knife from corrosion by by no means leaving it in a moist sink or close to saltwater. At all times rinse your knife in freshwater when you expose it to saltwater. Retailer it in a dry place. In case your knife has simply corroded metal like 1095 carbon metal, give the blade a light-weight coating of oil after every use to maintain corrosion at bay.

Now that you’ve got the perfect knife for backpacking, let’s discover a tent and sleeping pad.

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