Lightweight Backpacking Knife (Folder or Fixed)

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by wacki, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. wacki


    Sep 12, 2009
    I'm looking for a lightweight knife (I don't care folder or fixed) that's great for long hikes. Think 20 miles a day carrying food & water.

    I'm shaving ounces but don't want a wimpy blade that will break or is too small to be useful.

    Current Carry:

    Kershaw Blur
    • Weight: 3.9 oz.
    • Blade Length: 3.4 in. (8.6 cm)
    • Blade Steel: (I've got like 5 different steels of this model)

    I'm eyeballing:

    Benchmade 535 Bugout
    • Blade Steel: CPMS30V (58-60 HRC)
    • Blade Length: 3.24" (8.23cm)
    • Weight: 1.85oz. (52.45g)

    That's 2 ounces lighter and almost the same blade length.

    Any other suggestions? I can go fixed blade as well.
  2. aleforme

    aleforme Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 21, 2013
    Hard to beat a Bugout for lightweight. And it's a great knife. I would go with the blue because it's easy to see if dropped.

    I would also look at an ESEE Izula 2 fixed blade. Small, light and a great little knife. You can get them without the micarta scales to save some weight if needed.

    What are you going to be using the knife for? Food prep, general cutting, cleaning fish, etc?
  3. fielder


    Jan 25, 2011
    Fallkniven F1 or pro will handle anything.
    JeffGW and rexromic like this.
  4. wacki


    Sep 12, 2009
    Food prep & General cutting.

    Thank you for the feedback.
  5. wacki


    Sep 12, 2009
    Great knife but at 5.4 ounces sans sheath it's not a lightweight backpacker.
  6. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    For long distance backpacking, I think a medium sized SAK is all you need (probably something like a Farmer with the saw for versatility). If you want a fixed blade, Mora's work for "light". But I lean more toward something along the line of the Falkniven F1 size for a knife you really won't use much but is "enough".
    jmh33 likes this.
  7. rogatsby


    Jun 19, 2018
  8. cashville

    cashville Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 12, 2017
    Manix 2 LW
    MMGRenovations and OilMan like this.
  9. Pilsner

    Pilsner Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 28, 2017
    OP, I reckon if what you are after is ultra-light then the Grip is very hard to beat, in all honesty. I do similar length walks in a day, but can’t recommend anything as light as the Grip. I happily take along a slightly more robust folder or fixed blade, but that’s just me. Given that you are shaving ounces, I would say just go for it. :thumbsup:
  10. jmh33

    jmh33 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    Opinel No. 8 ...:cool:
    Henry Beige likes this.
  11. jstn

    jstn Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 27, 2012
  12. rogatsby


    Jun 19, 2018
    Another great suggestion. Although I prefer the No. 7 myself :)

    Seriously, if lightweight is a primary concern, and you don't want to sacrifice utility, Opinel 7 or 8 would be great choices, especially if the main use will be food prep.
    Henry Beige and Bigfattyt like this.
  13. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Rob47 and jstn like this.
  14. Akcir


    Sep 16, 2012
    Rainier Knives Fastpak.
    "Naked" 1.23 oz
    Elmax steel.
    A hair under 3" blade.
    Designed and made by a backpacker and former Marine.
    Spikediesel and Pilsner like this.
  15. Lapedog


    Dec 7, 2016
    The Delica or Endura are ideal for you either one. It’s basically the same knife in two sizes with the Endura being the bigger one with just under 4 inch blade. It is still so lightweight and compact though the Endura gets my nod.

    That said if you don’t want wimpy then really a small light fixed blade is the way to go.
  16. McFeeli


    Feb 13, 2017
    Tops MSK(Mini Scandi Knife). Robust enough to abuse, small enough to stick in your pocket. When I ride the relatively local mountain bike trails, I usually bring mine along. I also seem to bring along my PM2, or more recently, my K390 Urban. They’re mostly for the journey to get to the trails, though. I keep the folder in a pocket and the MSK in my backpack.

    If I were going to use the blade a lot, I may upgrade to the Tops Scandi Trekker. No experience with it, but I like everything about it from afar. It’s a larger MSK with a leather sheath instead of a Kydex neck-carry sheath.

    Another option, if you’re patient enough to wait for it to show up in stock, is the Spyderco Bow River. It looks like a killer design and I’m pretty excited for it. For the price they’re quoting it’s looking like a winner if you’re wanting a cheap, good quality fixed blade.

    Edit for picture -

    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
    Steel-Jaws and Lapedog like this.
  17. halden.doerge

    halden.doerge I'll Sharpen Your Knife Gold Member

    Aug 17, 2014
    The Bugout is still my go to for an ultralight backpacking folder. Even with the Para3LW. When we get some more steel options for the Para3LW, that may change...but the Bugout still beats it on weight and cutting edge length so....maybe not.
  18. Pilsner

    Pilsner Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 28, 2017
    Damn it. Why did you go and have to draw my attention to that? Now I want one... :mad:
  19. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    Opinel was my first thought. Stainless or carbon. Very light weight, and easy to sharpen.
  20. Filthyj24


    Jan 5, 2016
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

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