The Victorinox Climber is an asset to anyone’s daypack, although not something we’d tie to our rack, it helps you through the day with the little things that go with climbing.
This classic design has been refined over the years to produce a well built and nicely finished product. The Victorinox Climber doesn’t feel cheap or liable to break anytime soon. We were pleased with it’s weight and the way the tools seat, both in the locked position and when retracted.
Although we didn’t find the Climber to have any real specific ‘climbing’ features (as a rope or hook knife would) it lacks one hand opening and weighs too much to realistically put up with it on your harness. However, climbing aside, it bares 14 features over 10 tools, most of which are pretty useful and for the weight well worth throwing in your backpack when walking up to the crag for the day:
- large blade
- small blade
- can opener with
- small screwdriver
- key ring
- multi-purpose hook (parcel carrier)
- cap lifter with
- wire stripper
- reamer with sewing eye
It turned out to be the small and often annoying things that the Climber helped out with; forgetting to cut your nails, dicing up lunch or making repairs to equipment on the move.
Many years ago, I had a very poor replica of a similar multi-tool. The main drawback with it was the quality of the blade, a blunt knife isn’t helpful. Luckily, the genuine article performs well here, coming with a very sharp blade straight out the box, great news if you ever have to cut off your own arm. Our advice, don’t go for cheap replicas, especially when the genuine product is pretty cheap anyway.
Grip & Handling
The trade off with multi-tools is the bulk, the tools are often offset with the centre of the tool and can be awkward to use, however we did find the climber surprisingly ergonomic even with the basic design. The size and weight of the Climber make for ease of use and good handling.
Value For Money
There’s a wide range of multi-tools and knifes on the market (that’s outside our niche). We found the Climber useful, not everyday, but just to have in the bottom of your bag or in the car. If you’re looking for a emergency knife for dealing with messed up anchors or cutting the rope on your partner, it’s probably worth looking at a climbing specific knife (that can open with one hand and attach to your harness with less weight). But for day-to-day use you can’t go far wrong with the Victorinox Climber.