7 Excellent Backpacking Hatchets For 2023

There are few things I find quite as magical as a campfire. The crackles and snaps of the wood as the flames jump and dance about, looking to feed the flames and grow even more.

My dad always said, “that wood is not going to cut itself”, and with that, I would grab my backpacking hatchet from my pack and start making quick work of the sticks, branches, and logs to get the fire ready.  Before long the wisps of smoke rise from the fire, as the heat starts to generate outward, warming the chilled air. backpacking hatchet in log

When you head out for a backpacking trip, having a good quality hatchet is a necessity. Carrying a great backpacking lighter will also make your life easier.

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Choosing the best backpacking hatchet takes a little consideration to determine exactly what your needs are and the type of backpacking trip you are on.

Best Backpacking Hatchet Overall

Winner: Estwing 14 Inch


So let us get right to it. The reason you came here in the first place was to find the best choice, so we want to deliver.

The winner of the best backpacking hatchet is the Estwing 14-inch.

When it comes time to start your fire you need a well-rounded hatchet that makes cutting kindling easy to get things going.

You also need to be able to cut branches and split logs into smaller pieces to feed your fire. This tool is the perfect balance of size and function. The Estwing hatchet fits easily in your backpack at 14-inches.

The extra length over some of the other models adds power to chopping and splitting your wood. But it is not too long either. It is still very comfortable to handle using one hand to hold it.

Another winning feature is the one-piece 440 steel design, making it very durable. It will handle anything you throw at it, or throw it at as the case may be!

The weight of the head and the curve of the handle make this very comfortable to use. The cutting edge is easy to sharpen, given the tempered steel construction. The wedge of the splitting head is just right and the butt end is perfect for driving tent stakes or hammering other objects.

The Best Backpacking Hatchets Reviewed

When you go backpacking some gear is optional and some gear is essential. We believe a hatchet falls into the essential gear category.

When you are setting up camp, need to make a shelter unexpectedly, you cannot beat having the hammer end of the blade for the job.

Of course, you cannot dismiss the fact that you are hiking and hauling this gear around. That is why we specifically only included hatchets as part of our review and not camping or hiking axes. Those are great tools as well, but we are here to specifically look at items that fit easily into your pack.

Not all hatchets are created equal. Although they all fall into the general category, there is still a variety.

The important thing that defines a hatchet is that it is smaller than an ax, and primarily intended to be swung with one hand easily. Different designs have different advantages and disadvantages, so you have to decide what tradeoffs work best for you. Here is the final list.


Best Backpacking Hatchet Comparison Tables

Of the top 7 backpacking hatchets we chose, be break them down into two separate categories. The first group we consider to be standard. They are exactly as you would expect, which is a standard build and configuration.

The second group we would consider to be specialty hatchets. As you would expect, there are certain characteristics about them, that makes them a little different.

Overall they all fall into the general category of hatchets and not axes, which are much longer and intended for two-hand use.

Backpacking Hatchet Comparision Table

Our Choice
Estwing Sportsman's Axe - 14" Camping Hatchet with Forged Steel Construction & Genuine Leather Grip - E24A
Gerber 9-Inch Hatchet [31-002648]
Fiskars 378501-1002 X7 Hatchet
Gerber Pack Hatchet Camping Axe - Coyote Brown Handle/Black Blade [31-003484]
Highest Quality
Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet 13.50 Inch, Axe, 415
1.7 pounds
1.21 pounds
1.38 pounds
1.54 pounds
1.3 pounds
5,909 Reviews
858 Reviews
9,995 Reviews
1,282 Reviews
518 Reviews
Prime Eligible
Our Choice
Estwing Sportsman's Axe - 14" Camping Hatchet with Forged Steel Construction & Genuine Leather Grip - E24A
1.7 pounds