Best Backpacking Axe: 4 Awesome Outdoors Hatchets Reviewed

Best Backpacking Axe

Axes, hatchets, tomahawks, whatever you call them, and whatever your needs are, having the best backpacking axe your budget allows means camping is going to be a lot easier and more fun.

If you don’t yet own an axe, you’re going to open up a world of new possibilities. Chopping firewood, splitting logs, cutting thick rope, hacking through foliage, there are many practical outdoor uses for a good hatchet.

Keeping the weight low, the blade sharp, and the handle short means you can carry a hatchet in your backpack with ease and have it close to hand when needed. In this article I look at four of the best on the market, so whether its budget, style, performance, or weight that you want to prioritize, one of the following will meet your needs:

Quick Links for Best Backpacking Axe Options

Model of AxeKey FeaturesRatingPrice
Tarvol 14" Camping Axe W/ Carbon BladeForged carbon strength steel, 14" long4/5Click here for Deals, Reviews & Pricing
Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet3.5" precise cutting blade, non-slip rubber handle4.5/5Click here for Deals, Reviews & Pricing
Fiskars 14 Inch Camping HatchetExcellent wood chopping head, good power-to-weight ratio4.5/5Click here for Deals, Reviews & Pricing
Elk Ridge Er-272 8" Backpacking AxeAffordable, compact and lightweight4/5Click here for Deals, Reviews & Pricing

What to Look for in a Good Backpacking Axe

There are three main areas to consider when buying a backpacking axe. The head, handle, and portability. Here is what you need to look out for to make the smartest choice:


The weight, material, and angle of the head make a huge difference for what you intend to use the axe for.

Obviously, keeping weight low is a priority. But if you’re intending to chew through some heavy duty stuff you need a heavy head.

You can get pretty useful axes that weigh just a couple of pounds and have 4-5” blades as you will see below.


While you can’t beat the feel of a smooth, sturdy wooden handle, it’s usually the best choice to go with a rubber handle for a better grip if you’re going to use the axe outdoors.

Finger notches make a huge difference too if you don’t want the axe to slip out of your hand and fly off in the opposite direction when it’s wet.

Most axes or tomahawks and hatchets as they are also called are going to be around 12-16”. More than enough length to get a good grip of, and short enough to bury itself in a backpack.


As you’re looking for a backpacking axe, portability, weight, and size should be pretty high on your list.

The good thing about tomahawks is that they are compact by nature. They don’t need to be heavy either if you want to chop down trees you’re not looking for an axe that’ll tuck away in your pack.

You will be able to find an axe weighing a couple of pounds that’s more than capable of chopping up wood, cutting through vines, ropes, and tackling all the activities you need to do around the campsite.

4 of the Best Backpacking Hatchets

Tarvol 14″ Camping Axe W/ Carbon Blade

Tarvol 14 Inch Camping Axe W Carbon BladeThis axe is a perfect companion for any outdoors enthusiast. The head is 3.5” and 1.25lbs of carbon strength steel, giving a strong, lightweight head to deliver on damage.

Whether you’re camping, hiking, fishing, backpacking, I can’t see any task this axe isn’t going to handle.

Talking about handles, the ergonomic rubber design fits perfectly into your hand for maximum grip in all conditions.

It’s well balanced which is also an important design feature of a good tomahawk. The only thing not to like is the lime green color if you really want to be picky!

It comes with a 100% manufacturer’s money back guarantee too. So swing away safe in the knowledge that any manufacturing defects are covered.

Click here for Deals, Reviews & Pricing

Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet

Bear Grylls Survival HatchetThe range of camping equipment with Bear Grylls name are actually really good quality from what I’ve seen. So it’s not just a branding exercise.

The head is a 3.5” full-tang, high carbon steel constructed piece of slicing mastery. It’s well weighted to do some serious work and small enough to fit in a rucksack, pack, or clip onto your person.

The handle is covered in non-slip rubber that won’t let you down when wet, and it comes with a mildew-resistant nylon sheath which is a welcome extra that not all axes include.

I can’t promise it will hollow out a tree to make a raft or help you plow through dense rain forest, let’s leave that stuff to Bear. But it will make an excellent backpacking tool.

Click here for Deals, Reviews & Pricing

Fiskars 14 Inch Camping Hatchet

Fiskars 14 Inch Camping Hatchet

I’ve chopping wood is what you want a camping axe for then this model from Fiskars is exactly what you need.

It’s designed with the main goal of chopping up wood, and it’s good at what it does. The head is made with a proprietary blade grinding technique for a sharper edge, and it gives a nice clean cut.

When you use an axe as effective as the Fiskars to chop some wood you’ll wonder how you ever made do with a sub-par axe.

The combination of blade geometry, weight distribution, super-sharp edge, and long handle means it does the work for you!

Click here for Deals, Reviews & Pricing

Elk Ridge Er-272 8″ Backpacking Axe

Elk Ridge Er 272 8 Inch Backpacking AxeI’ve included this axe from Elk Ridge for those who want a super-compact, affordable, simple, but effective backpacking axe.

It looks like a no-nonsense, military issue tool, and something that appeals to the minimalist outdoorsman like me.

The handle is wrapped in thick cord for a rough, but effective grip in all conditions. Sure, it doesn’t have perfect weight distribution or the length to help you slice through thick wood, but that’s not what it’s designed for.

It’s designed to be ready for action and deliver a sharp blade on a moment’s notice. At just 8” you won’t even notice this hatchet is in your pack, and don’t worry, it comes with a nylon sheath to avoid any injuries when fumbling in your pack.

Click here for Deals, Reviews & Pricing


Although it may seem like there is a lot of information to digest for such a simple tool, it’s not that complicated and I’ve done the hard work for you.

Having the right axe is going to make your life so much easier, and it’ll last you a lifetime. Whether you want to chop wood, need a blade for fishing, hiking, camping, or just want an axe in case of emergencies – you’ll find it in one of the 4 reviewed above.

I didn’t touch much on safety when carrying or using an axe. It would be amiss for me to not mention at all that you should always act responsibly with something that can be potentially very dangerous, but I’m sure you will!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *