Gear Army: Wenger EvoGrip S18 Swiss Army Knife


On first glance, the black grips on the Wenger EvoGrip S18 look gimmicky and the Big Bird-yellow color is a bit loud for my taste. But, after a few test runs, I realized that the non-slip rubber allowed me to cut with more confidence and the knife's bright color let me spend less time looking for it at the bottom of my pack.

The knife boasts 11 different tools like scissors, a wood saw, and two screwdrivers. Over the course of a six week backpacking trip through southern Africa I used eight–not bad considering most multi-tools add countless implements that only add weight, not value.

I was particularly impressed with the can opener which was tested daily without fail and the sturdy knife-locking mechanism, which allowed me to cut a block of cheese without faltering. The EvoGrip easily fit in my hand at no bigger than a pack of gum, and was even more comfortable to use thanks to its ergonomic design. The box says it weighs 3.1 ounces which was just enough to feel reliable–not too light (which can make you question the quality) and not too heavy (you won't think twice about sticking this in your day pack).

–Jeremy Goodman, our tester who recently returned from southern Africa, plans to pick up bouldering. Playground of choice? Bryce Canyon and Olympic National Park. When his hands aren't chalky, he'll be training for his first marathon.

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