This column is dedicated to the accessories you put not on your RV but rather on you (or in your hands). From essential survival tools to the latest camping gear, we’ll review equipment aimed at helping you enjoy your next road trip. Suggestions? Comments? Questions? Email editor.RVmagazine@gmail.com.
If you think about it, the knife is humanity’s original multi-tool. The first blade, probably chiseled from stone, was used to hunt, forage, cook, and fight. Fast forward thousands of years and the same could still be said.
But in the age of million-dollar motorhomes and GPS-aided hiking trips, many outdoor enthusiasts forget about the blade’s simple versatility. Why bring a whole toolbox on your trip when a folder knife in your pocket will suffice?
It can trim firewood for your campsite. It can open cooking supplies when scissors can’t be found. It can filet freshly caught fish or skin game from a hunt. It can be a self-defense tool against predators. And if you’re towing a 4x4 for trail-riding, it can air down your rig’s tires by pushing on the Schrader valves.
In this edition of Personal Cargo, we unscientifically tested three sizes of Spyderco knives to see which was the best fit for us. Read below and, like Goldilocks, see which is just right for you.
Spyderco Valloton Sub-Hilt Folder
Blade Length: 3.75 inches
Overall Weight: 6.2 ounces
Retail Price: $299.95
The 411: This large folder incorporates a heavy-stock design with a polished black G-10 handle, a super-sharp CPM-S30V blade, and a four-way steel clip.
The Good: Everything on this spells top quality, from the materials to the easee.
The Bad: Aside from the price (shop online for bargains), this bulldog of a knife is perhaps too beefy for some — the handle’s mor a half-inch thick.
The Verdict: RVers might not want to drive with this in their pockets, but it works su for hunting, camping, and fishing.
Blade Length: 3.5 inches
Overall Weight: 3.13 ounces
Retail Price: $199.95
The 411: This is a midsize workhorse that doesn’t fail. The VG-10 leaf-shaped blade has a flat-ground edge for precision cutting. The slim handle features G-10 scales, a solid back lock, and a deep wire clip.
The Good: It fits as comfortably in the hand as it does in the pocket. Blade is razor-like and easy to deploy.
The Bad: Aesthetically, it lacks bells and whistles — but that’s just us nitpicking.
The Verdict: Big enough to be a companion on any outdoor adventure but small enough to wear comfortably on your person, the Caly3.5 is an ideal folder knife for any RVer.
Spyderco Dragonfly 2 Lightweight ZDP-189
Blade Length: 2.25 inches
Overall Weight: 1.2 ounces
Retail Price: $114.95
The 411: This is the teardrop trailer of the knife world. Petite but potent, the Dragonfly 2 compensates for its size by focusing on ergonomics, ease of use, and durability.
The Good: The blade’s ZDP-189 steel is sharp and holds its edge. The fiberglass-reinforced nylon handle has gripping angles that make the knife feel natural in hand.
The Bad: It’s small…but we kind of like it like that.
The Verdict: You could have this puppy in your pocket while you steer your RV and never notice it. And when you need it, it’ll work almost as well as the big dogs.