Gear Guide 2012: Gerber Steady Multitool

The Steady is lightweight considering its dozen tools, including flexible tripod legs.

[do-it-all]

Smartest multitool innovation in years: The addition of flexible, tripod legs and a standard quarter-inch camera screw so hikers can get no-blur images and video without schlepping an extra piece of gear. The Steady even has a clever adapter that lets you suction-cup a smartphone to the tripod.

Of course, the device also has a dozen other tools, such as long and short blades, three screwdrivers, can opener, wire cutter, needle-nose pliers, and more. And its ergonomic design allowed our testers to apply more grip force than standard straight-sided tools.

Note: Although the ball-and-socket tripod screw supports point-and-shoot cameras and smartphones, the system is too weak for DSLRs, midsize video cameras, and the largest compacts. These heavier and less center-balanced cameras list forward or to the side (but can work with some creative positioning/support). Our testers also wished for locking blades. The Steady fits big hands best. Bonus: Thanks to the plastic housing, it’s light considering the features. $65; 5.5 oz.; gerbergear.com