A double here, a berm there, and braap! Trail building is a big part of the fun. But transporting all those tools? A necessary evil, at least until now. The US brand Trail Boss claim to have made the multitool of trail building tools with their modular kit. But how does it fare on the trail-in-progress?

Trail Boss tool set | Price: from $ 600 | Colour: Black, Blue | Manufacturer’s website

Anyone who builds and creates their own trails knows that to cut a fun trail through a forest, you’ll usually need more than just a shovel. Often, you’ll have to loot half the tool shed to go out and build a trail, and lugging all those tools around is heavy and uncomfortable. A shovel, rake, hoe, and saw are the bare essentials needed to turn a forest into a trail paradise. US brand Trail Boss claim to have found a clever solution to this problem, combining all the necessary trail building tools into one convenient set – all neatly wrapped up for easy and inconspicuous transport. Sounds good at first, but you’ll have to fork out $ 630 (approx. € 582) for the privilege. Is this tool set from the Bellingham-based trail building tool specialists worth the money?

The Trail Boss tool set in detail

The trail tool set consists of a 3-piece handle that can be screwed together as needed.
The main handle can be extended with either one or two additional segments, depending on how long you want it. The main handle and one of the two extensions are made of glass-fibre-reinforced plastic. In our case, we opted for the steel version for the second extension, which costs an additional $ 30, but should prove to be more robust.

The three-piece handle of the Trail Boss tool can then be combined with a choice of three different heads. The McLeod tool consists of a cutting/digging blade on one end and rake tines on the other. You get another attachment with a hoe and pickaxe combination, as well as a 13″ saw blade. They’re all included in the 3-piece handle set. Trail Boss also include a collet, a small brush, and a tube of grease for the assembly.

You should always use the supplied brush and grease…
… to clean the threads when disassembling and assembling the tool.

The whole set is stored in a wrap made of very tough fabric, which fits into most backpacks thanks to its compact dimensions of just 22×43 cm. At 4.03 kg, however, it’s not light, and you’ll definitely notice it on your back. If you’re having a hard time justifying the $ 630 price point, you can also order the handles and heads individually, taking only the tools you really need.

The Trail Boss tool set on test

Once you’ve unpacked the Trail Tool, it’s quick and easy to assemble. Lightly grease the threads and screw the handle segments together, then attach the preferred head. The super-light handle has a comfortable diameter and length, making it easy to wield. Thanks to the weight distribution of a heavy head and light handle, you shouldn’t have any problems working for hours on end. The steel handle segment is ideal for rocky terrain, and more durable than the fibreglass rods. The workmanship of the tool is high quality, and the edges are still relatively sharp even after many trail building sessions in rocky terrain. In addition, the designs of the heads make sense for trail building, offering many different ways of working the terrain. The only thing we missed is a shovel, to move larger amounts of soil or shape a jump. However, we’re told that’s already in the works.

Thanks to the comfortable length and diameter of the handle, the Trail Boss tool sits comfortably in your hands.

If you want to change the head on the trail, it’s just as quick and easy to do as assembling the tool. However, it is important to always keep the threads clean and use the brush when you swap out the head. If you’re not careful, you’ll quickly damage the threads. You should also mind the protective plastic caps of the threads, as they can easily get lost amongst the roots and rocks of the trail. Once you’ve finished your trail-building session, the whole set is quick to stow away in your backpack.

Even after using the tool set in rocky terrain,…
… the edges of the heads remained relatively sharp.

The Trail Boss tool set is especially useful for spontaneous solo trail-building missions on remote trails, which you can only reach on foot or by bike, where you don’t want to or can’t carry your whole tool shed. If you’re travelling in a large group and embarking on a trail-building adventure, you’ll typically want to take the whole tool shed, so you’ll have a range of shovels or hoes to choose from.

When you’re finished building trails for the day, the tool set is quick to disassemble and store in the sturdy wrap, compact enough to fit into most backpacks.

Our conclusion on the Trail Boss tool set

The Trail Boss tool set is nice and compact and offers lots of functionality: ideal for the solo trail builder. The high-quality workmanship and durability somewhat justifies the hefty price. Nevertheless, the price is likely to put many trail builders off, because you could buy a wheelbarrow full of tools for the same money. However, if you value efficiency, don’t enjoy lugging a load of tools around, and feel like indulging yourself, the Trail Boss tool set is a reliable partner.


  • high-quality workmanship
  • quick assembly
  • excellent functionality
  • compact trail tool


  • hefty price
  • couplings must always be kept clean
  • no shovel

For more information, visit trailbossusa.com

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Words: Benedikt Schimdt Photos: Peter Walker