Can anyone verify whether pliers are needed to fix a broken zipper (I've never had a zipper break either, but now I'm taking kids backpacking), whether the can opener comes in handy when you have to resupply in trail towns and enjoy adding tuna to pasta salads, and whether the pliers &/or screwdrivers are needed to fix anything on canister stoves ?
In general, I think the small Wenger Esquire (or Victorinox Classic) is probably all that's needed for backpacking - UNLESS the multitool pliers, can opener or screwdrivers are useful for something...
ps: There seems to be another thread developing here on whether scissors are needed and which ones work well. I've found the scissors on the smallest swiss army knives work much better than the knife blade for: cutting cordage (much better than a 1.5" knife), trimming hang nails and popped blisters, cutting a circle out of the middle of moleskin, rounding the ends of medical tape, and making an alchohol stove. They also trim loose threads on gear with less risk than the knife. The Victorinox classic has slightly smaller scissors than the Wenger Esquire. The Classic's scissors don't cut 1/8" braded cord very well - they slip along the cord when being closed. I bet the Esquire's serrated ones work better. Also, the Classic's scissors are so small that it's very difficult to press hard enough to cut fingernails. The larger scissors on the "standard" (3.5") size swiss army knives cut fingernails easily. I bet the mid-size scissors on the Esquire work better than the Classic's. But I'm sure the full size scissors on the 3.5" swiss army knives, Micra or Squirt S4 work much better.
I've also used the 1.5" knife on the Classic to make shavings and fuzz sticks to start a fire. It's possible, but I worry about breaking the thin blade every stroke and have to be really careful not to cut too deep before I turn the blade to shave along the stick. To take off bark, get below wet wood, or sharpen a stick to roast marshmallows, it's definitely a LOT easier to use the sturdier 2.5" blade on my Sypderco Dragonfly.