The Best First Aid Kits

For many of us, having a first aid kit on hand isn’t always something that we think about. However, having a medical kit in your home, office, or hiking pack is a fantastic idea. While chances of you needing to use it often are very slim, they do come in handy (even for simple situations like needing a band-aid or some disinfectant). This is especially true if you have kiddos running around. You never know when your little guy or gal will get a sliver or a scratch that needs attending.

To keep you ready for almost any situation, we have researched the best first aid kits available for easy purchase online. Have a look through the following list, and you will get a number of well rounded options for your next (or first) medical kit. Just keep in mind what you are looking for in one. Do you want something that has a ton of supplies and options? Do you prefer a kit that is light? Aside from that, sit back and enjoy the list.

Last Updated: January 29, 2018
By Tess Bercan:

Be sure to check out our comprehensive list of first aid kits to keep you ready for any minor situation at hand. Furthermore, you will want to have a glance at our FAQ section, near the bottom of the page, to learn what extra items to bring when you are traveling.

Trip worthy Compact First Aid Medical Kit
  • Trip worthy Compact First Aid Medical Kit
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Great price
  • High-quality supplies
  • Price: See Here
Swiss Safe 2 in 1 First Aid Kit
  • Swiss Safe 2 in 1 First Aid Kit
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Wide supply selection
  • Quality components
  • Price: See Here
Northbound Train First Aid Kit
  • Northbound Train First Aid Kit
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Great price
  • Waterproof case
  • Price: See Here

 

10 Best First Aid Kits

 

Trip Worthy Compact

Trip Worthy Compact
This is an all-purpose first aid kit that will assist you in any situation or undesired event that might come your way. It is as compact as it gets, considering that it is also equipped as it gets. It is currently on sale which makes it a highly desirable item on Amazon from campers around the world.
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Quality of supplies

The items included in the package are all medical grade quality and they satisfy the highest possible standards. They also meet the OSHA and ANSI requirements which make this product suitable for workplace situations. The entire kit, is FDA approved and it is a safe product to rely on.

Additional features

The Trip Worthy kit is built to last you for a long time. And if you are not already convinced, there is a 4 years guarantee that could convince you as well as a great customer service that will accept your every critique that you might have regarding their product.

However, if you are a passionate hiker, you might require another smaller version of a first aid kit since this one is too bulky for such occasion.
Pros
  • High medical grade quality components
  • Great price
Cons
  • Not suitable for hiking

Swiss Safe 2 in 1

Swiss Safe 2 in 1
If you want to be safe, go with Swiss Safe. It is an upgraded version of the previous one that features 120 items that are packed in a compact size box. Even though this seems as too large of bulky, the size is ideal for camping trips. And if you want to hike around your campsite, Swiss safe offers an additional smaller first aid kit box that has all the necessary medical supplies to keep you safe.
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Quality of supplies

The items included in the package are FDA approved and they are satisfying the highest standards even for kids.

Additional features

The small first aid kit has 32 items inside and it is lightweight enough for you to take on your next backpacking trip. You could check out the list of items through the link provided. This makes it quite versatile and adequate for every situation such as camping, hiking, backpacking, as a workplace first aid kit, business first aid kit or even a church kit. This is not the kit you are looking for if you only want to prepare yourself for minor complications during your outdoor trip, such as blisters and scratching. However, if you want to feel safer from earthquakes, hurricanes or flooding, this is the right option to choose!
Pros
  • High quality medical components

  • Wide selection of medical supplies suitable for every situation

Cons
  • Large
  • Heavy

Northbound Train First Aid Kit

Although the Northbound kit is promoted as a camping trip, its size is making it perfectly good for hiking or backpacking trips as well. Since the brand is before the launch of a new and improved version of this product, this specific first aid kit is on a huge sale that will save you more that 50% of the price.
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Quality of the supplies

Even though the components of the kit are manufactured in China, they are FDA approved and they follow the highest quality standards and the most competitive price on the market.

Additional features

The components are placed in a well protected and durable pouch which is made with nylon material. It is completely waterproof, which makes it good for water sports activities as well. However, it is a pouch and not a box which makes the stuff inside a bit less organized than a box kit. If you mind this feature, look through our box first aid kits with similar features and price range.
Pros
  • Competitive price
  • Waterproof case
Cons
  • Though sold in the US, the kit components are not made here

First Aid Only All-Purpose First Aid Essentials Kit

The First Aid Only All-Purpose First Aid Essentials Kit leads the way with just over 2000 great reviews on Amazon. It's no wonder; this comprehensive kit has almost 300 doctor-recommended contents and supplies. The supplies come in a soft-shell covering that is about the size of a novel. You can't go wrong with the size and comprehensive list of content that will keep you prepared.
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Quality of supplies

This kit will help you be ready for basic and unexpected daily accidents and it will provide an answer for every minor emergency situation. The components inside are with a good quality and doctor recommended.

Additional features

The components are packed inside a case that is soft, yet very durable. To keep it at it's finest, you can easily replace its contents, so that it is always like new. It is considerably lightweight vinyl at 2.4 pounds. Its compact size makes it easy for storing and its design easily detectable in nature.

It includes treatments, such as Ibuprofen, antiseptic towelettes, antibiotic ointments, and extra strength non-aspirin. It also has an emergency blanket, exam gloves, moleskin, and a whole lot more to keep you prepared.
Pros
  • Comprehensive kit
  • Compact
  • Fantastic organization

Surviveware Small First Aid Kit

Surviveware Small First Aid Kit
With 91% of five-star reviews on Amazon.com, this kit has shown it's strengths, quality, and use with people time and time again. The Surviveware Small First Aid Kit is affordable, durable, water-resistant, and highly organized.
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Quality

This kit includes an incredibly durable bag that is water-resistant. It may not pack in as many supplies as others, but it includes the top 100 essentials that should prepare anyone in a minor first-aid situation. All of contents included are quality, clean, and organized.

Additional features

This kit includes quality stainless steel scissors and the bag is 100% strong vinyl to last. The nice thing about the Surviveware Small First-Aid Kit, is that it is small and compact. While it includes 100 pieces, it is highly portable, which works well for the car or hiking day trips.

To help you find anything in a time-saving manner, the pockets are all labeled with their contents, so no need to rifle through it in a panic. There is also an extra pocket included for any extra personal items or medications that you would want to include.

Surviveware aims to impress, and that means that this kit comes with a life-time guarentee and a 100% money back policy.
Pros
  • Highly versatile
  • High-quality medical supplies
  • Well-organized
Cons
  • Not as comprehensive as other kits

DeftGet Waterproof Essentials

The DeftGet offers a first aid kit that is the perfect addition to family vacations. It is the first choice of doctors which proves the quality and usefulness of the components inside. Its bag is small and compact and the entire kit doesn’t weigh too much, so it is convenient to use for backpacking trips as well.
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Quality of supplies

The components included in this kit are not something that you need replacing. For instance, the tweezers and scissors are made from high-quality stainless steel instead of the cheap plastic many kits from this price range have.

Additional features

Although it is a bag and not a box, it is very comfortable to use and it has everything you might need for a hike, a bike ride, a camping trip, a backpacking or a hiking trip. The size is perfect and it fits everywhere. The bag contains a handle and you are able to zip it from both sides so that the access to the components is quicker.
Pros
  • Easily accessible items
  • High-quality components
  • Great bag design
Cons
  • A bit pricier than competitive items with similar features

Adventure Ultralight

Adventure Ultralight
This is the ideal first aid kit if you need a high-quality one that is very weight conscious. It is very light and compact and it is the biggest advantage of this package. However, unlike most lightweight kits that have fewer products included inside, Adventure Medical Kits has managed to pack the same amount of medical supplies.
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Quality of supplies

The quality of the supplies included inside is top of the notch as well as their selection. It has several sterile gauzes, bandages, kit for wound cleaning, everything you need to take care for a blister. There are also different types of medications that are essential for a wilderness trip. All in all, it has everything for minor emergencies that might happen to you in the wilderness. However, it does not include medications and supplies for more serious medical injuries.

Additional features

Although not as well organized as the REI first aid kit, the construction of the bag is highly durable and comfortable to pack anywhere. It is made to protect the content inside and it is completely waterproof thanks to the waterproof zipper and taped seams. This makes it suitable for kayaking trips and wet outdoor sports.

It is also not too versatile because of the lack of some medical products inside. However, this also saves weight and space which is the main reason why the bag has such a small and compact design.
All things considered, this first aid kit is perfect for 2 people who are going on a weekend backpacking trip. Thanks to its waterproof properties, it is also ideal for sports that put the user in touch with water, snow or ice.
Pros
  • Very lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Compact
Cons
  • Limited medical supplies

Lifeline Trail Light Dayhiker

Lifeline Trail Light Dayhiker
This first aid kit is just as the name suggests, extremely lightweight and suitable for one-day hikes. It is built to please the most demanding medical individuals with its high-quality items inside. It is a one man first aid kit, so if you are looking for a bigger one, look through our other options.
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Quality of supplies

This first aid kit has high-quality components and their quality is easily comparable to our previous REI option. However, this option also comes with a lower price which is much appreciated. The components inside are carefully selected and they come from different suppliers. However, there are some items in the kit that do not deserve to be in the same package as others. Specifically the tape and the tweezers as well as the gloves. However, most first aid kits come with low-quality gloves that should later be replaced with ones with a higher quality.

Additional features

This first aid kit is perfect for minor medical complications and short several hours trip. However, if something more serious happens, you are going to need a larger medical supply. If the supplier included some more items in the package, this could easily exceed this level and be counted as a high quality one-day first aid kit. However, this would increase its weight and size and the biggest advantages of this kit are exactly these features.
Pros
  • Great price
  • Waterproof
  • Compact design
Cons
  • Relatively heavy
  • Minimal medical supply

Adventure Mountain

Adventure Mountain
Unlike our previous suggestions which were adequate for backpacking trips with fewer people, this one is only suitable if you are on an expedition with a large group of people. It is also ideal for a camping trip with your family since it has everything that you could possibly need. Starting from minor emergencies necessary supplies, as well as more serious injuries, this kit has got you covered. However, if you are planning on going on a one day hike, you are going to have to get another first aid kit, since this one is too heavy and too large for such occasions.
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Quality of supplies

All of the components in this Mountain first aid kit are with the highest quality, except the triangle bandage which is disposable, as well as the ACE wrap. If you wish to have the best, you might want to consider exchanging them for cotton ones. In order to be fully prepared, we recommend that you purchase additional pairs of gloves since this kit comes with only two pairs. This is not at all logical since the kit itself is intended to be used for more people and longer trips.

This kit also comes with a wilderness book that explains the medical situations that might occur in an understandable manner which is very important if you don’t have much medical knowledge.

Additional features

Although the construction of the bag makes it very durable, it is also a bit on the heavy side. However, since weight is not considered with any of the components inside, this shouldn’t be an issue. It is constructed of a waterproof material and zipper, which make it completely waterproof. When it comes to versatility, there are two directions in order to determine it. One is the versatility considering the level of injuries, therefore it is highly versatile. However, if speaking of the trips it can be used for, it is pretty limited considering the weight and dimensions it has.
Pros
  • Waterproof bag

  • Enough medical supplies

  • Great for a larger group of people

Cons
  • Heavy

  • Large

Be Smart Get Prepared

Be Smart Get Prepared
This is not a kit for backpacking since it weighs quite a bit. Instead, you could use it for camping, leave it in your car or even use it at your workplace. It is quite capable of taking care of 50 people and it contains 250 items inside the box.
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Quality of supplies

For the quality of supplies, it has the OSHA and ANSI certifications. It is the perfect survival kit for your next camping trip or for your company. The box is highly organized with small compartments inside that are making the access to the box easier than ever. The box is plastic and it is highly resistant to impacts.

Additional features

Considering the number of people it is able to make safer, the price is not as high. At the moment, it is on sale, which is making it the number 1 best seller of first aid kits on Amazon. The expiration date of the entire kit is about 2 years, however, some items might need replacing a bit earlier. It is important to know that the weight and size of this kit are too big to fit a backpack and unless you are going on a trip with a vehicle, this kit is too bulky for you.
Pros
  • Wide selection of components
  • Great for a large group of people
Cons
  • Bulky
  • Heavy

 

Criteria for Evaluation

Type of trip

If you are going backpacking, but your final destination requires setting a campsite you might need a more versatile first aid kit that will convert to a hiking kit as well. If you are stationed on your campsite most of the time, but you have planned daily hikes around it, it is never smart to go without a first aid kit; even if it is only for a day. It is normal that your first aid kit weighs a bit more than one of a more experienced backpacker or hiker. After a while, you will get more experience and you will be aware of which items belong in your kit and which are redundant.

Also, if you are a beginner, it is important that you learn what every item of the kit represents and how is it used. After all, there is no use of a first aid kit that you don’t know how to use. Luckily, most kits have books included in the package that are explaining the basics of survival in the wilderness, so this might help you avoid the training that is otherwise necessary for you.

Items needed for prevention

Even if it is just a scratch, every wound should be treated, especially if you are spending more time in nature. Otherwise, you are risking an infection and this will certainly ruin your whole trip. If you are at home, you would normally maintain the hands clean and wash them more frequently. However, when in nature, you never know if the water source is reliable and whether you can wash your hands with it before treating the wound. For this reason, a first aid kit should have either more pairs of gloves or hand sanitizer that will disinfect your hands before touching the wound.

Other items that are more preventive than for emergencies include a sunscreen, especially in summer when the risk of sunburn is highest. This is especially important if you are planning a family trip since kids tend to get sunburns easier than adults. A moleskin tape would also be useful for minor discomfort on your feet. It is recommended that you use a moleskin tape before even getting a blister. If you feel like there is a hot spot and you might get a blister, stop and use the moleskin tape. Even if you don’t manage to prevent it, it will definitely feel a lot less painful than it can normally feel.

Another thing that comes useful for some people is lotion. And it is not for you to smell good. Instead, it is a great prevention against chafing and if this is a regular problem for you, then you must be prepared for it. Lotion would also help you with dry and cracked skin if you have such a condition.

Gloves, as previously mentioned are vital for preventing infections. However, they are not used for wounds only. Instead, it is recommended that you use latex gloves every time you get in touch with bodily fluids of every type.

Medication

Pills are especially important if you have some kind of allergy. Before spending some time in nature it is essential that you test yourself for allergies since there is a possibility that you are and you don’t even know it. In fact, you would be surprised how often this situation occurs. If it proves that you are positive for some allergies, make sure you pack pills or adrenaline injections if you have severe allergy symptoms.

Even though the anti-diarrhea pills won’t save your life, they will certainly save the day. If you know that you have stomach issues, it is vital that you prepare for this as well. Nevertheless, this type of pill is essential for all people, even those with a strong stomach. The reason for this is because if water sources are compromised with some kind of bacteria or viruses it is quite possible that your stomach feels the consequences first. The anti-diarrhea pills have inside them a coal component that destroys bacteria and it might prevent further poisoning altogether.

Pills for pain relief are something that every first aid kit has in its list. They are universal and they are good for minor situations as well as serious emergencies. They are used to prevent swelling or pain from any other type of injury.

Bandages

Even though you could manage without them, they will certainly come useful if someone scratches from a tree or a sharp object. They will protect the wound from the outside and they will maintain it clean. However, some alternative medicine doctors are recommending that you use band-aids only when absolutely necessary since by covering the wound you are prolonging its healing. However, if you are working something around the campsite, all experts agree that using one is better. And when you are back on the trail, remove it and let it heal naturally if you support this theory. After all, there are no pollutants up in the mountains.

Butterfly bandage

A butterfly bandage is something that we recommend that you double check if you have it into your first aid kit. It is intended to be used for deeper cuts and it works by pulling the skin on both sides of the cut together. This helps in keeping the wound clean and it helps it heal faster. It is always recommended that you clean a deeper cut wound before closing it with a butterfly bandage.

Gauze pads

A gauze pad will also be of use in the wilderness and it is used for covering larger affected areas. Duct tape is also useful for holding the bandage in their place. Even though it does not look very nice, it will certainly get the job done and you won’t be focusing on the bandage all the time, but you will be able to forget all about it and enjoy the rest of your trip.

 

Other critical components to include

Benadryl

Benadryl is a type of antihistamine that is great in the fight against allergies and if any symptoms occur. It has a way of stopping the symptoms, although in more severe cases, it might not be powerful enough. It is important to mention that even though you didn’t have a serious allergic reaction to an insect bite for instance in your younger age, later in life, this could change. It could change for the better, leaving you without allergy reactions or for the worse, with more serious reaction to the bite. In case something like this happens, it is better to prepare yourself for such situations.

Caffeine

Even though this might not seem as a critical component, it sure feels like it. Backpackers, campers, and hikers should include caffeine in their pill list since the lack of it, in an organism which is otherwise used to a certain amount of daily consumed caffeine, could cause a severe headache which would not be cured with any other pill. In a way, it is a lot like withdrawal from every other drug, and it is not recommended that you stop instantly. For this reason, your next backpacking or camping trip might not be the best idea for your caffeine withdrawal.

SAM splint

A SAM splint is a piece of aluminum material which is covered by foam. It is used for immobilization of broken bones or sprains and the support it is providing is incomparable to any other medical supply on the market. At least not one that could be packed into a wilderness first aid kit. However, if your first aid kit happens to be equipped with such medical supply, it is important that you know how to use it. It must be shaped in the form of the bone that needs to be immobilized in order for it to work.

 

FAQs

Q:Where should I keep my first aid kit?

If your first aid kit is for hiking, camping or backpacking, it probably comes with a waterproof case as well. However, when you are not using it, it is important that you store it in a place that is dark and away from any moisture. It should also be protected from spillages and away from children’s reach. Another important this worth mentioning is that all members of the group should know where the first aid kit is because sometimes, in more serious situations, even minutes matter. If some of your group members are children, it couldn’t hurt that they also know the purpose of the items inside. It is also important that you recheck the shelf life of the items inside the first aid kit. The items inside has a different expiration date and some might require replacing more often than others.

Many hikers prefer to keep their kit in the campsite while they are hiking on a trail nearby. However, this is not recommended because, in order for an accident to happen, it takes only a minute, not a day. For this reason, even if you are going on a one day hike, take your first aid kit with you. A circumstance that will make this easier is that there are convertible kits that will be ideal for a long backpacking as well as a hiking trip. They come with one bigger box that holds all the medical supplies and a smaller box or a sack that could only fit medical supplies that you need for one day. This combination is perfect for a backpacking – hiking adventure.

Q: What items should my first aid kit contain?

This sort of thing is not something you get out of boredom or because you like its design. It is a necessary item in your backpack or vehicle that must be highly functional and easily reachable. You want a first aid kit that will save lives and one that will make your day better. In order to do so, a first aid kit must contain some basic components. However, the quality of the components will greatly vary from one kit brand to another. For this reason, it is wise to inform yourself about everything first aid kit related before even thinking of purchasing one for you and your family. That said, Red Cross recommends that your first aid kit includes:

  •  2 absorbent compress dressings
  •  25 adhesive bandages
  •  1 adhesive cloth tape
  •  5 antibiotic ointment packets
  •  5 antiseptic wipe packets
  •  2 packets of aspirin
  •  1 blanket
  •  1 breathing barrier
  •  1 instant cold compress
  •  2 pair of non-latex gloves
  •  2 hydrocortisone ointment packets
  •  Scissors
  •  1 roller bandage
  •  5 sterile gauze pads
  •  Oral thermometer (non-mercury/non-glass)
  •  2 triangular bandages
  •  Tweezers
  •  First aid instruction booklet
Q: Should I put together my own first aid kit, or buy a pre-made one?

A first aid kit has over 20 items inside and putting them together takes time and effort. For this reason, people prefer to purchase a new first aid kit that has quality items inside. If you decide to purchase the items one by one, it will be time-consuming and some items like SAM splint, for instance, is very hard to find.

Another advantage of new kits is that they come with high-quality containers that are often waterproof and very durable. They are also more comfortable for wearing, unlike the low-quality sacks that are available at Walgreen. It is also very hard to calculate the weight of the kit if you improvise the items. The first aid kits that are preassembled often contain items that are not essential. These could be exchanged with other items if find them unnecessary.

If you are traveling in groups, you don’t have to carry one first aid kit per person. Instead, you could pair your kit with your partner’s. At the end, it is a tradeoff between the quality of the components and the weight of the kit.

Q: What are the some other first aid items to bring if you are travelling?

While you should always check with your doctor on the basic items that you will need for travel, here is an offering of some ideas to start with.

  • Tweezers: These little babies will help you out in situations where you may have a splinter or a piece of glass in an unwanted place.
  • Disinfectant: It’s always handy to have something like hydrogen peroxide on hand. This is particularly true of cleaning up small wounds after a splinter or small cut.
  • Insect repellant: If you are headed somewhere like Costa Rica, where skeeters roam wild, you will most definitely appreciate having some solid insect repellant on hand.
  • Anti-nausea medicine: While you travel, you are sure to be hopping onto busses, boats, and trains. All these different travel options may just have your stomach feeling unsettled. Anti-nausea medicine will help in these situations.

Q: Should I pack a first aid kit for my child to go to school with?

Packing a medical kit for your little one to go to school with is not a bad idea at all. However, you will want to check with your child’s school policies on what is allowed to be brought, and what is not allowed to be brought to school. Along with this, it is worth taking your time to check in with your kiddo’s classroom teacher, because he or she may already have an extensive kit on hand. Some parents pack school and child friendly kits for their little ones to leave in the classroom. How you want to prepare your child depends on what is allowed and not allowed by the teacher and school. Also, keep in mind, you won’t want to have your child handling medication of any sort. It’s best to stick with basics.

 

Final thoughts

We admit that first aid kits are a bit of a boring necessity and not everyone wants to pay a lot of attention to choosing one for her backpack. For this reason, we have suggested first aid kits that have high-quality components, and some are lightweight enough to be carried easily in your pack for trekking. While it can be highly tempting to grab an extra snack or two, rather than carry around a first aid kit (weight wise). But rest assured, if you opt for a less weighty kit, you will barely notice that it is there. 

And remember, as you head into the wild to sew your hiking oats, it’s safety before everything.

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