A first aid kit is a collection of supplies and equipment that is used to give medical treatment in case of an emergency or minor injuries. It is an essential item to have in any household or workplace, as it can be used to treat minor injuries and illnesses, prevent minor injuries from becoming more serious, and provide peace of mind. Having a first aid kit on hand can also buy time for the person to reach professional medical help.
It’s important to have a first aid kit in various locations such as home, workplace, vehicles, outdoor activities, and while traveling. The cost of a first aid kit can vary, but it’s a small investment considering the peace of mind and potential cost savings that come with having one on hand in case of an emergency.
Accessibility to first aid kits has improved our ability to provide emergency care, even in remote or disaster situations. Bystander CPR, while only recommended after proper training, has been found to double a victim’s chance of survival (2).
Whether you’re a hunter, fisherman, rock climber, backpacker, or simply need a healthy supply of Band-Aids for your accident-prone children, having a first aid kit on hand is essential. In order to help you find a kit that’s right for you, we’ve compiled our 9 Best First Aid Kits of 2023
1. BunkerTactical Survival First Aid Kit
The Survival First Aid Kit by BunkerTactical is a compact and well-designed emergency kit suitable for outdoor enthusiasts and those preparing for unforeseen situations. It comes in a durable and compact case, providing easy portability and protection for the contents.
The kit includes a wide range of high-quality medical supplies, such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, and advanced equipment like trauma shears and a CPR mask. The supplies are organized in labeled compartments for quick access, and a comprehensive first aid guide is included for reference. We hope you never have to use a survival first aid kit, but if you do, make sure you have the BunkerTactical kit on hand.
2. My Medic MyFAK First Aid Kit
My Medic MyFAK -This first aid kit is well stocked with first aid medical supplies that can be used in any situation, including a life and death emergency. The kit is well stocked with the essentials but the price is a little steep. The MyFAK first aid kit contains supplies that can be used to treat bleeding, burns, sprains and fractures. It also includes items like medications and topical creams. This advanced kit contains the essential medical supplies, is essentially indestructible and can be taken anywhere, anytime.
3. Surviveware Large First Aid Kit with Mini Kit
The Surviveware Large first aid kit is durable, strong, and designed to last. Made from 600D Polyester this first aid kit comes in the strongest bag on the market. For the price you’re paying, you deserve the best. Forget about flimsy plastic containers that break when under pressure, invest in a soft shell first aid kit that is rugged, robust and portable.
This kit is FDA and travel approved. This kit comes with 200 essential basic life-saving items for your Truck or Boat with additional space to add your own items. The bag is water resistant and all inner items are protected from water in durable laminate pouches. It contains organized compartments to keep all of the supplies easily accessible. The kit comes with a great Molle System so that you can easily attach to your car’s headrest.
4. Uncharted First Aid Kit Pro
Great compact first aid kit with many uses. Uncharted Supply has a great reputation and makes quality gear. The kit comes in a waterproof and durable bag and can be used anywhere. Also this kit comes standard with a molle system allowing customization.
The kit contains all the essential first aid supplies including, sterile adhesive, bandages, and much more. It also comes with instructions and basic first aid procedures. This would be a perfect first aid kit for camping, in your vehicle, oryour home.
5. Swiss Safe 2-in-1 120-Piece First Aid Kit
This 120-piece kit from Swiss Safe has been upgraded in 2018! The main part of the kit features 120 medical grade items and weighs only 1.2 pounds. This 2-in-1 kit also includes a small 32-piece Mini First Aid Kit.
The emergency kit is FDA-approved and contains stainless steel trauma shears, an instant ice pack, various survival tools, and more. The Mini First Aid Kit is designed for easy transportation and offers Band-Aids, antiseptic alcohol and sting relief pads, gauze, CPR kit, and refill essentials.
6. DeftGet 163-Piece Waterproof First Aid Kit
DeftGet offers this 163-piece First Aid Kit in a compact, nylon waterproof case. Their 2018 upgrade features bigger, stronger metal scissors and tweezers and a more accurate compass. It’s a perfect first aid kit for avid fishermen or an extended backpacking trip.
This waterproof kit contains 163 high-quality medical essentials, including triangular bandages, an emergency blanket, flashlight, saber cards (3), non-woven adhesive tape, and so much more. At a weight of just 10.4 ounces, it’s durable to withstand harsh conditions and light enough to go anywhere with you.
7. Compact First Aid Kit
This comprehensive first aid kit contains 228 essential items and is manufactured in a modern, sterile facility that exceeds safety standards for emergency first aid for both adults and children. The kit features a compact, high-end design with an EVA mold case that is lightweight, shockproof and durable. The PU surface is smooth, waterproof, and easy to clean. The kit also includes waterproof laminate bags to protect your supplies. It is recommended to keep the kit close at hand in case of emergencies, such as earthquakes or accidents.
Store it in a bug out bag, backpack, car or medical cabinet for quick access. Additionally, advanced emergency supplies, such as first aid blankets, scissors, whistles, and multi-function saber cards, are included to improve the chances of survival. The manufacturer offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, with the option for a replacement or refund if the customer is not satisfied.
8.M2 BASICS 350 Piece Emergency First Aid Kit
The M2 Basics 350-Piece Professional First Aid Kit comes with a mountable hard case that includes organizers for easy access to both large and small medical items. The case is rugged and sturdy, ensuring that your supplies are well protected. The kit includes over 350 commonly used medical and safety items for businesses, families, and disaster preparedness. The kit is versatile and can be used in a variety of settings, including vehicles, survival, pets, offices, EMT responders, college dorms, camping, travel, boats and commercial.
Keep your workplace, family, and friends safe by being prepared for most common minor injuries or emergencies with the M2 Basics 350-Piece Professional First Aid Kit. Note: The contents of the kit are organized into several packages to avoid shifting of items during shipping. Please arrange the items into the organizing shelves and compartments as you prefer upon receiving the 1st aid kit.
9. Lightning X First Responder First Aid Supplies Kit
The Lightning X aid kit is specifically designed for wilderness first responders and medics, but it’s also great for special events, concerts, hiking, camping, schools, and daycares. All supplies are packed in a waterproof backpack with an abrasion resistant bottom and reflective triple trim on top and bottom for safety and visibility.
The First Responder First Aid Supplies weighs 9 pounds and offers four removable foam dividers in the main compartment, as well as small and large elastic loops, tool pockets, and mesh pouch. It contains a number of lifesaving essentials, including Kelly Hemostats, Ammonia ampules, adult blood pressure cuff with a case, and much more.
How We Test
Testing first aid kits involves evaluating the contents of the kit to ensure that they are appropriate for the intended use and of good quality. This can be done by comparing the contents of the kit to a list of recommended items for that type of kit, such as a basic first aid kit or a wilderness first aid kit.
To test the contents of a first aid kit, a team of experts can examine each item in the kit to ensure that it is in good condition, not expired, and appropriate for the intended use. They may also test the effectiveness of certain items, such as checking the expiry date of medications and testing the pressure of a blood pressure cuff.
Additionally, they can check the packaging of the kit to ensure it is durable and easy to open in an emergency situation. The team may also evaluate the instructions provided with the kit to make sure they are clear, easy to follow and provide relevant information.
Frequently Asked Questions
What to look for in a first aid kit?
When looking for a first aid kit, there are many factors to consider. A quality first aid kit should be part of any hiking, camping, or backpacking essentials checklist. But it is also a must-have item for your home, car, off-road hunting vehicle, or fishing boat. First aid kits have been around since the late 1800s, but they’ve grown significantly in effectiveness over the years.
The origins of first aid can be traced back to June of 1859 when a young Geneva businessman, Henry Dunant, helped to mobilize the civilian population to care for the wounded victims of the battle of Solferino (6).
First aid and civilian care are just as vital as it was that day more than 150 years ago. That said, we’ve created first aid kits for a wide variety of uses since then. In the interest of helping you make a selection, our Buyer’s Guide will focus on three main factors: your first aid experience, how you intend to use it, and what you’re willing to spend.
First Aid Experience
Your level of first aid or medical experience has a large impact on the type of first aid kit you need. If you don’t know how to use a hemostat, tourniquet or an oropharyngeal airway kit, for example, there’s not much need for you to splurge on a kit that contains these items.
In general, more experience means you’ll want a larger variety of first aid supplies at your disposal in an emergency situation. If you’re a Wilderness First Responder or Emergency Medical Technician, for example, tools like hemostats are incredibly handy if the situation calls for their use.
However, one important rule of first aid is to never take action to make the situation worse. If you have an educated idea for how to improve a patient’s health, take action.
If not, you’re often better off deferring to more experienced medical personnel. Fortunately, the new First Aid app from the Red Cross (7) can guide you through a lot of basic care.
There are many uses for a first aid kit, but we believe that everyone should own a first aid kit. Examine the scenarios you’ll most likely use a first aid kit in. Fishermen, for example, need a kit that can help them remove a fish hook and patch the resulting wound.
Moms need a kit that has plenty of Band-Aids and triple antibiotic ointment. Avid backpackers want a kit that will help them provide care for everything from hot spots and blisters to a severe leg injury.
The most common household accidents include trips and falls, falling objects, cuts, sprains, bruises, choking, and burns (8). Well-documented backpacking injuries, on the other hand, include blisters, dehydration, hypothermia, and bug bites (9).
Your intended use will have a large impact on the type of first aid kit you ultimately select. How you plan to store the kit, such as in a backpacking pack, under the back seat of your car, or under the kitchen sink, should also factor into your decision.
When searching for the best first aid kit, budget is a huge factor. First aid kits come in a variety of shapes and sizes. More expensive and comprehensive varieties are specifically designed for medical personnel. Others provide the basic essentials for every household. Your choice will likely come down to how much you’re willing to spend.
For reference, complications from an infected wound include fever, continual or increased pain, redness and swelling, and fluid drainage (10). The first step to proper first aid care is to have the right supplies at your disposal when treating various wounds or illnesses.
Some of the largest first aid kits on the market today cost over $300. The kits we’ve highlighted in this post range from $15 to $115. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide how much your safety and health, as well the health of your friends and family, is worth.
While we hope we’ve provided sufficient information to help you find the best first aid kit, we recognize that you may still have a few questions that we have not been able to answer. So, let’s look at a few of the most frequently asked questions about first aid kits.
What is the definition of “first aid”?
The term “first aid” is defined as the initial care given by a responder with little equipment to someone who is injured or suddenly becomes ill.
What should be in a first aid kit?
As you’ve seen through the 10 first aid kits we’ve highlighted today, these kits can contain a variety of medical tools and supplies. Most first aid kits don’t include food, but you can always add an MRE or 2. Generally, however, a first aid kit must contain the following items:
- Absorbent Compress
- Adhesive Bandages
- Adhesive Tape
- Antibiotic Treatments
- Antiseptic Swabs, Wipes, and/or Towelettes
- Bandage Compresses in Multiple Sizes
- CPR Barrier
- Burn Dressings and Treatments
- Cold Packs
- Eye Covering with means of attachment
- Eye/Skin Wash
- Hand Sanitizer
- Roller Bandages in Multiple Sizes
- Sterile Pads
- Triangular Bandage
- First Aid Guide
How do I become certified in first aid?
The American Red Cross (11) provides some of the most comprehensive, accessible first aid training out there. In general, first aid classes require your participation in all course activities, which can include lecture, DVD, skills practice, and written and skills testing.
Certification is awarded to participants who demonstrate 100% proficiency in all required skills and who pass the written examination with a minimum score of 80%.
Where can you store a first aid kit?
A first aid kit can be placed in various locations depending on the intended use. Some common places to keep a first aid kit include:
- Home: A first aid kit should be kept in an easily accessible location in the home, such as a kitchen cabinet or a bathroom.
- Workplace: It is essential to have a first aid kit in the workplace, it should be placed in an easily accessible location, such as a break room or near an emergency exit.
- Vehicles: Having a first aid kit in your car is a good idea, it should be placed in the trunk or in a glove compartment.
- Outdoor activities: A first aid kit is an essential item to bring on camping trips, hiking, or other outdoor activities. It should be kept in a dry, easy-to-reach location in a backpack or other type of bag.
- Travel: It’s also a good idea to have a first aid kit when traveling, it can be stored in a suitcase or carry-on bag.
It’s important to keep in mind that a first aid kit should be placed in a location that is easily accessible in case of an emergency and should be checked regularly to ensure the contents are in good condition and not expired.
When do first aid kits expire?
Most first aid kits have a shelf life of three to five years. That said, it’s extremely important to regularly check the supplies in your kit to ensure they are in good condition and haven’t expired. Administering expired medications or using supplies that are no longer sterile can have the opposite of the desired effect.
How Much Does a First Aid Kit Cost?
The cost of a first aid kit can vary greatly depending on the size and contents of the kit. Basic first aid kits can be purchased for as little as $10 to $20 while more comprehensive kits can cost $50 or more.
You can also build your own first aid kit by buying the items separately, prices for the items can vary depending on the brand and where you buy them, but you can expect to pay around $5 to $10 for an adhesive bandages, $2 to $5 for a pair of scissors, $5 to $10 for a thermometer, $2 to $4 for a whistle and so on.
It’s important to note that the cost of a first aid kit is a small investment considering the peace of mind and potential cost savings that come with having one on hand in case of an emergency.
What First Aid Kit does the Military use?
The military uses a personal or individual first aid kit that is issued to everyone. Its called an IFAK(Individual First Aid Kit).
A first aid kit is a collection of supplies and equipment that is used to give medical treatment. It is a necessary item to have in any household or workplace as it can be used to treat minor injuries and illnesses.
Having a first aid kit on hand can also help prevent minor injuries from becoming more serious and can provide peace of mind. In case of emergency, it can buy time for the person to reach professional medical help. It is essential for emergency preparedness and can save lives.
The human body contains an average of 10 pints of blood. A loss of two pints usually results in shock and a loss of five to six pints results in death (12). A bystander with a good first aid kit could easily prevent loss of life in this type of scenario.
First aid kits come in handy for thousands of people every year. A first aid kit is something you want to stockpile in your house. When the need arises, we hope you’re prepared, and we hope that the information we’ve provided will help you select the best first aid kit!