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We don’t have to tell you that a first aid kit is something you should always have on hand in your home. And your car. And your office. Do you have a backpack that you take with you on weekly hikes? It should have a first aid kit, too. Like to spend your days fishing on a boat? There should be a kit in there as well.
We all know that first aid kits are essential, but we often forget about them until we need them. Let us do you a favor and remind you to order one right now. First aid kits are a must-have item for everyone everywhere. From small, everyday cuts that require bandages to natural disasters that can leave you with burns and scrapes, first aid kits have you covered for all these events and more. Life is unpredictable, but the best first aid kits are designed to prepare users for the worst and come stocked with dozens of bandages, wraps, salves and tourniquets to keep us safe.
What To Look For in a First Aid Kit
We know that first aid kits are important, but what you may not know is that the world of first aid kits has expanded from the small white boxes with the red cross you remember from your school’s nurses’ station. Now, there are kits designed specifically for travel, kits for home use, and ones that are better equipped for natural disasters. You will likely need to purchase a cross-section of first aid kits to ensure you have the correct items on hand in every situation. A small, portable first aid kit that is lightweight and easy to carry is preferred for camping trips and long hikes. A medium-size kit can be kept in your car, and a larger kit that has a huge variety of essential items can be stored in your home.
How We Chose the Best First Aid Kits
The best first aid kits are well organized so that you can easily and quickly find what you need in an emergency. That being said, after you purchase a kit, be sure to go through it carefully so you are familiar with its contents. All the kits on our list can be used in several disaster situations while also boasting unique characteristics that are geared towards more specific circumstances. For example, we have one kit that can fit in a pocket, one kit that works with tactical gear, and another kit that comes with enough food and water to supply a group of four people for 72 hours.
Not sure which first aid kits are right for you? Check out our comprehensive list below.
1. First Aid Only 299 Piece All-Purpose First Aid Kit
Treat everyday cuts, scrapes, burns and more with the First Aid Only 299 Piece All-Purpose First Aid Kit, which features clear plastic liners that make it easy to locate items in a hurry. Pain relievers like Aspirin and Ibuprofen are included in the kit, as are multiple sizes of bandaids, antiseptic alcohol pads, antiseptic towelettes and sting relief pads. Sterile gauze pads for larger wounds are also included, as are oval eye pads.
Pros: The First Aid Only kit is a great basic first aid kit to be stored in the home or office or the car.
Cons: The kit doesn’t include any emergency preparedness items like a glow stick or warming blanket, making this a better option for home use than natural disasters.
2. Coleman All Purpose Mini First Aid Kit – 27 Pieces
Featuring 27 pieces, this mini kit won’t fix you up in extreme events, but it does act as a great little kit to have on hand at all times. Stash one in your glove box or backpack when camping to make sure you and your friends have the proper (and most important) tools on hand in case of emergency. These kits are great to buy in bulk and distribute into various emergency packs. An ideal addition to any bug out bag, emergency kit or camping trip, the kit includes commonly used first aid items like latex-free bandages, sting relief wipes, antiseptic wipes and antibiotic ointment for cuts, burns and bites.
Pros: The contents are protected in a reusable tin can that is crush-proof.
Cons: The pouch does not have as many pieces as the other kits on our list.
3. Be Smart Get Prepared First Aid Kit
For a first aid kit that exceeds the OSHA and ANSI 2009 guidelines for 100 people in a small business or office, we recommend the Be Smart Get Prepared First Aid Kit. Ideal for use in workplaces, schools, rec centers and at home, the Be Smart kit is an FDA-approved, comprehensive first aid kit that includes multiples of commonly used items. The kit includes 326 products, including ice packs, bandages, antiseptic towelettes, sting relief, antibiotic ointment and aspirin. Customers can re-order items from Be Smart whenever necessary and each kit includes a refill sheet.
Pros: The Be Smart comes in a durable and rugged plastic kit that can be wall-mounted or stored flat. Approved for office use.
Cons: The dividers inside the kit are flimsy and items can fall out when the kit is opened. Expiration dates on certain items don’t allow for a long shelf life.
4. JUDY Emergency Preparedness Dry Backpack
Be ready when disaster strikes with the JUDY Emergency Preparedness Dry Backpack. JUDY has become a leading name in disaster preparedness thanks to the company’s bright orange bags and boxes that are packed with essentials, including food and water. The Dry Backpack includes food and water for up to four people for 72 hours, as well as hand warmers, blankets, ponchos, dust masks, glow sticks, gloves, and an emergency whistle. In the first aid kit, the JUDY features over 100 items, such as gauze and band-aids, as well as hand sanitizer, a quick-dry towel, a multi-tool, a biohazard bag, and wet wipes.
Pros: The JUDY bag is waterproof and is a backpack style that makes it easy to carry.
Cons: The JUDY has a high price point and does not include as many first aid items as other strictly first aid kits on our list.
5. VSSL Compact Adventure First Aid Kit
For adventurists and survivalists who love to take on the outdoors, the VSSL First Aid – Compact Adventure First Aid Kit is a must-have for your next outing. The first aid kit is housed in a military-grade aluminum tube that is virtually indestructible. The waterproof vessel, which can fit easily into a bottle holder or connect to MOLLE webbing, comes with essential first aid items, including antiseptic wipes, gloves, a thermometer, bandages, gauze, tweezers, ointments and more.
Pros: The VSSL has a compass on the top of the tube and a four-mode LED light that can be used as a flashlight or to signal others in an emergency.
Cons: The VSSL has a high price point and doesn’t include as many items as other kits on our list.
6. DeftGet First Aid Kit
For a kit that can be stored in the home, office, car, school or taken outdoors, we recommend the compact and comprehensive DeftGet First Aid Kit. The kit’s 220 items are packaged in a nylon zippered case and measures only 8.2 inches by 5.1 inches, making it small enough to fit in a glove box. Newly upgraded, the kit includes medical-grade products like metal scissors and tweezers, as well as a flashlight, emergency whistle, tweezers, safety pins, antiseptic wipes, bandages, gauze and adhesive tape.
Pros: The DeftGet comes with a multi-use survival tool that includes a can opener, wrench, screwdriver, bottle opener, ruler, sawtooth and side knife.
Cons: There is no strap or handle on the case to attach it to a bag when taking outdoors. There isn’t much of an organization system inside and it can be difficult to keep the items in their allotted spot once the kit has been opened and used.
7. Everlit 250 Pieces Survival First Aid Kit
Be prepared for just about any kind of disaster with the Everlit 250 Pieces Survival First Aid Kit. Designed by a team of U.S. military veterans, the Everlit kit includes a wide range of first aid items, including gauze, bandages, tweezers, antiseptic wipes, wound dressing, alcohol prep and more. Exceeding the OSHA recommendations for what is required in a single-family first aid kit, Everlit has also included several survival tools for outdoor enthusiasts, including a three-mode tactical flashlight, compass, whistle, paracord bracelet, flintstone, knife, glow sticks and poncho. All items are housed in a military-grade EMT bag made from 1000D water-resistant nylon with molle compatible straps. We also like that Everlit has left room in the bag for users to add their own items, such as food.
Pros: Everlit sells its first aid kit in several colors to match tactical gear.
Cons: The kit doesn’t include items for cold weather, like a foil blanket or hand warmers, which customers may want to add.