Every home should have at least one first aid kit so that you can quickly find first aid essentials when somebody gets hurt. However, first aid kits vary widely in terms of their variety and quantity of products, so finding the perfect first aid kit for your needs is not always easy.
Buying Guide for First Aid Kits
Why buy a first aid kit?
From bee stings to splinters and even more serious injuries such as cuts and sprained joints, a great first aid kit can be a fantastic help in a pinch. Providing first aid can buy you time when you need to visit a hospital or prevent a future hospital visit by sterilizing wounds before they become infected. Having a first aid kit can also provide peace of mind for those who like to hike, climb, and participate in other rugged outdoor activities.
What should you look for in a first aid kit?
- Variety: When it comes to first aid kits, variety is essential. Thus, look for a product that includes antiseptic agents to kill germs, plenty of bandages and compresses to treat wounds, instruments to cut cloth and bandages, and even medicine to treat pain or nausea in a pinch. If your first aid kit lacks any of these essentials, it’s a good idea to add vital components to your first aid kit yourself so that you will be prepared during an emergency.
- Quality: Even if your first aid kit includes all of the essentials on paper, it will not be worth much during an emergency if its components are subpar. For this reason, be sure to invest in a first aid kit with metal (as opposed to plastic) instruments and plenty of quality components. You should also read some reviews to ensure the bandages, compresses, and other components work properly when put to the test.
- Organization: When an injury occurs, an adequately organized first aid kit will allow you to quickly find the components you need when time is of the essence. For this reason, avoid first aid kits that are hard (or impossible) to organize, as these are far less suitable for emergencies.
What should you look for in a portable first aid kit?
If you will be taking your first aid kit with you when hiking, boating, or doing other outdoor activities, it is a good idea to invest in a waterproof or water-resistant model that can withstand some wear and tear. Also, you never know what will happen when you’re roughing it, so investing in a kit that comes with survival tools such as an emergency blanket, pocket knife, fire starter, and compass isn’t a bad idea. That being said, don’t fall for a product that offers lots of extras but fails to provide quality bandages, pads, and medicine.
Our Picks for the Best First Aid Kits
First Aid Only All-Purpose Essentials
This first aid kit stands out for the variety and quality of its contents.
Pros: Featuring a great variety of first aid essentials, including a ton of bandages, the First Aid Only All-Purpose Essentials is a budget-friendly option for those who really want to stock up. This first aid kit also scores points for being easy to organize thanks to its clear plastic liners, which allow you to clearly see its contents. While not every component in this kit is a winner, its gloves, bandages, antiseptic wipes, and individually-packaged medicines offer a lot of value for your investment.
Cons: The plastic tweezers that come with this kit are far from ideal when trying to remove a splinter or stinger from your skin. Thankfully, these can easily be replaced with a much more effective model.
Bottom Line: If you’re seeking a first aid kit for your home, this product has a great variety of high-quality first aid essentials that should last quite a long time. It also makes it quick and simple to find exactly what you need in the event of an emergency.
Swiss Safe 2-in-1 Hardcase First Aid Kit
This durable first aid kit is compartmentalized for quick access to its wide variety of first aid gear.
Pros: If you’re looking for a first aid kit that offers more, the Swiss Safe Hardcase First Aid Kit has you covered. This first aid kit sports a durable, double-sided design and lots of compartments for next-level organization. It also exceeds expectations in terms of quality and quantity, with a wide variety of bandages, pads, and everything you’ll need to treat wounds fast. It also comes with quality stainless steel tweezers and shears, making it a stellar choice for those who aren’t turned away by its hefty price tag.
Cons: This first aid kit is on the expensive side, even if it outperforms most other products in terms of durability and first aid offerings. That being said, there aren’t many corners cut here, so those looking for quality above all else will probably be satisfied despite this product’s price tag.
Bottom Line: Usually, first aid kits that are this comprehensive are hard to navigate in order to find what you’re looking for. However, this one is great to have handy in an emergency thanks to its compartmentalized design and a next-level assortment of first aid products.
Welly First Aid Kit
This kid-friendly first aid kit provides a lot of fun bandage styles.
Pros: Kids are notoriously selective when it comes to bandages, but the Welly First Aid Kit’s impressive assortment of sizes, colors, and bandage styles should be ideal for even the pickiest child. This kit also impresses thanks to its cute yet durable case and comes with an assortment of wipes and creams for treating cuts, scrapes, and rashes. While this isn’t the most budget-friendly option, nothing compares to this kit in terms of child-friendly bandages.
Cons: While this product goes above and beyond in its assortment of child-friendly bandages, it doesn’t include the assortment of first aid gear that you will find in other first aid kits. Thus, you may have to provide your own medical gloves and tweezers to round out this kit.
Bottom Line: When your child scrapes their knee, the last thing you want to hear from them is a refusal to use an “ugly” bandage. Thankfully, this first aid kit’s impressive variety of colors and styles should be suitable for kids of all ages. That being said, be prepared to add a few first aid essentials yourself in the event of a bee sting or other minor booboo.
SHBC Compact First Aid Kit
This waterproof first aid kit includes some unique extras such as a multitool and tourniquets.
Pros: If you need a reliable first aid kit for your boat, the SHBC Compact First Aid Kit comes with all the necessities plus some nifty bonus items that very few first aid kits provide. It has a waterproof case that is compact enough to easily store in small boats. In addition to a variety of bandages and swabs, this kit also comes equipped with eye pads, a whistle, a nifty multitool, and a couple of tourniquets, making it a great bang for your buck for those who enjoy spending their time out on the water.
Cons: This first aid kit doesn’t have a wealth of smaller compartments like some other models, so organizing the kit can be pretty tricky. On the other hand, the plastic compartments are transparent, so it does make retrieving specific items a bit easier than it would otherwise be.
Bottom Line: Not every first aid kit is rugged enough and stocked for your next fishing or boating trip, but this one provides a great assortment of contents that can come in extremely handy when on the water. However, those looking for next-level organization may be slightly disappointed by what this kit offers.
EVERLIT 250 Pieces Survival First Aid Kit
This rugged first aid kit comes with plenty of survival essentials and everything you'll need to dress your wounds on the trail.
Pros: If you enjoy roughing it off the grid, the EVERLIT 250 Pieces Survival First Aid Kit is a great first aid kit designed with the great outdoors in mind. This kit comes in a durable, water-resistant nylon case and includes a wealth of bandages and pads to dress your wounds. It also includes glow sticks, a knife, a handy multitool, and quite a few additional accessories that will come in handy when on the trail.
Cons: This first aid kit doesn’t include anything to deal with pain while on the trail, so adding your own OTC pain medicine is a no-brainer for sprained ankles or general soreness. In fact, you might also want to add a tourniquet and other items to this kit. Thankfully, there is plenty of room in the case to add quite a few necessities, especially if you take out some of the redundant items.
Bottom Line: While this isn’t the most budget-friendly first aid kit out there, its quality is very good despite the impressive quantity of its contents, making this a fairly good value for outdoor explorers of all types. That being said, many people will want to utilize this kit’s extra space to upgrade some of its contents and add their own must-have survival tools.
Having a stocked first aid kit isn’t just a great idea; it can be the difference between life and death when you face an emergency situation. For this reason, putting plenty of thought into your first aid needs and researching prospective kits is a no-brainer when shopping for a new first aid kit.