12 Best First-Aid Kits

bandaged arm with first aid kit items

It doesn’t matter where you are, the best first-aid kit is always handy to have around in case of an emergency. First-aid kit essentials often include items such as gloves, sterile dressings, antiseptic wipes, bandages, and a whole lot more–all intended to assist a victim until he or she can get professional medical attention. I recommend always keeping a first-aid kit close by, as you never know when you’ll need it.

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Trauma First-Aid Kit by Dixie EMS
Trauma First-Aid Kit by Dixie EMS

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Dixie EMS

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299-Piece First-Aid Kit by first-aid Only
299-Piece First-Aid Kit by First-Aid Onl

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First-Aid Only

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1. Trauma First-Aid Kit by Dixie EMS

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This complete first-aid kit includes all the essentials to help stabilize a victim while waiting for an ambulance. Items such as bandage scissors, gauze bandages and rolls, alcohol, tape, and even a seatbelt cutter, make this a handy first-aid kit to keep available.

Pros:
  • Includes a variety of different bandages
  • Multiple compartments make organization easy
  • Fits beneath a car seat
Cons:
  • Too basic for more serious emergencies

2. 299-Piece First-Aid Kit by First-Aid Only

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This first-aid kit is small enough to be carried anywhere, keeping its assortment of helpful tools nearby in the event of an accident. The soft case uses clear pages lined with pockets to organize medications, dressings, and tools for ease-of-access in the midst of an emergency.

Pros:
  • Medicines, creams, and antiseptics are included
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Great starter kit to build on
Cons:
  • Most of the 299 pieces are Band-Aids

3. 120-Piece Two-in-One First-Aid Kit by Swiss Safe

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This multipurpose, FDA-approved first-aid kit includes 120 medical-grade safety tools, including items such as trauma shears, an instant ice pack, and other necessities like bandages and gloves. Everything is stored in a compact kit that can stay on-hand no matter where you are!

Pros:
  • Includes a mini first-aid kit that fits in pockets and purses
  • Comes with survival tools and an emergency blanket
  • Excellent addition to an emergency-preparedness kit
Cons:
  • Some items aren’t the greatest quality

4. Ultra-Light 100 Piece First-Aid Kit by Always Prepared

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This convenient first-aid kit is small enough to fit in a glove box or backpack so you’ll always be prepared for emergencies. 100 items such as antiseptic wipes, bandages, and scissors are included in the small but durable kit. It also comes with a disposable raincoat and sewing tools, as well as other survival items to bring you peace of mind whether you’re hiking or going for a drive.

Pros:
  • Kit is large enough to add extra items
  • Items are high quality
Cons:
  • Doesn’t include any medications

5. 150-Piece First-Aid Kit by Protect Life

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This first-aid kit has been upgraded based on customer feedback to include items for daily emergencies and disaster readiness. A CPR mask, instant cold compress, and povidone-iodine prep pads all come from an FDA-registered facility. The durable canvas bag utilizes transparent pockets with labels to help you find whatever it is you’re looking for during an emergency.

Pros:
  • Easy to keep items organized
  • Has all the essentials for general first-aid
  • Compact, but with space to add more
Cons:
  • Kit may be smaller than expected

6. Small First-Aid Kit by Surviveware

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This compact and durable first-aid kit is ideal for camping or biking. The inner contents of the kit are protected in durable waterproof bags and are labeled for easy organization, to help you quickly find what you’re looking for.

Pros:
  • No excess weight
  • Every item has its own place
  • Can be carried or attached to a belt
Cons:
  • Very little room for expansion

7. 326-Piece First-Aid Kit by Be Smart Get Prepared

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This sturdy plastic first-aid kit is perfect for the home or office. The kit can be mounted to a wall or folded away for storage. It meets OSHA and ANSI standards, and all 326 items from FDA-approved facilities are organized in compartments for ease of access.

Pros:
  • Reorder sheet makes it easy to keep kit stocked
  • Latches keep case securely closed
  • Comprehensive—includes everything you need
Cons:
  • Separators can be easily dislodged

8. Compact First-Aid Kit by TripWorthy

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This first-aid kit is packed into a durable nylon pouch that only weighs one pound, making it one of the best first-aid kits to travel with. The kit meets OSHA and ANSI standards and provides quick access to premium supplies and first-aid items.

Pros:
  • Fits in most packs and bags for travel
  • Items are individually wrapped and packaged
  • Compact but comprehensive
Cons:
  • Not a great balance between first-aid and survival items

9. First-Aid Kit for Camping by Northbound Train

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This fully stocked kit includes the proper quantities of essential first-aid items to offer a lightweight and compact package. MOLLE-compatible webbing and belt loop straps mean you’ll never have a reason to leave this kit behind! The kit is even designed to be TSA-compliant so traveling will never be a hassle.

Pros:
  • Contents are packed in waterproof laminate pouches
  • High-quality and rugged
  • Has a small front pocket for important items
Cons:
  • Requires some personalization

10. Deluxe First-Aid Kit by MediKit

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This kit is comprised of 115 first-aid essentials in a durable nylon bag that’s easy to store anywhere. In addition to basic first-aid items like bandages, tape, and an ice pack, this kit also includes a selection of trauma items for giving CPR or tending to shock victims.

Pros:
  • Has extra room for customization
  • Perfect size to fit in a glove box, diaper bag, or pack
  • Very compact
Cons:
  • Kit may be too small for some

11. 205-Piece All-Purpose First-Aid Kit by Coleman

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This kit packs 205 first-aid pieces into a semi-hard case with extra room for personal medications. Items are organized and quickly found with the kit’s unique EZ Find System. It is sized to fit in your car, backpack, or sports bag.

Pros:
  • Great variety of first-aid essentials
  • Durable—holds up well in a pack or bag
  • Decent room to add more items
Cons:
  • Smaller than expected

12. Waterproof First-Aid Kit by DeftGet

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This 163-piece first-aid kit includes eighteen different first-aid essentials into a lightweight and durable nylon case. In addition to bandages, scissors, and iodine pads, the kit also includes a flashlight, emergency blanket, and saber cards to help you deal with most types of emergencies and accidents.

Pros:
  • Well-made bag zips from both sides
  • Items stay in place securely
  • Flashlight keeps a long charge
Cons:
  • Not a huge variety of items

The Essentials of a Complete First-Aid Kit

When purchasing the best first-aid kit, it is important that it includes all of the essentials for an emergency situation. The Red Cross recommends the following first-aid kit items.

  1. Personal medications and emergency phone numbers
  2. Absorbent compress, adhesive, triangular bandages, and gauze pads
  3. Antibiotic ointments, creams, and antiseptic wipes
  4. Adhesive cloth tape
  5. An emergency blanket and breathing barrier
  6. An instant cold compress
  7. Non-latex gloves
  8. An oral thermometer, scissors, and tweezers
  9. A first-aid instruction guide

Be sure to note the expiration dates of certain items too–especially any medications and ointments. Since having a first-aid kit is all about being prepared for an unexpected accident, it’s important that a kit’s essentials stay up-to-date.

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Choosing the Best First-Aid Kit

Choosing the right first-aid kit is all about the situation at hand. While one type may be perfect for camping, another will be better in your car, home, or office.

For Home

A home first-aid kit should be well-stocked with bandages, ointments, and creams, since size and portability isn’t a concern. You may also wish to add a few over-the-counter medications, such as aspirin. If you choose to have only one first-aid kit at home, consider finding a good balance between selection and compactness, in case you want to take the kit with you during an emergency.

For Work

A first-aid kit for work is similar to your home kit,  but should also meet OSHA and ANSI standards. Most compliant kits will advertise this feature, but make note of the standards if you’re building a kit of your own.

For Your Car

A first-aid kit for your car should include first-aid essentials, as well as  a few survival items. Since accidents on the road can happen far from professional medical help, items like flashlights, emergency blankets, and seat belt cutters are handy tools to have tucked away.

For Sports, Camping, or Hiking

You’ll likely want a more portable and compact first-aid kit for sporting, camping, or hiking, but that doesn’t mean you can skimp on the essentials. Be sure to have prescription and over-the-counter medications, bandages, ointments, creams, and tape. Survival items such as an emergency blanket, glow stick, and firestarter will also come in handy, especially if you are a good distance away from the nearest medical help.

Keep a First-Aid Kit Nearby, Wherever You Are

Whether you’re relaxing by the pool, enjoying a Sunday drive, or hiking the trails, a first-aid kit will provide initial treatment of any injuries or accidents. Find the best first-aid kit for any situation and enjoy the peace of mind it offers.

Sources:

http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/anatomy-of-a-first-aid-kit

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9863

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