The 10 Best First Aid Kits

Updated May 16, 2018 by Sam Kraft

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We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Ranging from basic treatments for cuts and scrapes to full-scale casualty supplies, these first aid kits will help ensure you’re prepared for any accidents or emergencies at home, on the road, or in the workplace. They’re also extremely useful for camping trips or remote fishing and hiking excursions when access to medical care is limited. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best first aid kit on Amazon.

10. Be Smart Get Prepared

Designed to meet or exceed OSHA and ANSI standards, the Be Smart Get Prepared is a smart choice for a cautious workplace or school. This kit contains nearly everything you’d need in a minor emergency, with a weather-resistant case for use outdoors.
  • well-organized interior compartments
  • contains both dressings and medicine
  • dividers are made of weak plastic
Brand Be Smart Get Prepared
Model 20HBC01015REV3
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

9. Johnson & Johnson Red Cross

A basic, but dependable, option, the Johnson & Johnson Red Cross would serve as a nice addition to a vacation home or a college student’s dorm room. The list of supplies includes several packets of Neosporin and bandages in a variety of sizes.
  • comes with examination gloves
  • versatile size and weight
  • not an extensive variety of items
Brand J&J Red Cross
Model 116360
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

8. First Aid Only All-Purpose

The First Aid Only All-Purpose comes in a durable soft pouch that’s ideal for tossing into your backpack or the front seat of your car before you head out. It’s organized in a logical way that makes supplies easy to identify and extract in times of crisis.
  • includes a 1-time use thermometer
  • nice value for wide range of items
  • tweezers are poor quality
Brand First Aid Only
Model FAO-442
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. Anmeilu Mini

It probably won’t satisfy an intense survivalist, but for the rest of us, the Anmeilu Mini is an affordable way to guarantee peace of mind when you’re on the go. It’s a light, compact option that’s ideal for activities like bike rides and boating.
  • inner bag is waterproof
  • contains a loud whistle
  • bandages do not stick very well
Model pending
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Thrive Emergency Bag

The Thrive Emergency Bag would be as effective in the wilderness as it would in a workplace or a vehicle. It’s lightweight and portable, at just over one pound, and the 291 items within include hospital-grade medical supplies.
  • reflective logo for visibility
  • deep inner pockets for safe storage
  • includes a first aid guide book
Brand Thrive
Model No Model
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. First Aid Only 50-Person

The First Aid Only 50-Person is, as the name suggests, designed to meet the needs of a large group of people. It can be wall-mounted for easy access to medicines and bandages, or it can be carried to wherever aid is needed most urgently.
  • insect sting relief wipes
  • nice option for small businesses
  • cpr mask with 1-way valve
Brand First Aid Only
Model 90639
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. DeftGet Essential

Using feedback from customers for guidance, the DeftGet Essential is stocked with uncommon and highly useful items, such as a hand-cranked flashlight and an accurate compass. If you’re unsatisfied with this kit in any way, you can return it for a full refund.
  • fits easily in a glove box
  • strong stainless steel scissors
  • durable corrosion-resistant bag
Brand DeftGet First Aid Kit
Model FBA_First-Aid-Kit001
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

3. Aootek Travel

The Aootek Travel combines your primary first aid needs with a variety of wilderness survival items, such as fire ignition rods and basic fishing gear. It’s a favorite of anglers and hikers, as it comes with a versatile folding knife and a compass, as well.
  • strong and effective tourniquet
  • flashlight is bright and powerful
  • easy-to-grip carrying handle
Brand Aootek
Model N/A
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Swiss Safe 2-in-1

A comprehensive survivalist kit is great, but sometimes you simply need a few items for a last-minute activity. That's why the Swiss Safe 2-in-1 includes a 32-piece mini kit in addition to the 120-item, all-inclusive main package.
  • powerful steel trauma shears
  • only 9 inches wide for easy storage
  • emergency mylar blanket
Brand Swiss Safe
Model pending
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Adventure Mountain Series

If you’re planning on spending an extended amount of time in a remote area — think weeks or months, not days — an all-encompassing option, like the Adventure Mountain Series, is the way to go. It can be used for dental repairs, illness treatment, and much more.
  • injury-specific pockets
  • fracture care materials
  • highly organized fold-out panels
Brand Adventure Medical Kits
Model 0100-0101
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

The All-Important First Aid Kit

Daily life often brings its share of minor scrapes, burns, puncture wounds, or bug bites. We take most of these small injuries for granted and tend to them as needed, cleaning cuts or scuffs with antiseptic and/or alcohol wipes, managing insect stings with anti-itch ointments, and dressing the afflicted areas with a bandage or with some gauze and medical tape.

That is, we respond in stride if we have access to a decent first aid kit. The fact is that far too many homes, offices, and even some schools and daycare centers are without proper first aid supplies. According to a national survey conducted in recent years, nearly half of the households in America do not have a first aid kit. Having a spot in the pantry where your family keeps a few bandages and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide does not constitute genuine first aid preparedness; only the purchase of a purpose-built kit (or the painstaking assembly of your own kit) represents responsible preparation for the many medical issues you and those around you might face.

When deciding which first aid kit best suits your needs, it's a good idea to first consider those for whom its contents might one day be used. First simply consider the number of people in the home, office, or other location for which you are making the purchase. Many kits clearly specify the intended number of individuals for which they were assembled (50-person and 100-person kits are common, for example).

For the average household, any basic kit should suffice; if your home has special concerns, such as heightened likeliness of insect bites due to the climate or frequent injuries due to the nature of energetic small children, consider a larger, more comprehensive kit. Choosing a fitting first aid kit for a larger group of people is a more challenging affair, for with a large group necessarily comes more diverse needs.

When buying a kit intended to service an office or school, look for one that includes more than mere antiseptics, bandages, and the like; instead look for an option that also has basic medicines suitable for treating minor pains and indigestion issues. While most homes have this type of medicine on hand even if the household does not have an actual first aid kit, most businesses will not have such supplies available, thus it should be included with the wound cleaning and dressing supplies.

Also consider making your first aid kit but one part of greater emergency/disaster response gear. It's a wise idea to keep enough food and fresh water on hand to sustain those in a household for at least three to four days. Also make sure to have working flashlights with spare batteries and clothing/bedding appropriate for the season and region.

Basic First Aid Wound Care

It's a good idea to plan ahead for how you will treat the cuts and scrapes that most often merit care using a first aid kit. Assuming you yourself are uninjured and are caring for another person's injury, these are the basic steps to follow -- mind that you always immediately call for emergency response in the event of any serious injury that you are not fully confident you can manage without assistance.

Assuming a person's wound is not causing heavy loss of blood, the first step you should take is always to wash your hands. If no soap and water are available, use the antiseptic towelettes likely contained in your first aid kit.

Next it is time to stop the wound from bleeding. If possible, as with a cut to a hand, arm, foot, or leg, elevate the injury above the victim's heart to reduce the blood flow. Apply gentle pressure to the wound using a sterile pad from the first aid set.

Once the bleeding has stopped, you must clean the wound itself and the area immediately around it. Wipe the nearby skin clean, flush the cut or burn with water, and then clean and sterilize it. Do this with alcohol and/or antiseptic products found in the first aid kit, and when possible do not use soap, as it can be an irritant. If there is visible debris present in or near the injury, attempt to flush it again and/or remove the debris using sterilized tweezers.

After the injury has been cleaned and then allowed to dry, apply a thin layer of an antibiotic ointment to prevent the likelihood of infection. Now gently dress the wound, using the minimum amount of bandaging necessary to cover and protect the afflicted area. Airflow is good for minor injuries, while deeper and more serious scrapes, burns, or gouges may need to be fully covered for the initial few days of healing.

Other Medical/Emergency Items To Have On Hand

As made clear, keeping a first aid kit in the home, vehicle, and/or office should not be considered intelligent, it should be considered imperative. But while a basic first aid package can help mitigate many medical issues, it is nonetheless a baseline from which to start your response to an injury or emergency; there is plenty of additional gear that can help you help yourself, your coworkers, or your friends and family members.

Even a great first aid kit will not transform you (or anyone else) into a trained medical professional, so being able to safely contact paramedics is a good idea, especially if your home is without a landline. While cellular phones are generally reliable, in the event that yours cannot complete a call, an emergency radio can provide a backup way to reach a first responder. And if you do plan to rely on your cellular phone for assistance in times of emergency, at least be sure to have a backup power source on hand, as the electrical grid will quickly fail in the path of major weather events or in times of severe civil unrest.

As mentioned earlier, a supply of food that can last for several days is always wise; fresh water is even more critical. Also be sure to have several days worth of medicine that anyone in your home requires, as ready access to re-supply can at times be confounded.

And finally, simply make sure to have important information -- such as contact numbers for family members and any medical specialists you see -- in hard copy. Should your computer or phone run out of power, be lost, or be damaged, it's important that you can still get access to critical information.

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Last updated on May 16, 2018 by Sam Kraft

Sam is a marketing/communications professional and freelance writer who resides in Chicago, IL and is perpetually celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory.

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