We spent 26 hours assessing 20 of the most popular first aid kits to come up with this list of the top 5 best first aid kits. We factored in contents, group size, covered activity, trip length and directions as the most important criteria in making our selection. The best first aid kit is Always Prepared, Ultra-Light & Small 100-Piece First Aid Kit because it ticked off all the essential criteria. The kit has all the basics you would expect in an emergency situation as well as additional survival tools such as a glow stick, emergency blanket, and seat belt cutter. We also liked its affordable price especially considering what you get in it. The kit comes with comprehensive directions for use, covers most outdoor activities and is ideal for a small to medium size family.
First Aid Kit Reviews
A good first aid kit is an essential item to have close at hand at all times or at least most of the time. We scoured the market looking for the best selling first aid kits and picked out 20 that we thought fit the grade. We set about the criteria for inspecting, testing and assessing each kit to narrow down the options to five.
We started with supplies or the contents of the kit just to make sure that all the essentials are covered. We prioritized on bandages (and accessories such as athletic tape), medications, lotions and ointments, basic tools such as scissors and tweezers and ‘extras’ such as splints and antiseptic towelettes.
Next, we considered trip length and activity. These checklist items simply refer to how long you would find the kit useful before getting medical help in a survival situation and what kinds of injuries or incidents the kit would be useful for.
Finally, we checked group size; meaning how many people one kit can serve and if the kit included easy-to-follow directions for use.
First Aid Kit Buyer’s Guide
What Is a First Aid Kit?
A first aid kit is simply a bag or other container that holds medical equipment and supplies for use in a medical emergency. In most situations, the first aid kit is used to offer pain relief or relief from discomfort. The kit however also comes in handy for basic treatment before the injury can be attended to by trained medical personnel.
Although you can make your own first aid kit by buying common medical supplies and stuffing them in an easy-to-carry bag, a pre-made kit first aid kit is a much better option. You are guaranteed that you haven’t left any important item out and are much cheaper than purchasing individual items over the counter.
What to Look For in a Pre-Made First Aid Kit
There is no such thing as a standard-first aid kit so each one is different. There is, however, a few essentials that you should expect to see in any kit worthy of its name. There are a few important considerations to help you pick out the most appropriate one. We used these same criteria to choose and rank our top 5 best first aid kit.
It’s difficult to predict a specific scenario where you might need a first aid kit but you can use your lifestyle as a good starting point to choosing a good kit.
If you have small children, you’d want a first aid kit that contains ointments, bandages and antiseptic pads among other supplies for commons scrapes and bruises.
If you want a first aid kit to keep in your car, a good option should contain emergency tools such as a raincoat, glow stick and seatbelt cutter. The kit should also be small enough to fit in the glove compartment or conveniently in the car.
For outdoor activities, a small, portable kit that you can tether to your belt or backpack is a great choice. Lightweight and waterproof are also great considerations for a one-person kit in this case.
You might want a larger kit if you regularly take part in group sports or outdoor activities such as hiking and camping.
The point is to choose a first aid kit that would be most handy for the activity that you perform most often.
First aid kits vary widely in their contents although there are a few basics that you shouldn’t go without.
Bandages: Assorted adhesive bandages, athletic tape, gauze and blister treatments, wraps or splints
Medication and Ointments: Antibiotic ointments, ibuprofen, rubbing alcohol, aspirin
Basic Tools: Razor blade, blunt tip scissors, small mirror, tweezers
Miscellaneous: Burn dressing, bee-sting kit, elastic wraps, antiseptic towelettes
Survival Items (optional): Rain coat, compass, jumper cables, glow stick, emergency whistle, emergency blanket, flares, satellite messenger
Tips for Using a First Aid Kit
The first and arguably most important tip for using a first aid kit is to learn how to use it properly. The best stocked first aid kit would be useless if you don’t know how to use it. The brands we chose for this top 5 best first aid kits come with comprehensive directions but these might not be enough. We cannot stress the importance of having proper first aid training.
Next, store the kit in a central location such as glove box or easy-to-reach position in your home. Make sure everyone knows where the kit is.
Be sure to follow directions for use regardless of whether you have first aid training. This is to ensure that bandages don’t stick to wounds or other mishaps that are easily avoided.
Finally, inspect the kit every so often to check the expiry dates. Items such as antibiotic cream and medications may have a shelf life. It is important that you replace these items accordingly for your kit to remain usable and effective.
We spent a lot of time and effort to come up with this list of the 5 best first aid kits on the market. We did our best to consider as many scenarios as possible and make recommendations accordingly. The best way to choose a first aid kit is to consider your lifestyle and buy one that closely fits to what you might need in an emergency situation.
Our best piece of advice is to get professional first aid training. The training not only guarantees that you can use the kit when you need it, but you could also save a life.