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Best for Hiking & Backpacking
Surviveware Small First Aid Kit for Backpacking
This is hands-down the best organized, easiest-to-use first aid kit we’ve tested. Open it up, and instead of a nondescript jumble of band-aids, gauze, and other medical miscellanies, you’ll find items well-organized in clearly labeled compartments and sleeves that make it a cinch to quickly find what you want. For example, the CPR kit is tucked inside a Velcro pouch with a red label saying in white, all-cap letters, “CPR KIT”; sewn underneath the pouch’s flap are step-by-step CPR instructions to jog your memory during stressful moments. The kit also has compartments for wound closures, eye pads, pressure bandages, hypoallergenic tape, and more, along with tweezers, linter probes, and high-quality stainless steel shears that can cut through cloth and seatbelts.
Other features that we love are the outer zip-pouch for stowing medicines (which you’ll need to add yourself); strong, long-corded zippers easy to pull even with cold-numbed fingers; and the water-resistant, durable 600D polyester fabric. It’s clear that this kit was intelligently designed with hikers in mind, and it offers multiple carrying options: Use the top loop to carabiner-clip it to your pack, the back strap to attach it to your belt or pack, or the fabric handle to hand-carry the kit to the site of injury; or simply toss the kit into your bag. At 1 pound and 5.5 x 7.5 x 3 inches, there’s no excuse for not having this backcountry essential. Better yet, with every purchase, Surviveware donates some of its proceeds to Hands Free, a nonprofit that works to provide prosthetic hands to children and veterans, so you can help yourself while also helping others. Get it here.
Best Hybrid First Aid/Outdoor Survival Kit
Swiss Safe 2-in-1 First Aid Kit (120 Piece) + Bonus 32-Piece Mini First Aid Kit
First aid kits are tools that we always carry but hope to never use. Toward that end, this kit contains survival items that can help you head off emergencies before they happen, such as a compass for staying on route even in fog or at night; a 6-inch glow stick for night travel or unexpected bivouacs; an emergency blanket to prevent hypothermia; and a whistle to signal for help. On the first aid side of things, the kit has the standard gauze, adhesives, safety pins, and other items, but with space also made for an instant ice pack, a pocket-size bonus first aid kit, and a handy first aid guide to refresh your training on everything from burns, breaks, and bites to heart attacks, choking, seizures, and so forth. Note that the guide is not a comprehensive textbook on wilderness medical treatment, but a rundown of the basic treatment steps for a variety of emergencies. As with most first aid kids, you’ll want to add your own personal medications, along with (for this hybrid survival case) a multitool and firestarter. This kit is slightly larger (9 x 3 x 6 inches) but still lightweight at 1.2 pounds, and it comes with a 100% money-back guarantee from Swiss Safe Products. Buy now.
Best Car Kit
Be Smart Get Prepared First Aid Kit
Designed to meet the needs of 100-person groups, this kit isn’t the smallest or lightest but will give peace of mind for road travel and group camping. More than 300 first aid supplies are stowed tidily inside a hard, airtight, high-density plastic case measuring 12 x 12 x 4 inches. The kit’s most innovative feature is the tilting shelves, which make finding and retrieving different items easy. Although the kit does include some medicines (such as six burn cream ointments and ten Aspirin tablets), you’ll probably want to supplement those with more. We also appreciated the English and Spanish first aid guides and the convenient refill order form, which makes it simple to restock supplies. Get it here.