The 9 Best First Aid Kits to Buy in 2018

Make sure you're prepared in the event of an unexpected emergency

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Emergencies can happen anytime, so it’s best to be prepared with a first aid kit. Whether you are active outdoors, live in an area prone to natural disasters, or just want medical equipment to be easily accessible, a first aid kit is a must. There are an overwhelming number of options out there ranging from kits with basic essentials such as bandages and gauze to more advanced options used by first responders. Want some advice when it comes to buy one? Here are the best first aid kits we recommend.

  • 01 of 09

    For a well-stocked medical kit at a reasonable price, the Swiss Safe 2-1-1 Kit is a solid option to have around the house or in your vehicle in case of emergency. The kit comes with 120 medical grade items in a compact flexible, yet durable container measuring 9 x 3 x 6 inches and weighing 1.2 pounds. The FDA-approved kit is equipped with stainless steel trauma shears, an instant ice pack, a variety of bandages including gauze pads and butterfly bandages, first aid tape and a CPR mask. Also included is a smaller pouch inside with an additional 32 items as a mini kit.

  • 02 of 09

    While many first aid kits are designed for simple scrapes and bruises, be prepared for more serious injuries with the Lightning X Small First Responder EMT EMS Trauma Bag. This pricier option helps prepare for any emergency situation and comes in a shoulder bag with a “Star of Life” logo on it, as well as reflectors for added visibility. In addition to gauze pads and various bandages, the kit includes a stethoscope, splint, CPR mask, penlight, oropharyngeal airway kit and eye wash. It is organized into divider pouches, with dedicated slots for scissors, tweezers and other small items. The trauma bag measures 17 x 9 x 11 inches and comes in seven different colors.

  • 03 of 09

    If saving space is an important factor in buying a first aid kit, then the Surviveware Small First Aid Kit is a great option. The kit comes with 100 essential basic items while weighing only one pound, and measures 5.5 x 7.5 x 3.5 inches. The small size means it can fit into a glove compartment or be attached to a bicycle or backpack without adding much weight. Made of water-resistant polyester fabric, the contents inside are kept in re-sealable laminated bags. Each inner sleeve is labeled with the items function, saving time in an emergency. There are separate pockets for each item, including CPR breathing masks, sheers, personal medicine bags, gloves, tape and bandages.

  • 04 of 09

    If you find yourself going through the smaller first aid kits fairly quickly, then it may be time to upgrade to the Patch Up First Aid kit, which offers a complete collection of items. There are 300 pieces of medical items in the kit, including more than 150 bandages and sterile gauze pads. The kit is actually two kits: a small and large, and can conveniently unfold its pockets to extend to 36 inches – easily displaying items. The kit also has plenty of antibiotic ointment and alcohol wipes, as well as a survival blanket, a water-resistant bag and thermometers. For more serious emergencies, there’s a tourniquet, first aid tape and a CPR mask.  

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  • 05 of 09

    If you’re storing the first aid kit in a small area and need to save room, the compact first aid kit from TripWorthy is a great selection. Perfect for travelers and campers, the kit measures 5.1 x 7.5 x 2 inches and weighs just one pound, easily allowing it to fit in a carry-on suitcase without hogging up space. The FDA-approved kit has a water-resistant, bright red exterior and contains more than 30 bandages of various sizes, first aid tape, moleskins, gauze pads, butterfly closures and sanitary prep pads. There are also useful items such as a rain poncho, safety pins and an emergency blanket. Amazon buyers noted that the kit does not include standard pain relievers, so adding a small bottle is a good idea. 

  • 06 of 09

    The first aid medical kit by AQGoodLife is perfect if you are just looking for a portable, basic kit that has the main essentials. The 45-piece kit is ideal for small scrapes and minor injuries, and includes a variety of bandages, antiseptic, scissors, gloves and gauze pads. However, for more active adventures you may want to consider a more advanced kit. The water-resistant, nylon pouch measures 8.46 x 5.91 inches and fits easily into drawers, backpacks and glove compartments, making it perfect for day outings, joggers or light hikes. There is added space so it is possible to add items such as allergy medicine, needle-nose tweezers, moleskins or other medications.

  • 07 of 09

    Whether you plan on bringing your first aid kit on an outdoor excursion (fishing, boating rafting, canoeing), or are using it in an area prone to flooding, having a waterproof bag to keep it in is imperative. While many packages and bags claim to be waterproof (but are really water-resistant), the Well-Strong 2-in-1 First Aid kit is truly waterproof. The bag is made from rip-proof vinyl with a closure that roles to seal in items. There are 104 medical items to this kit, plus useful items such as a compass, whistle and survival blanket. The kit measures 4 x 2.7 x 12.6 inches and can fit inside a glove compartment. 

  • 08 of 09

    If you plan on going hiking, backpacking, climbing or on any other adventure where every ounce of weight packed into a rucksack matters, consider the “Ultralight, Watertight Kit” from Adventure Medical Kits. The space-saving kit weighs just 3.6 ounces, measures 7 x 6 x 11 inches and is designed with enough medical equipment for one person on short trips (if you are doing a long adventure, you may want to consider a medical kit with more expansive items). The kit includes moleskins, bandages, blister/burn care, sterile gauze dressing (adhesive and non-adhesive) and butterfly enclosures (plus several other items). The bright yellow pouch also features a two-stage waterproofing system. 

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    If you live in an area prone to natural disasters or plan on going on some serious adventures, you may want to consider a combination package of a first aid kit and survival kit. The Deluxe Two-Person Perfect Survival Kit includes a basic first-aid kit with instant cold packs, gloves, tweezers, bandages and gauze, as well as sanitation items such as an infectious waste bag, wipes, toothbrushes and toothpaste. It also includes individual pouches of sanitized water, survival fruit bars, battery flashlights and a radio, body warmers, a tube tent and ponchos. The water-resistant kit comes in an easy-to carry backpack, but at 14.4 pounds it is a very heavy option.