The 8 Best First Aid Kits to Buy in 2018

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

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.

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    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.

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    If you are looking for an extensive kit for the home or office, consider the M2Basics First Aid Kit, a complete set with both medical items and few survival necessities. However, this kit not made of waterproof material, so if you are planning on rafting, boating or other water-based activities you may want to consider a waterproof kit. The 300-piece kit comes with more than 100 bandages ranging from standard finger bandages to ones designed for elbows or knees, sterilization pads, gloves, tweezers, splints, a tourniquet, tongue depressors and safety pins. The zippered first aid bag comes with clear pockets to help keep things organized, so you aren’t searching for items in the event of an emergency. The M2Basics includes survival items such as a whistle, compass, carabiner and emergency blanket.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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. 

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    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. 

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    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.

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    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. 

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