3 Best Backpacking First Aid Kits in 2020 Reviewed
If you’re planning a backpacking trip, packing a basic first-aid kit is always a great idea. Yes, you could choose to simply stuff some band-aids in your pack, but when faced with more serious emergency situations, a band-aid simply won’t cut it – or should we say: cover it. That is exactly why a mini first aid kit should be on every backpacker’s gear list!
In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:
And here’s an overview of the best first aid kits for backpacking on the market today:
The best news? First aid kits are lighter and more compact than ever before. Allowing you to be prepped for the worst, without weighing down your pack or taking up too much packing space.
But how do you find the best first aid kit for backpacking? Easy, by using this handy Outdoor Command overview. Our team has scoured high and low, searching for the best firsts aid sets for hiking and backpacking. We’ve ensured every kit on this list is lightweight, easy-to-pack, and inclusive of all the emergency essentials. Giving you the peace of mind you’re well-prepped for dealing with cuts, scrapes, bruises, sprains, blisters, and even more serious medical emergencies.
These are the Best First Aid Kit For Backpacking deals on the market:
- Surviveware Small Backpacking First Aid Kit
- Ultralight/Watertight .7 Adventure Medical Kit
- Swiss Safe 2-in-1 Mini First Aid Kit
Discover more about these mini first aid kits in our product overview below, and upgrade your backpacking gear with one of these safety essentials!
Best First Aid Kit For Backpacking – Overview
Surviveware Small Backpacking First Aid Kit
The Surviveware Small First Aid Kit comes packaged in a 600-dernier, water-resistant polyester back. Additionally, the content of the kit is packaged in waterproof zip-top laminated bags, keeping them safe and secure when on the go. The first aid bag also contains a separate pouch (with zipper) that offers a secure space to pack your prescription medication. Another perk is that the kit features MOLLE compatible straps: enabling you to attach it to almost anything, including bikes, backpacks, and more.
The Surviveware Small Backpacking First Aid Kit contains a great mix of emergency supplies. The kit includes various tools and accessories such as 6-inch shears, splinter probes, safety pins, a tourniquet, tweezers, an emergency blanket, an emergency whistle, and a CPR pouch and CPR breathing mask. The set also includes many adhesive bandages in all shapes and styles, like bandages with butterfly closures, H-Shape, square, triangular, crepe bandage, and strip wound closures. Additionally, the kit comes with various other emergency basics, such as cotton swabs and cotton gauze swabs, hypoallergenic tape, sting relief wipes, antiseptic wipes, and alcohol wipes.
Organized by category
You see, we weren’t exaggerating when we said this kit contains everything you need, and more! Another perk is that each inner sleeve of the Surviveware Small First Aid Kit is organized by category. This means that in high-stress situations where every second matter, you can quickly locate the right aid essentials – instead of having to rummage through one big compartment. Clever and functional!
This Small Backpacking Small First Aid Kit by Surviveware also comes with FDA-approval and certification. This means that the products in the medical kit have undergone extensive quality testing, ensuring they meet the high-quality demands of the FDA to regulate product safety and quality.
Ultralight/Watertight Adventure Medical Kit
The compact Ultralight/Watertight .7 Adventure Medical Kit includes enough medical essentials to support 1-2 people up to 1-4 day trips, depending on the severity of the injury. The small, ultralight kit measures 7.5 x 10 x 2 inches and weighs 8 oz: ideal for backpacking and hikers. A big perk is that the kit comes packaged in both a water-resistant outer bag, as a 100% waterproof inner bag – enhanced with additional waterproof features such as taped seams and a urethane-coated water-resistant zipper.
This Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight .7 Set appeal is highly-rated by other outdoor enthusiasts. The 2-layer functionality of the waterproof DryFlex™ inner bag and water-resistant outer bag with a durable water-repellent finish make this kit ideal for canoeing, kayaking, water sports, boating, winter sports, and snowy conditions. The kit is even the required medical kit for all USARA Adventure Racing Championships participants, because of its proven ability to perform for outdoor sports, without letting or weighing athletes down.
Anti-blister Moleskin patches
The Ultralight/Watertight .7 Adventure Medical Kit contains great medical basics to treat pain, inflammation, minor injuries, and even allergies. We also like the inclusion of handy emergency repair tools and accessories, such as safety pins and duct tape. Allowing you to patch up yourself, your camping buddies, and your backpacking gear. Another perk is the inclusion of high-quality die-cut moleskin patches: as these are one of the most reliable dressings to prevent blisters. Keeping you blister-free, every step of the way.
In total, the Ultralight/Watertight .7 Adventure Medical Kit comes with approximately 50+ products included, though the manufacturer does state it reserves the right to add, substitute, or delete items if necessary. That said, the contents of the kit should generally include different types of bandages, various sterile dressings, a pair of nitrile gloves, 11 pre-cut moleskin anti-blister patches, duct tape, safety pins, and a splinter picker. Also included is an elastic bandage with a Velcro closure, which is essential to stabilize sprains or fractures. For on-trail wound care, antiseptic wipes, alcohol swabs, triple antibiotic ointment, and a Skin Tac™ topical adhesive wipe are also included.
In addition to wound care, bandages, and emergency repair tools, the Ultralight/Watertight .7 Adventure Medical Kit also includes various medications, such as Antihistamine (Diphenhydramine 25 mg), Aspirin (325 mg), Ibuprofen (200 mg), and Acetaminophen (500 mg).
If you’re looking for an ultralight and waterproof first-aid set with all the essentials, and more, you can’t get much better than this affordable and comprehensive hikers’ favorite.
Swiss Safe 2-in-1 Mini First Aid Kit
This Swiss Safe 2-in-1 Mini First Aid Kit includes a functional mix of medical supplies and emergency accessories. The water-resistant bag contains over 40 bandages, gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, sting relief pads, and first-aid tape. Also included are PVC gloves, cotton tips, an emergency blanket, a whistle, and metal scissors. The comprehensive kit also comes with a moleskin blister relief patch, safety pins, a sewing kit, tweezers, a CPR mask, a disposable ice pack, a trauma pad, and a glow stick.
Money-back guarantee on your purchase
The 2-in-1 Mini First Aid Kit by Swiss Safe is FDA-approved, meaning its medical supplies adhere to quality standards as set out by the national Food and Drug Administration. The set also comes with a 100% money-back guarantee. This means that ff you are not completely satisfied with the quality of your first aid kit, bag, contents (or if your kit gets damaged in shipping), your first aid kit will issue a replacement or a refund – no questions asked!
Do note that though the 2-in-1 Mini First Aid Kit by Swiss Safe is stuffed with over 152 supplies, it’s not as varied as some other first aid kits on the market. For example, this kit includes 30 medium-sized bandages, meaning you get 30 of the same type of band-aids – instead of a variety of specific purpose bandages (like H-shaped or butterfly-shaped). That said, for the number of medical supplies and tools included in the set, the 2-in-1 Mini First Aid Kit by Swiss Safe is simply great value-for-money, even if it does compromise a bit on variety.
Each product listed in this Best First Aid Kit For Backpacking Overview is a great choice for day hikes and multi-day backpacking adventures. Whether you’re camping with the family, or traversing the backcountry solo: packing a high-quality survival kit with the most essential first aid supplies is always a smart idea. So, which of the 3 products listed is actually ‘the best’? Well, that greatly depends on your requirements. Let us explain:
If you’re looking for a first-aid only kit, and don’t want to carry extra accessories for emergency repairs, a smaller yet comprehensive medical kit such as the Ultralight/Watertight Adventure Medical Kit could be the best match. Similarly, if you want a kit that contains a plethora of first aid items and accessories, including an emergency blanket, CPR mask, and even a whistle, consider upgrading to the Surviveware Small First Aid Kit. And for those that want maximum bang for their buck and want first aid essentials, medical accessories, and medications – the Swiss Safe 2-in-1 Mini First Aid Kit may be the ‘best’ fit. Because this set also includes various painkillers and antihistamine tablets.
Rest assured, each set is worthy of your time and attention, and rates highly in Amazon customer reviews. We ensured each kit comes packaged in a waterproof carrying case, enables easy access to its medical emergency supplies, and offers excellent value-for-money. All you need to do is determine how inclusive you want your first aid kit to be, and match your needs to one of these 3 top-rated medical survival kits for backpacking!
If we had to pick a winner, we’d probably settle on the Ultralight/Watertight .7 Adventure Medical Kit.
This ultralight kit measures 7.5 x 10 x 2 inches and weighs just 0.5 lbs (the lightest on this list) yet packs a premium list of medical essentials and accessories. It may not be the biggest in quantity, but we think the high-quality selection of bandages, wound care products, and medical tools are more than ample to deal with most backpacking emergencies. We also rate the packaging and material of the storage kit itself very highly. The kit features a 2-layer waterproofed silhouette: the outer layer of nylon is water-resistant and equipped with waterproof zippers and taped seams, whilst the inner sleeve is a premium DryFlex™ waterproof bag. This means the kit can be strapped to the outside of your backpack to save on packing space, as rain or condensation won’t be a hazard for the waterproofed bag. Similarly, it also makes Ultralight/Watertight .7 Adventure Medical Kit a great choice if your backpacking adventure involves kayaking, canoeing, wading through streams, or other water activities, as you don’t have to worry about the kit getting wet.
Highly-rated by other outdoor enthusiasts, very competitively-priced and at the lower end of the budget: the Ultralight/Watertight .7 Adventure Medical Kit strikes a great balance between price and performance, giving you excellent value-for-money. So be smart, and be prepared for any minor on-the-trail emergency, by stocking up on the Ultralight/Watertight .7 Adventure Medical Kit!
Best First Aid Kit For Backpacking – Buying Guide
When shopping for the Best First Aid Kit For Backpacking there are a few buying factors to take into consideration, such as the size and weight of the kit, the included supplies, and the quality standard. Though most first aid kits on the market will all include similar basic medical supplies, such as bandages and dressings, there is quite a difference in the type and variety of materials in kits. That is why we wanted to list the most common buying factors to take into consideration below, helping you make a well-informed choice in the best first aid kit for your needs.
Size & Weight
When backpacking, every ounce of weight you add to your pack has a direct impact on your comfort. The heavier your pack, the more strenuous your hiking will be. That is exactly why when it comes to medical kits, the light is the better. That said, you still want to ensure an ultralight kit contains all your required basics, so don’t make weight the number #1 priority. However, an ultralight set is always recommended for those hikers who plan to carry a pack over long-distances, for example when thru-hiking in the backcountry.
Typically, backpacking first aid kits will weigh anywhere between 0.5 lbs and 1.5 lbs – with 1 lb being an average weight of a compact mini first aid kit.
The size of first aid kits for backpacking can also vary. Some kits are super-compact, whilst others take up a bit more space. We recommend you to carefully check the dimensions of the first aid kit before you buy, ensuring it can easily slot into your backpack’s storage compartments. If you have to cram it in, you may damage the contents. Another tip is to check whether a first aid kit is fully waterproofed, aas this allows you to attach it to the outside of your pack to save on packing space. For example, the Ultralight/Watertight .7 Adventure Medical Kit features a waterproof 2-layer design that is constructed to offer maximum water-resistance. Meaning that even in heavy rain, water won’t penetrate the casing – perfect when attached to the outside of your daypack or backpack!
Rest assured: every first aid kit in this overview is small and light enough for backpacking purposes, and we’ve ensured to only include products that come highly-rated and highly-recommended by other backpackers and hikers.
Most first aid kits on the market will contain a mix of medical supplies, tools, and medical accessories such as an emergency blanket or CPR mask. This is why it helps to decide what type of supplies and tools you want to be included in your kit, and which are optional to you. For example, if you’re looking for a basic emergency kit against common injuries such as cuts, scrapes, and abrasions – a simple set stocked with bandages and gauges may be your best match. That said, if you want a comprehensive kit that also includes products for medical emergency situations, such as pain medication, splints, and CPR equipment, do check whether those are included in the packing list of a kit.
Also, don’t be fooled by the number of products in a first aid kit. Some sets may mention 150+ products but can contain 40 of the same type of bandage, making them less versatile out in the field. Variety is just as important, if not more important than quantity. We’d always prefer a kit with 50 different sizes and kinds of medical supplies, over a 100-piece kit with multiples of the same bandage and gauge. The more varied the kit, the more functionality in emergencies!
In general, these are the main types of products found in the Best First Aid Kits For Backpacking:
Band-aids, bandages, gauze, and dressings – can be adhesive or non-adhesive, conforming or non-conforming.
Moleskin patches or anti-blister bandages to reduce friction and prevent blisters, or lessen the discomfort of pre-existing blisters during hiking.
Wound Care Essentials
Antiseptic wipe, alcohol swabs, topical adhesives, and antibiotic ointment are wound care products found in the better equipped first aid kits.
Though kits differ in content, most first aid sets will include some types of medical tools. We always recommend kits that contain at least a pair of scissors or shears to cut bandage or clothing and a pair of tweezers (for splinters, ticks and more). Additional medical tools can also include CPR masks, ice packs, trauma pads, and more.
This category is quite wide and diverse and covers everything from emergency blankets to glow-in-the-dark beacons, compasses, and gear-repair basics such as duct tape and safety pins.
Though not found in every first aid kit, some sets do come with medication included. These can include Antihistamine, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, and more. Do check the dosage of the included medication to ensure safe usage.