Before I begin this review, I want to say that I personally believe everyone should have a good first aid kit with them for every adventure, whether a big or small kit, and whether a big or small adventure. Just as important is the knowledge of how to use the first aid kit if something does go wrong. The best first aid kit is the one you know how to use. Now onto the review!
Over the years I have tried and used many first aid kits, ranging from cheap to expensive, big to small. I have taken them backpacking, car camping, overlanding, all ways of camping. It’s tough to find a kit that is just the right size while still packing everything you need. The kit I have settled on over many years of use and testing is the Surviveware First Aid Kit (Amazon link, not an affiliate link, we do not profit from it). With this review I want to focus on 5 categories, in order of importance: Portability, Contents, Ease of Use, Durability, Warranty. Before we dive in, here’s a quick photo showing everything unpacked, also giving you a size reference for the kit:
1 – Portability: Is it easy to transport?
If it’s too big or cumbersome to take with you, a first aid kit is useless! I have used kits that barely fit in a backpack, and although they had everything you could ever need for any emergency, they were not practical for the situations I was in. I have found that this kit from Surviveware is the absolute perfect size – it fits in a small backpack, or small pockets within other backpacks, or even a glove box! For me this is the most important factor when finding a first aid kit, choosing the one you will always bring with you. Since this kit is so small and awesome I actually have two, one that stays in my car and one that cycles between my different backpacks depending on the adventure. The exact size of this kit is 5.5” x 7.5” x 3.5”, and it weighs one pound.
2 – Contents: Does it have what you need for a range of emergencies?
Despite the small size and overall footprint of this kit, it packs 100 life-saving items. Here is a quick list:
- 600D Polyester Bag
- 6” Shears(1)
- Alcohol Wipes(3)
- Adhesive Bandages: Butterfly Closures(5), Butterfly(5), H-Shape(5), Large(2), Standard (20), Mini(5), Square Shape(5)
- Cotton Gauze Swab(3)
- Cotton Swabs(10)
- CPR Pouch with Instructions(1)
- CPR Breathing Mask(1)
- Crepe Bandage(1)
- Emergency Blanket(1)
- Eye Pads(2)
- Hypoallergenic Tape(1)
- Nitrile Gloves(1)
- Personal Medicine Laminate Bag(1)
- Personal Medicine Mini Bags(5)
- PBT Conforming Bandage(1)
- Safety Pins(4)
- Splinter Probes(2)
- Strip Wound Closures(3)
- Sting Relief Wipes(3)
- Triangular Bandage(1)
A few things I want to point out: First, the shears are paramedic quality, I was blown away when I first saw them. Second, the tweezers are large and extremely high quality as well, sometimes I go find these instead of using the ones in my house. Third and lastly, the CPR kit is the best I have seen, and has easy to follow directions for adult or child CPR printed clearly on the outside! As you can see, this thing is stocked and ready to go. Again, for the size, I have not found another first aid kit that offers more.
3 – Ease of Use: How organized is it, how easy is it to use?
I need to take a deep breath before I begin this part because I want to SHOUT about how awesomely organized this kit is! This is where I feel this first aid kit really shines. Here’s a photo of the inside of the kit:
I absolutely love the way everything is labeled and organized. You open it and are immediately greeted with easy to understand labels, for whatever emergency situation you are dealing with. For example, as you can see in the photo the bottom right says “WOUNDS – SPRAINS – SNAKE BITES” – this compartment has two different types of bandages, different cleaning solutions, and then band-aids at the top. Absolutely genius! Whenever I have needed to use this kit I can immediately grab what I need without digging around wasting precious time. Since owning this kit I have actually reached out to Surviveware and applauded them profusely for the organization and layout, and I begged them never to change it! I cannot say enough good things about how organized and easy to use this first aid kit is.
4 – Durability: Will the contents stay safe, and how long will it all last?
Buying cheap kits or a kit that you will have to replace yearly is not practical in the long run. It’s easy to look around and find a $10 kit that seems great, but the reality is it will probably not last very long. Another key factor is water resistance, especially for things like bandages or wraps. This kit from Surviveware is made of high denier nylon and is nice and thick. The zippers are big and easily slide, and have nice pull tabs. The outer layer of the case resists water, and anything inside the kit that could be damaged by water is inside a bag. If you’re pushing the limits, your first aid kit might eventually get wet (mine definitely has). Knowing that the contents will be safe no matter what is fantastic, and again something I haven’t seen in other kits. Because of this, both kits I own have not had anything inside damaged from water or other elements even after tons of use.
5 – Warranty: Does it have a warranty, if so what is it?
This one is kind of a bonus point, but for me, it’s the icing on the cake. The Surviveware first aid kit comes with a lifetime warranty, meaning if anything in the kit ever breaks or isn’t functioning properly, they will replace it for free. Out of all the kits I have used and tested, I think this is the only one that has a true lifetime warranty. Also, I have to brag on the Surviveware customer service real quick – I needed to contact them about something related to this order, and they were incredibly quick to respond, and even threw in an extra emergency blanket when I told them about my upcoming trips! I love companies like this that still take the time to really make you feel special and important as the customer.
Overall, I love this first aid kit. I have recommended it to so many friends and even family members because I love it that much! It’s extremely portable, easy to use, has everything you need, and is made and supported by a fantastic company. To top it all off, this first aid kit won the Outdoor Gear Lab Editor’s Choice Award, which is pretty awesome and telling. I truly cannot recommend this first aid kit enough!
Thanks for reading, stay tuned for more adventure reports and gear reviews in the future!
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