Some people are more accident-prone than others, but none of us are immune from scrapes, cuts, and other injuries. And if your interests include power tools, remote adventure destinations, or high-risk pursuits like rock climbing, having access to a first aid kit is essential. Not all kits are the same, and yours should be tailored for its intended use. These ten options for your home, car, and backpack lend peace of mind and valuable tools in case of emergency.

Read quick info on five great first aid kits below, then keep scrolling for in-depth reviews of these and other options, plus expert advice for responding to emergencies.

What Should Be in a First Aid Kit?

First aid kits generally have bandages, medication, and supplies for cleaning and treating wounds, but without any mandatory guidelines, specific contents and quantities vary. Some manufacturers follow a voluntary standard from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) that suggests minimum requirements for workplace first aid kits. This is a good starting place for creating your own DIY kit and outlines two classes of kits based on injury severity. Class A kits are best for common minor injuries and should include bandages, gauze, tape, antibiotics, antiseptics, burn treatments, eye wash, trauma pads, a sling, a cold pack, a CPR face shield, gloves, scissors, and a first aid guide. Class B kits include a greater quantity of these items plus a splint and a tourniquet, making them the better choice for higher-risk situations when more extreme injuries can occur.

Beyond that, Dr. Linda Keyes, an emergency physician and president of the Wilderness Medical Society, recommends considering where you will be using your kit. Prioritize something packable and lighter weight for hiking, backpacking, or everyday use. Some activities demand supplies or medications to address circumstantial maladies. For example, a boat-ready first aid kit should include anti-nausea medication in case of seasickness. No matter what’s inside, make sure to periodically check for expired medications or low supply levels. Some manufacturers sell refill supplies, but you can also buy replacements at pharmacies or online.

An Expert’s Advice on Handling Medical Emergencies

The best way to respond to an injury is to be prepared for it, Keyes advises. Before you head out on an outdoor adventure no matter the length, tell someone where you will be going and when you expect to return. Pack the ten essentials, including navigation tools, an extra layer of clothing, food, water, and your first aid kit. In addition to those items, bring your phone or a satellite communicator in case you need to call for help, and wear a life vest if you’re exploring on the water. And keep in mind all first aid kits have limitations. “For life-saving emergencies, the kit is not going to be the key thing,” she says. “The key thing is going to be having CPR training.” The American Red Cross and American Heart Association are just two organizations that offer courses. Backcountry explorers might also consider wilderness first aid training, such as those offered by NOLS or the National Ski Patrol.

In the moment, Keyes says even the most experienced person can panic. For non-life-threatening emergencies, take a minute to sit down, take a few slow deep breaths, drink some water, eat a snack, and consider your options. Talk those over with the people you’re with so you can formulate the best plan. If someone in your group is panicking, the group leader should have them follow the same steps and give them a specific task that will help them focus. And if you’re alone, call or ask for help. There’s no reason to drive yourself to the emergency room if you nipped your finger with a power tool when a family member, roommate, or neighbor is around.

How We Selected

To find the best first aid kits, we compared the supply lists, case construction, dimensions, and cost of 27 models designed for a variety of uses. More so than some of our other product reviews, we prioritized affordability. First aid kits are essential, but they tend to collect dust more often than not. We recommend paying only for what you really need. Our test editors have used some models on this list at home and in the field. Other options are made by brands we trust and further vetted based on customer reviews. These ten will have you covered no matter where you are.


First Aid Only 298-Piece All-Purpose First Aid Kit

Weight: 1 lb. 4.8 oz | Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.25 x 2.9 in.

298-Piece All-Purpose First Aid Kit
First Aid Only

  • Great value
  • Tons of bandages
  • Enough supplies for a family

  • Internal organization is less sophisticated than others

This affordable best-seller is chock-full of supplies that can mend a host of injuries and ailments. First Aid Only doesn’t skimp on quantity either, making this kit large enough for families. More than 200 bandages and gauze pads of various sizes are at the ready for scraped knees, paper cuts, and other open wounds. As for medications and ointments, this kit has a larger selection than most all-purpose competitors, though the quantities of aspirin, ibuprofen, and a non-aspirin acetaminophen are limited to just six tablets. Other pain relief comes in the form of a burn gel packet—handy for the kitchen—and three sting-relief wipes. There’s even a disposable thermometer to check for fever. All 298 items find a home within the soft-sided nylon case, which has clear dividers inside. This organization system is less sophisticated than those in some other cases and earned mixed reviews from Amazon customers. Some people didn’t mind it, while others thought it challenging to find what they needed given the sheer volume of supplies. If you buy this and fall in the latter group, you can always replace the case with a hard-sided box. What most people agree on is the excellent value of this first aid kit that will earn its place in your home or workshop.


Lifeline AAA Traveler Road Kit

Weight: 3 lb. 5.4 oz | Dimensions: 8.2 x 12.7 x 3 in.

AAA Traveler Road Kit
$25.59 (40% off)

  • Includes tools for roadside emergencies

  • Limited first aid supplies

As far as first aid supplies go, the Traveler is relatively sparse. But it earns its spot on our list on account of its mechanically oriented additions. That includes jumper cables, an emergency warning triangle, a flashlight with extra batteries, a screwdriver, shop cloth, cable ties, duct tape, and accident forms. There’s also an emergency poncho if you get stranded in the rain. These larger items result in a bulkier case, but the Traveler is still small enough to stuff under a front seat or stash away in your trunk without hogging too much space. There’s also enough room inside to add extra first aid items. We recommend throwing in some antibiotic ointment to compliment the kit’s bandages, gauze, and antiseptic, as well as over-the-counter medications, including something to treat motion sickness and nausea.


Lifeline Trail Light Dayhiker First Aid Kit

Weight: 2.7 oz | Dimensions: 4.3 x 6 x 1.3 in.

Trail Light Dayhiker First Aid Kit

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Small

  • Requires more frequent restocking if you use it often

It’s tempting to leave a bulky first aid kit behind in the name of hiking light. The Trail Light offers no excuse. It weighs a scant 2.7 ounces and takes up about as much space as a greeting card (granted a pretty thick one). Still, Lifeline manages to pack a lot inside the soft-sided case, including six types of bandages and gauze, two medications, anti-itch cream, sting relief pads, three types of sanitizing wipes, tweezers, and moleskin. This wide variety lends peace of mind when we’re on the trail. Should we develop a blister or suffer a bee sting, we know we’ll be covered. The only caveat is that Lifeline limits the quantities of these supplies to ten or fewer. That’s enough for a day-long excursion, but if you end up using anything, we recommend refilling before your next trip.


Judy Mover Max

Weight: 15 lb | Dimensions: 18 x 17 x 8 in.

Mover Max

  • Comes with food, water, and other necessities
  • Waterproof backpack case

  • Expensive

When a natural disaster strikes, you’ll need more than a first aid kit to survive. Enter the Mover Max, from emergency prep company Judy. Call it a bug-out bag, go bag, or survival kit, this stash can support four people for up to three days. Water and meal bars accompany emergency blankets, ponchos, hand warmers, a hand-crank radio, a 109-piece first aid kit, a multitool, and more. The items are organized into three boxes based on product type, and everything fits inside a waterproof backpack for easy transport. While still expensive, The Mover Max is more affordably priced than some competitors. The tradeoff for your savings is weight, though 15 pounds is a reasonable amount to carry on your back. Ultimately, you won’t regret sinking a couple of Franklins into this survival kit when it’s helping you stay alive.


Adventure Medical Kits Trail Dog Medical Kit

Weight: 12 oz | Dimensions: 5.3 x 7.5 x 1.5 in.

Trail Dog Medical Kit
Adventure Medical Kits

  • Manual details pet first aid basics

  • On the larger size

Your adventure pup isn’t immune to accidents, rare as they hopefully are. Adventure Medical Kits designed this model specifically for them, adding in a few items not usually found in kits made for people. Hydrogen peroxide induces vomiting if your dog gets into something foul, the irrigation syringe and saline wash clean wounds, and the triangular bandage acts as a temporary muzzle should you need it as you play vet. The kit also has tweezers, several types and sizes of gauze, antihistamine, and a pet first aid manual for pointers. All 24 items are protected from the elements or accidental spills by a waterproof liner bag. The exterior fabric case is a bit big, but you can always repack the supplies into your dog’s pack to save space and weight.


Coleman All Purpose First Aid Tin

Weight: 2.1 oz | Dimensions: 3.9 x 2.5 x 0.9 in.

All Purpose First Aid Tin

  • EDC-ready
  • Very affordable

  • No oral medication

Whether you’re a little klutzy or always like to be prepared, this miniature first aid kit is ideal for treating scrapes and cuts. It’s also a hell of a deal. The lightweight, crush-resistant tin easily fits in a pants pocket or purse and houses 26 items. More than half of those are bandages, and antiseptic wipes and antibiotic ointment help ward off infection. Over-the-counter drugs for alleviating headaches and other minor pains are conspicuously absent. However, Coleman adds a few EDC supplies that can come in handy unexpectedly: two safety pins and a razor blade.


Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight / Watertight .5

Weight: 3.7 oz | Dimensions: 11 x 5.5 x 1 in.

Ultralight / Watertight .5
Adventure Medical Kits

  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof case

  • Best for weekend trips, not longer excursions

Our outdoors editor has carried this first aid kit into the field for two years and counting. It’s reasonably priced; weighs next to nothing; and includes all the essential bandages, medicines, and tools needed for tending to minor injuries. A few notable highlights from the supply list are the antihistamine and a topical anti-itch wipe, moleskin with pre-cut sizes, safety pins, and tweezers. Our editor can vouch for the waterproofing on the two-layer case. The combination of the water-resistant fabric on the exterior bag and the resealable plastic inner bag has successfully blocked moisture on rainy days and during an unfortunate water spill inside a backpacking pack. Good as it is, the Ultralight / Watertight .5 really only has enough supplies for one or two people during a weekend trip. For longer treks or when you’re with a group, consider the more robust Extended First Aid Kit from Hart Outdoor.


MyMedic Boat Medic

Weight: 3 lb 7.2 oz | Dimensions: 8 x 10 x 4 in.

Boat Medic

  • Case is waterproof and floats
  • Good variety of bandages, medicines, and tools

  • Expensive
  • Bulky

Recreating on the water presents its own set of dangers like seasickness and heat stroke. The 74-piece Boat Medic is fully outfitted so you can manage these situations until you get back to shore. The relatively broad selection of medications includes dramamine and Pepto-Bismol to cut motion sickness and reduce nausea. The kit also has electrolyte tablets to prevent dehydration, sunscreen, waterproof liquid bandages, Quikclot dressing to stop bleeding, and a CPR face shield. All the supplies are protected inside the waterproof plastic case, which is also designed to float if it accidentally gets pitched overboard. Given its size and weight, the Boat Medic is best for anglers and lake-goers enjoying the water in a motor boat.


VSSL First Aid Mini

Weight: 9.9 oz | Dimensions: 6.8 x 2 in.

First Aid Mini

  • Ultra-durable case
  • Option to add a flashlight
  • Refill packs available

  • Pricey

The First Aid Mini is roughly the size and shape of a flashlight—fitting since you have the option of adding a 200-lumen lamp to one of the screw-on end caps (for an extra $35). Either way, the water-tight case, made from military-grade aluminum, is exceptionally tough. Inside, the supplies are divvied up into three tins: one for scrapes and open wounds, one for blisters and other ailments, and one for tools like tweezers and an emergency whistle. Although we haven’t had to use them so far, we appreciate the versatility of some of the wares. For instance, we could use the sewing kit to make a sling or patch a tent hole. When supplies run low, VSSL sells replacement tins of first aid essentials and other camp supplies piecemeal or in full supply packs, so you can restock according to your adventure needs.


For a truly one-of-a-kind kit, make your own. The supplies below will get you started. We suggest skipping a more expensive first aid kit case for a small, waterproof Tupperware.