The 7 Best First Aid Kits of 2021

Be prepared for anything with these handy kits

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First Look

Best for First Responders: Lightning X First Aid Trauma Bag at Amazon

"A heavy-duty option, Lightning X's bag is tailored to first responders but is also useful to have on hand in larger households."

Best Compact: Johnson & Johnson All-Purpose First Aid Kit at walgreens.com

"If you prefer a portable size, this compact first aid kit contains all the essentials for minor injuries and quick relief."

Best for Running and Biking: Welly Quick Fix First Aid Kit at Amazon

"Stay ready for any minor accidents and prevent infections with Welly's 24-piece set, featuring colorful bandaids and antibiotics."

Best for Hiking: Red Cross Be Ready First Aid Kit at Amazon

"If you frequent the outdoors and trails, this compact, 73-piece set will help manage any obstacles that may come your way."

Best for Camping: Adventure Medical Kits Family First Aid Medical Kit at fsastore.com

"An overnight camping trip can easily bring the unexpected, this option provides care for all members of the family."

Best for Office: First Aid Only at staples.com

"This kit can accommodate 50, and the expansion pocket allows you to customize your cabinet to meet your space’s specific needs."

Best Basic: Medique Portable First Aid Kit at sentrysafetysupply.com

"Stay equipped for ailments with a 61-piece kit that you can easily store in a work drawer, your car, or your bathroom cabinet."

Emergencies never give any warning, which is why it’s so important to be prepared at all times for any illness or injury. First aid kits are the first line of defense when dealing with moderate injuries or illnesses. Whether it's twisting your ankle during an annual family hiking trip or getting a nasty papercut in your office, you always want to be prepared. 

Andy Bernstein, MD, an Illinois-based pediatrician who has been practicing for 19 years, tells Verywell Health that the best location to store a first aid kit is where you can easily remember where it is and access it. He also says that essential items can be divided into those that help with injury and those that help with illness. Things that can help with physical injuries include: bandages, gauze pads, adhesive tape, an ACE wrap, a sling, antiseptic wipes, and antibiotic ointment. Items that can help with illnesses include: an antihistamine like Benadryl, anti-nausea medicine such as Dramamine, fever and pain reducers like ibuprofen or Tylenol, hydrocortisone cream, a thermometer, a bottle of water, and a bottle of an electrolyte replacement solution. Whether you are looking for a go-to for minor cuts and scrapes or a comprehensive trauma kit, here are some of the best first aid kits for all of your needs. 

Our Top Picks

Best for First Responders: Lightning X First Aid Trauma Bag

Be prepared for just about any emergency or disaster with the Lightning X First Responder Delux Kit. Created for first responders like EMTs, this durable duffle bag is fully stocked and made of water-resistant nylon and has reflective striping for visibility on both the bag and the straps.

This premium trauma first aid kit is designed to be well-organized so users can easily access what they need when they need it to help themselves or others around them quickly. The bag also features side and front pockets, strong nylon straps with comfortable padding for shoulder support, and four colored pouches for high-priority items. This kit is the go-to for emergency responders tackling physical injuries. 

Best Compact: Johnson & Johnson All-Purpose First Aid Kit

Johnson and Johnson first aid kit

This compact and affordable kit has everything you need for minor cuts, burns, and sprains. The 140-piece Johnson & Johnson All-Purpose First Aid Kit can be perfectly stored in your car or RV for camping trips or home. It’s ideal because it has everything you need for physical injuries, such as bandages, gauze pads, adhesive tape, and it contains items that can help with pain relief such as Tylenol Extra Strength acetaminophen caplets. 

Best for Running and Biking: Welly Quick Fix First Aid Kit

 Welly Quick Fix Kit First Aid Travel Kit

Courtesy of Amazon

Having a fully-stocked first aid kit is essential, but carrying around a heavy or bulky kit when you are going on a hike or running is not necessarily ideal. That’s where the Welly Quick Fix Kit First Aid Travel Kit comes into play. It’s a 24-piece set, equipped with brightly-colored flex fabric bandages in two sizes, triple single-use antibiotic ointments, and single-use hand sanitizers. These items come in a compact and durable tin perfect for book bags, purses, travel luggage, and even pockets. 

Best for Hiking: Red Cross Be Ready First Aid Kit

This 73-piece Be Red Cross Ready First Aid Kit is ideal for the great outdoors. The kit comes housed in a zippered soft pack with clear pockets that keep supplies organized and accessible, along with the American Red Cross Emergency First Aid Guide, so it’s easy to use for beginners. The kit contains essential first aid supplies to treat the most common injuries, including cuts, scrapes, swelling, sprains, and strains. It also has a rain poncho, emergency light stick, and emergency whistle to help you adjust to any unexpected situation.

Best for Camping: Adventure Medical Kits Family First Aid Medical Kit

Family first aid

With supplies to accommodate one to four people for one to four days, the Adventure Medical Kits Family First Aid Medical Kit is great for any camping trip. Included are guides on wound care, stabilizing sprains and fractures, and medications for children. The kit also offers a wide array of medications to treat pain, inflammation, and common allergies. This adventure medical kit includes a handy kit-within-a-kit that can be pulled out and stashed in a pocket, stroller, or diaper bag.

Best for Office: First Aid Only

First Aid Only

Perfect for industrial settings or a large corporate office, the First Aid Only first aid kit is a unique cabinet designed to eliminate disorganized or missing medical supplies. This kit can accommodate 50, and the expansion pocket allows you to customize your cabinet to meet your space’s specific needs. It comes equipped with bandages, gauze, alcohol cleansing pads, burn cream, tape, scissors, gloves, a CPR face shield, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, a trauma pad, a first aid guide, and more.

Best Basic: Medique Portable First Aid Kit

Medique Portable First Aid Kit

 Courtesy of ESL Supply

The compact and easy-to-store Medique 40061 is the perfect basic first aid kit for physical injuries. It’s a 61-piece kit, equipped with items essential for any minor emergency. With everything from finger splints, burn cream ointment, and an instant cold pack, it’s the go-to kit to store in homes with young and active children and your car. The biggest con about this kit is that it’s not very well equipped with pain relievers, so you may want to stock up elsewhere.

Final Verdict

The most important consideration to make when purchasing a first aid kit is, of course, the products inside the kit. If you’re looking for a well-rounded kit that will address a multitude of injuries and ailments, then you’re going to want both physical wound-care items as well as a variety of medication options. The best part about commercial first aid kits is that they provide a variety of products, making it a more cost-effective purchase compared to creating your own kit. 

If you are looking for something compact, easy to stow, and has a well-rounded list of items, you can’t go wrong with the Johnson & Johnson All-Purpose First Aid Kit. It’s perfect for home use, and it is excellent to treat minor injuries. If you are looking for something a bit more extensive for your hiking or camping trips, the First Aid Only Be Red Cross Ready First Aid Kit comes highly recommended.

What to Look for in a First Aid Kit

Included Products

It’s not just about the physical materials and medications used to treat ailments, but also the tools that can assist with the process. Tweezers, small scissors, a thermometer, a scale, and instant ice packs are all items that could be beneficial to have included in a first aid kit. “If you have high blood pressure, an accurate automatic BP cuff is helpful,” Mattan Schuchman, M.D., the medical director of Johns Hopkins Home-based Medicine says. “If you have a lung condition, then a pulse oximeter is helpful.” Best part about these tools is you’ll likely not have to replace them for years as long as you store the first aid kit in a temperature-controlled area

Storage

You never know when something bad will happen, so having a kit that you can keep under the sink in your bathroom is just as important as having a small kit that can fit in your glove compartment or the bottom of your purse. 

Targeted Activities

What you need for an at-home first aid kit versus one you take for a vigorous activity, such as a hike, will differ from what you’ll need in the kit. If you are looking for a kit that could be carried during outdoor activities then Dr. Schuchman recommends adding a sling to your supplies that will support an arm or shoulder injury. “You should not use a sling for more than one day without the advice of a medical professional,” he adds. 

“When you buy the kit, you should check it periodically. Keep a little index card in it with what’s in [the kit] and what the expiration dates are so you can take a peek at it every few months to see if something needs to be replaced. Pills typically maintain most of their potency for up to five years after their expiration date. But liquid stuff tends to deteriorate." —Bob Ostrander, M.D., board certified family physician and associate professor at SUNY Upstate Medical University

Why Trust Verywell Health?

As a health writer, Janae Price understands the importance of a knowledgeable and honest review. When there are so many different opinions out there, it's great to have a concise answer that cuts through all the junk online. Every product in this piece has been thoroughly researched and sourced by professionals with potential user needs in mind. 

Additional reporting to this story by Danielle Zoellner

As a seasoned health writer, Danielle Zoellner knows the importance of finding just the right product to fit your medical needs. Throughout her career, Danielle has interviewed a variety of experts in the medical and health fields while reviewing dozens of products. Her experience and knowledge in the field work together to help readers like yourself find the best products for your daily life.

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