The 7 Best First Aid Kits of 2022

Be prepared for anything with these handy kits

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Best First Aid Kits

Verywell / Sabrina Jiang

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 paper cut 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.

We researched dozens of first aid kits and evaluated them for reviews, included items, size, pricing, ideal usage, and return policies. Each of the kits chosen in this article were determined to be the best of these factors.

Whether you are looking for a go-to for minor cuts and scrapes or a comprehensive trauma kit, here are the best first aid kits for all of your needs. 

Our Top Picks
A heavy-duty option, Lightning X's bag is tailored to first responders but is also useful to have on hand in larger households.
If you prefer a portable size, this compact first aid kit contains all the essentials for minor injuries and quick relief.
Stay ready for any minor accidents and prevent infections with Welly's 24-piece set, featuring colorful bandaids and antibiotics.
If you frequent the outdoors and trails, this compact, 73-piece set will help manage any obstacles that may come your way.
An overnight camping trip can easily bring the unexpected, this option provides care for all members of the family.
This kit can accommodate 50, and the expansion pocket allows you to customize your cabinet to meet your space’s specific needs.
Stay equipped for ailments with a 61-piece kit that you can easily store in a work drawer, your car, or your bathroom cabinet.

Best for First Responders: Lightning X Deluxe Stocked Large EMT First Aid Trauma Bag

Lightning X Stocked EMT Bag
Pros
  • Stocked for trauma incidents

  • Limited lifetime warranty

  • Water-resistant

  • Well-organized

Cons
  • Pricey

  • Does not contain analgesics

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. 

Ideal For: EMS agencies and rescue squads | Case Size: 28 x 13 x 12 inches

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

Johnson and Johnson first aid kit
Pros
  • Contains produced from well known brands

  • Compact and great for travel

Cons
  • No instruments for removing splinters

  • No ACE bandages for sprains

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. 

Ideal For: At home, in the car, dorm rooms, offices | Case Size: 3.27 x 9.75 x 7 inches

What the Experts Say

“Given the relatively easy access to 24-hour pharmacies, 911 emergency services and online medical consultation, the need for first aid kits is less than it might have been in the past. Your particular situation, however, might call for some special preparation.” — David Cutler, MD, family medicine physician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California

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

 Welly Quick Fix Kit First Aid Travel Kit
Pros
  • Small, easy-to-carry size

  • Great quality bandages

Cons
  • Limited selection

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. 

Ideal For: Outdoor activities and travel | Case Size: 1.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches

Best for Hiking: First Aid Only Be Red Cross Ready First Aid Kit

American Red Cross Be Red Cross Ready First Aid Kit
Pros
  • Contains a wide variety of supplies

  • Compact and easy to throw in a car or daypack

  • Great for the outdoors

Cons
  • Can become disorganized

  • Does not contain an analgesic

  • Does not contain an antihistamine

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.

Ideal For: Outdoor activities, and travel | Case Size: 7.5 x 9 x 2.5 inches

Best for Camping: Adventure First Aid Family Kit

Family first aid
Pros
  • Durable case

  • Well-organized

  • Include commonly-needed medications

Cons
  • Case isn’t waterproof

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.

Ideal For: Families, outdoor activities, and travel | Case Size: 6 x 8.5 x 3 inches

Best for Office: First Aid Only 245 pc. First Aid Kit for 50 People

First Aid Only
Pros
  • Supplies for up to 50 people

  • Well-organized

Cons
  • Lock doesn’t always stay in place

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 supplies for up to 50 people, 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.

Ideal For: Offices, sports teams, summer camps | Case Size: 13-¾ x 13 x 4-¼ inches

Best Basic: Medique 61 pc. Multi-Purpose First Aid Kit

Medique Portable First Aid Kit
Pros
  • Handy interior tray to keep kit organized

  • Comes with first aid guide

Cons
  • Only for simple wound care

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.

Ideal For: Starter kit at home, keeping in the car | Case Size: 6 x 8 x 2.5 inches

What the Experts Say

“A quick look online or in the pharmacy will reveal a wide array of first aid kits available. The diversity and variability of their contents is stunning. The important thing to learn from this is that what is important in your first aid kit depends on what problems you are most likely to encounter.” — David Cutler, MD, family medicine physician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California

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 (view at Walgreens). 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 (view at Amazon) 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,” says Mattan Schuchman, MD, medical director of Johns Hopkins Home-based Medicine. “If you have a lung condition, then a pulse oximeter is helpful.” The 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.

According to David Cutler, MD, family medicine physician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, you should keep your immediate surroundings in mind when evaluating the items contained in a first aid kit.

“For example, if you are in a particularly remote area, survival equipment like a fire starter, water, food, and an emergency blanket might be most important,” he tells Verywell Health. “For hiking trips, materials to address injuries like splints and wraps might take precedence. Recent wildfires and the ongoing pandemic raise the likelihood of needing masks. And exposure to food or water causing diarrhea would require the use of oral rehydration formulas. Plus, there is always the risk of wounds requiring cleaning supplies, bandages, antibiotic ointment, and even a tourniquet to control bleeding.”

Size

It’s also important to keep the specific use of your first aid kit in mind when it comes to picking a size. “A giant kit likely isn’t practical for a hiking trip, and you likely don’t need an emergency blanket for your home kit,” Michael Richardson, MD, a physician with One Medical says. “Try to find a kit suitable for the activity you plan to pursue, or make your own kit and tailor it to your needs.”

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.

Additionally, Dr. Cutler stresses the importance of filling your first aid kit with items based on what problems you are most likely to encounter. “Sunburn and jellyfish stings are unlikely on a camping trip in Alaska,” he explains. “Snake bites and poison ivy are unlikely at a tropical beach resort. So the first questions to ask when planning a first aid kit are where you will be, what you will be doing, and what resources are already available.”

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How often should you replace a first aid kit?

    If you have a home kit that you rarely use, Richards says that it’s a good idea to check on it annually and replace any expired items. “If you have a kit that you are using for a specific event, however (hiking, sports practice, etc), it would be worth it to check on it before you leave for your activity,” he explains. “Better to double check and be sure you have everything than to encounter an emergency situation only to find you are out of bandages.”

  • Should your first aid kit include an EpiPen?

    If you, or a person you’re with, experiences severe allergic reactions that may require the use of an EpiPen, then Dr. Richardson says it’s important to have one on hand. “However, if you don’t have any known severe allergies, then you likely don’t need an EpiPen for your typical first aid kit,” he adds. If you’re concerned about non-life-threatening allergic reactions, then Dr. Cutler recommends including antihistamines, along with hydrocortisone cream for itchy rashes.

  • What are the top three most important items to include in a first aid kit?

    Dr. Richardson says that three most important items in a first aid kit really depend on what you are doing and who you will be with. “For me, my top three are bandages (wraps, bandaids, liquid bandage, etc), hand sanitizer, and stickers,” he explains. “I have two young girls and we love to go on adventures, so this kit is custom made to make every slip, scratch and fall a fun part of the journey.”


    Though unable to narrow it down to three items, these are what Dr. Cutler considers first aid kit the essentials:


    1. Disposable gloves 
    2. Simple bandages 
    3. Benadryl for allergic reactions 
    4. Eye rinsing solution 
    5. Copies of all your written prescriptions 


    Ultimately, Dr. Cutler says that beyond these items, you can add other supplies and medications unique to your situation and needs. “Keep in mind, most minor problems can wait until you get hold of the materials you need,” he explains. “And any major issue will need the assistance of health care professionals. So, essential first aid kit items are those things which will enable you to avoid a trip to the emergency room.”

What the Experts Say

“Everyone likes to have a first aid kit handy. But there is simply no one best answer to the question of what to put in it. That is because the number of common, significant, treatable injuries, illnesses, and medical crises is so large and so varied you would need a hospital emergency room to deal with all of them.” — David Cutler, MD, family medicine physician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California

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 and Elizabeth Yuko

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.

As a seasoned health writer and editor, Elizabeth Yuko is always on the lookout for new (and research-backed) products, techniques, and services that can help people cope with their health challenges and needs.

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