Top 8 Best First Aid Kits
By | Last updated: May 5, 2020
car first aid kit. Shutterstock user New Africa

After assembling a helpful list of car emergency kits, we noticed there are an abundance of kits dedicated to simple first aid. Given that your author has a terrible history of managing to injure himself during even the simplest of jobs, today’s list is very fitting.

Like the emergency kits which contained more than first aid gear, don’t be led astray or enticed by containers simply by dint of their item count. Some will pad their total with scads of cotton swabs, for example, or include five dozen safety pins for no reason at all. Caveat emptor, folks, especially when buying a product upon which you may depend if calamity strikes.

1. Editor's Choice: Johnson & Johnson All-Purpose Compact First Aid Kit

Again, there’s nothing wrong with selecting products from a trusted brand name that’s been around forever. Johnson & Johnson, despite the myriad of internet conspiracy theories and their penchant for owning far too many brands, do know what they’re talking about in this segment.

This is a 140-piece kit, including the likes of real Band-Aids (yes, some knock-offs have less stick) and actual Benadryl. Go ahead and toss in a few extra Tylenol as the stock provided here is woefully inadequate. There’s even a Ben-Gay compress for the bingo and Toyota Avalon crowd.

Pros/Brand-name products, assembled by a known quantity
Cons/Stingy on the pain meds
Bottom Line/Familiarity can be a good thing

2. FAO-442 All-Purpose First Aid Kit

More than doubling the piece count (with worthwhile items) of the Johnson & Johnson kit is this product from a company called FAO. While the brand may sound like a car company from behind the Iron Curtain, it actually stands for First Aid Only. Fair enough, then.

A clear plastic liner permits a quick and easy assessment of what’s on hand, including the ability to see if someone has made off with the handy scissors that are included in this kit. Also on board are bandages of various sizes, plenty of antiseptic wipes, and sterile gauze.

Pros/You won't need to restock this any time soon
Cons/Soft-sided bag can be punctured
Bottom Line/Buy it and forget it until needed

3. LightningX Small First Responder Trauma Bag

Adding the word ‘trauma’ to any product evokes a sense of urgency. After all, if Ford’s small car had been called the Fiesta Trauma Hatchback it might not have found itself on the cutting room floor. Alas. This kit is understandably bulky, given the amount of potentially life-saving equipment on board.

There are shears, penlights, adhesive strips in abundance, ammonia, eyewash – the lot, basically. It even includes a stethoscope and blood pressure cuff, items that are useful in the hands of those who know what they’re doing. Fun fact: the technical name for a blood pressure cuff is a Sphygmomanometer. Hey, you can even pick from a variety of colors for the bag.

Pros/Allows one to be prepared like a professional
Cons/Expensive
Bottom Line/Worth the cash

4. Tidy Globe Complete First Aid Kit

Compact, lightweight, and flexible, this kit is marketed not just at car owners but also those who enjoy recreational activities like boating and hiking. Despite measuring just 10.5 inches by 6.5 inches, it contains items like a Mylar emergency blanket and disposable gloves.

Also inside are tongue depressors for oral inspections or toy bridge building, relief pads for stings, and a bunch of butterfly closure strips which are very handy for keeping a gauze bandage together (ask me how I know). It’s tightly packed, so adding personal medications will require a plastic bag, not a hard pill bottle.

Pros/Packed to the brim
Cons/Packed to the brim
Bottom Line/A good addition to the bug-out bag

5. Scuddles Emergency Trauma Tactical Kit

Scuddles might sound like a mispronounced name of the family cat but is actually a brand of first aid kit, apparently. If the word ‘trauma’ adds gravitas to a product, then the appearance of ‘military’ and ‘survival’ should have a similar effect, not to mention the appearance of the bag itself which looks like a prop from M*A*S*H.

Its 4.7/5 rating is stellar, drawing praise for the kit’s robustness and variety of items if not its bulky size. A stout-looking tourniquet is included, along with an aluminum-cored wrap that’s good for immobilizing fractured limbs. There are also shears and, for some reason, a permanent marker.

Pros/Compact, well fitted, excellent reviews
Cons/Not waterproof
Bottom Line/Prepare yourself for the apocalypse

6. Be Smart & Get Prepared First Aid Kit

Hey, if there’s one product that does what it says on the label, it’s this one. Being smart and getting prepared are parts of the boy scout motto, or something. This is a hard-sided first aid kit that might not be ideal for the backpack but is more than suitable to store in the cargo area of your vehicle.

An airtight rubber seal around the case’s edge will help keep out the nasty stuff that frequently rolls around in a vehicle trunk. Inside one will find the usual first aid items plus useful goodies like burn cream ointment, wound closure strips, and antacid tablets for those late afternoon trips to Golden Corral.

Pros/Huge number of items, well sealed
Cons/Some reports of sketchy quality items
Bottom Line/Read the reviews first

7. FAO Vehicle First Aid Kit

We’re back to the FAO brand again, this time with a kit that is specifically marketed for use in vehicles. One of the only first aid kits on this list assembled in a metal container, it’ll take more than a few jostles and bumps to accidentally intrude on its contents.

Apparently sufficient to treat twenty-five or more people, it contains a number of adhesive bandages, first-aid tape, sterile eye pads, and some antibiotic ointments. The triangular-shaped dressings promise big laughs if you paint them like slices of pizza beforehand.

Pros/Robust container made of metal
Cons/Would be best mounted on a wall
Bottom Line/Great for a work van or delivery truck

8. Lifeline First Aid Emergency Kit

There is a trio of kits available from this seller, ranging from 30 pieces to 121 pieces. This is the smallest of the three, meaning its size permits it to be housed in a spare tire well or under the seat. Actually, that space is usually occupied by discarded coffee cups and soiled copies of Mad magazine. Best not to put it under the seat, then.

With 30 essential preparedness items from bandage to wipes, this compact first aid kit should keep you ready to treat minor cuts and scrapes that can occur while on the road or at home. Core components include bandages, a variety of wipes, and an emergency whistle.

Pros/Great for small spaces
Cons/Just includes the bare essentials
Bottom Line/Tuck this one in the center console

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Main photo credit: New Africa / ShutterStock.com. Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

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