[Hands-On Review] Surviveware First-Aid Kits

Every home needs one thing–a really good medical kit.

Surviveware Large, Small, and Mini First-Aid kits

Don’t believe me?

You’re fortunate enough not to have learned this the hard way. 

The problem is, there are a million and a half options out there, and some are definitely better than others. For those of us who don’t have a lot of medical training, it can be a little hard to know what’s junk and what’s not. 

Surviveware Large Medical Kit

DIY is always an option, but let’s be honest–it’s costly to buy everything you want to have in your kit individually and assemble it yourself. Not to mention, that puts you at the mercy of other people’s opinions on what you NEED to have in your kit if you don’t already know it. 

Fortunately, there are some pretty great solutions to this problem out there, like the awesome first-aid kits from Surviveware!

We’ve got our paws on the small kit and large Surviveware First-Aid Kits, as well as the waterproof kit and the survival first aid kit, and we’re going to give you all the deets–as well as help you figure out which one is better for you!

Surviveware Waterproof 1
Surviveware Waterproof Version

And, as a bonus, our readers get 10% from Surviveware! Use code PEWPEW at check out.

Table of Contents


Why Surviveware?

First off–Surviveware is a small, family-owned business trusted by EMTs, firefighters, military personnel, sports coaches, and thrill-seekers everywhere.

Surviveware Large First-Ait Kit, Opened

Every pocket in this kit is clearly labeled so it’s easy to find what you need in an emergency, without digging through every nook and cranny. Panic can get to the best of us in an emergency, but the smart labeling system keeps you on task and avoid mistakes that can cost lives.

The Interior of the Mini kit

Their kits come in water-resistant, 600 denier polyester pouches to stand up to rugged conditions–not to mention all the contents are sealed in waterproof laminate pouches. It even floats in water!

These kits come stocked with everything you might need for an emergency, and Surviveware offers a variety of sizes to make sure you can get just what you need for your situation.

Meeting Your Needs

As we said above, getting a kit that fits your needs is key.

Granted, you’re better off with a cheap-o first aid kit from your local mega-retailer than nothing, but having a kit that is designed for what you’re doing, how many people you might be caring for, and has what you need to handle anything from boo-boos to major trauma is going to make life easier.

That being said, no one wants to haul a dozen pounds of medical gear up a mountain, just in case you need it. You’ll need some of the painkillers in your kit for your back by the time you’re done!

Surviveware Kits

A small med kit is probably all you need for yourself or a small group, especially if you’re out hiking, biking, or moving around a lot.

For larger groups, basecamps, or vehicles, a larger kit gives you access to a wider array of supplies (not to mention a greater quantity), without having to tote it with you.

Interior of the Large Kit

Both obviously have their strengths and weaknesses, and ideally, you’d have one of each. But we don’t blame you if you don’t wanna spend those hard-earned pennies on a pile of med kits you may or may not need, so we’re going to talk about which kit is best for which people down below.

Surviveware Large First-Aid Kit

This kit is the Big Brother of the Surviveware line and is specifically designed to go on any adventure and solve just about any emergency. 

Surviveware Kit with Removable Strap

Surviveware made sure this kit has plenty of room to expand it, so you can customize your kit with what you need or want to include in it–even an 18” SAM splint, if you’re so inclined.

The Interior of the Large Kit

What we really love about this kit–besides how comprehensive it is–is the number of ways it can be attached to your bag or your vehicle for easy access.

The MOLLE on the Back of the Kit

The outer pouch features a MOLLE system that lets you slip it onto your plate carrier or pack easily, as well as a removable buckle strap designed to secure the kit to headrests or racks on your vehicle. It also has a section of strong hook and loop material, perfect for attaching to the lining of your car trunk.

Taking this kit with you is a breeze, and you will be prepared for anything.

Molle on the Kit

Inside the kit, you’ll find 200 items to keep you safe, including dressings, adhesive bandages, nitrile gloves, a pressure bandage, a rescue whistle, eyepatches, CPR mask and bag, and so much more.

Surviveware Large First-Aid Kit, Fully Opened

This first-aid kit also comes with a more portable mini kit tucked inside, so if you leave the main kit at basecamp, you don’t have to leave all your supplies. The mini kit includes 50 pieces of things you need to handle minor injuries so you don’t need to return to camp for lil boo-boos.

Surviveware Mini Kit

Notably, Surviveware also sends you an Advanced First-Aid Handbook and a free information guideline packet, so you can brush up on your medical know-how before an emergency strikes.

Included Removable CPR kit

This kit is best for: people who want a comprehensive first-aid kit and don’t mind it taking up space in their bag, or for people who are with large groups who may need medical care at multiple points during a trip.

Remember, use code PEWPEW at Surviveware’s official site to save 10%.

at Surviveware

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Surviveware Small First-Aid Kit

Still want to be prepared, but don’t think you need the Big Kahuna of first-aid kits?

Surviveware Small First-Aid Kit

Then you might like the Little Legend of the Surviveware line, the Small First-Aid Kit! 

Like its bigger counterpart, this kit is rugger, labeled for easy organization, and has a little bit of extra space to allow you to customize your kit to your needs.

A small pocket and included pouch are great for stashing prescriptions or other medications!

These small kits are a great solution for groups or individuals–outfitting everyone in the group with their own kit ensures that no one will go without medical care if they get separated.

With MOLLE straps and snaps, this kit’s really easy to attach to your bicycle, bag, roll bar or grab bars, or anything else that’s MOLLE compatible. It also has D rings, which makes it easy to hand the kit from a hook for easy access and visibility.

Attachments on the Small Kit

The small kit comes with a removable CPR kit, which includes instructions, and a comprehensive first-aid guide to help you prepare for the worst.

We like that the small kit still has most of the awesome tools and supplies the large kit has, it simply has a few less of each to fit the smaller case. You still get an all-around solid kit, and you can add any missing pieces you feel you want to have in your bag.

The Interior of the Small Kit

This kit is best for: People who are looking for a smaller personal kit to carry with them on adventures.

Remember, use code PEWPEW at Surviveware’s official site to save 10%.

at Surviveware

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Surviveware Waterproof First-Aid Kit

The waterproof kit from Surviveware is fairly similar to the large kit when it comes to contents–it’s very well stocked, but it lacks the mini kit that comes with the large kit.

Surviveware Survival Waterproof and Large
Surviveware Survival (top left), Waterproof (bottom left) and Large (right) kits.

What really sets it apart is that it is waterproof, and we mean for realsies. All Surviveware kits come with their contents sealed in waterproof baggies (and this case is no exception), but this kit also is housed in a fully waterproof 600 denier TPU bag with a sealed zipper and welded seams. It can even withstand being submerged up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

Surviveware Waterproof 1
The sealed zipper on the Waterproof kit.

Tragically, I couldn’t test the depth claims (since COVID-19 measures have me locked out of the HOA pool and my boyfriend said he wasn’t about to play look out for me), but I did test the time limit in my kitchen sink.

First off, let me offer you a pro-tip: make sure the bag is all the way zipped before starting your test, or it will sink and you’ll have to wait a day and a half for it to dry out so you can test it again.

Surviveware Waterproof 2
It floats!

Anyways, that little flub of mine aside–it works! I didn’t find even a touch of dampness inside.

I’m a big fan of this kit because I spend a lot of time outside, and a waterproof kit can go with me literally anywhere–from strapped to the rollbars of a vehicle to tossed into a kayak–without me worrying about wrapping it up first.

Surviveware Waterproof 4
Surviveware Waterproof contents

The construction of this kit is a little bit different than the others.

First off, the fabric is different, since it is waterproof. You’d never notice unless you lined up all the kits the way we did. You’ll also notice that the sealed zipper is smooth, which is what keeps the water out, but does make it harder to zip and unzip.

Surviveware Waterproof 3
Surviveware Waterproof contents

This kit does have the same velcro and MOLLE attachments that the other kits have though, so you aren’t sacrificing function at all.

Now, I mentioned the zipper was hard to use, but Surviveware did build these kits with that extra stiffness in mind. On the bottom of the pack, there are two small loops to help you get purchase when pulling the zipper, and a large rubber T handle on the zipper pull itself gives you some good leverage.

Surviveware Waterproof 5
The reinforced zipper pull and grab tabs on the bottom.

If you were worried about not being able to unzip the case quickly in an emergency, I think you probably don’t need to worry. I would probably practice it a few times, but honestly? It’s harder to close it up than open it.

Because Surviveware kits use foldout panels to stash all the supplies, they can be a little unruly to close. Since the waterproofness of this case relies on it being closed completely, there is a large patch of hook and loop fabric on the inside of the case and the back of the fold out.

Surviveware Waterproof 6
Hook and loop on the inside of the case and the back of the fold out panel.

When you seal up the bag, it helps you secure all the contents nice and tightly before you zip. It took me a little wrestling to get it done the first time, but once I learned the trick to it, it didn’t take me any longer than I’d expect.

This kit is best for: Adventure lovers who need all the perks of a great first-aid kit with the added security of being waterproof.

Remember, use code PEWPEW at Surviveware’s official site to save 10%.

at Surviveware

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Surviveware Survival First-Aid Kit

Looking for a bit of an all-in-one kit? A little bit bug-out bag, a little bit first-aid kit, the Survival First-Aid Kit packs a lot of versatility into a small package.

Surviveware Survival 2
Surviveware Survival contents

The size is somewhere between the large kit and the small, but I was surprised at the heft this thing has. Once I opened it up, it was easy to see why.

Despite its compact size (which is perfect to attach to the HEXGRID panel my AMP10 pack from 5.11), Surviveware managed to fit more supplies than their small kit and a number of great survival tools like a knife, multitool, glowsticks, paracord bracelet with a firestarter, penlight, hand saw, and more.

Surviveware Survival Waterproof and Large
Surviveware Survival (top left), Waterproof (bottom left) and Large (right) kits.

Here’s the deal–this kit doesn’t have everything you need to save your life in a true emergency. What it does offer is a good amount of tools that you can use to make a bad situation less bad. If you’re not ready to pack a full bug-out bag (or don’t have the space), this can be a decent alternative.

Will I carry it? I mean, yes, because I have it. Would I personally go through and upgrade it a bit or include this to supplement my bug-out bag? Oh, for sure.

Surviveware Survival 3
Surviveware Survival contents

If you’re a hard-core prepper, you’re better off investing in the big kit and enjoying more space and more supplies in your first-aid kit. If you’re looking for a way to look after your loved ones, a gift for a baby prepper, or just a great back-up to your back-up… you’ll love the Survival First-Aid kit.

This kit is best for: Those looking for an all-in-one answer to a kit to take camping or into the wilderness, especially with a vehicle.

Remember, use code PEWPEW at Surviveware’s official site to save 10%.

at Surviveware

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Using a First-Aid Kit in an Emergency

When 911 isn’t an option, the stakes are high. A few minutes of action can be the difference between life and death–and simply having a kit on hand isn’t enough if you and every member in your group aren’t familiar with how to use it.

Preparedness is the key to safely adventuring, and that means taking some time to brush up on emergency medical care before you need it.

The clear labels make it easy to know where supplies are and what to use them for.

While taking a class or getting first-aid certified is a great way to sharpen your skills, even reading about emergency medical care and exploring your supplies and how they’re used is beneficial.

We love that Surviveware includes a first-aid guide to get you started and prepare you to use their kit, which is honestly pretty freakin’ awesome.

You also can’t go wrong with getting your peepers on a survival medicine book. While it’s not the most thrilling read you might have on your library list, you never know when it might just save a life.

My personal go-to books (or, the ones I thought were worth spending my hard-earned Pew Pew Paycheck on) are The Ultimate Survival Medicine Guide by Joseph Alton, MD and Amy Alton, ARNP and Wilderness First Aid: Emergency Care in Remote Locations by Alton Thygerson, Steven Thygerson, the Wilderness Medicine Society, and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

The Ultimate Survival Medicine Guide is definitely geared more for preppers, but it does take the approach of how to treat things when going to the doctor simply isn’t an option you have, which makes this a great resource in my opinion.

at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

If you’re going to only get one, I do recommend the Wilderness First Aid because it specifically addresses medicine in remote locations when care is over an hour away. It’s also crazy easy to follow with concise decision tables and flowcharts that walk you through the decision-making process and appropriate treatments. It even has a section on first-aid for your pupper, which makes this book worth its weight in gold.

at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Want to take it even further? Take a wilderness first-aid course! They’re available online through sites like Aim Adventure University. You also can sign up for a hands-on course through the Red Cross and REI, among other providers.


Preparing for the worst is absolutely something you should do, but that doesn’t mean it has to be confusing or cost you an arm and a leg to do it (though having a great first-aid kit can save your arms and your legs!).

One more time…code PEWPEW to save 10% at Surviveware’s site.

at Surviveware

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Surviveware offers some seriously good gear, whether you’re a casual day tripper, a hardcore adventurer, or you just want something to toss in the trunk just in case.

at Surviveware

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

They know what they’re talking about, and they back up their expertise with thoughtfully designed first-aid kits that are chock-full of high-quality medical supplies. 

Surviveware Kits
Surviveware Kits

You can’t go wrong with either of these kits!

Do you carry a first-aid kit? Did you make it yourself or buy a pre-made one? What would you do again or do differently if you got a new kit? We wanna hear about it in the comments below. You can also check out other Essential SHTF Gear to round out your collection!

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4 Leave a Reply

  • Richard Hyman

    These guys are having a 20% off sale for 4th of July weekend. I bought two of the large kits one for each car as I've been looking for kits to store in each car and have supplies outside of my IFAK.

    4 months ago
  • Kevin King

    Kinda pricey for a bag of band-aids, aspirin and some gloves. You guys promote weapons. Guns and knives, things that cause bleeding if S___ goes South. No quick clot, no Israeli bandage, no tourniquet. No Thanks.

    8 months ago
    • Eric Hung

      Hi Kevin! Yup this one is for a more general med kit. Here is our IFAK article which has all the stuff you listed: https://www.pewpewtactical.com/best-ifak-pouches-kits/

      6 months ago
  • Werner Biedermann

    I don't usually carry a first aid kit. I usually do have one close: One in the car, one in my workshop, one in the house, in the range bag and another in my bugout bag. Each kit is basically equipped the same. As a former paramedic, I selected the items I wanted in the kit and then bought the pouches and the contents separately. That way I bought only the stuff I anticipate needing for immediate emergencies. I highly agree with the last paragraph of the review, take a first aid course. The Wilderness First Aid course is very good and comprehensive.

    8 months ago
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