Surviveware Large First Aid Kit Review – Great Option for Overlanding & Wheeling in the 5th Gen 4Runner
I am going to take a look at the most organized and well-stocked every day carry survival kit I’ve seen in a long time—the Large First Aid Kit (FAK) from Surviveware.
My assessment of the bag contents, construction and organization will be based, in part, on my time as an FMF Corpsman. I will also be evaluating the quality of the bag materials and construction based on my years of experience in the backpack manufacturing and design industry.
Not everyone is an expert in the medical field and it’s not expected of you in order to follow this review. So if you’re not a medical expert, that’s okay. If you intend on carrying a kit like this, that’s great, but to get the full potential of a kit like this, we suggest you take medical classes or educate yourself on the medical supplies made available with this kit. Or more specifically for overland or off-road applications, a wilderness medicine course might be a good option.
We have not taken this course specifically and are not endorsing it, however using this as a reference for you to research your own medical course. Having a medical kit is only half-preparing. Please use common sense and take a course if you intend on using the more advanced portions of any first aid kit.
That being said, everyone needs a first aid kit and the Surviveware first aid kit is a great option for someone with the right skills and relevant know-how.
Where to Buy?
Other Products from Surviveware:
- Camo Survival Kit: Check Price
- Biodegradable Wet Wipes 4-Pack: Check Price
- Biodegradable Wet Wipes 40 Individually Wrapped Wipes: Check Price
Criteria For A Quality First Aid Kit Bag:
- Durable Fabric and Zippers
- Distinct Bag
- Lots of Pockets or Other Interior Organization Options
- Clear Labeling of Pockets
- Various Options for Mounting
Assessment of Bag Quality/Utility:
- 600D Polyester
- MOLLE Compatible
- Interior Organization
The Surviveware bag utilizes 600D polyester fabric for the construction of their bags. In my experience, 600D polyester is the most common fabric utilized in the construction of bags and backpacks nowadays. 600D is a relatively inexpensive choice that offers respectable strength, durability and longevity. Lastly, the fabric also handles a wide variety of dyes well so it can be offered in a wide variety of colors.
Surviveware only offers this bag in bright red. I understand and appreciate this choice as it quickly signals the purpose of the bag to those who may be unfamiliar with your setup.
Some have been known to confuse the distinction between water-proof and water-resistance. They are not synonyms.
The difference between waterproof vs. water-resistant:
- To clarify, waterproofing a bag means the interior of the bag is completely protected from the penetration of water from the exterior. More elaborate bags may include waterproof pockets to prevent the spread of liquids leaking in the interior.
- In bags, water-resistance generally means the bag can withstand a light splash or drizzle of water. This feature is mostly achieved by utilizing specially coated zippers, a combination of glue adhesive at the seams, and more robust stitches than normal.
To test the water-resistant quality and strength of a material, I tried these three tests:
- I first splashed some water onto the bag from my garden hose.
- Secondly, I sprayed the bag with a mist of water from a spray bottle.
- Lastly, I carried the kit from my backyard to my car in the rain. The bag protected the contents of the interior as advertised in all three tests.
I do wish the bag was actually waterproof, but I understand how it would have been impossible to offer at this price point if they had done so.
For the price, its water resistance is a firm PASS.
As advertised, the MOLLE system on the Surviveware kit worked with my other MOLLE pieces.
I attached the FAK to my old assault pack and then to a MOLLE panel on my driver’s seat. I do not have a MOLLE panel on my rear windows yet, but I would imagine the kit would mount very easily.
With a little restructuring of the interior contents, the bag could also slide under the driver or passenger seat.
Well done Surviveware… A firm PASS!
INTERIOR ORGANIZATION: PASS
I am beyond impressed with how well this kit is organized. It has a ton of pockets, mesh or otherwise, for supply storage.
Every pocket is labeled clearly using color-coded name tapes.
For these things alone, I would consider just purchasing the bag itself over some other medical kits without labels. That is how highly I think of the job they did and how highly I value organization in a FAK.
This is an outstanding concept that little to no other first aid kits offer.
This above all else makes this bag a firm PASS.
For those of you that don’t know or understand the names and titles of each item, this is extremely helpful. Those that are non-experts in the medical field are usually the ones grabbing the medical supplies from the bag for the expert or most experienced on-site.
If there is ever a medical professional on-site asking you for a certain item, it’s efficient to be able to pinpoint the item by the label marked by its use or application.
Basic First Aid Kit vs. Surviveware First Aid Kit
Below is what a basic first aid kit would look like for me:
- Triangular Bandages
- Cold Compress
- Burn Gel
- Antibiotic Ointment
- Aloe Vera
- Hydrocortisone Cream
- Medical Tape
- Gauze (Pads, Rolls)
- Safety Pins
- Ace (Elastic) Bandages
- BZK/Alcohol Wipes
- Digital Thermometer
- Epi-pen(if warranted/able to get one)
- CPR kit
- CAT Tourniquet
- Emergency Bandage (Israeli Bandage)
Again, this is simply based on personal preference. Some may wish to include survival items in their FAK, but I prefer those to be in another bag.
Survival items would include:
- Matches (or Any Fire Starter) in a Waterproof Container
- Additional Emergency Blankets
- 550 Cord
- Water Purification Tablets or Straw
- Extra Bottles of Water
Now, to compare a basic first aid kit to the well-stocked Surviveware FAK and bonus medical mini kit…
Surviveware First Aid Kit (FAK) Kit Includes:
- 7.5″ Shears
- 18″ Splint
- Alcohol Wipes (x10)
- Adhesive Bandages:
- Butterfly – Large (x5)
- Butterfly – Medium (x5)
- Large (x5)
- Standard (x30)
- Square (x5)
- Mini (x5)
- H-Shape (x5)
- Cold Pack
- Combine Dressing
- Conforming Bandages (x6)
- Gauze Swabs (x5)
- CPR Bag with Instructions
- CPR Mask
- Ear Buds (x20)
- Emergency Blanket
- Eye Pads (x4)
- Fever Strips (x3)
- First Aid Handbook
- Nitrile Gloves (x4)
- HydroGel (x5)
- Hypo-Allergenic Tape
- Non-Adhesive Dressings (x10)
- Laminate Baggies (x6)
- Refuse Bag
- Pressure Bandage
- Safety Pins (x10)
- Skin Cleaning Wipes (x10)
- Splinter Probes (x10)
- Sting Relief Wipes (x10)
- Strip Closures (x9)
- Triangular Bandage (x2)
- Wound Dressings (x2)
What medical supplies are included with the kit?
In general, Surviveware does a great job of providing a wide variety of supplies for the most common type of accidents.
The Bonus Medical Kit Includes:
- Small Shears
- Nitrile Gloves
- Conforming Bandage
- Hypo-Allergenic Tape
- CPR Mask
- Cotton Gauze Swabs
- Combine Dressing
- Splinter Probes (x2)
- Skin Cleaning Wipes (x3)
- Safety Pins (x5)
- Q-Tips (x10)
- Standard Adhesive Bandages (x22)
The supplies from this kit will cover:
- Insect Bites/Stings
- Small to Large Cuts and Abrasions
- Bone Fractures
- Foreign Object Removal
Since the kit is a “Large First Aid Kit”, one would naturally expect more supplies than normal. If one compares the contents of the Surviveware kit to my own, you will see they cover nearly everything I would want (other than medications). For the average person, including the first aid and CPR instructions was a well thought out choice.
However, I do think there’s a lot of overlap with supplies here that could easily serve multiple purposes. At times, I found the bag to be a bit overcrowded. Even with the lovely interior organization and pocket labels. Those with limited experience in trauma situations may not feel comfortable having to navigate it in a crisis.
In conclusion, the Surviveware Large First Aid Kit is an excellent kit at a reasonable price.
It is durable, water-resistant and provides plenty of mounting options to customize your loadout.
I highly recommend the Surviveware kit for those looking for a well-rounded first aid kit. Or for those who wish to customize their own kit using this bag as a base.