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Hands-on Gear Review
Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .7 Review
Cons: Limited group size, minimal quantities
Bottom line: The best choice for trips where weight matters, without compromising on quality.
Adventure Medical Kits has some of the most diverse and highest quality first aid kits available on the market today. We reviewed two of their most popular kits and gave the Ultralight/Watertight .7 kit our Top Pick award for Day Hiking and Lightweight Adventures. The combination of high quality and useful products, watertight case and lightweight, compact construction made this kit stand out from the competition. The .7 has many of the products available in larger kits, just with fewer quantities but without sacrificing usefulness. This minimalist kit feels at home in your CamelBak on short mountain bike rides or on a multi-pitch alpine rock route. The case weighs only 8 ounces, an ounce and a half lighter than the next lightest kit that we tested. If weight is not your top consideration, check out our Editors' Choice winner, the Surviveware Small First Aid Kit, which offers users the ability to respond to a wider range of emergencies.
RELATED REVIEW: The 6 Best First Aid Kits
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .7 first aid kit is the smallest, most compact, and lightest weight first aid kit we included in our review, and occupies a useful niche as the Top Pick for Day Hiking and Lightweight Adventures. Whenever going out for a day hike or a short overnight trip with a small group we liked the reliability of the AMK .7 kit. A top scorer in the weight metric, it also showed high scores in quality and durability.
The Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .7 comes with a great selection of high-quality components. There's a small roll of sterile gauze and several gauze sponges and non-adherent dressings for wound cleaning and bandaging. It comes with pre-cut donuts of mole foam in various sizes for blister care, as well as three different sizes of band aids. The medications are individually packaged and well-labeled, and the wound care ointments are of similar quality to the other kits we tested.
We did have an issue with one of the wound cleaning ointments popping open and leaking after we shoved it in a small climbing pack and squeezed our way up some wide cracks. Luckily, each group of tools is separated in sealed plastic, which kept this leaky ointment from destroying the rest of the kit.
The case, while watertight, is not much more than a zip lock bag, so it is easy to squash the contents, much more so than in the durable case that the I Go First Aid Kit Ultralight uses. There's also a quality roll of tape. However, it's not quite wide enough for taping a sprained ankle effectively. We did like the high quality and lightweight tweezers for debriding wounds, pulling thorn spikes, and removing ticks.
This kit has a nice balance of including what's needed for minor and common emergencies and not much more. There are three different analgesic medications: Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, and an antihistamine. This kit does not have a CPR face shield; the manufacturer recommends this kit for an individual rather than a group, but if a solo hiker finds another person who has needs CPR, they should be able to employ a face shield to eliminate the transmission of bodily fluids. Previous versions of this kit did not include nitrile gloves, so we were happy to see that one pair is included. Our Best Buy Winner, the Surviveware Small First Aid Kit has the highest quality CPR mask of our review but includes no OTC medications.
While limited in its ability to administer first aid to a wide range of situations, there is a clear trade-off between size/weight and usefulness of components. We would purchase the AMK Ultralight/Watertight .7 kit in addition to a more robust kit like the Surviveware kit that can be used for more occasions. Some may prefer to cherry pick items from an extensive first aid kit and move them into a smaller bag for those lightweight trips, but we would rather have the ability to grab an intact kit that matches the trip we are planning.
The Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight.7 received a high rating in this metric. Our testers all agreed that the lightweight design and simple construction of the packaging were the reason this model was the go-to kit to grab for many applications. It's made from silicone-coated nylon and was the only bag we tested that had taped seams and a reversed waterproof zipper. Note that the outer pouch itself allowed water transmission when completely submerged, so much of the water tightness comes from sealing the inner pouch as well.
This kit is also lacking a few essential items that are handy in first aid situations, such as gloves, irrigation for wound care, burn cream or gel pads, wider tape for ankles, over the counter medications for GI problems and small trauma shears. Some of these products are included in the larger kits in this line (.9 for example). Also lacking were triangle bandages, splinting materials and a first aid reference guide. However, this kit is versatile for its size and weight, and its usefulness trumped the larger models for the sheer fact that you're more likely to bring this one with you since it's so compact and lightweight.
This kit scored an impressive 10/10 in this category and is one of the lightest kits that we tested. Overall, we felt that this model nailed the weight and size category by keeping the components to the bare minimum that one would need to respond to small scale common emergencies.
The weight savings that the AMK kit enjoys over slightly heavier contenders like the Surviveware Small or the I Go First Aid Kit Ultralight is in part due to the much more streamlined case made of lightweight quality fabric.
This kit is best suited for 1-2 people who are going out for 1-2 day adventures where weight is a large factor in their gear consideration. Types of activities include biking, rock climbing, and lightweight backpacking. This kit is also good for water sports thanks to its water resistant packaging, however in those situations, size and weight are not as big of consideration, so a larger kit like our Editors' Choice winner, the Surviveware Small, is more appropriate.
The Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .7 strikes a decent balance between cost and quality. It's more expensive than more budget friendly kits like the AMK Adventure 2.0, but for the premium you are paying, you get a lot more of a sleek and intentionally designed product for your lightweight adventures.
We've given our Top Pick for Dayhiking and Lightweight Adventures award to the Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .7 for several reasons: quality components, a simple design and the attention to detail that make this kit as waterproof as possible. This was the most used first aid kit we tested due to its size and weight — it seemed to always be the perfect size for whatever adventure we were heading out on. With a few additional items, such as a CPR mask, trauma shears, irrigation syringe and a few more medications, this is the go-to kit for most day adventures and small group wilderness excursions.
— Ryan Huetter and Viren Perumal
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