Hands-on Gear Review

Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Fundamentals Review

Price:  $110 List
Pros:  Versatile, quality components, durable bag
Cons:  Bulky and heavy
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total Weight (oz):  34.9
Empty Bag Weight (oz):  6.5
Dimensions (inches):  10 x 7 x 5.5
Manufacturer:   Adventure Medical Kits

Our Verdict

The Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Fundamentals is a deluxe kit that gives the impression that you brought the right tool for the job. As the largest and most expensive kit in our review, it is the best choice for mountain expeditions, rescue teams and large group trips. We liked the quality and quantities of first aid supplies in this kit, however it's not versatile and is not a go-to kit for the majority of backcountry users. While this kit did not win any awards, we think it's a great platform for a large group expedition or home-based kit. If you're looking for a lighter weight and more extensive kit, check out our Editors' Choice winner, the REI Backpacker Extended. If you're looking to shed the ounces from your pack, our Top Pick for Day Hiking and Lightweight Adventures award winner, the Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .7, is the way to go.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Viren Perumal

Last Updated:
Tuesday
June 30, 2015

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The Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Fundamentals weighs 34.9 oz (990 g) and measures 10 x 7 x 5.5 inches. It contains the following items:
  • Bandage Materials — 16 bandages of various sizes, 5 packages of sterile gauze of various sizes and 3 non-adherent dressings (3" x 4").
  • Bleeding Control — 2 pairs of nitrile gloves, a hand wipe, 2 trauma pads and 1 instruction sheet.
  • Blister/Burn Treatment — 1 oz pack of aloe vera gel with Lidocaine, 2 GlacierGel, 1 pre-cut moleskin (14 pieces).
  • Fracture/Sprain — 1 elastic bandage, 1 triangular bandage, 1 C-Splint, 1 instruction sheet.
  • CPR — 1 face shield
  • Instruments — trauma shears, pencil, 3 safety pins, tweezers, digital thermometer.
  • Medical Information — the Complete Guide to Wilderness & Travel Medicine, 1 Patient Assessment Form
  • Medications — 4 acetaminophen (500 mg/2 pack), 4 antihistamine (diphenhydramine 25 mg), 1 aspirin (325 mg/2 pack), 4 ibuprofen (200 mg/2 pack), 1 instruction sheet, 2 plastic vials.
  • Wound Care — 6 antiseptic wipes, 2 cotton tip applicator (2 pack), povidone iodine (3/4 oz), irrigation syringe (20 cc, 18 gauge tip), tape (1" x 10 yards), 2 Skin Tac adhesive wipes, 3 single use triple antibiotic ointment, Wound Closure Strips (1/4" x 4", 10 pack), 1 instruction sheet.
  • Duct Tape (2" x 5 Yards)

This kit's contents. Note the tri-fold layout  clear pockets and labeled compartments.
This kit's contents. Note the tri-fold layout, clear pockets and labeled compartments.

Performance Comparison



Quality of Components


The Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Fundamentals comes with mostly high quality components. There's an irrigation syringe, a useful roll of tape, trauma shears, and even high quality tweezers. They included a C-Splint (their version of a SAM Splint) and a great reference field book called Wilderness and Travel Medicine by Eric Weiss, MD, which is a fantastic resource. Unfortunately, the ACE wrap and triangle bandage were both the disposable kind, rather than high quality cotton ones like those found in the REI Backpacker Extended.

We liked the comprehensive Wilderness and Travel Medicine field guide that's included in this kit (left). It contains more information than the REI's guide (right)  but is also heavier.
We liked the comprehensive Wilderness and Travel Medicine field guide that's included in this kit (left). It contains more information than the REI's guide (right), but is also heavier.

Usefulness of Components


Many of the tools included in the Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Fundamentals were similar to the other higher end kits it this review. The C-Splint was a nice addition, and the book is the best reference tool that we saw. However, we did feel that some of the items were not in keeping with a kit of this size. For example, there were only two pairs of gloves for a kit that is designed to be used for a group of eight people for up to 14 days. We were also disappointed to find that the CPR face shield was not much more that a flat piece of plastic and did not have a one-way valve, which reduces its usefulness.

The C-Splint included in this kit (right) is heavier and takes up more volume than the wire splint from the REI kit (left)  but it's also a more effective splint.
The C-Splint included in this kit (right) is heavier and takes up more volume than the wire splint from the REI kit (left), but it's also a more effective splint.

Durability and Design of Bag


Our testers liked the design of this bag. Clear compartments, well-labeled sections, and a tri-fold layout made this an easy kit to use. The high quality materials used in construction make this a long-lasting kit that can be restocked for many trips. The reversed waterproof zipper and water resistant material of the bag keeps out some dampness, but it's still a good idea to place it in a large waterproof bag to keep the components dry. Because of the heavy duty construction, the empty bag weighs more than some of the other kits we tested fully loaded.

Versatility


The Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Fundamentals had the greatest number of supplies included, thus making it one of the most versatile kits that we reviewed in terms of types of injuries that it can treat. However, when it comes to versatility for different environments or activities, this heavy kit is not ideal for smaller groups or situations where minimal weight and bulk are essential. Our 7/10 score reflects this tradeoff between having the right tools, and having a kit that may be too big to leave your camp.

Weight and Size


This kit scored a low 3/10 on weight and size. It was the heaviest kit we reviewed and weighs 34.9 oz (990g). Many outdoor activities require a kit to be small and lightweight. This kit is neither of those things. That said, we think this kit is a great starting point for a car camping first aid kit, a trip that includes horse packing support or a raft, as well as for a large group expedition, with the addition of a few items like extra pairs of gloves. If you're looking for a lightweight model with similar quality components, check out the Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .5.

This expedition model is large and heavy  but contains all the supplies you need to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries for a large group of people.
This expedition model is large and heavy, but contains all the supplies you need to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries for a large group of people.

Best Applications


This kit is best used for car camping trips, in the home, expeditions, horse-supported trips, or rafting.

Value


This was the most expensive kit that we reviewed and we didn't feel that there were any standout components that justified the additional expense. It's double the price of our Editors' Choice winner, the REI Backpacker Extended, yet we did not see that many differences in the tools or quantities of supplies. Given that first aid kits need to be continually restocked, we don't think this kit is a good value.

Conclusion


Overall, the Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Fundamentals is a nice large kit for an expedition or trip where weight and bulk are not an issue. While it is a good platform, this kit needs some additional materials to make it versatile for a larger group. The nice layout and high quality construction of the bag make this an ideal starting point to build a base camp or car camping first aid kit. A few of the products, such as the triangle bandage, ACE wrap, and CPR face shield, are not the best quality and its overall weight and high cost left this kit behind the competition.

Viren Perumal

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Most recent review: June 30, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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