Hands-on Gear Review

Adventure Medical Kits Smart Travel Review

Top Pick Award
Price:  $50 List | $37.39 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Quality supplies, useful tools for travelers
Cons:  Carrying case is organized but not user-friendly, limited versatility
Bottom line:  The AMK Smart Travel is our Top Pick for Travel, especially those travelling abroad.
Editors' Rating:   
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Total Weight (oz):  17 oz
Dimensions (inches):  7.5 x 6 x 2.5
First Aid book:  Yes
Manufacturer:   Adventure Medical Kits

Our Verdict

The Adventure Medical Kits (AMK) designed the Smart Travel first aid kit specifically for those on the go. Whether you are traveling cross-country or backpacking through foreign countries, this kit includes the necessary supplies to keep you in good health and to treat minor injuries before seeking medical attention at a hospital or clinic. While some other medical kits offer better equipment or supplies for treating injuries and illnesses in a backcountry or wilderness setting, the AMK Smart Travel Kit is for those living out of their luggage while away from home. It gives peace of mind by being prepared for an unexpected minor injury or illness while on the move. This kit even provides a communication aid for situations when language barriers exist. These positive attributes are why we have awarded it our Top Pick Award for Travel. While it does indeed have some essential items that should be present for a travel kit, our overall favorite is the Surviveware First Aid Kit, a model that includes a broader array of tools like trauma shears.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Ryan Huetter

Last Updated:
Friday
April 6, 2018

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While on a trip far from home, whether it is in the USA or abroad, you want to have the necessary tools to handle a minor injury or illness. At home, you have the luxury of a cabinet full of first aid supplies and a clinic or hospital that is readily accessible. On a long trip, however, you can't always assume that medical attention or pharmaceutical supplies will be close at hand, so carrying a small first aid kit is smart traveling. The AMK Smart Travel kit does a good job of keeping those necessary items close at hand.

Performance Comparison


The AMK Smart Travel Kit includes many useful items for your trip.
The AMK Smart Travel Kit includes many useful items for your trip.

Quality


Like all of the first aid kits in the Adventure Medical Kits series, we are impressed with the overall quality of the included supplies in the Smart Travel kit. Over the counter medications are clearly labeled and individually packaged, and bandages and other wound care pads are sealed and sterile. We weren't disappointed with any of the included items during use.


The quality of the carrying case, however, is lesser than we expected. After reviewing other kits by AMK, we were let down slightly to find pouches that barely fit their intended supplies and a clasp-closure system that did not allow the kit to seal fully. There are also no scissors included. This exclusion is understandable, though, as these are frequently confiscated at airport security. If you always travel with a checked bag, though, consider adding a pair of trauma scissors after-market.

Usefulness


While many of the small, lightweight first aid kits we reviewed for backpacking purposes would work adequately for a travel kit, the AMK Smart Travel kit includes many items useful for the international traveler that others lack. Illness while traveling is a source of despair; while stuck on a South American long-distance bus or a European train ride a bout of gastrointestinal distress could be challenging, so it is nice to see medications for dehydration and antidiarrheals included. The oral rehydration salts are especially helpful to have on hand as it can be tough when traveling in remote regions to find the resources to help you deal with the effects of traveler's sickness.


The 220-page medical handbook also gives information on injuries and ailments if you are not near an Internet connection. Another nice feature is a visual aid guide, which provides a means of communication with medical providers at clinics or hospitals if there is a language barrier present.

This handy two-sided card allows you to point to reference injuries or illnesses   bypassing potential language barriers.
This handy two-sided card allows you to point to reference injuries or illnesses , bypassing potential language barriers.

Durability


The carrying case provided to house the contents of the AMK Smart Travel kit is made of heavy-duty nylon denier fabric which will do a great job of resisting abrasion while on the go and living out of a backpack or luggage. As usual, the included supplies that Adventure Medical Kits uses are of good quality and while refillable, they should not be expected to degrade like other poor quality supplies we have found in other first aid kits.


We did wish for the case to be outfitted with zippered pouches that allowed us to more easily stow the book and communication reference card away without cramming them in - as it is you have to stuff them in, bending the card, which showed wear even after limited use.

Versatility


This first aid kit is quite specifically designed for travelers but suits anyone who is looking for a top-shelf compact first aid for their car, boat or RV. While small, it offers some implements like a disposable thermometer, medications for an illness, and treatments for an injury that will prove effective for anyone needing to provide immediate medical care before reaching a medical facility if the issue is serious.


This is one of the few first aid kits that we have tested that include a patient assessment form, which is a tool that is utilized in medical facilities, and an instruction on how to use it so that you can effectively relate the needs of you or your patient to the care provider.

This kit can be hung from the back of a hotel room door  making it easy to access its components.
This kit can be hung from the back of a hotel room door, making it easy to access its components.

Weight


Weight is less of a concern while traveling than while backpacking, yet we still hope to have a compact and lightweight kit. After all, you'll need that space in your luggage for souvenirs from overseas trips. The AMK Smart Travel kit is slim thanks to its tri-fold design, and relatively lightweight at 17 ounces. The included medical book can be removed if not desired, which takes the overall weight of the kit down to 10 ounces, a noticeable difference in weight.


Small and compact  the AMK Smart Travel is the size of your travel book and weighs only 17 ounces
Small and compact, the AMK Smart Travel is the size of your travel book and weighs only 17 ounces

Best Applications


The Adventure Medical Kits Smart Travel is well-suited for the traveler who leaves home and explores the country and the world but also wants the peace of mind that comes with traveling with a quality first aid kit. Unforeseen accidents and illnesses can arise during travels near and far, and this kit is furnished with the necessary supplies to deal with these medical needs. We would recommend that individuals bolster this kit with the necessary additional medications or tools for their specific travel needs, however, and be sure to visit the CDC website to see what kinds of medications or vaccinations are indicated, as the included over-the-counter medications are only for general issues.

An incredibly useful resource for traveling  especially when you are away from an internet connection.
An incredibly useful resource for traveling, especially when you are away from an internet connection.

Value


With a retail cost of $50, this kit is not inexpensive but does offer good value as it includes many quality supplies, tools, and an informative first aid booklet and communication aid.

Conclusion


Travel is an exciting and enlightening pursuit, one that is meant to be enjoyable although the unexpected can always (and often does) happen. As you explore new places and try new foods, it's best to be and feel prepared for unexpected injuries or illnesses that could befall you or your travel partner. Having the Smart Travel kit in your luggage is a smart choice. Traveling with a first aid kit suited for the excursion helps you feel more confident and lets you focus on enjoying your trip.

While traveling abroad  bring along a first aid kit so you can relax and focus on enjoying the sights.
While traveling abroad, bring along a first aid kit so you can relax and focus on enjoying the sights.
Ryan Huetter

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Most recent review: April 6, 2018
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