Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .7 Review
Cons: Limited group size, minimal quantities
Manufacturer: Adventure Medical Kits
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .7 first aid kit is fantastically lightweight and compact. It occupies a useful niche as the Top Pick for fast and light ventures. 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 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 into 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. Better yet would be to replace these sealed pouches with individual ziplock bags so that you can access the materials you need but still keep them from becoming cluttered inside the large watertight pouch.
The case, while watertight, is not much more than a heavy-duty ziplock bag, so it is easy to squash the contents, much more so than in heavier hard cases. 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, and Tylenol, plus 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 now included. We decided to include one more pair, as we have done with most of the other kits we bring on longer trips, as they are light and increase the number of treatments you can make with this kit while still practicing good body substance isolation.
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 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 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 a 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.
It has sewn-in loops for clipping to the back of a climbing harness or inside a kayak, though we prefer to keep it in a separate dry bag if it is going to be exposed to a wet environment. Seasoned river folks know that not many things are truly "waterproof," and your first aid supplies don't work too well when soaked.
The AMK Ultralight/Watertight .7 scored just average in the versatility category, mostly due to the limited quantities of various products. This kit is also lacking a few essential items that are handy in first aid situations, such as 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. We would consider this to be a good kit for short day trips, multi-pitch climbs or as a satellite kit for trips away from basecamp (where a larger kit exists) on long backcountry hikes.
This kit weighs 8 ounces and is one of the lightest kits that we have 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 is in part due to the much more streamlined case made of lightweight quality fabric.
The Ultralight/Watertight .7 strikes a decent balance between cost and quality. It's a bit more expensive than budget-friendly kits, but for the premium you are paying, you get a sleek and intentionally designed product for your lightweight adventures.
We've given our Top Pick Award to the Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .7 for several reasons: quality components, a simple design, low weight, 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