Heading out for a backcountry overnight with the Hart kit packed along for the ride.
For many years, HART has provided quality medical supplies to manufacturers of prebuilt first aid kits. While this is the first HART branded kit we have reviewed, we are already quite familiar with their supplies. One of our testers works for an organization that stocks bulk boxes of HART equipment to resupply with. Though the quantities of bandages, gauze rolls and medications is rather limited (as can be expected for such a small kit), they are top-tier quality and are trustworthy. Individually wrapped doses of over the counter medications make dispensing NSAIDs and allergy medications easier and more sterile.
The provided case is durable, compact, easy to navigate, and gives users a much faster response by being able to find what they need quickly. It's isn't fully waterproof, though. A good idea is to take some small ziplock bags and individually waterproof like contents to keep them in better shape. Even a light rain shower can cause bandage packaging to delaminate, so it is better to ensure that the contents stay fully dry.
The contents and organization of the HART kit. We like the inclusion of the first aid booklet and medications, but (as usual), we wished for more tape, sterile gloves, and a CPR mask.
First and foremost, if a medkit contains poor quality supplies, it does not matter how many supplies there are. It is simply not useful if the necessary equipment does not do the job. Luckily, that is not the case for the HART Health kit. It does exactly what its name describes, giving useful medical supplies for a 1 or a 2-day trip, and it does this task well. It also comes with good quality tools like all metal trauma shears (extremely helpful for cutting tape off ankles) and metal forceps which are great for getting out pesky splinters.
The included first aid reference booklet definitely adds to the Weekend's usefulness.
This is not large enough to service an entire group, as the supplies contained would be thoroughly depleted if even two or three people had blisters and a headache. If you are going out with a group, it might make sense for each member to have their own personal medical kit, which would be a perfect fit for this kit.
A well-organized kit is a useful one. The HART pack does pretty well here.
We appreciate the attention given to the quality outer case, which is made of heavy nylon fabric and is sealed with a good zipper. This should last you a long time. The inner compartments keep supplies separated so they don't get messed up while you search for things. There is not much extra room inside, so as long as you don't try to overstuff it with extra add-ons, then you shouldn't blow out the zipper, which we almost did when we brought along an extra-large roll of tape to guard against a rolled ankle for a member of our group.
The zippered case should last you many years as long as you don't overstuff it, like most lower-priced kits.
This small, budget-friendly kit works well as a solo kit on a longer trip, or as the group kit provided your group is small (one or two people) and you are only going out for a couple of days. It is a minimalist kit that is good for basic cuts, scrapes, and minor illnesses but does not give you a lot of resources like a larger kit might have. It does come with a handy wilderness first aid booklet so that you can more effectively diagnose and treat problems. Another nice feature is that it comes with a loop so that you can hook it high, and thanks to the vertical folding organizer can keep the medical supplies off the ground.
The AMK Mountain Series Hiker on the left, and the HART kit on the right. Costing nearly the same, our reviewers leaned toward the AMK kit, although they also found few qualms with the HART model during the testing phase.
Clocking in with a weight of only 9.5 ounces, this little pouch is easily tossed in a small pack without feeling like it will slow you down. This scant weight is not driven by any technological advancement in materials, so consider weight a function of resources available. This is a great kit, but it's also limited in use.
Just over half a pound, this kit offers more than just blister care!
The best application that we found for this first aid kit is for a small group going for a short hike. With limited quantities, there is not enough to cover much more than a couple of people, and would not be appropriate to go more than 1 or 2 days out given the lack of backup resources. This would also be a great kit to use as your own personal medical kit if you are traveling with a larger group.
This is an inexpensive kit, but it comes with quality supplies. The value is definitely there for a small, personal-sized kit for shorter adventures. We do recommend adding at least some sterile gloves, and perhaps a CPR mask (if you're capable of administering CPR), after-market.
Roaming about Yosemite with the HART first aid kit.
Low price and high quality do not often go together, but in the HART Health Weekend, they do! We would be suspect of saving a few dollars in something as important as a first aid kit, but we were impressed at HART's attention to detail, the inclusion of medications and useful components. Although it does not feature a CPR mask or a pair of gloves, two items that we believe should be in there, this is a good deal, is a great starting point, and we recommend it as an inexpensive, lightweight kit.