The Lifeline Trail Light Dayhiker first aid kit is a lightweight and compact kit that is sure to please the weight-conscious outdoor enthusiast. Our Best Buy winner comes with good quality and useful components for dealing with minor cuts and scrapes as well as common problems like blisters and headaches, and it's also the lightest model that we tested. If you're looking for a larger kit for multi-day trips with up to four people, check out our Editors' Choice winner, the REI Backpacker Extended. Otherwise, this is a great and inexpensive kit for day hikes or other minor first aid care.
Lifeline Trail Light Dayhiker Review
Cons: Limited versatility, minimal tools and quantities, heavy packaging
Our Analysis and Test Results
- Bandage Materials — 17 adhesive bandages of various sizes, 4 sterile gauze pads (2" x 2" and 3" x 3"), 2 non-adherent dressings (3" x 4").
- Bleeding Control — 1 pair of vinyl gloves.
- Blister/Burn Treatment — 2" x 3" moleskin.
- Fracture/Sprain — 1 roll of tape (1/2" wide).
- Instruments — tweezers, 3 safety pins.
- Medical Information — first aid guide.
- Medications — 1 single use hydrocortisone cream, 2 acetaminophen (500 mg/2 pack), 2 ibuprofen (200 mg/2 pack), 2 antihistamine (diphenhydramine 25 mg).
- Wound Care — 3 cotton tipped applicators, 2 alcohol prep pads, 2 iodine prep pads, 2 sting relief pads, 1 antiseptic towelette, 2 single use triple antibiotic ointment, 5 wound closure strips.
Quality of Components
Most of the components in this kit were of comparable quality those found in the REI and Adventure Medical Kits models that we tested. The blister treatment moleskin had some innovative pre-cut designs that work on a variety of sizes of blisters, and the medications were individually packaged and from similar suppliers as some of the more expensive kits in this review. The exception to this basic standard of quality were the gloves, tweezers and tape. These lower quality products resulted in an overall score of 5/10 for this metric. There's only one pair of vinyl gloves, which have a poor fit and tear easily while doing simple first aid skills requiring gloves, such as bleeding control or wound cleaning. A more industry standard nitrile glove has a similar cost and weight, and is a better choice for ensuring body substance isolation. The tweezers are bulky and plastic, and not efficient at pulling out thorns, splinters, or debriding wounds. Lastly, we were disappointed with the roll of tape; it had minimal adhesive on it and did not stick to our skin. It's also a small roll which limits its use in most first aid applications.
Usefulness of Components
We gave the Lifeline Trail Light Dayhiker a score of 5/10 for this metric as well. This kit is perfect for basic cuts, scrapes, and minor blisters, but its usefulness ends beyond that. We liked the variety of band aids sizes and the few basic over the counter medications, however many useful first aid supplies were missing. A quality roll of tape, splinting materials, a triangle bandage, and a lightweight CPR mask would improve the usefulness of this kit without too much more bulk or weight. Lastly, the one-page first aid guide contained much less information than some of the quick reference field books included in the REI Backpacker Extended and Adventure Medicals Kit Mountain Series Fundamentals.
Durability and Design of Bag
This bag has a simple and sleek design and looks sharp with its two-color scheme. The material is a heavier silicone impregnated nylon which sheds water initially but saturates through with prolonged soaking. The products in this kit are encased in individual zip lock bags, offering additional protection from the elements.
This kit is not very versatile and did not score well in this metric. It has the fewest supplies of all the kits in this review and is only able to treat minor first aid situations. That said, it is a fine kit to have on a short hike where you may need to deal with minor problems but are close enough to help to deal with more significant first aid challenges.
Weight and Size
The smallest and lightest kit that we tested, the Lifeline Trail Light Day Hiker received an 8/10 in this category.
Day hikes and basic first aid for the weight conscious outdoor enthusiast.
For $12, this kit has a good balance of quality components and usefulness for minor first aid situations.
The Lifeline Trail Light Dayhiker is a simple, lightweight and inexpensive kit for dealing with minor first aid situations. This Best Buy Award winner is a great tool for situations where weight is a factor and help is accessible for more serious emergencies. Due to its size, this kit has the limitations of serving only an individual or small group on a short trip. Given the price tag though — it's a great purchase and our Best Buy award winner.
— Chris McNamara and Viren Perumal