TripWorthy Compact Review
Cons: Low quality tools, poor performance, heavy
Our Analysis and Test Results
The TripWorthy Compact first aid kit consistently scored low our review metrics, and our reviewers felt that overall quality and usefulness was lacking. For some consumers, though, the added survival gear might make this a well-rounded kit for the trunk of a car.
Quality is a trait we are naturally concerned about, as the effectiveness of a piece of first aid equipment may be negated by a lack of quality. This kit fared poorly in comparison to other models in this metric. There were a few instances that we felt this kit was obviously subpar, but overall this basic kit was just underwhelming enough that we often opted for another kit when there was a remote chance of actually needing to use it.
From the outside, this first aid kit features a durable heavy denier nylon case with a zippered clamshell opening and carrying handles. Inside the case, there are four clear plastic compartments with Velcro closures that aid in organization and ease of grabbing the supplies you need. Having four compartments is better organized than some packs, though we preferred a higher level of organization that includes more compartments with clear labels.
Overall, the quality of the contents seems much lower than competing products reviewed. Triangle bandages easily tore in half when attempting to make sling and swath, adhesives on wound closure strips did not want to stick, especially to hairy skin, and the included vinyl gloves were oversized and prone to tearing. The scissors included were flimsy and unreliable. Judging the kit by the list of contents alone, it may be easy to see why it has garnered so many favorable online reviews, but if you need to use the contents in a real medical situation, you may be sorely disappointed in their reliability.
TripWorthy has made a first aid kit that does double duty as a survival kit in a pinch. There is an ample supply of wound closure strips and alcohol swabs, and gauze pads for small-scale wound cleaning and closure, and two triangular bandages for making cravats or slings out of, but otherwise this kit is notably lacking in general first aid supplies. Instead, survival type items like a disposable rain poncho, space blanket, sewing kit, micro compass, and glow stick take up much of the space up.
These things may improve the usefulness of the equipment for some users, but the quality of the items detracted from their inclusion. We concluded that we would rather bring a first aid kit heavier on the first aid supplies, and supplement it with a real headlamp and a rain jacket rather than count on the disposable and ineffectual items included in the TripWorthy kit. We were happy to see, that unlike many other kits in this review, that TripWorthy included a CPR mask to prevent transmission of fluids during CPR.
The TripWorthy Compact scored poorly regarding durability because even though many of the items are by design a single-use item, the poor quality allowed them to fail before they were even used the one time. We were disappointed to find the low durability of the vinyl first aid gloves, an item that while single-use, should at least allow one use before tearing at the cuff. Nitrile gloves used in many kits are a much more durable and dependable option. The included rain poncho tore at all the seams while just trying it on, forget trying to perform first aid in the rain without it tearing to shreds. The instant ice pack was a good thought, though it never got cold.
We did not award a high score in this metric as the user is quite limited in what they can effectively respond to due to the contents included. With a small assortment of wound closure strips and a CPR mask, the user will find themselves prepared to deal with minor injuries and victims requiring CPR, but little else. There is a single blister pad, but a piece of pre-cut moleskin would be much better. No over the counter drugs means you will need to create your own inventory - a necessity if traveling far away from your medicine cabinet into the backcountry for instance.
At 17 ounces, the TripWorthy kit isn't lightweight, but also far from the heaviest model tested. We did not feel like the weight is a serious detraction from the product since we would not recommend bringing this kit on a backpacking trip where weight plays a bigger role.
For those looking at an inexpensive first aid kit that has an assortment of first aid and survival type supplies, this kit could be a decent choice. However, we felt that even for those applications, the low quality and poor reliability of the contents of this kit would lead us away from recommending it. You can always add survival products to a higher quality first aid kit that will serve you better in more situations.
This model doesn't cost a ton, but it also doesn't deliver as much as we had hoped. Given the lack of quality in many of the items, we do not feel that there is much value to this kit though and would prefer to spend several dollars more on a model that we can truly count on.
The TripWorthy Compact first aid kit scored well on a major online retailer, and we were excited to find out how it performed. On the surface, it looks like a good first aid kit with lots of interesting inclusions, but once out of the packaging many of these contents began falling apart or not working. In a pinch, this kit may serve you well, but with so many better products out there we hesitate to recommend it.
— Ryan Huetter