The 4 Best IFAK Pouches – Individual First Aid Kit Reviews 2021

best ifak pouch, individual first aid kits, individual first aid kit contents

Photo by Clayton Ward / CC BY

No matter how technology advanced our society and our world has become, something that is likely to never chance is our natural dependence on medication and first aid equipment in order to survive from deadly diseases and detrimental accidents.

The IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) Pouch is given to soldiers heading into the battlefield. It’s basically a small pouch containing a lot of important first aid equipment and is secured either to their backpack or their battle belt. Think of it as a mobile first aid kit that can be accessed quickly for when an injury is sustained in combat.

In this article, we’re not going to discuss what the contents of the IFAK pouch should be but rather the IFAK pouch itself. We’ll point out 4 of the best IFAK pouches on the market and then summarize the qualities that you need to look for in an IFAK pouch for you.

Condor Rip Away EMT Pouch

The Condor Rip Away EMT Pouch may look small on the outside, but on the inside you’ll find multiple loops and pockets for easy organization of each of your first aid items. There is both MOLLE webbing and Velcro on the outside so that you can secure the Rip Away EMT Pouch to basically anything you want to, and the zippers are very easy to pull to quickly access the items.

The entire pouch as a whole is built with a very rugged design, since Condor knew that as an IFAK pouch the Rip Away would be seeing use in harsh battlefield conditions to say the least. In addition, there’s also a large handle on the Rip Away that allows it to be either conveniently carried or easily ripped away (hence the name) from the backpack or battle belt it’s attached to.

Orca Tactical MOLLE Rip Away EMT Pouch

The Orca Tactical is an excellent IFAK pouch that comes with a variety of different compartments, pockets, and elastic loops for fast and organized access to all of your first aid supplies. The Orca Tactical is also fully MOLLE equipped and features D-rings on the outside for more attachment points.

Total dimensions on the Orca Tactical (see full specs) are eight by six by three and a half inches, so it won’t take up very much space when attached to the outside of your other packs and equipment. Additional features of the Orca Tactical include a Velcro safety strap, instrument holders, a mesh drawstring bag, and a first aid patch. This should be on anyone’s list of the best IFAK pouches.

Orca Tactical MOLLE EMT Medical First Aid Pouch

Explorer IFAK Universal Pouch

There’s a reason why Explorer has called their IFAK Pouch a ‘Universal Pouch.’ It’s because while it can fully function as an individual first aid kit, it can also function as a magazine pouch or a first responder bag to the durable elastic straps and quick release pulling cord located on the zipper.

As an IFAK pouch, however, the Explorer is large enough to carry literally everything you would need it to from tourniquets to gloves to tweezers to gauze pads and medications. It doesn’t come with a Velcro panel on the outside to add patches to, but you can easily install a Velcro panel yourself.

Maxpedition FR-1 IFAK Pouch

This 1000 Denier nylon pouch from Maxpedition is a very high quality pouch to serve as your IFAK bag. Maxpedition is already well known for their high quality tactical equipment and the FR-1 is no exception. The FR-1 (see full specs) has been finished with three coats of polyurethane and one coat of Teflon fabric protector that resist water and other elements. The webbing for the straps and handles are all military grade. Finally, each stress point on the pouch has been vigorously reinforced with additional composite thread. There are no polyester parts on the FR-1.

Maxpedition FR-1 Medical Pouch: Full Review

Qualities to Look for in the Best IFAK Pouches

Your IFAK pouch must be able to hold the following items at the minimum: tape, tourniquet, gauze pads, bandages of assorted sizes, medical gloves, antibiotics, syringe, medical scissors, saline bottles, and any prescription medications that you have. Each of the four IFAK pouches that we have recommended have enough space to hold each of these items and far more.

But there are more qualities that your IFAK pouch must meet as well. For one thing, it needs to be constructed out of very durable materials (such as nylon, for example) that can resist water and the outside elements. Your IFAK pouch doesn’t need to be waterproof, but it does need to be highly water resistant. Keep in mind that the IFAK pouch is designed to be used in touch environments such as combat zones, which is why durability is so important.

The next quality that your IFAK pouch needs to meet is it needs to be very organized. This means that it must have a series of compartments, webbing, and elastic straps that permit you to arrange your items in an organized matter so that you know where each item is and how to grab it. The last thing you want is an IFAK pouch with just a single open compartment for you to just randomly stuff all of your items in. Not only will your pack be highly disorganized in this manner, but it could also be noisy while you’re moving and everything could even fall out when you open it up.

Finally, the best IFAK pouches must also have MOLLE webbing and Velcro on the outside so that it can attach to a MOLLE compatible backpack or battle belt for quick and easy access. The whole point of your first-aid pouch is for it to be located on the outside of your gear so that you can reach for it and grab it quickly once an injury is sustained and needs treatment. This is why MOLLE webbing and/or strong Velcro is an absolute must; otherwise, the purpose of your IFAK pouch is denied.

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