Medical Bags 101: Why It's Called a Medical Bag + How It's Best Used

Updated: Jul 15

Medical Bags in red and black color

For professionals in the medical field, a medical bag is a dealbreaker when it comes to life and death situations. Within this handy, durable bag are all the essentials for lifesaving. Even outside medical emergencies, the medical bag has a distinctive design - it is the best bag style for organizing, segregating, and ensuring that your medical must-haves are within reach.

Get to know more about this bag style, why it’s unique, and where you should get the best medical bags in this blog.

What Makes Medical Bags Special?

Why go for a medical supplies bag when you can go for a regular backpack where you can put all your stuff and then go? Here’s an important truth: the design of the medical bag - also known as a first aid bag - sets it apart from the rest.

If you’re carrying necessary items for first-aid needs and emergencies, you need a bag that won’t spoil what’s inside or make it hard for you to reach out for what you need when time is in a crunch.

A medical bag covers three requirements: it should keep the content’s quality pristine, organize your stuff more accessibility, and should have a durable build.

Medical Bags Are Made From Materials That Preserve the Contents Inside

Your medical bag can come with items that can alleviate pain, stop bleeding, or give temporary relief until someone comes in to provide professional care. If the items inside are soiled, spoiled, or damaged, you won’t be able to use them. Medical bags often come with waterproof and puncture-proof materials to prevent any medical item from going to waste.

Most Medical Bags Are Designed to Make Organizing Items Easier

Medical tools come in decent sizes, but medicines are usually small. Unlike regular backpacks with limited slots and zipped pockets, medical bags come with slots and pockets of different sizes to help you organize your things better.

Medical Bags Are Created For Tough Scenarios

Life in the medical field is fast-paced. Bags are just lifted on-the-go and dropped on the floor to accommodate more urgent matters. Medical bags are tough enough to cushion items inside, all while preventing scratches, tears, and holes from destroying the quality of the bag’s outer layer.

What Materials Make the Best Medical Bags?

Nylon, leather, and fabric lining for medical bags are some of the most popular options in the market. The type of material you choose significantly depends on the nature of the task you’re going to do.


Nylon medical bags are some of the bestselling medical bags on the market and for a good reason. Bags made of nylon are strong, durable, and can take any fall or bump without easily scratching or breaking. Medical bags made of nylon are also lightweight, portable, and a breeze to maintain. Padded nylon bags are a big hit among emergency responders.


Leather medical bags, or doctor’s satchels, are also famous for another purpose. Medical bags made of leather are often popular among dressed-up doctors. This bag is perfect if you want to carry important stuff without compromising your style. This type of material for medical bags is prone to scratches.

Fabric Liner Bags

Fabric liner first aid kit bags can be considered the most laid back among the three options. Lightweight and easy to carry, this bag is a top choice for nurses and emergency responders who aren’t looking for a heavy-duty backpack. Regarding home use, fabric liner medical bags are preferred over the first two options.

Adventure Medical Bags

This bag is a big hit during travels, and this bag is terrific for carrying medical supplies needed during hiking, camping, and excursions. This type of bag is made for heavy stuff and long-haul days.

What Are the Types of Medical Bags?

Nowadays, the style of medical bags has become more and more creative. Medical bag styles now cater to different needs. Listed below are some of the most popular medical bag styles.

Handheld Medical Bags

One of the most classic designs for medical bags and first aid kits, handheld medical bags feature the traditional style of a bag with durable handles, allowing you to carry the bags around by hand.

The amount it can carry and its usual robust design make it an excellent choice for anyone who needs to bring medicine and medical tools. The overall build of handheld medical bags makes them a bag of choice for medical responders who are always on their feet. Handheld medical bags are guaranteed to deliver to people that need medical bags that match an on-the-go work style.

Medical Backpacks

Commonly known as hospital backpacks, this type of medical bag increases the convenience that can sometimes be missing in bags made for medical use.

Medical backpacks are more popular than work backpacks for nurses and doctors and not often for emergencies. This style usually has a large body with adequate slots and sections for clothes, medical tools, medicines, notebooks, and gadgets.

Medical Satchel Bags

Medical bags with a satchel style are often geared toward those who prefer loads of space for more extensive medical tools and equipment. This design highlights a sling strap that is quick to hook on the shoulders.

Waist Bag

This petite medical bag style is worn by people who want to keep their medical necessities close. This style can be conveniently attached to the waist. This style enables one to walk around without leaving their must-need medical items behind.

What Do You Put Inside a Medical Bag?

Essentials needed for first aid response take up central space in medical bags. Your medical handheld bags or backpacks can include non-trauma first aid items like gauzes, band-aids, antiseptics, and scissors, to a full-blown trauma kit with oxygen readers, breathing tools, big bandages, suction devices, and syringes.

Depending on the nature of your work and the purpose you will use your bag for, your bag can house small items or big stuff. Some of the basics you can throw in your pack include: 1. Protective gear like gloves and masks. Any personal medication you use to prevent allergies, migraines, vertigos, and other health issues should also go into the bag.

2. Tools to assess patients like an oximeter, stethoscope, a CO2 monitor, a thermometer, and a blood pressure cuff.

3. Preventive medical items like bandages, gauze, and disinfecting supplies.

4. Trauma response supplies like large bandages, wraps, tourniquets, hemostatic dressings, and injury sealants.

5. Extra clothing, socks, and shoes.

6. Notebooks to log in information.

7. Medicines, and medical vials.

8. A pack of disposables like plastic medical bags, syringes, and swabs.

Should You Go for Small or Big Medical Kits?

When you’re building your medical backpack or kit, you will come to a point where you have to find the balance between convenience and completeness. Movement is critical during crunch time, so your bag should have everything inside without wearing you down.

If you’re in the middle of deciding whether to go for small or big medical bags, some of the questions you can ask can include:

  • Am I going to bring large medical equipment?

  • What am I bringing more - small items or big tools?

  • Will I always be on my feet, constantly running and moving around?

  • Am I expected to carry my medical bag round-the-clock?

  • Is the bag for home or work?

One way to strike a balance between completeness and convenience is to prepare a small bag that you can separate from the bigger pack.

The small bag can carry the essential medical items plus a limited amount of disposable items and extras. On the other hand, you can fill larger bags with things to replenish the ones in the small bags and other complex equipment and tools for more complicated situations.

Instead of carrying bulk, add a few disposables and replenish them daily. Before leaving, always check that you’re bringing the much-needed tools and stashing off items that won’t be needed in bulk.

How Much Are Medical Bags?

  • The cost for pre-assembled kits can be between $10-$50. The American Red Cross supplies pre-made kits that range from $15 to $25.

  • Adventure medical bags are considered more expensive since these are heavy-duty, and are meant to carry more. These medical bags are lightweight and waterproof. Price range is between $25 to $200.

  • Leather medical bags are priced from $30 to $600.

  • If you’re eyeing medical supplies bags in the satchel style, note that these can set you off between $40 to $350.

Where to Buy Medical Bags?

The best medical bags are made and sourced by those who understand what you are searching for in medical supply bags.

For your medical bag needs, you can check out Angus Bags - a business started by a paramedic who knows medical bag struggles by heart. The selection of products at Angus Bags can cater to your small and big bag needs. The company has been producing the best bag for first aid kits in Canada. They are a proud supplier of Calgary medical supplies bags and professional medical satchels.

Check out Angus Bags today for your medical bag needs.

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