When uncontrollable bleeding occurs you want to be prepared. Having an effective tourniquet on hand and the knowledge on how to use it is essential. If you are new to tourniquets and are looking to stock your car, range bag, home or something for EDC, here are the best tourniquets of 2024.
When shopping for tourniquets, we recommend looking for tourniquets that are CoTCCC recommended. This is the Committee of Tactical Combat Casualty Care. Essentially CoTCCC analyzes best battlefield trauma practices. At Off Grid Warehouse we love tourniquets but that is obvious.
BEST TOURNIQUETS OF 2024
1. North American Rescue Combat Application Tourniquet (C-A-T)
The NAR C-A-T Tourniquet has been undisputed as the most popular tourniquet in the world. For most individuals who think of a tourniquet, the C-A-T comes to mind. This tourniquet is trusted by the U.S. Army and used by many medical providers across the country including police, EMTs, hospitals and more.
Over many years and iterations, North American Rescue have only made the C-A-T more effective and reliable. It is able to be applied with one hand and its windlass locks securely into the windlass clip. If applied properly, the C-A-T can become effective with only 3 windlass turns.
In lower light conditions, the "Red Tip Technology" at the end of the band allows the applicator to easily identify the visual cue on how to correctly apply the tourniquet. That C-A-T can always be relied upon and is an easy choice to be your go-to.
2. Tactical Medical Solutions SOF Tourniquet
What is to be considered neck and neck with the C-A-T Tourniquet, the SOF Tourniquet boasts its own unique features. This includes a ratcheting motion to apply the tourniquet, a metal windlass and a composite buckle.
The composite buckle is a large advantage over the C-A-T, as it allows the tourniquet to be applied faster without needing to slide the limb through the loop. This is perfect if a limb is pinned to a surface. We also find the SOF TQ much easier to apply on other individuals than other comparable tourniquets.
The SOF can get down to a small size for everyday carry and in our opinion has the best durability of any tourniquet on the market.
3. Safeguard Medical SWAT-T Tourniquet
Now while we are well aware the SWAT-T is not CoTCCC Recommended, its place in the tourniquet world cannot be understated. The SWAT-T Tourniquet is an effective multi-purpose dressing that can be used as a tourniquet, pressure wrap or elastic wrap.
Image from Safeguard Medical
What we love about the SWAT-T is its multiple uses and how easy it is to carry around every day. It is thinner than a wallet, has been tested rigorously and can be seen as a "do all" solution. While it is not as effective as other tourniquets on this list due to the lack of a windlass, it is still phenomenal for adults, pediatric care and K9s.
If you are interested in reading more about the SWAT-T, you can check out our article here.
4. Safeguard Medical TMT Tourniquet
The TMT Tourniquet is undoubtedly an innovative tourniquet. It seems to combine features of both the C-A-T Tourniquet and SOF Tourniquet. Similar to the C-A-T, it has a hook and loop system to secure the tourniquet, along with a hardened plastic windlass. Like the SOF Tourniquet, it is a ratcheting tourniquet and features a buckle that can easily be removed, allowing faster application to limbs that are pinned down.
Featuring the widest band of any tourniquet on this list at 2.25", it allows for better occlusion with more comfort for your patient. The TMT also is available with a nifty accessory called the TQ-RAM. The RAM attaches directly to the tourniquet and allows downward pressure to be applied on hard to reach places - perfect after packing a wound.
5. SAM Medical SAM XT Tourniquet
One of the newest tourniquets to be CoTCCC recommended is the SAM XT Tourniquet. We consider it to be the "smartest" tourniquet on the market thanks to the TRUFORCE Buckle. This buckle auto-locks at a specific amount of force on the limb, nearly eliminating the chance of not pulling the tourniquet tight enough.
Image from SAM Medical
While the visual presentation of the SAM is similar to the C-A-T, it features an aluminum windlass much like the SOF. We personally like the SAM for its innovative buckle, fast application and the ability to occlude blood flow with less windlass turns.
While all are effective tourniquets, you should be well-versed in the application of the tourniquet specific to you. They are great for the car, range, and your IFAK. While I prefer the C-A-T or the SOF for my IFAKs (yes, I have many), I do find myself carrying around the SWAT-T often. Always invest in your training and invest in quality products. The best tourniquet you can have is the one you trained with and the one you carry.