Best Tourniquets
  SWAT-T CAT SOFTT-W RATS Recon
One-Handed No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Everyday Carry (EDC) Yes No No Yes No
Ease of Use Medium Medium Easy Easy Medium
Cost $12.34 $28.15 $38.89 $16.99 $16.97
Weight 4 oz 2.7 oz 4 oz  2.8 oz  2.5 oz
Amazon Ranking 4.6/5 4.6/5 4.3/5 4.4/5 4.8/5
Order on Amazon Order Order  Order Order Order

 

#4 – Recon Medical Tourniquet

The Recon Medical Tourniquet is a copy of the #2 tourniquet on our list, the CAT tourniquet.

Typically, we would never recommend a tourniquet that is a cheaper copy of a name-brand tourniquet but this tourniquet is such a good value that we had to include it.

This is the simplest way we can put this: if you want a CAT tourniquet but can’t afford it, then you should get this tourniquet instead.

This is the ONLY off-brand CAT tourniquet copy we recommend (and we still prefer the CAT). Stay away from all of the other copies – most we’ve seen are cheap Chinese knock-offs that we wouldn’t trust our life to.

The Recon Medical tourniquet appears well made and has a 4.8 star rating on Amazon with hundreds of reviews.

This style tourniquet is best as the official CAT tourniquet (#2 on our list) and acceptable as the Recon Medical. No other make of this style tourniquet is suitable as an IFAK tourniquet.

 

Use

Because this tourniquet is so close to the CAT tourniquet, please see the instructions for use on the CAT tourniquet.

The Recon Medical Tourniquet has two notable unique features.

First, it has a finger hole in the strap that can be used for tightening the tourniquet. This could be a benefit in situations where it might be difficult to grasp the flat strap of the CAT Tourniquet. The tighter the strap can be adjusted prior to turning the windlass, the less turns of the windlass will be required and therefore it can stop bleeding faster.

Second, it has a “single-pass” buckle. Earlier models of the CAT Tourniquet had a “two-pass” buckle that was more difficult to use and could make the tourniquets difficult to tighten and loosen. It was such an issue that the US Army Special Operations Command created a report on how the “single-pass” method was preferred. The latest version (Gen 7) of the CAT Tourniquet now has a “single-pass” buckle also.

The biggest complaint we have about this tourniquet is the use of velcro. We’re not against hook and loop (velcro), but there are too many instances where it wont stick well (wet, bloody, dirty) and it is possible to get snagged on something and come loose.

 

 

Recon Medical Tourniquet Pros / Cons
PROS  CONS
Familiar operation – similar to US Army standard tourniquet Bulky
Inexpensive Budget-model
Quick open/close (single-pass)  Velcro
Finger loop for tightening
Lightweight

 

Colors

This tourniquet comes in four colors: black, orange, tan, and blue. If you decide to carry this tourniquet exposed on your gear, then you should probably get the black or tan version.

However, if this tourniquet will be inside of an IFAK, we strongly recommend the orange model. It will be easier to see while you’re working with it and it will likely stand-out easier to medical personnel.

The blue model of this tourniquet is the training model. It is the same quality as the other colors, however, blue helps it to be identified as the training tourniquet.


#3 – RATS Tourniquet

 


#2 – CAT Tourniquet

 

#1 Best Tourniquet

Well, it should read #1 best tourniquets because there’s two – each one is the best tourniquet for your IFAK depending on your needs.

We couldn’t just pick one best tourniquet because, as you’ll see, each of the best tourniquets we selected excels in its specific IFAK use and may not be ideal in other IFAK uses.

Best IFAK Tourniquet for EDC

 

Best IFAK Tourniquet Overall

Best IFAK Tourniquet for Mounted IFAKs / Fixed Locations (Vehicle/Workplace/Home)