Posted by on in Cairn Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews | Tags: | 6 comments

Cairn Subscription Box Review – April 2016

This post may contain referral/affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

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Cairn is a subscription service that delivers outdoor gear every month. They bill their service as “Your Monthly Box of Outdoor Discovery.” The trees are in full bloom down here in the South, and we are outdoors as much as possible!

My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

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The Subscription Box: Cairn

The Cost: $25 per month with discounts for 3-, 6-, and 12- month subscriptions

The Products: “A recurring delivery of outdoor related products sent to your doorstep! Get introduced to new brands and products, including gear, apparel, nutrition/energy, skincare, and more.”

Ships to: US for free, internationally for an additional price

Check out all of our Cairn box reviews and the Lifestyle Subscription Box Directory!

Keep Track of your subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

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When I signed up for Cairn, they asked me to do a huge questionnaire for customization purposes. It asked questions about the types of outdoor activities I like, and I chose hiking, camping (car), backpacking, and yoga. They had loads of options, though, like rock climbing, moutain biking, fishing — just about everything I could think of! They also asked a few lifestyle questions (kids? dogs?) plus basics like t-shirt size.

All this leads me to believe that contents may vary from subscriber to subscriber, so if you subscribe but get different things, please let me know!

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This is the info card that came in the package, listing out all the contents.

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Toaks Outdoor TiTongs Set – Value $19.95

I love to see clever, innovative gear like this in my Cairn Box! How convenient is this set? It will make for lighter packing, that’s for sure. When you’re backpacking or hiking in to any camping spot, every ounce of reduced weight really counts!

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Light My Fire Spicebox – Value $11.08

This is another clever little piece of gear – it’s a spice dispenser for three different spices! It’s super handy! And of course, it’s another piece beautifully designed in Sweden.

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Simple Squares Chili Pep – Value $3

I’ve had this before in a subscription box, and it tastes pretty good and is fairly satisfying. It’s a nut and spice bar that is paleo, organic, gluten free, non-GMO and kosher. That’s an impressive resume for a snack!

Ground 2 Table Spice 3-Pack – Value $6

I’ve tried allll the Ground 2 Table spice packs now thanks to subscription boxes, and I think they’re great. I think Cairn makes a good point in including them this month because these little packs sure weigh a lot less than full spice bottles and jars would on a backpacking or camping trip!

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Have I mentioned I love Cairn’s envelopes yet? So enticing!

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This month’s extras include a coupon for 15% off at Drinktanks and a coupon for $20 off a $100+ order at Fireside Provisions. Score!

Verdict: We love our Cairn subscription! We have discovered so many new and useful products for our camping and hiking adventures through Cairn. I have noticed the value of products in my Cairn subscription has gone down a bit lately, but it is still much higher than the cost of the box. This month’s package has a value of about $40, which is great for a $25 box!

Do you subscribe to Cairn? What are your outdoor activities? What did they send you?

Written by Anna Rodriguez

Anna Rodriguez

Anna has been a fan of subscription boxes since joining Birchbox in 2013, but didn’t become a true addict until discovering subscriptions she could share with her children. Her favorites include Kiwi Crate and Fab Kids.
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.

6 Comments

  1. I just subscribed to both the monthly and the Obsidian. The monthly one was disappointing — I cannot even remember what was in it, it was so disappointing to me. Some bungee kinda cords, but like an earlier comment, alot of these gadgets are for need for which we have improvised from other household items for years (e.g. pill box for spices).

    THat being said, I LOVED the Obsidian box. I got a GREAT biofuel stove and jug / cook set up (ok, I hvaen’t tried it out yet but will soon), a slack line, and a growler / thermos, as well as a super hefty lighter. There are ALL things I”m going to use. There were some other smaller things (athletic shampoo etc).

    So Im going to hold off judgement on the monthly for awhile, just because the Obsidian was so awesome.

  2. I mostly love my Cairn. Value is decent, and you get to support some new local companies. Yes, sometimes they send things I have no use for– like a long hemp sling to carry a six-pack while you hike. Not happening. But I loved the Winter Obsidian box, with a great hammock and waterproof pack. And I can usually find someone who appreciates what I don’t.
    One thing I do notice is wild variability in the monthly offerings. My April box looked nothing like this. I got the Gear issue of Backpacker magazine, a food bar, and the beer sling. Another guy got a luminoodle (I have one from another month and love it). Do they rotate what they send individuals?

  3. I love reading the Cairn reviews, but I just can convince myself to order it. If the value was a bit higher (consistently) I would likely sub.

    • Same for me! I read the reviews each month but can’t justify spending that money for so little return. I always take into account with subs that there’s likely going to be one item you won’t need/can’t use, etc. And with this box, if that were the case, you’d barely break even. There’s only so much camping cutlery a person needs.
      I have alerts set up in case they run a special one day.

    • Same – we’re big campers (wannabe big hikers), but I’ve yet to be really thrilled with what is included in these boxes. Part of it might have to do with the whole camping gadget thing…I don’t really buy into a lot of it. You know what else makes a good camping spice container? Travel/days of the week pill containers, travel baby formula containers…anything small with a lot of compartments is great for spices. And yes, although it’s neat you can clasp the fork and spoon together to make tongs, it doesn’t necessarily make it something I’d want or desire.

      I like that they sort of went with a theme here, but they could’ve kicked it up a notch by including a campfire cookbook or even a small skillet.

      • Yes, we want to backpack, but our daughter isn’t into it that much so camping is more up our lane right now. I think they aim at providing small, lightweight items and if they added heavier stuff that was for camping I would like it more. When we camp we can bring a bunch of stuff since weight isn’t a factor, but when we backpack I only bring what is necessary so these gadgets aren’t doing it for me.

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