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Coastal Cruising Box “Portland” Subscription Review + Coupon – May 2018

Anna Reilly
ByAnna ReillyJun 13, 2018 | 12 comments

coastal cruising box exterior

Coastal Cruising Box
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Coastal Cruising describes itself as a west coast road trip delivered right to your door. This subscription sends you a monthly assortment of hand-curated, artisan-made "souvenirs" from cities and towns along the Pacific Coast Highway.

coastal cruising open box

Each box also includes thorough information about each of the featured artists and brands, plus the occasional coupon code to purchase their wares in the future!

coastal cruising unboxing

This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

coastal cruising all items

About Coastal Cruising Artisan Subscription Box

The Subscription Box: Coastal Cruising

The Cost: $49.99 per month + shipping

ACTIVE DEAL: Save 10% off each month of your subscription!

The Products: Artisan-made home, gift, and accessory items from locations all along the Pacific Coast Highway.

Ships to: US for $3.50 and Worldwide for an additional cost

Coastal Cruising Portland Subscription Box Review May 2018

coastal cruising portland details

coastal cruising portland box details

coastal cruising information

Not only does this box come with a bunch of products to experience—there's also a lot to read! I got a bunch of different cards introducing the subscription, the month's featured location (which is Portland, Oregon), and the artisans whose products are featured in the box.

coastal cruising handmade crafts info

coastal cruising local craftsperson info

coastal cruising box info

coastal cruising map

coastal cruising portland pin maker

coastal cruising local portland artists

coastal cruising artist

coastal cruising patch company

coastal cruising portland facts

coastal cruising info card about artisan

coastal cruising info card about vendor

coastal cruising info cards about products

I like when subscriptions that feature "artisan" products actually give backstories about those artisans. It brings a level of legitimacy to the artisan-made story. Plus, buying from smaller producers/brands, for me, is a lot about supporting the people behind the products. So getting all of these thorough stories about the makers featured in the box is fun and fulfilling for me!

coastal cruising portland postcard

coastal cruising back of portland postcard

Portland, Oregon Postcard - Estimated Value $1.00

Postcards usually aren't too expensive, so I estimated the value of this photo design above. I'd feel a little funny sending someone a postcard from a place I didn't actually visit, but I appreciate it as a clever way to add to the road-trip-in-a-box vibe of the subscription.

coastal cruising portland tote

coastal cruising portland tote graphic

Portland, Oregon Tote Bag by One Lane Road - Estimated Value $18.00

I couldn't find this specific bag design on the One Lane Road Etsy site, but another tote bag they offer goes for $18.00. I love the thickness of this canvas tote—it's hefty enough that I would use it with big heavy wine bottles or other clunky groceries, no problem. The illustration is really cute, too. The playful simplicity is super fun.

coastal cruising portland scent

coastal cruising home fragrance

coastal cruising wax melt

Badley Farms Goat Milk Soap in Eucalyptus

This little soap is just big enough to sit in the palm of your hand, so it's probably best for a bathroom sink situation. I looove the richness of this soap, which includes olive oil, coconut oil, and palm oil. I'm not so wild about the fragrance, just because it's a big strong for my taste, but the soap itself is awesome.

coastal cruising rose soap

coastal cruising rosette soap

Rose City Sugar Bomb Wax Melt

I don't see a card for SugarBombs in the box, but I did check out their website! I thought this was another soap at first, but I think it's a wax melt. The rich floral aroma is a little strong for me, as was the soap, but the floral design is cute. Looking at the website, cute shapes are definitely their specialty—there are even some products shaped like Star Wars characters!

coastal cruising earthy soap

coastal cruising handmade soap

coastal cruising colorful handmade soap

Coastal Tides Free Spirit Patchouli Soap - Retail Value $6.00

The first thing I noticed about this soap is that it's made in North Carolina...? That's sort of odd for a box dedicated to showcasing products from one specific area of the country (specifically, the total opposite coast as North Carolina). The soap itself is nice enough, with its swirling colors and heady patchouli scent. This earthier fragrance didn't bother me as much, but it's definitely filling my bathroom with its aroma (not just the sink). I don't want to come down on the soap, but I do feel a bit confused about the curation now.

coastal cruising naked scrub

coastal cruising scrub

Naked Coffee Scrub - Retail Value $5.00

This travel-sized tub of exfoliating scrub is made with coffee grounds, so it has a deep, earthy, almost floral coffee scent to it. I love a gritty scrub like this one, so I'm in heaven with this combination of coffee, coconut oil, and olive oil.

coastal cruising portland patch

coastal cruising portland patch package

coastal cruising embroidered patch

Little Bay Root Portland Patch - Retail Value $5.95

This patch is based on the design of a famous sign in Portland. I like the quality of the stitching and the bold contrast of the blue and red. I don't know if I feel quite right wearing a patch for a place I haven't actually been, but I do like how, like the postcard, this fits with the "souvenir" theme.

coastal cruising oregon pin

coastal cruising oregon blue enamel pin

Sleepy Mountain Oregon Enamel Pin - Retail Value $10.00

I love collecting enamel pins, so I'm happy they included one! This is made by the artist Sleepy Mountain. The shape is just the state of Oregon, but there's an ocean-inspired wave pattern spread over it. I feel a little less odd about sporting this pin, as I can do love me an ocean, even if I've never been to Oregon before.

coastal cruising portland card

coastal cruising back of greeting card

Urban Retrospectives Greeting Card - Retail Value $4.50

You could use this artist-made greeting card as a card, or pop it into a small frame and use it as a colorful piece of artwork in your home. I like the combo of blue and orange in the design. I also think the method of the art is interesting—they create these images using original photography!

portland card

Cheerful Cuts Vinyl Oregon Sticker in Silver - Retail Value $7.50

This vinyl design can live safely on car windows, notebook covers, glass, metal, and more. It's sturdy and thick and depicts the state of Oregon behind a line of trees. It's a cool sticker, though again, it might be too Oregon-specific for me to feel right about sticking to my car.

coastal cruising portland sticker

ACBC Design I Love Portland Sticker - Retail Value $2.00

I love the colorful, playful quality of this sticker! Though this artist makes stickers for all different areas of the country, the info card about them noted that they're based in Portland. Very authentic! This cheerful sticker could be a good match for a water bottle or the side of a suitcase.

coastal cruising dog stickers

2 Dog Stickers by All My Friends Are Dogs - Total Retail Value $6.00 ($3.00 each)

Aw, I love these dog stickers! Something about the illustration style is just very sweet. These stickers are scratch and weatherproof, so they'd make a great addition to a rear-view window (if stick figure families aren't your bag). My one qualm is that the company is apparently from Seattle. They make adorable products and even aim to give back to dog-friendly organizations, but the Washington base kind of throws off the Portland theme of the box.

coastal cruising rt 101 sticker

coastal cruising info card

Specifically Pacific The 101 Sticker - Buy 4 for $10.00 here

The 101 is the highway that runs all the way up the Pacific Coast. This is a fitting item to get via this subscription—especially in my first box! It's another good match for the back window or bumper of the car, a travel-friendly cooler or suitcase, or a book of photos commemorating travels up the coast!

The Verdict: This box is a toughie. I assumed that the items in the box would be products from the featured city, but I didn't expect the extent of items that would be super specific to that featured city. (For instance, the Portland greeting card, the Portland stickers, the Portland patch...) Personally, I feel a little weird sporting too much stuff from a city I've (sadly) never been to (though I totally hope to go). I can see myself getting use out of more generic items in the box, like the soaps, etc. I do feel a little uncertain of some of the curation for the box, though. I got cards for some of the products in the box, but not all, there was no full product list (which I like to get), and some of the items were from vendors outside of the featured location (either Seattle, which is closer to Portland, or North Carolina, which is much further flung). And lots of the items in the box were paper goods or stickers, which don't feel quite as valuable to me. I think this box has room to grow, but I don't feel wowed by it quite yet, especially for the higher price tag.

To Wrap Up:

Can I still get this box if I sign up today?: No. Boxes ship on the 5th of the month.

Coupon - Use code LIFETIME to save 10% off each month of your subscription!

Value Breakdown: This box cost $49.99 + $3.50 shipping to get to Pennsylvania. Based on the items I could find online/find equivalent items and prices for, I estimate that there's at least $65.95 worth of value in the box.

Check out more local subscription boxes in the Artisan Subscription Box List!

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

What do you think of Coastal Cruising? Would you use items themed around places you haven't visited before?

Starting at $49.99
Active Deal
Save 10% off each month of your subscription!
Use Coupon Code LIFETIME
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"Coastal Cruising Box brings the best of a west coast road trip to your door, monthly. 6 or more hand curated souvenirs are included from artisans' small shops, as well as a map, postcard, and literature about the area and the small businesses you have supported. Most shops also include coupon codes... read more.
Anna Reilly
Anna Reilly
Anna loves collecting little treasures, be they pop-culture finds, handmade mementos, or new potions to put in her makeup bag. Beauty boxes got her interested in the subscription world, but now she's swooning for all things kawaii!

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I think this box could have been a lot better. Also, not to be a snob, but there are a lot of obvious spelling/grammar issues on the cards. That doesn’t show the best attention to detail for me. I think highlighting more of our local products and specialties rather than a bunch of Portland propaganda would serve this curation better. Also, for me personally, I would be much more likely to use a cup, t-shirt, bag, whatever with a city I hadn’t been to on it than stickers or a car vinyl. Being from Oregon, I actually really love that vinyl design though and would love it on a shirt.

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This is Tammie. I appreciate everyone’s honest feedback. I lived in Portland for a year and spent a lot of time and money starting this one woman business. It is not as easy as it looks 🙂 The hope was that you would take the time to read all the bios and literature and understand the feel of Portland. Items were chosen for their vibe, not necessarily that they are in PDX. Yes, right on with patchouli. The Rose City wax melt was made exclusively for our box, because Portland is Rose City. I did reach out to Dutch Bros and Stumptown to be included and did not hear back. So, I went with the coffee scrub, which I adore and use many times a week. Portland has some strong smells….lol….the most common one being one I couldn’t legally add to the box. And yes, the items are meant to be souvenirs. To make you feel like you went there. I hope that puts things in more context. I LOVE what CA Found is doing, but we are different. I want to show the entire varied coast. Thanks for keeping an eye on this little piece of me and keep the feedback coming!

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Yeah, I live in portland and I could make you a MUCH better box for $50. 👎👎 Not only have you not been to Portland, neither has the person/a who made this box. 😂

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Everything in this box seems like it was purchased at a truck stop gift shop.

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I live inPortland and assume the North Carolina patchouli thing is just because patchouli is popular here…but it’s also in products made here, so I don’t know what that’s about!

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Hmmmm. I thought this would be like a coastal and state by state version on California Found. That would be great and seems to be what they are aiming for in some ways.

Providing a huge RV vs cost isn’t as big of a deal if you’re including items that are unique and interesting.

I wonder where the owners are based out of and if they really know the places they want to be highlighting.

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The concept is awesome but as others have mentioned there are so many great Indy places that could have filled this box. I am looking be forward to the next review and hopefully the sub will kick it into high gear.

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I don’t live in Oregon, but I am in Washington and visit quite a bit and can honestly say this is super disappointing! So many things with Oregon stamped on it just feels kind of lazy really. Especially when Portland has a lot of rad and unique stuff to offer. I’m addicted to the coast and really hope they get better because there’s so much wonderful stuff to be found up and down the 101!

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I like the idea but $50 for THIS?!!!! I’m sorry but this is such an underwhelming experience…

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I was so excited to read your review on this as I did live near Seattle, married in Oregon and just loved the West Coast but this box is a let down, with some many great and independent shops in Oregon and the West Coast in general, there are so many other ways this box could have went. I would be super annoyed if I would have paid that much for a box of paper goods. Boo! I do hope it gets better but I won’t consider subscribing until it does. Thanks for posting this!

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This is such a great concept but I think the curation is a bit off. Being from Portland(thrice removed) and currently living here again, there are so many more things they could have added! There’s a great local candy shop called Quin that would have been a nice addition to the box…and perhaps something from Powell’s? What about matching beer glasses from a local brewery or with Mt Hood on them? Also pretty relevant. Ooh or some coffee!

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I live in Bend, OR and was excited to see a box specific to Portland, but I agree with the consensus it is underwhelming. But what you just described I would have bought! You should be curating this box🙂

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