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Cairn Outdoor Subscription Review + Coupon – December 2018

Cairn is a subscription service that delivers outdoor gear every month. They are inspired to enrich and expand the outdoor experience by fostering connections among those who create and enjoy it.

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

About Cairn

The Subscription Box: Cairn

The Cost: $29.95 per month with discounts for 6- and 12- month subscriptions

Limited Time Deal: Use code HAMMOCK to get the Hammock Collection Box your first month!

COUPON: Limited Time Only! Use code MSA20 to save 20% off your first box when you sign up for a 6 or 12-month subscription! .

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: U.S. for free, Canada for $5, and Internationally for $10

Cairn December 2018 Review

Hi, folks! This is my first month reviewing Cairn and I’m really pumped to have my outdoor adventures enhanced by what’s inside. To start, this month’s box includes this Cairn Scout publication, which gives the lowdown on what’s in your box each month, as well as offering details on the monthly “Adventure Upgrade” prize, subscriber perks, and more. The Scout is promoting winter exploration hard, and as someone who’s pumped to live in a state that gets hit with all four seasons full scale, I am right there with it.

Coal X Pow Polyana Beanie – Retail Value $30

I was late to the game in realizing a couple of years ago that a beanie isn’t just a beanie and that when you find one you like, you’re loyal to that brand. Today I met my new favorite hat, this ribbed knit guy from Coal, designed in collaboration with the non-profit Protect Our Winters (POW). My favorite feature is the double cuff, which makes it extra warm and like a hug for your head. My husband saw this hat and said, “Oh, perfect, I needed a new hat!” Ha! I think not. Though I let him try it on and it fits his head comfortably as well, so perhaps we’ll share.


Here I am rocking it on the way to the grocery store. Always gravitating toward the bits of green, even in the city. 🙂

They threw in this bonus guitar pick with a hole through it so you can wear it on your keychain or as a necklace. It’s a little thicker than the picks we use, but we’ll keep it around as a backup. I like Coal’s idea of providing a pick instead of a sticker, though—they knew my Nalgene was fresh out of real estate, didn’t they?

NoSo Patches – Estimated Value $14.99 (Similar found here)

NoSo patches were developed as a solution to holes and tears in puffy coats, as an alternative to duct tape. I support the idea of repairing your gear as many times as you can before buying new stuff. The NoSo website shows these patches sported as a style statement just as much as for their functionality, and while I prefer the look of a coat sans flair, my tent’s rain fly might be gettin’ some lovin’ from these guys come spring’s soggy camping season! I give them two thumbs up for being a hardy solution that can be applied out in nature without the need for heat or a sewing kit—though if you want the patch to be permanent, it’s suggested you tumble dry after you apply.

CLIF Energy Granola, Blueberry Crisp, 10 oz. – Retail Value $5.49

I’ve sunk my teeth into CLIF Bars of all different shapes, sizes, flavors, and fillings, but I’ve somehow never gotten my hands on CLIF Granola. I’m usually drawn to chocolate-y and/or nutty flavors in bar form, but the Blueberry Crisp variety is working well for me in this case. It’s nice ‘n’ crunchy and a good mix of larger chunks with smaller pieces. I like that the nutrition facts offer information for both a bowl-size (2/3 cup) and snack-size (1/3 cup) serving. My eyes are always drawn to the sugar content first, and in a bowl-size serving, there are 11 grams, which is surprisingly low for how sweet this treat tastes. I’ll definitely enjoy this on the trail!

Verdict: My first month of Cairn was a really positive experience! The hat is going to get me through winter warmly and in style, the patches are super useful and easy to bring along without adding extra weight to your pack, and the trail snack is delicious. Two (three?) thumbs up. This box costs $29.95, which includes free shipping, and the contents add up to $50.48, which is a great deal. I’m a happy camper!

To Wrap Up: 

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Based on their subscription model, your items may vary based on your survey responses and boxes you have received in the past. 

New Deal: Use code HAMMOCK to get the Hammock Collection Box your first month!

Coupon – Use code TRAILHEAD to get the Trailhead welcome box your first month! Check out our review of the Trailhead Welcome Box to see what will be included.

Value Breakdown: At $29.95 for this box, here’s what you are paying approximately per item:

  • Beanie: $17.80
  • Patches: $8.89
  • Granola: $3.26

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

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

What do you think of Cairn this month? Did you get the same items?


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Written by Christen Russo

Christen Russo

Christen is a smile collector, outdoors enthusiast, and appreciator of soggy French fries. Her favorite subscriptions involve eco-friendly products and clothes, nature supplies, stationery, and coffee. She can be easily won over with a good sheet of stickers.

Posted in Cairn Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews, UK Subscription Box Reviews| Tags: cairn | 6 comments

Comments (6)

  1. Nomadik also sent a beanie in November… doesn’t really have much use for those of us who live in warmer climates.

    • Aw man, that’s too bad. Maybe it’s a sign from the universe that you need to go hit the slopes. 😉 If that’s not your thing, maybe someone would swap ya! Check out our “Swaps” page, linked in our top nav!

  2. Nice review, I like the personality you put into it! *But if you would update the box breakdown too, that would be great. 🙂

    • Merp, thanks for catching, Taylor. I updated the prices, just not the items. We’ll update that shortly, but in the meantime, here’s what they are:
      Beanie: $17.80
      Patches: $8.89
      Granola: $3.26

      And, thank you for reading along!

  3. Great review! I like how this subscription is based out of Bend, OR where I live!

    • Yesss, yay for Bend! I visited family in both Eugene and Newport 2 years ago and ever since have wondered if/when I’ll move to Oregon. 🙂

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