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Cairn Subscription Box Review + Coupon – January 2020

Cairn is a monthly subscription box that sends members outdoors, adventure, and fitness gear. Cairn’s goal is to enrich your outdoor adventures by connecting you with best-in-class products. 

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

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! .

Check out our review of the “Hammock Collection” welcome box to see what will be included.

The Products: Outdoor gear, including apparel, nutrition/energy products, skincare, and other essentials to keep you prepared and comfortable on your adventures.

Ships to: The US for free, Canada for $5, and internationally for $10

Cairn January 2020 “Stepping Up” Review


Those of you who read my December Cairn review saw that thanks to the information I included in my Cairn profile, I was sent a pair of gloves that fit me like…a glove (wink, wink). The gloves continue to be great and I wear them often! This month I was even more delighted by the personalization of my box—on the front page of the Cairn Scout, which is the newsprint info sheet that’s included each month, was a message explaining that this month’s delivery was curated with a specific preference of mine in mind. I have snow sports at the top of my list, so they sent me items to enhance that part of my lifestyle. Cool!


Upmatic Original Supercharged Insoles – Retail Value $29.50

Does anyone out there regularly forget that shoe inserts exist and tend to be life-changing? I certainly do. They can transform an old favorite pair of shoes for a fraction of the cost of buying a new pair, and it’s a more eco-friendly option. These insoles are just as cool as they look. The pebbly textured doohickeys along the bottom are called “energy return capsules,” which are intended to give your steps some extra spring. They’re also designed with antimicrobial properties that resist odor. Won’t say no to that! My running shoes are getting a little worn out, so I was excited to revive them with these guys. (PS—in my Cairn profile I listed running as one of the outdoor activities I partake in during winter, so that’s how these inserts are relevant to “snowsports!”)


Cairn sent me the appropriate size; like most shoe inserts, they are good for a range of sizes, and the directions say to trace your old insoles on top of the new ones, snip them to the appropriate size, and slip them in. When I laced my shoes on, I was delighted by the gentle massage these inserts gave my feet, and I’m pleased to say after having gone on a run with them that I do feel like my shoes have been given new life!


mountainFLOW Eco-Wax in Cool, 2 oz – Retail Value $15.95

If only I could convey the feels this wax made me feel! Snowboarding has given me something to look forward to during the winter months for the last 15 years of my life, but ever since having a baby I haven’t had the opportunity to go nearly as much as I’d like to. Waxing my board is all part of the ritual! I had never heard of a plant-based, biodegradable wax until now, and this company seems so cool. A quick poke around their website shows they really stand behind their products, which consist of various waxes including various temps of wax for boards, skin wax, and anti-stick spray. Can’t wait to give this a try!


IQ Bar, Chocolate Sea Salt – Buy a box of 12 for $24.99

I’ve been introduced to so many great types of fuel to try through my Cairn subscription. I didn’t have the opportunity to sink my teeth into this IQ Bar—my husband grabbed it to eat after a workout! His feedback: “Delicious and satisfying. For once a low-sugar protein bar doesn’t taste like it’s pumped full of fake sweetener. It’s not too sweet and still very good.”

Verdict: The January Cairn kicked off my new year satisfyingly. I was sent a product to use & enjoy right away (the insoles), something to help inspire getting back to a favorite hobby that’s fallen aside (the board wax), and an introduction to a great new bar that my family may want to stock up on in the future. Plus, everyone loves a personalized subscription experience, so that added to the positive experience. I’d call it a successful month!

This box costs $29.95, including free shipping, and the contents add up to about $48 (using an estimated cost for 1 IQ Bar). Like I said above, the customization to my preferences adds to the experience for me, so I’m quite pleased with the overall value.

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. 

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! .

Check out our review of the Hammock Collection welcome box to see what will be included.

Value Breakdown: This box cost $29.95 + free US shipping, but I estimate it contained $48 worth of product. That comes down to approximately $16 per item.

Check out all of our Cairn reviews, and learn more about our readers’ favorite fitness boxes.

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 any of the same items as me?

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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| Tags: cairn | 4 comments

Comments (4)

  1. I e been a Cairn subscriber for years and am finding the boxes aren’t all that good any longer. Those inserts have no arch and actually hurt my feet. There hasn’t been a good main item in quite a while and there are a lot of very similar items to previous boxes. I’m thinking there’s probably a lifespan to subscription boxes unless you are curating individually.

  2. I’ll be cancelling. The inserts are not my size and don’t feel like a $30 item. I didn’t get the wax, which is fine, because I don’t snowboard, but I did get a soap packaged in a plastic deodorant push-up tube. What the heck? Soap can be packaged in a nice biodegradable piece of paper. I’m also getting tired of the numerous battery powered devices. I’ve subscribed and loved Cairn for a while, but not so much lately.

    • I’m sorry you’ve been disappointed, Flo! I agree that small changes to this subscription could go a long way in terms of eco-friendliness.

  3. I was pretty disappointed in this and last month’s offerings and will be cancelling. The inserts don’t seem to me to be a big ticket item. I’ll have to size them and not even sure if I’d want them. I didn’t get the wax, but a plastic deodorant type tube of soap— what the heck? Soap can be wrapped in a nice biodegrade piece of waxed paper. Why would I want all that plastic? Also receiving too many battery powered items. I prefer more eco friendly offerings.

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