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Cairn Subscription Box Review + Coupon – May 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. It was chosen as one of our favorite subscription boxes for men but is suited to adventurers of all genders.

FYI – COVID-19 Update, from Cairn: 

Due to the impacts of COVID-19 on distribution centers, Monthly Cairn Subscribers, as well as Monthly Cairn Gift recipients that are beyond their first month of the gift term, may experience delays of up to two weeks on their Monthly Cairn delivery. Cairn products that are not experiencing shipping delays:

  • Initial Cairn Gift deliveries (the first month of the gift term)
  • Cairn Apparel
  • UnStacked orders
  • Obsidian Subscriptions

If you have questions about your order, please email [email protected]

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! .

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 May 2020 “Prepped & Ready” Review


Each month Cairn includes the Cairn Scout, which is a newspaper-style info guide that sets the scene for the monthly theme, tells about all the items that were chosen for your delivery, and gives details about box upgrades, subscriber perks, a community feature, and more. This month’s Prepped & Ready theme comes along with several high-quality camping and backpacking must-haves—items that are never a bad idea to have in your pack for unforeseen tent and gear challenges. I’m very excited about them and am ready to walk you through!


Matador Better Tether Gear Straps, 2-pack – Retail Value $16.99

Just about every early adventurer is advised by someone or other to keep extra paracord in their kit, and if you’re anything like I was, you have no idea why this is a good idea until suddenly it becomes abundantly clear. Maybe you’re camping and forgot to consider how you’ll tie your food up. Maybe you’re sleeping in a hammock and didn’t account for rain, and need to rig up a makeshift tarp. Maybe the wood pile at the trail shelter is 100 yards away and you need to figure out how to carry more than one log at once. There are really just endless potential uses for it, and this tether strap duo is a massive upgrade to that just-in-case paracord! It folds up into just as small of a coil, but it alleviates the need to know how to tie knots. These straps are adjustable but secure, and easy to release. File under: I didn’t know I needed these but now I won’t leave home without them. I’m really pumped about these!


Gear Aid Tent Pole Splint, 1/2″ – Retail Value $5.50

Tent poles are easy to take for granted—they’re made with insane technology these days and seem to flex forever without breaking. But in the unforeseen event that they do…now what? This tent pole splint is 0.08 oz., so your pack can probably afford the practically-nonexistent burden of carrying it, just in case.


TheTentLab V-Best Tent Stakes, Small, 4-pack – Retail Value $10.95

Oh joy! It’s easy to brighten any camper’s day with a nice set of high-quality stakes! Where I tend to camp, in Western Pennsylvania, there’s always the potential of encountering rocks as I drive my stakes into the ground, meaning the old school stakes I was using (literally from my childhood family tent) are almost all broken and bent. I honestly have no idea why I didn’t just buy new ones, but I’m glad to have these four aluminum alloy stakes and I’m glad that Cairn supported an independent business in sourcing them. This is the same place where the poop trowel from last month was sourced!


FishSki Provisions Easy Cheddar Grits with Jalapeño, Hatch Chile, & Cheddar, 6 oz. – Get a 2-pack for $11.50

For a rare fourth item in this month’s box, I was sent some camp food! Cheesy grits, yum. You just add 3 cups of boiling water and let them sit for 6-8 minutes to thicken. These grits are promised to be spicy due to jalapeños and hatch chiles. My backpacking buddies are crazy for green chiles, so they’re going to be sooo excited to try these on our next outing.

Some great info about this product: it’s packed in a recyclable, portable and packable, weather resistant bag. And, 3% of every sale from FishSki is donated to local conservation or access efforts that improve fishing and/or skiing. They have amazing-looking mac and cheese flavors, which I might have to try!

Verdict: I think Cairn nailed the Prepped & Prepared theme this month! All three gear items fill a need for me, and the cheesy grits make for something delicious to look forward to on my next camping or backpacking trip. And, while Cairn boxes do vary a bit per subscriber, I would venture to guess this is a curation nearly anyone would be happy to receive. 

This box costs $29.95 (less if you subscribe for longer), including free shipping, and the contents add up to $39.19. This value is standard for this subscription.

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! .


Value Breakdown: This box cost $29.95 + free US shipping, but I estimate it contained $39.19 worth of goods. That comes down to a value of approximately $13.06 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 | 2 comments

Comments (2)

  1. Website says they’re out of the hammock welcome box. (But since that particular MSA review is from 2018, 🤷‍♀️)
    Current welcome box is a glorified fanny pack, not nearly as cool as the hammock would’ve been.

    • Vinnie, thanks for bringing that to our attention! We updated the code to a new one: Use code COTOGIFT to get a free Cotopaxi Luzon 24 Del Día with a 6- or 12-month Cairn subscription. It’s a super cool day pack!

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