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Cairn Subscription Box Review + Coupon – December 2020

Cairn box

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]

open Cairn box

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.)

all items from Cairn December 2020

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 U.S. for free, Canada for $5, and internationally for $10.

Cairn December 2020 Review

Cairn reliably includes their fold-out info sheet, the Cairn Scout, in every box—but this month’s delivery came without it! Typically it offers a theme, a description of the products included, info on box upgrades, and more. In its absence, I took a look at the selection this month and tried to put my finger on the theme. Not dissimilar to last month‘s curation of road-trip-ready gear that could also be repurposed for everyday use (such is often the case with Cairn items, assuming getting into nature is part of your regular rhythm), this December box’s items are as well-suited to camping and backpacking as they are to travel. Here’s what I got:


Rumpl Stuffable Travel & Backpacking Pillowcase, Black – Retail Value $35

I’ll never forget my first backpacking trip when I failed to pack anything even remotely resembling a pillow. My husband had a small blow-up pillow that he received as a gift, and for myself, I figured I could just ball up a sweatshirt or something. Little did I know, A) I would be wearing all my warmest clothes at once overnight, and B) you need something that will keep its shape if you stand a chance of getting a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. Needless to say, this stuffable pillowcase feels like gold to me. I like that in a backpacking setting you can fill it with whatever clothing items you’ve got so you don’t have to pack extra cushion. Take leggings, for example. They make a terrible pillow in and of themselves but are perfect for adding a little volume. I also appreciate the soft, fleece-y side that feels nice against the face. Very luxurious-feeling for a backpacking trip, while still completely practical. Plus, any outdoor gear that comes with a carabiner already attached is straight-up looking out for the people. This product is really well-considered and such a score.

I can see this pillowcase coming in handy for travel use, as well. Heck, half my family brings their own pillow with them wherever they go so they can be assured they won’t wake up with neck pain. Other people might be concerned about germs or sanitation, depending on where they’re going. Those traveling by plane or train and wanting to rest might find this pillowcase handy, too. Endless uses, really!


GEAR AID Lightweight Micro-Terry Washcloth Kit — Retail Value $14.95

Micro-fiber of all sorts makes frequent appearances in towels and cloths for outdoor use. It’s not a material I much like, as it can feel a little brittle and snaggy on the skin — but I do recognize how useful it is for its absorbency, lightweight, compactness, and quick-drying qualities. When you’re out in the woods and you need something to wash up with (I call it taking a “bird bath,” which is just washing the face and pits and privates), you’re prioritizing those characteristics over and above a lush experience. This duo definitely does the trick! And if you want, you can even reserve one color for washing your face and one color for everything else. Or just have one per hiker. Either way, I appreciate that they come in a sack with a mesh window so you can pop ’em in without waiting for them to dry fully, and still trust that they’re being aired out.


CLIF Bar, Peppermint Bark, 2.4 oz — Retail Value $1.45

I’ve never met a CLIF Bar I didn’t like, and this one really brings the holiday spirit. While I may have preferred the richness of chocolate chips or chunks throughout, I’m glad CLIF did include a chocolate drizzle to round things out.

Verdict: The December Cairn box was light but solid. I was expecting a more modest curation following a November box that really wowed and was pleased that it didn’t feel skimpy like some subscription boxes do after a big month. Perhaps the stuffable pillowcase was so exciting to me for personal reasons, but it does have a ton of applicable uses. The washcloths struck me as being a little more specific to nature outings (which makes sense for an outdoors subscription and is not a complaint in any way), so they’ll likely remain among my other camping gear until the next trip comes up. And I always enjoy the trail fuel Cairn sends along. This box costs $29.95 (less if you subscribe for longer) + free shipping, and the contents add up to $51.40. Compared to most months, that’s a slightly higher than normal value, but I would be happy if it were a trend going into the new year with Cairn.

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 costs $29.95 + free U.S. shipping, but I calculated that it contained $51.40 worth of goods. That comes down to a value of approximately $17.13 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 receive 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. I loved this box! Was also excited to receive the pillow! I have an air pillow…they are not comfortable. The Clif bar was delicious!

    • I’m excited you got the same box as me, Sharon! It was a good one. Agreed on the air pillows—better in theory than in practice.

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