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Cairn “Clean & Compact” March 2022 Review + Coupon

Cairn is a monthly subscription box that sends members outdoor, 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 identities. In mid-2021 Cairn was acquired by Outside Magazine. 

Update: In February 2022 subscribers learned that Cairn will soon be making a full naming transition from Cairn to Outside. The website still reflects the Cairn branding, however, this month's mailer simply had the box theme as a title.

In addition to the monthly subscription, Cairn also offers a premium quarterly box, Cairn ObsidianUnStacked by Cairn, a unique gear auction site in which prices drop over time; and Kitted, a curated gear “styling” service. 

Cairn also has a give-back program called Gear Up, Give Back, where outdoor enthusiasts can send in their retired gear and Gear Fix will repair it and sell it in their shop. The net proceeds are then matched by Cairn and Gear Fix and donated to Outdoors For All, an organization working to enrich the quality of life of children and adults with disabilities through the outdoors.


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

First Impressions


This month's delivery arrived in the same size box as last month, making me wonder if Outside will be using the same size moving forward?


First out of the box is the mailer – a newspaper-style insert that details the theme of the box. This month's theme is "Clean and Compact", and it includes info on the items you'll find inside. Subscribers will also find an excerpt from an Outside Magazine article that relates to each month's theme. This month's article is all about how to pack a backpack for a backpacking trip. I'm hoping to dip a toe into backpacking this summer, so this is useful information for me.

Ok, let's go! Read on to see what we got this month!

Matador Packable Water Bottle – Retail Value $29.99


A packable water bottle! Now I've seen everything. This 1-liter bottle from Matador folds down (almost) flat to travel with you from the airport to the mountains and back again. It's made with an interior straw and a lockable bite valve to prevent leaks. The bottle is filled on the bottom through a snap-like closure that you pinch closed (it's sort of like a sandwich bag closure). I was skeptical about the closure mechanism at first, so I filled it, pinched it closed, and let it sit on my counter for a few hours - no leaks! This bottle would come in super handy at airports, as it's incredibly lightweight and folds down small so it doesn't take up unnecessary space, making it equally handy on the trail - when it's empty, you can just stash it in your pack.

Fozzils Scrubberz Bottle Brush – Retail Value $9.95


Another new-to-me gadget: this cute little bottle brush. I've never seen a bottle brush like this; it features three different-size scrubber balls that, when unused, sit on a pin in their case. When you're ready to use them, just pop them in your water bottle, add a little water, and shake. I put lemon in my water every time I fill up my stainless steel water bottle, which means it needs to be scrubbed frequently - so I had a good testing subject to use these Scrubberz with. The brushes worked well, but I still needed to follow up with a larger bottle brush. That said, I think these would work well on a smaller bottle (mine is 40 oz.) and one that doesn't have lemon in it! Points for cuteness, too.

Crud Cloth - Retail Value $4.00

Ever been on a camping trip or hike and been desperate for a shower? Same. This neat product is a shower in a bag, made to be used anytime you could use a shower - or a sink - and none are available. To use it, you smack the package, squish the interior towel around to activate the soap, tear it open, and scrub away dirt and grime. This would be especially handy for camping when you're either in the woods or have a nasty communal shower as your choice for facilities.

Value – Was This Box Worth It?

The Cost: $34.99

This month's box was filled with items that I'd never encountered before from brands that were new to me. The water bottle will come in handy for trips and adventures alike, and I plan to bring it with me on an upcoming trip to Florida. The Scrubberz are cute and useful for cleaning out our smaller water bottles - especially when we're on the road. And the Crud Cloth was something I've never seen before but could see myself keeping on hand to use after especially challenging (messy) hikes and camping trips. After a couple of months of more tactical gear, I'm happy to see some unique variation in this box. It also has me dreaming of warmer weather adventures!

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

Other Things You Should Know

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? You will most likely receive April as your first box.

Value Breakdown: The value of this box rang in at $43.94, which is on par with past values. 

What do you think of Cairn this month? 

Julie O’Boyle-Sharp
Julie O’Boyle-Sharp
Julie O’Boyle-Sharp is a content strategist, thrift shopping aficionado, cat-lover, and freelance brand photographer living in Portland, Maine. A self-described “outdoor cat”, Julie enjoys hiking, surfing, snowboarding, and trail running, and it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that she loves fitness, too. She enjoys subscription boxes because they remind her of the care packages she used to get at summer camp – and who doesn’t love receiving mail? Her current favorite subscriptions include Cairn, Thrive Market, The Detox Box, and Laurel & Reed. When she’s not outside, you can find her working on her blog and Instagram of the same name, ByJulieSharp.

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