The GQ Best Stuff Box is a quarterly men's subscription from GQ magazine that's $50 a box with free shipping. The box features $200 worth of products the editors have curated after testing and finding them to be the best in their class. Although this subscription is geared towards men, women love it for themselves as well. This quarter's box is about shaking off the winter weather.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes.)
Inside the GQ Best Stuff Spring 2022 Box
PX Landen Canvas Backpack - Retail Value $85
The PX Landen Canvas Backpack is a canvas pack made with vegan leather details. It has a padded laptop sleeve and zippered pocket inside. Outside there are pockets on each side and a roomy, leather pouch on the front. The back is covered in padded air mesh, as are the insides of the straps. The dimensions are 18 inches tall, 12-1/2 inches wide, and more than 5 inches deep. A big plus for me is that there is no branding. There is a tag on the inside and that's it. This would be perfect for a carry-on for a flight, a trip to the café, or a workout bag, if you want to out-class all those sweaty dudes at the gym. The website generously calls it "the adventuring backpack." You could probably get away with using it as a weekend bag, if you pack sparingly. I have absolutely no complaints about the backpack itself. It is mature, cool, and – as far as backpacks go – gentlemanly.
While searching for the brand's website, I found the backpack for many different, lesser amounts. Here it is on sale at Macy's for $59.50. If you are in the market to buy several, you can buy them wholesale via Handshake.
Denik Custom Notebook - Suggested Value $20
I've been journaling for as long as I can remember. Although I am currently slacking in that department, I am always, always, always keeping a lookout for my next journal and love the idea of including on in a subscription box. However, if you are like me, you are particular about what you write your thoughts in; not only the look, but functionality of it.
This kind of notebook is called a "lay flat." It is 144 pages, measures 5-1/4 by 8-1/4, and was designed by GQ via Denik. I'm not crazy about the "clip art" design, but will say that the cover feels amazing. It's like smooth wax paper and has a nice grip. The lined pages are OK and have a little GQ Best Stuff Box logo in the bottom corner. I'd be happy to use this journal if not for on glaring problem: it doesn't lay flat. I would say it's just a name, but the site specifically says it lays flat on your desk. The photo at the top of the lay flats section shows a different kind of spine than the one GQ sent. This spine is glued and very rigid. It closes onto your hand. I used all my force to try to make it lay flat. Now it doesn't lay flat opened or closed. In my opinion, it's unusable. Sorry to ramble, but journals are one of the few things I am particular about and this one doesn't cut it.
One last complaint, I'm wondering how much they "teamed up" with Denik, considering anyone can design their own notebooks via their website. In fact, designing your own layflat is only $15. That's $5 cheaper than what GQ says this one is worth. If you'd rather buy one of their many ready-made designs, it will only run you $11.
Origins Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Treatment Lotion - Retail Value $38
When I saw "lotion" I was expecting a creamy consistency. However, this is a liquid. The website calls it "a mushroom-infused light, soothing, watery lotion that reduces the look of redness." The smell is lovely, although I cannot quite put my finger on it. It's almost like an aftershave, but more calming. This tonic uses a medley of mushrooms, including reishi, chaga, and coprinus. I don't know what any of those are, personally, but they combine for a refreshing treatment that leaves your skin hydrated, soothed, and smelling wonderful. They suggest patting it on clean skin in the AM and PM. It definitely freshens your morning and calms your night. Did I mention it smells nice?
Firsthand Clay Pomade - Retail Value $22
It's suited for all hair types and does well with matte finishes, volume, and providing separation. I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but I love the smell. Key ingredients include Kaolin clay, aloe vera juice, argan oil, and vitamin E. This is Firsthand's firmest product and, although I don't often style my hair, I find it to be just right for the days that I do.
SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter & Mafura Oil Shampoo - Retail Value $7
SheaMoisture Men Raw Shea Butter and Mafura Oil Moisturizing Shampoo is deep cleansing shampoo, sulfate-free hydrating shampoo, and gentle enough for daily use. It's formulated with no parabens, no mineral oil, and no sulfates. SheaMoisture is black-owned and/or founded (it doesn't say which) and is dedicated the legacy of Sofi Tucker, a pioneering mother of four and an entrepreneur, who sold Shea Butter, African Black Soap, and homemade beauty preparations in Sierra Leone in 1912. That's from the website and I think it's pretty interesting. I used this a few times and enjoyed it, but didn't find it out of the ordinary. A solid choice if you want a moisturizing shampoo.
Note: The website says out of stock. Here it is at Target.com.
Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch Duo - Retail Value $14
Luckily, my acne days are mostly behind me, but that obviously doesn't mean I don't get the occasional pain-in-the-face blemish that I want to get rid of ASAP. Hero Cosmetics specializes in localized pimple remediation in the form of different formulated patches. This "duo" box contains 6 original patches for the night time and 6 invisible patches for the day. The box says the patches absorbs pimple gunk, shields skin for faster recovery, and will have results in 6-8 hours. "Cool beans," says teenager me.
Note: Hero Cosmetics' website doesn't seem to sell the "duo" box anymore. Interestingly, they sell a multi-pack here for $13. You get considerably more product for a dollar less. If you have your heart set on it, here is the "duo" box at ULTA for only $7, although shipping will bump it up to about $13 anyway.
La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP+ Face and Body Wash - Retail Value $15
This face and body wash from La Roche-Posay is formulated for dry to extra-dry skin. I could have used this over the winter. I used this as face wash and have to say I'm a big fan. My face feels super clean, smooth, and soft. I think you get a lot for the price. I like the pump, too. La Roche-Posay says this wash is accepted by the National Eczema Association and suitable for babies as young as 2 weeks. I have a feeling my wife will enjoy this and may be something we look for in the future.
Yeouth Anti-Aging Super Serum - Retail Value $31.99
Developed by a cosmetic chemist, this anti-aging super serum hydrates, brightens, and nourishes your skin and helps to protect skin from photoaging (My first time hearing that term). It is a cream and goes on like your typical bottle moisturizer without any oily remnants whatsoever. I like that its fragrance is not overly powerful. The directions suggest using it as part of a full-on Yeouth regimen, of which I have none. I just used this after my shower and – as a low-maintenance dude – felt that was good enough.
I get a lot of anti-aging, rejuvenation, anti-wrinkle stuff and I never know what do say about it. It seems like something I should use for a long time before I can notice how it works, but I only have a few days before my review is due. That is not to say that it doesn't work, it's just that the results aren't immediate or noticeable for me to mention. Plus, I don't routinely use products like this, so I have not experience in the matter. Having said all that, I did like this serum. When I do use it, I mentally feel better about myself. I was very impressed by how my face and hands felt great without feeling oily – what I do feel is great.
Despite a couple of OK items, I really enjoyed this quarter's GQ Best Stuff Box. Subscribers will appreciate the full-sized items. It feels like we're getting a product rather than paying for samples. I also like getting everything at once. It makes sense that GQ often sends vouchers for their main items so you can choose your size or color, but this is the second quarter in a row we've received everything on our doorstep at one time and I like it. I immediately liked the canvas backpack. It's mature, useful, and I just can't tell you how much I love nice, un-branded stuff. I was really impressed with the mega-mushroom treatment, pomade, and the face wash. The shampoo was nice and will get used, but was pretty ordinary. The pimple patches and anti-aging serum are great and useful, but for someone else. And the journal fell flat for me, because it didn't. Overall, I really liked this box. However, I did find some of GQ's pricing to be a little off. In my simple searching I noticed several of the items could be found cheaper elsewhere. In the case of the backpack it was on sale for nearly half off. The mighty patches seemed strangely priced, since you could get more than twice the amount for less money on the official site. And the notebook's price seemed just plain made up, since it cost less to have one made yourself. GQ isn't to blame for another site's sale, discontinued items, or whatnot, but it's always a little bit of a bummer to find something you bought is cheaper somewhere else. Despite some misgivings, this is actually one of my favorite efforts from GQ Best Stuff Box. I think it's the full-size products and the fact that I'm a sucker for bags, brand-less items, and things that smell good.
And the tiniest of notes: this is my 100th review. Thanks to MSA, the editors, and, of course, you.
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Let's Talk About Value
By my calculations, this box clocks in at around $231. That's more than four times the subscription's cost and pretty typical for GQ Best Stuff Box. Even with some of the items to be found for less some places, you are still receiving an incredible value.
For $50 for this box, here's approximately what you're paying for each item:
- Backpack ($85): $18.45
- Notebook ($20): $4.34
- Lotion ($38): $8.25
- Pomade ($22): $2.88
- Shampoo ($7): $1.52
- Patches ($14): $3.04
- Face/Body Wash ($15): $3.25
- Anti-aging Serum ($30): $6.51
To Wrap Up
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Yes. As of this post, the box is still available.
Would you grab the "Spring 2022" GQ Best Stuff Box for a guy in your life... or yourself?