First Impressions is a series that introduces and reviews new brands to My Subscription Addiction, drawing from readers’ requests for an insider’s first look. Interested in seeing more reviews from this brand, or have another box in mind that you’d like to see reviewed? Let us know in the comments.
Some people celebrate the new year on January 1st - to me, the new year starts when the snow finally melts, the lilacs bloom, and it's finally comfortable to workout outdoors again (without, you know, the accompaniment of a parka, wool socks, a hat, and a million other layers). That time has finally arrived where I live and I feel like a new person. It's just more fun to get out and get moving this time of year. The weather is gorgeous, movement feels good, and the variety of activities available expands. Plus, warm weather workout gear is just cuter. And if you're anything like me, cute gear is a total motivator when it comes to staying consistent with my routine. Currently, I have a goal to move every day, which means I go through my fitness clothing faster than any other category in my closet - meaning I'm always adding to my collection.
This is where Barbella Box comes in. I'd been looking for a fitness subscription box that combined my love for exercise with cute fitness gear and accessories and this box seemed to fit the bill. While Barbella Box isn't completely new to MSA – Ragan last reviewed it in 2018 – I thought it would be fun to check it out.
My Subscription Addiction received this box at no cost in exchange for an honest review. (Check out our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes).
Barbella Box Overview
Barbella Box is a monthly fitness subscription box that delivers premium fitness apparel, gear, and accessories right to your door. Every box is valued at over $100 and members are also given access to exclusive discounts, member deals, an online shop, and a community. Barbella is geared towards women who lift and/or do CrossFit-style workouts, however, I think it would be a fun box for just about anyone who enjoys fitness and movement. After all, one of the best parts of subscription boxes is the inspiration and surprise they bring – you may be inspired to try a new way of moving!
About Barbella Box
The Subscription Box: Barbella Box
The Cost: $54.99 billed monthly, discounts given for annual and quarterly subscriptions
The Products: Fitness apparel, gear, accessories, snacks, and supplements
Ships to: The U.S. for free, International for an additional shipping cost
What to Expect in a Barbella Box Delivery
Each month, Barbella Box sends out premium fitness apparel and gear along with fitness and lifestyle accessories. Past boxes have featured sports bras, protein bars, home gym accessories, and resistance bands. When signing up for a subscription, you'll enter your sizing for the following items:
- Shirt size (sizes XS-XXL)
- Waist size at the belly button (sizes XS 16"-24" through XL 40"48")
- Knee sleeve size (sizes XS 30-32cm through XL 38-40cm)
- Shorts/legging size (XS-XXL)
- Sports bra size (XS-XXL)
- Shoe size (5-13)
- Underwear size (XS-XL)
Let's Get Moving & See What's Inside!
For the purpose of this review, I received both the April and May boxes, which provided a nice glimpse at how the boxes could vary from month to month. Let's look at the May box first:
Barbella Box ships in the same teal green box each month. Right at the top we have the info card for this month...
The info card features the theme for the month – May's theme is "Electric Escape" – and on the flip side, you'll find a list of all the items included in the box, their approximate value, and a small blurb about the product. Also included is a card offering $15 to use towards CVG, one of the brands included within the box. Ready to see what's inside?
Barbella Box May 2022 Review
Constantly Varied Gear (CVG) Capri Leggings– $54.99 Retail Value
First out of the box are these vibrant leggings from Constantly Varied Gear (CVG), a brand that is new to me but seems like a favorite of Barbella Box and their community. The pattern is bright and while I usually opt for solid leggings, I like how abstract the design is – if you look closely you can see an astronaut in space but it's not super obvious. I'll be honest, I was a little nervous about these leggings. If you've ever tried on a printed legging only to have the design stretch and show the white fabric that the design is printed on, you've likely been scarred too. BUT, I'm happy to report these leggings are indeed squat-proof! The design stays in place, doesn't distort with stretch, and even hid panty lines. They're also nicely compressive while still being comfortable. These leggings feature two side pockets as well, so you can easily stash your keys or headphones at the gym.
If you're more of a full-length legging fan (I am), these leggings are also available in full length here. (You can find my sports bra here and trail shoes here)
Barbella Kettlebell Trinket Tray – $18.99 Retail Value
This trinket tray, manufactured by Barbella, is made from heavyweight ceramic and roughly the size of my hand (just a little smaller). The pattern features a kettlebell and it's the perfect size for jewelry, keys, hair ties, or other small items. I could see this fitting right in in someone's home gym, in their entryway, or on a bedside table.
Barbella Chalk Bag – $15.95 Retail Value
When I pulled this chalk bag from inside the box, I immediately thought, "awesome, my climbing bag was looking a little ragged." But then I realized this bag and the accompanying chalk bag are meant for lifting, not rock climbing! Either way, this cute, vintage-inspired chalk bag would work the same for the climbing gym and I'm happy to have it. I also appreciate that they suggest filling it with snacks if you don't use chalk. Humans after my own heart! Swipe to see my old bag for comparison.
Sunrise Sports Chalk Ball – $8.99 Retail Value
This chalk ball fits inside the chalk bag to use for lifting, rock climbing, gymnastics, bouldering, and more. It enhances grip while keeping your hands dry, so if you've ever suffered from sweaty palms at the gym, this might help.
Evriholder Grocery & Meal Planner – $4.99 Retail Value
I usually write my grocery lists on scraps of paper found around the house. It works fine, but there's no organization to it. i like that this pad of paper includes one side for planning out meals and one side to write your grocery list. It's perforated in the center so you can keep the meal plan on your fridge while you shop. The pad itself features magnets on the back so you can stick it to your fridge – handy!
Vitamin Energy Functional Shot – $2.50 Retail Value
This energy shot is made in the U.S. and features 250mg of caffeine along with vitamins like B6, B12, and potassium. The design looks a lot like those 5-Hour Energy shots often sold at convenience stores, but this company is different. I know a lot of people love shots like this, but they're just not for me, so I'll be passing this along to a coworker or gym buddy.
May Box – Value
The May Barbella Box really delivered. The value rang in at $106.91, well over the $54.99 box price. The leggings were great quality and were both compressive and squat-proof, a quality that's hard to find in leggings that are even pricier than the ones from CVG. The trinket tray was cute and will be a nice gift for a gym buddy along with the energy shot, a product I know a lot of people enjoy. The chalk bag and ball are perfect for the climbing gym and I'll be using it for my next lifting workout too. And the grocery and meal planner is super handy – it's currently on my fridge waiting for next week's meals and list to be added.
Ok, so that was May, ready to see what we got in the April box?
April's box theme was "Spring Reset" – perfect for a month when so many of us take out fitness routines outdoors and everything feels fresh again. Along with the card that details the theme and the items included in the box, there was also a coupon for a meal service called Trifecta.
Barbell Apparel Ultralight Jogger – $68.00 Retail Value
Ok, I really like these joggers! Purple isn't a color that I wear very frequently, but I actually really like this particular shade (especially with a gray sweatshirt). These joggers are super lightweight and a bit stretchy, making them perfect for so many activities. My first thought was "these would be perfect for hiking," because of how comfortable and light they are. The pockets are nice and deep and the waistband hits at the perfect spot. I'm a hard person to please when it comes to fitness clothing – or any clothing for that matter – but these won my approval. Love them!
Exo Sleeve Light Knee Sleeves – $29.00 Retail Value
I have what I like to call "Rice Krispies knees" – meaning they snap, crackle, and pop when I do almost anything. Spin, running, squats, lunges, walking down stairs... basically any movement makes my knees complain, so I was very excited to receive a pair of knee sleeves, which provide support during activities like running, lifting, and even short hikes. The sizing was perfect and these are super comfortable – not too compressive but they stayed in place. They're also antimicrobial to prevent bacteria and smell (but they're washable too).
Empow[her] Beauty Foot Lotion – $24.00 Retail Value
I'm not familiar with this brand and couldn't find much about it online, so I'll be honest and say I'm a bit dubious about the listed retail value of this foot lotion. Still, the fragrance was fresh and it had a nice consistency, but I deal with eczema on my hands and feet and avoid synthetic fragrances because of that, so I'll be passing this along to a coworker or friend.
Barbella Reusable Travel Utensils With Case – $8.99 Retail Value
If you've read any of my Outdoor Discovery box reviews you'll know I love a travel utensil set, so this pink set delights me to no end. I like the color, the shape, and the feel of these in my hand, and this will be perfect to keep in my car in case of snacking emergencies.
Barebells Plant-Based Protein Bar – $2.50 Retail Value
I'm familiar with Barebells Protein Bars in the sense that I've seen them at Trader Joe's, but have never tried them – but I'm always game to try a new protein bar! This bar contains 15 grams of plant-based protein (soy, pea, and rice) and is certified vegan. The texture was almost like a candy bar but a bit denser, and the peanuts provided a nice crunch. The taste was chocolatey but not too sweet. My only complaint is that the flavor fell a bit flat at the finish. Still, I'd consider picking up a couple of these bars to keep handy.
April Box – Value
The April Barbella Box rang in at just over $130, which is a great value for a $54.99 box! I was impressed by the fit and feel of the joggers and know I'll get plenty of use out of them this season. The knee sleeves went right into my gym kit and I'll be using them for almost all my workouts from here on out, they're so useful! The lotion was nice even though it wasn't something I could use and will make a nice gift for someone, though I'm not sure about the listed price. The reusable utensils and case are always something I'm happy to have, and the protein bar was tasty. Overall, a great box!
What I Loved About Barbella Box
Barbella Box doesn't just send apparel and they don't just send accessories – I like that they're looking at what being active means and sending items that support that lifestyle holistically, from meal planning to workout support and gear. There seems to be a lot of variety between boxes, too, so it's a great way to inspire variety in your workouts! I also love seeing the variety of body types represented across Barbella's website, social media, and box inserts – this was something that drew me to the box in the first place. Active bodies, like all bodies, all look different - there's no one shape – so it's great to see a fitness box really showcasing that.
What Could Be Better
Even though Barbella Box does a good job of representation when it comes to body types, I'd love to see them do more and expand sizing beyond XXL. There are bigger bodies that move out there and it would be great to make it more accessible. My only complaint – if you can call it that – is that I felt a little skeptical about the foot lotion and the energy shot. Energy shots just aren't for me (give me a large coffee instead), and the price of the lotion felt inflated for a brand I couldn't find much info on online.
Is Barbella Box Worth It?
I really enjoyed these boxes from Barbella Box. I received some items I could really use, like the knee sleeves and the chalk bag, and the quality of the apparel really impressed me. I enjoyed receiving items that I can immediately use and that can help inspire my next workout (even though the chalk bag was meant more for lifting, I'm excited to go climbing now). This would be a fun box for anyone who likes to be active, enjoys new fitness gear, and especially, for someone who lifts or does CrossFit. I'm excited about my next workout!
Other Things You Should Know
Can I still get this box if I sign up today? You will likely receive the June box. From Barbella box: "Depending on whether your sign-up month is 30 or 31 days long, you have until 7pm ET on the 15th (28-30 day month) or 16th (31 day month) of the month to sign up for that month’s Barbella Box. If you purchase after the 15th or 16th, you will receive your Barbella Box the following month. If you have questions regarding the deadline, send us an email and we will verify!"
What's your favorite fitness box? Do you receive Barbella Box? Would you like to see this box reviewed more frequently? Let us know!
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