The GQ Best Stuff Box is a quarterly men's subscription from GQ magazine that's $59 per quarter (or $216 per year with an annual subscription) and ships for free. 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 gearing up for the Spring.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes.)
This quarter's box continues the new design and updated index sheet. Each item includes a code for a discount at each manufacturer. Aside from the look of the box, my real first impression is always the weight of the box. That often lets me know if it's full of items or if there will be vouchers to send away for the big items.
Inside the GQ Best Stuff Fall 2023 Box
Sudio S3 Speaker - Retail Value $79
The feature item in this quarter's box is a portable speaker from Sudio meant to bring tunes wherever you go. It measures 3 by 3-1/2 inches and is water resistant. It claims 7 hours of play time and has a board cast function, which means you can connect multiple S3 speakers together. The silicone loop is perfect for attaching it to a backpack, kayak, or shower head. It's also quite light. Of course, the main question is "How does it sound?" It's pretty decent. Considering it's meant to travel with you – even wet places – the sound is good for its size and portability. However, this isn't a speaker I would use around the house.
Hawthorne Work Cologne - Retail Value $50
I don't wear cologne often, but I almost always like the fragrances GQ send to subscribers. This one from Hawthorne is another winner in my book. The website says "this modern evergreen scent opens crisp and refreshing notes with base notes of sophisticated Australian sandalwood." Key ingredients include cucumber and green apple, oceanic wind accord, oakmoss, and the aforementioned sandalwood. I know this is a personal observation, but it reminded me of something my father would wear. Which is to say I liked it. I also like when GQ includes full-size items.
Wesn The MT - Retail Value $38
I have collected a lot of multi-tools over my years with MSA. They often try to jam as many useful thingamajigs on a carabiner as possible. The MT from WESN goes in the opposite direction. The item is made of "premium steel" and very stout, rigid, and has a little weight to it. The make of the tool is unquestionable, but its versatility is. According to the packaging, this tool – "created for the modern pioneer" – includes a flathead screwdriver, the obligatory bottle opener, and a pry bar/scraper ... that's it. If you're doing a cost analyst, that's around $13 per tool. I have to say it's a very solid, mature, gentlemanly bottle opener. I like it and, honestly, I'm going to use it. I think the pry bar will also help with opening cans. However, in my opinion, marketing it as a multi-tool for the modern man is a little grandiose.
If that sounded familiar, it's because I wrote about it six months ago. This year has seen GQ repeat several things from two years ago, but six months is way too soon to see the same item. Especially one I found underwhelming. I included a photo of where I keep my first one.
Aveda Invati Advanced Thickening Foam - Retail Value $14
This travel size bottle of thickening foam from Aveda instantly plumps hair for thicker, fuller, and more voluminous hair that lasts all day. It fights frizz, protects from blow drying, and helps reinforce fragile, thinning hair. The smell is Aveda’s own "pure-fume" aroma with certified organic lavender, rosemary, geranium, vanilla, and other pure flower and plant essences. Unfortunately for this review, my hair is buzzed short. So I asked my wife to try it out and she said she liked it; particularly the smell.
Aveda Rosemary Mint Purifying Shampoo - Retail Value $11
Also from Aveda, this rosemary mint shampoo will invigorate even the sleepiest of heads. The scent, which Aveda calls "iconic," consists of rosemary, peppermint, and spearmint and is proven to energize, awaken the senses, and improve focus. This product left what hair I have feeling soft and smooth. And the smell was energizing indeed.
First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser - Retail Value $12
A fragrance-free, gentle cleanser from First Aid Beauty that removes makeup, dirt, and grime, leaving skin soft and supple. This non-stripping, pH-balanced formula helps maintain skin’s natural acidity and reduce flare-ups. I like when GQ includes face cleansers, because it always gets used in our house. This one was as advertised. I felt great after using it.
Bag Balm Skin Moisturizer Mini Tin - Retail Value $6.89
Proudly made in Vermont, this versatile balm from Bag Balm soothes skin from head to toe. The makers suggest using it on things like: dry or chafed skin, cracked hands, split heels, sunburns, and tattoo care. The website makes mention that it's safe to use on people and animals. So, if you recently tattooed your dog, this will help. It's a soft balm, like Vaseline. While there are no added fragrances, it has a calming, medicinal scent that is soothing to me. I really enjoy the small tin it comes in, but it makes it awkward to carry with you. This is something you could keep in a toiletry bag or on a night stand.
Included in the box were two discount offers. One from Factor_, which is a meal subscription. The offer is $200 off a qualifying subscription purchase. That sounds like a lot. I'm not sure what qualifies, but for reference an 8 meals-a-week subscription is $104.
The other offer is 50% off high-performance underwear from All Citizens. There are several choices to pick from, included one with several fun designs. I added a few to my cart to see if I could get the discount on a couple pairs and I could. To be honest, I may actually buy a few. They usually cost $16. So, for $8, I think it's worth checking out. This may be the first coupon I've used from this sub.
Breda Virgil Watch - Retail Value $150
I'm fairly certain this was included by accident. This watch is also from the Spring Box of this year, but it was not featured on this quarter's booklet that lists the items. If you're interested, you can read my review of the Spring 2023 box (or the Fall 2020 box, when it was first featured.) Since this is a mistake, I will not be including it in the overall value. Even if it were included on purpose, throwing in a repeat item is no way to boost the box's value.
A very strange, but overall good effort from GQ Best Stuff Box. This box by itself is decent. The speaker is a nice item, even for long-time subscribers. The cologne was full size and smelled great. The "multi-tool" is a solid bottle opener. And I liked all of the personal care products. If this is your first box, I think you'd be pretty happy.
Now this is where things fall apart. While the products were nice, they were all mini or travel size. I'd like to see some more full-sized items. Then, for people subscribed since the beginning of this year, there were two repeat items. The "multi-tool" was meant to be included. The watch – which is valued at$150 – was seemingly not to be included in this box. I'm not sure which is worse. 2023 has been the year of repeating items for GQ Best Stuff Box. A long-time subscriber would find that frustrating. I'd like to see GQ run a tighter ship.
Keep track of your subscriptions by adding this box to your subscription list or wishlist.
Let's Talk About Value
By my calculations, this box clocks in at around $211. That's about four times the cost for GQ Best Stuff Box. That does not include the gift cards nor the watch included by accident. That's a solid value for only $59, but if you look at the last few boxes, the value is slowly dwindling.
For $59 for this box, here's approximately what you're paying for each item:
- Speaker ($79): $22.12
- Cologne ($50): $14
- Bottle Opener ($38): $10.64
- Thickening Foam ($14): $3.92
- Shampoo ($11): $3.08
- Face Cleanser ($12): $3.36
- Balm Tin ($6.89): $1.93
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 "Fall 2023" GQ Best Stuff Box for a guy in your life... or yourself?