Cairn Box Review: Outdoor Gear for Hiking, Camping, and Adventure Enthusiasts

cairn box

Cairn is a subscription box that provides outdoor products and inspiration. Each box includes up to six products spanning the apparel, gear, food and energy, skin care, and emergency categories. Subscribers can expect to save at least forty percent compared to retail value. Boxes ship within one to two weeks after your subscription starts, arriving mid-month.


How It Works

These outdoor subscription boxes cater to people who love the outdoors and have an adventurous side. From paddleboarders to hikers and camping enthusiasts, subscribers will receive products that support an active lifestyle. Examples of box items include hydration and cookware equipment, warm outdoors apparel, emergency first-aid kits and navigation tools, plus snacks and skincare products. 

It’s simple to get started with the service since their homepage includes a “Get Started” button. Click it to visit their collections page, which summarizes three types of subscriptions.

They include:

  • Monthly
  • Semi-annual
  • Annual

Simply pick the option that best suits your (or your gift recipient’s) needs.

Once you find the subscription you want, click “Subscribe” or “Give as a gift.” Or, scroll down for another option: the Obsidian box. This high-end option is a quarterly box with a larger selection of premium outdoor products. It contains over $300 worth of items. You can subscribe for yourself or a gift recipient by clicking the corresponding button.

Then, it’s as simple as creating your account and entering your billing information. Within two weeks, your first Cairn box will arrive (up to three weeks for international subscribers). 

What Makes Cairn Unique?

The company collaborates with brand partners that have the same interests as their adventurous subscribers. Whether you want to try something new or love every item you own from a specific brand, their partnerships make it easy to ensure quality products in your box.

Most brands are outdoors-specific companies that address the unique needs of hikers, campers, bikers, and other adventurers. From no-nonsense supplies to luxury products that make outdoor living more comfortable and cleaner, you’ll find helpful tools, flavorful snacks, and inspirational products for every outdoor exploration purpose.

Plus, all subscribers automatically qualify for Adventure Upgrades; a monthly giveaway that adds to your subscription package. Adventure Upgrades are free products awarded to randomly selected subscribers. Whether you choose the Original or Obsidian packages, you’ll receive high-quality boxes with a chance at winning big-ticket items like inflatable SUPs, a Kuhl Jetstream Jacket, Shwood Sunglasses, and more.

What We Like

  • The wide variety of products
  • Monthly giveaways
  • Quality brand partnerships
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    3 subscription options
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    Free shipping within the USA

What Could Be Better

  • Needs personalized options
  • Needs diet options for allergies

Pricing & What's Included

Overall, the subscription service offers two package options. Choose either the Original box (billed monthly, semi-annually, or annually) or the Obsidian box (a quarterly-only option).

Original Box

Each Original Cairn box holds up to six curated outdoor products. All items are full-size and relevant to an active and healthy lifestyle. Pricing starts at $29.95 for a monthly subscription, while semi-annual renewals offer a discount to $28.25 per month. Yearly subscriptions equal a monthly cost of $27.45, the best value overall.

Monthly boxes are valued at up to $50, featuring name-brand products from a variety of both well-known and up-and-coming outdoors companies such as:

  • Camelback
  • Clif Bar
  • EcoVessel
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  • Hydro Flask
  • Kiss My Face
  • Marmot
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    Outdoor Element
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    Trail Runner Magazine
  • UrbanGear
  • Vapur
  • Yumbutter


Obsidian boxes run $249.95 quarterly, with no other subscription term available. Obsidian subscriptions combine five to 10 premium outdoor products in one package. Limited quantities are available, meaning Obsidian subscribers receive exclusive products you won’t find anywhere else.

Boxes are worth $300 or more retail, and shipping is always free within the United States. Subscribers also earn Cairn Points toward future purchases. The range of items in Obsidian boxes covers the same categories as the Original box. For example, past Obsidian boxes included athletic sandals, a soft-sided cooler, button-down shirt, skincare products, and more.

Cairn Reviews

Currently, Cairn has a 4.8-star rating via Google. Though the company is not yet rated via the Better Business Bureau, Consumer Affairs, or similar organizations, its customers have spoken through online reviews.

Customers highlight the product quality and knowledgeable customer service staff. While the company is a self-described hub for outdoors enthusiasts, their knowledge and passion seem to shine through their service.

Accessible customer service and continuous attentiveness are also top perks with Cairn. Though the company lost one star due to a shipping company losing a customer’s package, it appears that overall, they’re well-regarded.

Check out the video above that includes a cool (and transparent) review of the July 2018 box from The Otter Outdoorsman. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most commonly asked questions about this outdoor box subscription service.

How Can I Cancel My Subscription?

If you need to cancel your recurring subscription, it only takes a quick phone call to Cairn customer service. Though you can cancel service any time, you won’t receive a refund for shipments you’ve already paid for previously.

For example, if you prepay for six months, you can cancel anytime within that six-month period without incurring additional charges. However, you cannot receive a refund for the remainder of the subscription, and boxes will continue to ship until the term runs out.

How Can I Contact Customer Service?

You can reach the company’s customer service via email, mail, or phone:

When Will It Ship?

If you reside in the United States, your order will ship within one to two weeks of subscribing. For international customers, orders should ship within three weeks. Once you receive your first shipment, subsequent shipments will arrive mid-month.

For second and subsequent deliveries, you will receive tracking information three to four days before your order arrives.

Is the Cairn Subscription Box Worth It?

Since each Original box includes products worth at least $50, you’re effectively receiving a 40 percent discount on every order. Value increases with the Obsidian box, which costs more but offers premium products at a value of $300 or more.

Company History

Two friends dreamed up the Cairn concept while they attended classes together at the University of Pennsylvania. Now, the company resides in Bend, Oregon, where the guys glean inspiration from their everyday experiences in the great outdoors.

Rob Little and Jared Peterson are co-founders and creative partners aiming to “disrupt” the way outdoor brands and consumers connect. Through studying creative retail strategies across multiple industries, the two came up with the innovative concept of outdoor product subscription boxes.

Rob previously worked for Lockheed Martin, worked with the Peace Corps in Latin America, and enjoys backpacking, skiing, biking, and paddle boarding. Jared worked for Apple for ten years, helping launch the Apple Watch, and he runs, golfs, camps, skis, and hikes in his spare time.

Both founders are naturally-minded and keep in tune with the environment, and many of the products reflect this eco-friendly angle. For example, many food items are sustainable and plant-based, while skincare products are natural and even organic.

Both Rob and Jared, along with their team of employees, turn to the wilderness to fuel their passions and get the creative juices flowing. To learn more about the company’s inspiration, including their commitment to enjoying the great outdoors of Bend, Oregon, see the video below. 

Interested in this crate?Learn more & get your box today!

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