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Review: Cairn

Monthly boxes of curated goodies seem to be everywhere, these days. Cairn has created one perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.

What is Cairn? They describe it as “your monthly box of outdoor discovery.” It’s a monthly subscription service. Each month, you receive a box of curated products. It might include a hammock or headlamp, hiking socks, snacks, skin care or emergency products. It’s a great way to discover some interesting products that you might not see in your local store (yet).

My Cairn Experience

Opening a Cairn box felt a little like Christmas. You don’t know what’s going to be inside! I was looking forward to checking it out.

Cairn Box

Inside the Box

Here’s a look inside my first monthly package:

Cairn Goodies

What was in my Cairn box?

  • PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter — I had never seen this before in stores, and an intriguing product. Pros: lightweight and packable. Cons: low fat and low calorie. When I’m backpacking, I need food with the highest number of calories per ounce possible.
  • luminAID — this solar powered, inflatable light was pretty groovy. It gives off the perfect amount of light for inside the tent at night, and recharges in the sunlight. I probably wouldn’t take it backpacking, mainly because I’m trying to cut my base weight, but for car camping, it’s a no-brainer.
  • Straw Propeller PB&J Oatmeal — Oatmeal is one my go-to breakfast meals whether I’m backpacking or at home. Making oatmeal interesting takes a little work… unless you get this. Another cool food item I hadn’t seen in stores, but with some interesting additions.
  • Light My Fire Spork & Case — To eat the oatmeal, my Cairn box also included great fork-knife-spoon combo from Sweden. I actually own a couple of these, but didn’t have the case. Not sure I’d take the case on a long backpack, but my wife loved the idea.
  • Better Soap — a really nice, all-natural soap in a convenient squeeze bottle.

Many of these products I had never seen before, but I’ll find a use for all of them. And that’s the beauty of Cairn — an assortment of interesting products that outdoor-lovers would enjoy but might not otherwise have known about. The products included change every month, and Cairn has a list of what they’ve sent in each package to give you an idea of the kinds of things you might expect to get.

How Cairn Works

Cairn uses a monthly subscription model. The current rate is $25 for a monthly subscription which you can cancel at any time. I like the “no commitment” part of that. You can get discounts for purchasing longer subscriptions. Once you’re a subscriber, you earn points for your reviews of the products, which (as you accumulate them) can be redeemed for a free Cairn box.

The Bottom Line

These subscriptions would make a great gift for someone (hint-hint), and you can tailor the length to suit your budget. If you’re looking for a way to sample a lot of different products, it’s a great option. And anything that you don’t need or want? You can pass it on to a friend!

You can check them out at

Disclosure: Cairn sent me a box so I could check out their service, but didn’t influence my editorial content in any way. 


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