Cairn is a subscription box company that specializes in high-quality equipment for outdoor activities. Every month, it creates new boxes filled with various useful items, ranging from apparel and gear to skin care, emergency kits, and food. If you are an outdoor enthusiast in search of good equipment that can help you up your game, check out this comprehensive Cairn review for more details about this company’s offer.

How Cairn Works

Cairn is a subscription-only service. In order to receive the products in its offer, you need to sign up and opt for one of its subscriptions. You can choose between the Original boxes delivered monthly and the more luxurious Obsidian boxes delivered quarterly.

The two types of boxes completely differ in terms of content, with the Obsidian kind containing larger and more expensive items. All Cairn boxes are mystery boxes and you do not know in advance which items you are going to get, which is a part of their charm, as long as you like surprises.

Cairn how work

The monthly subscription boxes are shipped during the middle of the month while the quarterly subscription boxes are shipped the first week of March, June, September, and December. Your subscription is renewed automatically. You can cancel your subscription whenever you wish, just make sure you do so before the 1st of your billing month. If you are not happy with your box, you can return it and get a refund, as long as all the items are in the original condition.

The Cairn website features an extensive FAQ section where you can find answers to the most common questions about subscription, billing, shipment, gifting, and other, general matters. If you require assistance from the Cairn staff, you can get in touch with them via email, phone or chat.

What Makes Cairn Different

By subscribing to Cairn, you get the chance to regularly receive excellent outdoor gear for a fraction of the retail price. Every month, the content of the boxes is different and the kind folks behind Cairn make sure all customers get the gear that best suits their outdoor lifestyle. The items in your boxes are selected based on the activity preferences you state when signing up.

Cairn Different

You can get your hands on some free Cairn merchandise by collecting points. You get points when you complete your demographic profile (25 points), leave Original box product feedback (25 points), leave Obsidian product feedback (75 points), and every time you refer a friend (100 points for every successful referral). You can exchange your points for a Cairn hat (250 points), a Cairn T-shirt (250 points), a free month of Original box subscription (250 points), 1-month Original box gift subscription (250 points), 3-month Original box gift subscription (750 points), 6-month Original box gift subscription (1500 points), a free Obsidian box (2000 points), and an Obsidian gift box.

In an effort to keep its customers happy, Cairn has also introduced Adventure Upgrades. Every month, a few lucky subscribers get amazing gifts, such as tents, sleeping bags, boots, solar kits, snowboards, skis, and more.

What You Get

As we have said before in this Cairn review, you can choose between the Original and Obsidian boxes. The Original boxes contain 3-6 outdoor products worth up to $50 in retail value and they are delivered monthly. The Obsidian boxes contain 5-10 premium outdoor products that are worth over $300 and they are delivered quarterly. The Obsidian boxes come in limited quantities.

The content of the boxes is always amazing but never disclosed upfront. You can get various kinds of gear, clothes, food, medical and emergency supplies, and skin care products. The items in the Original and Obsidian boxes never overlap.

Apart from the mystery boxes, you can also buy Cairn apparel. The items at your disposal include T-shirts, tank tops, trucker hats, low-profile hats, and patches.

Cairn What You Get

Gift Options

Everything you can get for yourself, you can also get for your adventure-loving, thrill-seeking friends. You can give them gift boxes and gift subscriptions. You get to choose between the Original and Obsidian gift boxes.

Cairn Gift

With the Original gift boxes, you can choose between the 1-month, 2-month, 3-month, 4-month, 5-month, 6-month, and 12-month gift subscriptions. The prices range from $29.95 to $359.40. If you want to buy someone the Obsidian gift box, you can spring for 1, 2, 3 or 4 quarters. The Obsidian gift subscription prices range from $199 to $796.

If you are looking for more affordable but still cool and useful gifts, you can purchase Cairn apparel for your outdoorsy friends. As we have mentioned before in this Cairn review, you can get a gift for someone you care about without spending any money on it, by collecting points and redeeming them for gifts.


If you opt for the Original boxes, you can save money by opting for a longer subscription. You can choose from 3 options, including the 1-month, 6-month, and 12-month subscriptions. The 1-month subscription costs $29.95, the 6-month subscription is $165.50 ($28.25 per month), and the 12-month subscription costs $329.40 ($27.45 per month). With the Obsidian boxes, only the quarterly subscription is available and it costs $199.

As far as the prices of Cairn apparel are concerned, most of the items cost the same. All T-shirts, tank tops, and hats cost $20 each. Cairn patches cost $7.50 per 3-patch pack.

Cairn pricing
  • Price: $29.95
  • Shipping cost: free in US
  • Ships from: United States
  • Ships to: United States


Cairn delivers all across the US and also offers international shipping. The monthly boxes are shipped via USPS while the Obsidian boxes are shipped via FedEx, UPS or USPS, depending on the recipient’s location. A tracking email is sent once the box is dispatched, so you can track your shipment.

Shipping is free on all subscriptions within the US. If you are ordering Cairn apparel, keep in mind that shipping is only free on orders over $25. For orders worth less than $25, you are required to pay a $4.95 shipping fee. If you want to have your merchandise delivered in 2 days, you can opt for expedited shipping, which also comes with an additional charge.

  • High-quality outdoor products
  • Different products every month
  • Receive items in accordance with your activity preferences
  • Excellent rewards program
  • Free shipping on all subscriptions and orders over $25
  • Ships all across the US and internationally


  • Possible disappointments due to the unknown content of the boxes

Bottom Line

Cairn can be described as a sort of Santa for outdoorsy people. Just instead of having your parents pick out and buy the gifts, you are the one who does the paying and Cairn picks the items based on your preferences and delivers them to your doorstep. This is why we believe that Cairn is a good choice only for people who like surprises. At the end of this Cairn review, we have to say that the items in the boxes are always top-notch equipment and useful nearly 100% of the time, so there is a great chance you will love what you get. On top of that, you can collect points and save cash on your boxes and Cairn apparel. If you are lucky, you may even get an awesome gift from Cairn thanks to its Adventure Upgrades give-away. All in all, while it may not be the perfect fit for everyone, it can be a great choice for many customers with an active lifestyle and a sense of adventure that extends into all areas of life, including shopping for outdoor gear.

Cairn Rating

Our ratings are the result of an objective and independent evaluation of Cairn, generating the final rating that reflects the overall quality of the product. Ratings may change as the service changes.

Gift Options
Customer Care
Value For Money
Overall Experience
Final Rating9.8/10

User Reviews (6)

Cairn customer rating based on 6 user reviews.

The Cairn reviews listed below reflect the opinions and experiences of real users and are in no way influenced by the company reviewed here. Before publishing each review, our team checks whether it was submitted by an actual user in an effort to prevent false or spammy reviews.

  1. Fyi | May 23, 2023

    These subscription boxes no longer exist.

  2. Oliver Mundy | January 27, 2018

    Switched from Original to Obsidian out of curiosity and will definitely stick with the subscription. I hate that you have to wait for 3 months to get a box, but it’s worth the wait.

  3. Ray Maynard | November 12, 2017

    With the originals, I often get stuff I already have, but obsidian seems too pricy, not sure if it’s worth it. Any experiences?

  4. Ed Muller | October 22, 2017

    My girl got me a Cairn subscription this Christmas, hands down, the best gift I got in years. Can’t wait for our next camping trip 

  5. Pete Lewis | May 22, 2017

    I have received 3 boxes so far, 2 were great, but the last one, not so much. Waiting for the 4th to decide whether to cancel.

  6. Phillip Rowe | April 12, 2017

    The merchandise was not at all what I expected, the whole mystery-box concept is ridiculous.

  7. Sam Long | February 2, 2017

    Love the stuff! I get excited like a schoolgirl every time my box arrives 😀

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Cairn Review
Updated : 2024-05-29
Rating : 9.8/10
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