5 Best Outdoor Subscription Boxes

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5 Best Outdoor Subscription Boxes of 2021

Outdoor subscription boxes are a great way to discover new outdoor products each month. Depending on the box, you can choose from everything from snacks to gear, apparel, and activity-specific items. Plus, the variety of delivery options—from month-to-month to quarterly and annual—means you can choose the subscription that’s right for you. Here, we rounded up the best outdoor subscription boxes.

Best Overall: Cairn

Cairn

Cairn

Why We Chose It: We love Cairn’s outdoor subscription boxes because of the multiple subscription options, free shipping, and the ability to enter sizing and activity preferences as part of the registration process. 

What We Like

  • - Lets you share sizing and activity preferences as part of account setup
  • - Subscribers can choose from a monthly, annual, or a premium quarterly plan
  • - Shipping is free in the U.S.

What We Don’t Like

  • - Maximum total box value isn’t as high compared to other boxes

Cairn is a monthly and quarterly subscription box that caters to outdoor enthusiasts. Past products include granola and energy bars, Hydro Flask water bottles, solar lights, and apparel.

Monthly boxes range from just roughly $27 for customers who pay annually to about $30 for monthly renewal. Cairn also offers the Obsidian Collection, a quarterly, seasonally-themed box that costs about $250. Standard monthly boxes contain products valued up to roughly $50, while the Obsidian quarterly boxes are valued at $300 or more. Cairn also stands out because it offers free shipping in the United States. 

That said, some Cairn subscribers have reported that the contents of their monthly boxes are hit or miss—although this may be related to personal taste and whether the subscriber selected different activity preferences during setup. Customers can also earn rewards points for reviewing products and use them for discounts on items—including free boxes—in the Cairn online shop.

Best for Gear: Nomadik

Nomadik

Nomadik

Why We Chose It: Nomadik is our top choice for outdoor gear because it offers subscribers premium, full-size products and the ability to personalize their selections. 

What We Like

  • - Boxes are themed based on the season and the subscriber’s interests
  • - Each box is guaranteed to include at least $50 worth of premium products
  • - Products are always full-size and never include overstocks or closeouts

What We Don’t Like

  • - Charges additional shipping fees
  • - Some subscribers have complaints about customer support

As a gear-oriented outdoor subscription box, Nomadik provides subscribers with high-quality brands like HydraPak, RXBAR, United By Blue, and Parks Project. Boxes cost between about $30 for an annual subscription and $33 for month-to-month renewal. Each box is themed according to the season and contains at least $50 worth of full-size products. 

Previous Nomadik boxes have contained items like hammocks, headlamps, binoculars, camp mugs, and tools. Like Cairn, subscribers have the opportunity to share their preferred outdoor activities so boxes are more likely to reflect their specific interests.

And, customers get to choose from two themes for their first welcome box: the Hike Pack Box, which includes a packable backpack plus four other items, or the Hammock Box, which includes a hammock and straps in addition to the other items.

Best for Camping: The Camp Life

The Camp Life

The Camp Life

Why We Chose It: We chose The Camp Life as our best option because of its numerous subscription options, positive product reviews, and responsive customer support team. 

What We Like

  • - Boxes include coupons in addition to full-size products
  • - Low price point compared to other quarterly boxes
  • - Free shipping on all boxes

What We Don’t Like

  • - Only offers quarterly subscription boxes

The Camp Life offers quarterly subscription boxes with products designed for RVers and camping enthusiasts. Boxes range from roughly $41 to about $45 and include between six and eight full-size products, as well as coupons, and downloadable camping checklists and guides. Like other subscription boxes on our list, each box is themed and subscribers enter their size preferences during the registration process. 

Past Camp Life box themes range from Camp Kitchen and I’d Rather Be Camping to RV Essentials, and brands include Gourmet Village, Wilcor Outdoors, and Caramel Caravan Co. In addition to providing a large selection of high-quality products that subscribers love and actually use, reviews indicate that customer support is extremely helpful.

Best for Kids: Little Hiker

Little Hiker

 Little Hiker

Why We Chose It: Little Hiker not only provides a fun selection of snacks and activities for children, it also includes a special surprise for parents. 

What We Like

  • - Products are valued at over $30 and include everything from snacks to activities
  • - Subscriptions come with a free Hike It Baby membership
  • - Each box also includes an item for adults

What We Don’t Like

  • - No reviews online

Unlike other options on our list, Little Hiker’s subscription box is specifically tailored to kids and families that hike and spend time together outside.

Subscriptions are available with month-to-month, quarterly, or annual renewal and prices range from roughly $20 per month to about $25 per month. Each monthly box contains more than $30 worth of products and activities, including two or more food items, stickers and activities, an item that helps kids enjoy their time outdoors, and an item for parents—like apparel or other gear. 

Subscriptions also come with a free membership for Hike It Baby, a non-profit organization that helps people find local, family-friendly hikes, provides checklists and tip lists, and shares additional resources on its blog. If you’re not ready to commit to a subscription, you can also choose from items in the Little Hiker shop, including a trail journal and a jumbo magnifying glass. Plus, Little Hiker makes it easy for customers to request items they’d like to see in the online shop.

Best for Runners: The RunnerBox

The RunnerBox

 The RunnerBox

Why We Chose It: The RunnerBox’s wide selection of high-quality nutrition and sport accessories—in combination with excellent customer reviews—makes it our favorite outdoor subscription box for runners.

What We Like

  • - Each box contains 10 to 12 items 
  • - Excellent online reviews focus on the quality and variety of products
  • - Also offers The RiderBox for cyclists and custom boxes

What We Don’t Like

  • - Shipping is an additional $3 per box
  • - Does not ship outside the U.S.

The RunnerBox is a top-rated subscription box that caters to runners and also offers a box for cyclists—The RiderBox.

Products include a curated selection of seasonal items with a mix of sport-specific accessories and nutrition items like chews and hydration. The RunnerBox partners with a number of high-quality brands like Nuun, Clif, Lesser Evil, and Bracoo, and subscribers share that they love the ability to discover new products they would not otherwise have tried.

Boxes are shipped every two months and contain between 10 and 12 physical offices, as well as discounts for large or virtual items. Subscriptions range from about $25 per box for an annual subscription to roughly $29 per box for a monthly membership; a six-month membership is also available for approximately $81 (or around $27 per box). 

Bottom Line

Outdoor subscription boxes are a fun and convenient way to discover new products that can take your time outside to the next level. With products like snacks, gear, and apparel, monthly and quarterly boxes are also a great gift option—especially for the outdoor enthusiasts who have it all. 

Our overall best outdoor subscription box—Cairn—offers premium products, free shipping, and several subscription options that make it easy to choose a membership that meets your needs. And, with brands like Hydro Flask and Clif—plus a premium quarterly option—Cairn is sure to satisfy even the toughest gift recipients on your list.

What Are Outdoor Subscription Boxes?

Outdoor subscription boxes are monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly shipments of outdoor-friendly apparel, snacks, and gear. Some boxes offer curated selections of general items while others specialize in themes like camping, running, fishing, and kids-specific items. Typically, subscription companies offer a certain number of full-size products each month or a limited retail value for each box. 

How Much Do Outdoor Subscription Boxes Cost?

The cost of outdoor subscription boxes varies based on the theme of the box, as well as the quality and number of products. On average, though, outdoor subscription boxes cost between roughly $25 and $40 per monthly box, with quarterly boxes costing more—sometimes up to $200 or more. Many outdoor subscription box companies offer free shipping, but some charge an additional fee, especially for addresses outside the contiguous United States. 

What Types of Items Are Found in Outdoor Subscription Boxes?

Many outdoor subscription boxes focus on gear, like water bottles, backpacks, headlamps, carabiners, and other tools. Boxes also tend to include snacks that are convenient to enjoy outdoors and apparel, like socks, neck gaiters, and beanies. Subscriptions that are tailored to specific activities—such as running or cycling—and often include items that are geared toward athletes. 

How We Chose the Best Outdoor Subscription Boxes

The best outdoor subscription boxes feature carefully curated, full-size products with a high retail value and competitive monthly cost. In addition to these benefits, we compared over 15 boxes to choose the best options for Treehugger readers based on factors like product quality, customer support, subscription options, customer reviews, and brand selection.