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The first thing that comes to my mind as I write up this BattlBox review is that this is a fun subscription service. I admit it: I love to try out new gear! But there is a bit different reason I started on this journey to begin with.
What, Me Worry?
I was never the type of person to worry about what could happen. Holed up at my day job half of the time, I had no reason to believe that there would be any serious emergencies to prepare for. That all changed when I went on a backpacking trip with my fiancee to the Grand Canyon.
It was a recipe for disaster: the heat was a blistering record high for the summer, we only packed enough snacks for a two day trip, and my fiancee suffered a nasty sprain in the middle of the lower river valley. Running dangerously low on water with no first aid kit, it took over nine hours for us to hobble back to base camp. Luckily, she’s just fine now, but I don't even want to imagine how much worse that trip could've ended.
It doesn't take much to change one's perspective...
After that experience, my perspective completely flipped. If you've ever been caught unprepared in a crisis, you've learned this lesson too. You know that life isn't harmless and bad things happen to good people.
I needed to feel safe and believe that I could take care of my loved ones before I ventured out on a big trip again. I decided to become the guy that people could trust to execute on-the-fly problem solving - the self-sufficient guy, the guy who doesn’t rely on luck to make it out of every crisis unscathed.
Enter: Survival Gear!
Much to my fiancee's chagrin, I dove into the world of survival gear - tactical knives, light-weight first aid kits, solar-charged headlamps - you name it, I got it. Life wasn't going to catch me with my pants down again.
Through all the different gear and survival services I've tried over the past year, the one brand that's consistently stuck out in my memory is BattlBox (some people refer to it as "Battle Box" but it's just "BattlBox." Similar to other subscription services, BattlBox mails out monthly boxes chock full of survival, outdoors, and emergency gear straight to your doorstep.
Welcome Mission Box
When I first made the split decision to shell out for the Welcome Mission box, I was skeptical despite all the positive reviews I heard online. I ended up being more than pleasantly surprised; the gear I received was well made, from established brands, and consisted of items that added value to my bug-out bag and EDC rather than being the same redundant gear.
After the first month, you’re able to pick from any of the Mission Boxes posted on the website each month if you’re not the type to appreciate surprise items every month. So far, my personal favorite items have been a canvas ax sling I’ve used dozens of times, a Buck n’ Bear serrated knife, and the vacuum-insulated travel thermos.
Is a BattlBox Subscription Worth It?
In my opinion, and in a word: Yes. I personally like the fact that they have a "tiered" system, so you don't have to shell out the whole kit n' kaboodle to try it out. Let's talk about this system next.
The Tiered System
Unlike other services, BattlBox is based on a structured tiered system that allows you to choose the size of your monthly package. The Basic plan, sitting at just $29.99 per month, comes with a variety of items you need in a pinch but wouldn't think to buy on their own: just-add-water meals, typhoon matches, water-resistant sleeping bag liners, and collapsible serrated knives.
Depending on your needs and budget, you can switch up to three higher levels: Advanced, Pro, and Pro Plus. These boxes contain every item at the lower tiers, plus more gear from trusted high quality brands, such as TOPS, Kershaw, CRKT, Gerber, and more. Trust me, most of the stuff you receive is substantial and a must-have for adventures.
If you're curious, the higher tier boxes sit at these price points:
Pro Plus: $149.99/month
You Receive More Value than You Pay For
Considering that the boxes often come with winter-proof sleeping bags, tents, and watches, they’re a fantastic bang for your buck. I’ve personally grown to respect BattlBox through their ethical company practices - they are one hundred percent transparent about the money value included in each package, and you can cancel or change your subscription plan at any point in time with no hassle. Based on my own experience, the average basic box would set you back $45 to $70 if you were to buy all the gear separately through other retailers.
Quality, Brand-Name Products
Ultimately, the great thing about subscription-based companies like BattlBox is that they rely almost entirely on customer loyalty. If you’re a gearhead, you’re going to almost instantly be able to pick out what products are good items versus what’s cheaply crafted and not well-suited for emergency situations. The company is incentivized to keep you coming back with packages that ramp up the stakes every month.
If you venture out relatively often, whether it’s a part of your industry or how you let off steam, the BattlBox at any price point is a great investment. It provides awesome gear for varying levels of expertise and experience in outdoor settings.
Some Gear You Just Don’t Need
The only slight drawback of getting the subscription box versus buying individual items is that there will be several times you receive gear you simply don’t need. For instance, I live in a climate with no natural venomous predators, yet one box I received contained anti-venom and snake safety products. This aspect is not purely unique to BattlBox, but is a feature of every surprise mailed-monthly product. I guess I could try to sell it on eBay or something, but I suppose I could also just save it for another backpacking trip out west.
For example, if you were to look at some of the past "Missions" and what they contain (for example, the Mission 45 box that you can see here), they have a "collapsible blowgun." For me, at least at this point in my efforts to be more prepared, I don't really see this as something I would use.
Most of it's useful though
The point is, overall, I find the majority of the items I receive every month are incredibly useful and add a unique element to my tactical collection. Often, the items I receive introduce me to new hobbies or ways of adventuring that I wouldn't have thought about before.
Also, they have some "kid friendly" products that can make for an excellent opportunity to get outdoors with your children while introducing them self-reliance skills.
If I truly can't find a use for something, it often makes a great gift for relatives or, worse comes to worse, can be resold like I mentioned earlier.
Despite the occasional item that disappoints, the BattlBox - without fail - contains tactical gear of value that is greater than the price point you have bought them at. Honestly, I recoup the losses and save by ordering through BattlBox rather than buying individual, brand-name items through corporate retailers.
One of the things that I personally like a lot - and you may as well - is that they have been totally genius in grabbing my attention with their lively YouTube channel and Forum. They have well over 1500 members on their forum alone.
And all their Mission Boxes have a great video that accompanies it. Here's just one example - this is from their Mission 49: Back to Basics. Honestly, these guys are just really good. They hold my attention, which in itself is no small feat.
Do you want to find new ways to look out for your personal safety? Do you want to be proficient at handling crisis in the outdoors? BattlBox might work for you. Personally, as someone who’s been searching for cheaper solutions to get into tactical gear, the BattlBox provided me the perfect opportunity: quality products mailed every month to my door, great monetary value, and an introduction into the world of crisis aversion in nature.
Bottom Line: Due to the quality of the gear, along with the sheer innovative nature of their brand and community, I would absolutely recommend getting this subscription service if you are interested exploring new aspects of being an outdoorsman.
These guys have this wired. Give them a try.