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Battlbox Review – The Ultimate Survival & Adventure Box Subscription

One thing I’ve discovered in my travels through the world of Internet retailing is that you’re either a subscription box person or you’re not. Some people swear by them, and plenty of companies have gone on to make a handsome business for themselves. And while the subscription box business has been around for more than fifteen years, its popularity exploded as a business model about ten years ago.

One thing I’ve discovered in my travels through the world of Internet retailing is that you’re either a subscription box person or you’re not. Some people swear by them, and plenty of companies have gone on to make a handsome business for themselves. And while the subscription box business has been around for more than fifteen years, its popularity exploded as a business model about ten years ago.

With the advent of the COVID-19 age, many more subscription box businesses began to flourish, particularly meal-kit subscription boxes that allowed a massive shift to at-home cooking without the fear of going to the grocery store and catching a nasty virus. But at-home cooking subscription boxes aren’t the only ones that have thrived. Many other niches of at-home deliveries have prospered, including subscription boxes for ever-increasingly more esoteric product categories that can be delivered on a, most often, monthly basis.

While many of the big-name subscription boxes reside in the sub-groups of make-up, fashion, and grooming / personal hygiene boxes, today we’re going to look at a brand that’s more-or-less cornered the Survival / Prepper market when it comes to subscription boxes. Today I’ll be reviewing a service called Battlbox. And yes, the E is unironically missing on purpose.

The best way to review this subscription service, which, let’s face it, is squarely aimed at a particular male demographic, is to answer some of the most common questions about the service. These answers are based on my personal experiences with a box the company sent me for review.

WHAT IS BATTLBOX?

For lack of a better description, the official company tagline is probably as concise and to the point at describing what Battlbox is as any. It’s simply “Adventure Delivered.” And what comes in the box is a wide variety of hand-picked, outdoor, survival, EDC and other cool gear for outdoor enthusiasts and those that want to be prepared for what may come. What may come may be an unexpected set of adventures during your next camping or backpacking trip or the very fall of modern society as we know it. 

Nevertheless, with a Battlbox subscription, you’ll likely be prepared for those two extremes and perhaps everything in between. Now I know what you’re thinking. Are you one of those crazy preppers that have built a bunker somewhere and plan to hitch the next flight out of town to New Zealand while the collapse of civil order takes shape? No. But I also don’t discount how quickly things can change, and suddenly you find yourself without the necessary tools of survival. 

But the real question is, do you need a MONTHLY subscription to a service that provides you with a set of new gear every month, some of which most definitely will overlap in function. I suppose the answer to that question lies in asking a few MORE questions: 

  • HOW prepared do you want to be for the worst possible scenarios such as civil unrest, a trip to the great outdoors gone awry, or some other calamitous climate-change-induced natural disaster?
  • Have you done a full accounting of the type of gear you’d need in any of these situations? How complete is your current survival and adventure kit? 
  • What types of products haven’t you ever heard about that may aid you in life and death/survival type situations?
  • Do you have many friends and family that you know would stand to use some of these items as gifts? 

Perhaps some of these questions can be answered by looking at the company’s products in each box. 

WHAT KIND OF PLANS / SUBSCRIPTIONS DOES BATTLBOX OFFER?

The Battlbox service offers four tiers of subscriptions available:

Basic – $29.99 / month 

At this level, you can expect items such as Manuals, Emergency supplies, outdoor gear, and small survival tools.

Advanced – $59.99 / month 

At this level, you’ll get everything you get at the Basic level and additional items such as camp equipment, hiking essentials, bushcraft, EDC gear and more. It’s at this level of subscription that you start to see some really useful gear from what I’ve seen by digging through the company’s archives of previously sent boxes. 

Pro – $109.99 / month 

At this level, you’ll receive the items from the Basic and Advanced levels as well as additional high-quality products such as sleeping bags, backpacks, watches, and tents. This level is clearly for the hardcore outdoor adventurer and survivalist. 

Pro Plus – $159.99 / month 

At this level, you get the whole kit and kaboodle. It’s everything in the above tiers, but now you’ll also be receiving products from top-end brands such as TOPS, Kershaw, Spyderco, CRKT, Gerber, Bastion and more. This level of subscription entitles you to six or more products each month.

WHAT TYPES OF ITEMS CAN YOU EXPECT IN A BATTLBOX?

The items in a Battlbox feature an incredible variety of products. The boxes seem thoughtfully curated, and while there definitely is some overlap in functionality, it makes sense to be a subscriber for more than a few months as the items from month to month have enough variety and wow factor in satiating the needs of even hardcover survivalists. 

Product categories you can expect include medical kits, emergency GPS, camping chairs, knot reference cards, socks, emergency fishing and trapping kits, flashlights, survival manuals, soaps, paracords, portable stoves, blankets, hatchets, GAS MASK, fire starters, multi-tools, portable solar-power panels, bug repellants, waterproof tarps, axes, lamps, coolers, gloves, backpacks, and more. 

Perhaps the most repeated products in the boxes are blades and knives. Some subscribers love this as it allows them to grow their ever-increasing blade collections. In contrast, others, it would seem, use it as an opportunity to put aside some relatively affordable gifts for people in their lives. 

You can see all the previous boxes that Battlbox has sent out here to get an even better sense of what you can expect.

WHAT IS THE QUALITY OF THE ITEMS IN A BATTLBOX?

In a word, superb. Almost all of the products that arrive in a Battlbox come from well-known brands. Or at the very least from companies that specialize in making products for this particular niche space. Often they’ll be from companies you’ve never heard of, but upon further investigation, you’ll quickly discover that these brands have been producing and honing their craft as well as their products for many years. 

IS BATTLBOX WORTH IT?

Without a doubt, the value of each Battlbox is more than worth the cost of the subscription. While not everyone will be interested in the higher tiers due to their higher price, that’s actually where the most value is in a Battlbox. It’s a bit of a linear progression across the line of subscription options. The higher you go, the more value you’ll derive from the products sent to you. Spend more, get more, and get more value. 

MY PERSONAL BATTLBOX

Each box happens to come with a mission brief booklet—no doubt in an attempt to appeal to the self-perceived tough and hardy demographic that Battlbox appeals to. And despite my minor eye-roll at the marketing at play here, I found the booklet to be quite useful. It includes a quick overview of what’s in the box at each subscription level and an in-depth description of each product, along with technical specs where necessary.  

I happened to received Mission Brief 76, which came with the following items:

Lord & Field Leather Koozie – A simple, well-built leather koozie to, I don’t know, keep your beverages nice and cozy. While I frankly found this item to be the most useless of the bunch, I did find that the quality of the Koozie with its genuine leather construction to be quite high. 

CrudCloth Instant Shower in a Bag – I’ll admit, I’m yet to try this product myself because, frankly, I haven’t found myself without access to a shower in quite some time. However, I can see the appeal of a “shower in a bag” product designed to give you some measure of cleanliness while camping, hunting, hiking or any other outdoor multi-day adventure where you just want to feel a touch cleaner. 

Ganzo Firebird 7601 knife – With a blade length of 3.42”, this knife from Ganzo with a Drop Point blade shape is from a manufacturer I’d actually never heard of before. That said, the 440C stainless steel blade folding knife performed admirably the two times I brought it camping recently. I certainly wouldn’t mind it as a day-to-y EDC folding knife that is both compact and full of features.  

Nomatic Vacuum BAG 2.0 XL – This is a truly useful product amidst this bunch. If you’ve never used a vacuum bag before, I implore you to check it out. This Vacuum Bag from Nomatic is designed entirely for one purpose – to allow you to pack a lot of bulky items and compress them into an impossibly small and compact space, allowing for easier storage and travel. Think of all the times you wanted to pack pillows, bulky clothing, blankets, and other large textile products, but simply couldn’t fit them into the allotted space. The Nomatic Vacuum Bag 2.0 XL solves that problem by allowing you to close the compression seal and rolling the bag until the built-in vents let out all the air and compress the bag into a small package. It also happens to be made from water-resistant materials to keep all your bulky items nice and dry. 

Lord & Field Leather Duffel Bag – This large leather duffle bag from Lord & Field features a rugged look and feel. The interior is lined with sheep skin and is rather large, allowing for a massive amount of carrying space. The bag comes with a soft leather handle and supports an adjustable strap. Made from buffalo leather, the soft interior is great for items like laptops. 

Fox Edge FE520 Knife – This heavy-duty tactical knife features a 3.74” drop-point flat grind blade of high-end VG-10 steel. This all-black beauty features a one-handed opening, an ambidextrous pocket clip, a glass breaker tip, and a lanyard hole with superior hardness and corrosion resistance. This knife alone normally retails for $159.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THE BATTLBOX SERVICE

Battlbox is more than just a subscription box service. To me, it feels like a community of like-minded individuals who have a passion for this type of gear. The company does a great job fostering this community around its service by running an active blog, a nice rewards program. It even produces videos for each product that comes with your box to give you a better idea of how to use it and unlock each item’s full potential. 

Other niceties of the service include the ability to skip any upcoming boxes you don’t want, allowing you to maintain the subscription without getting a box with too many items you won’t need. 

Overall, perhaps the most impressive part of the Battlbox subscription service is that the company does an excellent job of including products designed to be problem solvers. Most of these products aim to solve some outdoor adventure or survival needs. 

So if you’re a hardened adventurer, one just starting, or you’re preparing for the worst, Battlbox is a great way to build your gear and equipment in a very affordable way, and whatever items become redundant or unnecessary serve as great gifts. My only suggestion would be that you go with one of the higher tiers of subscription, as that’s the level at which you’ll truly unlock some great value. 

WHAT I DON’T LIKE ABOUT THE BATTLBOX SERVICE

There are two potential negatives with Battlbox. The company may have a slight over-reliance on certain supplier and brand partnerships, resulting in some level of product overlap. This may shorten the lifetime value of the subscription for customers that stay with the service for many months in a row. 

Additionally, the real value is only unlocked at the more expensive subscription tiers, which feels like a bit of an obvious ploy to get you to dole out some more cash to get the truly awesome items your little survivalist heart craves. 

Sebastian Arciszewski

Sebastian Arciszewski

An enthusiast of all things minimalist. I love simple design and always look for an aesthetic that complements how an item works. Because after all, a design is how a thing works. You can find me on twitter: @sebastian_a