Monday, May 13, 2013

Review: Trail Box

Last week I received an e-mail from a reader by the name of Stuart Fingerhut. Stuart is a long time reader of this blog, and he's started a new concept that he wanted me to check out and write about. First, a little background. Over the last few months, has picked up steam as a reputable way for consumers to test products. BirchBox caters to Men and Women by offering a small monthly sampling of Grooming & Beaty Brand Products. Consumers can join online by paying a $20 monthly fee, in return they receive a monthly "Birch Box" in the mail with trial sized grooming and lifestyle product samples. works the same way. It is designed specifically for the new, or experienced, trail and ultra runner. The monthly fee is $10 a month, though for a short time the first month is only $1 and the 2nd the mere $10. Once you sign up, you'll receive a small package in the mail that is rather professionally wrapped.

I received my package free of charge thanks to the compliments of Stuart. The package was actually a bit smaller than I had expected. I was expecting an actual box, filled to the gills with shwag. Though, I can't complain about the actual amount of freebies I received. Below is a short review of each item I received in this months box:
"On The Go" Towels For Men
This made me chuckle a bit. It's basically a "manly" wet wipe. At first, I thought it was a nice way to say, "Toilet paper for while you're running." After further research, I discovered that they're just a neat way to clean yourself up, and not just one specific bodily location. Actually, with one of the ingredients being Peppermint Oil, I'd probably keep it away from the no-no places. This is cool though. There is nothing better during a long ultra than being able to clean yourself up a bit. You can use a wet towel, face clothe, sponge.. or one of these nifty wipes that will easily fit into any drop bag.

Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel
Organic Mandarin Orange, is the flavor I got. It's designed to substitute for gels, chews and pills. Each little baggy has 4 servings. 100 Calories per serving, 303mg of Sodium, 88mg of Potassium, 25g of Carbs (all from sugar), and other. 1 Pouch makes 48 oz of drink and you're supposed to sip regularly for up to 2 hour workouts. As an ultra runner.. this stuff won't work for me.. at all. 2 Hours and I'm just starting to get warmed up. Also, It really isn't enough to truly substitute for gels, chews and pills.. it may replace one of those, but not all. Wasn't crazy about the taste either.

Tecnu Waterproof Pouch with Poison Ivy Scrub and $2.00 Off Coupon
This stuff is the Bomb-dot-com. I was a professional landscaper for seven years. I cannot tell you how often I had poison ivy on my legs. Tecnu was the ONLY product I could rely on (except gasoline) as a quick and effective way to get some relief and lose the rash. $2.00 is awesome, and so is the nifty little pouch I got for S & G's. This was the best thing I got in this month's trailbox.

Electro Delytes Energy Citrus Bar
Gluten Free and Caffeine Free. 55 Calories in one bar. 14g of Carbs, 12 of which comes from Sugar. Really not much else in this thing. Expires in a month, so not a long shelf-life, probably given the number of organic ingredients in it. They do list their ingredients on the front of the package though. The bar looks like a Little Dot candy chew (you know.. from days of old).. and has the slight texture of one too. My wife and I tried it, and we both said the same thing first... it's just a bar of flavored sugar.

20% Off Coupon for RecoFit Compression Gear
I notice they're a Colorado company... how many compression gear companies do we really need? I'd rather test the product FREE in a Trail Box, given the industry saturation, than have to go out and buy a pair to see if I like em. Meh.

If you're a gear junkie or just really like trying new products, Trail-box is for you. A great concept and a fantastic way for companies to promote their products through a new kind of middle-man. You may not like everything you get, but for $10 a month, you're trying before you're buying in the best way. I'd give Trail-box a try, as I am one of those gear nerds. Thanks for letting me check it out Stuart!