Bike Loot Review December 2013

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We got our Bike Loot box this week, and it was purty darn cool again.  It looks like Bike Loot is changing things up with their box subscription. The monthly price is going up to $11 plus shipping, but they are supposedly increasing the box value and doing an overall upgrade. Along with this upgrade, their website got overhauled and you actually have to recreate your whole account and re-subscribe. While this is kind of a pain, they acknowledged the inconvenience in a note in the December box and included a personal coupon code for $10 off your new subscription to make up for it. If you have to cause your customers a little pain, I think that is the best way to handle it. I am excited to see what they have in store for 2014. In the meantime, here are the goods for the December Bike Loot box:

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As always, Bike Loot boxes always come with a great info card that includes coupon codes for a lot of the products, and on the other side is always a great quote about cycling. This one is now hanging on our fridge. My husband is a total cycling nerd, and he thinks the little quote is one of the best parts of the box. Here are the details:

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Energems: Energems are kind of like big M and M’s for athletes. Along with the mint chocolate and candy shell, these also contain caffeine and B vitamins for energy during a workout. These are one of the things that I want to steal from this box. I mean, swimmers need fancy workout candy, too. They also included an Energems branded drawstring bag. It’s pink, so I may get to steal that, too, although Mike would probably use it to take his lunch to work if I let him keep it.  A 20% off coupon code is also included for Energems.

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ITrain $10 gift card: ITrain is an online workout site where you can download all different kinds of workouts right to your computer. They have a big section of indoor cycling workouts, great for the offseason. Since my husband’s bike is on the trainer in our family room right now, he was really excited about this item. It looks like the workouts on itrain.com range from about $5.99 to $10.99, so this is good for one free download with a little left over.

SPORTea: My husband is a coffee fiend and really the only time he drinks tea is when he is sick, so I may end up inheriting this tea. It contains Ginseng for energy. It smells pretty good, so I will give it a go. I switch back and forth between tea and coffee a couple times a year, but I really like the idea of a warm sports drink. I will try this before my next cold-weather run. SPORTea was created here in Colorado, so that makes me happy to learn about a new local business, and Bike Loot included a coupon code for 10% off at sportea.com

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Carbon Pro Sports Dri Shine/Dri Wash: This is a way to clean your bike on the go and is meant to be used without water and can be used daily. My husband is all about keeping his baby clean. His baby the bicycle, that is. His baby the actual boy is usually at least a little bit dirty.

Kool n’ Fit pain relief spray: I like that this is an external pain reliever in spray form. Most are in tubes and can be messy, but this seems way easier to contain. I often want to steal my husband’s loot from Bike Loot, even though I am not a cyclist, and this is one of those things. I am always nursing a running injury of some kind. Or sometimes I am nursing a lift-a-toddler-eleventy-times-a-day injury. My husband is seemingly immune to injury. He barely even gets sore. Hopefully said toddler gets that part of the gene pool. This stuff actually smells nice unlike many pain relief creams. I’m excited to steal it.

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NibNaks Dried fruit snack: This is one I will not be stealing. A lot of subscription boxes send dried fruit, and I find dried fruit kinda gross. Luckily, my husband and son like to gobble up these wrinkly pieces of sad fruit with wild abandon, so it does not go to waste around here. This is an all natural product and the flavor I got was Apples, Raisins and Cherries. My husband will enjoy this snack, although it will probably be at his desk instead of on his bike.

As usual, I don’t really try to calculate values on boxes that are more focused on samples, but I do think this box value exceeds its price tag. I will be curious to see what they will be offering up with their new and improved box in 2014.  I think they always do a great job with their packaging and branding, and, as a marketing geek, I really like that they have a distinct voice and brand.  Bike Loot is legit. Carry on, Loot Dudes.

Bike Loot Review

Bike Loot is one of the boxes that I get for my husband, as he is a giant cycling nerd. He was pretty excited about his first Bike Loot box, which he opened last night when he got home from a business trip. Here are the goods:

bike loot 4 Bike Loot is a monthly box for cyclists that contains samples of nutrition and gear. It is $10 a month plus shipping.  Each box comes with a card that has the product information and coupon codes on one side and an inspiring cycling quote on the other. This month’s quote was from Hemingway, and my husband said the card, which he wants to hang up in his office, was one of his favorite items.  Here’s the lowdown on all the stuff:

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Mazamabar meal replacement bar in Hazelnut: This went right into my husband’s bag for his next ride this week. Stuff like this that gives great energy and fuels the body, but can still be stashed in a jersey pocket and eaten one-handed is just the kind of stuff he likes to grab for his ride. Bike Loot includes a 25% coupon code for Mazamabars.

Sqwincher hydration concentration: The Bike Loot information card reminds cyclists to be extra vigilant about hydration during cold-weather rides because you don’t always feel thirsty when the weather is cool. (although here in Colorado, we feel thirsty all the damn time) This can be added to your water bottle to provide electrolytes and calories along with your hydration.

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Peanut Butter & Company The Bee’s Knees Peanut Butter blended with honey: I’m not sure that my husband will take this out on his bike, but it will definitely get eaten around here. Peanut butter is a great food for fuel when you need to travel light because it is so calorie dense for such little weight and space. We are backpackers, and peanut butter is our go-to on the trail. However, because we have a toddler who is a couple years away from being able to lug his stuff down the trail with us, this very well may end up as his lunch one day; the packaging is great for throwing it in the diaper bag.  This peanut butter is gluten free, trans-fat free, all natural, no hydrogenated oils, and no high-fructose corn syrup, and the Loot Dudes, as they call themselves, include a coupon code for 20% off.  Nicely played, Loot Dudes.

VFuel Endurance Gel in Peach Cobbler: Mike is not a huge gel guy, but he will probably still stash this in jersey or flat pack for emergencies.  I actually kind of like gels, so if he doesn’t use it, I may steal it for my next road race or long swim. They include a 20% off coupon for VFuel, too.

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Paper Shower wet and dry towelettes: This is a pretty cool concept, a wet towel for cleaning off, and a dry towel for drying off, packaged separately, but attached to each other. Since most of Mike’s rides start and end either at our house or at his office, both places having showers readily available, he said this will probably go in with our camping gear. Cool concept, though.

Grabber Warmers: These hand warmers had me at their snarky little packaging. Seriously, how cute is it that they say Hold Me?  These will be another one that definitely gets used. The last couple of big rides Mike has been on, he has complained that his hand were cold, so I could see him slipping these right into his gloves and riding off into the sunset. A 10% off coupon for grabbers is included.

All told, my husband really liked his first Bike Loot box. All of the items will get used, although some for things other than cycling, and the packaging was great. I don’t really try to assign a value to boxes that are just samples, because I really think the purpose of this box is to try new products rather than to get a real bargain like a lot of my other boxes. This stuff is all great, but I would love to see some Bike Loot branded stuff in here in the future, like water bottles and t-shirts. My husband would totally wear a Bike Loot t-shirt, and all of his cycling buddies would be jealous.  Thanks, Loot Dudes. Party on.

And the Finalists Are…

I have rounded out my final box selections for the next three months. I have ten boxes, which puts me slightly over my $200 per month budget, but hey, I’m close, so I’m counting it. I tried to vary my boxes into a few different categories so that there are lots of fun reviews. In addition, while I keep a few subscriptions going at all times, some of these are three-month subscriptions that I will switch to try something new down the road.  So here are the finalists:

Bespoke Post
Bespoke Post is a monthly box geared towards men. I have gotten one Bespoke box so far, and am looking forward to this month’s. Let’s just say, my husband is going to love all of the awesome stuff he gets from these boxes. They are perfect for the guy who like to be a little trendy without being a full-on hipster. I mean, seriously, ironic mustaches are really not that cool around the office, you know? Bespoke Post is $45 per month and you can get 25% off your first month with the code WINGMAN. the cool thing about Bespoke is that they send an email at the first of the month every time, letting you know what boxes are available and what is in them. Then you can choose whether or not to opt out for that month. While it may take out the element of surprise, it also ensures that you never pay for anything you don’t want. Seems like a deal to me!

Bike Loot
Bike Loot is just what the name implies, a monthly box of fun new stuff to try for cyclists. My husband is a die-hard cyclist, and so this is another one just for him. He is a lucky guy. Bike Loot is $10 per month, plus $3.95 shipping.

Birchbox
I have not received a Birchbox yet, but I am excited to try another $10 box, especially one that gets such great reviews. I should get my first one in December.

Birchbox Man
ANOTHER one for my husband. Seriously, how did he score all of this gear? Birchbox Man is $20 per month and is a monthly box of sample and full-sized products for men, including accessories. I think my husband will love the socks and trying the aftershaves and moisturizers.  And I will enjoy him smelling so nice. Although, he usually smells pretty nice anyway.

Citrus Lane
This one is for little D. (I swear, I get some stuff, too) My son is 19 months old, and so far, he has loved his gear from Citrus Lane, a monthly box with snacks, toys and other fun kid stuff. They specify their picks to your child’s sex and age and the items we have gotten are pretty cool. I let D have one or two of them, and then I stow some for the holidays, too. Citrus Lane is $24.95 per month.

ipsy
I really love my ipsy envelope/box that I get each month. It is only $10, and there are always great sample and full size items in each little makeup bag, and the value always far exceeds the cost. As I mentioned last week, ipsy is how I discovered my favorite mascara EVER, It’s So Big, by Elizabeth Mott. Ipsy curates their bags based on a profile that you fill out, so not everyone gets the same things each month, but the items are catered to your skin type and other preferences.

NatureBox
NatureBox is another one that I will be getting for the first time this month. I am pretty excited about this monthly box of healthy snacks. This is something the whole family will be able to use, and it will make lunch packing and on-the-go days much easier. Nature Box Deluxe is $19.95 per month, and there are other sizes with more snack servings for those feeding a bigger group. They are always running a 50% off your first month offer which you can find on their Facebook page. The offer I used today was DAILYCANDY, which I grabbed from Retail Me Not

Pleasure Pantry
In keeping with the theme of having boxes from varying areas, I chose Pleasure Pantry to round out my ten boxes. Pleasure Pantry is an adult subscription box company that sends sex toys, lingerie and other bedroom related products to try each month. Pleasure Pantry is $29 per month, and I will get my first one in November. With a toddler running around and not much time to spice things up, I think this will be an exciting addition to my box collection, as well as to my marriage! Pleasure Pantry offers boxes for all types of couples, boy/girl, girl/girl, boy/boy, and a bridal box. This makes me even happier to support this company. Equal spicing up for everyone!

PopSugar Must Have Box
The PopSugar Must Have box was my first subscription box, and it is also my favorite. I also love their Limited Edition boxes that come out a few times a year. This is a box geared towards women with fashion, beauty, lifestyle, houseware, and food items. This box is my little slice of me-time each month, and I usually try (sometimes I can’t wait) to set it aside and wait for some alone time with some wine to crack this bad boy open. I LOVE PopSugar Must Have. The Must Have box is $39.95 per month, and the Limited Edition boxes are usually $100. They recently released a $250 splurge box where they teamed up with Neiman Marcus. It will be delivered this month, and I cannot wait.

Sparaj
The Sparaj subscription box has me totally intrigued, and I am very excited to receive my first one in December. Sparaj call themselves a “discovery service”which sounds pretty cool to me. They are a new subscription box company that focuses on natural spa-like products from a different area of the world each month. Their pre-launch box was a Thailand-themed box, and I was bummed to miss it. Thailand is one of my favorite places in the world. Sparaj is $40 per month, and they do not autorenew right now, so you must reorder each month or select a three or six month subscription

So that is the lot. I am looking forward to my new boxes and my usual boxes with gusto for the holidays. Not only does my $200…ok, closer to $250…per month cover all of my fun and shopping for the month, it also covers almost all of my holiday shopping and gifts. To me, that seems like a great deal. Can’t wait til the boxes start coming.


Oh, The Insanity

I took this photo when Mike and I were at a football game a couple weeks ago. I was peeing while I took it; I’m classy like that. It was written on the inside of the stall door at about peeing-level. It made me laugh so hard, because, honestly, this is a pretty permanent solution to a temporary problem, amirite?  It did make me look right away though, and yes, there was some TP. Phew.

Now on to more important things, most notably, how I am a slacker and have not reviewed anything yet.

I am not sure how things can seem so out-of-hand busy when I am not working AND the boy is still in school most of the time. Job hunting has been taking its toll on me, and I am still waiting to hear on one offer. (Cross your fingers.  Right now!)

I WILL start reviewing boxes here soon.  I lied on the boxes I said I was going to review last week, but I swear, I will start with November boxes and review with gusto. I’ll be looking at PopSugar, ipsy, Citrus Lane, Bespoke (maybe, if it looks like something good), and Bike Loot (my husband is going to get that one as a surprise, but not until after I open it and dissect it for review purposes). I will also purportedly be getting the PopSugar Neiman Marcus Box in November.  swoon.

The PopSugar Holiday Luxury Box goes on sale today, too, so I will have that to look forward to in December, as well as the start of Sparaj, which I am SUPER stoked about.  That box looks right up my alley.

So, yes, I guess I that this means I am more focused on the Soap Box portion of this blog until November, because, honestly, my ipsy and PopSugar boxes for October are already old news. (but I still love them!)  But until November reviews, you can just count on more babbling from me as I try to sort out what the hell I am doing with my life.

Happy Halloween to everyone tomorrow.  Mike and I dressed as the Blues Brothers and D was a policeman. We did it a couple weeks ago for Trunk or Treat at D’s school, but will probably dress up again tomorrow night for a trick-or-treating gathering at my best friend’s house. Having a kid makes these holidays so much more fun! Even when they refuse to wear their tiny police hats. 🙂

Stay warm everyone, and always make sure there is TP.

Tomorrow, a review of the Favorite Things Party I hosted at my house last weekend.  30 tipsy women bearing gifts.  It’s a must-see.