First Look & Review of GQ’s ‘Best Stuff Box’
If you are a frequent reader of this site, you are no doubt aware that men’s subscription boxes are all the rage these days. And we have spent quite a bit of time trying to separate the good from the bad in that area. Now, GQ seems to want to get in on all the action with their own subscription box called their “Best Stuff Box.” It is curated in conjunction with the new section of their site dedicated to finding the best stuff out there for men.
Now, unlike most other subscription boxes, this one from GQ only ships once per quarter, not every month. So, you’re looking at 4 boxes a year. Each box will run you $50 — or $150 for the whole year — and it promises, just like all these boxes, to deliver much more than that in value for each box. I placed an order for this box quite a few months ago, and they promised to ship them out in January. Now, they promise to ship about 20 days after you place your order. While there was a bit of a delay in shipping mine, after some emails back and forth, mine finally arrived, and, for that $50, here is what was inside:
JLab Epic2 Bluetooth Wireless Sport Earbuds — $100: Right here alone you double the price of the box! I was absolutely shocked that these were included in this box. This is not some cheap, second-rate pair of headphones — in fact, they are actually Wirecutter’s top pick. Keeping to GQ’s claim, these truly are some of the best workout headphones available, and cannot be purchased for much less than $100 regardless of where you shop. They sound great, stay in your ears well, and come with numerous different sized ear pieces so you can get your exact fit. There is perhaps a bit less cable/slack than I would like, and the induction charging they use is a bit annoying (though is no doubt because they are waterproof), but overall, these are wonderful headphones for working out, or just to use in general. Wireless is the future, and wireless headphones have truly changed my life. This is a fantastic entry point. If you are in the market for a pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones, buy this box and get everything else in it simply as a bonus!
Jason Markk Essential Kit — $16: I have never really been one to clean my shoes, despite knowing that I should. This is a full kit, brush included, to do just that. I gave it a go with my filthy pair of (off)white Converse sneakers, and the result were pretty incredible. Follow the directions on the bottle, and it works wonders.
Nice Laundry Tech Varsity Crew Socks — $49 for six pairs: Not my style, but these are high quality socks, no doubt.
Rudy’s Matte Pomade — $22: Medium hold and dries matte. This is the perfect level for most guys, and there is a lot of product in this container. It would be well worth the full price for many guys, and getting it in this box is fantastic. It has a great, subtle scent, and works really well. It’s also sure to last you a really long time.
Baxter of California Beard Line-up Shave Gel — $18: I just used this this morning to shave, and it works really well. It’s like shaving cream, but it is see-through/clear so that you can trim/sculpt your beard and be able to see what you are doing. It’s also a solid substitute for shaving cream even if you fully shave. It has a nice, minty sort of scent to it, and is a bit stickier than it claims, but, overall, very solid product that I look forward to continuing to use. Happy I got this.
Acqua di Parma Colonia Pura Eau de Cologne — $180 for 6oz: You only get a small sample of this, but it’s a larger sample than most other boxes provide with cologne, and, it happens to still be a sample of an otherwise expensive cologne you never really would have been able to try without shelling out all the money for its retail price. It’s a bit fruity, and goes on somewhat subtle. I really like this cologne. It’s different in a subtle way, which is exactly how I like to do things. Great inclusion on GQ’s part here.
Dove Men+Care Elements Dry Spray Antiperspirant with 48-Hour Protection — $5.49: This is one of the things that makes these boxes so great. Deodorant/antiperspirant is no the sort of thing most guys experiment with. But once it shows up at your doorstep, you’ll give it a try, and might find you really like it. This antiperspirant is not going to replace my Old Spice stick deodorant that I love, but it certainly is a good compliment to it. On days when I fear I will sweat more than usual, I can use this instead as a stronger antiperspirant. Plus, it’ll last two days. So, consider this a strong/amplifying antiperspirant to use in conjunction with your deodorant, if you do not want to replace it fully. I am happy I got to try this. Dove has been making some great men’s products as of late. This is yet another one.
Gillette Fusion5 razor — $10: They also threw in the Fusion3 razor as well, so that is two razors in this box. Plus, the Fusion3 came with an extra blade. That is pretty crazy, I think! Lots of value here. Everyone can use an extra razor or two. They both are solid razors, though I prefer the Fusion5.
Price, Value, & Conclusion
Like we said above, this box will run you $50 per quarter, or $150 if you sign up annually. The value in each box well exceeds what you pay. Unlike some other subscription boxes, the items you get in this box are truly high quality, top of the field items. There is no crap in this box. True, you might not use every item as it might not fit into your life (I already have a pair of wireless headphones, and didn’t love the socks), but overall, I was shocked at how much stuff came in this box, and the value inside of it. I don’t know how GQ pulled it off, but I guess they are capable of doing things and making deals that the smaller guys cannot.
The best part of these boxes is getting items that you never would have purchased alone, but, now that you have them, are excited to get to try to use. All the boxes get the first part right, but the second part is the key. It all comes down to curation. Are the items you are getting actually any good? And GQ utterly nails this. I was, truly, blown away by all the great stuff in this box.
It is a bit pricier than the other subscription boxes — even more than Bespoke Post at $45. Plus, you get no customization whatsoever (like you do with Bespoke Post), and have no idea what is in the box until it shows up (or until you read GQ online). Nevertheless, I think it is without question worth the money. Right now, if you could only subscribe to one subscription box, I think it should be this GQ one. Once a quarter is a much more reasonable frequency to get a box like this than once a month, and, if the next box is anything like this one, I fully trust GQ to deliver awesome items you’ll be excited to use and try — even if you did not select them beforehand. Other boxes at cheaper price points also give you no customization, but the products are not as well curated, nor as high quality. GQ’s box gives you a bit of everything. Some lifestyle items, some grooming, some clothing. It’s the best of all worlds. As with so many things, you get what you pay for. If you’re going to subscribe to a service like this, we have seen without a doubt that a but more money goes a much longer way. In my mind, it’s between Bespoke Post and GQ for the best subscription box. If GQ delivers another box like this in a few months, I will be even more inclined in GQ’s favor. We’ll check back then! In the meantime, kudos x1000 to GQ on this one. I was skeptical, but this was supremely well done.