BREO BOX Review: Useful Tech Tidbits or Too Much?Disclosure: This is a sponsored post containing affiliate links. We received compensation and courtesy product from BREO BOX in exchange for our honest review only. All opinions expressed here are our own. What's this?
My BREO BOX was filled with a few things that I’ve always wanted, a few things that’ll make nice gifts, and one thing I’m not sure what to do with---for a box that aims to give you everything you never knew you needed, that’s pretty darn good.
Heads up: Get $20 off your first BREO BOX by using code TAM20 at checkout.
A year ago, I moved across the country from San Francisco to North Carolina.
I sold my furniture, my gadgets, and gave away everything in my kitchen.
I whittled my belongings down to what could fit within three large suitcases. Yes, I had to pick my favorite cooking pan and shun the others.
The goal was to eventually replace some of it. But a year in, I’m still working with the bare minimum. I just don’t have the time to go shopping for anything but the core essentials.
It’s nice living so simply, but I miss the comforts of having a few specialty items that make my home more unique.
And then BREO BOX showed up in the mail.
Filled with gadgets and tools to help you boost your fitness, productivity, and lifestyle, BREO BOX claims to be “everything you never knew you needed.”
Did it help me feel a little more at home? Keep reading to find out.
What is BREO BOX?
Since 2016, they’ve been sending packages themed around the four seasons.
When it comes to subscription boxes, we at TAM have seen it all. Fitness focused boxes, subscriptions for cured meats, monthly sock deliveries. And those are just the popular ones.
BREO BOX doesn’t just limit itself to one of those areas, though. Tech, gadgets, home goods, health and fitness items, you name it. They search for cool items you might not come across every day.
Once you see what you’ve got, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. That’s the idea, anyway.
Each box comes with five to eight products that collectively range between $230 and $400 retail value.
I got the chance to take a look at their summer and winter 2019 boxes and here’s what I thought.
BREO BOX Winter 2019 Review
I was able to follow up with BREO and they sent along their Winter 2019-2020 box. As soon as I opened the package, BREO had my attention. The Winter edition came with:
- Ekho HD Video Drone
- Ace of Spades Battery Bank
- Tesla X Electric Lighter
- OXO Steel Press & Pour Cocktail Shaker
- Detroit Wick Hand-Poured Candle
- W&P Design Crushed Ice Tray
Ekho HD Video Drone
When BREO mentioned their winter box came with a drone, I couldn’t help myself.
This drone is super fun to play with. I haven’t done much drone flying in my life, but of the ones I’ve tried, the Ekho definitely was the easiest to control.
The accompanying app is easy to navigate, but it’s definitely a far cry from any sort of professional or even enthusiast-level video drone app.
The video quality is surprisingly good considering the value of the drone. I found similar products on Amazon for around $100, and while I wouldn’t pay that price for the drone by itself, it’s a great addition to the winter box.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to export the video footage I took while flying the drone, so I have to record it from my phone.
It definitely made for a cool toy and a lot of fun to play around with. That is until I got it stuck in a tree.
But even after I fished it out (I nailed it with a stick) it still flew with no problems. It’s a durable little device despite how light it feels.
Ace of Spades Battery Bank
I got the winter box right before traveling for the holidays, and as much fun as the drone is, the battery bank is really what I’m most satisfied with.
I play a silly game on my phone when flying because turbulence terrifies me. Unfortunately, that almost always means that I arrive at my destination with zero battery left—especially if it was a rough flight.
Not this year.
No, the battery bank from Ace of Spades basically gave me a full extra charge so that I had some juice left when I landed.
It’s not just handy for flights, though. Any trip, long car ride, or even those days when I’m on the go and forgot to charge my phone the night before, I’ll make sure I have this battery bank on me.
Tesla X Arc Electric Lighter
This was something genuinely unique that I didn’t know existed until BREO.
It’s a lighter that sends an electric spark between two nodes, which will light up anything it touches.
Speaking of “touches,” I’m a curious man, so I put my finger in it. It hurt. But not that bad.
Still, when you get the BREO winter box, you’re going to want to touch the arc. I don’t recommend it, and I hope you take me at my word that it was mildly unpleasant.
This lighter works well. I’m so glad they sent a candle along so I could light things that were meant to be set on fire (unlike my finger).
Detroit Wick Hand Poured Candle
My wife hates candles. She’s very sensitive to smells, so I thought for sure this Detroit Wick candle wouldn’t fly.
In fact, I was hesitant to even light it because I knew she’d smell it hours later when she got home.
Luckily, I had that Tesla X arc lighter in hand and was ready to light up anything.
She actually likes the smell. I’ve never heard her say that about a candle before.
It may not mean much to you, but if a candle company can make something that doesn’t offend her sense of smell, they’re on to something magical.
W&P Design Crushed Ice Tray
This crushed ice tray is a nice addition to the winter box. It’s low profile and doesn’t take up much room in my freezer. It’s easy to crush the ice once it’s frozen, but getting it to the freezer without spilling water literally everywhere is a whole different story.
Since the tray is flat, you must have the world’s steadiest hands to not throw water all over your kitchen floor.
But, how else can you get crushed ice?
You can get one of those ice crushers from amazon, but good ones are over $200. That’s crazy.
For the home cocktail enthusiast, this crushed ice mold is definitely the way to go.
OXO Steel Press & Pour Cocktail Shaker
I’ve been doing a Dry-January (no alcohol), so I’ve had limited chances to give this shaker a try, but I did make a Greyhound mocktail with it.
It’s much easier to use than the standard shaker and jigger combo. Most of the times the cap sticks on to the tumbler so you’re forced to bang the whole thing on your kitchen counter for ten minutes.
With the OXO Press & Pour, you just have to press a button.
That being said, make sure you know which setting is open and which is closed before you practice your mixology.
I threw a portion of my mocktail on my shirt because I’d accidentally left the shaker open. But that’s not a mistake you make twice.
BREO BOX Summer 2019 Review
BREO sent me their Summer box which featured five items meant to help conquer summer:
- Ekho Sports and Actions Waterproof Camera
- Dodow Sleep Aid Device
- OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker
- Blender Bottle Radian Insulated Stainless Steel Shaker
- ScoopTHAT! Li’l Dipper
Prior to this review, I was unfamiliar with BREO BOX. I was impressed with how well everything was bundled together.
The items all come packed in an actual wooden crate. Now, this crate isn’t a master-craft, store-your-gold-ingots type of crate, but it’s still the most substantial packaging I’ve seen with a subscription box.
Depending on which season it is, BREO paints their shipping crates in different colors. Last winter was red, and spring was green. My summer edition came with a light, natural wood finish.
It looks great in my closet and I’ve started using the crate as a place to store all my important documents. It’s an unexpected perk of a unique package.
Ekho Sports and Action Waterproof Camera
I tested out the Ekho Sports and Action Waterproof Camera first. I’ve been a huge camera-nerd my whole life, but I’ve never picked up an action camera.
So BREO gets a win right away. I don’t need an action camera, but I’ve always been curious about having one. My first experience with BREO got me there.
The Ekho is like what you might find on Amazon if you were to search for inexpensive action cameras. It has 1080p resolution and different settings to adjust focus and exposure.
It comes in a waterproof plastic case so I can take this with me next time I visit my favorite rock water slide. There are a ton of attachments for adding the Ekho onto your helmet, handlebars, tripod—really anything you can think of.
The one major drawback of the camera was that it didn’t come with a micro SD card. I went to Amazon and picked up a 32GB card, which is the largest size the Ekho supports. The card was under ten dollars, so it’s not like I had to search my couch cushions for quarters, but I would’ve liked to see everything arrive ready to go.
The waterproof casing works well. I put my camera (with case) in a glass of water for a few minutes and the camera stayed dry.
1080p video quality was good—it’s no GoPro, so I wouldn’t bank on the Ekho if you’re looking to get sponsorships for snowboarding. But if you’re like me and you just want to have some fun with a portable camera, this is a neat toy.
As a side note, I brought my new camera with me to the state fair, where my wife insisted we ride “the Zipper.” Since we were locked into a cage, I figured I’d bust the camera out. There was no way I could lose it and I wanted to grab some great footage for this review. Turns out the Zipper is way too intense—I dropped the camera within five seconds and it tumbled around the cage, pelting us as I screamed for my life.
The footage wasn’t worth sharing (the screaming, the prayers, the cursing—the internet doesn’t need to see that) but the waterproof casing took a beating, protected the camera, and didn’t break.
Dodow Sleep Aid Device
The Dodow Sleep Aid device is a cool little gadget designed by and for insomniacs.
I’ve never had trouble falling asleep, but after my experience on the Zipper it was time to give the sleep aid a try.
The Dodow works on the principle of regulated breathing. A simple white disc with three blue LED lights lays flat on your bedroom floor. A blue circle of light grows brighter and dimmer, and you time your breath to the interval.
At first, it reminded me of my childhood, falling asleep with my gaming console light on.
But as I started to match my breath with the light, I began to understand the science behind it. I could see it working for anyone with an overactive mind looking to get some sleep. It’s a distraction, and your focus is all on your breath.
Reviews for the Dodow on Amazon are positive. While it’s not a cure for insomniacs, nearly 50% of over 900 reviews gave five stars and said it made a big difference in their sleep. For those who didn’t love it, the Dodow simply didn’t help them get to sleep.
For a lot of products, a 50/50 split wouldn’t be great. It seems to me, though, that when it comes to something so serious like insomnia, 50/50 is a noteworthy success rate.
I fell asleep before the eight-minute cycle was finished. I can’t say whether the light helped or not—I’m known for falling asleep fast.
I once fell asleep before the opening credits of a movie, and my friends will never let me live it down.
I know a few people who might see more use for this nifty sleep-aid, so I’ll be gifting it.
OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker
The OXO Cold Brew Coffee Maker is the biggest product in the box, so it’s hard to miss. And the timing couldn’t be better.
After a long, hot summer, I’ve nailed down a crowd-pleasing cold brew recipe. The only problem is that I’ve been making my brew in a glorified sock.
Now I can make much more coffee per batch and it looks like a legit operation.
I was worried about how much space this would take up in my kitchen, but everything nests within itself, so it’s pretty compact. The quality of the cold brew is great, and the coffee maker is easy to clean.
It comes with small paper filters that help remove sediment and some of the natural oils—important if you’re not looking to hit the restroom right away.
The OXO Cold Brew Coffee Maker worked surprisingly well at sifting out the coffee grounds. I always use coarse ground coffee for cold brew, but even so—impressive filtering.
Blender Bottle Radian Insulated Stainless Steel Shaker
This water bottle looks and feels like a piece of cutting edge technology. Like the government could use it to carry an important glowing green substance.
It’s a classic Blender Bottle—you know, the one with the stainless steel mixing ball at the bottom. But insulated to keep your frosty beverages ice-cold.
Having this bottle actually made a difference in my routine. I’ve been using it to blend up a mid-day “snack” shake, and I don’t have to worry about it warming up through the day. My shake can just stay in my pack until I’m ready for a boost.
It’s not something I’d buy for myself, but I’ve gotten a lot of use from it. That’s what BREO BOX is going for—a box full of, “oh, I can definitely use that.”
ScoopTHAT! Li’l Dipper
The ScoopTHAT! Li’l Dipper may be the most sleek-looking ice cream scoop I’ve ever seen.
Made with coated aluminum, this scoop comes with a magnet and a silicone grip. It’s designed “with just the right thermal characteristics to gently soften ice cream on contact.”
It’s not heated or battery-powered, despite what the packaging wants you to think (I spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to find where the batteries go).
To be perfectly honest, I could’ve gone without this addition. I don’t keep ice cream in my house, and if I ever do, I’m happy to use a regular old spoon.
For the cost of the scoop, BREO could have packed a micro SD card instead so that the camera was ready to go.
BREO BOX offers free shipping within the continental US. Those in Alaska, Hawaii, or Canada have an extra charge.
One thing that I always like to see in a subscription is the option to skip a delivery. BREO ships out every three months. If you send a note before the first day of the shipping month, you can skip the season’s delivery without canceling your subscription.
According to Trustpilot, reviewers are happy with BREO’s customer service. Fast responses and organized payment schedules make for satisfied customers. Who knew?
My Overall Thoughts on BREO BOX
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