Quarterly Co has a service where they send out a box each quarter in the year. This box is focussed on a topic, curated by well-known people like Tim Ferriss and Dave Asprey. So for $100 + shipping ($30 to Europe) + import dues and taxes (±$35), each 3 months I get a box full of biohacking goodies.
Typical box content
On the plus side
The value of the stuff provided does easily exceed $150 if you were to buy the items retail, and it is nice to get items I would not have thought of to try. In the above box for example:
- The GoStack was nice to try out, I’d say that is useful if you want to take powders (whey protein for example) or larger pills (vitamin C) with you. The compartments seal well, stacking of the compartments is useful to keep them together. There is also a hook part allowing you to clip it with a carabiner to a bag if that works for you (not for me: I don’t like movement on my backpack). As I don’t like bringing unidentified pills and powders across borders, I don’t think I’ll be using it a lot though.
- The humidity monitor is moderately useful and I utilize it a bit. (I am however, excited and looking forward to the soon-to-be-released uRADMonitor model D which can comprehensively monitor air quality, and will automatically log humidity, temperature, volatile components, small particles (i.e. smoke/soot), and radiation.
- I definitely would never have tried out the Ziva meditation balm, but I definitely like the subtle smell. I don’t know whether it helps my meditation, however it is helping the smell in my bathroom ;-).
The box usually also includes discount coupons for various offerings (not included in my value estimate). When I ordered the Valkee Human Charger, I used a coupon from the box, receiving a discount.
On the negative side
Sometimes what is in the box isn’t useful to me, and can seem a bit gimmicky or only there for self-promotion. Example, in that same box:
- The Bulletproof marked cup has a RFID chip, which supposedly allows for no-interaction payment. As this payment scheme is US-only, is not widely accepted (and no visible advantage over ApplePay for example), and the cup’s ergonomics don’t work for me, I could have done without. Still, it is a fairly unique piece of kit with the Bulletproof markings, and the build quality is ok, so it went on my gifts for others stack.
- The smaller Brain Octane® bottle was a bit superflous for me. I imagine it is useful so that people can get exposed to it, so it also went in my gifts for others stack.
- The “Indoor Air Quality Test Kit” was nothing more than two petri-dishes with some agar for culturing it. The claim is that by exposing a dish before installing the AirOasis air filter (not included of course), and then exposing the dish after use of the air filter, one could see the increase in air quality. I find this highly dubious considering all the unspoken sampling variables.
Bottom line: it depends on your cost-sensitivity
If you ask me whether you should subscribe to this, I’ll first ask you if you are cost-insensitive. Bluntly put, this is a nice quarterly box of surprise new stuff to try out early, but I don’t feel the pinch of the ±$500/year on that kind of experiment.
If you do feel that pinch, you are probably better off waiting for others like me to review the stuff and get the products that sound right for you. None of the products in the boxes were that much cheaper that it makes sense for you to buy the box, nor have I seen challenges in obtaining the products showcased in the boxes.
With kind regards,
P.S. In the past, there were different biohacking boxes. They now seem to have collapsed into one “Biohacking” box offering.
- “BIO” Biohack box by Dave Asprey (which has since become defunct now and moved here)
- “QBB” Biohack box curated by various people: Abel James, Kelly Starrett in the past. It is unknown to me if this project will be continuing. Historically this box had good stretching balls and such.
- “TIM” Biohack box by Tim Ferriss (now defunct and folded into the QBB one I think).