The present paper investigates specific sustained crushing stress (SSCS) of various composite laminate designs and stiffened boxes under axial crushing test. In this regard, an optimum composite crash box design is sought by studying the effect of laminate design and stiffeners on SSCS. Crash boxes were fabricated from carbon/epoxy twill-weave fabrics of 4, 4 and [0,45]2. The progressive failure with three distinct crushing modes of transverse shearing, lamina bending and brittle fracture was observed for three laminate designs. Two new assembled composite boxes were made from channels and V-shape stiffener and tested in quasi-static condition. Adhesive bonding was used in joining the channelled and stiffened boxes. Measured amount of SSCS for all models were compared to find an optimum crash box. It was found SSCS increases with increasing proportion of 0° plies in the laminate.