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Backpacker Magazine – April 2009

Editors' Choice 2009: Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews

Our favorite new fast snack proves that healthy can be tasty, too. Oh, and it's not a bar.

by: The Backpacker Editors

Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews (
Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews (

See more gear that made the cut in our 2009 awards.
Okay, so there are energy gels that supply a longer-lasting kick and bars that pack more nutrition, but that doesn't matter if those snacks stay in your pack. In the real world–miles to go, tank on empty–flavor makes the fuel. And these gummi bear-like blobs beat all comers in the taste department. Not too sweet, not too salty, the two flavors burst with slightly tart cherry (Cherry Blossom) and a berry-citrus blend (Fruit Smoothie).

Credit the use of organic honey and tapioca syrup, which supply carbs without the synthetic aftertaste of artificial sweeteners. And try to eat just one. Even editors who normally shun packaged snacks gobbled them up. Bonus: No gooey mess, no dry mouth. We'll stick with bars for meal replacement and gels for fast electrolytes, but as a midmorning boost, these 160-calorie (per pack) treats can't be beat. $1.89 per packet (or $22 for 12); 1.8 oz.;

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Reader Rating: -


the Camping Squirrel
Jul 23, 2010

I bought these on a whim for a 7 day hike in the High Sierras, and liked them so much, that when REI had a sale on these for @.80, I bought at between 20-30 packs for future use.
These, especially the Cherry Blossom,have the most marvelous aroma and flavor.
For me, they went down without the need for water, unlike the much harder Cliff Shot Blocks I brought, and will not be buying again.
Try these. You won't regret the purchase.

StephenR D'Angelo
Nov 04, 2009

I have used them twice on a back pack. The first time was a 2 day the second day ended up being a very long day 15+ miles because of a f#$%^ing beaver dam in Vermont. I was hiking with a 24 year old I am 54 and my pack weighed about 37lbs. About haflway thru the day after falling in a swamp and having to hike a bunch of miles in Tiva's because my boots were saturated and falling down 2 more times because of branches getting stuck in my sandles i started muching on these things. They tasted pretty good but after a while I totally caught up to my buddie and had energy to spare. They definately work. I agree that if you are thru hiking it might not be a good choice because of weight and cost but for a day hike or a backpack that won't exceed 5 or six days they will always be on my list.

Andrew MN
Sep 24, 2009

I 100% agree with Chews being a most excellent snack! And to Will -- I have actually used these in a marathon (1-3 hours? I WISH!) and there is no big crash from them. AND having used them during such a massive expelling of energy I can also add that they don't rile the stomach and will second the review's statement about lack of dry mouth. These things will keep you going on whatever trail for however long you're moving--just leave the long term energy consumption to your actual meals when you get where you're going.

Aaron PA
Aug 17, 2009

i would have to agree with rich on these being the best trail snack at philmont, always going to have a spot in my meals.

Aaron PA
Aug 17, 2009

i would have to agree with rich on these being the best trail snack at philmont, always going to have a spot in my meals.

Jun 29, 2009

I just got back from hiking Philmont and these energy chews were part of our food supply. They were the best tasting snacks we had the whole trek.

Mike NH
May 23, 2009

Actually, an on the trail snack such as these is an excellent way to maintain blood glucose and not use liver and muscle stores. Glucose is glucose is glucose, whatever form it comes in. If you look at whats in this little snack its very similar to eating an apple energy wise, minus the vitamins. They obviously weren't suggesting that you live on these, or that you even replace a meal with them, they are a snack. I think that comparing this to smoking crack is totally out of line, some people comment on these reviews and think they know everything when in reality they just end up sound like an ass. These guys do a good job getting info out to the general public about the products they review, they aren't forcing you to use anything, its just a review.
P.S. I'm a physiologist.

Will Levandowski
May 07, 2009

Honey energy chews? These are wonderful for marathoners or anybody else during a 1-3 hour effort. But for backpackers, not concerned with the next hour but rather the next week, these can't exactly be ideal. Sure, they will help you shred the next ascent, but how often have we gone too hard one afternoon and been shattered the next few days. We could also smoke crack all the way down the trail, but I don't know too many nutritionists or physiologists who would recommend that..


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