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Backpacker Magazine – Gear Guide 2013

Raising the Bar: Best Energy Bars for Backpackers

We tested 40 new energy bars flavors and culled these five top picks.

by: Allison Woods

(Photo by Andrew Bydlon)
(Photo by Andrew Bydlon)

Product Nutrition Info Taste Notes
Balance Bar Bare Blueberry Açaí $2.50; 1.8 oz.; balance.com Chockablock with whole grains (7 grams). Stats 200 calories,
22 g carbs, 15 g protein, 7 g fat
“Totally hoard-worthy. The sweet blueberry and exotic açaí contrast with the creamy yogurt covering on this oaty, full-flavored bar. I also love the complex texture.”
Clif Kit’s Organic Cashew Bar
$2; 1.6 oz.;
clifbar.com
Organic and GMO-free with almost a full serving of fruit. Stats 170 calories, 27 g carbs, 3 g protein, 8 g fat “This date-based bar is light enough to eat while hiking and has only four ingredients: almonds for crunch, cashews for richness, dates for sweetness, and salt to enhance the pure and simple flavors.”
Kate’s Tiki Bar $3; 2.2 oz.; katesrealfood.com Organic ingredients. Stats 300 calories,
32 g carbs, 5 g protein, 19 g fat
“Whole nuts add crunch, and mango and coconut lend a tropical flair to this meal-portion bar. High fat content makes it a warming pick-me-up on cool-weather trips.”
PROBAR Core Peanut Butter Chocolate
$3; 2.5 oz.;
theprobar.com
Packed with recovery-aiding calories and protein. Stats 290 calories, 32 g carbs,
22 g protein, 10 g fat
“This chocolate-dipped bar has a thick layer of creamy peanut butter—like a candy bar—with added crunch from chia and flaxseeds.”
Zing Coconut Cashew Crisp
$2.50; 1.8 oz.; zingbars.com
Like the Clif Kit’s bar, this one is gluten-, soy- and dairy-free. Stats 200 calories, 27 g carbs, 10 g protein, 7 g fat “Super coconut flavor and the roasted cashew butter create a delicious combination of salty-sweet in this dense, chewy bar with a pleasant rice-crisp crunch.”


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Felix
Feb 21, 2014

Irphill, Ann, Rob, Lawrence, Spammer - well said and true - amen. Backpacker continues to be irrelevant, superficial, and unhelpful. With the bytespace given to nfl jerseys and other crap you'd think BM would at least run a review and tell us what jersey to wear.

Star Star
Ryan
Feb 21, 2014

I wish Backpacker Magazine would listen to their audience and write up more useful articles. While it's great to hear someone say they like something, but going more in depth as to why to choose a product over another is something I am interested in. Not everyone likes Blueberry, some like Strawberry. So did the Strawberry taste better? etc. Come on Backpacker.....lets come up with more useful info.

Star Star Star Star Star
Perry
May 28, 2013

One thing I would like to mention is we use Bars as emergancy rations. The higher the caloric content (IE Caloric Density), the better, since space is limited - You can pack 3, 400 calories bars in roughly the same space as 3, 180 calorie bars. Gels are heavier than bars, and only 100 cals per. A good Cliff Shot Bloks are 200 cals a pack, and fairly lightweight.

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Backpacker
May 12, 2013

Paid For Advertisement! Nuff said.

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Spammer j
May 10, 2013

Limit your endorsements to an objective analysis of consumer report type tests and you'll look less than the whores you are.

Star Star
Lawrence
May 10, 2013

I agree with Irphill that this article is lacking. I think in one of the magazine editions you explain when you need fat vs protein. For myself I'm lactose intolerant and try to avoid bars with dairy (including whey). I also try to avoid soy which really limits my selection (especially if I'm looking for a protein bar). I've also found that so bar companies have been bought by larger companies and their products aren't the same. I was glad that you did mention some of the basics about each bar but only listing 5 bars is a very limited listing in a selection of far too many.

Star
Rob Reiter
May 10, 2013

30 seconds of my life I'll never get back...

Star
Rob Reiter
May 10, 2013

30 seconds of my life I'll never get back...

Star
Ann
May 10, 2013

Thank you, Irphill, I agree. Backpacker has increasingly become just a source of big headlines and small content. I often wish the articles had more "meat" -- it seems the editors think their readers have the attention span of a gnat. As a committed backpacker, I want to read more in-depth articles, not a token (and essentially useless) bit of fluff. Will Backpacker ever again have an article with useful content, longer than a quarter-page?

Star Star
lrphill
May 09, 2013

This disappointing article is not the results of a "test", and is not a useful guide to energy bars in any sense. Sure, they sound tasty -- maybe I'll try the one that has blueberries because I like blueberries. But the tag line should read, "We ate some new energy bars and wrote down a couple of remarks about a few that we liked." Shortcomings: Bars aren't rated using an objective scale. There's no comparison or ranking. Worst of all, there's nothing about the other 35 bars that were "tested", and no sense of why testers didn't like them. This is basically advertising, and I'm disappointed to see it in Backpacker.

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