Gear Review: Honey Stinger Vanilla Organic Energy Gel

Quick energy is the hallmark of these energy gels from Honey Stinger.

Known for blending honey’s quick-burning carbs with tasty flavors, Honey Stinger’s snacks are long-standing favorites among BACKPACKER staffers. This newest line of energy gels is an upgrade to their existing gel line: The addition of tapioca and fruit juice makes the mix less cloying, thickens the consistency for less mess, and mixes carbohydrate types for more efficient absorption during tough hikes.

“The all-natural hint of vanilla was flavorful, but the gel wasn’t overpoweringly sweet,” says one Seattle tester who fueled Cascades hikes with the 100-calorie squeeze-packs. (The new blend is also available in Fruit Smoothie and Pomegranate/Açaí flavors). $1 (1 serving); 1.4 oz.;