Mar 27, 2011 at 11:11 pm #1271238
We all know your momma makes better bars than everyone else, but I'm on the internet procrastinating tonight and thought it might be fun to rank the non-homemade energy bars from best to worst (I know, nerd). Here's mine:
Bobos Oat Bars
Nature Valley Fruit & Nut
Mrs. May Trio
Skout Trail Bars
Cereal Breakfast Bars
Generic Granola Bars
Clif Granola Bars
The Kashi Log
Yet to try:
Cascadian Farms Granola BarsMar 27, 2011 at 11:29 pm #1715805
I don't have a ranking, but I've settled on my favorite. Bumble Bars are the shiznit IMHO.
I like Lemon, Chocolate, Chai, and any of the Original flavors. I haven't tried any other flavors since I can only get certain ones in my local stores. But basically, I haven't had one I disliked.Mar 28, 2011 at 5:45 am #1715834
I was wondering why ProBar wasn't on your list and then I saw your disclaimer that "no bar is worth $4". I disagree…I usually eat half a bar at a time – making the cost "per bar" only $2.
If you try one with that in mind it will probably be near the top of your list.Mar 28, 2011 at 5:56 am #1715836
@philipdLocale: Ontario, Canada
As far as the Clif Bar's go…I am a big fan of the Maple Nut flavor. Reasonably priced here also, they are regularly sold for under $10 for a box of 12 at my local grocery.
Snickers is up there also.
Everything else is lower on the list for me.Mar 28, 2011 at 7:34 am #1715873
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Nearly all of the Luna bars are GOOD. Especially the protein ones. Much better than Cliff bars thankyouverymuch.
Or just give me a candy bar.Mar 28, 2011 at 7:43 am #1715877
@servingkoLocale: Intermountain West
I like pretty much most all the bars but must admit that I am not that particular. One of my new favorites that hasn't been mentioned are the Mrs. May Trio bars. 1.7oz and 230 calories! I also eat a great number of the Premier Protein bars and as protein bars with 30 or more grams of protein go, they are palatable.
I have an office desk drawer that is full of bars, as these I eat them on and off the trail daily. In fact as I think about it, my diet on and off the trail only differs in dinner, which at home is usually a salad or some high grain cereal. On the trail I either have more bars when going without a stove, or a freeze dried meal.Mar 28, 2011 at 7:44 am #1715878
@johnjLocale: Orange County, CA
Once I found that my body runs well on Clifbars, I kind of stopped looking. I'll try some of the other recommendations here to see …
For what it's worth, I think we process foods a bit differently. That general feeling was reinforced by a good BBC radio show (maybe this one) which talked about metabolism testing for Olympic athletes. The show said that they'd test a swimmer to see, say, if they did better with a fat or carb bias …
I'm not a nutritionist. I've got an old chem degree though, and so self-experiment within bounds.
Update: This is the blurb for "Programme 3"
"In the third programme in this series, Roger Bolton asks what lessons the rest of us can learn from athletics. The more we understand about the interactions between our food and our genome, the more likely it is that one day each of us will have a personalised nutritional regime, tailored to our specific metabolism and energy requirements."Mar 28, 2011 at 8:35 am #1715915
I love these, but my wife is less of a fan so YMMV. Lots of protein, and $1.50 at Trader Joes. I like the mint chocolate the best but PB and choc are also solid.
Just ordered 40 of those Honey Stinger bars at 83 cents each so hopefully those are tasty!Mar 28, 2011 at 9:02 am #1715932
1. Almond Snickers Bar
2. Snickers Bar
3. Baby Ruth
4. PaydayMar 28, 2011 at 9:18 am #1715934
I'm currently a bit partial to 18 Rabbits and Bobo's Oat Bars.Mar 28, 2011 at 9:38 am #1715951
Funny John, I tend to agree, but gotta pretend, right?
Nice to get a sense of what else is out there. It seems the last one of these threads was from 5 years ago, and I'm always hesitant to try anything new because a lot of the little guys are very expensive and not very good, unfortunately.Mar 28, 2011 at 9:42 am #1715955
Oh, and other John, the other day I found Mrs. Mays Pumpkin Crunch – not a bar, but little bits of bar-like goodness, and decent calories per ounce. Worth trying!Mar 28, 2011 at 9:54 am #1715960
@saparisorLocale: Pacific Northwest
These are good too:
Earnest Eats, especially the Almond Trail Bar.Mar 28, 2011 at 4:13 pm #1716200
I thought this thread was a follow on to the thread on what libation do you bring on your hike.
The only bar is Banana Breakfast Bars in "A Fork in the Trail".Mar 29, 2011 at 12:34 am #1716457
@pittsburghLocale: Bay Area
I bought about 80 of the Honey Stingers for my PCT thru, at .83 + dividend, it was worth it!
Really like them, very sweet.Mar 29, 2011 at 6:54 am #1716508
@brianleLocale: Pacific NW
For trips of modest length I can't imagine buying specialty bars, or at least the few times I've looked they seem quite expensive. Generally what's in the cereal aisle at my grocery store is fine. For a thru-hike, I'll stock up on a few things at a Costco, and in that case sometimes get a few dozen "special hiking bars" of some sort in a big carton at not too much money per bar, but I've not been a big fan of those I've tried thus far (quite limited selection).
In agreement with a previous poster, I also am not fond of Lara bars, and I'm not big on Cliff either (though I don't know all the varieties). Power bars are okay, I guess (just expensive). I recall un-fondly a sort of very high protein bar with an attractive and tasty chocolate outer, but the heavy protein core was something that I eventually got so that I just couldn't stomach (and that's saying something when you're thru-hiking …).
I really don't get the whole special bar and special electrolyte (or whatever) drink powders and such; it does seem to me to be at least in part a triumph of marketing. I do quite fine with grocery store granola bars and crystal light drink powder.
I mean no disrespect (nor wish to start any argument with !) those that do find value, it's just how I see it FWIW. I guess another way to say it is that I try to get sufficient nutrition from various foods that having special bars or special goo or whatever doesn't seem necessary. Who knows, maybe I'm missing the boat here and would become super hiker if properly fueled!Mar 29, 2011 at 7:05 am #1716510
@johnjLocale: Orange County, CA
White chocolate macadamia nut clif bars are like crack.Mar 29, 2011 at 2:38 pm #1716733
Cascadian Farm chewy granola bars are my current favorite. All the flavors are good, and I could probably eat two or three at a time if I didn't keep myself to one a day (when not hiking). They are granola-bar crack, for sure!
I didn't much care for the Larabars I tried. But, I've heard they changed the texture, so they might be more appealing now, but I haven't botherd to buy new ones to try out.Mar 29, 2011 at 2:45 pm #1716735
I agree Brian, I don't have the money to buy these things all the time, so I'll usually buy generic granola bars/cereal bars and then one or two "specialty" bars, which often end up being Clif bars, as they're no more than $1.
Trader Joes always has good deals on Clif, Balance and Kind.Mar 29, 2011 at 3:57 pm #1716776
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
I can't buy a bar without a magnifying glass to read the label. So many of them have added vitamins and minerals, including iodine. Since I tried using iodine to disinfect my water back in the 1980's, I break out in a horrible rash (lichen planus, deep lesions that leave permanent scars) when exposed to even a tiny amount (for me, no iodized salt, no seafood, no multi-vitamin-mineral supplements, severely limit items containing sea salt even though it contains only the merest trace of iodine).
I have used Kashi cereal bars in the past, but either the manufacturer puts more sugar in them every year or my sweet tooth is going sour!
And I discovered that they are now adding iodine to Luna Bars.Mar 30, 2011 at 4:30 pm #1717428
Laurie Ann MarchMember
@laurie_annLocale: Ontario, Canada
Timothy wrote… "The only bar is Banana Breakfast Bars in "A Fork in the Trail"."
Now you have me blushing Timothy. I can post the recipe if anyone wants it.
I also posted a new breakfast bar recipe (not as sweet) in the thread here…
I prefer homemade bars because I like to have control over my ingredients…. but if I had to buy packaged I would choose the following…
1.) Luna Bar
2.) Larabar (tied with Luna)
3.) Bumble Bar
4.) Nature Valley Sweet & Salty Roasted Mixed Nut
7.) Snickers (even if they are a melty mess in the pack)Apr 2, 2011 at 10:59 am #1718894
WOW Mary! That means no Potassium Iodide for you whe we ge the radiation cloud rolling into the N.W! LOL
I'm fond of SKOUT Trailbars.Made here in PortlandApr 2, 2011 at 11:27 am #1718912
Hey Laurie. I started taking Snickers bars again, but eat them as part of my breakfast so they are not melted. We did a desert trip in January with highs in the 80's and lows in the 50's. The bars were fine.Apr 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm #1718941
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
"I started taking Snickers bars again, but eat them as part of my breakfast so they are not melted."
From a desert hiker… put all you chocolate and other melty bars in a ziplock, wrap them up inside your sleeping bag/quilt and they will not melt. Carry your day's bars in an easy to access place, but you must eat them before it gets too hot. Eat other stuff during the heat of the day. In really hot weather I find that salted foods like nuts and Pringles make me feel much better physically. I figure I am replacing the salts sweated out, but have no nutritional or scientific facts to validate it. Pay Day bars aren't too bad to deal with in the heat. Even eating food that is not perfectly balanced in nutrition shouldn't be too bad for you, unless a food allergy is of concern. It is not a steady diet. But then again, I am not a nutritionalist… but have survived decades of junk food eaten in moderation.Apr 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm #1718968
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
As I am sure many of you have noticed candy bars in the US don't seem to melt so fast anymore – that is due to tweaking the manufacturers have done for longer shelf life. For that you do take a hit in the chocolate realm (ie..chocolate flavor versus the real stuff). It also allows the companies to make the bars for a lot less $. Now for hiking I don't have any issue with that – although at home I wouldn't eat it ;-) What it buys us is the ability to carry candy bars and have them stay together.
I am trying to remember the article I read on this a couple years ago – one reason also was getting products that could be shipped to Iraq/Afghanistan that would be edible for the military in high heat.
Anyhow, when I get a soft candy bar (which doesn't happen too often here) I wait till I come to a cold stream. Then insert the wrapped bar into the stream and shake it back and forth for a couple minutes, it will harden up fast.
I carry candy bars, cheese and other items that heat can soften in my cozy during the day usually.
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