Honey Stinger Organic Waffle
These soft little waffles, serve up tasty energy (160…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: retail
These soft little waffles, serve up tasty energy (160 calories each) that’s easy on the stomach for endurance athletes, and other active outdoor snackers. I’ve been buying and eating these certified organic Honey Stinger Waffles for years for my long-distance runs and races. My kids even ask for them by name and will run and bike just for the chance to eat them.
Best For: Endurance athletes, long distance trail and mountain runners, bikers, and possibly day hikers who want some solid, but not too heavy, energy (if you're looking for seriously filling calories, look elsewhere). They're also good for people with children in tow (kids love these things).
- Very tasty
- Easy on the stomach, even when you’re running long and hard
- Multiple flavors, a favorite for everyone
- Certified organic
- Easy to read ingredients
- Cost more than $1 each
- Too big to fit in small, gel pockets
- Single-serve wrapping doesn’t always open cleanly and can feel wasteful
- Usually some crumbles inside when opened (oh my!)
- Will freeze a bit in winter
What is it?
Honey Stinger's Organic Waffles are two thin waffle wafers with honey sandwiched in between. Honey Stinger says the stroop waffles favored by cyclists in Europe inspire them. These versions are certified organic, come in single-serving wrappers of 160 calories each, and are available in several flavors.
Taste & Flavors
We're talking about food here, so taste is paramount. First and foremost, the Honey Stinger Organic Waffles taste very, very good. I've eaten them again, and again, on my long-distance training runs (20 miles or more) and during the ultra races I’ve run so far (50K to 50 miles). Yum.
You can stop reading here and just go try one, or all, yourself. Your local grocery or outdoor store probably has some.
Read on if you want to know more though.
The waffles come in five flavors:
- Honey: This is the basis of all the Honey Stinger waffles, with no other flavors added. It’s very good. Start here. This is my son’s favorite.
- Vanilla: The vanilla waffle is similar to the honey, but with some vanilla added (obviously). Both honey and vanilla are good basic flavors, though I prefer the honey for its slightly sweeter taste.
- Strawberry: The strawberry waffle tastes fine and the flavor is natural and subtle. It’s not my favorite, but I think that’s my hang-up about the bright pink wrapper. The waffle itself is NOT pink. My daughter thinks this and lemon are the best.
- Lemon: This one is very good with a natural flavor. Not overpowering. Lemon is a favorite for me, and for both of my kids.
- Chocolate: When I found out Honey Stinger was introducing chocolate a few years ago I was thrilled. This is my very favorite waffle of all. I have to ration these ones. They go down way too quick and easy.
- Gingersnap: This newest flavor came out in mid-2014, but I haven't tried it yet, though I'm quite eager once I see it at my grocery store.
Taste and flavor is a personal preference, but all of these waffles go down easy, and, as evidenced by my own offspring, everyone has their own favorites.
It only recently occurred to me for some reason, but I think Honey Stinger should have a maple flavor. Maple is delicious, it is full of caloric energy, and these are waffles. Suddenly, this seems like a horrible oversight.
To sum up taste, I will run many miles to reward myself with a waffle (oooh, I get a waffle at 20 miles!) and my kids will run a trail race, just so they can eat one of these as a treat beforehand.
Each waffle is 160 calories with 7 grams of fat (except chocolate, which has 9 grams).
They have more calories than a gel (usually around 100 calories each), and in moderation go down nicely as a complement to gels. They're not heavy like some energy bars, but still have some substance and texture, and they also help keep me from overdosing on gels.
Even on an overworked stomach, the waffles taste good, and provide a good balance of calories. I actually ration these out for long training runs or when planning my fuel for a race. They’re a nice solid treat to look forward too.
The ingredient list is easy to read and not scary, like some chews and gels.
Here's the Organic Honey Waffle packaging:
Packaging & Portability
Each waffles come in a 3.5" x 4.5", single-serving wrapper. They’re convenient to grab one or two for a longer run or bike ride.
A few nitpicks though, the packaging is too large to fit in most small gel or hip pockets on a running pack or vest (like my Nathan Intensity below). This can affect your ease of use on the go versus gels.
I put mine in a larger back pocket instead, which means I have to take the pack off to get the waffle out.
Sometimes, especially if your hands are tired and cold, the packaging can be tough to open and I have to mangle it a bit (as shown below). A starter tear might help.
I also always have a few crumbles when I open up the package (egad!). This is not a big deal, but it can be a little messy. Just be sure to pack that wrapper back out.
I’ve often thought Honey Stinger should fold the waffles in half, for two semi-circles. There would be less packaging and a smaller fit. They haven’t done that, but in 2014 they started offering half size kid versions in chocolate and honey. I initially thought this was a good idea for sizing, but for the price, you get less waffle, so I’m skeptical.
A word of warning, in winter the waffles will freeze up a bit, making them tougher to eat. I’ve carried them in a running vest pack in single digit weather and had a frozen waffle, but they’re thin, so they’re still edible. Just be careful when you bite in.
The Lance Factor
OK, I know this has nothing to do with the waffle’s taste or performance, but it may matter to some, so I'll get it out of the way. When the waffles were first launched, their wrappers were emblazoned with cyclist, waffle lover, and Honey Stinger co-owner (as of 2010) Lance Armstrong.
As of October 2012, Honey Stinger began removing any mention of Armstrong from its Honey Stinger wrappers and its marketing materials. However, he remained part of its ownership group, and still is part of it to the best of my knowledge.
While Armstrong’s image and endorsement are now gone from the updated waffle packaging, for many months after he was outed as a cheater, he was still on many of my waffles. It irked me to see his cheating face on one of my favorite endurance foods.
My son wanted to crumple all the waffles and throw Armstrong’s visage in the garbage. We decided eating the waffles was good, tasty retribution.
He also did this:
I've now run through all my Lance-waffles, but this raises the ethical question of supporting Armstrong financially as a part owner of Honey Stinger. Ultimately, I decided that since I liked Honey Stinger well before Armstrong came along (the company started in 2002 and has roots back to the 1950s) I'll stick by them and their waffles.
I eat a waffle or two on my longer training runs (20-30 miles) or ultra races (50K to 50 miles) to supplement gels. It’s nice to have a solid fuel that is easy on the stomach. I prefer these to chews for taste and texture, though I use mainly gels as the basis of my fuel (also many from Honey Stinger).
At 160 calories, they don’t have as many calories as many energy bars, so keep in mind your own calorie needs. I like that you get a light, solid, food. I can eat one and then down a gel in 30-45 minutes as needed.
For me, the waffles are primarily a running food. For the packaging and calories per waffle, I wouldn’t bring them on a longer hike. It would be too many wrappers for the energy you get. However, I’ll pack a few for my kids for treats on a short hike or bike ride, since they love them.
I also tend to ration them out to keep them special and all the more palatable.
I recommend them for long distance runners (road or trail), road or mountain bikers, possibly fast packing hikers and cross-country skiers (be prepared for some freezing), and anyone with kids.
The organic waffles aren’t cheap, but I think the price is reasonable, if you save them for when it matters. That means I don’t snack on them, despite Honey Stinger saying: “satisfy your taste buds and keep you going as an afternoon snack, during your favorite activity or go great with your cup of coffee or tea.”
You can buy a box of 16 for $22.24 for a cost of $1.39 each.
I wish they sold a multipack box, since you’re limited to one flavor per box, or buying them individually.
The new half-size kids waffles (80 calories versus 160) cost $4.99 per box of six waffles at a cost of $0.83 each. That means they’d cost $1.66 for two to equal a full size waffle, so you’re paying 29 cents more for 160 (kid) calories.
I’d skip the kids’ versions. Both of my kids would want a whole waffle anyway, so I recommend going that route and saving money overall. Or they could share a regular one (and argue about who got the bigger half).
Despite some nitpicks on the packaging and a few crumbs, the Honey Stinger Organic Waffles taste good and are easy on my stomach, plus they’re made with ingredients I understand. They win as energy food, if you're looking for something not too heavy. I buy them. I eat them. My kids want them too.
After all that, it comes back to this: Honey Stinger Organic Waffles taste good. I like them for some tasty energy when running. At 160 calories each, if you need some serious calories, you may want to look elsewhere. Otherwise, give them a try for your own endurance needs.
Great light snack/energy bar. Out of all the name…
Source: bought it new
Great light snack/energy bar.
- taste great
- taste real
Out of all the name brand energy bars I've tried, these are hands down some of the best tasting. I bought a ton of them on steepandcheap for a decent price, about a dollar a waffle, and they're a decent value for that price.
In energy bars, I would think that the main goal is energy, i.e. calories from complex carbs, and Clif, Luna, PowerBar all adhere to that. These are a little different. They taste great, close on the list to cookies. However, they are small, and have 160 calories, compared to about 240 in a Clif bar. That's 50% more calories for about the same price, and Clif bars at least give the illusion of more food, which can add to the psychological factor of feeling more full. I would feel comfortable eating a Clif bar as a small meal substitute, but these waffles, more of just a snack.
All in all, they taste great, the best bars for sure, I would eat them again. However, for the price (about $1 a piece ON SALE, more if full price), they don't offer the calories that I want from an energy bar.
The packaging is nice, easy to get into, and the bars don't stick to the inside, which is a gross factor of PowerBar and Clif Bar sometimes.
On a weekend trip a friend threw over a Honey Stinger…
On a weekend trip a friend threw over a Honey Stinger Waffle while he was preparing his breakfast. Skeptically I looked it over. I am not a big breakfast eater, something about facing another day makes me feel ill. But knowing some of the people involved with Honey Stinger I thought I would give it a try.
Well that package resisted being opened. I fought back but not too hard because a slight bourbon hangover was beginning to make its presence known. Finally without the aid of a potentially dangerous sharp implement I wrestled it open. Golden brown waffle looking I took a bite.
Now I thought that any energy type backpacking prepackaged food was supposed to taste like cr*p and I was fully prepared to send the little bugger out faster than it went in but it tasted very very good. In fact I loved it. I am hooked. Can you say STROOP WAFFLE! Those are the Dutch treats this organic piece of goodness is modeled after.
Packing 160 calories and tasting very very good I highly reccomend these to anyone. Even my 13 year old daughter likes them. Honey Stinger has nailed it.
So if Clif Bars taste like saw dust and Power Bars taste like something I can't write here, Honey Stinger Waffles are the answer. Just be ready to cut the packaging to get it open.