Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef Pro-Pak


Weight 0.44 lb
Servings 2
Serving Size 1 cup



An old standard improved even more. This is one of…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $6.50


An old standard improved even more.


  • Vacuum-packed to take up less space
  • Won't expand at elevation
  • Excellent flavour
  • Excellent texture
  • A bit spicy - nothing boring here


  • A bit spicy - noxious fumes possible

This is one of the standards for dehydrated food and the Propak version retains all the advantages of the original. It's very tasty, has a great texture, and has a bit of a zing from the chili. Now one of the dehydrated foods I always buy when setting out on a long trip.

It's hard to tell the  hamburger is reconstituted. Macaroni and beans make for a satisfying meal, and there's enough calories (470) to get your strength back for another day of hiking. Be warned, the chili gave me a bit of heartburn, and you may be producing noxious odours later in the tent at night. Fine if you bring some Tums just in case, and if you're bunking alone.

Cooks up quickly and without any fuss. Just add boiling water, re-seal the bag and let it sit, then eat straight out of the bag 9-10 minutes later.There is no simmering involved, so you really save on fuel.

I bought the freeze-dried Pro Pak version at 115 grams instead of the regular, larger one (135 gms), and I found it just wasn't enough food for me after a day of backpacking. Adding something extra like bread or a bun would take care of that, I think. My tentmate was fine with a single serving, though.  

Notes about the Propak; as well as taking up substantially less space in the pack, the vacuum-packed bags don't expand at elevation, so you don't find your pack full of puffy bags when you get to 2000 metres. 


I love the stuff, always keep a couple of bags in…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Price Paid: $5.00 +/-

I love the stuff, always keep a couple of bags in my fishing boat.

Try adding a 10.5 oz. can of black beans to the mix before serving and if available eat with taco chips.

With the added beans, it's more than enough for two people.

One word of warning, if you're not used to the spices, it will backfire - enjoy


All in all, at the end of a long day, this provides…

Rating: rated 3.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $6.50


All in all, at the end of a long day, this provides a warm meal that is very easy to prepare but the taste could be better.


  • Convenient
  • Lightweight
  • Full meal ~500cal, 21g protein
  • Vacuum sealed to save pack space


  • Not particularly great tasting
  • Took longer then stated to rehydrate
  • Too much sodium

I found the meal overall to taste okay. There was some spice to it but it was one noted and could use some more complexity. 

Comparing it to a standard canned chili mac found on the shelf it was just a notch below. I realize that it may be asking a lot from a cheap and easy hiking meal and in the future I will probably bring my own spices to bring it to taste (which may be what was intent by the manufacturer). I should be noted though that most of my family did enjoy eating it and I may just be picky.

From a nutritional point of view this meal provides a good amount of calories, protein and carbs for a dinner at the end of a long hike but contains too much sodium. At about 54% of your daily sodium this is too high unless you consume most of your salt at the end of the day.

To cook this meal all you have to do is boil 1 3/4 cups of water, add to the bag and seal it until. The instructions stated that it should take about 7-8 minutes to rehydrate but when I tried it after 8min the noodles were still slightly hard. It ended up taking about 15min for the noodles to soften to the texture that I prefer.

Overall this is a decent meal because of its convenience, space and weight savings at the cost of some taste that can be remedied by bringing your own spices. 

Where to Buy

sponsored links
Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support Trailspace's independent gear reviews.