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Nutrition Bars

Top Picks

How we choose: The best nutrition bars highlighted here were selected based on 188 reviews of 73 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

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Honey Stinger Mini Waffles

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

Honey Stinger took its popular—and tasty—organic waffles and shrunk them down into a mini snack size in a convenient, resealable bag. Mini Waffles come in honey or vanilla flavor and provide the same fuel and flavor as the original thin wafer cookies. You won't have as many flavor options, nor any gluten-free versions in this size. However, a bag of Mini Waffles will probably empty faster than you expect on a hike or at home. Whether to go large or mini comes down to personal preference and how you like to eat and carry your waffles on the trail.

Reasons to Buy

  • Honey and Vanilla are same great flavors as original
  • Certified organic
  • Mini size allows for eating in smaller doses
  • Resealable bag
  • Sharable
  • Similar price to original

Reasons to Avoid

  • Only available in two flavors
  • No gluten-free versions
  • Bag makes it easy to mindlessly snack (that may be a personal fault)

I already am a Honey Stinger waffle devotee, primarily for long runs. I also take them along hiking, skiing, and biking. If you haven't tried one yet (and you should!), Honey Stinger's waffles are made with a thin layer of honey sandwiched between two thin waffle cookies of various flavors. You'll also find these types of waffles called stroopwafels ("syrup wafer/cookie" in Dutch) and they can be filled with caramel, chocolate, or other fillings. Honey Stinger's waffles naturally use honey as their middle layer, so technically they are honingwafels ("honey wafer/cookie").

Read more: Honey Stinger Mini Waffles review (1)

Honey Stinger Energy Waffle

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (4 reviews)

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, hike, 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).

Reasons to Buy

  • 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

Reasons to Avoid

  • 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 and kosher, come in single-serving wrappers of 160 calories each, and are available in several flavors (honey, vanilla, chocolate, caramel, strawberry, lemon, gingersnap), plus gluten-free/organic (salted caramel, cinnamon, vanilla chocolate, wildflower honey, chocolate mint).  2020 Update: They also now come in a Mini Waffle version in honey and vanilla.

Read more: Honey Stinger Energy Waffle reviews (4)

Clif Chocolate Brownie Bar

user rating: 5 of 5 (4 reviews)

To keep it simple... these things taste way better than any of the other brands out there, guys.

You know what it's like to grab the new brand of bar, throw it in your pack and head out. What sucks is when you get out on the trail or in the bush, and you reach for a good energy boost only to find the melted remains of what looks to be a "floater". Or better yet, when you bite into your bar and find that trying to force it down passed your taste buds is as hard as the 8 miles you just trekked. CLIF bars are one of those items I always have on hand. They taste good, and always seem to stick with you longer than other snacks. They are cheaper than a lot of other bars, and can be found just about anywhere. You can get a box of 6 for around $5.50 at Wally World.

Read more: Clif Chocolate Brownie Bar reviews (4)

Skratch Labs Energy Bar Sport Fuel

user rating: 5 of 5 (2 reviews)

These new bars from Skratch are a nice change from the overly sugary bars we usually encounter.

Reasons to Buy

  • Great taste
  • Not overly sweet
  • Made from ingredients you can pronounce
  • Nice balance of carbs/protein/fiber

Reasons to Avoid

  • Does the world really need another nutrition bar?

Most endurance athletes are familiar with Skratch Labs. Their energy and electrolyte drink mixes are the stuff of legend. The founder of the company, Alan Lim, was a nutritionist for several professional cycling teams (BMC, Radio Shack, Garmin), and developed his "secret drink mix" after fielding complaints from cyclists about the electrolyte drinks that they were forced to drink. Along with Chef Biju Thomas, he coauthored a cookbook for endurance athletes, which has become the "go to" for many athletes.

Read more: Skratch Labs Energy Bar Sport Fuel reviews (2)

Kate's Real Food Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Tram Bar

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

Kate's Real Food bars are among my favorite bars and the Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Tram Bar is the original. The bars come in eight tasty flavors—from classic combos like peanut butter and chocolate to lemon coconut and ginger—with clever names. The bars are made with organic, whole food ingredients, and are a standard size—easy to stow away in a backpack or pocket for snack time outdoors. I eat them skiing, hiking, and camping year-round.

Reasons to Buy

  • Taste great
  • Made with ingredients you can differentiate and understand
  • USDA organic
  • Gluten-free
  • Don't freeze into a brick in winter
  • Variety of flavors
  • Can order a combo pack to try

Reasons to Avoid

  • Can crumble if left in a pocket too long
  • Pricey, cost $3 each (buy a 12-pack and the price drops to $2.50 each)
  • I have to order them online (but hey, you're online right now)

  Kate's Flavors Kate's Real Food bars come in eight flavors and are made with organic, whole food ingredients that provide a good hit of long-lasting energy on the trail or mountain. The bars are made with sweet-and-savory recipes of ingredients like organic peanut butter and sea salt, organic almond butter and organic coconut, organic sesame seeds and organic raisins. The original bar and a favorite of mine is the Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Tram Bar. This classic flavor combo is always a tasty option.

Read more: Kate's Real Food Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Tram Bar review (1)

ProBar Meal Bar

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

Honestly Amazing gluten-free (GF) Bar

Reasons to Buy

  • Amazing taste and texture for what this is
  • One of the best food bars I have had

Reasons to Avoid

  • Price

    I have to eat gluten-free. Gluten will kill me and almost did.  I have been looking for a long shelf life food bar that is gluten-free and there are so few to choose from. This bar does not have an overly long shelf life but it is longer than average. I have avoided trying this bar because of its price. It is spendy as bars go. The other day though I was in the store and needed something to eat before I got home. This was on the shelf so I decided it was time to try it.  I cannot tell you my surprise with this bar.

Read more: ProBar Meal Bar review (1)

Clif White Chocolate Macadamia Nut

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

Clif bar is part of a healthy need-protein-now lifestyle. It is an organic food for active people who do not want to eat a full meal and wait for 4 to 6 hrs. for digestion. Grabbing a Clif bar can boost your energy before going on a long hike or strenuous exercise. It fits right into your pocket or can be packed in a daypack for easy consumption, no hassle in the kitchen, just grab n go!

Reasons to Buy

  • Organic
  • Fuel for energy
  • No cholesterol
  • Contains fortified nutrients
  • Just enough to satisfy hunger

Reasons to Avoid

  • High in sugar
  • High in sodium
  • Need to drink lots of fluid

Ahhhh! Clif Bar. We're all familiar with the packaging. Each individual serving is packaged and has a flavor printed on the outside of the package. This one happens to be 'White Chocolate Macadamia Nut'... I like the guy hanging off the rock climber sketch, makes you think this is only for an athlete into epic rock climbing, which isn't true! This Energy Bar is just about for everyone. Before I opened the package, I turned it over & noticed the Nutrition Facts: Serving size 1 Bar, Calories: 260, Calories from fat 60, and the rest I need to glue my reading glasses on to see those little words.

Read more: Clif White Chocolate Macadamia Nut review (1)

Exo Cricket Energy Bar

user rating: 4 of 5 (1 review)

Six-legged creatures have never tasted so good! The Blueberry Vanilla EXO Cricket Energy Bar is an energy bar made using cricket powder as the basic protein source. In addition to ground-up crickets, these energy bars are also made from a lot of good healthy ingredients like almonds, apricots, blueberries, and a bunch of other ingredients that you can read, pronounce, and already have a good idea of what they are. These energy bars taste good and have a nice consistency and make them a great option for someone looking to add another choice to their trail/energy bar selection.

Reasons to Buy

  • Nice consistency—not too hard and not too soft
  • High number of calories per ounce
  • Nice flavor
  • Seems to be made from healthy ingredients
  • Not too much sodium and sugar, but a good amount of protein

Reasons to Avoid

  • No visible cricket parts—bummer
  • Need to avoid if you have shellfish allergies

In our family at Christmas, we sometimes slip small unique or gag gifts into each others stockings and this year my oldest daughter gave me a medley of insect based food items (yum!). One of the items was this Blueberry Vanilla EXO Cricket Energy Bar. I had a chance to try out the bar during a walk the other day and found I really liked the energy bar. The bar had a good consistency from my perspective, in that it wasn't too soft and gooey, but also not too hard where it's difficult to take a bite out of the bar.

Read more: Exo Cricket Energy Bar review (1)

Clif Nut Butter Filled Bar

user rating: 4 of 5 (1 review)

This is a nice addition to the Clif Bar lineup of energy bars. The Peanut Butter flavored Nut Butter filled Clif Bar has an appealing softer consistency than the classic Clif Bars, which combined with a great taste, make these bars a nice option as a trail bar to throw in your pack for a day hike or a through hike.

Reasons to Buy

  • Softer then a classic Clif Bar
  • Good taste and consistency
  • High calories per ounce

Reasons to Avoid

  • None

Years ago I used to be a big fan of classic Clif Bars, but as other manufactures brought a seeming endless number of options to the market, I started shifting to other trail bars that had less of a tendency to become rock hard at cold temperatures like the original Clif bar options. Recently I noticed the filled variety of Clif Bars and decided to give them a try. So before a recent hike, I bought a couple of the Peanut Butter flavored Nut Butter Filled Clif Bars along with a couple of Strawberry Banana Fruit Smoothie Filled Clif Bars that caught my eye.

Read more: Clif Nut Butter Filled Bar review (1)

Clif Bar

user rating: 4 of 5 (1 review)

There are many things that factor into having an enjoyable outdoor trip. Some of them we can control, and some we can't. One of the things we can control that sometimes doesn't get enough attention is proper nutrition. In order to get the most out of our bodies we have to provide ourselves with the necessary fuel. Most of us know that, but we can get more excited over our big gear purchases and it's easy to neglect nutrition. Clif Bars are an easy way to take that proper nutrition along with you on your trip.

Read more: Clif Bar review (1)

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