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Rank the Bars
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Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Rank the Bars on 03/28/2011 00:11:16 MDT Print View

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:

Big Sur
Bumble Bar
Clif Mojo
Bobos Oat Bars
Nature Valley Fruit & Nut
Clif Builder
Balance Gold
Pro Bar
Clif Bar
Mrs. May Trio
Earnest Eats
Skout Trail Bars
Cereal Breakfast Bars
Balance Bar
Generic Granola Bars
Clif Granola Bars
The Kashi Log

Yet to try:
Honey Stinger
18 Rabbits
Cascadian Farms Granola Bars

Edited by ChrisMorgan on 07/23/2011 19:09:45 MDT.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Rank the Bars on 03/28/2011 00:29:58 MDT Print View

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.


Edited by T.L. on 03/28/2011 01:19:51 MDT.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Rank the Bars - ProBar on 03/28/2011 06:45:18 MDT Print View

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.

Philip Delvoie
(PhilipD) - MLife

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Rank the Bars on 03/28/2011 06:56:14 MDT Print View

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.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Rank the Bars on 03/28/2011 08:34:34 MDT Print View

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.

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Bars on 03/28/2011 08:43:45 MDT Print View

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.

John Jensen
(JohnJ) - F

Locale: Orange County, CA
every-body is different on 03/28/2011 08:44:30 MDT Print View

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."

Edited by JohnJ on 03/28/2011 08:47:02 MDT.

Kenneth Cowan
(zeros) - F

Locale: California
CLIF BUILDER BAR on 03/28/2011 09:35:12 MDT Print View

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!

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Rank the Bars on 03/28/2011 10:02:04 MDT Print View

1. Almond Snickers Bar
2. Snickers Bar
3. Baby Ruth
4. Payday

Edited by jshann on 03/28/2011 10:02:34 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Rank the Bars on 03/28/2011 10:18:41 MDT Print View

I'm currently a bit partial to 18 Rabbits and Bobo's Oat Bars.

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Re: Re: Rank the Bars on 03/28/2011 10:38:43 MDT Print View

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.

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Re: Re: Re: Rank the Bars on 03/28/2011 10:42:18 MDT Print View

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!

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Rank the Bars on 03/28/2011 10:54:20 MDT Print View

These are good too:

Earnest Eats, especially the Almond Trail Bar.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Rank the Bars on 03/28/2011 17:13:00 MDT Print View

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".

Edited by asdzxc57 on 03/28/2011 17:42:50 MDT.

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
Honey on 03/29/2011 01:34:06 MDT Print View

I bought about 80 of the Honey Stingers for my PCT thru, at .83 + dividend, it was worth it!

Really like them, very sweet.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
what's cheap at the grocery store on 03/29/2011 07:54:07 MDT Print View

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!

John Jensen
(JohnJ) - F

Locale: Orange County, CA
clif on 03/29/2011 08:05:40 MDT Print View

White chocolate macadamia nut clif bars are like crack.

S. K.
(Pangolin) - F

Locale: Ohio
Cascadian Farms on 03/29/2011 15:38:39 MDT Print View

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.

Edited by Pangolin on 03/29/2011 15:39:44 MDT.

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Re: What's Cheap at the Grocery Store on 03/29/2011 15:45:39 MDT Print View

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.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Rank the Bars on 03/29/2011 16:57:38 MDT Print View

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.

Edited by hikinggranny on 03/29/2011 16:58:32 MDT.