Here at Gear Report we review outdoor gear, give insight on how to use and evaluate gear, and even guide you in making your own gear.
So why are we reviewing a pre-packaged trail bar?
The short answer is that we normally don’t, but were sufficiently intrigued by the Skout trailbar that it seemed review worthy. 🙂
Being a gear-head, I sometimes get sucked into the gear aspect so much that I don’t think about other options that are right in front of me.
For example, I’ve got a variety of backpacking stoves that burn white gas, kerosene, alcohol, esbit, and wood. Since I enjoy using a wide variety of stoves I sometimes overlook the convenience offered by ready-to-eat products like trail bars. And, to be truthful, I try to avoid the overload of refined sugars that seem to pack just about every type of bar I’ve come across. Skout Natural Foods sent a trail bar for me to review and it got me thinking about leaving the cooking gear at home. More to come on hiking without cooking gear in another post…
Nicely packaged in a plastic/foil wrapper, the bar weighs 1.8oz or 50g.
It is prominently marked with a range of features that will appeal to many outdoor types:
- No added sugar or fillers
- Dair free
- Soy free
- Certified organic
- A portion of proceeds are donated to environmental and humanitarian charities
Here is the ingredient list: “organic dates, organic whole grain oats, organic peanuts, organic free trade unsweetened dark chocolate, sea salt”
That is a lot of info on a small wrapper and I see a couple of recurring themes: an emphasis on organic, and a commitment to doing right by people and the planet.
Worthy pursuits, in my opinion.
The bar itself is not quite like anything I’ve tried before. It has a visible appearance similar to a high-end fudge bar. It is not smooth and shiny like a chocolate bar, but not as rough as a granola bar. The consistency is also interesting, in that it is not rigid like a granola bar, nor pliable like a brownie. The consistency reminded me of the “no bake cookies” that my mom used to make… which were mostly sugar, chocolate, and oatmeal. It seems that there is just enough moisture in the bar to prevent the “dry mouth” that I usually get with granola bars.
I’ve been known to shy away from “organic” products due to experiences with some that were devoid of flavor. I’m all for choosing healthy options, but not if it taste like sawdust. 🙂
Fortunately, the Skout trailbar hit a pretty good balance. It wasn’t as sweet as I’m accustomed to, but had a strong chocolate flavor with a hint of peanut. Since I’m trying to ween myself off of processed sugar, I think the Skout trailbar is a good option for me.
At 1.8oz and 160 calories, this is not a meal replacement bar. Not for a high calorie burner like me, at least. However, I think this will make a nice on-the-go snack while paddling or hiking. It is relatively high in carbs (32g), so it will be easy for the on-the-go body to convert to usable energy.
I am anxious to try the other flavors and their new “clusters” products.
Skout Natural Foods is a relatively young company that is based in Oregon. I’m told that their trail bars are easier to find in stores in the Pacific NorthWest.
You can also order online directly at their website (link)
Please leave a comment to let me know if this review was helpful to you.