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Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > CLIF Bars Winter 2013 Seasonal Flavors > Owner Review by Kathleen Waters

CLIF BAR HOLIDAY FLAVORS 2013
November 9, 2013

BY KATHLEEN WATERS
IMAGE 1

OWNER REVIEW

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Kathleen Waters
EMAIL: kathy at backpackgeartest dot com
AGE: 62
LOCATION: Canon City, Colorado, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 4" (1.60 m)
WEIGHT: 125 lb (56.70 kg)

Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land bordering my 71-acre/29-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado. Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley. My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: CLIF Bar & Company
Year of Manufacture: 2013
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.clifbar.com,
MSRP: US $15.00 per case of 12 bars
Listed Weight: 2.4 oz (68 g)
Measured Weight: 2.4 oz (68 g)
Seasonal 2013 Holiday Flavors Available and Reviewed: Iced Gingerbread, Pecan Pie & Spiced Pumpkin Pie

ICED GINGERBREAD
Ingredients: Organic Brown Rice Syrup, ClifPro® (Soy Rice Crisps [Soy Protein Isolate, Rice Flour, Barley Malt Extract], Organic Roasted Soybeans, Organic Soy Flour), Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Molasses, Safflower Oil Roasted Pecans, Soy White Chocolate (Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Cocoa Butter‡, Soy Flour, Soy Lecithin, Organic Vanilla Extract), ClifCrunch® (Organic Oat Fiber, Inulin [Chicory Extract], Organic Milled Flaxseed, Organic Oat Bran, Organic Psyllium), Organic Raisins, Organic Soy Butter (Organic Roasted Soybeans, Organic Soybean Oil, Salt), Crystallized Ginger (Ginger, Dried Cane Syrup), Natural Flavors, Spices (Ginger, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg), Sea Salt, Natural Vitamin E (Antioxidant).

‡Rainforest Alliance Certified™
Gingerbread_Ingredients
From Manufacturer's Website
PECAN PIE
Ingredients: Organic Brown Rice Syrup, ClifPro® (Soy Rice Crisps [Soy Protein Isolate, Rice Flour, Barley Malt Extract], Organic Roasted Soybeans, Organic Soy Flour), Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Pecans, Pecan Pralines (Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Pecan Pieces, Salt), Organic White Coating (Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Organic Cocoa Butter‡, Organic Soy Lecithin, Organic Vanilla Extract), Organic Cane Syrup, ClifCrunch® (Organic Oat Fiber, Inulin, Organic Psyllium), Organic Date Paste, Organic Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Organic Cinnamon, Natural Vitamin E (Antioxidant).

‡Rainforest Alliance Certified™
Pecan Ingredients
From Manufacturer's Website
SPICED PUMPKIN PIE
ngredients: Organic Brown Rice Syrup, ClifPro® (Soy Rice Crisps [Soy Protein Isolate, Rice Flour, Barley Malt Extract], Organic Roasted Soybeans, Organic Soy Flour), Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Cane Syrup, Dried Pumpkin, ClifCrunch® (Apple Fiber, Organic Oat Fiber, Organic Milled Flaxseed, Inulin [Chicory Extract], Organic Psyllium), Organic Dried Apples, Organic Raisins, Organic Date Paste, Organic Soy Butter (Organic Roasted Soybeans, Organic Soybean Oil, Salt), Soy White Chocolate (Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Cocoa Butter‡, Soy Flour, Soy Lecithin, Organic Vanilla Extract), Organic Almonds, Natural Flavors, Organic Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt, Colored with Annatto, Natural Vitamin E (Antioxidant).

‡Rainforest Alliance Certified™
Pumpkin Ingredients
From Manufacturer's Website

FIELD LOCATIONS, USE AND PERFORMANCE

CLIF Bars are one of my favorite trail bars to pack for an afternoon snacks. My husband John and I often plan an afternoon tea break and noshing on a food bar gives us a nice "pick-me-up" energy boost.

When I got the chance to sample CLIF Bars new 2013 Holiday flavors, my taste buds immediately perked up. It was all I could do to contain myself from eating them right then and there in the post office! Obviously, a backpacking trip was in order, pronto!

The weather varied nicely over the couple weeks I rationed and consumed the bars, with temperatures between 75 F (24 C) and freezing overnights. While my time in Colorado has decidedly been very dry, I did carry some of the bars to hot and humid Florida where it was in the mid-80s F (29 C) with matching humidity, to see how they would fare in a tropical environment. On all backpacks or hiking treks, I ate the CLIF Bars as an afternoon snack, usually accompanied by water, either plain or in the form of herbal tea. I never substituted a bar for a meal - that's just not something I do on the trail. I generally need more than that.

When choosing trail snacks, I'm concerned with 4 points - space needed in my pack, how the snack holds up smashed in with my gear, taste and hunger satisfaction. These are surprisingly almost equal in value as I'm not going to eat anything that doesn't taste good no matter how filling it is and since there are many good-tasting snacks out there and since space/weight is always a concern when packing my kit, the snack must earn its place in my sack. The CLIF Bars are just about the same size as my cell phone and I'd rather carry food than a phone any day if space gets super tight.
Surprisingly, these bars hold up very well when crammed into small places, like the waistbelt pocket on my backpack. There the bar is handy but it tends to get rather roughly treated as I plod uphill. A lot of times, when I drop my pack off on the trail for a break, it ends up banging right down on that waistbelt pouch and my precious snack! I'm pleased to say, though, the CLIF Holiday Bars are pretty darn tough! They don't break up and crumble into a bzillion crumbs than need to be practically eaten with a spoon. Nor are the bars so gooey-pliable that a rough and tumble landing causes them to adhere like glue to the wrapper.

I sometimes can be obtuse about opening packages, and I find the CLIF Bar packaging to be not the easiest to open. There is probably a very simple way of doing so without destroying the wrapper, but I just tear it open with my teeth! Since I never have even a morsel of the bar left, no worry about the destroyed wrapper, I'm not going to be re-using it anyway!

Once opened, the Holiday 2013 Bars look appetizing with a rippled appearance and a drizzle of icing. They are soft yet easily broken into bite-size bits or in half when I have to share. There is a slight stickiness but not so much that I need to wash my fingers. After eating, a quick "lick" is all I need and then I'm ready to resume my trek.

I have found the consistency and hardiness of the texture and form of the bars to be pretty much the same in all the ranges of temperatures I have experienced so far.

On to taste. One word. YUMMY!

Oh, I guess I need to say a bit more than that, eh? OK! I actually like all three flavors and think the varieties are true to their labels. Spiced Pumpkin Pie tastes distinctly pumpkin-y. I definitely can taste the nuts in the Pecan Pie and Iced Gingerbread immediately has me thinking I'd better get going on the Christmas shopping! Each flavor is nicely spiced but not so much that I find myself guzzling half my day's ration of water. The only aftertaste once the bars are consumed is that of the named flavor. There is no artificial coating lingering on my taste buds.

Lastly, I find the bars immensely satisfying, not only as to taste cravings but in sustenance. During day hikes and backpacking trips, I usually stop to eat something on the trail in mid-afternoon. It is about that point in my day I am in need of a break and my earlier adrenaline rush of being outdoors starts to ebb. It is about this time I feel like my boots are getting cement-like and my 15-25 lb (7-11 kg) backpack seems to have taken on a few boulders along the way. Finding a picturesque spot, putting on a pot of tea and breaking out the CLIF Bars restores my spirit and my body and I find SURE, I can go over that ridge, up that trail and certainly push on for 3-4 more hours!
Bar

STARRING ATTRACTIONS

1.) All three flavors taste true to their names and are very tasty!
2.) Moist and chewy without being gooey.
3.) Satisfies my hunger pangs and is long-lasting
4.) Doesn't turn to a package of crumbs in my pack or pocket.

MINOR DISTRACTIONS

1.) Limited seasonal supply.
2.) The packaging can be tough to open, especially with gloves on.

SUMMARY

With all my past experiences eating CLIF bars, I've come to expect CLIF Bars to be quality products. Sampling these new 2013 Holiday flavors from CLIF Bar was a real treat! They are easy to pack, don't disintegrate or get extra gooey, taste great and actually provide real sustenance during endurance activities such as hiking and backpacking. I was quite happy with a bar as an afternoon snack and except for the sake of "good taste"; I wasn't left wanting when the bar was consumed.

Once I finished the sample bars, I immediately ordered a box of each flavor to savor over the winter and I certainly wouldn't mind if Santa stuffed my stocking with some either! (Hint, hint) Thank you CLIF Bar for making these new flavors and letting me sample them.

Kathleen (Kathy) Waters

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.

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