By Raymond Estrella
May 12, 2008
Orange County, California, USA
6' 3" (1.91 m)
200 lb (90.70 kg)
I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, and in many of the western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round, and average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I have made a move to lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. I start early and hike hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring. I usually take a freestanding tent and enjoy hot meals at night. If not hiking solo I am usually with my wife Jenn or brother-in-law Dave.
Manufacturer: Kraft Foods
Web site: www.kraftfoods.com
Product: CapriSun Sport-On-the-Go fitness drink mix
Year manufactured: 2007 and 2008
Flavor reviewed: Lightspeed Lemon Lime (Also made in Thunder Punch flavor)
Individual package weight listed: 0.46 oz (13 g)
Actual weight (in package): 0.49 oz (14 g)
Use: each packet is meant to be used in a 16.9 oz (0.5 L) bottle of water
Packages per container: 10
I used the CapriSun Sport-On-the-Go on a 78-mile three-day trip from the Rock Creek Lake area down to Glacier Lodge in the John Muir Wilderness in the eastern Sierra Nevada range of California. The temperatures ranged from freezing to 70 F (21 C), elevations ranged from 7800' to 11800' (2380 to 3600 m). Terrain consisted of dirt and exposed rock at the lower elevations and snow and ice up high.
It was also used on a 30-mile, two-day backpacking trip on the Pacific Crest Trail in the Bighorn Mountain and Whitewater River National Recreation Lands from Fish Creek trailhead down to just north of the Whitewater River and back. This trip saw over 6000' (1830 m) of elevation gain and loss in temperatures that got up to 86 F (30 C).
It was also used on a monster one-day fastpack just south of the trip described above. This 25-mile (40 km) trip saw temps up to 90 F (32 C) and constant up-and-down terrain. I carried 5 liters (5.3 qt) of it pre-mixed in a bladder and in bottles.
I have also used them on various day hikes in southern California, but this review focuses on the three trips above where it was my only water addition.
The CapriSun Sport-On-the-Go is a powdered re-hydration mix similar to the numerous 'ade products (fill in the blanků).
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
It comes in a 5 in (13 cm) flattened tube (seen above) that that tears open easily. As I use wide-mouthed Aquafina water bottles it was no problem pouring the contents into the bottles without spilling. A three second shake is all it takes to mix it, and once mixed I never saw a bit of sediment in the bottom of my bottles. Looking back I believe this may be a first. Even at near freezing temps, where I have seen other powders refuse to dissolve, the CarpriSun mixed right up.
One thing I found funny was that the package says that it contains "natural flavor with other natural flavor". Whaaa? Would not that just be natural flavors, period?
At 100 calories per liter of mixed drink it is half the calories of the most recognizable sport drink on the market. And it has more sodium at 480 mg. The potassium (something that I find very important for hiking) of the Sport-On-the-Go is a whopping 160 mg compared to 120 mg for the retail giant baseline.
It gives 20 g of carbohydrates per liter/quart, all of which are from sugar which I would just as soon see replaced with a more complex carbohydrate. Or none at all, and let me get my carbs from another source. I guess it would be pretty sour without it though.
The flavor is very good. It is very tart, and only slightly sweet. I did not get tired of drinking it for three days straight over 78 miles (126 km) of hard, fast, high-climbing hiking in the Sierra Nevada, nor the very hot trips in southern California that saw me start out with five liters/quarts of it. But I do not mix it at the rate they call for (except the first couple of times I used it). I put one tube into a 1 liter/quart Aquafina water bottle (see review), which makes it half strength. I try to make an effort to stay well hydrated and drink quite a lot. Half strength works very well for me as I do not have a "sweet tooth".
On the two-day trip I knew that it was going to be a very hot hike so I pre-made 5 liters/quarts of the half strength CapriSun Sport-On-the-Go and froze it in two Aquafina bottles and a Platypus Hoser. It half thawed on the drive to the trailhead. This took me through the first day. Then I carried three packets for the second day to mix with the water I took from Mission Creek for the big climb back to the truck. The packets fit easily into the opening of the Platy Hoser eliminating the chance of spilling in my tent. (I work in the tent to keep the bugs at bay.)
I did the same thing (freezing it beforehand) for the fast pack. One thing I noticed is that as it thaws much of the salt, flavoring and sugar (sweetness) melt first. After drinking the initial melted product the rest thaws leaving slightly salty water for the last half or so. I realize this is a physics problem that I do not want to deal with here, but thought that it should be noted.
In summary I have to say that the CapriSun Sport-On-the-Go fitness drink mix is a very easy to use hydration product. The cost is pretty good, especially if one watches for sales. In terms of size and ease of use it is hard to beat. There are more nutritious additives out there which I use more often, but I keep a box or two in the gear room for ready-to-go use. And it tastes good!
Read more gear reviews by Ray Estrella