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Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Clif Bar Kits Organic Bars > Test Report by Ray Estrella

Clif Kit's Organic Fruit & Nut Bars
Test Series by Raymond Estrella

INITIAL REPORT - August 08, 2012
LONG TERM REPORT - October 11, 2012

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Raymond Estrella
EMAIL: rayestrellaAThotmailDOTcom
AGE: 52
LOCATION: North Western Minnesota, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
WEIGHT: 225 lb (102.00 kg)

I've been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, Minnesota, and many western states. I hike year-round in all weather, and average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I make a point of using lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. Doubting I can ever be truly ultralight, I try to be as light as I can yet still be comfortable. I start early and hike hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring/chilling. I usually take a freestanding tent and enjoy hot evening meals. If not hiking solo I am usually with my brother-in-law Dave or my twin children.


INITIAL REPORT

The Product

Manufacturer: Clif Bar & Company
Web site: www.clifbar.com
Product: Kit's Organic
Year manufactured: 2012
MSRP: N/A
Rough Size (not uniform): 3.25 x 1.25 x 0.6 in (8.3 x 3.2 x 1.5 cm)
Weights listed
Berry Almond: 1.73 oz (49 g)
Cashew: 1.62 oz (46 g)
Chocolate Almond Coconut: 1.69 oz (48 g)
Peanut Butter: 1.76 oz (50 g)
Actual weights vary on every bar by minus 1 g to plus 3 g (-0.04 to +0.11 oz). (10 bars weighed.)

Kit's bars on Ray's desk

Product Description

The Clif Kit's Organic fruit & nut bars are the latest offering from the company famous for their original Clif bar. Known for using organically grown ingredients, raw where possible, and using complex carbohydrate sweeteners (when needed) instead of sugar they have fit right into the way I like to eat, both at home and on the trail. So I was pretty happy to get to be one of the testers chosen to let Clif put their money where my mouth is. ;-)

The Kit's Organic bars are truly basic bars with no extra ingredients. They all share a common base of dates, almonds and see salt, with one or two additional ingredients depending on the flavor.

No crumbs here


Dates are the main ingredient and really is the star of the show as far as I am concerned. The dates give the bars a moist soft texture that is easy to chew. It keeps the bars from being crumbly as may be seen in the picture above. That is the Peanut Butter flavor that I broke in half. While there is a lot of great stuff in dates one aspect makes it shine for my backpacking use. It is very high in potassium, a key electrolyte that needs replacing during hard and hot activity, and the one that helps the most for avoiding muscle cramps.

As may be seen the other ingredients are there in abundance too. The bars are densly packed with the good stuff.

Here is the nutritional information from the Clif Bar web site. The ingredients are listed below each.

Berry

IMAGE 3


Organic Dates, Organic Almonds, Organic Barberries, Organic Bilberries, Sea Salt.

Cashew

IMAGE 4


Organic Dates, Organic Cashews, Organic Almonds, Sea Salt.

Chocolate Almond Coconut

IMAGE 5


Organic Dates, Organic Almonds, Organic Unsweetened Chocolate, Organic Coconut, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Sea Salt.

Peanut Butter

IMAGE 6


Organic Dates, Organic Peanuts, Organic Almonds, Sea Salt.

A few things draw my attention just looking at the nutritional info. As expected the Peanut Butter and Chocolate flavors have higher calorie counts and fat levels with the oils in them. To me that says, "Breakfast" as I like to have the higher fat bars in the morning when they can burn throughout the day.

The Berry flavor I expected to have a lower calorie count but higher carbs from the extra fruit, which it does. I prefer higher carbohydrate foods as I hike along the trail during the day. It is interesting that the berries used are bilberries and barberries. Bilberries are from Central and Northern Europe and look like (but are not!) blueberries. Barberries are most commonly found in the Middle East and are referred to as Zereshk in their dried state. I would love to know more about how they are used in these bars. They are said to have a tart flavor so my taste buds shall be looking for it.

I really don't understand the nutritional information numbers for the Cashew flavor. To me they should be higher across the board as cashews have a lot of natural fats and protein. Oh well, I love cashews so I will just look forward to eating them, not worrying about their numbers.

That does it for the Initial Report. Time to get these out on the trail, but if you will please come back in a few months I will tell you how the Kit's Organics did in the field, plus give my thoughts on the individual flavors. My hearty thanks to Clif and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to partake.


LONG TERM REPORT

Field Data

I had the Clif Kit's Bars on two day-hikes north of Moorhead Minnesota, one 8 miles, the other 10 miles (13, 16 km). The temps were between 70 and 80 F (21 - 27 C).

I had them for breakfasts and lunches for three days of a five-day trip deep in the Superior National Forest, right by the Canadian border. I volunteered to help the United States Forest Service (USFS) build a bridge over Bridal Falls on the Border Route Trail. The temperatures on this trip were from 35 to 70 F (2 to 21 C). Conditions were wet and rainy for all but the last day. Here is a picture at breakfast time on this trip.

breakfast time on Gunflint Lake



I took them (and ran out of them) on a long California trip that saw a 2-day backpacking trip in the southern Sierra Nevada, a 5-day backpacking trip in the northern Sierra Nevada, and a day-hike and 2-day trip in the Angeles National Forest. There was a total of 136.5 miles (220 km) with 23575 ft (7186 m) of gain, in temps that ran from 31 to a ridiculously warm for that time of year 90 F (-1 to 32 C). Almost all of it was on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).

Observations

I really like the Kit's Organic Fruit & Nut bars. They have proven to be tasty and easy to eat. I have found them to be satisfying and filling, but I am a light eater when hiking hard.

The bars hold together very well. I saw some pretty hot days and they never melted or got messy. A couple were smashed a bit between a lot of heavy tools and metal hardware I was carrying up to our bridge site but they were still in one piece when I opened them.

On the Pacific Crest Trail near Lake Tahoe we saw morning temps around or below freezing but the Kit's bars were always chewable, never hard or frozen solid.

Here are my takes on the individual flavors.

Chocolate Almond Coconut: I expected this to be my least favorite as I am not a chocolate fan. But these surprised me by being very subtle in the chocolate flavor and not too sweet. The coconut is more flavorful than the chocolate and it ends up being kind of a natural Mounds Bar kind of thing. I liked it, but it would still be the last I would buy. Here I am eating one for lunch above Bridal Falls. (Yes, I am as beat as I look. That was hard work!)

Almost too tired to eat.



Peanut Butter: Being a huge peanut fan (indeed all nuts) I figured this would be my favorite. It is good but ranked third for me. It was a breakfast staple on my trips before I ran out.

Berry: This is a great flavor. It is quite tart and makes a great mid-day meal as it really wakes my mouth up. It seems even tarter if I am drinking a sweetened sport drink along with it.

Cashew: Not only is this my favorite Kit's bar I think it is my new favorite bar period. I love this flavor. The texture is great and the flavor is not too sweet. They were my other breakfast flavor. I wish I had received a case of just this flavor. If I ever see them for sale here I will get some to use this winter where it gets to -20 F (-29 C) and below. I would like to see if they remain soft enough to chew at those temps. If I do I will update this report next spring.

Otherwise that is it for this test. In my opinion Clif has another winner, one that I hope to see them build on by adding more flavors in the future. My thanks to them and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to participate.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

Read more reviews of Clif gear
Read more gear reviews by Ray Estrella

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