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Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Clif Shot Bloks > Owner Review by Nancy Griffith

CLIF SHOT BLOKS
BY NANCY GRIFFITH
OWNER REVIEW
October 16, 2011

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Nancy Griffith
EMAIL: bkpkrgirlATyahooDOTcom
AGE: 45
LOCATION: Northern California, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
WEIGHT: 130 lb (59.00 kg)

My outdoor experience began in high school with involvement in a local canoeing/camping group called Canoe Trails. The culmination was a 10-day canoe voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have completed all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. My typical trip now is in the Sierra Nevada in California and is from a few days to a week long. I carry a light to mid-weight load, use a tent, stove and hiking poles.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Shot BloksManufacturer: Clif Bar & Co.
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.clifbar.com/
MSRP: Not Listed
Listed Weight: 60 g of Bloks per package
Measured Weight: 2.6 oz (74 g) in package
Flavors Available: Black Cherry, Cran Razz, Lemon Lime, Margarita, Mountain Berry, Orange, Strawberry, Tropical Punch
I've tried: All except Tropical Punch
Caffeine: Black Cherry (50 mg), Orange (25 mg), Tropical Punch (25 mg)
Salt: Margarita (3x the others: 210 mg per serving); 2 servings per package

Clif Shot Bloks are a package of 6 individual bite-sized pieces of gummy semi-solid blocks. Due to the carbohydrate content they are good for pre-workout or for use during a workout. Each package contains 3 servings of 100 calories, 70 mg of sodium (except Margarita flavor which contains 210 mg) and 20 mg of potassium. Three of the flavors contain caffeine. They contain no animal products and are thus vegan-friendly. They are not certified kosher.

The package is what Clif calls a Fastpak. It is sleek without extra space and allows me to open the end and squeeze out one block at a time.

Ingredients:
The nutrition information varies slightly for each flavor but each package has 4.5 grams of fat, 270 calories and 20 g of protein. They contain between 46 - 49 % organic ingredients. Here's an example:

Black Cherry:
Ingredients: Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Brown Rice Syrup Solids, Pectin, Citric Acid, Green Tea Extract, Colored With Black Carrot Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavor, Organic Sunflower Oil, Carnauba Wax.

FIELD USE

In my continuing quest to add variety to my backpacking diet, I decided to try the Clif Shot Bloks. I'm generally not a fan of hard candy, jelly beans or gummy worms, but I have found that while backpacking I appreciate the quick burst of carbs and fun flavors of Jelly Bellies. The Clif Shot Bloks give me a similar sensation since they have several fruity flavors and an interesting texture. I used them on several day hikes and backpacking trips to give a quick energy boost. Overall I've consumed them on 5 backpacking trips for a total of 24 days and on multiple day hikes and mountain bike rides.

Backpacking:
Western States Trail, Sierra Nevada, California; 3 days; 18 mi (30 km); 1,800 to 4,365 ft (549 to 1,330 m) elevation; 45 to 72 F (7 to 22 C)

Mumford Bar Trail, Sierra Nevada, California; 2 days; 13 mi (21 km); 2,640 to 5,360 ft (805 to 1634 m) elevation; 53 to 90 F (12 to 32 C)

Desolation Wilderness, Sierra Nevada, California; 3 days; 19.5 mi (31.4 km); 6,560 to 8,220 ft (2,000 to 2,505 m) elevation; 40 to 80 F (4 to 27 C)

Wonderland Trail, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington; 10 days; 100 mi (161 km); 2,600 to 7,200 ft (792 to 2,195 m) elevation; 32 to 62 F (0 to 17 C)

Sequoia National Park, Sierra Nevada, California: 6 days, 60 miles (97 km); 6,700 to 11,600 ft (2,042 to 3,536 m) elevation; 38 to 84 F (3 to 29 C)

I try to limit my caffeine intake so that when I do use caffeine it is effective against headaches. So, I generally opted for the non-caffeinated Bloks (CranRazz, Lemon-Lime, Mountain Berry and Strawberry). I also consumed the Black Cherry and Orange occasionally (shared). I typically don't like fruit punch flavored items, so I never tried Tropical Punch. I used Margarita a few times on really strenuous outings.

Taste:
The first flavor I tried was Lemon-Lime which I liked but it isn't the most exciting flavor. The berry flavors were all good and I didn't really come out with a favorite among them. They all have that sweet and tart combination. I like the Black Cherry and Orange flavors a bit better than the berry flavors but since these both have caffeine, I didn't eat them often. My all-time favorite was Margarita. I was hesitant to try it since salt isn't generally something that I want to add to my diet, but on a long strenuous day I finally pulled this one out. I love it. Since buttered popcorn is my favorite jelly bean flavor, I guess this isn't too surprising. I'm just more of a fan of salty foods than of sweet ones. I reserve this for hot days with a lot of exertion but I appreciate the boost of electrolytes when I need them.

Texture and Color:
The texture is a softer version of a gummy bear or gummy worm. It is easy to chew but can also be left in the mouth to dissolve (for those patient enough for this). My husband can have his for 20 minutes or more while mine seem to only last seconds. I think that I prefer the pleasure of chewing to give me satisfaction of enjoying and savoring the flavor.

Packaging, Convenience & Results:
I typically consumed a Blok when I needed an energy boost to get me up that last push of elevation or for another hour until something more substantial could be consumed. I liked that they provided an easy way for me to keep my blood sugar constant without having to stop for frequent snacks.

I found the packaging to be very convenient. They fit in my pants pocket or in my pack hip pocket so that I could easily access one during activity. The FastPak design makes it easy to eat one at a time or to share them with my hiking partners.

The only downside for me is that when opening the package a small piece completely detaches making a small piece of trash. This is fine at home, but I find that on the trail very small pieces of trash get inadvertently dropped causing me to litter at times despite my best intentions.

SUMMARY

The Clif Shot Bloks are a convenient and compact way to carry and consume quick energy without having to stop hiking.

THEY GOT IT RIGHT

Good taste especially Margarita
Great packaging
Quick, convenient energy boost
Good flavor variety for caffeine-free versions

NEED IMPROVEMENT

Opening package can leave a small piece of trash

SIGNATURE

Nancy Griffith

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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