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Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Fourpoints Energy Bars > Test Report by Gail Staisil

FourPoints
Trail Bars

Test Series by: Gail Staisil, Marquette, Michigan

Initial Report - May 29, 2018
Long Term Report - September 26, 2018

Initial Report:

May 29, 2018

Tester Information

Name: Gail Staisil
Age: 65
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Weight: 160 lb (73 kg)
Location: Marquette, Michigan USA
Email: woodswoman 2001 AT yahoo DOT com

For the last 20 years, backpacking has become a passion. I am a four-season backpacker and an off-trail navigator. Although I do take yearly trips to the American West or Southwest, the majority of my trips are in Michigan. My pack weight varies considerably but my base weight is below 18 lb (8 kg). I am primarily a tarp camper who averages more than 50 nights a year backpacking in a huge variety of weather conditions including relentless rain, wet snow and sub-zero temps.

Product Information

Manufacturer
 Fourpoints
Website https://www.fourpointsbar.com
Flavors Alpine Apple Pie, Backcountry Banana Bread, Colorado Trail Chocolate Peanut, Mountain Mocha Espresso, Powder Day PB&J, Rocky Mountain Macaroon and Trailhead Ginger Bread
Weight of each bar  2.5 oz (71 g)
 Cost $36 US (box of 12)

Initial Impressions and Product Description 

Fourpoints Energy Bars in all flavors
I received a box of twelve assorted flavors of the energy bars. Included were Alpine Apple Pie, Backcountry Banana Bread, Colorado Trail Chocolate Peanut, Mountain Mocha Espresso, Powder Day PB&J, Rocky Mountain Macaroon and Trailhead Ginger Bread. All the flavors have as their main ingredient dried plums! The bars have an attractive wrapper with a little translucent window where I can see that the bar contains whole ingredients. Each wrapper also has a topo map printed on the wrapper of various places in Colorado, USA (where the bars are made). According to the manufacturer, the Fourpoints logo refers to the bar containing real ingredients, balanced macronutrients, slow burn energy and ridiculously delicious. The bars should be stored in a cool dry place out of direct sunlight. All bars contain warnings for milk and various nuts. The bars contain no preservatives, additives or gluten and are made primarily with RAW superfoods,
 

Bar Stats and Ingredients


- Alpine Apple Bar - This bar has 250 calories and weighs 2.5 oz  (71 g). Carbs are 35 g, protein 11 g , fat 9 g and fiber 6 g. Ingredients listed: Dried plums, apples, figs, non-RBGH (RBGH= synthetic hormone) whey protein isolate, cashews, hemp seeds, almonds, ground flaxseed, sunflower lecithin, and cinnamon.

- Backcountry Banana Bread - This bar has 260 calories and weighs 2.5 oz (71 g). Carbs are 35 g, protein 11 g, fat 10 g and fiber 6 g. Ingredients listed: Dried plums, bananas, figs, non-RBGH whey protein isolate, cashews, hemp seeds, almonds, walnuts, ground flaxseed, sunflower lecithin, vanilla bean, and cinnamon. 

- Colorado Trail Chocolate Peanut - This bar has 280 calories and weighs 2.5 oz (71 g). Carbs are 29 g, protein 13 g, fat 15 g and fiber 7 g. Ingredients listed: Dried plums, figs, peanuts, cacao nibs, non-RBGH whey protein isolate, cashews, hemp seeds, almonds, ground flaxseed, sunflower lecithin, vanilla bean and sea salt. 

- Mountain Mocha Espresso - This bar has 250 calories and weighs 2.5 oz (71 g). Carbs are 30 g, protein 12 g, fat 11 g and fiber 6 g. Ingredients listed are: Dried plums, figs, cashews, non-RBGH why protein isolate, cacao nibs, hemp seeds, almonds, expresso beans, flaxseed, sunflower lecithin, vanilla bean, and sea salt. This bar is the only one that contains caffeine.

- Powder Day PB&J -This bar has 270 calories. Carbs are 34 g, protein 11 g, fat 11 g and fiber 6 g. Ingredients listed are: Dried plums, cranberries (cranberries, apple juice), figs, non-RBGH whey protein isolate, cashews, peanuts, hemp seeds, almonds, ground flaxseed, sunflower lecithin and sea salt.

- Rocky Mountain Macaroon - This bar has 280 calories and weighs 2.5 oz (71 g). Carbs are 31 g, protein 11 g, fat 14 g and fiber 9 g. Ingredients listed are: Dried plums, figs, toasted coconut, cashews, cacao nibs, non-RBGH whey protein isolate, hemp seeds, almonds, ground flaxseed, sunflower lecithin, and vanilla bean.

- Trailhead Ginger Bread - This bar has 260 calories and weighs 2.5 oz (71 g). Carbs are 31 g, protein 11 g, fat 14 g and fiber 5 g. Ingredients listed are: Dried plums, figs, non-RBGH whey protein isolate, cashews, hemp seeds, almonds, walnuts, blackstrap molasses, ground flaxseed, sunflower lecithin, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and sea salt.     
                                                                                                                                
 
Summary

The Fourpoints Bars appear to be made with real ingredients in the right proportions to sustain energy, I can't wait to try them in the backcountry to find out.


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Long Term Report:
September 26, 2018

USA Locations and Conditions

During long term testing I have taken eight Michigan and Minnesota backpacking trips totaling thirty-six days, and many other day outings in Michigan. The forests included boreal and deciduous settings and lakeshore. Elevation ranged from above 600 ft (183 m) to almost 2,000 ft (610 m).
 
Location of Trip #1 Grand Island National Recreation Area  
Length of Trip: 2 days, 1 night (June 14-15) 
Pack Weight: 19 lb (8.6 kg)
Distance: 12 mi (19 km)  
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy 
Precipitation: Light rain
Temperature Range: 46 F to 68 F (8 F to 20 F)  

Location of Trip #2: Isle Royale National Park
Length of Trip 8 days/8 nights (June 19-26)
Pack Weight: 32 lb (14.5 kg)  
Distance: 62 mi (100 km)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy and sunny
Precipitation: Just a trace of rain!
Temperature Range: 34 F to 78 F/1 C to 26 C 

Location of Trip #3: Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park 
Length of Backpacking Trip (backpacking into and out from rustic cabin): 4 days, 3 nights (July 1-4)
Distance: 5 mi (8 km) 
Pack Weight: 30 lb (13.6 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, rainstorms, sunny, humid
Precipitation: Lots of rain
Temperature Range: 54 F to 89 F (12 C to 32 C)
 
Location of Trip #4: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Length of Backpacking Trip: 2 days, 1 night (July 17-18) 
Distance: 15 mi (24 km)
Pack Weight: 21 lb (9.5 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Sunny
Precipitation: None
Temperature Range: 43 F to 69 F (6 C to 21 C)

Location of Trip #5: Grand Island National Recreation Area
Length of Backpacking Trip: 2 days, 1 night (July 23-24) 
Distance: 22 mi (35 km)
Pack Weight: 21 lb (9.5 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Sunny
Precipitation: None
Temperature Range: 56 F to 69 F (13 C to 21 C)

Location of Trip #6: Isle Royale National Park, Michigan
Length of Trip 12 days/12 nights (August 17-29)
Pack Weight: 28 lb (12.7 kg)
Distance: 91 mi (147 km)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, rain and some sun
Precipitation: Heavy rain twice (many hours each time) 
Temperature Range: 46 F to 82 F (8 C to 28 C)

Location of Trip #7: Grand Island National Recreation Area, Michigan
Length of Backpacking Trip: 3 days, 2 nights (Sept 10-12) 
Distance: 13 mi (21 km) 
Pack Weight: 23 lb (10.4 kg) 
Sky and Air Conditions: Sunny
Precipitation: None
Temperature Range: 45 F to 83 F (7 C to 28 C)

Location of Trip #8: Superior Hiking Trail, Minnesota
Length of Backpacking Trip: 3 days, 3 nights (Sept 18-20) 
Distance: 24 mi (39 km) 
Pack Weight: 23 lb (10.4 kg) 
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, misty rain
Precipitation: Misty rain
Temperature Range: 49 F to 55 F (9 C to 13 C)  
 
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Trip Talk
Before consuming at Isle Royale
I have taken many backpacking trips as outlined above during the testing period. I have rationed the bars out so that I could make them a part of my food bag on all of these trips. I have also enjoyed a few on day hikes. All of these bars have been consumed in highly-scenic areas. Just stated because I didn't eat them at home or when I wasn't necessarily hungry.

I have found the bars to be satisfying enough, that is they curbed my hunger and kept me on an even keel for a few hours. The taste varied for me as usually I prefer a bar with some grains added. My biggest issue with the bars is that while eating them I always found them to stick to my teeth. Not being home I didn't grab a toothbrush but had to keep trying to clean my teeth with my tongue. I just found them to be too sticky I guess. The weird part is that they were not sticky while holding them in my hands, just when I broke them apart in my mouth.

The bars were always stored in my food bag except for when I rationed out the snacks for the day. I then stored them in my hipbelt pocket on my backpack. Although it would be hard to know the exact temperature in the storage areas, the outside temperature varied wildly from very cool temperatures to hot 34 F to 89 F (1 C to 32 C). I never found the consistency of the bars to change or get sticky while touching even during the hot temps.

My taste preference for the Trailhead Gingerbread bars exceeded all the others. I could taste the different spices and wished there were even more. 

The first bar that I ate was the Rocky Mountain Macaroon. I was on a four-hour very hilly day hike and did not eat the bar until I was over half way through the hike. First noticeable was the tangy taste of the plums. After I bit into it I felt a crunch; later I realized that the bar wrapper warns of shell pieces. I could taste the cacao nibs in this bar but the coconut was barely perceptible.

The Powder Day PB&J bar was less crunchy but still stuck to my teeth. It didn't seem as tangy but maybe the jelly sweetened it up. It had a nutty presence.

Now to my least favorite bar; the Mountain Mocha Espresso. I must say upfront that I have never ever drank coffee so being attracted to anything mocha is not for me. I really had a hard time eating half of the bar so I shared it with my coffee-loving partner. I thought he would be enthralled with it but apparently the crushed espresso beans were too much. He ate it but said it was not something he would prefer.

The Backcountry Banana Bread bar tasted fine. I really couldn't taste much banana but I assume the blend of flavors contained it.

The Colorado Trail Chocolate Peanut Bar is one that sounded heavenly. While there are those ingredients (chocolate and peanuts) in the bar the plum taste supersedes all other components. I guess I would definitely like to taste more chocolate!

The Alpine Apple Bar had a slight apple taste but it was hard to tell as the plums overshadow it.

All of the bars were eaten at least two-three hours after the start of a hike or backpack. It gave me plenty of time to be a bit hungry so that I could tell the lasting effects of eating a bar. I also liked that the bars were far from sweet.

 
Summary

The FourPoint Bars do what they are supposed to do: provide sustained energy. From that standpoint they succeed. Tasting/eating any kind of food is very subjective.  While I didn't mind the taste of the bars for the most part, they simply wouldn't be the first choice for me in the future. However I would purchase these bars again for their health benefits/nutrition aspect but not necessarily for the taste/texture. The only one that stood out to me as a favorite was the Gingerbread flavor so that would be my personal choice.
Another one about to be consumed

Pros

  • Mostly RAW ingredients
  • Adequate calories
  • Designed for optimal glycemic load
  • No preservatives or additives

 Cons

  • Bars stuck to my teeth while eating


 

Tester Remarks 

 

Thanks to Fourpoints and BackpackGearTest.org for this opportunity to test the energy bars. This concludes my Long Term Report and the test series.
 
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Read more gear reviews by Gail Staisil

Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Fourpoints Energy Bars > Test Report by Gail Staisil



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