Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gel > Test Report by Nancy Griffith

May 04, 2013



NAME: Nancy Griffith
EMAIL: bkpkrgirlATyahooDOTcom
AGE: 47
LOCATION: Northern California, USA
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 trekking poles.



Organic Gel
Photo courtesy of Honey Stinger
Manufacturer: Honey Stinger
Year of Manufacture: 2013
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: $1.35 US for a single packet; $32.40 US for a box of 24
Listed Weight: 1 oz (32 g) contents of package
Measured Weight: 1.2 oz (34 g) in package
Flavors available: Vanilla, Fruit Smoothie, Acai & Pomegranate
Flavors tested: All three
Made in USA

Best By Date: 18 months from date of manufacture
Best By Date (on wrapper): 02/14

Ingredients (same for all three flavors): Organic tapioca syrup, organic honey, water, potassium citrate, natural flavor, citric acid, sodium chloride. Contains 95% organic ingredients.

Allergens: Packaged on equipment shared with milk products.
May Contain: milk, egg, soy and shellfish products

Nutrition Information:
Calories: 100
Total Fat: 0 g
Sodium: 50 g
Potassium: 50 g
Total Carb: 23 g
Cholesterol: 0 g
Fiber: 0 g
Sugars: 13 g
Protein: 0 g


Honey Stinger Organic Gel is carbohydrate and electrolyte mixture in a gel form that is easily digestible for use during athletic activity. The carbohydrates are a blend of both simple (honey) and complex (tapioca syrup) carbs in order to give a quick boost of energy and some sustained energy. This is the main difference from their classic gel which uses honey solely as the carbohydrate source. The electrolytes are in the form of sodium, magnesium and potassium. 95% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic. They have no added vitamins.

They contain no caffeine unlike many other gels that I have tried. I generally avoid caffeine and most 'energy' products seem to feel the need to add caffeine, so I really appreciate that these contain none. The gels do not have any gluten but they are made in a facility that processes gluten. In between production runs the lines are meticulously cleaned. Since they contain honey, they are not vegan-friendly.


Gel ColorThe gels arrived in a similar package and size as most of the other gels that I have tried. Several of them were quite sticky but I couldn't find any broken package. I washed them off with clear water and it seemed to remove the residue.

Since vanilla is my favorite flavor in general, I decided to try it first. The package is easy to tear open but leaves a pesky small piece of trash similar to ones I see on many trails. I am always careful to find these and get them in a secure place so that I don't contribute to the litter.

The vanilla gel has a clear light amber color and flows easily. It is more the consistency of light syrup versus a gel and is runnier than any other gel that I've tried. The taste was very good and was like a genuine vanilla flavor rather than some vanilla flavorings that taste artificial to me.


The website says that consumption every 30-45 minutes will help keep your blood sugar elevated resulting in increased output and endurance.

Honey Stinger developed these gels with Lance Armstrong and is a sponsor of cycling teams where the required energy is a bit different than that for backpacking. But for a quick burst of energy on the trail at the end of the day or before a big climb it may be just what I need.


The Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gels are a convenient and compact way to carry and consume quick energy without having to stop hiking.

Initial Likes:
- Good taste
- No caffeine
- Quick, convenient energy boost

Needs Improving:
- Would prefer a way to keep the tear off tab attached to reduce litter



Donner LakeI took the gels with me for backpacking, snowshoeing, hiking and mountain biking.

Snowshoe Backpacking:
Loon Lake Trail, Sierra Nevada, California: 2 nights; 16.2 mi (26 km); 6,327 to 7,030 ft (1,928 to 2,143 m) elevation; 22 to 50 F (-5 to 10 C); clear to cloudy conditions with light wind. Snow conditions were packed powder of 4 ft (1.2 m) depth.

Loon Lake, Sierra Nevada, California: 2 days; 10 mi (16 km); 6,327 to 6,500 (1,928 to 1,981 m); 34 to 59 F (1 to 15 C) with clear conditions.

Mount Rose, Carson Range, Nevada: 8,900 to 9,300 ft (2,713 to 2,835 m) elevation; 29 to 33 F (-2 to 0 C); clear conditions with little breeze. Snow conditions were deep powder.

Donner Lake State Park, California: 5,935 to 6,362 ft (1,809 to 1,939 m) elevation; 35 F (2 C); mostly sunny conditions. Snow conditions were moderate depth powder.

Cronan Ranch East Ridge, Sierra Nevada, California: 4 mi (6 km); 743 to 1,262 ft (226 to 385 m) elevation; 50 to 55 F (10 to 13 C); mostly sunny conditions.

Western States Trail, Sierra Nevada, California: 12.8 mi (20.6 km); 715 to 1,200 ft (218 to 366 m); 55 to 70 F (13 to 21 C).

Mountain Biking:
South Fork American River Trail, California: 13 mi (21 km); 800 to 1,200 ft (240 to 370 m) elevation; 50 to 64 F (10 to 18 C); mostly cloudy conditions.


I liked the gels for a quick burst of energy on strenuous sections of trail. On the Mount Rose snowshoe hike I had eaten a healthy lunch of complex carbs and protein but as we hit a steep climb in deep powder I could feel the need for some simple carbs. I pulled out a gel and appreciated the boost it gave me to get to the top.

I tried using the gels in different ways rather than just eating them directly from the package. For one I used them with nut butter or sunflower seed butter on tortillas or bread. The gels are quite runny so I found it to work best to just add the gel one bite at a time otherwise it was dripping off before I could eat it. I also tried the vanilla gel in hot tea which was quite tasty by using about half a package. A whole package made a large cup of tea too sweet for me.

The taste of the gels have a predominant flavor of honey since they contain so much of it and I find that to be very good since I am a fan of honey.

I wish the tear tab had a section to connect it to the rest of the package so that it wouldn't be so easy to lose. I am very careful not to drop these and cause litter but I see them everywhere on the trails not just of this brand but from the many brands that use this type of packaging.


Overall I like the flavor of the Honey Stinger gels better than other gels that I've tried due to the predominant flavor of honey which I like. I found the gels to be a convenient and tasty way to get quick energy in the form of simple carbs.

Thumbs Up:
Quick energy boost
Easy to open
Honey base is yummy

Thumbs Down:
Tear tab is easily dropped
Consistency is runny

This concludes my Long-Term Report and this test series. Thanks to Honey Stinger and for allowing me to participate in this test.

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.
Read more gear reviews by Nancy Griffith

Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gel > Test Report by Nancy Griffith

Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

All material on this site is the exclusive property of
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson