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Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Honey Stinger Organic Waffles > Test Report by Brett Haydin

Honey Stinger Organic Waffles
Test Series by Brett Haydin
Initial Report - October 29, 2012
Long Term Report -March 5, 2013


TESTER INFORMATIONAuthor

NAME: Brett Haydin
EMAIL: bhaydin AT hotmail DOT com
AGE: 39
LOCATION: Denver, Colorado, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
WEIGHT: 200 lb (90.70 kg)

I started backpacking in Wisconsin as a youth, being involved in the Boy Scouts programs. As a young adult, I worked at a summer camp leading backpacking, canoeing and mountain biking trips. I now generally take short weekend or day trips in rough, mountainous terrain, although I have extensive experience in the upper Midwest as well. I take one or two longer trips each year, where I typically carry about 40 lb (18 kg). I prefer to be prepared and comfortable, but I have taken lightweight trips as well.



Initial Report

Product Information & Specifications

nutrition
Image courtesy of manufacturer
Manufacturer: Honey Stinger
Year of Manufacture:  2012
Manufacturer's Website:  www.honeystinger.com
MSRP: $1.39 (single) or $22.24 (box of 16)
Listed Weight: 1 oz (30 g)
Measured Weight: 1 oz (30 g)
Measured Packed Size: 3.5 in x 4.75 in (22 cm x 61 cm)
Flavors Tested: 
Honey, Chocolate and Lemon
Other Flavors available: Vanilla, Strawberry
Calories: 160

Product Description

The Honey Stinger Organic Waffle is a crisp, almost chewy, wafer that can be eaten as a convenient snack or energy boost while hiking.  For this test series I received three boxes of 16 waffles and for this report I consumed one.  I just couldn't resist!  The waffle itself is 3.25 in (8 cm) in diameter and is a near perfect circle.  The wafer is made to resemble a waffle, and for all I know it is made the same way too!  

The waffles are nice and flat so they can fit into a pocket.  They are made of organic ingredients as well, such as organic wheat flour, organic honey and a fair amount of other ingredients.  The ingredients sound wholesome, although the chocolate and lemon versions have "natural flavors."  It doesn't sound too ominous, rather they look quite healthy.  Based on the nutrition information, these snacks are high in sugars and fats, making for a good energy boost.  

Initial Impressions

I managed to take a waffle on a mountain bike ride in the Denver, Colorado area.  I put the waffle in the pocket of my bike shorts.  I fully expected the waffle to be a mashed mess when I stopped 10 mi (16 km) into my ride.  To my surprise, the waffle was intact!  It was also delicious!  The waffle was softer and somewhat chewier than I would have expected, but not in a bad way.   I like that the packaging is small, and it was really easy to open.  
The Waffle
Honey Stinger Organic Waffles



















Long Term Report

Field Conditions

Over the testing period, I have consumed the waffles on six backpacking trips, five days snowboarding, two days mountain biking, and seven day (and night) hikes. My first trip was a quick overnight to the Rocky Mountain National Park, along the Longs Peak trail to Chasm Lake. This hike had a round trip of 8.4 mi (13.5 km) to the lake which is at 11,760 ft (3,584 m). Temperatures were warm at 50 F (10 C) during the daytime and an overnight low of 35 F (2 C). Weather was perfect with clear skies and only light winds, with some occasional gusts.

My next trip was an overnight to Jasper Lake with a small group of friends in the Indian Peaks Wilderness of Colorado. This hike was a round trip of 8.9 mi (14.3 km) to a lake at 10,814 ft (3,296 m). The temperature was near 45 F (7 C) during the day and down to 20 F (-7 C) overnight. I had pretty clear skies the whole time, but there was a little snow along the trail at times; it has been a dry winter so far.

I also took an overnight hike to summit Shawnee Peak in the Lost Creek Wilderness in Colorado. This 13 mi (21 km) hike, round trip, took me to the top of the 11,917 ft (3,632 m) peak where I camped at 10,660 ft (3,250 m). Elevation gain was a little over 3,000 ft (900 m). I experienced strong winds, some good snowfall of 6 in (15 cm) and temperatures between 10 and 40 F (-12 and 4 C).

My next trip was a leisurely two-night trip along the first segment of the Colorado Trail. This hike ended up being 13.3 mi (21.4 km) along some easier terrain than the other trips, but still saw some elevation. I camped at between 6,500 and 7,000 ft (1,980 and 2,130 m) along the way. I had fantastic weather for January in the mountains; a high of 55 F (13 C) and overnight lows near 30 F (-1 C). I saw mostly sunshine with some clouds.

My final trip was a two-night hut trip near Leadville, Colorado. We skinned/snowshoed 6 mi (10 km) to the Uncle Bud’s Hut and spent the second day backcountry snowboarding, leaving by the same route. Temperatures were anywhere from 5 to 30 F (-15 to -1 C) and we had a mix of sunshine and snow with some moderate to heavy winds.

My many other activities for the most part took place in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, with the exception of some hiking in Wisconsin over the Thanksgiving holiday. In Wisconsin, we ran into a little rain, although the temperature was about 45 F (7 C). Temperatures and conditions otherwise mirrored the conditions I experienced throughout the test. I did join a group of hikers that take weekly night hikes in the Denver, Colorado area, and several of my day hikes included hiking at night.

Observations

On trail
Eating some waffles on the Colorado Trail
Throughout the testing, I generally brought along the Honey Stinger Waffles in my backpack or within an interior pocket to keep them warm(er). I have to admit, these treats are pretty yummy! The chocolate is a perfect blend of a more milk-chocolate flavor with a dose of honey that is quite delicious. The original Honey flavor is perfectly sweet and yet not overpowering. The Lemon is not a sour lemon, but rather a sweeter version, no doubt due to the honey. I did not find it unappealing, but it was my least favorite. I would say that the original Honey flavor is my favorite, but only by a little.

The texture of the waffles is perfect when they are kept above freezing. On several of my trips, the waffles in my pack froze and were quite tough to eat. I even took them out after the first one was hard but it never really thawed out inside my jacket. This had no effect on the taste, but it did make it difficult to eat. But when hiking in moderate and warm weather, these are soft, but not mushy. The waffles can be a little flaky and leave some crumbs, so in the summer I will want to try and consume them away from camp. Yes, I will definitely be buying more of these for this summer! There is a picture at the left of me enjoying a waffle on my trip along the Colorado Trail.  My dog, Buster, is also hoping for a nibble!

One of the things I was curious to see was how much of a difference it made while hiking. I took a trip to a local hiking spot called Elephant Butte in Jefferson County, Colorado. I hiked this in consecutive weekends intending to see what difference it made when I hiked without the waffles and the other with them. My first hike was the baseline, but I wandered off trail on the way down (missed a turn) so times could not really be compared. On the second trip I consumed one waffle 30 minutes prior to the hike and one waffle every hour thereafter (for a total of 3). I have to say I felt more energized on the second trip. I would like to believe that it was the waffle that tipped the balance!

The Honey Stinger Waffles are easy to pack. One thing I was interested to see was how durable they would be. I did find one waffle cracked early on in the test, but other than that, the waffles held up quite well. My fears of opening a package to find a disintegrated mess never came even remotely true. In the harsh cold weather on my Shawnee Peak, the waffles were solid enough not to break. In fact it took quite an effort to break off bite size chunks.

I think one of the things I like most is that these are really packable and fit easily into a pocket, or can be crammed into a pack without it becoming a mess. To save on garbage, I opened up several and put them into a sealable sandwich bag. They didn’t really stick together much (just a little) and I had less trash to pack out. I had all the same flavor so I wouldn’t cross the tastes. I’m not sure if they would, but I didn’t want to risk it.

Summary

I really enjoyed waffles, and in fact I did run out a few weeks before the test expired. My favorite flavor is the Honey flavor, but I really did enjoy all of them. As I mentioned earlier, these are fantastic treats that I definitely intend to stock up on.

Pros: Small size, but good calorie load for the weight, great taste and definitely provides an energy boost.

Cons: Difficult to eat in cold weather.


This concludes my report.  I would like to thank Honey Stinger for their generosity as well as the folks at BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to be a part of this test series.



Read more reviews of Honey Stinger gear
Read more gear reviews by Brett Haydin

Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Honey Stinger Organic Waffles > Test Report by Brett Haydin



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