LUNA SPORT MOONS
TEST SERIES BY JENNIFER JOY
April 27, 2008
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
bikerjen AT gmail DOT com
Austin, Texas, USA
5' 5" (1.65 m)
135 lb (61.20 kg)
I have been camping and hiking since I was a small child. I have been
trying to lighten my pack which currently runs around 26 lb (12 kg)
for a 3-4 day trip. My backpacking trips tend to be over a weekend or
day hikes. Multi-week hiking is a long-term goal. I could be
considered an intermediate backpacker but an experienced camper.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Clif Bar & Co.
|LUNA Sport Moons (photo from manufacturer)|
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: www.lunabar.com
Listed Weight: 1.05 oz (30 g) per packet
Measured Weight: 1.1 oz (31 g)
Other: 3 x 4 in (7.6 x 10 cm) packet
LUNA Sport Moons are designed especially for women. They come in a smaller portion size and the product is smaller than the similar Clif Shot Block.
Each Moon is approximately 1 in (2.5cm) long x .5 in (1 cm) wide at the center but narrows at both ends and is shaped like a moon with an embossed design on one side.
The Moons are available in three flavors:
According to the website the Moons are comprised of 95% organic ingredients. They are gluten free and contain 50% simple and 50% complex carbohydrates. They contain no animal products but they are not kosher.
Ingredients in common are:
Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Brown Rice Syrup Solids, Pectin, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Colored With Black Carrot Juice Concentrate, Organic Sunflower Oil
Pomegranate advertises it has 50% of the daily value of Vitamin C and adds these ingredients:
Ascorbic Acid (Vit. C), Carnauba Wax
Blueberry has antioxidants A, C, and E and adds these ingredients:
Ascorbic Acid (Vit. C), Palmitate (Vit. A), Tocopheryl Succinate (Vit. E), Carnauba Wax
Watermelon says it has energizing B vitamins and adds these ingredients:
Carnauba Wax, Niacin amide (Vit. B3), Pyridoxine HCl (Vit. B6), Thiamin HCl (Vit. B1), Riboflavin (Vit. B2), Cyanocobalamin (Vit. B12)
Each packet offers 6 pieces housed in a plastic pouch with:
Total fat: 0g
Total Carb: 24g
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
The Moons are recommended to be consumed at the rate of one packet per hour during exercise followed by water. According to the website they should be eaten 15-30 minutes before activity and then every 20-30 minutes during activity.
TRYING IT OUT
I received two packets of each flavor. Since there is very little product available for this test, I only sampled one Moon from the Pomegranate package. When I opened the package it released a pleasant fruity smell. The Moons, stored at room temperature, were firm but not hard to chew, much like a candy gummi bear. It tasted great and it was hard not to eat the whole package. I couldn't tell what fruit flavor it was in a blind test, but it tasted very good. Future testing will evaluate the product when used with exercise.
The testing will primarily be in Texas where temperatures will be quite varied. I expect seasonal variations with average highs starting at 60 F (16 C) and rising 10 degrees F (6 C) per month until we reach a high of 80 F (17 C) for January - March. Likewise the lows will start around 40 F (4 C) and rise to 60 F (16 C) over the test period. Below freezing temperatures will also be expected. In general, weather has very little to do with a food product except sometimes the product can melt or get hard, so that would be a consideration for the Moons.
In the next few months I will use the Moons primarily while cycling, on road and off road, as well as on day hikes. Testing will examine:
-Does the package open easily?
-Does the packaging hold up while I'm using and transporting it?
-Can I easily consume half and still be able to store them?
-Do they hold up in warm and cold weather?
-Are my fingers sticky after consuming the product?
-How is the taste and texture?
-Do I find the product to be effective?
-Is the calorie/performance gain worth it for the weight of the product?
-Is the empty packaging excessive (that is, hard to carry around the empties)?
A FINAL NOTE
This concludes my Initial Report. The Field Report will be appended to this report in approximately three months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information.
Thank you to BackpackGearTest and Clif Bar & Co. for the opportunity to test the LUNA Sport Moons.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
As I stated in the Initial Report the goal was to use the product while cycling, at the gym and on day hikes.
I found that the weather conditions had very little impact on the product except that it influenced the chewiness of the product. All testing took place in Texas from January - April.
Temperatures while cycling ranged from 40 F (4 C) to 80 F (17 C). Since it is still early in the year the temperatures were pleasant and not too hot. The gym was approximately 70 F (21 C) and the day hikes were in the 70s F (21 - 26 C).
The gym use was approximately one hour (2 times). The hikes were approximately 2 hours in length (2 times) and the cycling trips were 1.5 - 3 hours (4 times, 3 product uses each time)..
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The initial shipment from Luna was supplemented with more product. I received an additional 4 packages of each flavor which brought the total of Moon packets to 6 of each flavor: pomegranate, blueberry, and watermelon.
The Moons came in a fairly thick sealed plastic wrapper with a small "tear here" indication on the upper left hand side. Serrations on the top and the bottom of the package allowed opening anywhere along the top and the bottom, so the "tear here" was not particularly significant. The packages are easy to open with fingers and I never had an issue getting a package open. The plastic packaging is very durable and held up to rough handling at the bottom of my gym bag and being squished in my daypack. Additionally, the tacky gummi bear-like quality kept the Moon product inside the packet and I never had the Moons fall out when I opened the package. It was fairly easy to tuck unused Moons back into the package to be eaten later.
As mentioned earlier, the instructions on the website suggested that the Moons should be eaten 15-30 minutes before activity and then every 20-30 minutes during activity. That is how I used them.
I found the moons to be palatable and easy to eat in a range of temperatures (40 - 80 F / 4 - 17C), although I prefer them warmer because they are more pliable. I never found them to be sticky when eaten right out of the package. They do get tackier when warm, but it didn't seem to cause the product to stick to my fingers. I have a habit of sticking the similar, but larger Clif Shot Bloks under my cycling short legs to eat during races. I tried this with the Moons and found that their smaller size melted and made a sticky mess, so I do not recommend them for this purpose.
All three flavors were quite good and distinct. I did not have a favorite. I enjoyed the fruity flavors and if I took the time to savor the scent, they all had a nice pleasant fruity smell.
Consumed before a bike ride I always had plenty of energy for the ride. Repeating the use of the Moons at a rate of two packages an hour was sufficient for quite hard rides. It gives an energy boost and never caused any gastric distress or flavor burping. This was an excellent product for cycling when I had the time to stop and open the package. I used most of the packets riding, with an average of 3 packets per ride over 4 rides. I didn't have much trouble with sticky bits clinging to my teeth, but I usually followed the Moons with a swig of water.
A package before the gym worked well to keep my energy up through a pilates class or a spin bike session. I used the packets at the gym twice. It was a nice source of energy for after work and at 100 calories it isn't too much. As far as the various vitamin supplementation that each product offered goes, I couldn't really tell a difference between the various offerings except they all seemed to provide sufficient energy and I felt good.
Finally, these are a nice treat on a day hike. They kept me feeling good and ready to hike. I ate 2 packets on 2 hikes. One nice thing about these is that I could have shared them with a friend since they come 6 to a package. Sharing isn't so easy with some other food products. It also allowed me to eat a few at a time if I wanted to, but usually they were so good I couldn't resist eating them all at once.
The packets are small and portable. They are easy to take along on the trail or in a bag. The empties roll up fairly compactly. I do not think they pack enough calories to be worth the space on a long backpacking trip, but for day hikes or a shorter trip, they provide tasty calories and are easy enough to bring along.
Luna Sport has provided three energy products with appealing flavors. The calorie count is very reasonable without resorting to artificial sweeteners. I have to admit I feel some guilt over the packaging (while very minimal) required for individual use portions, but I do not see any alternative.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
I enjoyed this product so much I have already bought some for my own use.
Flavors that taste good in all sorts of temperatures
Nice texture and consistency
Light calorie count
Easy to use packaging
Disposing of packaging
Heavy (for their calorie count)
I would like to thank Luna Sport and BackpackGearTest for the opportunity to test the Luna Sport Moons.
Read more gear reviews by Jennifer Joy