Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Next Level Trail Mix > Test Report by Michael Pearl


INITIAL REPORT - July 24, 2018


NAME: Mike Pearl
EMAIL: mikepearl36ATyahooDOTcom
AGE: 44
LOCATION: Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 155 lb (70.30 kg)

I have a great appreciation for the outdoors and get out at every opportunity. I am a three-season, learning to be a four-season backpacker and year-round hiker. Currently, my trips are two to three days long as well as an annual week-long trip. I utilize the abundant trail shelters in my locale and pack a backup tarp-tent. I like to cover big distances while still taking in the views. I have lightweight leanings but function and reliability are the priority. I mostly travel woodland mountain terrain but enjoy hiking beautiful trails anywhere.



Manufacturer: Shar Snacks IMAGE 1
Year of Manufacture: 2018
Handcrafted in: Austin, Texas

Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: US$8.99 per one 4.5 oz ( g) pack
US$24.99 per three 4.5 oz ( g) packs

Listed Net Weight: 4.5 oz (127.5 g)
Measured Net Weight: 4.4 oz (125 g)
Measured Total Weight: 5 oz (141 g)
Measured Weight Without Carabiner: 4.6 oz (132 g)

The Next-Level Trail Mix is a responsibly sourced snack mix of dried fruits and nuts. It is made with ingredients that are organic, gluten free, vegan and paleo. There's more on ingredients in up coming section.


Six bags of Shar (pronounced share, long "a" indicated by the horizontal line about the "a") Next-Level Trail Mix arrived each with a carabiner. The bag has a small metal ring through the upper right hand corner. This is where the carabiner is attached to the bag. My guess is for attaching to ones pack, belt loop or other locations for easy access while on the go. I do not foresee myself using the carabiner as I prefer not to have items hanging from my pack when possible. I could see repurposing the carabiner for use when hanging my food on overnight backpacks. Further after about three or four carabiners I really do not have much need for them. I feel a "biners" on every bag is overkill.

The bag is on the plain and simple side, but at the same time attention grabbing and informative. Ingredient and nutrition information is provided on the bags. I've listed this info in the next section. Also on the bag is mention of Shar Snacks contribution to stewardship. Shar donates 20% of net profits to The Conservation Alliance, an organization dedicated to protecting wild spaces. I feel this is a positive business practice and like to support socially responsible companies. Kudos to Shar Snacks for being such a company.

Included in the box with the Trail Mix packets were two pamphlets. One about "Ingredient #8 Pecans" and the farm they are sourced from in Texas. Shar identifies itself as a "farm to table snack" as part of responsible sourcing. The second pamphlet is "about" info describing the creator of Shar and motivation for making Next-Level Trail Mix. The other side of this pamphlet explains the Shar "mantra" for creating the best snack fuel possible, reason for using quality ingredients from the finest organic farms and their support of Conservation Alliance.


The Next-Level Trail Mix is made with nine ingredients. Many of which are sourced from around the USA, listed in parenthesis.

- Almonds (Turlcock, CA)
- Wild Blueberries (Royal City, WA)
- Cashews (Vietnam / Portland, OR)
- Dried Tart Montmorency Cherries (Royal City, WA)
- Cranberries (Cape Cod, MA)
- Dark Chocolate Chips (San Francisco, CA)
- Pecans (Caldwell, TX)
- Pistachios (Santa Barbara, CA)
- Coconut Flakes (Philippines / Portland, OR)
- Evaporated Cane Juice (Not Listed)
- Organic Sunflower Oil (Not Listed)

A serving size is 1.85 oz (18 g) making for 2.5 servings per container. Per serving there are 260 calories with 160 calories from fat.
A serving provides 18 g total fat (28% DV - daily value), 4.5 g saturated fat (23% DV), 135 mg sodium, total carbohydrate 25 g (8% DV), dietary fiber 4 g (16% DV), sugars 17 g, no trans fat or cholesterol. Additionally there's 6% vitamin A, 6% vitamin C, 4% calcium and 10% iron per serving.


IMAGE 3First things first, getting into the bag, it rips open easily. Opening the bag reveals a resealable tab. It snaps closed easily with a light click and reopens just as easy. The mix inside looks great each ingredient is distinct and easily identifiable. The one exception being the chocolate chips they are more like blobs. My guess is they melted during shipping. Not a big deal as they re-solidified and are not making a mess in the bag I opened.

I poured a handful and popped it in my mouth. I really like trail mix and have tried lots of different blends at my local food store's bulk section. I can be picky about various mixes and have my favorites. Some have too many of one ingredient that dominates the flavoring. I find this makes for boring eating long term which leads to low consumption. But on first taste the Next-Level Trail Mix is wow! It tastes great with different textures and flavors. The best part each ingredient is apparent and recognizable. There's crunchy, sweet, chewy, savory and tart in each bite. I ate three handfuls while writing this and had to really control my urge not to eat the whole bag.


The Shar Next-Level Trail Mix is really good stuff. I like the simple, whole ingredients. The taste is amazing. And the company contributes to land conservation to boot. I have only two minor nitpicks at this point the melted chocolate pieces and the extra carabiners. Both understandable and I'm sure I will forget about it when I am enjoying the mix on the trail.

This concludes my Initial Report. Please return in approximately four months for my Field Report. I would like to send my appreciation to Shar Snacks and for the opportunity to participate in this test series.

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

Read more reviews of Next Level gear
Read more gear reviews by Michael Pearl

Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Next Level Trail Mix > Test Report by Michael Pearl

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.

If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.

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