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Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Olympic Granola Bars > Test Report by David Bradish

OLYMPIC GRANOLA BARS
TEST SERIES BY DAVID BRADISH
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - April 18, 2010
LONG TERM REPORT - July 20, 2010

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: David Bradish
EMAIL: davebradish AT gmail DOT com
AGE: 47
LOCATION: Southern California, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 2" (1.88 m)
WEIGHT: 170 lb (77.10 kg)

I started hiking in my teens in Arizona and New Mexico, primarily focusing on winter hiking. Since 1991 I have hiked a lot with my brother-in-law Ray, mostly in California's Sierra Nevada range and the southern mountains. In winter I bring as much gear as necessary to be safe and comfortable. For 3-season hiking I try to follow the principles of ultra light.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Olympic Granola
Web site: www.olympicgranola.com
Product: Trail Bars, Coffee House Bars, and Sunshine Bar
Date received: April 2010
MSRP: $49.99 (US) for a box of 18 direct from Olympic Granola
Weight listed: 3 oz/85 g, they were all dead on.
Size: 3" x 3" x "/ 76 mm x 76 mm x 19 mm

IMAGE 1

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

Olympic Granola says that their mission is "to provide the best tasting, healthy granola products available to meet the needs of today's increasingly health conscious, fast-paced lifestyles." Well that sounds good to me as I have long been a very health conscious eater and prefer to keep it that way on the trail. Hopefully these natural granola bars will help me eat right while backpacking.

I received their Variety Pack which has a sample of all the flavors. But it is kind of random what is included it seems as mine came with three each of Almond Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut, Honey Almond and Espresso Almond Chocolate Coffee flavors. I got two each of the Lemon Chamomile and Turtle Mocha Coffee, and just one of the Green Tea Zest Coffee and Mocha Mint Coffee flavors.

Here are all the bars with their ingredients listed and the nutritional information courtesy of Olympic Granola.

Almond Chocolate Trail Bar

Ingredients: Rolled Oats, Almonds, Nutty Rice (Rice Flour, Raisin Concentrate, Rice Bran, Salt), Honey, Semi-Sweet Chocolate (Sugar, Chocolate Liquor [Not Alcohol], Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract), Sunflower Nuts, Coconut, Flax Seeds, Sea Salt.
IMAGE 2

Chocolate Peanut Trail Bar

Ingredients: Rolled Oats, Peanuts, Nutty Rice (Rice Flour, Raisin Juice Concentrate, Rice Bran, Salt), Honey, Semi-Sweet Chocolate (Sugar, Chocolate Liquor [Not Alcohol], Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract), Sunflower Kernels, Coconut, Flax Seeds, Sea Salt.
IMAGE 3

Honey Almond Trail Bar

Ingredients: Rolled Oats, Almonds, Nutty Rice (Rice Flour, Raisin Juice Concentrate, Rice Bran, Salt), Honey, Sunflower Seeds, Coconut, Flax Seeds, Sea Salt.
IMAGE 4

Espresso Almond Chocolate Coffee Bar

Ingredients: Rolled Oats, Almonds, Nutty Rice (Rice Flour, Raisin Juice Concentrate, Rice Bran, Salt), Honey, Semi-Sweet Chocolate (Sugar, Chocolate Liquor [Not Alcohol], Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract), Sunflower Seeds, Coconut, Flax Seeds, Espresso Powder, Sea Salt.
IMAGE 5

Green Tea Zest Coffee Bar

Just a note about this one, I find it a bit strange to call a bar that has no coffee in it a Coffee Bar.

Ingredients: Rolled Oats, Almonds, Nutty Rice (Rice Flour, Raisin Juice Concentrate, Rice Bran, Salt), Honey, Sunflower Seeds, Coconut, Green Tea, Flax Seeds, Poppy Seed, Orange Extract, Sea Salt.
IMAGE 6

Mocha Mint Coffee Bar

Ingredients: Rolled Oats, Almonds, Nutty Rice (Rice Flour, Raisin Juice Concentrate, Rice Bran, Salt), Honey, Semi-Sweet Chocolate (Sugar, Chocolate Liquor [Not Alcohol], Sunflower Seeds, Coconut, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract), Flax Seeds, Espresso Powder, Mint Extract, Sea Salt.
IMAGE 7

Turtle Mocha Coffee Bar

Ingredients: Rolled Oats, Almonds, Nutty Rice (Rice Flour, Raisin Juice Concentrate, Rice Bran, Salt), Honey, Semi-Sweet Chocolate (Sugar, Chocolate Liquor [Not Alcohol], Sunflower Seeds, Coconut, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract), Pecans, Flax Seeds, Espresso Powder, Caramel Extract, Sea Salt.
IMAGE 8

Lemon Chamomile Sunshine Bar

Ingredients: Rolled Oats, Nutty Rice (Rice Flour, Raisin Juice Concentrate, Rice Bran, Salt), Almonds, Honey, Sunflower Seeds, Coconut, Chamomile, Flax Seeds, Lemon Extract, Sea Salt.
IMAGE 9

One thing that should be noted is that the suggested serving size is half a bar. This means that each bar when eaten in its entirety, the way I always do while on the trail, will have between 380 and 400 calories. That makes a meal for me most the time. It will be interesting to see how these handle hunger.

I will hold off on eating any of the bars until I can take them hiking. In my next report I shall give my thoughts as to their flavor, texture and usefulness for backpacking.



LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I took the Olympic Granola Bars on every day hike and backpacking trip I went on. All were in the southern portion of California on the Pacific Crest Trail and totaled 98 mi/158 km of hiking in temperatures from just above freezing to about 75 F/24 C. That was in 6 weeks.

Then I tore my meniscus in two places, had surgery and had to quit hiking for a while. I have just started taking some tentative weightless short walks and finished the bars on these easy outings.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Here are my thoughts of the different flavors.

Almond Chocolate Trail Bar

This was the first flavor I took hiking. It was moist but not mushy. I liked the nice big chunks of almonds. I did find it very sweet, with almost too much chocolate chips. My wife would disagree with me though.


Turtle Mocha Coffee Bar

This one is pretty good too, another of the sweeter ones. The taste is mainly chocolate with coffee and a hint of caramel.


Lemon Chamomile Sunshine Bar

I found this one to be just OK. It has a very understated lemon taste. It was very crumbly also. I had to try to catch pieces as the bar would disintegrate as I ate it.


Mocha Mint Coffee Bar


Yes! This one was very good, my favorite of the Coffee Bars. The mint chocolate chips help balance the sweetness of regular chocolate. I wished there was more than one of these.


Green Tea Zest Coffee Bar

I did not care for this flavor. The only reason I finished it was the fact that I had not brought extra and this was my entire breakfast figured. The green tea tastes weird. I wonder at the name Coffee Bar as there is no coffee, just the bitter green tea. I guess I should say that I am a coffee drinker and not a green tea drinker so it could be that I am just not used to it. This bar also was more crumbly for some reason.


Honey Almond Trail Bar

This one is very good. Full of almonds and one of the moistest bars. I noticed the nutty rice the most with this bar. One of these for lunch as I hiked along and I was satisfied until dinner time another 8 mi/13 km down the trail.


Chocolate Peanut Trail Bar

Who would have thought that chocolate and peanuts would go so good together? Yes it works for other snack items and does so well with granola too. Great consistency, held together well. A keeper for sure.

Espresso Almond Chocolate Coffee Bar

This was very good too. I was happy to get three of this flavor. The first one was semi-moist. The next two were crumbly.

For the most part I really liked the Olympic Granola Bars. The Coffee Bars are my favorite. I found that the bars were all moist when I first got them but that when I went to eat the second half of my batch after being sidelined with the knee, they were very crumbly and dry. I think that if I get more of these I will get them a few at a time, not in bulk, so as to have them fresh and in a state that they stay together while I eat them.

They have been very filling as a meal replacement. I had them as both breakfast and lunch and found one bar is good for each meal. I did try to keep half of one for a bit later and found that the packaging is not the best for storing. I reached in later to find a lot of loose granola crumbs.

I am going on a long backpacking trip in a couple weeks and I think I will pick up a few of my favorite flavors to bring along as mine are all gone.

I would like to thank Olympic Granola and BackpackGearTest.org for letting me test these bars.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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