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Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Probar Fruition bars > Test Report by Andrea Murland

PROBAR fruition Bars
Test Series by Andrea Murland

Initial Report - December 8, 2009
Long Term Report - March 7, 2010

Tester Information

Name: Andrea Murland
Email: amurland AT shaw DOT ca
Age: 24
Location: Rossland, British Columbia, Canada
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Weight: 125 lb (57 kg)

I began hiking frequently in 2006 and have since hiked in Western Canada, Australia, and spent 2 months backpacking in the Alps. I spend most weekends either day-hiking or on 2-3 day backpacking trips, with some longer trips when I can manage them. I also snowshoe and ski in the winter, but don’t have a lot of experience with winter in the backcountry yet. Elevation is typically 500-3,000 m (1,600-10,000 ft), in the Canadian Rockies and the Selkirk, Purcell, and Monashee ranges. I try for a light pack, but I don’t consider myself a lightweight backpacker.


Initial Report – December 8, 2009

Product Information

Manufacturer: PROBAR LLC
Manufacturer's URL: www.theprobar.com
Year of Manufacture: 2009
MSRP: US $2.29 each or US $25.08 for a 12-pack
Flavours: Blueberry, Peach, Strawberry, Cran-Raspberry
Measured size in packaging: 13.3 cm x 5.1 cm x 1.7 cm (5.2 in x 2 in x 0.7 in)
Measured size of bar only: 8.7 cm x 3 cm x 1.5 cm (3.4 in x 1.2 in x 0.6 in)

Listed Weight Measured Weight
(including packaging)
Cran-Raspberry 1.7 oz (48 g) 1.75 oz (50 g)
Blueberry 1.7 oz (48 g) 1.8 oz (52 g)
Peach 1.7 oz (48 g) 1.75 oz (50 g)
Strawberry 1.7 oz (48 g) 1.8 oz (52 g)

fruition bars

Product Description

PROBAR fruition bars are organic, vegan, non GMO (genetically modified) snack bars. The basic ingredients of all four flavours are the same: organic date paste, organic rolled oats, organic brown rice syrup, cashews, white chia seeds, black chia seeds, tocopherols, natural flavour, ascorbic acid, citric acid, and arabic gum. The other ingredients, which differ among the flavours, are fruit extracts for flavouring, such as strawberry puree, apple juice infused blueberries, natural raspberry flavour, and peach extract. All of the bars have 160 calories, 2 g of fat, 3 g of protein, 34 g of carbohydrate, 20 mg of sodium, and no cholesterol.

Initial Impressions

Cran-Raspberry Bar My first impression upon ripping open the shipping box was that the packaging of the bars is pretty appealing. The front of the packages are clearly labelled with the company, product, and flavour. A few images of fruits, leaves, and flowers around the edge of the package complete the look. No shiny logos – just simple labelling. The back of each bar gives the nutrition facts for the bar, the list of ingredients in English, and allergy information. Under the flap of the packaging is some information about PROBAR, their contact information, an organic certification, “Made in the USA”, and an expiry date.

Excited and starving, I promptly dove into one of the cran-raspberry bars, and was pleasantly surprised. It was sweet – really sweet – but not in an artificial sweetener or sugary kind of way. It tasted like it had concentrated fruit sugar or syrup in it...which it does, of course. The seeds in the bar are clearly visible, and when I broke off a piece of the bar there was a big piece of fruit staring back at me from inside. The bar was soft and chewy, but not sticky in my mouth. I felt satisfied when I finished the bar – not full (but I had been pretty starving), but no longer hungry. I did have to eat something later though; these are definitely a snack bar and not a dinner replacement!

Summary

The PROBAR fruition bars are soft, chewy, and tasty bars that are a good size for a trail snack. I am looking forward to testing these bars out on cold snowy outings in the next few months!


Long Term Report - March 7, 2010

Field Conditions

Ski TouringOver the test period, I munched on the fruition bars while snowshoeing, geocaching, backcountry ski touring, and occasionally as a quick snack while on my way to an evening climbing session.

We had a mild winter, so for most of the outdoor activities, the temperature hovered around freezing, down to about -5 C (23 F). The bars were never exposed to hot temperatures.

I usually had the fruition bars stored in the top pocket of my backpack, though I did put one into the dry-bag that contains my emergency gear for search-and-rescue calls, and it stayed there for the entire test period.

Observations

Taste & Consistency:
The PROBAR fruition bars don’t taste like any energy or snack bar I’ve had before, which is great, since I usually feel like I’m eating a candy bar disguised as healthy food when I have a snack bar.

Of the four flavours that I tested, I liked the cran-raspberry the most, and the blueberry the least. That didn’t really surprise me, since if I have a flavour choice for anything, I usually pick blueberry last, and raspberry first, with strawberry and peach coming out in the middle somewhere. I found that all of the flavours had a strong undercurrent of date-flavour, though it was most noticeable in the blueberry flavour. The smell and taste of the bars were noticeably different from each other, and it was easy to distinguish the flavours.

All of the flavours were very, very sweet. The cran-raspberry had a bit of tartness that counteracted the sweetness a bit. I actually found that I needed to have something to drink along with the bars, or only eat a bit at a time, because they were so sweet.

The bars were all soft and chewy, though not sticky. The seeds gave some texture and crunchiness to the bars. I didn’t notice fruit chunks in any of the flavours other than the cran-raspberry.

Storage & Temperature:
The not-so-squashed fruition bar
Not too squashed
The fruition bars seem to be resistant to getting too squashed when left in a pack. The bar which was in my search pack for 3 months got squished and battered quite well, and although the packaging was a bit crinkled, the bar itself was barely deformed. I’m impressed. I didn’t have any problems with crumbling or the bars breaking apart on any trips either.

When out in below-freezing temperatures, the consistency of the fruition bars didn’t noticeably change. The bars were cold to the touch, but they were still soft and chewy.

Energy:
The fruition bars gave a perfect boost of energy for a snack. If I was a bit hungry, they would leave me feeling satisfied, though not full. I didn’t experience a sugar high and crash with the bars, which was great. It was also easy to save some for later, since the bars held together really well.

Summary

The PROBAR fruition bars are an excellent snack bar. I really liked the fruit and seeds in these bars, but I found them to be a bit too sweet. They provided an excellent boost of energy between meals or before an activity.

Thumbs Up:
Squish-resistant & no crumbling
Good boost of energy without a sugar crash
Natural sugars instead of refined or artificial sweeteners

Thumbs Down:
Really, really sweet

This concludes my test series. Thanks to PROBAR and BackpackGearTest.org for the chance to test the fruition bar.


Read more reviews of Probar gear
Read more gear reviews by Andrea Murland

Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Probar Fruition bars > Test Report by Andrea Murland



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