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Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Probar Fruition bars > Test Report by Pamela Wyant

PROBAR FRUITION BARS

Initial Report - October 14, 2009
Final Report - March 10, 2009

4 Cases of fruition bars to test!

Tester Information:

Name:  Pam Wyant
Age:  52
Gender:  Female
Height:  5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight:  170 lb (77 kg)

E-mail address:  pamwyant(at)yahoo(dot)com
Location:  Western West Virginia, U.S.A.


Backpacking Background:

I enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including backpacking,
day-hiking, car camping, and canoeing.  Most of my excursions
are confined to weekends, although I try to fit in at least one
longer backpacking trip each year, and have started section
hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT), accruing a little over 300 mi
(483 km) so far.  My style varies with the activity, but since
becoming a lightweight backpacker, I've noticed I tend to pack
somewhat minimally even on trips where I have more space.
Still, I don't like to sacrifice warmth, comfort, or safety.


Initial Report - October 14, 2009


 Fruition wrappers are a work of art

Product Information:

Manufacturer:  PROBAR, LLC
Year of manufacture:  2009


Advertised net weight:  1.7 oz (48 g)
Measured weight in wrapper:   48 g to 54 g (1.69 oz to 1.90 oz)
Measured weight of a wrapper:  2 g (0.07 oz)

Flavors:  Peach, Strawberry, Blueberry, Cran-Raspberry

MSRP:  $2.49 US per bar/$27.48 US per 12 bar case

Website:  www.theprobar.com



Product Description:

Fruition is PROBAR's fruit based "snack bar".  The bars are certified organic, and are 100% Vegan.  PROBAR touts two servings of fruit in each bar.  Each bar has relatively similar nutrition - 160 calories, 2 grams of fat, 34 grams of carbohydrate, 4 grams of fiber, 20 milligrams of sodium, and 3 grams of protein.  The bars vary slightly in sugars, with peach and blueberry each having 21 grams and cran-raspberry and strawberry having 22 grams.   They have from 4-6% of the daily recommended allowance of iron, and from 2-4% of the recommended allowance of calcium.  No other significant amounts of vitamins or minerals are listed.

The primary ingredient of each variety is organic date paste, followed by rolled oats and brown rice syrup.  Each bar also lists cashews, both white & black chia seeds, natural flavor, ascorbic acid, citric acid, and Arabic gum.  Each flavor also lists the appropriate type of fruit.

Unwrapped barPreliminary Impressions:

The fruition bar packaging gives a great first impression before the bars are even opened.  Both cases and bar wrappers are decorated with appealing prints of fruit, flowers, and green leaves.  Eye candy aside, the important thing about a food bar is taste and nutrition.  With all the fruit, the bars seem nutritious, and although having a good bit of sugar, the sugar is from natural sources such as dates and brown rice syrup.  Calcium and iron are often harder to get on the trail than at home, so the inclusion of these minerals is welcome.

The bars look good too - the separate bits of oats, fruit, and seeds can be seen.  They have a slightly sticky feel and are soft and easy to break into smaller pieces.  I first tried the strawberry flavor, and thought I was in heaven!  The bars have a pleasant texture to chew, although slightly sticky - sort of similar to a soft oatmeal cookie or Little Debbie Oatmeal Pie.  They are a little on the sweet side, so they have a candy-bar type appeal in that aspect.  I also tried the peach flavor, which tasted slightly sweeter to me than the strawberry, however it has a tad less sugar.  Both flavors had a very recognizable fruit flavor, and the dates were also very discernible.


Although PROBAR calls these "snack bars", they are larger than the typical 'snack size' candy bar, and the calorie count is similar to or only slightly less than many other energy bars I have eaten.  PROBAR's other lines of bars are more generous in both size and calories, so in comparison, I guess "snack bar" is appropriate even though the fruition bars are fairly generous in size and calories.

Summary:

The PROBAR fruition bar is an appealing source of energy for the trail - easy to chew, tasty, and about the right calorie count for a burst of energy while hiking.  In addition to the appeal of organic, natural ingredients, the bars are beautifully packaged.

Final Report - March 9, 2010

Field Locations and Conditions:

Enjoying the fruition on the trailI have consumed the PROBAR fruition bars in a variety of activities, which include hiking, a backpacking overnight, and shoveling lots and lots of snow/ice.

Day hikes included an October hike of approximately 4 miles (6.5 km) in the Charles Fork Lake area in central West Virginia, with temperatures running around 70 F (21 C); a 4 mi (6.5 km) December hike in the Kanawha State Forest with temperatures in the 40 F (5 C) range and a few patches of snow on the ground; two 3-4 mi (5-6.5 km) hikes on a forest service road in the Monongahela National Forest with temperatures in the 20 F (-7 C) range; 5 hikes on a local nature trail, with temperatures ranging from 25-70 F (-4 to 21 C);  and 5 times shoveling snow or chipping ice in my driveway, in temperatures from 20-40 F (-7 to 5 C).

I ate 2 bars on an overnight backpacking trip in southeastern West Virginia.  Temperatures dropped from around 40 F (5 F) in the evening to around 20 F (-7 C) in the early morning.

Use and conclusions:

The fruition bars were very convenient to grab and pack in my day packs and top lid of my backpack.  The light colored wrappers made the bars very easy to find inside the dark interior of the packs.  The bars were also convenient to eat on trail or while resting in camp.  They were even easy to eat while I continued to shovel snow.  The packaging opened easily, and the shape of the bar and  texture of the wrapper made it pretty easy to grasp in my hand that supported the shaft of the snow shovel and manage to take a bite now and then to replenish my energy.

The organic date paste that is the primary ingredient of each bar has a very predominate taste.  The fruit flavoring ingredients are for the most part only slightly noticeable, although I find it more predominate in the blueberry flavor, which tastes almost like a blueberry muffin.

The oats and seeds give the bars a slightly chewy flavor.  Combined with the texture and flavor of the date paste, they remind of the center of a Fig Newton cookie, both in texture and sweetness.  If I wasn't very hungry or tired, but just wanted a small snack, the taste could be a little overwhelmingly sweet and I found myself nibbling the bar in tiny bites.  Conversely, if I needed a big energy boost (say after chipping ice for a couple of hours), I could take large bites (finishing the bar in 4-5 bites) and the sweetness wasn't quite so overwhelming.  I liked the texture much better than the more typical candy bar-like energy bar.  I often find a number of energy bars a little on the dry side, and the date paste makes the fruition bars nice and moist, but not sticky.

A single bar would provide a modest boost in my energy levels, which worked well for shorter hikes or sitting around camp, but if I was working hard (shoveling snow, chipping ice) or had not eaten a good meal within 3-4 hours of hiking, I found I needed a second bar about 30 minutes after the first to provide sufficient energy for sustained activities.

Summary:

The PROBAR fruition bars are an energizing snack that is convenient to pack and carry.  The light colored packaging is highly visible inside a dark pack, and is easy to open.  The bars have a pleasant moist texture, but a sweet taste that can be a little overwhelming if I don't need a big energy boost, so I think they are best suited to either high energy or sustained activities.  While I probably would not order them alone due to the added cost of shipping that would greatly increase the cost of the bars, knowing they are made from primarily organic materials is a plus, and I expect to purchase more of these bars if I find them in stores or when ordering other items online.

Likes:

Organic ingredients
Pleasant, moist texture

Dislikes:

Too sweet at times
Need two bars for higher energy activities

This concludes the test series.  

Thanks to PROBAR and BackpackGearTest.org
for the opportunity to test the Fruition Bar.



Read more reviews of Probar gear
Read more gear reviews by Pamela Wyant

Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Probar Fruition bars > Test Report by Pamela Wyant



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