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Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Probar Sweet and Savory > Test Report by Dawn Larsen
ProBar Sweet and Savoury plus Superfood Slam
Name: Dawn Larsen
Height: 5' 4" (163 cm)
Weight: 165 lb (74 kg)
Email address: vicioushillbilly AT yahoo DOT com
Florence, South Carolina USA
Date: 6 April 2009
I used to backpack in college a zillion years ago and just in the last two years have backpacked some private trails in Tennessee, Missouri and most recently South Carolina. I have been an avid car-camper for eleven years and I have kayak/canoe camped for four years, both in South Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas. I use a lot of the same equipment for both. I hike hilly/rocky trails especially in Tennessee and Missouri. I moved to South Carolina and am busy checking out the terrain here with my fifteen year-old son.
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Actual measurements of bar: 3.25 in (83 mm) x 3 in (76 mm)
Listed weight: 3 oz. (85 g)
Actual weight: 3 oz. (85 g)
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price: $3.29 usd per bar, $35.48 usd per 12 pack.
photographs courtesy of the manufacturer's website
I got a 12 pack of each flavor packed in a display box.
The website and packaging emphasize that the bars are all organic. As well, the Cocoa Pistachio is suitable for vegans. The wrappers advertise that they are "the whole food meal." They are rather high in calories (Cocoa Pistachio and Cran-Lemon Twist at 350, and Superfood Slam at 400) and would only be suitable for daily diets that are active enough to burn that many calories.
The wrapper is larger than the actual bar itself and there is some air trapped inside the wrapper. However, the amount of air inside does not appear to fill the entire volume of the package. The product inside is able to slide around and the packaging can be folded over on itself to a certain extent. Makes me wonder how well the bars will be protected from crushing when crammed in a food bag. The extra volume produced by the excess air could be a problem if space is an issue when packing for multi-day trips. I don't see this as much of a problem for day hikes, but I plan to keep an eye on this during the testing.
Though I was tempted to try them, I decided to save them for trail use. I am especially interested to know if they are truly meal bars, like they state on the packaging. I will use them for my meal or main food source on day hikes to see if they give me enough energy to carry me through the day. I will use them as supplements for backpacking, biking and kayaking.
Long Term Report
20 July 2009
Field Conditions and Trips
The caloric count on these bars was really scary to me. I understand that I need calories when I am paddling and hiking hard, but 400 calories per small bar is a daunting for me, personally. I ate these bars on several hiking, paddling, backpacking trips, and especially during my backpacking trip in Mexico. A few events that I made specific notes about are listed below.
6 May - Went on a 2.5 mile (4 km) geocaching hike on the Florence Rail Trails in Florence, South Carolina. This city trail in the woods is part sand, part dirt, and part pavement. Ate half of the cocoa pistachio at 9:15 am. I was hungry by 11:00 am, so I ate the other half. I got really hungry by 12:30 pm. My pace was about the same throughout the hike. It tasted really good with lots of chunks of nuts. The chocolate melted in 78 degrees F (25.5 C). It got squished in my pack, but the sticky stuff held it together.
15-17 May -
Camping in Asheville, North Carolina near the Pisgah National Forest. I
ate a Lemon-Cranberry bar at 9:00 am for breakfast the first day.
I was hungry by 11:30 am. We walked all of Asheville that
day (about 5 hours of walking). The next day was a hiking day. I
ate half of a Superfood Slam bar at 8:30 am and was hungry for the
other half by 10:00 am. I also ate the Chocolate Pistachio for lunch.
After a good day of hiking, I was satisfied until about 3:00pm.
18 June-18 July - Backpacking trip through South Texas, Mexico and Belize. Some
days in Mexico, 3 bars were my entire meal for the day.
Taste - There is a lot of substance to these bars. They are not grainy, instead I felt like I was eating nuts and fruit. I thought each had a very pleasant texture. And overall they tasted very good (at least the Lemon-Cranberry and Cocoa Pistachio did). I have listed below in order in which I tried them.
I would have never thought to mix peanut butter and lemon. The look of the bar was appetizing and appealing. It smelled like lemon. I tried this flavor first because I thought it would be horrible, but it was “tangy,” moist, chewy and very sweet. I got a big cranberry. I am a little allergic to white sugar (the inside of my mouth breaks out), but the sweetness of the rice syrup was fine. Overall, I thought this would be my least favorite, but it tasted best to me.
Heat/Cold - I put all three kinds of the bars in my hot car to see what would happen. The Cocoa Pistachio fared the least well because of the chocolate chips in it.