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Reviews > Food > Packaged Meals > LonoLife Broths > Test Report by Kurt Papke

LonoLife Broths and Coffee Products

Test Series by Kurt Papke

Initial Report - March 2, 2019

Long Term Report - June 9, 2019

Tester Information

Name: Kurt Papke
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Height: 6' 4" (193 cm)
Weight: 230 lbs (105 kg)
Email address: kwpapke (at) gmail (dot) com
City, State, Country: Tucson, Arizona USA

I do most of my hiking in the desert Southwest, but occasionally get up into the Pacific Northwest and my old stomping grounds in Northern Minnesota.  I am a comfort-weight guy when it comes to most gear, trying to stay as light as possible but I don't go to extremes.  I love bone broth, and try to consume as much collagen as possible to keep my joints healthy.

Initial Report

Product Facts

This product is designed to provide a hot, nutritious beverage with a high collagen and protein content, but low in carbohydrates.  This makes it useful for consumers wishing to follow a keto, paleo, or other low-carb diet.  It also could be of interest to hikers and backpackers who want to consume more protein and collagen on the trail, because it is lightweight and compact.

Product Information
Manufacturer
LonoLife
Manufacturer website
https://lonolife.com
Products tested
Beef Bone Broth, Chicken Bone Broth, Thai Curry Beef Bone Broth, Protein Coffee
Country of manufacture
USA
MSRP
USD $19.99 for package of ten (beef, chicken, Thai curry)
USD $17.99 for Protein Coffee
Warranty
No information on packaging or website


Weight with all packaging (package of ten) Contents
Calories
Protein
Sodium
Beef Bone Broth 171 g (6.0 oz) Beef collagen, chicory root, beef, salt, yeast extract, natural flavors, spices 50
10 g
503 mg
Chicken Bone Broth 177 g (6.2 oz) Chicken bone broth, chicory root, yeast extract, salt, natural flavors, black pepper, sage, thyme
48
10 g
584 mg
Thai Curry Beef Bone Broth 143 g (5.0 oz) Beef collagen, salt, curry powder, natural flavors, coconut flavor, yeast extract, ginger, spices
50
10 g
410 mg
Protein Coffee 163 g (5.7 oz) Soluble coffee, collagen peptides
45
10 g
10 mg

Note that the sodium levels in all products with the exception of the coffee is pretty substantial.  This is great when I am hiking, as I need to replenish electrolytes, but may not be welcome in situations where I am not exerting myself.

Initial Inspection

ll01

The manufacturer sent a generous supply, with a package of ten "stick packs" of four flavors.  That's forty cups of broth!  The product comes attractively packaged as shown in the top row of photos above.  I was a little surprised at the size of the stick packs (see upper right above) - it's clear there is a good amount of product in each pack, this is not just flavoring.

I dumped out the Thai Curry product on a plate (see lower left above).  It is a very fine powder.  I then brought a cup of water to boil in the microwave and added the powder.  It dissolved quickly, but I did notice some residue after I drank it.  Apparently it requires a bit of a stir near the end to get a few insolubles in suspension.  This is quite typical of the other protein powders that I consume on a regular basis.

Wow, the taste is fantastic!  The straight beef and chicken of course won't have all the extra spices, but after drinking it I really felt like I had a hearty beverage.  This is going to be great on a cold day, or in the evening before I crawl into my sleeping bag!

Summary

I am really excited by this product.  I've encountered a lot of hikers who look for paleo/keto foods for the trail, and with the large amount of protein in these broths they may be able to contribute a lot to my trail nutrition.

I am also intrigued to see what kind of meals I can concoct around them.  They have a number of recipes on their website, but I go for simple cooking in the backcountry.  I am looking forward to making ramen, maybe with the addition of some dehydrated meat.  This is going to require some thought!

Long Term Report

Testing Locations/Conditions

Date
Location
Trail
Distance Hiked
Altitude
Weather
April 4-5, 2019
Coronado National Forest, Huachuca Mountains near Sierra Vista, Arizona
Reef Townsite
(car camping)

2 miles
(3.2 km)
7200 ft
(3000 m)
Partly cloudy, very windy.  Highs around 65 F (18 C), lows around 44 F (7 C)
May 5-6, 2019
Coronado National Forest, Santa Catalina Mountains just North of Tucson, Arizona
AZT: Gordon Hirabayashi TH to Hutch's Pool
15 miles
(24 km)
3622-4983 ft
(1104-1519 m)
Mostly sunny, slight breeze.  High of around 85 F, low of 46 F (29-8 C)
May 18-19, 2019 Coronado National Forest, Santa Catalina Mountains just North of Tucson, Arizona AZT: Marshall Gulch TH to Lemmon Pools
9 miles
(14.5 km)
7000-8000 ft
(2130-2440 m)
Mostly sunny, slight breeze, 36-60 F (2-16 C)

ll02

Carr Canyon - Reef Townsite

This was a single-night car camping trip to do some reconnaissance for the upcoming Arizona Spring Hammock Hang next month at this campground.  I wasn't able to reserve the group campsite, so I wanted to check out the single sites and get an assessment of the winding mountain road leading up to the site.

I made three meals/beverages of the broths, each were two servings, so I used a total of 6 tubes of the product on this trip.

The first one was the chicken broth, made to warm me up on a cold, windy mountain campsite.  I didn't heat the water quite to boiling, because I wanted to drink it pretty quickly, so it took a while to work the lumps out.  See photo above upper left with the result in the inset.  The broth was delicious however, just what I needed to warm my bones.

The second serving was my dinner - see photoset above, bottom image.  I made a ramen soup with the beef broth and some dried pulled pork.  What a great meal!  Hearty, warm, nutritious, easy to prepare and eat.

The third serving was a couple of the coffee packets at breakfast the next morning.  See the photoset above at upper right.  I wasn't able to get a good picture of the result as it was still dark outside, and my headlamp didn't light up the inside of my cup very well, but it looked a lot like coffee with creamer in it.  It was good, but I thought it could have used more coffee flavor.  I couldn't tell if the coffee just was not very flavorful, or whether the collagen added to the mix overwhelmed the coffee flavor.  Not bad, but so far this is my least favorite flavor.

AZT to Hutch's Pool

ll03Hutch's Pool is an iconic Tucson backpacking destination, and a welcome respite for Arizona Trail through-hikers as it offers a chance to have a dip in a mountain pool.  Despite having lived and backpacked here for 10 years, I still had not been there, so I packed up and did a short overnight.  The trailhead is a memorialized prison camp used to inter Japanese Americans during World War II, and now bears the name of the man who fought so hard against this unnecessary internment.

I took six of the Lonolife packets with me and used four.  I came back with two that I planned to have for lunch on day two, but I ended up getting off-trail before lunchtime.

On day one I made a chicken ramen with two packages of the broth (see photo at left).  In addition to the ramen noodles I included some dehydrated chicken that had been sitting in my freezer for a while, and part of a Tajin spice packet.  The result was pretty darn delicious, and kept me going for about six hours before my stomach rumbled for dinner.  The only issue was the rehydrated chicken was a little tough, but that's on me.

I had one packet of the Thai curry beef bone broth for breakfast, and another at my mid-morning break.  This is becoming a huge favorite of mine.  I love the flavor and it is so easy and quick to prepare on the trail.


AZT to Lemmon Pools

ll04Another overnight to a stellar but little-known water feature in the Catalina Mountains.  There is a reason I am doing so many of these pool hikes this year: we had great winter & spring rains, and the mountain pools are spectacular.

I used the broth with lunch and breakfast.  For lunch I had potato soup with some pork jerky added, and added two packets of the beef broth to the mix.  Wow.  This was really rich and satisfying.  I'd make this again in a heartbeat.  For breakfast (see photo at left) I made a chocolate whey protein shake in my Nalgene bottle and added two packets of the protein coffee.  I used half boiling water and half cold water to not damage the whey protein.  This combination was much better than having the protein coffee straight.  For me, this seems to be the key to making the protein coffee work: flavor it up a bit so my taste buds are not expecting straight coffee.  It goes very well with chocolate to make a mocha flavor.

Summary

The Lonolife broths are easy to pack and carry in a backpack, lightweight, compact, and rehydrate well if added to boiling water.  They are very versatile: drink them as a standalone beverage to warm up on a cold day/evening, or use them to enhance a meal.  I found them particularly useful when used a soup base with noodles, and added to dehydrated soups for additional taste and nutrition.

My clear favorite flavor was the Thai curry.  It has just the right amount of heat and flavor that it is a wonderful beverage all by itself, and contains no caffeine so I feel good about drinking it in the evening.

My least favorite was the coffee.  It was good when added to a protein shake to provide my morning jolt, but less wonderful when drunk all by itself.

I think the Lonolife broth packets fill an empty niche: high-quality soup bases that can be used to build trail meals with ingredients purchased from the grocery store.  I expect I will discover new meals on future backpacking trips as I continue to experiment with the products now that this test is concluded.


Many thanks to LonoLife and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product.

Read more gear reviews by Kurt Papke

Reviews > Food > Packaged Meals > LonoLife Broths > Test Report by Kurt Papke



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