11 Best Good To-Go Meals of 2019—Ranked!

Good To-Go Meal Score MSRP Calories Cal/oz
Top Pick: Thai Curry 5/5 $6.95 380 111.8
Runner-up: Mexican Quinoa Bowl 4.5/5 $6.95 350 102.9
Indian Vegetable Korma 4/5 $6.95 390 114.7
Herbed Mushroom Risotto 4/5 $6.95 410 120.6
Best Breakfast: Granola 4/5 $6.50 580 120.8
Classic Marinara with Pasta 3.5/5 $6.95 430 122.9
Pad Thai 3.5/5 $6.95 460 115
Smoked Three Bean Chili 3/5 $6.95 340 97.1
Chicken Gumbo 3/5 $7.25 330 97.1
Oatmeal 2/5 $6.50 490 114
Bibimbap 1/5 $6.95 370 108.8

11 best Good To-Go backpacking meals

Healthy eating and backpacking have traditionally been a tough fit. So we’re excited about Good To-Go, a Maine-based company that makes backpacking meals containing healthy, wholesome ingredients and no preservatives.

We wanted to find out which Good To-Go meals taste best, so we bought 11 of them and enlisted a panel of four backpackers for a taste test.

The Thai Curry was our clear favorite for its flavor, texture, and general experience. The Mexican Quinoa Bowl was our runner-up.

In fact, testers thought both meals were among the best dehydrated meals they’d ever tried, and were seriously impressed with how healthy they were.

Read on for our full reviews of each meal.

Top Pick: Thai Curry

The Thai Curry was unequivocally everyone’s favorite.

All of our taste testers loved the flavors and spice level and thought that it rehydrated perfectly.

One reviewer went so far as to say that this would be good enough for dinner at home, high praise for a dehydrated meal.

As another reviewer put it, “If you busted this meal out a few days into a multi-day trip, your friends would be mad jealous.”

To nitpick, a single serving of Thai Curry is a bit low on protein (10g) and carbohydrates (56g). With 380 calories per serving it’s still a filling and satisfying meal, but we might opt for a double serving pouch for highly active trips.

Flavor-wise, the Thai Curry is a definite win in our book, and our top pick out of all of Good To-Go’s meals.

Product Specs – Single Serving

  • Score: 5/5
  • MSRP: $6.95
  • Calories: 380
  • Net weight: 3.4 oz
  • Cal/oz: 111.8
  • Diet-friendliness: Gluten-free, pescatarian

Runner-up: Mexican Quinoa Bowl

Good To-Go Mexican Quinoa BowlThe Mexican Quinoa Bowl was our runner-up, and all of our taste testers ranked it in their top three.

We all thought the flavors were tasty and well-balanced, and were impressed with how much nutrition was packed into this meal.

“The chili powder and cumin are tasty,” said one reviewer.

Another one commented that it “has a nice balance of flavors.”

This dish’s mole poblano flavor comes through nicely without being overwhelming, and adds a unique twist to the meal. The squash, beans, and quinoa add plenty of fiber and nutrients.

As for the texture, the Mexican Quinoa Bowl rehydrated perfectly.

Overall, everyone was impressed with the unique combination of flavors and ingredients.

Product Specs – Single Serving

  • Score: 4.5/5
  • MSRP: $6.95
  • Calories: 350
  • Net weight: 3.4 oz
  • Cal/oz: 102.9
  • Diet-friendliness: Gluten-free, vegan

Best Breakfast: Granola

Our taste testers were pretty impressed with Good To-Go’s Granola.

Flavorful, packed with whole nuts and seeds, and with a whopping 580 calories in a one-serving pouch, this will definitely supercharge your morning.

It didn’t have the crunch that you would expect from granola (though admittedly, that would be hard to do with a dehydrated meal), but it captured the flavor really well.

This almost seemed like a granola-flavored oatmeal, and got much better reviews all-around than Good To-Go’s actual Oatmeal.

One reviewer put it best: “I’d totally steal this from my unsuspecting camp partner and eat it before they wake up.”

We think said unsuspecting camp partner would be pretty bummed, since this is a delicious backcountry breakfast.

Product Specs – Single Serving

  • Score: 4/5
  • MSRP: $6.50
  • Calories: 580
  • Net weight: 4.8 oz
  • Cal/oz: 120.8
  • Diet-friendliness: Gluten-free, vegetarian

Reviews of the 8 Other Good To-Go Meals We Taste Tested

Indian Vegetable Korma

Good To-Go Indian Vegetable Korma

Most of our testers liked the flavor of the Indian Vegetable Korma.

Packed with chickpeas, rice, and vegetables, it has a good balance of fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Nutrition-wise, this one ranked highly, with one reviewer commenting that he “loved the amount of vegetables.”

It was a filling, satisfying meal, which everyone was also stoked on. It has 114.7 cal/oz, which is on the higher end of the spectrum of Good To-Go’s meals.

Where it fell slightly short was on texture. Comments ranged from “too fibrous” to “chewy” to “the chickpeas didn’t seem cooked enough.”

Despite that, the Indian Vegetable Korma is a great dehydrated meal that we’d be happy to cook up in the backcountry.

Product Specs – Single Serving

  • Score: 4/5
  • MSRP: $6.95
  • Calories: 390
  • Net weight: 3.4 oz
  • Cal/oz: 114.7
  • Diet-friendliness: Gluten-free, vegetarian

Herbed Mushroom Risotto

Opinions were a little bit mixed on the Herbed Mushroom Risotto.

Everyone agreed that it didn’t have a very strong flavor, but for some testers that was actually a point in its favor.

“I would be most likely to pack this one for a long, hard day,” said one reviewer. “I don’t like intensely flavored food after a long day on the trail.”

Another one agreed that this would hit the spot if you had a sensitive stomach.

While the meal didn’t have a super strong flavor, it was hearty, balanced, and satisfying.

Some tasters thought the rice was a little starchy, but liked everything else about the texture.

It’s also worth noting that, despite the Thai Curry and Mexican Quinoa Bowl getting slightly higher ratings, the Herbed Mushroom Risotto pouch had the least left in it at the end of our taste test. Our testers kept coming back for a couple more bites.

Product Specs – Single Serving

  • Score: 4/5
  • MSRP: $6.95
  • Calories: 410
  • Net weight: 3.4 oz
  • Cal/oz: 120.6
  • Diet-friendliness: Gluten-free, vegan

Classic Marinara with Pasta

Good To-Go Classic Marinara with PastaThe Classic Marinara with Pasta got mixed reviews. Some tasters loved it, while others disliked the flavor of the sauce.

Those who were fans said “Nutritious pasta…what? Love it,” and “I like how saucy it is.”

The naysayers thought that it was “too acidic,” and that the marinara flavor was “on the verge of SpaghettiOs.”

While the taste came down to preference among our testers, we did all like that this was one of the most calorie-dense meals.

With 430 calories for a single-serving packet, and 122.9 cal/oz, this is a solid meal choice for backpackers who want to pack as many calories as they can.

Product Specs – Single Serving

  • Score: 3.5/5
  • MSRP: $6.95
  • Calories: 430
  • Net weight: 3.5 oz
  • Cal/oz: 122.9
  • Diet-friendliness: Gluten-free, vegan

Pad Thai

The Pad Thai was similar to the Indian Vegetable Korma in that we liked the flavors quite a bit, but found the texture to be a little bit off.

Testers described the texture as “grainy,” “chewy,” and having a “bad consistency.”

Everyone described the flavor as good, however. “Tastes like pad thai,” one reviewer commented.

All of our taste testers like pad thai as a dish, but felt that Good To-Go’s take on it could have been executed better as a dehydrated meal.

This meal does, however, have one of the highest calorie contents of all of the Good To-Go dinners, with 460 calories per one-serving pouch. 17g of protein and 74g of carbohydrates make for a filling meal. If you don’t mind the texture, it’s a pretty good take on pad thai.

Product Specs – Single Serving

  • Score: 3.5/5
  • MSRP: $6.95
  • Calories: 460
  • Net weight: 4 oz
  • Cal/oz: 115
  • Diet-friendliness: Gluten-free, pescatarian

Smoked Three Bean Chili

Good To-Go Smoked Three Bean ChiliThe consensus on this one was it tasted blander than chili should and the texture was a bit off.

The taste that it had was good, we just wished it was stronger.

One reviewer commented that it “needs way more spice.”

“Meh,” said another. “Didn’t hydrate well. Bad consistency.”

We like that the Smoked Three Bean Chili has 16g of protein, which is among the higher protein levels of Good To-Go’s meals. That just didn’t make up for the lack of a strong chili flavor.

This meal also has one of the lowest calories per ounce ratios of all of Good To-Go’s backpacking meals, just 97.1.

Product Specs – Single Serving

  • Score: 3/5
  • MSRP: $6.95
  • Calories: 340
  • Net weight: 3.5 oz
  • Cal/oz: 97.1
  • Diet-friendliness: Gluten-free, vegan

Chicken Gumbo

Good To-Go’s Chicken Gumbo had a somewhat bland initial flavor.

Our testers said it was “not salty enough,” “very bland,” and “a bit flavorless.”

Tasters liked the spice level, though, and commented that it had a nice lingering spicy aftertaste.

Comments on the texture were mixed. One reviewer liked the flavor and texture of the okra in the gumbo. Another thought that “the rice hydrates a little weird.”

Overall, we thought the meal was decent. We loved the spice level but thought the rest of the flavors were a little bland. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, this probably isn’t the meal for you — it’s definitely got a kick.

As of this writing Chicken Gumbo is the only Good To-Go meal that contains meat other than seafood. It also has 16g of protein per serving, which is among the highest of all their meals.

Product Specs – Single Serving

  • Score: 3/5
  • MSRP: $7.25
  • Calories: 330
  • Net weight: 3.4 oz
  • Cal/oz: 97.1
  • Diet-friendliness: Gluten-free

Oatmeal

Good To-Go OatmealGood To-Go’s Oatmeal was a miss for all of our taste testers. We appreciated the healthy ingredients, but the taste just didn’t hold up.

“Bland, kind of mushy. I’d take cheap instant oatmeal over this any day,” said one taster.

Another commented “I eat instant oatmeal every morning, and this is gross and over-spiced.”

Another taster thought it “tastes like eating raw oatmeal.”

The oatmeal definitely rehydrated on the mushy side. It also has turmeric and cardamom added in, which none of our tasters thought worked well with the other flavors.

We did like the amount of nuts and seeds packed into this meal, though. It’s definitely a healthy breakfast. Plus, with its 490 calories, 16g of protein, and 76g of carbohydrates, it’ll be a while before you start craving a mid-morning snack.

Product Specs – Single Serving

  • Score: 2/5
  • MSRP: $6.50
  • Calories: 490
  • Net weight: 4.3 oz
  • Cal/oz: 114
  • Diet-friendliness: Gluten-free, vegan

Bibimbap

Every one of our testers disliked the Bibimbap.

While we were excited to try this dish, the texture and flavors just weren’t well-executed, and everyone ranked it at the bottom of their list.

The nicest thing anyone had to say about it was that “the flavor is OK, but really strong and vinegary. I don’t think I could eat a whole pouch of it.”

One reviewer thought it had a strong “‘fake kimchi’ flavor,” and another said it “makes me think of chewing tobacco.”

We all found the texture and appearance a bit off-putting as well. One reviewer stated “I wasn’t impressed by it, visually.” Another said that “the mushrooms were really, really chewy.”

The dish has a nice level of spiciness to it, but that was about the only thing that any of our tasters liked about it.

Product Specs – Single Serving

  • Score: 1/5
  • MSRP: $6.95
  • Calories: 370
  • Net weight: 3.4 oz
  • Cal/oz: 108.8
  • Diet-friendliness: Gluten-free, vegan

Summary

Here are the best Good To-Go backpacking meals:

  • Thai Curry
  • Mexican Quinoa Bowl
  • Indian Vegetable Korma
  • Herbed Mushroom Risotto
  • Granola
  • Classic Marinara with Pasta
  • Pad Thai
  • Smoked Three Bean Chili
  • Chicken Gumbo
  • Oatmeal
  • Bibimbap

What We Liked

The 11 Good To-Go meals we taste tested and reviewed

Ingredients

Every tester was seriously impressed by how healthy these meals were. We didn’t see a single preservative or other questionable ingredient. Good To-Go themselves points this out on the back of each pouch: “notice how many you can pronounce!”

Diet-friendliness

We are also impressed by the variety of high-quality meal options available for vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, and gluten-free backpackers.

It can be difficult for people with special diets to meet their nutritional needs on long trips, and we’re excited to see so many great, delicious, healthy options from Good To-Go.

It’s worth mentioning that none of our testers were vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, or gluten-free, but no one felt like they missed any flavors or nutrition in these any meals. Regardless of your diet, these meals are a great healthy backpacking food option.

Fill Line

Our testers all agreed that in the backcountry we often don’t measure out the exact amount of water recommended for dehydrated meals, which can lead to some unfortunate results (rehydrated scrambled egg soup, anyone?).

To solve this problem, each Good To-Go pouch has a “Vaguely Approximate Fill Line,” which we loved.

The fill line is a nice guide to make sure the meal ends up at the right consistency for those of us who can’t be bothered to actually measure our water.

What We Didn’t Like

Lower Overall Calorie Content Per Pouch

Good To-Go meals tend to have fewer calories per pouch compared to other backpacking meals with similar price points.

For example, Mountain House meals on average cost about a dollar more per pouch but have roughly 50% more calories overall.

Backpacker’s Pantry meals on average cost about the same as Mountain House meals and have roughly 100 more calories per serving.

Still, calories aren’t everything. In general, we’re happy to have fewer, more nutritious calories as opposed to more, less nutritious calories.

During a highly active day, however, consuming adequate calories to replace lost energy is crucial. We suspect that the single-serving size of some of these meals would leave our stomachs grumbling after a long hike.

Good To-Go does have double-serving pouches for many of their meals. They’re a bit on the pricier side, though — many retail for $12.95 at the time of this writing.

Longer Rehydration Times

Most of Good To-Go’s dinners recommend 20 minutes to fully rehydrate, at sea level. They also recommend doubling the rehydration time for every 5,000 feet.

At just over 4,000 feet, where we performed our taste test, we found that most of the meals seemed to adequately rehydrate in 20-30 minutes.

20-30 minutes isn’t quick, and hungry backpackers aren’t known for their patience. We’ve found that most backpacking meals are usually ready to go in 10-15 minutes, while these on average needed a little bit more time.

How We Tested

Preparing each Good To-Go meal according to the instructions on the package

Preparing each meal according to the instructions on the package

We made each meal according to the instructions on the packet, and had our taste testers go around the table to sample them all.

After one initial round of tasting, we let each reviewer go back and sample the meals as much as they wanted, and asked everyone to give each meal a rating and to write down any comments they had.

We then consulted each meal’s packaging and Good To-Go’s website for the product specs.

We calculated the calories per ounce ratios based on the stated net weight of food in each packet. For backpackers who count every ounce, it’s worth noting that the packet itself weighs about 0.5 oz.

About the Author:

Stephanie grew up in Pennsylvania and is a life-long adventurer. She has taught English in Taiwan; backpacked through Asia, Europe, and South America; worked as a North American tour guide; mentored at-risk teenagers in Utah’s wilderness; and worked as an outdoor educator for elementary school students. From her current base camp in Salt Lake City, Utah, Stephanie spends most of her free time backpacking, hiking, climbing, and exploring the mountains and deserts of the American West.