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I came across Probar in my quest for the perfect bars for my climbing and backpacking trips. They were a little pricey but had intriguing flavors and a respectable nutritional profile. My curiosity was piqued.
To find out which flavors are any good, I picked up a variety pack of all 12 Meal bar flavors and enlisted a friend to help me in a taste test.
We spent an afternoon tasting and ranking the 12 contenders. Here are those rankings.
To see how Probars compare to options from other top brands, check out our guide to the best energy bars.
12. Peanut Butter
As a lover of peanut butter, I fully expected to enjoy this flavor.
And while it isn’t terrible, it certainly leaves something to be desired. I would describe the flavor as subtle. Ryan, my tasting partner, put it more bluntly:
“That’s pretty much tasteless.”
If you’re looking to get your peanut butter fix on your hike, The Clif Crunchy Peanut Butter and Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar both have stronger peanut butter flavor in my opinion. Or you could take some powdered peanut butter.
There is no other energy or meal bar out there that tastes quite like the Superberry & Greens. (Trust me, I’ve tried them all.)
Take a bite and you get an interesting mix of flavors. On the front end you pick up the sweetness of the blueberries. On the back end you taste the greens — wheat, alfalfa, and barley grass powder.
And it definitely has a grassy taste to it. It’s what I imagine those green nutritional powders to taste like.
A small percentage of people will love this flavor. Most others will be turned off by it and prefer something more familiar like chocolate.
My tasting partner and I were in the latter group, but only just so. We were both surprised by the flavor and appreciative of its novelty.
Kudos to Probar for making something unique. If you’re in the mood for something new, I recommend giving this flavor a try.
Despite oats being the second ingredient and the name being Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, my tasting partner and I barely tasted any oats in this flavor.
The chocolate chips are tasty but they’re about all we could taste. Ultimately the flavor felt a little one-dimensional.
On bites where I didn’t get any chocolate chips I picked up hints of cashew and date which reminded me of the Cashew Cookie Larabar.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, I enjoy that Larabar flavor (among many others), but it is a far cry from the flavor we were expecting when we read the name.
Fans of classic trail mix — that is, raisin, peanuts, and chocolate — will be fans of this bar. It does have a bit more going on than just those three flavors, but overall it’s familiar.
I’ve been burnt out on GORP for a while now, so this flavor was one of my least favorites. My tasting partner, however, enjoyed it.
Your affinity for GORP in regular trail mix form is a good indicator of how much you’ll like this flavor.
Whether I’m ranking RxBars or Clif bars, flavors with coconut and chocolate tend to earn spots towards the top of my lists. Had I been the only one tasting these flavors I’d have ranked this one fifth.
But I wasn’t the only one, and my tasting partner ranked this flavor towards the bottom of his list. Averaged out, that means it ended up eighth.
“I like foods and drinks with a subtler coconut flavor — like coconut water — but coconut sweets not so much,” explained my tasting partner.
I, on the other hand, am a fan of sweet coconut-y flavors. And, with 23 grams of sugar, this bar is one of the sweeter ones in the Probar lineup.
While other flavors have earthy and nutty undertones, this flavor tasted the most like a candy bar. Sometimes that’s exactly what you want from your bar.
Now for the most polarizing flavor in our taste test: Banana Nut Bread.
I ranked it dead last. My tasting partner ranked it second.
For me, I couldn’t get over the unpleasant aftertaste. Though I like bananas the aftertaste left me reluctant to eat more.
My tasting partner admitted that there was an aftertaste but didn’t think it was that strong. He also enjoyed the front-end taste of the banana and walnuts immensely. After his first bite he simply nodded his head in satisfaction.
So should you try this flavor?
Based on our taste test it’s a complete toss-up whether or not you’ll like it. All I can say is there are flavors to come whose tastiness we were in complete agreement over.
My tasting partner and I both ranked the Almond Crunch bar sixth. It is the true middle-of-the-lineup flavor.
While not the crunchiest Probar flavor — that might very well be Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip (to come) — the cashews, almonds, and sunflower seeds do give each bite of this bar a pleasant texture.
I was personally a little surprised by the strength of the flavor for a bar that, judging solely by its name, seemed like it’d be as bland as the Peanut Butter (#12).
However, along with all the nuts and seeds I immediately picked up the strong flavor of vanilla extract which added an extra dimension to the taste.
Wholeberry Blast is an all-around solid flavor. While it isn’t a standout, we don’t see many people disliking this flavor either.
It contains a number of fruits but the strawberries and blueberries take center stage. Like many Probar flavors it has flax and sunflower seeds which add a subtle crunch to most bites.
My only criticisms would be that it has a slightly chalky texture and is a little on the sweet side. Its 26 grams of sugar is one of the highest of all Probar Meal bars.
Probar’s take on this classic combination is admirable. And unlike some other bar brands they didn’t make it overly sweet.
Those looking for a lot of crunch in their bar will like the texture on this one. Peanuts, almonds, and chocolate chips all make an appearance.
Though lacking a little in the peanut department, the flavor is still great. To me this is the safest Probar flavor. Peanut butter and chocolate have universal appeal.
The Superfruit Slam is like a better version of the Wholeberry Blast (#5). It’s balanced better and doesn’t have the chalky texture.
The blend of fruity flavors reminds me a little of the taste of Fruit Roll-Ups, a treat worth its weight in gold to me during my childhood.
But right before the sweetness becomes too much you run into some seeds and nuts that balance things out and add some texture. Another excellent all-around flavor.
2. Koka Moka
“Oh yeah,” said my tasting partner after taking his first bite of Koka Moka. Without hesitation he crowned it as his favorite.
“I love anything coffee,” he explained (Koka Moka is mocha-flavored). If you also love anything coffee, odds are you’ll like this flavor.
I’m not a coffee addict by any means, but I do drink my coffee black. Still, the coffee flavor in this bar was just a bit much for me. I personally prefer a milder coffee taste in my bars. Nonetheless I can always get behind coffee and chocolate, and this flavor is deserving of the number two spot.
Neither of us felt a caffeine kick from this bar, so if you’re looking to get one on the trail we recommend packing some instant coffee. But if you just want a coffee-flavored bar then grab a Koka Moka.
The Superfood Slam might be my favorite bar of all time.
It was my clear number one. My tasting partner, who let out a “wow” after his first bite, ranked it third. Averaged out, it was our favorite.
This flavor has everything — nuts, seeds, fruits, chocolate, and even a delicious hint of greens. Somehow it all tastes great together.
Your search for the best Probar flavor has ended. Superfood Slam is it.
Here are the best Probar flavors:
- Superfood Slam
- Koka Moka
- Superfruit Slam
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
- Wholeberry Blast
- Almond Crunch
- Banana Nut Bread
- Chocolate Coconut
- Original Trail Mix
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip
- Superberry & Greens
- Peanut Butter
Our Overall Thoughts After Trying 12 Different Probar Flavors
Probars are something different. The company has managed to produce some surprisingly novel and delicious flavors that are also nutritionally well-rounded.
I personally like the amounts of vitamins, minerals, and fiber in each Meal bar. Nutritionally speaking, when on the trail it feels good to have your bases covered. This can be hard to do with classic backpacking foods.
While Clif bars are mostly oat-based, KIND bars nut-based, and Larabars date-based, Probar Meal bars contain all three ingredients. The addition of multiple kinds of nuts and seeds gives each flavor a nice texture.
Each Probar Meal bar has around 20 grams of sugar, but they aren’t as overbearingly sweet as Clif bars which contain comparable amounts (albeit in a smaller bar). On backpacking trips I wouldn’t expect to grow tired of them as quickly.
The major downside is the cost. Probars are pricey. Lots of backpackers prefer to carry Probars instead of Pop-Tarts or Clif bars…if they can afford them. However, you do get about twice as many calories relative to Clif, KIND, and Larabars, so on balance they aren’t that much more expensive.
If you can afford them I recommend picking up the flavor in our top three which most appeals to you. Or if you’re curious to have your own taste test you can pick up the same variety pack we got for ours.
From now on I’ll be buying Probars as often as possible for my climbing and backpacking trips. They’re a little more expensive but for me they’re worth it. They taste great and they’re nutritious to boot.