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  • mrqcace
    I am reposting my LTR for the Probars due to some minor flaws I that I should have found initially. Sorry for the repost. I am not uploading a new html since
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2005
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      I am reposting my LTR for the Probars due to some minor flaws I that I
      should have found initially. Sorry for the repost.

      I am not uploading a new html since the changes are typos, (one
      spacing problem and one minor projection issue).

      The html is here: http://tinyurl.com/8853x



      Russell Curry
      City, State, Country:
      Orange, Texas, USA
      June 1, 2005
      I began backpacking in the late 1960's. My hiking experience varies
      widely in a variety of terrain, desert, mountain, and forests. My
      experiences include hikes in 4 seasons in most Eastern and Western
      states, many European countries and other locations. Temperatures have
      ranged from 5 F (-15 C) to 110 F (43 C). Elevations have ranged from
      sea level to 13,000 ft (3900 m). My gear has evolved from pack
      weights of 60+ lb (27+ kg) to my current loads of between 12 to 20 lb
      (5 to 9 kg).
      Probar High Performance Energy Bar
      Probar, LLC
      Year of Manufacturer:
      $30.00 per box (12 bars)
      Product Description:
      Probar is an all-natural, blended energy bar comprised of 17 whole
      foods and is 100% vegan. For extensive information on the nutritional
      value and ingredients of the Probar and other observations please
      review my Initial Report.
      Due to having hikes and activities scheduled months ahead, and having
      been the victim of food poisoning once, I became curious as to how the
      Probar is processed to protect it from food bacteria, especially since
      these are whole food ingredients and according to Probar, are blended,
      not baked. Food poisoning is nothing to take lightly, so I queried
      Probar through their website as to how these ingredients are protected
      and preserved. Following is a quote from Jules Lambert, General
      Manager of Probar, in reply to my inquiry.
      "As you can see, the ingredients in PROBAR were originally purchased
      directly from natural foods stores. The same ingredients are now
      purchased from the same or similar companies who manufacture for the
      natural food retailers accross america. Their recommended storage
      practices are used and the bars are stored in light-proof packages (to
      protect a few of our ingredients). Although we don't use traditional
      preservatives, a few of our ingredients act as preserving/holding
      agents for the product"
      I also queried Probar as to the shelf life of the product, and
      inquired on whether extended storage in heat or cold would be a
      problem for the snack bar. This is the reply I received from Jules.
      "For backpacking or hiking, there isn't an issue with hot or cold
      environments. The best packaging for the bar is the wrapper it comes
      in. In fact, if you're concerned about space, gently squeeze the
      package until the seal slightly breaks (not pops) to eliminate
      additional air. For long hikes, I've done the same."
      So far in my consumption of the Probars prior to and during heavy
      physical activity, I have experienced absolutely no discomfort of any
      kind after digesting the bars. I found the bars difficult for me to
      eat when frozen solid. By this I mean after being in my freezer for a
      day or two. I just cannot bite through the frozen bar. I can break
      pieces off though, and they will warm quickly when I pop one into my
      mouth. I am able to bite into a refrigerated bar with no problem. If
      I defrost one in my microwave, it becomes warm very quickly, (3
      seconds) and if warmed too much is difficult to handle without coming
      apart. Anytime I used the bars on my hikes or other activities though,
      at temperatures ranging from 40 F (4 C) to 92 F (33 C), I have had no
      problems. They do soften up a little when in the 90+ F (32 C)
      temperature range, but I consider this to be normal.
      I have used these energy bars while riding my bike, while hiking,
      climbing, flying long distances and for snacks between meals while
      traveling. Temperatures have ranged from 40 F (4 C) to 92 F (33 C). I
      did some climbs while on a hiking trip to Europe at elevations to 6000
      ft (1800 m).
      My first trial with these bars was doing training rides on my bike,
      consisting of 15 miles, (24 km) twice per day. I thought on my first
      taste of the Probars that they were "rich", that is, quickly very
      filling to my stomach. I like the taste and texture, but decided that
      since they are marketed as "energy bars", I would have to do my best
      to evaluate them as such. After using them in place of my regular
      regimen of a fruited pop-tart for my energy snack, I definitely
      noticed a difference in the way I felt during and after the bike
      rides. My energy level was higher and more sustained. I felt full
      after consuming portions of the bar. I began to think that maybe this
      was just in my head, so I decided to keep a log and rate the way I
      felt after my rides using the Probars and my normal food. To further
      break this down, I decided to do one week using the pop-tarts, and one
      week using just the Probars, as my energy snacks.
      Below are the nutritional values for the pop-tarts versus the Probar
      Pop-tarts (2 bars, 1 foil packet)
      Total Calories 400 Calories from Fat 90
      Total Calories 175 Calories from Fat 70
      Total Carbohydrates 74
      Total Carbohydrates 25
      Total Fiber 1 g
      Total Fiber 3.25 g
      Sugars 18 g
      Sugars 7 g
      Protein 2 g
      Protein 4 g
      I chose for the first week to use the fruited pop-tarts, one packet,
      (2 tarts), before each 15 mile, (24 km) ride. I would consume the
      snacks 1 hour prior to beginning each ride. The items I noted were
      energy level prior to beginning the ride, weakness in my legs during
      and after the rides, endurance, distance and time traveled, and
      overall condition. My plan required me to do 2 rides per day for 5
      days per week. The daily temperature averaged between 85 and 92 F (29
      to 33 C), and humidity averaged 90%. All rides took place in clear
      weather on the same route. My training rides consist of riding as hard
      as I can over my set course, in as short a time as possible. My heart
      rate averages 150 to 170 during these rides. I followed the same
      regimen as to beverages, amount of fluid intake, etc. for each ride.
      Below is the chart I used for my data. My values range from 1 to 6 for
      each item, with 6 being best. The numbers are averages of the 10 rides
      for each snack.
      Log of Rides (higher numbers are better)
      Fruited Pop-tarts
      Energy level before rides
      Leg weakness during rides
      Leg weakness after rides
      Distance of Total Ride
      15.2 miles (24 km) avg. of 10 rides
      18.1 miles (29 km) avg. of 10 rides
      Time of Total Ride
      48.5 minutes (avg. of 10 rides)
      45.3 minutes (avg. of 10 rides)
      Overall Physical Condition at end of rides
      I did not expect to find much difference between the Probars and the
      pop-tarts while using them for my rides. I expected that I would feel
      some improvement from the Probars, but I did not expect it to be
      significant. Boy was I wrong. Once I began the 2d week using just the
      Probars, I began to really feel a difference. I consumed one whole
      bar before each ride. I felt more "primed" before the rides, and I
      found that I was riding harder and faster on my rides since I was not
      getting as tired, and my legs were not feeling near as weak as when I
      used the pop-tarts. I consistently rode 2 to 4 miles (3 to 5 km)
      further in the same amount of time or less when using the Probars. I
      just did not get as tired or feel the leg weakness as I did with the
      pop-tarts. I consistently felt better in every category of my log, and
      at the end of the Probar week, my scores overall averaged much better
      than with the pop-tarts. I was impressed to say the least, from my
      experiences using the bars while training on my bike. How the Probars
      would compare to other energy bars is a question I cannot answer, but
      it is my experience that they excel for the use that they are
      intended, as "high performance" energy food.

      Probar energy snacks worked well for me on my bike
      I left for Europe on April 28th for a 3-week long backpacking trip and
      vacation. My plans were to do some hiking in Greece, Italy, and
      Croatia. I was expecting much-reduced food service on the flight and
      hand-carried two Probars in my carry-on luggage for snacks, along with
      more in the checked luggage. I did consume some of the Probars on the
      long flight, and I found them to be very filling. I am not sure this
      was the best thing to do in hindsight, as not long after eating a bar,
      my energy level was up, but I wanted to lay back and sleep to make the
      flight pass more quickly. These things really do get me pumped, so
      after this I decided it was best not to consume any more Probars
      unless I would be able to do some physical activity or at least not be
      confined where I could not move around.
      Our group did several overnight backpacking trips and day-hikes while
      in Europe. Temperatures ranged from 40 F (4 C) to 80 F (27 C), at
      elevations up to 6000 ft (1800 m). Weather conditions were clear and
      sunny. I found that if I consumed a Probar for my morning snack and
      one for the afternoon snack, I stayed primed and energized. Of
      course, I had additional food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but I
      feel the bars definitely played an important part in keeping me going
      on my most strenuous hikes, many of which involved very steep trails.
      The only problem I had was that I used 16 of the 36 bars while riding
      my bike, (10 for the week-long test and 6 others initially), 4 for
      initial test results when first receiving the snacks, and 2 on my
      flights, leaving only 14 bars for my hiking trip. These I kept for the
      most strenuous parts of my hikes, and I was disappointed when I ran
      out of Probars before all of my hikes had finished.
      I found it a bit troublesome with the foil wrappers. They do a good
      job of keeping the bars fresh, but once opened, they do not work very
      well to protect the remaining uneaten part of the bar. The foil just
      does not wrap well, and the packets tear easily once opened. The
      wrappers are larger than required for the bar and when sealed they
      retain some air, causing them to be a little inflated at times. I
      found that I could squeeze the excess air out to reduce the size of
      the bar, if I did it carefully so as to not break the sealed end of
      the packaging. I think a smaller foil wrapper would work better for
      the bars. Ideally, they should be vacuum packed if the process allowed
      for it. I have to pack out all of the wrappers, since they do not burn
      in my campfires. I did not find it difficult to carry the bars in any
      of my gear. When hiking, I wear the usual trousers or shorts with
      large pockets, and a hiking shirt with ample pockets also. I could
      always easily find a place to carry a Probar. They held up well when
      carried in any of my hiking clothes, in the pockets of my cycling
      jersey, and in my duffels and did not crumble apart from rough handling.
      I found the Probar to be an excellent tasting, nutritional energy bar
      that provided all my needs of an energy snack and more. I was
      impressed with how it performed for me during my most strenuous
      physical activities. The rich taste of the snack is filling, and
      stayed with me during my most strenuous hikes and bike rides. I found
      that as long as I was participating in some fashion of physical
      activity, I did not get tired of the taste of the bar, however, it
      does not work as well for me as a casual snack. It is just too filling
      for me to eat one and then not be able to "work it off" on my bike or
      with a hike, jog, etc. I plan to purchase more Probars for an upcoming
      hike down the North Kaibab Trail and back again on the North Rim of
      the Grand Canyon. If my past testing is any indication, they will
      serve me well on the hike out.
      Thanks to Probar and BackPackGearTest for awarding me this product for
      Russell Curry
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