Gluten-Free Bars

Gluten-Free Bar Review: Taste-Testing 7 New Brands

Looking for alternatives in gluten-free sports nutrition? We tested seven brands you probably haven’t heard of.

It’s getting easier every day to find tasty and nutritious gluten-free options. There’s plenty of information about Clif, Lara, and RX out there, but since the gluten-free category is still niche, many people crave new and different options.

So we found seven relatively new entrants into the gluten-free bar category and had our staff rate them. For this roundup, we weighed both subjective and objective factors in deciding our favorites.

For the subjective measures, eight employees rated the bars’ flavor and texture. And for the objective, we looked at ingredients, processing, and, of course, the important things like calories, sugar, and protein.

Gluten-Free Bar Review

We’re aware that bar choice is very personal. Some people buy bars to throw in their backpacks for trail snacks while others may be looking for fuel in an endurance event.

We did our best to break down the ingredients and flavor profiles to help you make the best decision for your activity. For instance, a given bar might not have the best flavor profile, but it may be loaded with tons of protein that’s critical for post-event recovery.

The seven brands we tested, in order from best to worst, were as follows:

  1. Kate’s Real Food
  2. R.e.d.d.
  3. Everest
  4. Trailnuggets
  5. Bobo’s
  6. Munk Pack
  7. Good & Ugly

1. Kate’s Real Food: $3/Bar

Kate's Gluten-Free Bars

Kate’s Real Food has been around a few years now but recently underwent a much-needed brand and packaging update. We met these great people at the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow and watched them make the bars right on the show floor. At $3/bar, they’re one of the best values considering the high-quality ingredients and delicious flavor.

Results: Kate’s bars are made with real ingredients and sweetened with organic honey, giving the entire line incredible taste and texture. Kate’s took the top honors in both taste and texture with its lemon coconut variety, and we can’t wait to try them all. (GF, V in various flavors, non-GMO, 100 percent organic)

Kates Real Food Nutrition Information

  • 62 g per serving
  • Calories: 260
  • Fat: 18 g
  • Carbs: 26 g
    • Sugar: 14 g
  • Protein: 6 g

2. R.e.d.d. (Research Enhanced Design+Development): $2.50/Bar

Redd Gluten-Free Bar

Born out of a dorm room, this newcomer and self-proclaimed superfood energy bar” is the clear leader in ingredient quantities. It’s certified gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan and is loaded with 10 g of protein, 23 vitamins and minerals, and 36 mg of caffeine.

Results: Although these bars had by far the most ingredients, they still came within one point of first place for taste and texture. If you’re looking for a single bar for your caffeine boost, multivitamin, and lunch all in one, look no further. We tried the Salted Caramel version and were left wanting more!

 (GF, V, non-GMO)

R.e.d.d Nutrition Information

  • 56 g per serving
  • Calories: 240
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Carbs: 30 g
    • Sugar: 14 g
  • Protein: 10 g

3. Everest by Adventure Athletics: $3/Bar

Everest Gluten-Free Bar

One of the newest additions to the nutritional game is Adventure Athletics. It offers a variety of products from hydration tablets and vitamin elixirs to the Everest energy bars we tested.

Results: Although the bar we tested has good ingredients and tastes great, it has a lot of added sugar in the form of brown rice syrup (first ingredient). This is a solid choice if you’re not concerned with sugar intake, with 6 grams of protein from nuts and nut butter. A solid third-place contender with multiple five-star ratings for texture. (GF, DF)

Everest Nutrition Information

  • 60 g per serving
  • Calories: 270
  • Fat: 13 g
  • Carbs: 34 g
    • Sugar: 14 g
  • Protein: 6 g

4. Trailnuggets: $27/12-Pack

Trail Nuggets

Trailnuggets is a newish brand out of Vancouver, Wash., started by a couple of cyclist brothers (from Rodeo Adventure Labs) who wanted a better trail snack.

Results: This bar was particularly polarizing with our group; one person rated it 5/5 for both taste and texture, and another rated it 1/5 for both. The texture is smooth, which makes it easy to swallow, but it can be perceived as a little greasy.  The PRO version packs in 10 grams of protein into it’s smaller 2 x 2-inch form.  We tested the chocolate-peanut bar, but the orange-beet is surprisingly good too. (GF, V, non-GMO)

Trailnuggets Nutrition Information

  • 60 g serving
  • Calories: 230
  • Fat: 2 g
  • Carbs: 30 g
    • Sugar: 21 g
  • Protein: 10 g

5. Bobo’s: $3.50/Bar

Bobo's Gluten-Free Bar

Bobo’s is probably the most established brand in this emerging bar review, but it’s still quite a bit smaller than Clif, RX, and Lara. Based in Boulder, Colo., the brand has kept its homemade look and feel despite its recent growth and being picked up by major retailers.

Results: Bobo’s classic oat bar is a dense, cakey type bar that has good flavor and texture. The bars check the GF, vegan, and non-GMO boxes and now come in 15 flavors. At 360 calories per bar, they’ll add plenty of natural fuel for your next adventure. Be sure to try their yummy new toaster pastries too. (GF, V, non-GMO)

Bobos Nutrition Information

  • 86 g per serving
  • Calories: 360
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Carbs: 58 g
    • Sugar: 20 g
  • Protein: 6 g

6. Munk Pack: $16/4-Pack

Munk Pack

Better known for its oatmeal fruit pouches, Munk Pack also produces a variety of gluten-free cookies that are also completely vegan.

Results: These protein-packed cookies didn’t score well in our taste test. But with 360 calories and a whopping 18 grams of protein per cookie, these things pack a punch for on the trail or when you’re too busy for lunch. (GF, V, non-GMO)

Munk Pack Nutrition Information

  • 84 g per serving
  • Calories: 320
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Carbs: 36 g
    • Sugar: 16 g
  • Protein: 18 g

7. Good & Ugly: $8/Bag

Good and Ugly

This brand was a bit of an outlier in the test, as they produce “bites,” not bars. But with only seven ingredients and nothing artificial, we had to throw them in the mix. Good & Ugly was created by Great Lakes International Trading, which does a lot of fruit and nuts, so this product is a natural extension.

Results: This brand didn’t score well in our taste test. But again, that’s subjective, and we only tested one flavor. That said, the ingredients are simple and pure and the “bites” make this option more portable in your backpack or jersey pocket. (GF, V, non-GMO)

Good & Ugly Nutrition Information

  • 80 g per serving
  • Calories: 320
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Carbs: 48 g
    • Sugar: 38 g
  • Protein: 8 g