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Best Trail Mix: 2018’s Most Nutritious Snacks

Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

When you’re out hiking or doing an otherwise energy-consuming activity outdoors, you need the best trail mix to keep you satiated and full of energy. Not only it will be good for you physical condition, but your mind will also be in a better shape, so to say, because you won’t worry about your belly tumbling around and making noises.

Because we know that different tastes require different goodies, we would like to cover all possible wishes and give you a list of choices for everyone. We’re reviewing some of the top products in this category, shown in the table below, as well as giving you some useful tips how to choose.

Product NameVeganAdded SugarResealable BagPrice
Raw SuperfoodsYesNoYesCheck price on Amazon
PlantersNoYesYesCheck price on Amazon
SignatureNoYesYesCheck price on Amazon
Terrasoul Superfoods Thrivestrong/>YesNoYesCheck price on Amazon
High AntioxidantYesNoYesCheck price on Amazon
Sincerely Nuts SupremeNoYesYesCheck price on Amazon
Nature Valley Chewy Granola BarNoYesNoCheck price on Amazon
Atkins Snacks ClassicNoNoNoCheck price on Amazon

Things To Consider Before Buying

As in case of any other products, trail mixes have their own list of reasons to be picked up from the shelf. You can’t just close your eyes and take one out, there are a few factors to consider.

Purpose

If you’re hiking, you need something that should give you a whole lot of energy, so it should be packed with protein. If you’re not doing frequent stops, healthy fats and a decent amount of fiber should keep you satiated. It’s also a good idea to go with low-glycemic-index ingredients for the same reasons.

But if you’re looking for an energy boost, you need carbs and a lot of sugar in the short term. You don’t have to get something with added sugar since ingredients like berries and dried fruit have plenty of that.

Ingredients

Look for ingredients that are natural and filled with calories. Nuts are high in protein and fats, seeds are a good source of healthy fats, whole oats, whole grains, and fruit have a lot of fiber.

trail mix nuts raisins brazil nuts

All these contain a decent amount of calories, and you’ll get everything you need from a snack to save time. These ingredients will also help you feel full for longer.When it comes to natural versus artificial, the natural products are more expensive. The vegan, kosher, gluten-free, no-GMO, with no preservatives, will cost more, but remember that most trail mixes involve at least a small amount of processing.

Portability

Depending on where you’re going, how long you’re staying and how big your group is, portability might be important. Apart from choosing something light and compact, you should also take into account the packaging.

There are bigger packs that cost less, but you’ll have to open and close them repeatedly. These might save some space in your backpack, but they weigh more. But if you want to get something like this, look for resealable bags that can withstand different impacts and don’t get damaged by rain either.

Taste

Don’t neglect taste, you still need to like what you’re eating. There’s this whole dispute between the flavor of natural ingredients and that of artificial ones.

trail granola bars

While some might prefer the taste of chocolate, others would rather have something healthy like berries, even if some may taste sour or bitter.

Proportions

Make sure you get everything right from the package. Even if some products state they have cashews, for instance, they don’t need to include them in a balanced way with the other ingredients. Some cheaper products have one cashew for 10 other things, so some people might consider that a rip-off.

We’ve listed below some of the highest-quality trail mixes today. You’ll see that each one is different, according to your lifestyle and nutrition needs.

Best Products On Today’s Market

The trail mixes we recommend are:

Raw Superfoods Trail Mix

Raw Superfoods Trail Mix

Price: $16

Weight: 24 ounces

Dimensions: 5.5 x 3 x 9.5 inches

Specific features: 155 calories/ serving; nuts; berries; raisins; resealable pack

Best use: Hiking

The Raw Superfoods Trail Mix is definitely something to bring you a lot of calories for your hiking trips. That’s because it’s made from a mix of various nuts, like brazil nuts, walnuts and cashew nuts that contain a lot of healthy fats and proteins. Then there’s the added berries: goji, golden and white mulberries for that plus of vitamins and energy. Don’t forget the raisins, which have a high caloric ratio, a sweet taste, and vitamin C.

All these ingredients are natural, without any preservatives being added. They are raw and unprocessed, packed with nutrients so you get everything you need in the great outdoors without cooking a meal. So you’ll get antioxidants for energy, fibers for digestion, healthy fats and protein for strength, plus minerals and vitamins so you don’t get sick.

The package is great too since the bag is sturdy and can be resealed since it’s a barrier type. That will protect the food inside, and help it remain fresh after you open the bag.

One possible downside with this is that it contains cacao nibs, which contain caffeine. This is not advertised on the package, so it might be a problem for some users who either don’t like cacao, are allergic to it or don’t want to consume caffeine.

The caffeine amount isn’t that high though, it’s only a problem if you eat more than one package per day. The biggest issue with these nibs is that they’re quite hard and thus difficult to chew.

PROS:

  • Inexpensive.
  • High caloric ratio.
  • Natural.
  • Lots of nutrients.
  • Resealable package.

CONS:

  • Hard cacao nibs.
  • Caffeine.

Related: If you want to add flavor and nutrients to your meal, get this Raw Superfoods Salad Toppings Mix from BetterFoods. It various other berries and seeds that make it really delicious along with the trail mix, especially if you add some yogurt on top.

Check the price on Amazon

Planters Trail Mix

planters trail mix nuts and chocolate

Price: $21

Weight: 19 ounces

Dimensions: 8.4 inches length

Specific features: 150 calories/ serving; nuts; chocolate M&Ms; raisins; sweet and salty taste; resealable bag

Best use: Hiking

The Planters Trail Mix is definitely one grade A trail mix thanks to its wonderful ingredients. You’ll get various sorts of nuts like roasted peanuts and almonds. Peanuts contain 7 grams of protein, plus a lot of fiber in a small package, which makes them high caloric foods.

That’s why they’re a smart choice of a snack for hiking. Almonds are high protein too, 6 grams in every ounce, and high in healthy fats. That will keep you satiated and strong, so you can confidently replace a bag of this trail mix for a meal.

This product contains raisins just like the trail mix above, but none of its healthy berries that would give you some extra vitamins and antioxidants. On the other hand, this mix has a better taste in our opinion since it has chocolate M&M’s.

These might not be as healthy as the berries, but they certainly contribute to that whole sweet and salty taste we love so much. But even if that’s the case, there’s not so much sodium added, so you won’t retain any water and get all bloated during your hike.

Another thing we like is the resealable bag, just like the Raw Superfoods trail mix. That will keep everything fresh, especially the nuts, and it won’t spill in your backpack once you open it.

So if you want to stay kosher and enjoy a nutritious snack, this is it. A possible disadvantage is that you won’t know how much time you can enjoy it for since there’s no expiration date on the package.

PROS:

  • Resealable bag.
  • Sweet and salty taste.
  • Chocolate M&M’s.

CONS:

  • Less healthy mix.
  • No visible expiration date.

Related: Get this Planters Turtle Sundae Mix along with the trail mix and prepare yourself a delicious sundae. The best thing about it is that it has the same sweet and salty taste, so it will enhance the final flavor. That way, you can prepare a healthy snack when camping or even at home.

Check the price on Amazon

Signature Trail Mix

Signature Trail Mix

Price: $21

Weight: 64 ounces

Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 4 inches

Specific features: 160 calories/ serving; nuts; raisins; chocolate M&M’s; kosher; sweet and salty taste

Best use: Camping

The Signature Trail Mix is definitely the best choice when it comes to weight per price ratio. That’s because you’ll get approximately 8-10 times more than the previous products for the same price. However, 4 pounds might be a bit heavy for some hikers, and the dimensions of this package certainly aren’t that compact to make for the most portable snack.

Just like the Planters Trail mix, you’ll get a mix of peanuts, almonds, raisins, and milk chocolate M&M’s in a resealable bag. The extra ingredient here is the cashews, which adds to the caloric content, the proteins, and the healthy fats. There are some artificial ingredients here too, like dextrin, but apart from that, it’s all natural and delicious.

The ingredients are prepared from raw foods, all the types of nuts are roasted and the raisins are coated in non-hydrogenated sunflower oil. So all this is kosher, which is another plus, and it has the most amount of calories per serving up til now.

One negative about this is that you’ll get more of cheaper ingredients. So if there are twice as many peanuts and raisins than m&m’s and almonds, cashews are maybe 50 times less. However, that doesn’t ruin the taste, but you’ll be really disappointed if you’re expecting to get a decent amount of cashews.

So if you want to get a more convenient balance of ingredients, for the same price or cheaper, you can buy them in bulk and throw in the same proportion of cashews.

Another disadvantage is that the sweet and salty taste comes from a high content of salt powder. The raisins are coated in this, so you can imagine how much sodium they contain. That means you won’t be able to limit your salt intake, you’ll need to drink a lot of water and you might get bloated.

PROS:

  • Best weight per price ratio.
  • High in calories.
  • Kosher.
  • Resealable bag.

CONS:

  • Artificial ingredients.
  • Lots of salt.
  • A minimal amount of cashews.

Related: If you’re hiking for longer or with more people, there are many more pack options you can get. Kirkland Signature offers all the sizes in between the 2 Pack and the 6 Pack, so you can decide how much of this mix you need.

Check the price on Amazon

Terrasoul Superfoods Thrive Trail Mix

Terrasoul Superfoods Thrive Trail Mix

Price: $13

Weight: 16 ounces

Dimensions: 6 x 3 x 10 inches

Specific Features: 117 calories/ serving; organic certification; no GMO’s; no gluten; vegan; nuts; berries; cocoa nibs

Best use: Healthy diet

The Terrasoul Superfoods Thrive Trail Mix is the second best product until now when it comes to the price per weight ratio. That’s because you’ll get 1 ounce worth of organic trail mix for approximately $0.8. This is also the most natural option because it has an organic certification, it’s been ascertained it contains no GMO’s, it doesn’t have any gluten and it’s vegan.

The other products might have contained traces of milk in them, but this is definitely a trail mix for people who only have raw plants in their diet.

That doesn’t mean it’s less nutritious or delicious than the other options, it’s just healthier. Its ingredients are higher in antioxidants, and it doesn’t contain added sugar like the M&M’s mixes above, nor extra salt. There aren’t any preservatives either, so the energy boost you’ll get is all natural.

Plus, the whole company works on eco-friendly principles, so you’ll be getting things made in sustainable and organic farms. There’s the USDA label to ascertain all that since the place where all this is manufactured is an organic facility, licensed by the FDA.

The ingredients are cashews, three types of berries, and cocoa nibs. Cashews have lots of healthy fats and protein, the mulberries, golden berries and goji are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and iron, plus the cocoa nibs add to the energy boost. But if you’re not happy with what you get, you have the 30-day money back guarantee.

That’s because some people might not be so keen on getting so many golden berries and cocoa nibs. These are pretty hard to chew, plus the golden berries are sour and quite intense too.

Not to mention they have a specific taste that requires some getting used to. The cocoa nibs are somewhat bitter, so while this snack is healthier than the previous products, it might not seem so tasty to the majority of people.

PROS:

  • Good weight per price ratio.
  • Very nutritious.
  • The healthiest option so far.
  • Resealable bag.
  • 30-day money back guarantee.

CONS:

  • Golden berries that have a specific, intense and sour taste.
  • Cocoa nibs that are hard and rather bitter.

Related:  If you want more protein and healthy fats, get the Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Raw Whole Cashews pack. Along with the trail mix, you’ll get a very healthy and high-caloric mix to keep you satiated hours at a time.

Check the price on Amazon

High Antioxidant Trail Mix

High Antioxidant Trail Mix

Price: $26

Weight: 6 ounces

Specific features: organic; no-GMO; vegan; gluten-free; nuts; berries; raisins; pepitas; resealable bag

Best use: Healthy lifestyle

The High Antioxidant Trail Mix is the most expensive option so far, but it checks all the boxes for organic, no-GMO, vegan and gluten-free ingredients. It’s a mix of nuts like walnuts and almonds, plus berries like goji berries, cranberries, and mulberries, along with raisins. The unique ingredients it has are the pepitas and the special type of Jumbo Thompson raisins.

Basically, you’ll get 2 packs of 6 ounces worth of a snack that is really high in antioxidants, protein, and healthy fats. We love that this mix contains berries that are packed with vitamins and minerals but taste amazing to the majority of people. SO you won’t get the unique taste of golden berries, that some might dislike.

The pepitas are definitely an addition because they’re rich in iron and magnesium, plus they have healthy, nutritious calories thanks to their high volume of fatty acids.

The fact that the bag can be resealed is a definite plus because it’s travel-friendly. The nuts won’t get spoiled once you open the bag, so you’ll get that fresh taste each time you want to have another snack.

A downside is the paper used for the manufacturing of this bag. Although it’s an organic option, it might not be so portable, especially when it comes to rain, punctures or other possible damages.

PROS:

  • Natural.
  • Nutritious.
  • Resealable bag.

CONS:

  • Expensive.
  • Paper bag.

Related: Allgood Provisions retails the Organic High Antioxidant Trail Mix in the 6-Pack 2 ounces version too. That’s really useful if you’re going away with more people and each wants their own bag, or if you just need to have your snacks in an already-set portion size, so you won’t eat too much.

Check the price on Amazon

Sincerely Nuts Supreme Trail Mix

Sincerely Nuts Supreme Trail Mix

Price: $15

Weight: 48 ounces

Specific features: Raisins; nuts; pumpkin seeds; resealable bag; kosher; sweet and salty; crunchy

Best use: Mid-day snacking

The Sincerely Nuts Supreme Trail Mix is another good product when it comes to the price per weight ratio. However, it’s among the least portable because of its 3 pounds weight per pack. The good thing is that this pack can be resealed once you open it, so you can snack as many times as you want from it. Plus, it looks resistant enough and since it’s made from plastic, it won’t be damaged by rain during your trip.

The downside here is that you might eat a bit more than you’d want to because it’s pretty difficult to guess what the normal portion size of one ounce would be. And it’s pretty tasty, without any added sugar, you can make sure it will curb your appetite for sweets since it contains raisins.

These are high in calories, vitamins and taste sweet to complement the earthy taste of almonds, cashews and shelled pumpkin seeds.

The negative part is that you’ll mostly get raisins out of this, which explains the rather low price. Almost half of this whole pack is raisins, but you’ll still get the benefits the other half has to offer like: fiber, proteins and healthy fats.

That way, you’ll decrease your hunger while getting something tasty, and kosher. The texture is interesting too, since the black raisins are moist, while the nuts and pumpkin seeds are crunchy.

PROS:

  • Good price.
  • Nutritious.
  • Organic.
  • Resealable bag.

CONS:

  • Less portable.
  • Mostly raisins.

Related: if you want to get more protein-packed, healthy fats rich nuts, get this 5 pounds pack of Sincerely Nuts Whole Cashews Roasted & Salted. You’ll find these aren’t too salty like some other products on the market, and they aren’t greasy either. Plus they’re very crunchy and complement the Sincerely Nuts trail mix really well.

Check the price on Amazon

Nature Valley Chewy Granola Bar

Nature Valley Chewy Granola Bar

Price: $40

Weight: 14.8 ounces

Specific features: Granola, nuts, raisins; dried fruit

Best use: Mid-day snack

The Nature Valley Chewy Granola Bar is definitely worth every penny. The box contains eight packs of 12 1.2 ounces bars. So basically you’ll get 96 granola bars is one box. The upside is that you can open the box and take as many as you want with you. You can even take all of them out and put them in a bag to save some space. We actually advise you to do that, because the box isn’t that reliable for outdoor trips.

We like the ingredients used because they’re really delicious and crunchy. Their wonderful taste and appealing texture are courtesy of a mix of granola, nuts, raisins nd other dried fruit.

Plus, the whole grain oats contribute to the chewy texture. Each bar is perfect for a mid-day snack or even to replace your breakfast, it will certainly give you a lot of energy, thanks to the dark chocolate used.

You might not appreciate that this isn’t an all-organic, vegan option for you. There are lots of ingredients like high maltose corn syrup that introduce a lot of sugar in your body, or rice maltodextrin and mixed tocopherols which demand a certain amount of processing. There are also traces of milk here, so you won’t get a vegan product either.

PROS:

  • Lots of bars.
  • Tasty.
  • Energy-packed.

CONS:

  • Not organic.
  • Not vegan.
  • Processed ingredients.

Related: If you’re a fan of extra chocolate, you can get this Nature Valley Dark Chocolate and Nut Trail Mix. It will give you a lot of energy, plus the same benefits as the product above.

Check the price on Amazon

Atkins Snacks, Classic Trail Mix

Atkins Snacks, Classic Trail Mix

Price: $6

Weight: 6.7 ounces

Dimensions: 2.2 x 5.3 x 5.4 inches

Specific features: 190 calories/ serving; little sugar; nuts; chocolate

Best use: Between meals

The Atkins Snacks, Classic Trail Mix bears the seal of the Atkins brand. This is a reputable figure in the world of weight managements since it limits the intake of carbs so your body can use more of its own fat as fuel. That reduced blood sugar levels while burning more calories, which translates into constant energy, fewer hunger pangs, and steady weight loss.

The box contains 5 bars made with delicious ingredients like roasted peanuts and almonds. These have a high protein and healthy fats content to keep you satiated for longer.

The energy you’ll get courtesy of the chocolate ingredients like the candles, the clusters, and the raisins covered in it is a definite plus. All these ingredients account for a high amount of fiber to add your digestion.

The Atkins philosophy is reflected in the reduced amount of sugar and carbs, only six grams total, two of which is sugar. Plus all this sugar and carbs come from the ingredients themselves, there’s no added sugar. So you’ll get probably fewer antioxidants than the products above, but you’ll still benefit from a lot of vitamins and minerals.

The downside is that there are processed ingredients too, and some artificial flavors too, like maltitol, inulin, and sucralose. There are also traces of milk and titanium dioxide used for giving this bar its color. There are also traces of wheat, so you won’t get a gluten-free product either.

PROS:

  • Little sugar.
  • Portable.
  • Delicious.

CONS:

  • Processed.
  • Artificial.
  • Non-vegan.
  • Contains gluten.

Related: Get this Atkins Meal Bar box that contains 5 bars with chocolate and peanut butter. Apart from being really tasty, these have enough calories and nutrients to replace a whole meal. And they’re based on the same Atkins principles, so you can keep your weight steady and your stomach full at the same time.

Check the price on Amazon

What will it be?

We have gone through a number of different items. Some are mostly natural, while some contain artificial ingredients. Some are full of chocolate, while other contain berries. Some are sweet and salty while others may even taste sour or have a bitter aroma. In the end, it’s all up to you.

trail mix

You can choose a bigger package, or a smaller one, you can even take some of these products out of their boxes and store them differently.

But they all have a content that’s high in nutrients and calories, which render them efficient trail mixes. So let us know what you’re choosing and why. Have we left something out? Is there any other trail mix you like more? The comments are right here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.