The ProBar comes in seven flavors grouped together as Art's Originals, and five more labeled Sweet & Savory; it's marketed as a meal replacement bar. Each bar has 8 to 12 grams of protein and between 36 and 39 of carbohydrates, and they're high in fiber. They contain healthy ingredients like acai berries, wheat, barley and oat grasses, and hemp seeds. However, they also contain processed ingredients, including evaporated cane juice and brown rice syrup. Since ProBar bars are high in both calories and saturated fat, some people eat only half a bar at a time. If you would prefer an energy bar with fewer calories that also costs less, the Clif Bar (*Est. $1.25) is recommended by experts, although it is not organic.
We found the most credible reviews of the ProBar at BackpackGearTest.org, where volunteer testers rate how well ProBar bars hold up in a backpack and at different temperatures. About.com's walking guide has a thorough single-product review of it as well, and over 60 user reviews at Amazon.com provide a first-person perspective. Stack Magazine names it one of the five best energy bars and has a very brief review.
Becki Stacy and Jennifer Pope are volunteer testers who took ProBars out on the trail with them while backpacking; they describe how the bars hold up in a backpack and at different temperatures. Their reports are positive, although they say the large nuts in the bars sometimes cause them to come apart while you're eating them. Both testers are satisfied with the long-lasing energy the bars provide, though they say they sometimes eat only half at a time.
Review: Reviews: ProBar, Becki Stacy and Jennifer Pope, Nov. 2005
Three volunteer testers take samples of ProBar's Sweet and Savory flavors on outdoor adventures and report on how they performed. One volunteer says he likes the "terrific taste" and "stout packaging." He notes that he eats half at a time so he wouldn't get too full. Another volunteer likes the taste and the fact that they don't give you a sugar rush. All three note that the packages are a little hard to open. One tester concludes, "I would probably not choose to purchase these bars because of the high caloric content."
Review: Reviews: ProBar Sweet and Savory, Carol Crooker, Dawn Larsen, Richard Lyon, July 2009
Wendy Bumgardner, About.com's walking guide, provides a single-product review of the ProBar. She gives it an overall rating of five out of five stars, saying "it's great to find an energy bar that tastes great, has all the right qualities for carrying on your walk, and is also 100% natural, vegan, and has no preservatives." The only drawback she notes is that the bars don't have added vitamins. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: ProBar - Whole Food Energy Bar, Wendy Bumgardner, May 22, 2006
More than 60 users posting to Amazon.com give ProBar bars an average rating of 4.5 out of five stars. One writes, "If you like the idea of whole-food, organic nutrition and enjoy a dense bar, chock full of whole almonds, nut bits, and loaded with seeds (flax), this is definitely the one for you." Another positive review says, "This is the best nutrition bar I have ever tasted. It is filling and I wasn't hungry for hours."
Review: Reviews of ProBar, Contributors to Amazon.com
5. Stack Magazine
Stack, a magazine for fitness enthusiasts, picks the ProBar Superfood Slam flavor as one of the five best energy bars, though it's not clear why it's chosen.
Review: Five Best Energy Bars, Editors of Stack Magazine, Sept. 1, 2007