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As any shredder will tell you, not all snacks are built for the ski hill. Many are impossible to handle while wearing gloves. Some are too bulky to fit in the cargo pocket of your ski pants. Others crumble into dusty bits when stuffed in your avy pack. And the worst turn into rock-hard snacksicles suitable only for those with low-deductible dental plans.
That’s where these Colorado-based snack brands come in. All deliver a great-tasting energy boost that won’t turn to stone when the temps dip below freezing. Whether you’re looking for a mini meal, a sweet treat, or just a small bribe to squeeze one more descent out of your kiddo, rip one of these options open and get rippin’ down your favorite run.
That's only $1 per issue!
- The Pocket Snack Mother (Earth) Approves Of
- The Complete Meal in a Pouch
- The Clean Energy Hit
- The Kid-Pleaser
- The Healthy Oatmeal Cookie
- The Pocket Snack to Share on a Lift
- The Healthy Chocolate Fix
- The Bevy in a (Tiny) Bag
With a name inspired by one of Steamboat Ski Resort’s “semi-vintage” double lifts (and a promise from co-founder Sam Nelson that these taste-each-ingredient bars won’t turn into rock slabs in the cold), Bar-U-Eat bars are a great option for on-slope, pull-out-of-pocket snacking. Each flavor includes whole, organic ingredients and local honey, but what’s really impressive is the brand’s commitment to the environment: They recently became the first bar brand in the world to package their wares in a Biodegradable Products Institute–certified compostable wrapper. (Still, always make sure to pack that packaging out: #LeaveNoTrace.) Go for the 12-bar Try ’em All Box ($36.49), which comes with free shipping.
If the pow’s too good to stop for lunch but your quads are fading fast, Wild Zora to the rescue. The Loveland-based company’s meat-and-veggie bars feature a delectable mélange of beef, lamb, pork, or turkey paired with legit green stuff like kale, spinach, sage, and parsley. Each flavor has a touch of fruit for sweetness (no added sugar necessary) and to cure the meat properly. Whether you’re following a paleo diet, avoiding nuts and soy, or adhering to auto-immune protocol, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in the AIP 12-pack (on sale for $31.99), which has more than 70 five-star reviews.
Classically trained chef Patter Gersuk didn’t have commercial food production on her radar until 2017 when her son-in-law suggested she put her talents to use on a larger scale. Soon she was getting rave reviews for her additive-, sugar-, and preservative-free bars at the Cherry Creek and South Pearl Street farmers’ markets. Today, Denver-born Patterbar continues to make everything by hand in small batches. Two to try: Cherry + Cacao ($19 for a 12-pack of “smalls”) and Coconut + Cashew ($18 for a six-pack).
Parents might tell you that snacks are the key to a good day on the slopes with youngsters. Wrong. Low expectations are. But having yummies on hand does help. Enter: Honey Stinger. Longer-lasting and more nutritional than the dime-size, chocolate-covered candies many desperate parents dole out, these melt-in-your-mouth waffles not only taste good, but promise to release energy immediately and absorb it at a steady rate. Translation: No post-consumption sugar high to deal with on the next chairlift ride. All flavors of the Steamboat Springs–based brand feature organic honey sandwiched between thin wafers (try a six-pack sampler for $9.99). Available in multiple flavors and gluten-free options.
If you’ve ever stashed a cookie in your ski pants, this one’s for you because you deserve better than crumbled cookie dust. Instead, bite into something sweet, soft, and still structured—like an oat bar from Loveland-based Bobo’s. Bobo’s offers a wide variety of flavors (Cranberry Orange, anyone?) all made with a prebiotic-rich ingredient believed to help prevent high blood pressure: oats. Hustling out the door to catch first tracks? Opt for one of their Toaster Pastries ($19.99 for a 12-pack).
With playful naming conventions like Lemmy Razz Protein and a packaging aesthetic reminiscent of an Austin Powers flick, the four flavors from Denver’s Byte Bar are sure to kick the corners of your mouth up in even the busiest of lift lines. Plus, these 100 percent raw, vegan, and gluten-free noms come with two bites per package—perfect for sharing. Add the six-bar Swaggy Sampler to your cart for $11.99. Yeah, baby!
It’s pretty easy to justify eating candy when skiing. You are working out, right? With the decadent delectables from Boulder-based Little Secrets, you can have your cake (well, chocolate) and eat it, too—and know you’re getting Fair Trade–certified, non-GMO, and sustainably sourced ingredients with less sugar than in traditional candy bars. Our faves are the KitKat-like Dark Chocolate Mini Crispy Wafers (on sale for $19.99 for 30 “minis”) and the M&M–like Peanut Butter Pieces in Dark Chocolate (on sale for $23.99 for four multi-serve bags).
Durango’s own Tailwind Nutrition is known for fueling athletes through epic mileage on the bike, in the water, and over the trail. Turns out, it works just as well on the skin track. Stash a pouch of the brand’s aptly named Endurance Fuel ($20 for a kit of eight) in your ski pack, mix it with 20 to 24 ounces of water, and get in another backcountry lap (or two). For a lighter pocket snack, try the Active Hydration product ($21 for a 12-pack), which is designed to infuse electrolytes, collagen, and Vitamin C into less strenuous workouts (e.g., those that involve a chairlift).