Best vegan snacks 2023, reviewed for walkers and hikers
We tested some of the best vegan hiking snacks to take on your outdoor adventures.
The vegan snack market is growing massively thanks to the veganism boom of recent years. The constantly-expanding variety can range from classic snacking food to healthy alternatives, and it's hard to say that vegan food isn't becoming just as reliable as non-vegan food.
To test what would be the best vegan snacks for hiking, we decided on a set of four criteria: flavour, nutrition, how easy they are to eat and how suitable they are for walkers.
It's ideal to go for snacks that both taste good and are good for your body, particularly when you're in need of some replenishment to keep you moving forward. Having something that's easy to eat can be a big help when outdoors, as well as being able to stash your snacks away and fit them among your gear.
A focus on energy and nutrition is key, but sometimes it's also good to just have a treat that tastes nice! We've found a balance between the two, and have selected our favourite vegan snacks out there for walking and hiking.
Of course, some of these products 'may' contain milk, but are made using plant-based ingredients and are suited to vegans. Check the ingredients to make sure any dietary requirements are met.
Best vegan snacks for walking and hiking outdoors
The Nature's Heart range easily stood out against the vegan hiking snacks that we tried. The bags and pouches of snacks are packed full of flavour, nutrients and variation, similarly to trail mixes but with a more interesting variety of ingredients.
The pouches contain a healthy mix of snack-y foods, including goji berries, dried fruits, nuts & seeds, blueberries, mango, and even dark chocolate bananas and goldenberries. With sources of vitamin A, iron, zinc and selenium - the mixed pouches, which they call 'immune mixes,' are designed to boost the function of your immune system.
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It's perfect snacking food when walking and hiking thanks to the pouches being resealable, so it's easy enough to take as much as you need and then stash the rest away for later.
The crunch bags (in bbq, chilli & lemon or salt & pepper) are great snacks, too, although not the most ideal to eat while walking as they have to be teared open. They're a flavourful alternative to the immune mixes, using edamame, peas, broad beans and seeds with a more seasoned and punchy taste. Each pack contains around 12g of protein and 8g of fibre.
Verdict: Perfect hiking snacks, easy to stash away and full of a variety of flavours and nutrients.
Visit Nature's Heart to see the full range.
- Buy now from Ocado and Holland and Barrett
Clif Bars have been around for over 25 years, supplying everyday trekkers, athletes and adventurers with well-needed energy. They use organic rolled oats, along with a load of energising ingredients like nuts and vitamins, to fuel a substantial and long-lasting energy boost that can help get you through the day.
We found that Clif's popularity amongst active people is well-deserved. The energy supplied from a single bar was enough to fuel an evening of exercise, providing a sustained push throughout the activities. There's a noticeable difference compared to supermarket-standard energy bars, where the energy levels from a Clif Bar don't feel too dissimilar to those from a small, well-balanced meal.
The flavours also stand out, with their range including more than 15 flavours to appeal to people's varying tastes. Chocolate Chip, Crunchy Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut were personal favourites from the team. They have high protein levels (usually between 9-11g per bar) and are packed with carbs to fuel your body.
What's handy about the Clif Bars is how easy they are to eat. The flavours never seem to be too overpowering, and their size and density allows you to eat as much as you need while saving the rest for later. It's helpful that the bars are well-put-together - stashing them away without them crumbling apart can be a huge help when hiking. They also easily fit in those convenient side pockets of a backpack for when you're eating on the go.
Verdict: They're an excellent choice for walkers, providing significant energy and flavour, and packaged so that they can easily fit among your gear.
Note that there are a few Clif Bar products that aren't suitable for vegans: four of their protein products include whey protein from milk, and one of their Bars contains honey.
Visit Clif Bar to see the full range.
Any vegan is bound to know the Eat Real brand, with their ever-growing collection of lentil, hummus and quinoa chips. There's a wide variety of flavours on offer, from sour cream & chives to sundried tomatoes & roasted garlic. All of their products are both vegan and gluten-free.
The crisps aren't made using potatoes as the main ingredient. This gives them a noticeably different texture and flavour, enough so that even the 'salted' flavour crisps have a distinct taste. They're thicker than most crisps, making them great for dipping, which is perfect for when sat around the campsite.
As far as vegan crisps go, Eat Real is up there with some of the most delicious and moreish options available. We tried their 'lower fat' products, too, and struggled to notice the difference compared with their regular ones.
For walkers, they're high in carbohydrates to provide some energy when out and about. They don't reseal, but the packets are easy enough to roll up to avoid them spilling into your bag - especially with a clip or rubber band.
Verdict: Delicious flavours, perfect for dipping and great to snack on when walking.
Visit Eat Real to see the full range.
- Buy now from The Vegan Kind
Hippeas, the chickpea-based puffs made using plant protein, are designed to be a healthier alternative to corn puff snacks like Wotsits. They have around 88-92kcal per packet and are vegan, high in fibre and free from palm oil, MSG and artificial preservatives.
They have a nice taste, even compared to what you'd expect from non-vegan puff snacks, and are surprisingly less messy and easier to eat. Because of their calorie count, they might not provide much of an energy boost when hiking, but they're a great choice for when you're wanting a snack as a treat.
For fans of vegan cheese, the 'take it cheesy' flavour has that distinct taste. 'Sweet & smokin' is Hippeas' take on BBQ, with its own unique flavour that tastes great.
Hippeas' ethos is focused around being good for the Earth, with their manufacturing process being built around sustainability and a low carbon footprint. Chickpeas work well as a source ingredient thanks to the minimal resources they require when growing.
Verdict: Puff snacks that are better for the planet and work wonderfully as a treat.
Visit Hippeas to see the full range.
Better suited to aiding the fitness aspect of walking or hiking, the MyVegan product range is packed full of protein to help maintain energy levels and muscle growth after strenuous activity.
Even the chocolate bars, available in orange or sea salt, have 4.3g of protein and are high in fibre. They work well as a quick, indulgent treat when outdoors and, even though it's vegan chocolate, it has a tasty, familiar flavour.
The protein bars, like the Carb Crusher and the Double Dough Brownie, provide a noticeable energy boost and can help your muscles recover after a day of intense activities. They're tasty, too, particularly the Double Dough Brownie which tastes surprisingly similar to an actual brownie.
The bars are quite filling as they're densely packed with protein and fibre, so they would do a good job of replenishing you on the trails. Plus, they stay intact, which is ideal for when you want to save the rest for later.
Verdict: An ideal snack for a quick energy boost and to help keep your body in good shape on long trips.
Visit MyVegan to see the full range.
- Buy now from My Protein and Ocado
The Mister Free'd tortilla chips are vegan, gluten-free, GMO-free, and high in protein and fibre. They're designed as a healthy alternative to regular tortilla chips without sacrificing flavour or texture, and they fare up well against the big brands like Doritos.
They're definitely full of flavour, and there's an interesting variety on offer. From 'cheezie' to 'kale spinach,' it's a colourful range of snacks, and they're perfect for eating on a walk or sat at a campsite. Their shape and thickness make them ideal for dipping, too, which is always a welcomed bonus.
Mister Free'd try to avoid using anything artificial and it shows, with some of the crisps having a surprisingly low number of ingredients. Plus, their flavours are bold and natural-tasting, so we agree with their claim that no flavour is being sacrificed when healthier ingredients are being used.
Verdict: A cleaner range of tortilla chips with some interesting flavours, and enough protein, carbs and fibre to provide some energy on a walk.
Visit Mister Free'd to see the full range.
For more hiking food, check out our guide to healthy hiking food for the trails with some easy recipe ideas. Alternatively, read our reviews of the best decaf coffee you can buy online.
Dan works across a range of Our Media's special interest brands. With a keen eye for what makes a product great, their expertise comes in handy when writing for publications like Countryfile, Science Focus and YourHomeStyle. Outside of work, their passion for creative culture pushes them towards music and the arts.
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