Menu
 

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details

Best Trail Mix

Updated March 2023
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Sahale Snacks Grab & Go Classic Fruit + Nut Trail Mix
Sahale Snacks
Grab & Go Classic Fruit + Nut Trail Mix
Check Price
Nutty and Spicy
Bottom Line

For something sweet and spicy that you can easily take anywhere, this is a great option, though our nutrition expert notes it has more sugar than similar options.

Pros

When it comes to flavor, it's hard to beat this blend of nuts and sweetened dried fruit. Though there is added sugar, this mix is Kosher, gluten-free, and non-GMO. With a variety of flavors to choose from, these 1.5 oz. packs are a great snack to have on the trail.

Cons

Many customers find these snacks too sugary, as some of the nuts are sugar-coated and the dried fruit may have added sugar.

Best Bang for the Buck
Kar's Nuts Sweet 'N Salty Trail Mix Snacks
Kar's Nuts
Sweet 'N Salty Trail Mix Snacks
Check Price

More stores

Customer Favorite
Bottom Line

A delicious and affordable mix that our nutrition expert calls a great option to throw in a backpack, packed lunch, or to keep in your car.

Pros

This blend of peanuts, sunflower seeds, chocolate bits, and raisins creates a balance of sweet and salty that is true to its name. Customers love the size of the bag and the mix of flavors. Kosher and gluten-free, comes in 2 oz. bags.

Cons

Some customers have occasionally found inconsistency between bags.

Power Up Almond Cranberry Crunch Trail Mix
Power Up
Almond Cranberry Crunch Trail Mix
Check Price
Sweet Meets Healthy
Bottom Line

Fruits, nuts, and seeds combine for a simple yet healthy and yummy trail mix.

Pros

This is an affordable bag of trail mix with a variety that customers love. Containing walnuts, almonds, and plenty of dried fruit, this is a kosher, gluten-free, and non-GMO mix.

Cons

This pack is a bit low on salt.

Planter's Nuts & Chocolate Trail Mix
Planter's
Nuts & Chocolate Trail Mix
Check Price

More stores

A Classic Trail Mix
Bottom Line

A simple mix of peanuts, chocolate, and raisins that combine for a great taste.

Pros

If you're looking for a classic trail mix, this is hard to beat with its low price and sweet-and-salty blend. The simple packaging is convenient and easy to bring along on the trail or in your lunch bag.

Cons

A few customers reported receiving nuts and raisins that were less than fresh.

BetterFoods Raw Superfoods Trail Mix
BetterFoods
Raw Superfoods Trail Mix
Check Price
Healthy and Filling
Bottom Line

For something low on sugar but high on protein, this is your best bet, and our nutrition expert recommends adding it to salads and on top of smoothie bowls.

Pros

This hearty blend of seeds, nuts, and berries is a great choice for anyone looking for an unsweetened mix. Customers enjoy this mix as a snack or as an addition to salad. All natural, non-GMO. One of the healthiest mixes available.

Cons

Some customers found this mix bland, and a few received packs that contained less than 20 oz. of mix.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 
HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

32
Models
Considered
68
Consumers
Consulted
22
Hours
Researched
Category cover

Buying guide for Best trail mix

Whether it’s a healthy midmorning snack at your work desk or needed calories to keep you going during a rigorous hike, trail mix (which, despite the name, is a tasty treat anywhere, not just in the wild) is a delicious, convenient, and nutritious way to keep your body fueled for whatever endeavors your day includes.

A bag of trail mix is easy to slip into your purse, backpack, or even pocket, with no fear of sticky or melted ingredients on your hands, no need for a napkin, and no wondering if the portion size is more or less than what you need. And while trail mix isn’t complicated — at its most basic, it’s nothing more than a mixture of nuts and dried fruit — there are an awful lot of combinations of those nuts and fruits available, along with other ingredients.

Content Image
While candy and fruit are nice additions to trail mix, the majority of the mixture should be nuts and seeds.

Key considerations

Nutrition

You’ll find folks who consider trail mix to be a very healthful and satisfying snack, while others claim that it’s too high in fat and calories. But the answer to the benefits of trail mix, as is often the case, lies somewhere in the middle. It’s what the trail mix includes that makes it a healthy or diet-buster snack. Take a combination of peanuts and raisins, which is the most basic trail mix recipe.

Peanuts: One cup of peanuts contains a whopping 854 calories, and 607 of those calories come from the peanuts’ 72.5 grams of fat.

  • Monounsaturated fat: While that sounds like a lot, around half of the fat content is monounsaturated fat, which is a “good” fat that helps support heart health, energy levels, and insulin sensitivity.
  • Polyunsaturated fat: The next biggest contributor to the peanut’s overall fat content is polyunsaturated fat, which includes heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that also play an important part in hormone regulation and cell wall strength.
  • Saturated fat: There are only 10 grams of saturated fat in a cup of peanuts. While your body requires a small amount of saturated fat each day, too much leads to clogged arteries and a thickened waistline.


Additionally, peanuts are a great source of protein; in fact, there are 34.6 grams of protein in a cup of peanuts, along with significant amounts of several B vitamins, magnesium, vitamin E, iron, and manganese.

Expert tip
If you go on a long walk, hike, or backpacking trip, trail mix will be one of your best friends. The ingredients often used in trail mix are both nutrient and energy dense, which makes for a convenient and good source of fuel.
BestReviews Nutrition Expert

Raisins: The sweetness of raisins makes a nice contrast to the strong, nutty flavor of peanuts, but are raisins actually good for you? In moderation, yes, although they do contain a lot of natural sugar. One cup of raisins contains almost 500 calories and 131 grams of carbs, out of which 98 grams are sugar, 6 grams are fiber, and the remaining grams are starch. Raisins also have a moderate amount of several B vitamins and significant amounts of iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and copper.

Other ingredients: Of course, there are many other ingredients often added to trail mix, including a wide variety of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and even yogurt chips and coatings. And while variety is a nice plus for your taste buds, too many sweet additions to the trail mix, especially sugared or yogurt-coated fruit and candy, can quickly turn your healthy snack into a calorie-laden and nutritionally hampered diet liability.

The healthiest trail mixes are mostly nuts and seeds, with no more than one-quarter to one-third of the mixture made up of dried fruits, and only a very small amount — or none at all — of sugar-coated fruits or candies.

Raw vs. roasted

If you’re a food purist or follow a paleo diet, you’ll undoubtedly choose a trail mix containing raw nuts and seeds. Some people, however, prefer roasted nuts for the crunch, heightened nutty flavor, and improved digestibility. If roasted nuts and seeds are your preference, look for a trail mix that’s been dry roasted and not roasted in oil, which increases the calorie count while doing nothing to improve the nutritional benefits.

Some nutrition experts advise against any type of roasted nuts and seeds because the roasting process (whether dry or with oil) can damage the healthy fats and reduce the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants normally found in these foods. Still, the bottom line is that choosing roasted or raw is mostly a matter of preference, so go with whichever tastes best to you.

What about salt?

Unless you’re buying trail mix to provide energy during a very long and rigorous workout session, such as all-day, intense hiking, mountaineering, long-distance running, or team sports on a hot day, and you need some extra sodium to replace what you lose through sweat, it’s best to steer clear of heavily salted trail mixes and go with a mixture of unsalted or lightly salted nuts and seeds, along with dried fruits and whatever extras you enjoy. Otherwise, you’re consuming a hefty dose of sodium, sometimes a significant portion of the recommended intake for an entire day (which is the equivalent of about a teaspoon for an adult). That much salt is going to leave you thirsty and dehydrated, which is just the opposite of how you want to feel after enjoying a snack.

Content Image
Expert Tip
Trail mix is one of my favorite go-to snacks. It is jam-packed with nutrients with protein, fats, and fiber, which make for a sustaining and satisfying snack. 
BestReviews Nutrition Expert

Features

Popular trail mix ingredients

While peanuts and raisins are by far the most common ingredients you’ll encounter in the trail mix aisle of your local market, they are by no means the only choices. Here are some other healthy (and a few not so healthy but admittedly tasty) additions to look for.

Nuts: These are the backbone of a good trail mix recipe. Preferably, the nuts are unsalted, but if not, choose a mixture that has less than 10% of your daily sodium recommendation. Whether raw or roasted is up to you. Popular nuts for trail mix include the following:

  • Peanuts
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Macadamias
  • Hazelnuts
  • Brazil nuts


Seeds: Healthy seeds are another way to get a hefty dose of protein, good fats, and vitamins. You can substitute seeds for nuts, or combine the two, but because of the small size of most seeds, it’s best to stick with sunflower or pumpkin seeds, which are both large enough for easy snacking.

Fruit: Raisins are by far the most common fruit found in trail mix, but if they aren’t your thing, or you’d prefer to add even more fruity sweetness to your day, look for trail mix recipes with some of the following dried fruits:

  • Cranberries
  • Cherries
  • Apricot bits
  • Coconut flakes or shreds
  • Apple bits
  • Banana chips
  • Pineapple bits
  • Mango chunks


Pass up trail mix blends with sweetened fruit; the natural sugar is enough.

Extras: Let’s face it, sometimes you just want a little something not so healthy mixed into your otherwise healthy treat. Just be sure sweetened or overly salty add-ins make up only a small percentage of the trail mix ingredients.

  • M&Ms
  • Chocolate chips
  • Peanut butter chips
  • Pretzels
  • Chex or other cereal
  • Candied ginger
  • Savory spices (such as cheese powder, flavored salt, garlic, chili, or cayenne pepper)
Content Image
Expert Tip
I love to keep trail mix in my backpack and car for a convenient and non-perishable snack. 
BestReviews Nutrition Expert

Trail mix prices

Bulk

Trail mix isn’t terribly expensive. As a general rule, you’ll pay around $5 per pound of basic trail mix that’s mostly peanuts and raisins, and between $10 and $20 for a 2- to 3-pound canister of trail mix containing a wider variety of nuts, seeds, and sweets.

Portions

If you prefer trail mix packaged into individual portions to toss in your lunch bag, backpack, or desk drawer, you can expect to pay for the convenience. Typically, a box of 18 to 24 individual packages of trail mix sells for $15 to $25, with basic ingredients toward the bottom of that range and a more diverse selection of nuts, seeds, and fruits at the higher end.

Content Image
Expert Tip
Trail mix is also great because you can individualize it. If you are in a tropical mood, you can create your own with dried pineapple and apricot, coconut flakes, macadamia nuts, and plantain chips. I am a chocolate lover and my favorite mix involves cashews, peanuts, M&Ms, raisins, and coconut flakes. 
BestReviews Nutrition Expert
Content Image
Individually bagged portions of trail mix are a great addition to your children’s lunch bags.

FAQ

Q. What’s the best way to store trail mix?

A. Nuts can easily go stale or rancid, so to keep your trail mix tasting its best, store it in an airtight container in a spot that isn’t subject to high heat, moisture, or freezing temperatures. As a general rule, your trail mix should be consumed within six months of the purchase date.

Q. Can’t I just make my own trail mix?

A. Absolutely! But purchasing a premade mixture is very convenient. No need to worry about ratios of nuts to fruit, and the packaging, whether it’s individual servings or a large bag, is done for you. It can also be more cost effective to purchase a premade trail mix rather than buy the ingredients separately.

Q. Is trail mix a suitable replacement for a meal?

A. While it’s perfectly fine to occasionally nosh on trail mix instead of cooking dinner or buying lunch from the food truck outside your workplace, don’t make it a habit. While trail mix does provide a great deal of protein and some carbs from the fruit, it isn’t a meal replacement and won’t give you the balanced array of nutrients and fiber that a full meal that includes vegetables will provide.

Our Top Picks