Updated March 2023
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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. Read more  
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.Read more 
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Best of the Best
Clif Nut Butter Filled
Nut Butter Filled
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Creamy and Delicious
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This soft, creamy snack that will satisfy your sweet tooth and fight off mid-day hunger earns our nutrition expert's approval.


The bar's center is thick and creamy, while the exterior is soft and chewy. Bars are filling and tasty. There's a wide variety of flavor combinations to choose from. Ingredients are healthy and natural. Bars are soy-free. The interior filling provides an interesting texture that most love.


Slightly smaller in size than the original Clif Bar.

Best Bang for the Buck
Clif Kid Z Bar
Kid Z Bar
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Best for Kids
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Designed as a healthy, tasty snack for kids, but parents love them too.


Bars come in a smaller size, perfectly portioned for younger kids. They have a sweet taste that's appealing to kids, with a sugar content that parents approve of. The ingredients list is short, bringing even more comfort to parents. As with most Clif Bars, these are available in a variety of flavors.


The texture is less chewy than a typical candy bar, which takes some getting used to.

Clif Builder's Protein Bar
Builder's Protein Bar
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Packed with Protein
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Enjoy all the health benefits of a traditional protein bar, without compromising on taste or texture.


The bars are sweet but include no artificial sweeteners. Multiple flavors to choose from Bars are packed with 20g of protein and essential amino acids. The texture is soft and chewy. Many of the bars also have crispy rice throughout. Many users love the taste.


Sits at a higher price point than most.

Clif Energy Bar
Energy Bar
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Great for Athletes
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The original Clif Bar still shines amidst its new competitors. A healthy and flavorful snack.


Packed full of natural ingredients such as nuts, dried fruits, oats, and more. These original bars are dense and chewy – similar to a good cookie, but without all the added sugar. A filling snack that can be used as a meal replacement, or simply to hold you over between meals.


Bar should be consumed with a drink, as it can dry out your mouth.

Clif Clif Thins Crispy Snack
Clif Thins Crispy Snack
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Best for Diets
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Our nutrition expert recommends these thin snack bars as any easily digestible snack to have about an hour before a workout.


They taste like full-size Clif bars with an added crispy texture. There are 2 thin bars and 3 flavors - chocolate chip, chocolate peanut brownie, and white chocolate macadamia - in every package. Each bar has just 100 calories and 5 grams of sugar in a package. They're made with sustainable ingredients.


Some think they taste different than the originals. They're quite dry.


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.

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Buying guide for Buying guide for best CLIF bars

Before CLIF bars entered the market, many nutrition bars were thought to be dry, bland-tasting bricks. CLIF bars helped change that perception. Operating since the early 1990s, CLIF Bar & Company offers sustenance without sacrificing taste. The company also created the LUNA bar to cater to the female demographic. Today, CLIF bars are available in many flavors and sizes, giving you plenty of options.

Before you take the plunge and add these bars to your shopping cart, consider a few factors first. Think about any dietary restrictions, such as whether you’re vegan or want to avoid gluten. You’ll also want to think about flavors you like (CLIF bars come in more than a dozen), the size you want, and if you want a more kid-friendly bar. A good buying guide and recommendations can help you on your way.

a woman eating snacks
Whether you’re eating nutrition bars or something else, be mindful about snacking. Eat for sustenance and to boost energy, not out of boredom or to pass time.

How to buy the best CLIF bars

History of the CLIF bar

The CLIF bar originated back in 1990. According to the company’s website, founder Gary Erickson was inspired by his experience at the end of a 175-mile bike ride. Ravenous, he found the available nutrition bars unappetizing. Gary took his idea for something more palatable to his mom, who helped him come up with the winning recipe for what would become CLIF bars. The bars are named after Gary’s late father.

CLIF bars officially launched in 1992 and quickly became popular among cyclists, climbers, and customers of natural food stores. Since then the nutrition bar market has exploded, and CLIF bars remain a leader, expanding with new flavors and varieties and attracting a wider audience with LUNA bars.


Since the inspiration for the CLIF bar was to create something tasty, it’s not surprising that they’re available in many different flavors. All the bars incorporate rolled oats as a main ingredient. 

Chocolate Chip: This bar is delicious in its simplicity. Made from organic rolled oats and chocolate chips, it’s a nutrient-dense take on the oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. It’s a good choice for a first-time CLIF bar buyer.

Crunchy Peanut Butter: For peanut butter lovers, this bar combines both peanut butter and peanuts with rolled oats for a satisfying texture. This bar is great right out of the wrapper and tastes even better when slightly warm.

Chocolate Brownie: This is an indulgent choice, mixing Rainforest Alliance-certified cocoa with rolled oats and natural sweeteners like brown rice syrup. It’s a perfect bar if you’re craving nutrition that tastes more like dessert.

Cool Mint Chocolate: This bar is a blissful marriage of two favorite flavors. In addition to the organic sweeteners, it also includes a boost of caffeine and a creamy drizzle on top. This bar is definitely a crowd favorite.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut: If the other flavors aren’t decadent enough for you, try this bar that combines rolled oats with creamy white chocolate and the nutty crunch of macadamia nuts.

Peanut Butter Banana with Dark Chocolate: A peanut butter and banana sandwich isn’t exactly known for its health benefits, but you can put a healthier twist on it in the form of a CLIF bar. This bar blends organic peanut butter, peanuts, dark chocolate, dried organic banana, and rolled oats.

Blueberry Almond Crisp: Inspired by blueberry pie, this flavor incorporates organic blueberries and almonds with rolled oats and is loaded with 11 grams of protein.

Oatmeal Raisin Walnut: This bar might remind you of homemade oatmeal cookies. The oats are loaded with raisins, cinnamon, and walnuts to keep you satisfied and nourished.

Sweet & Salty: This variety is newer and includes two different bars. The Peanut Butter & Honey with Sea Salt bar is a creamy take on savory and sweet (note that this is one of the few non-vegan CLIF bars). And the Chocolate Chunk with Sea Salt bar is a solid choice for chocolate lovers.

Coconut Chocolate Chip: This is a fun and sweeter twist on the classic Chocolate Chip bar. The real coconut gives the bar a novel texture.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch: This bar will taste familiar to fans of peanut butter cups. It’s hard to go wrong with chocolate, peanut butter, peanuts, and oats. It’s also loaded with 11 grams of protein.


While traditional CLIF bars are tasty, they’re pretty dense and chewy for kids. The softer CLIF Kid ZBar is loaded with 10 to 12 grams of whole grains and 2 to 3 grams of protein, with no high-fructose corn syrup. ZBar Protein bars contain up to 5 grams of protein and are a better choice for physically active kids. These bars make a great addition to a school lunchbox or to have on hand as an after-school snack. ZBar flavors include Chocolate Chip, Iced Oatmeal Cookie, and S’mores.

CLIF Duos are a less common variety that mixes two CLIF bars into one. They might be fun to try if you’re looking for something different.


Features to look for in CLIF bars

Dietary restrictions

Vegan/vegetarian: Most of these bars are made without animal products, but there are a couple of exceptions.

Keto/paleo: CLIF bars contain a good deal of soy and are high in both sugar and carbs, so they aren’t compatible with paleo or keto diets.

Nut allergies: Anyone with a severe nut allergy will want to avoid CLIF bars. While many of them include nuts, all the bars could possibly contain trace amounts of peanuts and tree nuts.

Gluten: Traditional CLIF bars are not gluten-free, though the company does have a line of gluten-free protein bars for kids and adults. Many LUNA bars are gluten-free too.


The standard CLIF bar is hearty, weighing 2.4 ounces (68 grams). It’s meant to be a filling snack for people with physically active lifestyles.

If you’re looking for a lower-calorie, snackable CLIF bar, or another option for kids, consider the Minis. Each of these bars contains 100 calories and an average of 4 grams of protein. They’re sold in boxes of 20.


On average, these bars contain about 260 calories each. This is a little more than 10% of the recommended calorie intake for a standard, 2,000 calorie/day diet. Most of the calories come from sugar and carbohydrates. This is one reason why we would encourage eating these bars in moderation, no more than one a day unless you’re very physically active.

CLIF bars also contain 5 grams of fiber and small amounts of calcium, potassium, vitamin E, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium.

a woman eating snacks
Because of their high carb and sugar content, look at CLIF bars as a meal supplement rather than a meal replacement. However, it’s better to eat a bar than to skip a meal entirely.

How much do CLIF bars cost?


CLIF bars are a fairly affordable snack. Single bars cost less than $5 each. It’s much more economical to buy the bars in bulk, but if you’ve never tried them before you can start with one or two to find the flavors you like.


The bars in the $5 to $11 range are sold in bulk. Many of these are Kids ZBars or CLIF Builder’s Protein bars, both of which are smaller bars with a lower calorie content. You’ll also find the original bars sold in boxes of 6 at this price.


Spend more than $11, and you’ll find original CLIF bars sold in boxes of 12, Minis sold in boxes of 20, or varieties of special bars (like CLIF Duos) that blend two bars in one.

CLIF Thins are more like thick chips than bars. They have a lighter texture and only 5 grams of sugar, much less than the 16 grams or so in original CLIF bars.



  • Eat a balanced diet. A nutrition bar should supplement, not replace, a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, and lean proteins.
  • Store the bars in a cool, dry place. CLIF bars don’t expire rapidly, but they’re best kept in a cool, dry, dark place to preserve their quality. A pantry or closed cabinet is a good spot.
  • Take CLIF bars on your next hike or bike ride. CLIF bars were created with bikers and hikers in mind. For your next trip, toss a bar (or two) in your backpack.
a man eating an energy bar
CLIF Bar & Company has expanded beyond nutrition and energy bars. They also sell energy shots and chews, cereal, and other products.


Q. Are CLIF bars okay to eat after they expire?

A. Yes, usually. These bars have a “best by” date printed on the back. However, they might be edible for up to two years past that date if they’ve been stored in a cool, dry place.

Q. Do CLIF bars make you gain weight?

A. Anyone who has a mostly sedentary lifestyle and eats a lot of nutrition bars in addition to regular meals will gain weight. CLIF bars are high in carbs and sugar. They’re best eaten as supplemental snacks for those with a physically active lifestyle.

Q. Are CLIF bars vegan?

A. Most of the bars are vegan, though there are a couple that are not. The ZBar Protein and the CLIF Peanut Butter & Honey with Sea Salt bar contain animal protein.


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