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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 
Bottom line
Best of the Best
Millennium Foods Assorted Flavor Energy Bars
Millennium Foods
Assorted Flavor Energy Bars
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Kids' Choice
Bottom Line

Millennium's wide flavor variety is kid-friendly, tasty, and still packs a punch.


Each box comes with 6 different flavors, keeping things interesting. Bar is filling, even for men. These bars have a 5-year shelf life and come with a handy emergency guide.


The bars don't have a tab or flap for easy opening.

Best Bang for the Buck
Mainstay 1200 Calorie Survival Bar
1200 Calorie Survival Bar
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Securely Packaged
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These bars are flavorful, easy to include in survival kits or use as a meal replacement when camping and hiking.


These flavorful bars offer 400 calories of balanced nutrition and a 5-year shelf life. Individually wrapped, these bars are easy carry, they do not promote thirst, and each bar provides the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals to sustain energy.


Lower in calories than most emergency ration bars, these bars are great for children, but do not provide enough calories to sustain energy in adults.

Grizzly Gear Emergency Food Rations Case
Grizzly Gear
Emergency Food Rations Case
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Rich in Calories
Bottom Line

Grizzly Gear's bars are denser in caloric content than many others, offering a decent price value.


These bars have a lemon vanilla flavor, and aren't too different from a shortbread cookie. They're pretty easy to chew, which is good for children and the elderly.


The smell is unpleasant for some.

DATREX DATREX Emergency Food Ration Bars for Disaster or Survival
DATREX Emergency Food Ration Bars for Disaster or Survival
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Backpacker Friendly
Bottom Line

These bars are small and backpacker-friendly.


While each 200-calorie bar is around the size of a fig bar, they're surprisingly filling. They have a pleasant coconut taste.


Bars are susceptible to crumbling, be careful when opening.

SOS Food Labs S.O.S. Rations Emergency Food Bar (Cinnamon + Coconut)
SOS Food Labs
S.O.S. Rations Emergency Food Bar (Cinnamon + Coconut)
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Great Taste
Bottom Line

SOS Food Labs makes dense bars that taste better than most.


The cinnamon and coconut flavor is tasty, and the texture is similar to that of a crumbly cookie. Could even be suitable as a topping for yogurt or oatmeal.


The sugar content is high – not ideal for an emergency food supply.


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 best emergency ration bars

Emergency ration bars are also known as power bars, nutrition bars, or energy bricks. A high-calorie food product, these bars are individually packaged for easy consumption. Initially developed for military applications, emergency ration bars are portable, non-perishable, and lightweight — a great way to quickly replenish energy when food preparation isn’t an option.

Emergency ration bars are suitable for sea or land survival. They are also enjoyed as a snack or meal replacement when hiking, hunting, camping, fishing, boating, skiing, studying, or traveling. There are emergency ration bars for every taste, nutritional need, and budget. If you follow a weight loss diet, are a diabetic, or need to gain a few pounds, these bars provide a nutritionally balanced amount of calories and carbohydrates and serve as a quick energy boost.

Learn more about the different types of emergency ration bars.

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Students, elderly, athletes, busy parents, and any number of people can satisfy hunger pangs with energy bars rather than a fat-laden fast food meal.

Key considerations

Disaster readiness

Natural disasters can strike anywhere and at any time. Are you prepared? The primary purpose of emergency ration bars is to store them for use in times of trauma, when food may be unavailable. These bars are a staple for survival packs and shelter-in-place kits.

When stocking a family emergency kit, include enough bars to meet your family's nutritional needs for a minimum of three days. Disasters never seem to be of short duration. When determining the amount of emergency bars, water, and other food staples required for survival during an emergency, a good rule of thumb is to hope for the best but plan for the worst.

Caloric density

Quick-energy, high-calorie bars are available in several calorie densities. Most common are bars with 2,400 calories, 3,600 calories, and 3,800 calories. In most cases, when we think of calories, we think of them as a "bad" thing associated with obesity. However, when it comes to survival, calories are crucial.

Energy bars high in calories can sustain life in survival situations with unreliable food sources. We need calories to maintain energy, stamina, and bodily functions. We cannot survive for long without calories. Calories provide instant energy and the fuel to keep our bodies optimized in a "fight or flight" survival situation. If you have safe drinking water and a supply of emergency rations, you can maintain your energy and will to survive.


Texture and consistency

There are many different brands of emergency energy bars with similar ingredients and calorie counts. Taste and texture make the difference. Some are gooey and a mess to eat. Others may be dry, brittle, or crumbly. Still others crunch like cardboard and are tasteless.

Nutritional value and taste

Pay attention to nutrition labels to find out about nutrient, calorie and carb content. Taste matters, too. Emergency energy bars are available in a seemingly endless combination of flavors that include fruits, seeds, spices, nuts, grains, honey, coconut, and chocolate. Popular salty and sweet flavor blends include the following.

  • Lemon blueberry

  • Caramel/chocolate/walnut

  • Strawberry

  • Chocolate peanut butter

  • Honey almond

  • Chocolate raspberry

  • Hazelnut coffee

  • Apple cinnamon

  • Pineapple and chia seed

  • Date/honey/sesame seed

  • Pear and pumpkin seed

  • Mango and white chocolate

Shelf life

Authentic emergency ration bars are easily distinguished from granola and fruit bars. Emergency ration bars have a long shelf life while granola and fruit bars do not. When purchasing emergency energy bars, be sure to check the “best if used by” date. The best emergency ration bars have a shelf life of more than five years.

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Did you know?
Bars baked with all-natural food sources and organic ingredients, such as coconut and almonds, are high in fiber and allow you to curb your sweet cravings naturally.

Emergency ration bar prices

Consumers purchasing emergency ration bars can be somewhat confused by the difference in price between products. Emergency ration bars are meant to provide the protein, calories, and carbohydrates required to sustain life during an emergency when other sources of food are unavailable. However, those nutritional needs can vary greatly between individuals due to weight, age, gender, and energy expenditure.

Here’s a breakdown of general price ranges you can expect to see when shopping.

Budget-friendly: A 12-count box of emergency ration bars with less than 10 grams of protein usually costs $5 to $8.

Mid-range: A 12-count box of emergency ration bars with 10 to 20 grams of protein may range in price from $10 to $25.

Expensive: A 12-count box of emergency bars with 25 grams or more of protein may cost anywhere from $30 to $60.


  • If you haven’t purchased the brand before, try a sample before taking advantage of the considerable savings of buying in bulk. If you are buying in bulk, look for brands that offer a money-back satisfaction guarantee.

  • When purchased in bulk, emergency ration bars should have the ingredients, calories, and nutritional information printed on the packaging of each individual bar. If you have soy, nut, dairy, or egg allergies, check the ingredients on the emergency rations you are considering.

  • Choose bars that can withstand extreme temperatures and thus be stored anywhere, such as in a garage, basement, attic, survival bunker, tornado shelter, or lifeboat.

  • Purchased in bulk, emergency food ration bars can be an economical and tasty addition to your daily food pantry as well as your emergency kit. Stash a few in a desk drawer at the office or in your automobile for a handy snack when there is no time to stop for a meal. You can also pack energy bars in children's lunch boxes.

  • Energy bars, typically high in fiber, are a “crunch-satisfying” way to up your daily fiber intake.

  • Emergency food ration bars are perfect for including in your purse, briefcase, backpack, or carry-on luggage for times when the certainty of the next meal is unpredictable and you need a quick pick-up.

Other products we considered

The Tac-Bar Rations Kit from Expedition Research LLC provide five days of survival food rations, water-purification tablets, and a helpful free survival kit. It’s an excellent addition to any family’s shelter-in-place disaster plan.

Survival Tabs Eight-Day Food Supply provides nutrition that is concentrated into tablets. Gluten-free, the tablets have a 25-year shelf life. Convenient and easy to store and take along when camping or traveling, these survival tabs will help you make it through an unpredictable food shortage. They’re an excellent value.

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People with diabetes should avoid energy bars with excess carbs in favor of ones with high lean protein content.


Q. Are there emergency ration bars for people on special diets?

A. Yes. Maybe you’re restricting carbohydrates on a ketogenic diet. Maybe you’re eliminating animal by-products on a vegan diet. Regardless, you are likely to find emergency ration bars to fit your needs. Consider choosing a bar that is more than 75% nuts and seeds, such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, or flaxseed. Because nuts and seeds comprise the “granola” in these type of bars, they are also likely to be free of gluten.

Q. What about diabetics? Can they eat emergency ration bars?

A. If you are diabetic, it is important to find a bar that satisfies your nutritional needs without excess calories that could cause an unwanted spike in blood sugar. Emergency ration bars that contain natural ingredients and natural sweeteners are less likely to raise blood sugar levels. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) diet recommends limiting carbohydrates for a snack to 15 to 30 grams. Check the package label: net carbohydrates in your emergency ration bar may be a lot lower due to high fiber content.

Q. My son is allergic to peanuts. Is there an emergency ration bar that he can safely consume?

A. Yes. There are special emergency ration bars that are free of tree nuts or peanuts. If you have any doubts about a product’s safety, consult a healthcare provider before adding a particular emergency bar to your kit.

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