Best vegan snacks 2022, reviewed for walkers and hikers
The market for vegan snacks is growing massively thanks to the boom in veganism in recent years. The ever-expanding variety can range from classic snacks to healthy alternatives, and it’s hard to argue that vegan food isn’t becoming as dependable as non-vegan food.
To test which would be the best vegan snacks for hiking, we selected a set of four criteria: taste, nutrition, ease of consumption and suitability for walkers.
It’s ideal to opt for snacks that both taste good and are good for your body, especially when you need a replenishment to keep going. Having something easy to eat can be a big help when you’re outdoors, as well as being able to store your snacks and store them in your gear.
Focusing on energy and nutrition is essential, but sometimes it’s also good to settle for a treat that tastes good! We have found a balance between the two and selected our favorite vegan snacks for walking and hiking.
Of course, some of these products “may” contain milk, but are made from plant-based ingredients and are suitable for vegans. Check the ingredients to make sure all dietary requirements are met.
Best Vegan Snacks for Outdoor Walking and Hiking
The heart of nature
The Nature’s Heart range easily stood out from the vegan hiking snacks we tested. Snack bags and pouches are packed with flavors, nutrients, and variations, like trail mixes, but with a more interesting variety of ingredients.
The pouches contain a healthy mix of snack foods, including goji berries, dried fruits, nuts and seeds, blueberries, mango, and even dark chocolate bananas and golden berries. With sources of vitamin A, iron, zinc and selenium, the mixed sachets, which they call “immune blends”, are designed to support the function of your immune system.
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It’s a perfect snack when walking and hiking thanks to the resealable pouches, so it’s pretty easy to grab as many as you need and store the rest for later.
Crunch bags (barbequed, chilli and lemon or salt and pepper) are also great snacks, although they are not the most ideal to eat while walking as they have to be torn apart. They are a tasty alternative to immune blends, using edamame, peas, beans and seeds with a more seasoned and punchy taste. Each packet contains approximately 12g of protein and 8g of fibre.
Verdict: Perfect backpacking snacks that are easy to store and packed with a variety of flavors and nutrients.
Clif Bars have been around for over 25 years, providing hikers, athletes and everyday adventurers with much-needed energy. They use organic rolled oats, along with a load of energizing ingredients like nuts and vitamins, to provide a substantial, long-lasting energy boost that can get you through the day.
We have found that Clif’s popularity among active people is well deserved. The energy from just one bar was enough to fuel an evening of exercise, providing a sustained push throughout the activities. There is a noticeable difference from standard supermarket energy bars, where the energy levels of a Clif bar are not too different from those of a small, well-balanced meal.
Flavors also stand out, with their lineup including over 15 flavors to appeal to people’s varied tastes. The chocolate chips, crunchy peanut butter, and white chocolate macadamia nut were the team’s personal favorites. They have high levels of protein (usually between 9-11g per bar) and are loaded with carbohydrates to fuel your body.
The great thing about Clif Bars is that they’re easy to eat. The flavors never seem overpowering, and their size and density allow you to eat as much as you need while saving the rest for later. It helps that the bars are put together well – storing them without them collapsing can be a big help when hiking. They also slip easily into the handy side pockets of a backpack when eating on the go.
Verdict: They’re a great choice for walkers, providing significant energy and flavor, and packaged so they can easily fit into your gear.
Note that there is some Clif Bar products that are not suitable for vegans: four of their protein products contain whey protein from milk and one of their bars contains honey.
Any vegan is bound to be familiar with the Eat Real brand, with its ever-growing collection of lentil, hummus and quinoa crisps. There’s a wide variety of flavors on offer, from sour cream and chives to sun-dried tomatoes and roasted garlic. All of their products are vegan and gluten-free.
The chips are not made with potatoes as the main ingredient. This gives them a noticeably different texture and flavor, enough that even “salty” flavored chips taste distinct. They are thicker than most crisps making them great for dipping which is great when sitting around camping.
When it comes to vegan chips, Eat Real is up there with some of the most delicious and indulgent options available. We also tried their “low fat” products and had a hard time noticing the difference from their regular products.
For walkers, they are high in carbs to provide energy on the go. They don’t re-seal, but the packets are easy enough to roll up to prevent them from toppling over in your bag, especially with a clip or rubber band.
Verdict: Delicious flavors, perfect for dipping and ideal for snacking on the go.
Hippeas, chickpea puffs made with plant protein, are designed to be a healthier alternative to corn puff snacks like Wotsits. They contain around 88-92 kcal per packet and are vegan, high in fiber and free from palm oil, MSG and artificial preservatives.
They taste great, even compared to what you’d expect from non-vegan puff snacks, and are surprisingly less messy and easier to eat. Due to their calorie count, they may not provide much energy when hiking, but they are a great choice when you want a snack as a treat.
For vegan cheese fans, the “take it cheesy” flavor has that distinct taste. “Sweet & smokin” is Hippeas version of barbecue, with its own unique flavor that tastes great.
Hippea’s philosophy is centered around being good for the Earth, with its manufacturing process 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: Flaky snacks that are better for the planet and work wonders as a treat.
Better suited to the fitness aspect of walking or hiking, the MyVegan product line is packed with protein to help maintain energy levels and muscle growth after strenuous activity.
Even the chocolate bars, available in orange or sea salt, contain 4.3g of protein and are high in fiber. They work well as a quick, indulgent treat on the outside, and even though it’s vegan chocolate, it has a tasty, familiar flavor.
Protein bars, like the Carb Crusher and Double Dough Brownie, provide a noticeable energy boost and can help your muscles recover after a day of strenuous activity. They’re also tasty, especially the Double Dough Brownie which tastes surprisingly similar to a real brownie.
The bars are quite filling as they are densely packed with protein and fiber, so they would do a good job of replenishing you on the trails. Plus, they stay intact, which is great 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 journeys.
Mister Free’d tortilla chips are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, and high in protein and fiber. They’re designed as a healthy alternative to regular tortilla chips without sacrificing flavor or texture, and they stack up well against big name brands like Doritos.
They are certainly full of flavor and there is an interesting variety to offer. From ‘cheezie’ to ‘spinach kale’, it’s a colorful range of snacks, and they’re perfect for eating on a walk or sitting down at the campsite. Their shape and thickness also make them ideal for dipping, which is always a welcome bonus.
Mister Free would try to avoid using anything artificial and it shows, with some crisps having a surprisingly low number of ingredients. Plus, their flavors are bold and natural-tasting, so we agree with their statement that no flavor is sacrificed when healthier ingredients are used.
Verdict: A cleaner line of tortilla chips with interesting flavors and enough protein, carbs and fiber to provide energy for a walk.
For more hiking foods, check out our guide to healthy hiking foods for the trails with some easy recipe ideas.