Peak Refuel Backpacking Meal Review - 8 Reasons They Are Amazing!
Peak Refuel emerged onto the backcountry food scene in 2018 after toiling for two years in obscurity perfecting their recipes. After we found Peak Refuel on Instagram, we reached out for some samples. Amazed at the meals' taste and variety, we proceeded to stock all 12 flavors for our backcountry food store. Since then, we have struggled to keep them on the shelves. Why? Keep reading!
Made in the USA
Peak Refuel was started by four outdoor enthusiasts who are passionate about two things, great food and the outdoors. They used a combined 50 years experience in the freeze dried world to help create high quality backpacking meals that deliver gourmet taste. All Peak Refuel Meals are freeze-dried and packaged in a USDA inspected and certified facility located in American Fork, Utah.
Premium Ingredients and "Normal" Recipes
All growers and suppliers for Peak Refuel ingredients must go through an extensive screening process before being selected. Not only that, the ingredients chosen are ones you are familiar with and would use in your own kitchen. Read the back of any Peak Refuel package to see what we are talking about. Notice how many ingredients you can pronounce!
Part of being successful with your backcountry meal planning is not eating a crazy diet in the field that is drastically different than your normal diet. Your body is already stressed out enough from the strains of the backcountry. Why mess with your diet and make your body suffer even more? Peak Refuel meals are geared towards the 80% blessed to eat somewhat "normally" - chicken, beef, pasta, cheese, rice and, beans. You know, comfort food! With recipes like Homestyle Chicken and Rice, Chicken Alfredo Pasta, and Beef Stroganoff, you are sure to find a meal you like. We have tried nearly all of the 12 varieties and can honestly each of them has been awesome! Our one complaint so far? The Breakfast Skillet is too big! Seriously. Bring your A game or a buddy to eat that behemoth in a single sitting.
In the image above, did you happen to notice how many calories were in the meal? 920! And that's not even Peak Refuel's highest calorie meal! Two Peak Refuel Meals have over 900 calories: Chicken Pesto Pasta (920 cal) and Beef Pasta Marinara (990 cal). When you are hiking, skiing, and hunting in the backcountry, you need an incredible amount of energy each day. Being able to replace those calories quickly and efficiently means you can sustain a high level of activity for your entire trip. All Peak Refuel meals will leave you filled up; the average calories per meal of the entire lineup is over 700.
One of Peak Refuel's main selling points is that the meals are specifically designed to be high in protein. This is especially important after a long day on the trail. Protein is crucial for recovering after exercise. Unless you are sitting in your tent all day you need some protein! Nearly all of Peak Refuel's dinner entrees have at least 40 grams of protein. Maybe it's because they are sourced with 100% real meat? Compare that to the 'other guys' whose meals contain lots of fillers and only 20-30 grams of protein.
Light and Quick
Peak Refuel meals are lightweight and quick to prepare. Their heaviest meal is only 6.35oz and almost all of the meals take less than 10 minutes to rehydrate. Less weight and less cook time than other brands. I don't think we need to dwell on the benefits of that any longer...
Sodium is a touchy subject when it comes to backpacking meals. Some brands use extra sodium to improve the taste of their meals (we won't mention any names) while cutting costs. Take Beef Stroganoff for example. One popular brand's version contains 1600mg per pouch (66% DV), while Peak Refuel's version has 950mg (41% DV). While not every Peak Refuel meal is super low in sodium (the Sweet Pork and Rice is actually fairly high) - on average they appear to be lower in sodium than many of the other brands available.
No Cook Granola!
We can honestly say that the Mountain Berry Granola and Strawberry Granola are absolutely killer backcountry meals. So much so that we named the Strawberry Granola as our best backpacking breakfast in our Best Backpacking Food of 2019 article! These meals stand above other backcountry breakfast meals for two reasons. One, they taste incredible. Peak Refuel didn't skimp on the berries and the granola/milk mixture is amazing. Try one and you will be drinking the remaining milk out of the package. Secondly, you don't have to heat water to eat them! You can simply add cold water to the package (it contains instant milk), and begin eating. You don't even have to wait to dig in!
With a wide selection of dinner entrees and breakfast flavors, you can take enough variety on a multi day/week adventure and not get sick of anything. We have talked to many hunting guides who have eaten legacy brands for days on end in Alaska. Many of them complain about how they are feeling after a week of too much sodium, fillers, and who knows what else. We have yet to talk to someone who experienced this issue after eating Peak Refuel for an extended period of time.
Have we convinced you to try Peak Refuel? Give them a shot, you won't regret it!