Play Hard Give Back Snack Bars and Trail Mix Review

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It’s almost been three years since I walked Camino de Santiago. As I’ve written many times before, it was the people I met that stick with me as the fondest memories. Walking from Rabanal to Molinaseca, I met a guy named Ryan who ran track at Pomona Pitzer. It was funny to be half way across the world, and meet a guy going to college in the area I grew up in. I saw him a few times more in passing on my way to Santiago, and got a clip of him saying “Buen Camino!” for my pilgrimage documentary. When I returned home, I began to compile the video footage I had shot along The Way in preparation of my short film. One Saturday, after editing some footage, I decided to go for a trail run at Claremont Wilderness Park…and guess who I ran in to? It was Ryan from the Camino! We exchanged contact info and have kept in touch ever since. Why is this important to a review on trail mix and snack bars? Well, Ryan is working with a great company called Play Hard Give Back, and after trying their snack bars and trail mix, I’m really excited to do a write up on how much I liked everything I got to try.

Play Hard Give Back Bars and Mix
Play Hard Give Back Bars and Mix


Before I get into how much I loved the snack bars and trail mix (I pretty much ate them all in a few sittings), I’d love to do a little introduction for PHGB and focus on their incredible mission. “…we noticed our fellow citizen’s affinity and respect for individuals who spend their lives competing in athletics. These elite athletes develop an admirable work ethic in order to thrive in the inherently competitive athletic community. However, this time commitment creates a two-fold problem: Athletes aren’t able to fund their sport and they also develop a very self-oriented mindset. PlayHard GiveBack was created with the intention of solving both of these problems. Our goal is to facilitate youth sports fundraising and elite athlete funding while helping athletes cultivate a sense of gratitude. PHGB provides an online marketplace for elite athletes and youth sports teams to post merchandise on their personal team page.” How cool is that!? Not only do the proceeds of purchased goods from each team page go to fund each athlete’s needs, they also give back to the athlete’s chosen social cause.

If you’d like to help support an athlete and a cause, you can click here to get started. You can do it all in three easy steps: first you’ll select an athlete, then you’ll choose your delivery frequency, and finally, you can snack happy knowing you purchase is helping an athlete fulfill their dreams while also supporting a great cause.

Getting Started

Now for the fun part…let me just start by saying the PHGB bars and snacks are delicious. Not only are they great tasting, but they’re made with quality, all natural, wholesome ingredients, to keep you pushing hard all day long. Ryan set me up with the Triple Threat, which includes three trail mix options and three bar options. I’ll start with the trail mix flavors and work my way down to the bars.

Play Hard Give Back Bars and Mix
Play Hard Give Back Trail Mix

Fuel and Flow Trail Mix:

I really liked this combo for snack time during work. The salty/sweet combination of seeds works really well, and I love that PHGB uses ginger! I’m a huge fan of ginger, and not enough trail mixes on the market incorporate it.

Ingredients: Raw Almonds, Honey Roasted Nuts (Peanuts, Pecans, Almonds), Salted Pumpkin Seeds, Hemp Seeds, Dried Fruit (Apples, Cranberries), Ginger AND stoked w/ Blueberry Antioxidant BGood Bites.

Play Hard Give Back Bars and Mix
Fuel and Flow Trail Mix

Karmakandy Trail Mix: 

The peanut butter cups in Karmakandy make it near impossible to put down. Coupled with the peanut ginger bgood bites, this was my favorite trail mix of the three.

Ingredients: Raw Almonds, Dried Cranberries, Banana Chips, Peanut Butter Cups AND stoked w/ Peanut Ginger BGood Bites

Play Hard Give Back Bars and Mix
Karmakandy Trail Mix

Rise and Shine Trail Mix: 

Rise and Shine is another great trail mix combination. I love the chocolate-covered espresso beans, they make for a nice “pick-me-up” in the middle of the day. The dried mango and cranberries add some really nice sweetness to the mix and were one of the main reasons I made this bag disappear so quickly.

Ingredients: Raw Almonds, Dried Cranberries, Cashews, Dried Mango, Chocolate-covered Espresso Beans AND stoked w/ Espresso Datenut BGood Bites.

Play Hard Give Back Bars and Mix
Rise and Shine Mix

The trail mixes are great for snacks, but if you’re looking for something a little smaller and more portable, PHGB also has three great options for bars. Below, you will find the three bars I tried.

Play Hard Give Back Bars and Mix
Play Hard Give Back Bars

Blueberry Antioxidant Bar:

This bar was absolutely incredible and was my favorite of the three! I’ve never had anything like it, with the combined ingredients coated in a layer of chia seeds. It was delicious, while also packing a dense punch of nutrition.

Ingredients: Toasted Cashews, Walnuts, Organic Chia Seeds, Organic Flax Seeds, Organic Flax Meal, Organic Almond Butter, Organic Dried Blueberries, Fair Trade Dark Chocolate, Organic Green Tea Matcha, Organic Cocoa Powder, and Organic Cinnamon.

Play Hard Give Back Bars and Mix
Play Hard Give Back Bars

Peanut Ginger Bar: 

The peanut ginger flavor works really well here, and is a combo I’m going to seek out more regularly. As I mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of ginger. The problem is finding ways to consume it! PHGB did a great job of working it in with the overall flavors of the bar on this one.

Ingredients: Toasted Peanuts, Cashews, Oats, Peanut Butter, Local Honey, Organic Flax Seed Meal, Crystallized Ginger, Fair Trade Dark Chocolate, Sesame Seeds, Sea Salt.

Play Hard Give Back Bars and Mix
Play Hard Give Back Bars

Espresso Date Nut Bar: 

This bar was a close second for my overall favorite with the coconut, dates, and chocolate really shining for my overall preferences. The mango, almond butter, and honey added some really nice additional sweetness. A great all around bar.

Ingredients: Toasted Almonds, Cashews, Oats, Sunflower Seeds, Organic Coconut, Organic Almond Butter, Local Honey, Dates, Mango, Fair Trade Dark Chocolate, Organic Flax Seed Meal and Espresso.

Play Hard Give Back Bars and Mix
Play Hard Give Back Bars
Play Hard Give Back Bars and Mix
Play Hard Give Back Bars

If you’re looking for some great trail mix or snack bars and would like your purchase to go towards a great cause, head on over to and take a look around! I’m going to be grabbing some bars to take along with me on the John Muir Trail this summer and am looking forward to the nutritional balance they’ll bring to my daily food intake.


Iron Mountain via Heaton Flats 05.02.15

The Trail to Peak SoCal “Category 5” Hiking Series


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