All backpacks can hold snacks, but not all snacks are backpack snacks. To be a good backpack snack it’s gotta be small, it’s gotta be non-crumbly (looking at you, Nature Valley bars), and it has to satisfy that 2:43 p.m. craving for something more tasty than that Excel sheet you’ve been working on for the last week and a half. So, without further ado, here are our picks for six of the best snacks to pack in a backpack.
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- Nature Valley Sweet & Salty Nut Almond Granola Bars
I know, I just dragged Nature Valley. And I meant it with all my heart. But trust me when I say these Nature Valley bars aren’t like the other Nature Valley bars. The Sweet & Salty Nut Almond granola bar is soft and chewy and tastes “sweet and salty, while also packing a flavor punch of oat and almond.” Plus, Sporked senior writer Jordan Myrick noted that “the almond butter dip that lines the bottom of the bar tastes more like frosting than almond butter.” These are a must-have backpack snack (I have definitely left one of these in my backpack and I can confirm that several months later it was a tad disheveled but still delicious and intact).
Related: Best Granola Bars: These Are the 6 Best Granola Bars to Eat on the Go
- Honey Dijon Kettle Chips
These are more of a same-day backpack snack as opposed to a “leave it there for months and see what happens” backpack snack. But I don’t think anyone will dispute the fact that one of the best snacks to put in a backpack is a bag of chips—and what are Kettle Chips if not sturdier chips? And the Honey Dijon flavor specifically? Hoooooooo, mama. These things are “sweet, tangy, and mustardy,” and they taste, “almost caramelized—it’s powerfully rich and deliciously savory,” according to former Sporked staff writer Danny Palumbo.
Related: The 10 Best Kettle Chip Flavors, an Extra-Crunchy Ranking
- Chomps Original Beef Stick
I chomped into one of these for the first time a couple of weeks ago and gosh darn if it wasn’t the best meat stick I have ever had. They can sit in a backpack for ages no problem, but they also taste fantastic. Danny described them as tasting “so much like beef that I’m actually getting beef-fat vibes, kind of like a ribeye steak. This is so beefy that it actually makes me think of a specific cut of beef.” Can you name another beef stick that makes you think of a specific cut of beef? Didn’t think so. Shove a Chomps stick in your book bag right the heck now.
Related: Snap Into Something Else: We Ranked the 11 Best Beef Sticks
- David Bar-B-Q Jumbo Sunflower Seeds
Now I know these can get a bit messy (so much so that they were banned at my junior high), but, hey, your backpack, your rules. If you are the kind of gal that likes to have a bag of snackable, spittable sunflower seeds in the side water bottle pocket of your backpack at any given time just to give you something to do, then these delicious David Bar-B-Q jumbo sunflower seeds may just do the trick for ya. Danny said these taste “delightfully roasted and salty, and have a unique, simple flavor, whether from the roasting process or the quality of the seeds themselves or both.” MmmmmMMMM good.
Related: Be a Hit in the Dugout with the 8 Best Sunflower Seeds
- Kirkland Butter Toffee Cashews
Sometimes all you need to avoid a crash is half of an almond (IYKYK). But sometimes, you need a Ziplock baggie of Kirkland brand Butter Toffee Cashews. Don’t think you need these? Well, wait till you hear what they are: candy-coated cashews. Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling said these cashews are “buttery, so toffee-y, so crunchy. They taste like a carnival.” Not only that, but she noted that “they are sweet—but there’s a touch of salt to balance that out. And they aren’t overly coated in toffee so while they are indulgent, you can still grab a few at 11 a.m. and not feel like you’re totally going off the rails.” What more must I say? These are the perfect anytime-of-day backpack snack.
Related: Best Costco Snacks to Feed an Office (or One Hungry Family)
- Kraft Original Macaroni & Cheese Dinner
Now you may not immediately think of instant mac and cheese when thinking about the best snacks to pack in a backpack. But think about it: Most workplaces have a microwave for people to heat up their lunches. Not only is the packaging on this small and portable, but as long as there’s a microwave and a water source at your destination, you’ve got yourself a warm, gooey, cheesy, comforting snack. According to Jordan, this cup of joy boasts “a mild, cheesy flavor, a creamy texture, and an overall sense of nostalgia.” What more could you ask for in a backpack snack?
Related: Get Ready to Nuke the 5 Best Microwavable Mac & Cheeses
Thoughts? Questions? Complete disagreement? Leave a comment!