Backpacking can be a lot of fun, but it also comes with a lot of challenges. Managing space and weight are a much bigger challenge when you need to be able to hold everything you need for your trip on your back.
Keeping an adequate supply of food and water for a trip is often one of the biggest challenges, even when you choose ultralight options for your other backpacking gear, so there’s always room for new and better innovations when it comes to food and water storage on the trail.
That’s where RecPak comes in, with a super lightweight meal replacement formula designed to keep you going no matter how ambitious your trail. In this review we’ll give you an in-depth look at RecPak products, the company, and when and why you might find RecPak products most useful.
RecPak isn’t exactly your typical outdoor spots company. They are owned by disabled veterans, and their products are based off their experience working in the Marine Corps and as first responders.
That’s important not only because buying from them helps support a veteran-owned business, but also because their products are designed to help you withstand some of the hardest work and most difficult working conditions imaginable.
RecPak pouches are a solution to the difficulty of maintaining energy and peak performance in tough conditions and are designed to help overcome both the nutritional and space challenges in those situations.
Additionally, as a show of support for Ukraine and the war, right now RecPak is sending one pouch to the Ukraine for every pouch sold online, to help support the soldiers and civilians impacted by the Russian invasion.
What Are RecPak Meals?
RecPak meals are a dehydrated meal replacement shake stored in a pouch designed so that you can also mix the shake and drink from the same container without having to worry about other dishes or utensils.
The goals was to make a nutritious and healthy meal replacement that could be eaten quickly on the go or enjoyed more slowly if desired. They come in a few flavors, including vanilla chai, chocolate, and coffee, with the coffee flavor also offering 150mg of caffeine.
Unlike many nutritional shakes and meal replacements, RecPak are designed for highly active people, people working on physical fitness, and periods of extreme activity and exertion, exactly what you need on a trail.
Here are a few of the most important features of the RecPak:
How Much Do They Weigh?
RecPak pouches weigh just 5.9 oz before you add water, and are compact for easier packing in a go-bag or backpacking pack.
That’s huge considering the weight of fully hydrated foods, and even many dehydrated alternatives.
Plus, since this is a meal you can drink directly from the pouch without needing any other utensils, you can cut down on the plastic and additional equipment you need on a trip, and reap the weight benefits of having a more slimmed-down package.
These are also perfect for longer backpacking trips since you can pack more of the food you need for the trip from the outset, without having it turn into a huge burden when your shoulders and back are starting to feel the strain.
Compact size also means more room for other necessary items, including water, survival tools, and even your bedroll. For a pack designed as a backpacking meal replacement, there really aren’t many equivalent or better alternatives.
Pouches are designed to be durable and hold up to whatever you need them to. They aren’t impenetrable, but you don’t have to worry about accidentally piercing the pouch from almost any standard use.
That’s also great for packing in a full backpack or longer storage between trips. That’s important because the last thing any hiker wants is a pack full of ruined food because of one bad fall. You don’t have to worry about losing meals accidentally since these pouches are both more durable than most, and reusable.
Need convenient water storage after drinking a RecPak? Just refill the container and close the twist cap top. The pouch works for several uses and is designed to last through just about any scenario.
At 700 calories per package, and a balanced load of protein, carbs, fats, and essential vitamins and minerals, these packs offer the complete nutrition your body needs to maintain peak performance.
The high-calorie load is intentional and helps to replace the energy you’re using in high-activity scenarios. If you are backpacking with a mixed load of different kinds of food, using RecPaks for at least some of your daily calories can help reduce how much other food you need to bring, lowering your overall weight totals for the trip.
Most importantly, these packs contain both the essential electrolytes your body needs to replace after sweating and also offers balanced macros. No more makeup meals or trying to catch up on your macros from an ineffective meal replacement option. This is a lot more than just calories and sugar, or even calories, sugar, and protein.
43g Of Protein In Each Packet
When you’re asking your body to do incredible things you need to give it incredible fuel. By including a lot of protein in each packet, RecPak helps give your body the long-lasting fuel it needs to keep going. Combine that with the fats and carbs in the meals, you’ll get short and long-lasting energy from each pouch, which is important for energy sustainability.
The protien included in these packs is also highly digestible, which is more important than you might think. Sustainable energy is only possible if your body can access and make use of the nutrition included in your meals. One of the reasons RecPaks work as well as they do is because the formula is highly digestible and bio-available.
No more feeling weighed down by meals that your body struggles to digest and turn into energy.
More Affordable Compared To Hot Backpacking Meals
One of the big draws for a lot of people considering RecPak is that these pouches are more affordable compared with standard hiking meals while offering similar or better nutritional content.
That’s important because it means that RecPak is a reasonable option for people backpacking on a budget, though plenty of people still prefer traditional hot meals or MRE-style meals for backpacking.
A combination of the two can give you the best of both worlds, while just RecPaks can be used in a pinch or when you really need high-energy fuel for what you’re doing.
Keeping things more affordable also means that more people can enjoy the benefits of camping and backpacking, while also making it easier for people in other situations to use RecPack meals as a tool for their wellbeing.
While it would be nice to see the price go even lower, as it stands these are a reasonably affordable option for a niche market, with a lot of big benefits for the price. If you’re looking to get more backpacking bang for your buck, it’s hard to go wrong here.
Who Are RecPak Meal Pouches Made For?
RecPaks are very intentionally aimed at people in high-performance sports, who are going on extended backpacking trips, or who are in first-responder or survival situations.
However, like a lot of specialty goods that are aimed at a specific population group or set of situations, RecPack meals can be used by people in a wider range of situations as well.
These are a great way to refuel and energize after a rough workout, before running a marathon, or even to recover after responding to an emergency if you’re a first responder. RecPak can also be a great option for people who need to be on a liquid diet for any combination of reasons, especially since the high-calorie count means that you can get a full day’s worth of calories and nutrition in fewer servings than with many low-calorie meal replacement shakes.
Basically, if you need a high-protein, high-calorie meal replacement that can be stored for a long time, is easy to make, and comes with minimal waste materials, RecPak is probably a good option for you.
When Can You Use RecPak?
RecPak is mostly designed as a camping and backpacking food that’s small, portable, and highly nutritious to help keep you going wherever and whenever you need it.
It’s not quite fatty enough to be a good meal replacement for arctic or alpine camping situations, so you might want to bring alternative sources of fat and calories when you’re expecting cold weather conditions, but it’s otherwise well designed to offer everything your body needs on the go.
In addition to recreational settings, RecPack is a great option for storage in a go-bag, or to pack in case of survival situations as a result of a hiking or camping accident, getting lost, or generally just because you want to be as safe as possible.
RecPak can also be a good recovery tool from extreme ex from extreme exertion while recovering from illness, injury, or surgery, or anytime you need to be on a liquid diet for any reason. Since RecPak also contains key electrolytes, your body needs to stay hydrated and make the best use of water, it’s also a good tool for maintaining hydration on the go.
Where Do You Need It?
RecPak is a great option on the go, in emergencies, or set aside for when something happens and you need to be prepared. It’s a great addition to a go-bag, a first-responder recovery pack, or included with hiking gear and backpacks just in case you need a pick-me-up while you’re on the go.
It’s also a good addition to your camping gear and tools, especially if you often find yourself too tired to make a standard meal at the end of the day camping, or if you need a mid-afternoon energy boost.
Plus, since these meal replacements have balanced macros, they’re great for long-term nutrition as well as short-term energy deficits. This isn’t a meal replacement you’ll need to diet around or supplement your meals in the future.
The big benefit of RecPak meals though is that they offer extended energy release, high nutrition, and lots of protien to keep you going in any situation.
Why Do You Need RecPak?
RecPak meals are a great way to refuel your body, keep going in high-stress situations, and are a great option for when you just need some calories on the go. They can be used in almost any situation, even as a regular part of your diet if you want to, but they’re designed around keeping people In high-performance demand scenarios functioning their best.
You can also incorporate these meal packs into a post-surgical recovery plan. They’re a good option for people who have medical restrictions and need liquid foods, and even in survival situations.
If you live somewhere with frequent natural disasters, keeping RecPaks along with MREs and other shelf-stable sources of complete nutrition can help you get through the crisis.
There are dozens of potential reasons why you might want to keep RecPaks around, especially if you’re someone who needs a high-calorie diet or is looking for a good meal replacement option that still takes care of your macros.
Overall, we’re very happy with what the RecPak ($74.99) offers as a meal solution. The fact that these products are heavily tested by a veteran-owned and operated company just makes them that much more appealing.
You can trust that the people who created and tested RecPak really understand what you need in a high-demand situation, and that they’ll stand by the quality and performance of their product.
It would be nice to see a few more flavor options, and maybe a higher caffeine energy option for people who already operate on a higher dose of daily caffeine, but otherwise it’s hard to find fault here.
And, at the end of the day, fewer flavors is a small price to pay for maintaining the quality and nutritional value of a high-performance meal replacement shake like these.
Better yet, these packs go down smooth, taste great, and really do give you an energy boost.