The 14 Best Road Trip Snacks of 2022

Kind’s Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Nut Bar is our best overall snack

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TripSavvy's Pick

Blessed with ribbons of salted caramel and a small layer of dark chocolate, the Kind Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Nut Bar is the right degree of indulgence. With only five grams of sugar, loads of all-natural nutty goodness, and a solid calorie count to provide the energy boost you need. If you’re looking for a budget pick, we highly recommend the Combos Stuffed Snacks.

Road trips simply wouldn’t be the same without a collection of your favorite snacks. And while we won’t begrudge anyone from making a spur-of-the-moment purchase while buying gas mid-trip, you can stock up on an array of road-friendly food–snacks that are smartly packaged for car travel that provides a sustained burst of energy to keep you sated and focused until your next meal, and that taste great. 

From chocolate-laced nut bars to the best potato chips to the healthiest popcorn, these are the best road trip snacks.

Best Overall: Kind Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Nut Bar

Kind Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Nut Bar

Amazon

What We Like
  • Delicious, with just the right degree of sweetness

  • Helps satiate your hunger

What We Don’t Like
  • Some may prefer other flavors

As its name spells out, Kind’s Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Nut Bar is packed with tasty goodness, with a satisfying bite and just the right mixture of sweet and salty, thanks in large part to that touch of sea salt, which highlights the sweetness of the caramel and the bitterness of the dark chocolate. The gluten-free bar contains peanuts, almonds, chicory root fiber, honey, cashews, and cocoa butter. No trans fat, no genetically-altered ingredients, and only 5 grams of sugar, with 15 grams of total fat–18 percent of the recommended daily value. In other words, it eats like an indulgence but provides enough sustenance to satisfy your hunger.

Best Budget: Combos Stuffed Snacks

Combos Stuffed Snacks

Amazon

What We Like
  • Delicious

  • Easy to find

What We Don’t Like
  • High salt content

One of the staples of almost every snack shelf at gas stations or convenience stores across the country, Combos Stuff Snacks may reign as the most popular, reasonably-priced snack options for road trippers. The 6.3-ounce bags are enough for two to share, and the seven different flavors cover a range of tastes, from pepperoni pizza to cheddar cheese bacon. When in doubt, go with the classic Cheddar Cheese Pretzel; the baked pretzel encircles a creamy filling made with real cheese. The sodium content is a touch high at 300 mg per serving (roughly nine pieces), but it doesn’t have any trans fat and has only four grams of sugar.

Best Vegan: HIPPEAS Tortilla Chips

HIPPEAS Tortilla Chips

Amazon

What We Like
  • Good for you

  • Good for the environment

What We Don’t Like
  • Not a substitute for Doritos

Don’t let the name of Tortilla Chips from HIPPEAS fool you–this snack has healthy chickpeas rather than the corn typically found in tortilla chips. The use of chickpeas makes them gluten-free, kosher, vegan, and vegetarian, with no GMOs, nuts, or soy, and provides 3 grams of protein and fiber (per 1-ounce serving). It comes in three flavors–ranch, sea salt and lime, and just sea salt. And bonus: the chickpea plants naturally release nitrogen back into the earth as they grow.

Best Vegetarian: Rhythm Cauliflower Bites

Rhythm Cauliflower Bites

Amazon

What We Like
  • Vegetarian delight

  • Offers a host of health benefits

  • Loads of flavor

  • Brand has a “Music to Snack to” playlist to accompany

What We Don’t Like
  • A bit pricey

The store shelves have plenty of vegetarian-friendly snack options, but to truly embrace your love of vegetables, go with Rhythm’s Cauliflower Bites, which uses organic produce that is low-heat crisped to retain the nutrients, deliver a satisfying crunch and also provide vitamin C, D, and K; calcium, iron, and potassium, as well as five grams of fiber. Choose from white cheddar, sea salt, or buffalo ranch.

Best Gluten-Free: Mary’s Gone Crackers Variety Six-Pack

Mary’s Gone Crackers Variety Six-Pack

Amazon

What We Like
  • All-organic plant-based ingredients

  • Serious flavor and a crisp mouthfeel

What We Don’t Like
  • It contains soy

The company name Mary’s Gone Crackers hits the right degree of “acceptable pun.” It also manages to capture the playful spirit they bring to snack food, using whole, plant-based ingredients, and seeds that you can see embedded in the crackers. The six-pack variety option comes with the brand’s original crackers and herb, black pepper, and jalapeno flavors. Made from organic, gluten-free whole-grain brown rice, the original cracker, which serves as the basis for all flavors, has quinoa, flax seeds, and sesame seeds, with a rich, earthy flavor and a solid crunch.

Best Nuts: Equal Exchange Organic Roasted Salted Cashews

Equal Exchange Organic Roasted Salted Cashews

Amazon

What We Like
  • A solid eco story

  • Delivers glorious taste of roasted, salted cashew

What We Don’t Like
  • A bit pricier than non-organic options

Nut loyalists are fierce defenders of their favorite variety, and if you’re a fan of cashews, the Organic Roasted Salted Cashews from Equal Exchange may become the best example of that nut’s greatness. The cashews are sourced from a Fair Trade Alliance in Kerala, India, which uses elephant-friendly fencing and channel its funds to improve school facilities and support community drinking water programs. More importantly, the cashews taste great; roasted and packed in the U.S., the 8-ounce bag comes with 5 grams of protein and 1 gram of dietary fiber per serving (¼ cup) and a refreshingly straightforward ingredient list: organic cashews and sea salt.

Best Popcorn: SkinnyPop Popcorn

Skinny Pop Popcorn

Amazon

What We Like
  • Tasty, well-made popcorn

  • Zero trans fat

What We Don’t Like
  • A bit high on sodium

Skinny Pop’s Popcorn comes with loads of advantages compared to lesser brands–they don’t use artificial ingredients or flavors or any GMO products; they’re gluten-, dairy-, peanut-, tree nut- and preservative-free; they have 0 trans fats and provide a good dose of fiber. And, of course, it tastes great, whether you go with the original flavor or one of the five other flavors—or the two kettle corn options. The original keeps things simple and flavorful, using only salt, popcorn, and sunflower oil, with 75 milligrams of sodium and one gram of saturated fats.

Best Chips: Kettle Brand Classic Potato Chips

Kettle Brand Classic Potato Chips
What We Like
  • Comes in a variety of flavors

  • Offers an unsalted version

What We Don’t Like
  • Salt content does vary by flavor and is typically high

Kettle Brand started more than 40 years ago, and from its inception, they’ve focused on doing things the right way–they only use whole potatoes that are cut extra thick and source their key ingredients from a handful of small farms. Enter the code printed on the bag into their Track Your Taters online program, and you can actually find out where the potatoes were farmed and meet the people behind the starchy tubers. Their Classic line offers traditional flavors like sea salt, salt and vinegar, barbeque, and more inventive options like Farmstead Rach, Jalapeno, Honey Dijon, and Korean and Bourbon Barbeque. Each chip delivers the bite you crave, with a solid snap and ample potato flavor, while the flavored options hit the sweet spot between being too underseasoned and so over the top that you can’t taste the potato.

Best Fruit: Sol Simple Organic-Certified Solar Dried Mango

Sol Simple Regenerative Organic-Certified Solar Dried Mango

Amazon

What We Like
  • Fruits are dried at peak ripeness

What We Don’t Like
  • A bit pricey

Made from heirloom Rosa-variety fruits sourced from Nicaragua, Sol Simple’s Regenerative Organic-Certified Solar Dried Mangos are dried in small batches with solar energy, delivering a tasty bite along with two grams of fiber, as well as Vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium per a 1.5-ounce serving size. No fats, no GMO ingredients, no cholesterol or sodium—just small batch, tasty goodness.

Best for Kids: Annie’s Organic Fruit Tape Variety Pack

Annie’s Organic Fruit Tape Variety Pack

Amazon

What We Like
  • A long-time favorite for kids

  • Flavorful and healthy

What We Don’t Like
  • Sodium count is a touch high at 55 milligrams

As any parent will tell you, the real challenge of giving your kids Annie’s Organic Fruit Tape is that they might play with it long before they eat it. The gluten-free fruit snacks don’t have anything artificial or synthetic, and they come in a host of flavors suitable to all palates, including pear, raspberry, and strawberry. It’s high in vitamin C, absent of any trans fats, and delivers 80 calories of sustenance.

Best for Babies/Toddlers: GoGo SqueeZ Fruit on the Go Variety Pack

GoGo SqueeZ Fruit on the Go

Amazon

What We Like
  • Pouch is kid-friendly

  • Provides a no-mess snacking solution

What We Don’t Like
  • Nothing

GoGo SqueeZ Fruit on the Go gives your little ones a playful way to enjoy a quick, tasty, nutritious snack–just be sure to have more on hand because they’ll go fast. Made from 100 percent fruit, they dodge all the pitfalls of most snack food (they’re dairy-, gluten-, BBA, and nut-free) and don’t require a utensil. Just twist off the lid and start squeezing the puree into your mouth. The flavors are a step up from traditional baby food and include options like apple, pineapple, and passionfruit; cinnamon apple, apple banana; and apple grape, and each provide 60 calories of nourishment and two grams of fiber.

Best Trail Mix: Back to Nature Harvest Blend Trail Mix

Back to Nature Harvest Blend Trail Mix

Amazon

What We Like
  • The Harvest Blend has NO salt

  • Healthy, tasty ingredients

What We Don’t Like
  • If you don’t like dried fruit, look elsewhere

Take the classic mix of almonds, pecans, and raisins, and add sunflower and pumpkin seeds and a bit of zesty dried apricots, and you get the winning Harvest Blend from Back to Nature. It provides 5 grams of protein per serving (¼ cup) and 14 grams of total carbohydrates, and doses of iron, vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. But what it doesn’t have is what makes this option win out over lesser trail mixes: no sodium and no trans fats.

Best Jerky: Country Archer Beef Jerky Variety Pack

Country Archer Beef Jerky

Amazon

What We Like
  • Various flavors to suit most pallets

What We Don’t Like
  • Gets stuck in teeth

Making quality beef jerky requires a clear vision that rejects the notion of artificial ingredients and cuts down on sugar. And Country Archer nails it with its expansive line of jerky. All feature grass-fed beef and real spices and avoid MSG, preservatives, and nitrates. The original flavor has only 4 grams of sugar and remains free of all major allergens. Certain dieters will appreciate that it’s keto- and paleo-certified and certified gluten-free, providing at least nine grams of solid protein. And the flavors vary in mouth-watering ways, including mango habanero, hatch chile, zero-sugar mustard bbq, and spicey fuego.

Best Indulgence: Haribo Sour Goldbears

Haribo Sour Goldbears

Amazon

What We Like
  • Sour, sweet, and tangy flavor

What We Don’t Like
  • Sugar and sodium are present

Sour Patch Kids have loyalists, but for a purely indulgent mix of sweet and sour, you really can’t beat the Sour Goldbears from Haribo. The classic gummy bears have been sprinkled with sour crystals that marry with the traditional flavors of lemon, orange, pineapple, raspberry, and strawberry to provide a tangy tasting experience. They’re fat-free but have 16 grams of sugar and 15 milligrams of sodium, and 2 grams of protein in a 12-piece serving size. But it’s an indulgence, and the mouth-puckering flavor is well justified.

What to Look for in Road Trip Snacks

Price

You can score a reasonably healthy snack for less than $5–often even less. But if you take pride in eating organically, want to avoid artificial ingredients, and are willing to spend a bit more for a higher-quality snack, be prepared to pay $10 or more, especially if you’re purchasing while on the road and are trapped in rest stop stores that typically hike their prices. But if you plan, you can save money by buying snacks in bulk online before you depart.

Ingredients

Avoid snacks with trans fats or too much sugar, fat, or sodium, as well as those that rely heavily on artificial flavors, colors, or other ingredients. Instead, look for snack foods that use organic, all-natural, non-GMO ingredients, ideally from brands who source their ingredients responsibly; if they do, they typically call that out on the packaging.

Nutrition

The USDA requires that all snacks carry a nutrition label that clearly outlines all the key nutritional elements of the product and includes info about calories, total fat, trans and saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, sugars, protein, and the amount of vitamins A and C as well as iron and calcium–and some brands will list additional vitamins and minerals if their product has them. Note as well that the stats provided on the label are per serving, which is also defined as a portion of the entire food contained in the packet.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What's the best type of road trip snack?

    Portability, ease of consumption, and overall size all come into play; the last thing you want to do while in a car is juggle with a utensil or a messy dip or sandwich. Some fruits, like berries, work well, but handling a banana peel or an apple core for a few hours after eating it can be a pain. Instead, go for self-contained, pre-packaged items like nuts, trail mix, bars, dried fruits, chips, and other snackable items. It’s also wise to avoid products with lots of sugar so you don’t have to wrestle with the energy collapse once the sugar high wears off.

  • What sort of nutrition is best for road trips?

    If you’ve ever felt heavy and listless after digesting fast food, you already know the trappings of consuming lower-quality food. When selecting road trip snacks, go with products with natural ingredients, nominal sugar and sodium, plenty of fiber and proteins, and other health benefits like those labeled organic, gluten-free, or vegetarian-friendly. In addition to tasting good, they also provide the right kind of ingredients that’ll keep you sated and full as you travel.

Why Trust TripSavvy

Nathan Borchelt has been rating, reviewing, and profiling outdoor and travel apparel for decades–and during that time, he’s had more than his fair share of good (and bad) snack food. His family made multiple road trips per year during his childhood, and that love of the open road–and the snacks that provide substance for those long stretches–continues to this day. Each product was evaluated on taste, price, and overall nutritional quality, with a preference for those made without artificial ingredients. Bonus points were also awarded to brands that embrace sustainability and connections with the earth and the points of origin for their base ingredients.

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