3 Best Emergency Survival Bar Brands (Tried and Tested)

If you are building an emergency kit or even a bug-out bag and want to have a compact, ready-to-eat option for the first 2-3 days of a disaster, then ration bars are a great option.

Unlike most other reviews, I actually purchased a bunch of different brands and sampled the product. Based on my evaluations, here are my findings.

The 3 Best Emergency Survival Bar Brands:

  1. Mainstay Emergency Food Rations (Premium Option)
  2. SOS 3600 Food Bars (Best Value)
  3. Millennium Energy Bars (Best Variety of Flavors)

Now let’s go through the main things to look for so you know both what to avoid and what the must-have features are.

Three best emergency survival bar brands

Main Keys to Choosing Emergency Survival Bars

First off, let me put things in perspective. You are minding your own business one day when disaster strikes. You and your family are forced to flee into the wilderness and only have time to grab your emergency kit (sometimes called a “bug-out bag”).

While you get your bearings and are figuring out a mid or long-term survival plan, you need to eat. That’s where survival rations come into play.

What Survival Food is For

To get you through the key first 48-72 hours. The point is the most calories possible crammed into the smallest space possible.

Which types to avoid

Avoid all candy bars or any bars with a short shelf-life. If it doesn’t last at least 5 years, you don’t want them.

The Top Emergency Survival Bar Brands

#1. Mainstay Emergency Food Rations

Mainstay emeergency food ration label
Everything about these are top-notch.

Touting a 5-year shelf life, these are my first choice. The fact they taste really good is secondary to how many calories are packed into the smallest amount of space possible. If I had to choose only one brand to keep in my kit, this would be the one.

  • Usually under $40 for 7200 calories= 2.05 per serving, 13 ounces per 2400 calorie package, 39 ounces for the 3 pack, 3 bars total = 2.17oz per serving.
Mainstay emeergency food ration nutrition
One brick feeds my family for a day.

Note: Prices can fluctuate over time. Click the link below for the latest pricing.

Check the latest price

#2. SOS 3600 Food Bars

SOS emergency food ration label
Nice compact sizing.

While these are not going to win any taste test awards (they actually aren’t that bad), the price alone makes them well worth taking a look at.

SOS bars are typically much cheaper than some of the other brands. Being Coast Guard approved (thus the name), you can be assured you are getting a quality product that will work well in emergency situations. Highly recommended if you are buying in bulk and don’t care too much about taste.

Check the latest price

#3. Millennium Energy Bars

If you are building an emergency kit for your family, this might be your best chance to get your kids to actually eat the bars. This brand comes in a variety of flavors so that you can hopefully find one that a finicky kid might consume.

The good news is, like other survival rations, Millenium bars have a long shelf life and are able to tolerate both extreme hot and cold conditions. While they are typically not as cheap as some other brands, they are also not that expensive either.

Millenium emergency ration bar flavors
My order came with Raspberry, Blueberry, Coconut, Apricot, and Cherry.
Millenium emergency ration bar nutrition
My kids prefer these (Of course, right?)

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Quick Details

There are a number of contributing factors that go into quality emergency ration bars:

Mainstay Emergency RationsSOS 3600 Food BarsMillenium Energy Bars
Unopened Size10.5″ x 6.5″ Bricks10″ x 6″ BricksLarge candy bar size
Calories2400per brick (6 Servings of 400 each)3690 per brick (9 Servings of 410 each)400 per bar
Weight per Serving76g84g (756 grams in a brick)84g
Flavor Options?OneOneRaspberry, Blueberry, Coconut, Apricot, Cherry, Orange, Lemon
Shelf Life5 Years5 Years5 Years
Sugar per Serving14g32g32g
Check PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

Final Thoughts

I think the choice is pretty clear. If budget isn’t a huge barrier, go with Mainstay. If you want to buy in bulk and keep costs at a minimum, choose SOS. I wouldn’t put all my eggs into one basket with the Millenium bars, but you might want to buy a couple dozen of them to keep the kids happy in an emergency.

Please let me know which you choose and any other thoughts you have in the comment below.

Thanks for reading!


Jim James

Hey, I'm Jim, and the owner of this website. I have always been interested in survival, fishing, camping, and anything in nature. In fact, while growing up, I spent more time on the water than on land! I am also a best-selling author and have a degree in History, Anthropology, and Music. I hope you find value in the articles on this website. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or input!

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