ARIZONA HIKERS GUIDE
What do you get when you mix a 4 star wielding, Iron Chef beating, New York based chef with a outdoor loving, adventure seeking husband and counterpart? Good To-Go dehydrated meals. This Maine-based company believes that not all dehydrated meals are created equal. Good To-Go has one pointed goal, “to elevate your expectations of what trail food can taste like”. I mean, wouldn’t it be nice to be excited for your meal at the end of a long days’ worth of exploring? We think so and are here to see if Good To-Go is the company that can make us say “wow” after eating a dehydrated meal.
Currently, Good To-Go makes four varieties of meals in both single and double portions. The meals include;
- Thai Curry
- Classic Marinara With Penne
- Smoked Three Bean Chili
- Herbed Mushroom Risotto
- Four meal varieties
- All meals are gluten free
- All meals are vegetarian (Thai Curry is pescatarian)
- Thai Curry won the “2014 Editors’ Choice Snow Award” from Backpacker Mag as well as Gear Junkies “Top 2014 Picks”
- Ingredients you can pronounce
- No preservatives or additives
My wife and I took these Good To-Go meals with us on a little desert excursion last week and had a great time reviewing and testing the product. We left for the outdoors after finishing up our afternoon workouts and did some hiking on some pretty empty (and hungry) bellies. We hiked for a while and then decided at sunset to make our meals.
The directions were super easy to follow and are clearly labeled on the back of the package. The only real difference from other backpacking meals I’ve tried was the 20 minute wait to re-hydrate the food, which I thought was a little long (but ultimately worth it).
My wife chose the Herbed Mushroom Risotto while I had to find out if the Thai Curry lived up to its award winning status. After the meals were prepared and ready we dug right in and let me tell you the Thai Curry was the best tasting dehydrated meal I’ve ever had… period. I literally said “wow” after my first bite and I barely left enough for my wife to taste test. I was quite shocked at not only the taste but also the fragrance, the texture, and the perfect amount of spices used. I was more than satisfied with my meal choice.
Casi and I both, on the other hand, felt like the Risotto left something to be desired. It was a little bland and tasted more like a traditional re-hydrated meal rather than something cooked from scratch at home.
At an average of about 375 calories, all the meals were filling, although I could have probably eaten a double serving of the Thai Curry because it was just that good! My wife was full after her meal and felt like the single serving was the right portion size for her.
WHAT I LIKED
- The Taste: The overall deliciousness of the meals were far superior than other meals I have tried. The Thai Curry surpassed my expectations and really does live up to its “2014 Editor’s Choice Snow Award” and Gear Junkies “Top 2014 Picks”. The Three Bean Chili was probably my second favorite. Only one of the meals (the Herbed Mushroom Risotto) was “blah”.
- The Texture: Most of the time dehydrated or freeze dried meals are little broken up pieces of who knows what and one can hardly determine the contents inside the pouch. Not with Good To-Go. You can actually see large dehydrated broccoli pieces, mushrooms, cauliflower, and more.
- No Added Preservatives: Good To-Go uses no added preservatives which is awesome! The dehydration process alone is enough to give the meals a two year shelf life.
- Gluten Free: My wife has a thyroid disease that prevents her from eating gluten. Finding a backpacking product like this is a game changer for her. Nice work Good To-Go!
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
- The Time: 20 minutes to re-hydrate a meal is quite long. Although my meal was nice and hot at the end of the 20 minute wait, I fear that if I was backpacking in harsher conditions (snow or low temperatures) the meal could get cold before it’s ready to serve.
- The Price: I know, I know, you get what you pay for but at $6.75 for single portions and $11.50 for double portions it is a tad on the pricey side. Good To-Go uses only the best ingredients so naturally the meals will be more expensive but I would have a hard time spending the $11.50 for the double portion of a meal just for myself ($6.75 for a single which wasn’t quite enough for me).
- Wheres The Beef?: Currently, Good To-Go only offers vegetarian or pescatarian choices. I did read, however, that the company will start producing a new line of meals with meat options (cross your fingers)!
I only had to ask myself one question when reviewing this product; Would I buy these meals? My answer is a resounding YES…but only as a reward for a really long day of hiking/climbing/biking. The meals are tasty enough to splurge on for a special occasion, however, I don’t think I could justify spending $7-11 dollars on one meal every time I go backpacking. With that being said, I could eat that Thai Curry every meal for a week and not get tired of it!
This company is filling a much needed gap in the backpacking meals space with these high quality meals. If you are looking for a superior tasting meal with quality ingredients than Good To-Go meals are a no-brainer. You can purchase them straight from their website and get free shipping on orders over $75!
Check out Arizona Hiker’s Guide for more great gear reviews.