Coleman 6-pack meals (dehydrated)

Reviews of Civilian MREs (Sure-Pak, aPack, etc.) as well as other civilian ready-to-eat food
TurtleNomad
Posts: 129
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Location: USA, northern MidWest

Coleman 6-pack meals (dehydrated)

Post by TurtleNomad » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:19 am

Early this year (February), I stumbled across this on Amazon, at $24 for what it claimed were 5 2-person entrees, plus a dessert and a "free" trail mix. I had never read anything about these Coleman meals, but figured I'd buy & try. :)

The multi-packs are no longer available at Amazon.
Apparently, some Walmart stores are now carrying these (maybe instead of Mountain House?). I've yet to see them in the Midwest, so that may be a regional experiment.

Cons:
  • Product description was wrong, these are one person meals, not two.
  • Shelf life is very short (most were 1 1/2 years).
Pros:
  • Total calorie count was 3940, so despite the blatant error in the online description, this was still a good value.
  • Quality/taste were very good - definitely above average, compared to all other freeze-dried meals I've tried (Alpine Aire, Mountain House, Natural High).
  • They are made by Enertia Trail Foods, which has an excellent reputation.
  • More compact than other dry camping foods (see below).
Contents:
calories, expiration, name:
440 2012/09 Cheesy Tomato Pasta
410 2012/09 Cilanto Lime Rice
420 2012/09 Mac Cheese
360 2012/09 Southwest Chili
740 2012/09 Dirt Worms
520 2011/10 Granola, Blueberry
1050 2011/07 Trail Mix
====
3940

So far, I've eaten the first four items.

The only (mild) disappointment was the mac&cheese, partly because I'd read glowing reviews so I had high expectations. I liked the added vegs, but felt the main part was only average, about equal to "Annie's", and not as good (i.e. creamy/cheesy) as Walmart's "Great Value Thick and Creamy" which is my all time favorite boxed mac&cheese. Next time I make that, I'm going to toss in some vegs, and see how that works. :)

In some of the pictures, you'll see some volume marks on the bags. I found these to be unreliable. I recommend you use a reliable means to measure the water.


Fully packed (came with a "free silnylon stuff sack"), with a can of Mountain Dew Throwback for size reference:
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Nice and compact! :)

Laid out:
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Let's eat some!

Cheesy Tomato Pasta:
front of bag:
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bottom of bag:
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back of bag:
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what's inside the bag:
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items are separately packaged, unlike typical freeze-dried camping food:
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first you "cook" the pasta with boiling water:
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then you mix in the sauce powder:
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yum!
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the tomatoes weren't as plump as MRE feta chicken, but they were still good:
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Southwest Chili:
beside a similar AlpineAire product, to show how relatively compact these are:
Image
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bottom of bag:
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back of bag:
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what's inside the bag:
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just before adding boiling water:
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just after adding boiling water:
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after cooking and adding chili powder, yum:
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If anyone sees these in their local Walmart, please share prices and menu items - thanks! :)
The important thing is the spices.
A man can live on packaged food from here til Judgement Day if he's got enough Marjoram.
- Shephard Book, "Serenity" (the pilot), Firefly
Image

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jaminphx
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:07 am
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Coleman 6-pack meals (dehydrated)

Post by jaminphx » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:25 am

Nice work and pictures, I will look for these at my local Wal-Marts in the Phoenix area.

John

rationtin440
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Location: occupied territories, new england

Re: Coleman 6-pack meals (dehydrated)

Post by rationtin440 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:32 pm

I have seen these at every Walmart store here in Hampshire county and elsewhere in MA. It looks like they have completely replaced the mountainhouse entrees which is a bad sign for those of us --"ahem"-- who subscribe to the theory that stuff like this is one more sign that the gov't does not want folks hoarding food that will actually last awhile and that you don't have to take out a second mortgage to actually afford. (twilight zone theme--- :shock: ) but that's a whole other subject better suited for off-topic.

rationtin440
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Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:53 am
Location: occupied territories, new england

Re: Coleman 6-pack meals (dehydrated)

Post by rationtin440 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:35 pm

Another thing I've noticed is that none of the Coleman pouches I've seen have any meat in them, nor chicken.

luis0449
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eBay name: LUIS0449
Location: Burgos, the coldest city in Spain

Re: Coleman 6-pack meals (dehydrated)

Post by luis0449 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:14 pm

mmmm... it looks tasty. Thanks for the review and the pictures.

Good luck, people.

Luis
Rations Reviewed: USA, spanish, french, UK, german, denmark
Rations I am interested: WWII, Vietnam era, Russia, Israel, Italy, South America Countries

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Treesuit
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Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Coleman 6-pack meals (dehydrated)

Post by Treesuit » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:19 am

I'd be curious to find out what the granola and blueberry mix looked and tasted like.

PanzerDivision666
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:35 pm
Location: Bellevue, Ohio

Re: Coleman 6-pack meals (dehydrated)

Post by PanzerDivision666 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:20 am

I have sighted these in the Fremont and Sandusky ,Ohio Walmart locations and they retail for roughly 5 measley bucks a pop for a one person meal. Too bad about that shelf life because these would be more welcome to me in my winter tactical inventory for their size. They are just now being made available and I think I'll pick some up anyway. I'll just have to rotate them out.

For me, it is an added pain in the ass to carry Mountain House entrees that come in a two person size. I stockpile them anyway because I can't get issue cold weather rations and I make up my own kits, adding loose mre components and then vacpacking the whole damn thing. But I throw in a spare bag and break the dried up contents into two portions and cook one and save the other for later. i have not field tested anything as of yet as I am rebuilding my survival stockpiles week by week gradually, maintaining a balance between store bought stuff to feed my children and my team and then there are the tactical rations for running and gunning and scooting and shooting.

I have been looking more and more at the dehydrated food stash buckets currently being offered through Cheaper Than Dirt and price-wise they are awesome but have not bought any yet. Need to get a few and taste test them first.

The MRE and FSR still remain my most-sought after items for the simple fact that when you open one up everything you need is right there.

TurtleNomad
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:49 pm
Location: USA, northern MidWest

Re: Coleman 6-pack meals (dehydrated)

Post by TurtleNomad » Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:53 am

Thanks for all the positive feedback fellow MRE geeks - that just eggs me on to post more reviews (in between getting caught up on some Life+Work stuff). :)
Treesuit wrote:I'd be curious to find out what the granola and blueberry mix looked and tasted like.
I haven't tried it yet, and couldn't find it (probably in storage - should get it within a month), but, I'm anal-retentive enough I took package pics of all of them at the same time, so here's some granola closeups:

Front:
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Back:
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Bottom, showing separate dehydrated milk packet:
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It is more than a bit more fun, having the separate items, though the Green part of my brain cringes at the extra packaging. :|

When I took the pics, I hadn't noticed it had pumpkin seeds! :)
That vastly pumps up the priority of trying this.
In the same pickup batch, I have some AlpineAire granola with blueberries, so I'll try to sample them back-to-back, just for you Treesuit. :)
The important thing is the spices.
A man can live on packaged food from here til Judgement Day if he's got enough Marjoram.
- Shephard Book, "Serenity" (the pilot), Firefly
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TurtleNomad
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:49 pm
Location: USA, northern MidWest

Re: Coleman 6-pack meals (dehydrated)

Post by TurtleNomad » Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:04 am

PanzerDivision666 wrote:I have sighted these in the Fremont and Sandusky ,Ohio Walmart locations and they retail for roughly 5 measley bucks a pop for a one person meal. Too bad about that shelf life because these would be more welcome to me in my winter tactical inventory for their size. They are just now being made available and I think I'll pick some up anyway. I'll just have to rotate them out.
Thanks for the availability and price info, Panzer! :)
How many varieties have you seen, and which?

I'm with you on the shelf life.
I do carry Clif and Luna bars in all my kits, so I'm already on a yearly rotation for those. It wouldn't be too big of a pain to do them at the same time.

On that kind of schedule, there could occasionally be supply blips, so probably best to have one or two mental backup plans (i.e. alternate, previously sampled products).
I standardized on Clif/Luna when I found out that Target has regular sales, plus there's lots of online retailers (though not as good prices).

PanzerDivision666 wrote:I have been looking more and more at the dehydrated food stash buckets currently being offered through Cheaper Than Dirt and price-wise they are awesome but have not bought any yet. Need to get a few and taste test them first.
Yes, starting small and trying something like their 4-variety sampler is always a, um, "wise" approach. :)

Have you checked out the online-only emergency food listings for Costco and Sam's Club?

I started typing up some info, then decided to spawn it into a separate "frugal buying tips" thread:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4494
in hopes that we can all swap some great tips (I learned of most of the good MRE vendors here!). :)
The important thing is the spices.
A man can live on packaged food from here til Judgement Day if he's got enough Marjoram.
- Shephard Book, "Serenity" (the pilot), Firefly
Image

PanzerDivision666
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:35 pm
Location: Bellevue, Ohio

Re: Coleman 6-pack meals (dehydrated)

Post by PanzerDivision666 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:02 am

I can only remember maybe three or four varieties of the Coleman meals right offhand that were sitting there. I've never had Clif bars or any of that stuff- If I'm using off the shelf stuff to fill my ruck for the field, I stick to 7oz. pull-top cans ( main meal, side, fruit.) and add-in stuff like small snack packs of crackers and cheese, and I throw in plenty of Snickers bars.

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