I was contacted by the good folks over at Mealkitsupply.com about a month or so ago, they wanted to know if I would like to review a case of their MRE’s. Two thoughts immediately crossed my mind. While I don’t consider myself a connoisseur of all things MRE I have no doubt easily eaten hundreds of these things over the years. Secondly, I was very skeptical of their assertion that their version of MREs would be any different than the ones I have been exposed to in the military. That in mind I accepted their offer and what follows is my review of their product.
BEFORE we get started into the actual review, let’s remember what MREs are good for and why we as preppers should keep a few cases on hand.
- Bartering. Most people recognize MREs and know what they contain which makes them a great barter item.
- BOB/GHB. No cooking required means you can stuff them in your BOB or GHB and worry not. Quick food which does not take up much space or weigh that much.
- Food Storage. While MREs do have a limited shelf life (5-7 years?) I do recommend incorporating some into your food storage plan. They can compliment your canned food, as well as dehydrated and freeze dried food.
The above in mind let’s dive right in to the categories. If you have followed this blog for more than a month you’ll know that I’m a big fan of bullet points.
The case I was provided with came with 12 MREs. There was no way I could eat all 12 MREs and side items so I decided to sample 4 meals. I chose 2 meals which I had a liking for based on previous experience (with military MRE’s) and 2 which I generally despised in order to see how these meals stacked up. I had the box stored in my garage so everything was COLD and I preferred it that way. No frills, no spices or heater, just cold. Most likely if on the move this is how most of us would “enjoy” these meals anyway.
Price point is always important and when examining the cost of a case of Mealkitsupply.com MREs versus what is available from Campingsurvival.com, it’s really not that much of a difference. Mealkitsupply.com MRE’s go for $129.95 plus free shipping and Campingsurvival MREs go for $119.95 without free shipping. Close enough.
Lots of good things I noticed about these MREs when comparing them to what I’ve been used to over the years.
- Easy to open. Maybe I have girly hands but there have been times in the cold when the bag itself was very hard to open on Military MREs. These bags pulled apart easily revealing all of their delicious treats inside.
- Individual Contents. What’s inside the MRE is listed on the outside of the bag which is awesome. No guessing as to which bag contains a pound cake or skittles as everything is listed. This also makes bartering for MREs between individuals much easier.
- Tear Open Tabs. For some reason the tabs for tearing open the meals and side dishes on military MREs are located near the top of the pouch which means you have to dig into them vertically. What a terrible mistake. I truly like the fact that with these meals you can tear them open while holding them horizontally, it makes it easier to dump cheese in there!
- Heaters. The heaters in these MREs are great! They have very simple instructions and are much larger than the military version. Instead of trying to stuff a meal down inside the bag you roll it up like a burrito and place a heavy object one top, much easier in my opinion.
- Pork Patty. Lots of flavor, reminds me of the old ham slice but with more spice or a souped up Vienna sausage.
- Hash Browns. Not good. At all. By that I mean I took one bite and grimaced.
- Spaghetti. Not that bad, your typical spaghetti meal but with decent size meatballs. I’m sure if I had heated it up and added cheese it would have been much more delicious.
- Au Gratin Potatoes. My first WOW moment. When I opened the package cheese oozed out, and who doesn’t love cheese? These were great which meant I ate over half the package. Yummy.
- Ratatouille. Gnarly! By that I mean abso-tively gross. I knew I wouldn’t like this going in but I decided to give it a shot. I had to choke it down but I’m quite sure if I were in a survival situation I’d eat the entire package and lick the interior lining.
- Chicken with Noodles. Another surprise. OUTSTANDING. Even though I was eating it cold the flavor was such that you probably couldn’t tell that this was not from a can of Hearty Campbell’s Soup. It was literally that good and something that I enjoyed.
- Fried Rice. Awful. Cold and just bad. I once warmed up a package of Uncle Ben’s rice in the microwave and threw it out after trying one bite. This was worse.
The Bottom Line
Here’s the deal, if you have a buddy that is willing to toss you a case or two of military MREs go for it, no need to blow your cash buying more. However if you are in the market for some MREs for the reasons I listed in the beginning of this post I would highly recommend going with what Mealkitsupply.com has to offer. You’ll be getting a fresh product backed by great customer service and at a price point comparable to what other companies are selling MREs for. Stuff a few in your BOB and be ready just in case T-SHTF!