One is smaller and sits closer to your back with a slight angle that helps you slip your bottle back in without angling so far forward that you bump your elbows. Well-integrated suspension adds carrying comfort. The REI Co-op Flash 55 Backpack is one of the most affordable and customizable packs we’ve ever tested. Like many lightweight packs, the hip belt length is fixed as well. Full review. It is, in our opinion, the best overall daypack, with a score of five out of five stars.. All things considered, both the attachment options and top closure system are well-constructed, easy to use, and highly customizable. It’s the same pack with a sternum strap and back padding engineered for a woman’s shape. heavier than the Flash). Ready to go backpacking? The Flash not only has the pockets, but many of them are removable for trips where you want to shave off every ounce you can. If you are looking for a lightweight pack to go with your weight-conscious tent and sleeping bag, the. Some users love the prominent lumbar curve and find it supportive, while others feel like there is a watermelon pushing into their backs. This daypack is quite similar to the Kompressor in many ways, though it is a little heavier and has more features. Amazon US. However, if you instead prefer to use a hydration bladder, the Flash has two openings that allow you to drape the hose over either the right or left shoulder. With three main compartments, plenty of pockets, water bottle storage, and hydration reservoir storage, the REI Flash 22 is a great daypack at a great price. Diana Gerstacker. REI Co-op Flash Carbon Trekking Poles 25% Off. New for 2017, ... Buy one now for $200 at REI.com. Material on GearLab is copyrighted. These are toasty warm around the foot. 8.5 oz.). For example, the Granite Gear Crown2 60 has a customizable two-piece hipbelt that uses Velcro to tailor the fit, while the Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60’s hipbelt is sold separately so that you can choose the right size for your waist. 12 oz. The Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork is the best all-around trekking pole because of their durability, unique cork grip with foam extension, and their high rankings on both the Amazon and REI bestseller lists. Further, the Eja lacks hipbelt pockets and has noticeably less padding along the hips and shoulders, but only clocks in 1.5 ounces lighter than the Flash. Instead of one pocket on each side, they have included two. Further, REI added a bit of a performance tilt with an ice axe attachment loop at the bottom of the pack. REI Flash 65 Specs. Compare REI Trail 25 prices below. This weight makes the streamlined Flash competitive with some our favorite ultralight models, including the Osprey Lumina 60 (1 lb. The Flash 55 puts REI solidly on the ultralight map. Plus, the Flash features rarely seen (in the ultralight world) backpanel ventilation and a burly 420-denier bottom fabric (for more, see our in-depth Flash 55 review). The shoulder strap padding is nice and long, meaning that even on broader chested women, there is enough padding to wrap under the arms. They tend to tear somewhat easily, so be careful what you rub up against. Loaded with 30 lbs (13.61 kg), I found myself a bit sore on the contact points after a day out, but I have never liked carrying that much weight. REI Co-op entered the world of ultralight backpacking in a big way with the release of their Flash 55 pack last year. The only durability issue we have run across in testing and reading others' reviews is with the mesh water bottle pockets. However, despite the full 35-pound load (about 5 more pounds than REI's maximum recommended weight), the Flash carried wonderfully. That said, the Flash 55 isn’t highly adjustable like some of its competitors. If you choose to forego the lid, you can secure the roll-top in the same fashion—the buckles are interchangeable on the pack, so there are many options for configuration. Any time the Flash felt slightly top-heavy, I simply readjusted the load lifters on the shoulder straps and carried on comfortably. The Flash 55 handles loads well. To see how the Flash 55 stacks up, see our article on the best backpacking packs. The Competition. If you’re using the pack’s top lid, simply roll and buckle the roll-top, then adjust and tighten the lid using two buckles along the front mesh pocket. Some people don't use hip belt pockets or exterior straps, and this is one of the only models that give you the option to take them on and off. Thanks! How can we improve GearLab? With any backpack, getting the right fit is crucial. Fall overnight trips are a great use for the REI Flash 55. However, REI added ultra-durable 420-denier nylon to the bottom to help combat against sharp rocks when setting the pack down. Like the Flash 55, the Osprey has a solid feature set including a strippable lid and side compression straps. And the best part, in my opinion, is that shedding all the Packmod features doesn’t impact the Flash’s support or carrying comfort in any way. Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. In addition to the multiple closure options, the Flash 55 also features four compression straps for securing extra gear. While some of my colleagues needed help grabbing their bottles from hard-to-reach side pockets, I was able to remove mine with little effort. Read more about us. The floating lid has an external zippered pocket with a key fob and is generously sized to store maps, hats or gloves. We tested the top women's... How to Choose a Women's Backpacking Backpack. Even when pushed 5 pounds past the recommended weight, the Flash 55 was extremely comfortable. September 18, 2014. I tested these features during sustained rain in the Grand Canyon and was pleasantly surprised that the items in my pack’s lid stayed dry—not to mention, this upped the protection for gear I stored below in the main compartment. This latter pocket seemed a bit unnecessary to me—I found it more annoying than useful—but I loved the convenience of the hipbelt pockets. The Flash 55 features a similarly thin build, but we appreciate the extra-durable 420-denier nylon on the bottom (the Exos/Eja uses 210D underneath). –Seth Orme is a founding member of the ‘Packing It Out’ crew. The REI Flash 55 is an ultralight-style roll top backpack with an optional top lid. This pack is light and extremely versatile thanks to its smaller size, but it still brims with features. As with many packs, comfort is going to depend on your unique body shape. Kelty TraiLogic PK 50 Multiday Review. However, the Mariposa 60 comes in at an impressively light 1 pound 12 ounces (for a small frame with small belt, comparable to my women's medium Flash 55)—a whopping 14 ounces lighter than the fully featured Flash. The Flash 55 puts REI solidly on the ultralight map. New for spring 2009, the REI Flash backpack series consists of four packs with volumes of 18, 30, 50, and 65 liters. In this category, another one of our favorite packs is Granite Gear’s Crown2 60, another highly versatile model that’s still impressively functional and well-featured (see our in-depth review here). That said, it’s always important to take extra care with such thin fabrics. For such a light pack, the suspension is sturdy and well-padded. Even with a ton of pockets and features, the pack is super light-weight due to thin fabrics and a lighter duty suspension. For a lightweight pack, REI has incorporated a strong, stable suspension system. That said, the lid is not waterproof nor is it meant to withstand heavy storms. Designing a comfortable multi-day pack is no easy feat. On the bright side, you can opt for any number of the removable features without sacrificing or keeping them all. At 2.68 pounds, this model is lighter than most but still has a strong enough frame to carry moderate loads up to around 30 pounds. But for the extra money, you get a tough Dyneema construction that offers superior water and tear resistance, similar carrying capacity, and a feathery 2-pound weight. While the padded section of the hip belt isn't extendable, the 1.5-inch wide webbing is nice and long leaving a wide range of fit. Trailspace is powered by you, our readers. All trademarks property of their respective owners It is one the easiest ways to get outdoors for people of all experience levels, and simply put, any time spent on the trail has a way of soothing the... Gone are the days when backpacking consisted of strapping on a huge external frame and lumbering through the forest with an aching body. A mesh kangaroo pouch let testers store wet clothes and trail trash. The advantage of using a roll top is that it lets you compress loads from the top in addition to the sides using compression straps. And the Trailbreak is only offered in one size (in both men’s and women’s versions), which makes it harder to dial in fit. While you can find many packs that are lighter and carry just as well or a bit better, they typically will cost more. Right off the bat, the Southwest is in a different stratosphere price-wise at $345. The REI Co-op Flash Carbon Trekking Poles have easy-to-adjust, secure flip-lock adjustments and an ergonomic foam handle. However, for our trip into the Grand Canyon, I made some sacrifices: I didn’t weigh every item on my scale, I packed comfy camp shoes, and I didn’t skimp on warm layers given the questionable forecast. 30 lbs (13.61 kg) is the maximum weight that REI recommends for the Flash 55. Comfortable, plush padding, wide range of fitting options and adjustments, good number of pockets, easy-to-remove top lid, Ultralight, large stow pockets, comfortable even when fully loaded, Non-ventilated back panel, less organizational features, Dark material makes pack contents difficult to see, hip belt difficult to adjust, rigid padding might not last over time, Large, spring loaded waist band is hard to get into, suspension can feel bulky, expensive, hip belt can sag uncomfortably on some users, Minimal padding, fixed torso length, side pockets hard to load, When pack weight is a priority, the REI Flash 55 keeps the pounds and ounces low and works well for weekend trips and ultralight adventures, Comfortable suspension for all day use, all the right pockets, and durable fabric make the Circuit a top choice, The Granite Gear Blaze is built for hauling heavy loads over vast distances with comfort and ease, The Aura 65 AG is a comfortable pack that is fully featured, well ventilated, and sleek in design, This ultralight model ranks at the top for lightweight design and is perfect for women who have pared down their gear and are ready to go light and fast, Lid, double side pockets, front pocket, hip belt pockets, shoulder strap phone pocket, main compartment, Side pockets, front pocket, hip belt pockets, main compartment, Lid, front pocket, side pockets, hip belt pockets, main compartment, Lid, front pocket, side pockets, dual front pockets, hip belt pockets, main compartment, Lid, side pockets, front pocket, main compartment, Ripstop nylon; Oxford nylon (bluesign® approved). Below we break down the REI Flash 55’s weight, carrying comfort, organization, durability, fit and sizing, and more. The details To save weight, organization is minimal: The lid has a single compartment, and there are two mesh side pockets that are angled so you can reach bottles without removing the pack, but there are no interior pockets. Price: $199Weight: 2 lbs. You can see the Flash 55 page here and support us in the process. Seamlessly integrated suspension makes your hike cool and comfortable. Another popular pick among the ultralight crowd is Osprey’s Eja 58 (and men’s Exos 58). Disclaimer: I am an REI employee, and got this pack at a discount. The build quality is great, with thoughtful touches like a heel pull that works well with winter gloves (field verified). My only complaint is that the shoulder straps didn’t ventilate nearly as well as the backpanel and hipbelt, but I happily traded this for the added cushioning. REI Flash 55 Initial Review (vs. old Exos 58 & new Eja 58) Gear Review. Even before its major re-launch in 2016, the REI brand had developed a reputation for high-quality gear at entry level prices, and that doesn’t change with the men’s Flash 45 … A horizontal aluminum stay bisects the perimeter frame to help support loads up to 35 pounds. Weighing 2 lbs 10 oz, it has a ventilated back to help keep your shirt dry in warm weather and numerous pockets and straps, called “packmods”, that can be removed or reconfigured to lighten it further, up to 7 oz. There are a lot of considerations that go into a well-packed backpack, from nailing the capacity and balancing your pack's contents to keeping critical... An in-depth look at the top backpacking tents on the market, from ultralight models to spacious all-rounders and leading budget options. If you are ready to go lighter weight but can't justify the investment, check out this model for an option that might hit all the sweet spots for you. 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