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. For such a light pack, the suspension is sturdy and well-padded. 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. Privacy | Cookies | Terms, The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of gear, The REI Flash 55 pack is a good option for quick overnights and ultralight expeditions where weight matters. You can’t adjust the hipbelt size or torso length, so it’s important to nail the fit before buying. The reinforced heel and front help mitigate moisture migration into the down from wet snow. It is, in our opinion, the best overall daypack, with a score of five out of five stars.. Price: $199Weight: 2 lbs. In the end, each has their appeals, but we think the REI’s significant cost savings, all-around ease of use, and carrying comfort are an enticing combination. One unfurled from its stuff sack, though, the Flash fluffs nicely to full loft in mere minutes. Of all the outdoor activities we cover here at Switchback Travel, hiking is dearest to our hearts. 30 lbs (13.61 kg) is the maximum weight that REI recommends for the Flash 55. 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. It’s worth noting that we’ve gotten a few tears in our Osprey Exos 58 (which also uses 100-denier fabric on most of the body), but we haven’t yet noticed any holes on our Flash. 5.8 oz. REI often dabbles with ultralight equipment and we think they have done a pretty good job with the REI Flash 55. ), Granite Gear Crown2 60 (2 lbs. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. When fully loaded with up to 35 pounds, the weight is well distributed to the hips and doesn't sag onto your shoulders. The REI Co-op Flash 55’s claim to fame is its Packmod system: a variety of compression straps and organizational features that can all be removed to shed significant weight. All in all, we like the Trailbreak for those just starting out, but the Flash is much more well-rounded option for $50 more. The REI Co-op Flash Carbon Trekking Poles have easy-to-adjust, secure flip-lock adjustments and an ergonomic foam handle. 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. When you click on links to buy products we may earn money to support, Lightweight, easy to access side pockets, removable pockets and straps, Fixed torso length, rigid feeling hip belt. In other words, make sure to use a pack cover or waterproof any essential gear and electronics before heading out. One of my favorite additions to the pack’s construction was the seam-taping along the water-resistant top lid and shoulder strap pocket, which helped protect against light precipitation. In the end, it’s important to choose the best-fitting pack for your particular frame, which in this case might mean going into a store to try before you buy. By. A horizontal aluminum stay bisects the perimeter frame to help support loads up to 35 pounds. You can see the Flash 55 page here and support us in the process. 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. That said, the lid is not waterproof nor is it meant to withstand heavy storms. 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. Water bottle side pockets are notorious for being hard to get bottles in and out of while wearing the pack, but the Flash has found a good solution. That said, it’s always important to take extra care with such thin fabrics. The phone pocket on the shoulder strap is a bit of a novelty that some people seem to love, and others don't' care for. One of the things I tested was how well the BV500 canister would fit. REI Flash 55 Initial Review (vs. old Exos 58 & new Eja 58) Gear Review. Backpack. How can we improve GearLab? Organization versatility is where the Flash shines. ), and Osprey Eja 58 (2 lbs. Disclaimer: I am an REI employee, and got this pack at a discount. 4 oz., fits torsos 19-21 inches) rei.com Another pack to consider is Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s Southwest 3400. A final pack to have on your radar is REI’s new-for-2020 Trailbreak 60, which slots in as the company’s budget offering at $149. Depending on what you’re carrying, the straps can be moved up or down along daisy chains at the sides of the pack, or they can be removed entirely to cut weight. 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. They tend to tear somewhat easily, so be careful what you rub up against. In addition to the multiple closure options, the Flash 55 also features four compression straps for securing extra gear. With any backpack, getting the right fit is crucial. We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. I’m a sucker for roll-top closures: they allow you to compress your pack down to better fit the size of your load. That said, the Flash 55 isn’t highly adjustable like some of its competitors. Full review. 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. In all of our testing over the years, this pack has done the best job with an angled bottle pocket. Kelty TraiLogic PK 50 Multiday Review. This daypack is quite similar to the Kompressor in many ways, though it is a little heavier and has more features. Backpack. Designing a comfortable multi-day pack is no easy feat. We also love the Crown2’s adjustable hipbelt, which can be easily tailored to your waist. Extremely customizable: keep the lid, compression straps, and hipbelt and shoulder pockets on for more storage or strip them off to shave 7 ounces. The Flash 55 puts REI solidly on the ultralight map. 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. Compare REI Trail 25 prices below. Further, REI added a bit of a performance tilt with an ice axe attachment loop at the bottom of the pack. While you can find many packs that are lighter and carry just as well or a bit better, they typically will cost more. Sierra Designs Down Moccasin. 8.5 oz.). But the no-nonsense durability and built-in weather protection make it a favorite among thru-hikers and ultralight backcountry explorers. Thanks! The Flash has been a perennial favorite for its low weight and price, and female testers raved about its new women’s suspension system. For example, eliminating the brain and side compression straps while keeping the hipbelt and shoulder pockets saves 4.5 ounces and still leaves enough room for gear and easy-to-reach necessities. 3 years ago. Compression straps and attachment loops allow you to tighten your load and attach extra gear to the outside of the pack. NOTE: Click here to read my review of the newer, 2017 version of the REI Flash 45 backpack. However, they are not quite as light as the recently reviewed Osprey Exos 46 and Exos 58. Maine-based Hyperlite Mountain Gear... Cozying into your sleeping bag at the end of a long day on the trail is one of the simple pleasures of backpacking. That said, we found that the pack’s lightweight frame and thin shoulder and hipbelt padding suffered under a typical 35-pound load—a weight that the Flash 55 managed with ease. 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. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. The nice thing about having an optional top lid is that you can add it when it’s needed, in cooler w… 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). Dyneema is a hot item in ultralight gear, and for good reason: it’s one of the strongest materials in the world, resists moisture well, and is incredibly lightweight. These shoes have some grip, but stay on flat terrain. Got feedback? 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. You do sacrifice two exterior pockets with the Mariposa, but we think it’s the most complete ultralight pack on the market and worth the extra $71. 12 oz. I also hauled a rope along for assistance on a notoriously technical section of the route, which added another several pounds. I’ll start off by saying that I’m usually hesitant to max out a pack’s capacity and weight recommendation. Read more about us. REI Flash 58 Multiday Pack 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. Stripped down, the Flash does lose significant storage space, but that’s to be expected with any lightweight pack. REI Co-op entered the world of ultralight backpacking in a big way with the release of their Flash 55 pack last year. The torso length is fixed, so we recommend getting sized at your local outfitter. See it. I spent a long time checking out the flash 55 at REI this past Saturday. Backpack REI Flash 45 $129, 45L/2,745 c.i., 2 lbs. Available at REI, 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed. In addition, a hook-and-loop strap cinches down over the roll-top, which proved to be especially helpful for carrying a climbing rope. In the end, it just depends what you are looking for in a daypack. It struck me as a good opportunity to test out REI’s latest iteration of the Flash 45 backpack. Another popular pick among the ultralight crowd is Osprey’s Eja 58 (and men’s Exos 58). However, REI added ultra-durable 420-denier nylon to the bottom to help combat against sharp rocks when setting the pack down. 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 … September 18, 2014. 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. For a reasonable $199, the Flash pulls out all the stops: ample storage, removable features including a top lid and compression straps, and a modular design that’s extremely customizable. $110.00 $75.98. Diana Gerstacker. Our testers feel that the padding is adequate but rigid and can cause discomfort when you aren't used to it. 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. Gear Review: REI Flash 58 Women’s Pack. 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. $55-$140 $42-$105. 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. The REI Flash comes in women’s extra-small, small, and medium, and my women’s medium fit my torso and hips very well. For virtually the same price and similar weight (the women’s Crown2 comes in 4.2 oz. The padding comes fairly far around the pelvic bones of average-sized women, but larger-hipped women will find that it stops short of where they would like for comfort. The Flash is a comfortable pack that carries a medium load well but is not intended for loads much over 30lbs. The Osprey Talon 22 is lightweight at only 624g, but still manages to pack a solid 22l of capacity along with 7 exterior pockets into the design.. This light pack carries close to the body and distributes loads well. Men's REI Trail 25. REI Flash 65 Specs. REI Flash 55 Pack available in men’s (left) and women’s (right) In short: The new Flash 55 isn’t complex, but I also wouldn’t describe it as simple. New for spring 2009, the REI Flash backpack series consists of four packs with volumes of 18, 30, 50, and 65 liters. Like many lightweight packs, the hip belt length is fixed as well. Ready to go backpacking? Incorporating all the latest Callaway technologies, the Epic Flash Fairway Wood produces increased ball speeds with impressive forgiveness – plus the added bonus of stellar looks. While the Packmod system is unique, I found the addition of the shoulder pocket to be unnecessary. All things considered, both the attachment options and top closure system are well-constructed, easy to use, and highly customizable. All told, we prefer the more feature-rich (and $21-cheaper) Flash that carries a load better and can be stripped down if we need to shave weight. In addition, its wide, side dump pockets easily fit trekking poles and water bottles—and they’re even tilted at an angle to make retrieval quick and easy. It boasts a lightweight design without sacrificing comfort or features, which earned it a spot on our 10 Best Lightweight Backpacks and Favorite Budget Backpacking Gear lists. The women's REI Co-op Flash 55 pack offers options to keep your load stable and steady no matter how you hike—fast and light or fully loaded. The Competition. REI Co-op Flash Carbon Trekking Poles 25% Off. The REI Flash 45 is a top loading backpack with a floating top lid that can be raised higher if you need to overload the pack. But, I wanted to do a weight & comfort comparison with the new Flash 55 pack vs. the Osprey old Exos/ new Eja, since I think this is a pretty comparable pack on paper. Fall overnight trips are a great use for the REI Flash 55. This review focuses on the Flash 50 and Flash 65, two popular sizes for lightweight backpacking, sometimes referred to as “weekend” and “week-long” backpacks, respectively. Coming in 11 ounces lighter than their popular Exos, the design targets thru-hikers and minimalists. The Flash packs into a slim 7×15 stuff sack, and can be pressed down to about 7×10 with some compression straps or strategic placement in a pack (i.e. The REI Flash 55 Backpack is an ultralight, roll-top backpack with an optional top lid pocket. It's angled enough to help get the bottle in but not so angled that it interferes with your elbow. However, despite the full 35-pound load (about 5 more pounds than REI's maximum recommended weight), the Flash carried wonderfully. While the materials used are lightweight, they aren't so thin that we are concerned about durability. This is where the REI Co-op Ruckpack 65 - Men’s and the REI Co-op Ruckpack 65 - Women’s really shine. All in all, I liked REI’s choices in materials: the minimal use of padding helps keep weight down but doesn’t sacrifice any carrying comfort or breathability. REI’s strongest and lightest trekking poles, we’ve take these mountaineering in Patagonia. Price is relative, but the Trailbreak 60 is a standout: it’s a fully functional, surprisingly comfortable backpacking pack that retails for $149. After a thorough round of testing, we had few complaints with the Mariposa: namely, the SitLight pad along the backpanel was prone to bunching and we would have liked a few more cinch straps to secure external gear. Gossamer Gear’s Mariposa 60 is our favorite ultralight pack this season for its durable Robic nylon build, impressive organization, and solid suspension.