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OR - REI Flash Pack - Ray Estrella

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  • rayestrella1
    And here is the final piece of my second hat-trick for BGT. (Go Ducks...) HTML may be found here; http://tinyurl.com/3ch7ya REI Flash Pack By Raymond Estrella
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 6, 2007
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      And here is the final piece of my second hat-trick for BGT. (Go
      Ducks...) HTML may be found here;


      REI Flash Pack
      By Raymond Estrella
      June 07, 2007


      NAME: Raymond Estrella
      EMAIL: rayestrella@...
      AGE: 46
      LOCATION: Huntington Beach California USA
      GENDER: M
      HEIGHT: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
      WEIGHT: 200 lb (90.70 kg)

      I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, and
      in many of the western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round, and
      average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I have made a move to
      lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. I start early and hike
      hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring. I usually take a
      freestanding tent and enjoy hot meals at night. If not hiking solo I
      am usually with my brother-in-law Dave or fiancée Jenn.

      The Product

      Manufacturer: Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI)
      Web site: www.rei.com
      Product: Flash Pack
      Size: One size
      Year manufactured: 2006
      MSRP: $ 25.00 (US)
      Weight listed: 10 oz (283 g) Actual weight 10.2 oz (289 g)
      Volume: 1,050 cu in (17.2 L)
      Torso length: N/A
      Color: Sage/Magnesium
      Warranty: 100% Guarantee for the life of the original purchaser

      Product Description

      The Flash pack is a light green and silverish top-loading frameless
      pack. It is the lightest and lowest volume of the company's UL Series
      Packs. It has been positioned for use as a summit pack and can be
      used as a sleeping bag stuff sack.

      The body of the pack is made of sil-nylon. A cord runs around the top
      of the pack and through a cord lock, allowing the top to be drawn
      shut. A daisy-chain runs down the center of the pack in the back,
      terminating at an ice ax loop with a cord lock on it. There are no
      external pockets on the Flash, everything must go inside or be
      clipped to the loops of the daisy-chain.

      On the inside of the Flash are a multitude of pockets, ten to be
      exact. They are all positioned on the side of the pack that sits
      against my back. The largest is the hydration pocket, although it can
      be used for other things too. The other pockets vary in size from 6
      in (15 cm) wide and deep to little 2 in (5 cm) pockets that would
      just fit some food bars or mp3 player. Here is a picture of the Flash
      turned inside-out with some goodies in the pockets.

      The contoured shoulder straps are made of open weave mesh netting
      with nylon piping on the edges. They have an adjustment strap at the
      lower end of the shoulder strap that pulls the pack higher onto my
      shoulders and back. Each shoulder strap has an elastic nylon loop on
      them also. I keep my knife clipped to one of them.

      A sternum strap that connects with a quick-clip buckle crosses the
      between the shoulder straps. It is mounted on a sliding connection.
      The buckle doubles as an emergency whistle. It works OK, but I still
      carry a much louder one with me when using the Flash. A waist belt
      helps to hold the pack against my torso. It does not give any
      support, and sits a bit high on me because of my height.

      Field Conditions

      The Flash pack has been along to a May "winter conditions" hike/climb
      to White Mountain in the Bristlecone Pine Forest in California. The
      temperatures encountered on that trip ranged from 28 F to 50 F (-2 to
      10 C). Elevations ranged from 10,000' to 13,200' (3043 to 4023 m).
      The terrain was a mix of packed snow, rocks, dirt road and ice. Here
      is a picture from that trip.

      I also used it as a day pack on the Momyer Trail in the San Gorgonio
      Wilderness. I carried four quarts (4 L) of liquid along with my
      lunch, first aid kit, snake-bite kit, and wind shirt. It got up to 82
      F (28 C) that day. I have used it a few times in the San Jacinto
      Wilderness, mostly in winter or early spring for dayhikes.

      I used the Flash pack in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah for one week
      in December. The temperatures there ranged from 5 to 28 F (-15 to -2
      C) There was about 3' (1 m) of snow, with some fresh powder a couple
      of the days. I was snowed on during one day of hiking.


      I bought the REI Flash pack in April of 2006 to use primarily as a
      summit pack. I hate having to carry a giant pack up a steep icy
      slope, not only because of the unneeded weight, but it gets in the
      way trying to glissade back down! I also use it as a day pack once in
      a while.

      On the trip to White Mountain in May 2006 I used the Flash pack as a
      stuff sack for my 0 F (-18 C) sleeping bag. The company suggests
      turning the pack inside out during this use, but I felt that I would
      rather be pushing the down filled bag past the interior pockets
      rather than all of the buckles and straps. So I left it right-side
      out for stuffing purposes.

      It works very well for this use. It is larger than the stuff sack I
      would normally use but if I am taking my Bora 95 pack I have plenty
      of room for the slightly less compressed bag in the Flash.

      On summit day I put my crampon case, RedLedge Elite Parka and Pants,
      Phantom down jacket, a Platypus hydration bladder and a couple of
      LaraBars inside of the pack. On the outside I attached my Raven Pro
      ice axe and climbing helmet (see reviews). It all fit quite well, and
      was not uncomfortable. My brother-in-law was a bit jealous of me, as
      he was carrying a stripped down Bora himself with the same type of
      load. That gave me about a five lb (2.3 kg) lighter pack, thank you
      very much.

      Because the pack is made for normal height adults the sternum strap
      was almost up to my neck. That bugged me a bit. When I pull the pack
      higher to help negate this effect, it made the waist belt ride higher
      on my stomach. Oh well, I will blame it on Mom. (She is tall too.)

      The day I carried the four liters/quarts of water the pack was
      hanging a bit funny from all the weight. I doubt that REI ever
      thought it would be used with so much in it, so I don't count that
      against it. It was a lot more comfortable once I drank half of the

      The funniest use that the Flash was put to was on a week-long trip on
      the John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada. The area is a bear-canister
      required zone. Dave, who is an ultra-light hiker did not want to
      bring a pack big enough to hold one of our BV 400 canisters. So he
      borrowed my Flash pack to keep his food in and wore it everywhere
      with him. He figured the two pound (0.9 kg) difference and the
      miniscule amount of room that it took in his pack was worth having to
      live with a weeks worth of food on his back at all time that we were
      in camp. (And no, this is not a practice that the forest service
      checked off on…)

      Using it as a day pack for local hikes has proven satisfactory. My
      Platypus Hoser fits in the pocket, but does take the entire length of
      the pack. As it does not have a hydration port for the hose I just
      ran it out the top and through the loop on my right shoulder strap.
      This is over two pounds (.91 kg) lighter than the Camelbak pack I
      normally took on day hikes.

      I was going to cut the little pockets out of the inside to further
      reduce weight but as I started using it for day hikes I realized that
      I like the ability to keep some stuff where I could get at it easily
      without have to dig through the pack.

      I took it to Utah to use as a daypack because it took so little room
      in my luggage. I used a 2 liter/quart Platypus Hoser in it with an
      insulated hose coming out the top of the pack. Inside I carried lunch
      for my hiker-girl and I, my Flurry jacket, a pair of shell pants and
      a cap also. Here is a picture of it in use in Utah.

      The only thing that I do not like about the Flash Pack is the cord
      locks. They do not hold at all. I have to tie a quick-release knot in
      the cord to keep the top closed, and the one on the tool loop is
      useless. I have to twist the loop around my ice axe to take the slack
      out of it as the lock will just let it slip immediately if I don't.
      Hopefully future versions of this neat little pack will address this
    • chcoa
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 7, 2007
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