REPOST: OR - REI Flash 18 Pack - Rick McQuet
- tiny url: http://tinyurl.com/aqpbvme
REI Flash 18 Pack
Date: January 25, 2013
Name: Rick McQuet
Height: 6' 5" (1.9 m)
Weight: 180 lb (82 kg)
Email address: rmcquet (at) yahoo (dot) com
Backpacking Background: I went on family backpacking trips every summer from the 3rd
grade through 8th grade, including hikes within the Trinity Alps and Sierra
Nevada in California. In the past
5 years, backpacking has included multi-day trips to the Ventana Wilderness,
Desolation Wilderness, and Tahoe National Forest, all in California. In addition, I attend several Boy Scout
camping trips each year in Illinois and Wisconsin. Each summer, I go on
multiple day hikes from our cabin in McCall, Idaho. I endeavor to be a light (but not ultra-light) backpacker.
Manufacturer: REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.)
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Listed weight: 11.0 Ounces (312 Grams)
Weight as delivered: 10.9 Ounces (309
Listed Length: 18 in (457 mm)
Listed Width: 9.5 in (241 mm)
Capacity: 1,100 cu in (18 l)
Grey (available in several colors, including red, gold, blue, purple and black)
MSRP: $34.50 US
Figure 1: Flash 18 (photo courtesy rei.com)
The REI Flash 18 Pack (hereafter, ‘Flash 18’,
is a lightweight frameless, top-loading daypack. It is the smallest of the Flash series made by REI. The Flash 18 is made of 140 denier
ripstop nylon. It has a single
opening at the top, with a single drawcord closure. The adjustable shoulder straps are nylon mesh. There is an adjustable sternum strap
and an unpadded waist strap, both made of nylon webbing and with quick release
buckles. Both the sternum strap and waist strap are removable. The outside has two nylon straps
running lengthwise along the pack, sewn in a daisy chain fashion. At the bottom is an additional tool
loop. There are no external
Figure 2: Flash 18 Front (left) and Back (right)
Inside the pack there are two pockets. The first is a single zippered mesh
pocket (6 in by 9 in, or 15 cm by 23 cm) for securing things such as keys,
wallets, cell phones and other small items. The second is a large internal sleeve designed to hold a
hydration reservoir. A single exit port for the reservoir hose runs out from
the middle at top of the pack.
There is also a piece of closed cell foam padding, about
a quarter of an inch thick (6 mm), that sits in an interior sleeve on the back
of the pack. This has a
hook-and-loop enclosure that keeps it securely closed.
Figure 3: Mesh Pocket (left) and Hydration Reservoir
I have used the Flash 18 extensively across a variety of
different uses, about 25 to 30 times total:
- Six days as both a summit pack and pillow on summer
hikes in the Ventana Wilderness and Tahoe National Forest (Castle Peak area) in
California. I just rolled it up
and stuffed into my main pack while hiking. As a pillow, I stuffed my clothes into it. I did not experience any rain or snow
during these trips.
- Approximately ten day hikes in Idaho during the summer,
where I typically carry two liters of water in a hydration reservoir, lunch for
two people, a windbreaker, camera and maps. Elevations ranged from 5,000 ft to 7,500 ft (1,520 m to 2290
m). Temperatures were moderate, approximately 70 F to 80 F (21 C to 27 C).
- Ten days of skiing during the winter in Idaho, from
cold, sunny days to wet, snowy days. Five of the days were cold and sunny, with temps ranging from 5 F to 25
F (-15 C to -4 C). The snowy days
were between 25 F and 32 F (-4 C to 0 C). Elevation ranged from 6,000 ft to
7,500 ft (1,830 m to 2,290 m). I used it both for downhill skiing and
backcountry skiing. For downhill,
I would carry extra gloves, an extra layer, and a small lunch. For backcountry, I carried extra
layers, skins, extra gloves, two liters of water, camera and a small lunch.
- Several times while running in Chicago. I often run from work to a gym four
miles from my office, so I will carry a change of clothes in the pack.
Figure 4: Wearing Flash 18 (left) and Rolled Up (right)
I first learned about the pack from a friend of mine, who
is an experienced hiker and mountaineer. He used it for a few day hikes we did together while in McCall,
Idaho. I really liked how light it
was, and yet it seemed to have a lot of room. I purchased mine at the REI store in Northbrook, Illinois.
Overall, after using it in many different ways and on
different trips, I really like the Flash 18. I have not had any problems with the fit of the pack, with
the adjustments or durability. The
drawstring locking mechanism is straightforward. The loop in the hydration sleeve that was added to the most
recent version of the Flash 18 prevents the hydration reservoir from sagging to
the bottom of the bag as it empties.
The padding provided protection against any zippers or
sharp edges in my gear.. However,
my opinion is that the padding in the pack is not absolutely necessary. It is
possible to remove the existing padding and replace it with something thicker.
In addition, the Flash 18 carries loads very well and
feels quite stable while hiking or even scrambling across boulders. I found the
shoulder straps to be comfortable, and I could adjust the sternum strap higher
or lower depending on the load I was carrying.
I also really like the versatility of the pack. In general, I could use it as a stuff
sack for a sleeping bag (though I have not tried that yet), or as a bear bag
for hanging food (worked well for this use). I have used it as a pillow, and even as a bag for going to
My only complaint (and itis a small one) is the
mechanism that is used to tighten the drawcord. If I open the bag too quickly, the cord can get twisted and
then stuck. To avoid this, I
simply have to make sure that the drawcord is not twisted up as I go to open
Things I Like:
- compresses to a small size
Things I Do Not Like:
- the closure mechanism
I am very happy with my Flash 18 and would not hesitate
to recommend to a friend.
From: "BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com" <BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 10:03 AM
Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Digest Number 6273
A forum for posting impressions and eval
A forum for posting impressions and eval Group
2 New Messages
Edit - OR REI Flash 18 Pack - Rick McQuet by "richardglyon@..." richardglyon@...
REPOST - Outdoor Products Cyclone Hydration System - Jim Russell by "Jim" e_portfolio
Edit - OR REI Flash 18 Pack - Rick McQuet
Mon Feb 4, 2013 8:33 am (PST) . Posted by:
Thanks for the quick turnaround and excellent job. A few minor edits below (same EDIT, Edit, and Comment format as before). This Review is clearly ready for my final review of it in HTML format. Please make the additional changes, and then:
1. Post the HTML version, with photos, in the Tests/Owner Reviews folder on the BackpackGearTest. org website. You'll need to log in to do this.
2. Repost the plain text here, again with REPOST, the product name, and your name in the subject line AND
3. Include a tinyurl link to the HTML version in the body of the message (see message no. 81930 as an example).
### Product Information ###
Edit/Comment: A suggestion only, not mandatory – consider noting somewhere that this pack comes in only one size.
### Listed weight: 11.0 Ounces (312 Grams)
Weight as delivered: 10.9 Ounces (309 Grams) ###
EDIT: You use abbreviations everywhere else, so you should here to: oz and g (lower case)
### Listed Length: 18 in (457 mm)
Listed Width: 9.5 in (241 mm) ###
EDIT: Add your measured dimensions.
### Field Information: ###
Edit/Comment: Another suggestion: at some point give an estimated maximum pack weight. This isn't necessary because you provide the contents, but it would be helpful to our readers for their comparing the Flash 18 to other daypacks.
### Elevations ranged from 5,000 ft to 7,500 ft (1,520 m to 2290 m).###
Edit: I'd round the metric off. Here and in one other place.
### The padding provided protection against any zippers or sharp edges in my gear.. ###
EDIT: Delete the second period.
### The only small complaint (and it's a small one) is the mechanism that is used to tighten the drawcord. ###
Edit: You use "small" twice in this sentence. I'd delete the first use: "My only complaint (and it's a small one) . . .".
Reply to sender . Reply to group . Reply via Web Post . All Messages (3) . Top ^
REPOST - Outdoor Products Cyclone Hydration System - Jim Russell
Mon Feb 4, 2013 6:11 pm (PST) . Posted by:
I've made the corrections you listed (USA, write out link) and it's ready for your review again.
Reply to sender . Reply to group . Reply via Web Post . All Messages (1) . Top ^
Visit Your Group
>View All Topics
>Create New Topic
>8 New Members
>We are making changes based on your feedback, Thank you !
>The Yahoo! Groups Product Blog
Check it out!
>GROUP FOOTER MESSAGE
To read our reviews, please visit http://www.backpackgeartest.org/
>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]