Application to test: REI Flash Air Pad - Ray Estrella
- Please accept my application to test the REI Flash Air Pad. I have read the BackpackGearTest.org bylaws v. 0609 including, but not limited to, Chapter 5. I agree to comply with and exceed all requirements.
Name: Raymond Estrella
Height: 6' 3" (193 cm)
Weight: 220 lb (100 kg)
Email address: rayestrella@...
Date: July 19, 2013
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.
I have only tested one sleeping pad for BGT, but have written at least 11 reviews of them over the years, 9 of which are of this style. (Non-foam, inflated pads with insulation.)
One reason I like this style of pad is because I am a side sleeper so my shoulder and hip compress my pads often hitting the ground with old 1-1/2" thick pads. These 2-1/2" pads give me room to keep from hitting the ground at said points.
Being in the construction trade (and focusing on wall assembly) I am well versed with R-values and their meanings. The relatively high r-value of 3.2 bodes well for 3-season use. I shall evaluate the pad as to its claims based on my extensive use of other pads in that range.
I will be very interested to see how the flat valves work.
I will also be looking at the comfort level provided by the actual material as I will be using a quilt (or two) for all nights on the Flash, so will have no bag between me and the pad.
I know I can get some trips in locally and have now won contests that are allowing me write my own schedule for five weeks so I will do four 10's giving me some 3-day weekends. On those I can take the time to get to the center of the state at least to some better hiking.
If selected I would want the Long size please.
Here is a link to my tester page.
I have no other apps in at this time. I have two tests scheduled. The Tilley hat has the IR posted and is now in FR, and I am waiting on the Contour pack.
My involvement with BGT includes active duty as Director, Editor, Mentor, and Test Monitor.
I have completed a lot of test series.
I have written over 190 Owner Reviews, including a pad review last month.
My reports and reviews can be found at:
Thank you for your consideration of me for this test,