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IR - REI Flash Insulated Air Sleeping Pad - Kathy Waters

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  • Kathy Waters
    Ralph, Below is the text for my IR for the REI Flash Sleeping Pad. The HTML with pictures can be seen in the test folder at: http://tinyurl.com/n3p254a I
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 24, 2013
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      Ralph,



      Below is the text for my IR for the REI Flash Sleeping Pad. The HTML with
      pictures can be seen in the test folder at: http://tinyurl.com/n3p254a



      I look forward to your comments and edits.



      Kathy

      _________________________________



      REI FLASH INSULATED AIR SLEEPING PAD

      TEST SERIES BY KATHLEEN WATERS

      IR

      August 24, 2013

      TESTER INFORMATION

      NAME: Kathleen Waters

      EMAIL: kathy at backpackgeartest dot com

      AGE: 62

      LOCATION: Canon City, Colorado, USA

      GENDER: F

      HEIGHT: 5' 4" (1.60 m)

      WEIGHT: 125 lb (56.70 kg)

      Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to
      backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land
      bordering my 71-acre/29-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other
      gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado.



      Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune
      to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic
      locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death
      Valley.



      My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent
      (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and
      water.





      INITIAL REPORT



      PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

      Manufacturer: REI - Recreational Equipment, Inc.

      Year of Manufacture: 2013

      Manufacturer's Website: http://www.rei.com

      MSRP: US $99.50 for Regular Size/ $109.00 for Long Size

      Sizes Available: Regular/Unisex & Long/Unisex

      Size Tested: Regular/Unisex

      Listed Weight: 1 lb (454 g) Regular Size

      Measured Weight: 1 lb (454 g) Regular Size

      Colors available/Tested: Lime Spritz

      Listed Packed Measure: 4 x 5 in (10.2 x 12.7 cm) Regular Size

      Measured Packed Measure: 4 x 9 in (10.2 x 22.9 cm) Regular Size

      Listed Dimensions: 72 x 20.5 in (182 x 52 cm)

      Measured Dimensions: 72 x 20.5 in (182 x 52 cm)

      Listed Thickness: 2.5 in (6.3 cm)

      Measured Thickness: 2.5 in (6.3 cm)

      Listed R-Value: 3.2



      Other details:



      .Baffle construction with water-resistant PrimaLoftR synthetic down
      microfiber insulation

      .Flat valve technoglogy to manage pad inflation; 2 flat valves are used, 1
      for inflation and 1 for deflation

      .30-denier ripstop polyester with a polyurethane lamination

      .Low-volume, tapered, mummy-shape design



      Included Stuff Sack

      Made in Taiwan

      INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

      I have been looking for a sleeping pad more compact than my current one and
      after perusing the REI website, I decided to give the REI Flash Insulated
      Air Sleeping Pad a try. After checking out the specifications on the
      website, the Flash's mummy style, under a pound (454 g) weight, and small
      packed size put the Flash on the top of my wish-list. Even though my
      current pad is self-inflating, I decided I could handle a bit of
      huffing-and-puffing. The REI website provides a video on the Flash but
      disappointingly, it really didn't offer much insight/info beyond the website
      descriptions and specifications, though it did show me where the inflating
      versus deflating valve was located.



      The Flash pad comes with its own lime green and black stuff sack that closes
      tight via a pull cord closure secured by a push-lock. Various
      specifications and descriptions for the Flash pad are printed on the
      black-colored portion of the stuff sack and inside are instructions for
      inflating/deflating and care of the pad. The stuff sack appears to be of
      quality construction with no visible flaws and fits closely to the Flash pad
      - so closely, I was very wary about my ability to get the pad back in once I
      had it out!



      When my Flash pad arrived, I was very excited by its light weight and small
      size; however, the measured size of the Flash in its stuff sack is not
      anywhere near as small as the listed 4 x 5 in (10.2 x 12.7 cm) on the
      website. My measurement was 4 x 9 in (10.2 x 22.9 cm), That's still
      smaller than my current - uh - former sleeping pad, so I'm happy with the
      size

      READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

      Conveniently detailed on a sewn-in tag inside the Flash stuff sack are three
      sets of instructions: "To Inflate", "To Deflate" and "Caring for Your Air
      Pad".



      To Inflate: "Open the inflation valve and blow until the pad becomes firm.
      Close the valve once the pad is fully inflated."

      To Deflate: " Open the deflation valve. On a smooth surface cleared of
      sharp sticks or stones, roll (or fold) pad toward valve until all air is
      forced out. Close Valve."



      Simple instructions, but really the process is sort of self-explanatory, I
      think.



      To clean, REI recommends washing the pad by using a mild detergent or
      degreaser with a soft brush on a fully inflated pad after having closed the
      valve. After washing, rinse and let the pad air dry.



      Some other hints and tips are printed on the instruction tag, such as using
      a ground cloth to protect against punctures, not using any external pump
      (guess I'd better practice my yoga breathing!), not using the pad as a
      flotation device and to keep the pad away from flames and heat.



      Should I have a senior moment and have to repair my pad, according to the
      care tag, I can purchase a repair kit from REI online or by phone.

      TRYING IT OUT

      Removing the Flash pad from its stuff sack, I found it was secured with a
      hook-and-loop compression strap and a plastic cinch buckle. After loosening
      and removing the compression strap, I noted the pad was folded in thirds
      length-wise before it was rolled up. I was hoping I would be able to able
      to duplicate the folds and the tight roll so as to be able to put the Flash
      back in its stuff sack when the pad was not in use.



      The inflate valve was easily located at the top of the pad - the valves are
      labeled so I didn't really need the website video. I took a deep, deep
      breath and blew 29 times over the course of 1 minute to totally inflate the
      pad. Ta-da! The big bad wolf has nothing on me! Not bad. Not bad at
      all! Never mind I was light-headed and ready to lie down on that pad right
      then and there - which I did. Ah, it was comfy soft yet firm and I could
      absolutely imagine a good night's sleep. But I have to finish this report
      first!



      Deflating the Flash was simply a matter or pulling out the deflate valve at
      the foot of the pad and by the time I composed and typed the above paragraph
      (1 minute or so), all the air had escaped. I folded the pad in thirds
      length-wise and starting from the top of the pad, rolled it carefully and
      tightly to the end. On the very first try, I was able to put the Flash pad
      back into its stuff sack almost as neatly as it was when it arrived. I did
      have to take it out, however, because I had forgotten to fasten the
      compression strap around it before I did so. I suspect I will not bother
      with the compression strap once I am using the Flash pad in the field. Once
      less thing to lose.



      Oh dang! Now that the Flash has been stowed, I can't take a nap!

      SUMMARY

      Autumn is my favorite time of year to go hiking and backpacking with winter
      as a very close second. There is something very exciting about tramping and
      sleeping outdoors in the colorful landscape and the crisp cooling air of a
      Colorado Fall.



      While it is still very hot here at the moment, I know the season change is
      right over that next mountain ridge and I am really anxious to get out on
      the trail and try out the REI Flash Insulated Air Sleeping Pad.



      I was looking for a smaller, lighter pad and this one sure is that! I love
      the compactness of the pad and am optimistic this will pack nicely in my
      pack. On first try-out, the Flash has firmness and appears to be very
      comfortable. Time will tell.



      My sincere thank you to BackpackGearTest.org and REI for the opportunity to
      try the Flash out! Please check back in late October to see if I slept like
      a babe-in-the-woods or a bear-in-the-woods!



      Kathleen (Kathy) Waters





      This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.

      Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.



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