Below is my Initial Report for the REI Flash Sleeping Pad. The link to my HTML report is
Year of Manufacture: 2013
Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE - "http://www.rei.com/"
MSRP: US $99.50 (Regular); $109.00 (Long)
Listed Weight (Regular): 1 lb (0.45 kg)
Measured Weight (Regular): 1 lb (0.45 kg)
Dimensions: 72 x 20.5 x 2.5 inches (182 x 52 x 6.3 cm)
Color: Lime Spritz
- 30-denier ripstop polyester with a polyurethane lamination
- Baffle construction with high-performance, water-resistant PrimaLoft® synthetic down microfiber insulation R-Value 3.2
- Flat valve technoglogy with one-way inflation valve and separate deflation valve
- Low-volume, tapered, mummy-shape design
- Stuff sack included
PRODUCT DESCRIPTION & INITIAL IMPRESSION
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The REI Flash Sleeping Pad is a lightweight, inflatable air mattress with Primaloft insulated baffles (tubes) for increased warmth. It is available in two sizes: Regular and Long. I am testing the Regular size. The Flash is made of ripstop polyester with 8 tubes that run lengthwise to form a tapered, mummy-shape design. The six inner tubes are 2.5 inches (6.3 cm) in diameter while the two outer tubes are slightly larger in diameter. The regular size pad is 72 inches (183 cm) long, 20.5 inches (52 cm) at its widest point and 2.5 inches (6.3 cm) thick. When packed in its stuff sack the Flash is 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter x 9 inches (23 cm) long.
My initial impression of the Flash sleeping pad was very positive. It is light green in color and very light weight at 1 lb (0.45 kg). While rolled up in its stuff sack it is roughly the size of a Nalgene water bottle. Having backpacked for years with a self inflatable sleeping pad that is so large that it must be strapped to the outside of my pack, there is no doubt that this is a welcome addition to my gear. The polyester fabric feels smooth to the touch but also very thin. I'll admit that I am somewhat concerned about its ability to withstand pokes and prods by sticks and other sharp objects on the forest floor. For peace of mind, I wish REI would have included a repair kit in case of a leak or puncture. As it stands, a repair kit can be purchased from their website or at one of their local stores.
There are two valves on the Flash, one for inflating the sleeping pad and the second for deflating it (see photos below). Instructions are printed on a tag that is located inside the stuff sack. They read as follows: "To inflate: Open the inflation valve and blow (or pump, if your pad has an integrated pump) until the pad becomes firm. Close 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(s)." Cleaning instructions are located on the back of the tag.
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TRYING IT OUT
I found it quite easy to inflate the Flash sleeping pad. It took me 16 breaths and about 1 minute to inflate it completely. During this time, the one-way valve did a great job of sealing the air so none leaked out in between breathes. Once inflated the sleeping pad felt firm and stable. Although my knees 'bottomed out' the pad where I knelt down on it, the Flash quickly distributed my weight as soon as I laid down. The Flash felt quite comfortable as I laid on it, so much so that I didn't want to get up back up again.
I also found that the Flash was easy to deflate by simply opening the deflation valve. The air exited almost instantly. Finally I folded it in thirds lengthwise, the same way it was originally packed and began rolling it up. Once fitted with the compression strap it easily fit in the included stuff sack.
The Flash is lightweight and small enough that it should be perfect for three season backpacking as long as it is tough enough to withstand extended backcountry use.
The Flash is impressively lightweight and comfortable to lie on. In addition, I really like how compact it becomes when rolled up. If it proves to be durable and warm in the field, this mattress will be a real winner for me.
This concludes my Initial Report of the REI Flash sleeping pad. My thanks to REI and backpackgeartest.org for the opportunity to test this product.
This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.
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