Recreational Equipment, Inc Flash Insulated Air Pad - Gail
Thanks for taking on the Monitor position for this test series. Here is my REI Flash Pad IR. Thanks, Gail
Recreational Equipment, Inc (REI)
Flash Insulated Air Sleeping Pad
Test Series by: Gail Staisil,
Report - August 27, 2013
Name: Gail Staisil
Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Weight: 152 lb (69 kg)
Location: Marquette, Michigan USA
woodswoman 2001 AT yahoo DOT com
For over two decades,
backpacking has become a passion. I am a four-season backpacker and an
off-trail navigator. Although I do take yearly trips to the American
West or Southwest, the majority of my trips are in Michigan and Canada.
My pack weight varies considerably but my base weight is below 18 lb (8
kg). I am primarily a tarp camper who averages more than 50 nights a
year backpacking in a
huge variety of weather conditions including relentless rain, wet snow
and sub-zero temps.
Equipment, Inc (REI)
Flash Insulated Air
Unisex Long (also
available in Regular)
1 lb 1 oz (485 g)
1 lb 1.5 oz (496 g)
Initial Impressions and
The REI Flash Insulated Air
Sleeping Pad arrived in its own stuff sack. No imperfections were
found. I requested a size Long pad even though the specifications
indicate that based on my size I could have used a size Regular. My
request was based on the fact that I always seem to be hanging over the
edge of similiar-size pads when fully stretched out.
Design and Technical Features
The REI Flash Pad is an
inflatable mummy-shaped pad that is insulated with synthetic
insulation (2.5 oz). The size Unisex Long pad is a full 78 in (198 cm)
in length by 20.5 in (52 cm) in width by 2.5 in (6.35 cm) in
thickness. It packs to about 4 in/10 cm by 8 in/20 cm (my
manufacturer suggests that it could be packed to 4 in by 5 in
(10.16 cm by 12.7 cm). That might be a challenge but I will try it the
next time I fold it.
The Flash Pad will easily fit into various bivy sacks as well as my
tarptent as they all have adequate length to accommodate the long pad.
Upon arrival, the pad was folded lengthwise into three parts and then rolled to fit in
its stuff sack. There is an additional hook-and-loop strap that can be used to
keep the pad from unfolding in the stuff sack. I find the stuff sack to
be easy to use as it is quite a bit bigger than the circumference of
the folded pad plus it is much longer than needed.
There are two flat valves that control the inflation and deflation. I
really was impressed with the one-way valve on the inflation as I don't
lose any air if I take a rest from inflating the pad. It took me about
22 breathes to inflate the pad.
To deflate, I simply opened the deflate
valve and most of the air immediately came out. I re-folded the pad in
thirds and starting rolling the pad and more air came out as I went
along. I did note that it is important to roll the pad starting from
the side with the inflate valve as the open deflate valve could then work to
expel the rest of the air.
The outside of the Flash Pad is 30-denier ripstop polyester with a
polyurethane lamination. The materials are soft and not crinkly. These
light weight but sturdy materials make an amazingly light pad (Size
Long only weights slightly over a pound (496 g). Although the
material is somewhat slippery, REI has incorporated the linear outer
edges of the pad to be slightly thicker to likely prevent rolling off.
The pad itself is divided into eight air baffles, six of which are
smaller and the two on the outside larger.
Although the pad seems to be sturdy enough with careful usage (avoiding using
it directly on the ground), I find that a repair kit would give me more
comfort if it was included. They can be ordered as a separate item so I
definitely will be doing that. Since many of my trips are lengthy in
nature I have to depend on an inflated pad. Deflated, the pad would
offer no insulation or comfort for that matter as it is totally flat.
I'm heading out to use the Flash Pad for a two-night backcountry trip.
In two months I will be filing my Field Report with details on that as
well as other planned trips.
Pros So Far
* Light weight
* Flat valves
* Size is compact
* Stuff sack is bigger
* No repair kit is
Thanks to Recreational Equipment, Inc and BackpackGearTest for this opportunity to test the Flash Pad. This concludes my
Initial Report. The Field Report will be appended to this report in
approximately two months. Please check back then for more information.
Photo of REI Flash Insulated Air Pad: Courtesy