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Recreational Equipment, Inc Flash Insulated Air Pad - Gail

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  • woodswoman
    Ralph, Thanks for taking on the Monitor position for this test series. Here is my REI Flash Pad IR. Thanks, Gail HTML: http://tinyurl.com/nodsj7m Recreational
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 27, 2013
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      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,
      Marquette, Michigan

      Page Contents:

      Report - August 27, 2013
      August 27,2013

       Tester Information

       Name: Gail Staisil
      Age: 61
      Gender: Female
       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
      Sleeping Pad




      Unisex Long (also
      available in Regular)


      1 lb 1 oz (485 g)

      1 lb 1.5 oz (496 g)



      Initial Impressions and
      Product Description 

      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
      measurements). The
      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

      So Far

          * Stuff sack is bigger
      than needed

          * 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
      of Manufacturer

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