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IR - REI Flash Sleeping Bag - Brett Haydin

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  • Brett Haydin
    Gail, Here is my IR for the Flash Sleeping Bag.  I like it already and should be out the next two weekends testing it out.  Pretty excited, even though the
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 27, 2013
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      Gail,

      Here is my IR for the Flash Sleeping Bag.  I like it already and should be out the next two weekends testing it out.  Pretty excited, even though the heat of August has me wishing I could bring a linen sheet for bedding... 

      The html is at: http://tinyurl.com/pqed5mv%c2%a0

      Here is the text version!


      REI Flash Sleeping Bag
      Test Series by Brett Haydin
      Initial Report - August 26, 2013
      Field Report - coming soon
      Long Term Report - coming soon

      TESTER INFORMATION

      NAME: Brett Haydin
      EMAIL: bhaydin AT hotmail DOT com
      AGE: 40
      LOCATION: Denver, Colorado, USA
      GENDER: M
      HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
      WEIGHT: 200 lb (90.70 kg)
      CHEST: 42 in (107 cm)
      WAIST: 36 in (91 cm)
      I started backpacking in Wisconsin as a youth, being involved in the Boy Scouts programs. As a young adult, I worked at a summer camp leading backpacking, canoeing and mountain biking trips. I now generally take short weekend or day trips in rough, mountainous terrain, although I have extensive experience in the upper Midwest as well. I take one or two longer trips each year, where I typically carry about 40 lb (18 kg). I prefer to be prepared and comfortable, but I have taken lightweight trips as well.

      Initial Report

      Product Information & Specifications

      Manufacturer: REI
      Year of Manufacture:  2013
      Manufacturer's Website: www.rei.com
      MSRP: $259 US
      Listed Weight: 1 lb 9 oz (709 g)
      Measured Weight: 1 lb 9.5 oz (723 g)
      Measured Packed Weight: 1 lb 11.5 oz (780 g) = sleeping bag + stuff sack
      Color Tested:  Cactus (only color available)
      Size Tested: Regular (also available in Long)
      EN Temperature Rating: 32 F (0 C) for men
      Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty for the life of the product.

      Product Description

      The REI Flash Sleeping Bag, hereafter referred to as the "bag" or "Flash," is a mummy-style sleeping bag that uses both down and synthetic insulation.  It is lightweight and compresses to a relatively small size.  The outer shell is a ripstop nylon that is treated with a DWR finish to help repel moisture.  On top of that, the sidewalls, toe box and hood all use a waterproof breathable shell fabric.  Hopefully no more cold toes from condensation!

      The insulating properties of this bag are what have me so excited.  The horizontal baffles contain two types of insulation.  On the top (my chest), the insulation is an 800-fill goose down which has nice loft.  The bottom layer is a PrimaLoft synthetic insulation which still stays warm when wet.  The synthetic layer on the bottom will still provide reasonable insulation when compressed.  Down is lighter than the synthetic insulation, but it isn't great when compressed so putting it on the top is a way to save weight and maximize insulating properties. 

      The Flash has a full-length zipper on the left side, which pairs up to any REI sleeping bag that has a right-sided zipper.  The zipper is lined with a binding tape to keep it from snagging on the interior fabric.  The zipper has one pull tab that can hang inside or outside the bag as needed.  There is also a draft tube along the zipper so I shouldn't experience any drafts while I sleep.  The hood is sized well with room enough for me to stuff a pillow inside.  There is also a draft collar, or what REI calls a "full-face muffler" that can be drawn in tight when the temperature drops.  There are two different draw cords that can be pulled through the cord lock, one flat and one round so I can tell the difference.  One cord cinches the neck line while the other cinches the top of the hood.


      The shape of the bag tapers from the head-to-toe, and the legs and toe are cut rather close.  I have a little room to move, but not much.  REI calls it a "performance fit," I call it snug!  It reduces weight, but still follows natural contours of the body.  The interior lining is a nylon, mini-ripstop lining that is smooth yet soft to the touch.  

      The bag has a loop of webbing at the top of the hood and the bottom of the toe box to hang the bag.  There is also an REI logo printed on the toe box as well.  Near the shoulder along the zipper, there is another printing of the REI logo, as well as some information about the bag.  On the outside of the bag, there are two sewn-in tags, one which appears to be a required tag by law while the other has random numbers on it.  On the inside of the zipper there is a tag sewn onto the binding tape with care instructions.  The Flash comes with a cotton storage bag as well as a nylon stuff sack.  
      Initial Impressions

      The Flash seems to be a great summer sleeping bag.  It is light, easily compressed and quite functional.  Looking over the seams, they are expertly stitched with no loose threads to be found anywhere.  The bag came with two hang tags attached to the zipper pull.  One contains the SKU and basic product information, such as name, size and color.  The other describes the temperature rating.  Interestingly, the product has an extreme lower limit of 6 F (-14 C).  I appreciated this tag as it describes how the temperature ratings are determined.  

      The bag fits easily in the stuff sack and has plenty of room to be compressed.  The image to the left shows the Flash next to a water bottle for a visual comparison.  I bet it will compress even smaller, but I want to check with the manufacturer first to ensure I don't damage the insulation.  I really like the design overall.  I am only a little concerned about how constricted I might feel.  I am a warm sleeper and oftentimes I have my sleeping bag unzipped, even in near-freezing temperatures.  However, it is noticeably narrower than other bags I own. 

      Reading the Instructions

      There were specific care instructions sewn into the bag.  The manufacturer states that I can wash the bag in a front-loading washer with non-detergent soap.  I'm not sure that I will need to wash the bag over the test period, but I will try and do so.  
      Summary

      The REI Flash Sleeping Bag looks like it could be a great summer, spring and fall bag.  I am looking forward to getting out into the mountains to see how this bag performs!

      Pros: Light, compressible, and has waterproof/resistant fabric.    

      Cons: No concerns yet.

      This concludes my initial report.  I would like to express my sincere gratitude to REI for their generosity as well as the folks at BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to be a part of this test series.  Please check back in approximately two months to see how the sleeping bag has performed on my backpacking trips.  
      Brett Haydin
       
      ---------------------------------------------------
       
      "Teamwork: It's amazing how much

        can be accomplished when no one

        cares who gets the credit."
    • woodswoman
      Brett, The flow to the report was excellent. I could find no edits other than to change REI to Recreational Equipment, Inc in your title and for the name of
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 2, 2013
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        Brett,
        The flow to the report was excellent. I could find no edits other than to change "REI" to Recreational Equipment, Inc in your title and for the name of the manufacturer  :) Feel free to upload. Thanks, Gail

          

        Manufacturer: REI

        Recreational Equipment, Inc

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Brett Haydin
        Thanks Gail! I made the changes and uploaded the file. THe bag is packed and ready for this weekend s journey to Capitol Peak in Colorado. Overnight low is
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 6, 2013
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          Thanks Gail!  I made the changes and uploaded the file.  THe bag is packed and ready for this weekend's journey to Capitol Peak in Colorado. Overnight low is only supposed to be 59 F (15 C) so I should be plenty warm ;)

          Brett Haydin
           
          ---------------------------------------------------
           
          "Teamwork: It's amazing how much
            can be accomplished when no one
            cares who gets the credit."



          To: backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com; bhaydin@...
          From: woodswoman2001@...
          Date: Mon, 2 Sep 2013 10:30:29 -0700
          Subject: [backpackgeartesters] EDIT: IR - REI Flash Sleeping Bag - Brett Haydin

           
          Brett,
          The flow to the report was excellent. I could find no edits other than to change "REI" to Recreational Equipment, Inc in your title and for the name of the manufacturer  :) Feel free to upload. Thanks, Gail

            

          Manufacturer: REI

          Recreational Equipment, Inc

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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