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Michael Levy
(neweyes) - F
REI Flash for CT Thru-hike? on 04/10/2012 15:15:50 MDT Print View

First of all, thank you all for the wealth of knowledge here. This site has been an amazing resource as I've started gearing up for my CO Trail thru-hike.

I know I should choose my pack last, but I'm trying to figure out if I might want to pick up an REI Flash 50 for $80. The price is pretty tempting, especially after I just laid out a bunch of cash for an Enlightened Revelation quilt and Tarptent Notch, and it's always returnable since it's REI. Would it make a good CT pack? What's the difference between the minimalist (29oz) and full (42oz) configurations? Should I maybe be thinking about the 65L?

Thanks in advance.

Nicholas Meadors
(nickoli)

Locale: Teh Front Range
Re: REI Flash for CT Thru-hike? on 04/10/2012 15:27:42 MDT Print View

I can't speak on the flash personally, but another great thing about REI is you can also demo their stuff in store. I just packed all of my gear and what I assume to be 7 days worth of food into my 50L golite pursuit, and I have quite a bit of room left at the top of my bag.

I would also assume that the 42 oz has an internal frame/alluminum stays of some sort, and the other does not.

when are you doing the CT? I'm planning a yo-yo and leaving at the earliest possible moment lol

tyler marlow
(like.sisyphus) - F

Locale: Southeast
FLASH 50 on 04/10/2012 15:59:08 MDT Print View

I'd highly recommend this pack. This past summer my girlfriend and our friend both used that pack for the colorado trail. Didnt have a single complaint.

Paul Ashton
(PDA123) - F

Locale: Eastern Mass
Flash stuff on 04/10/2012 16:51:57 MDT Print View

I have a Flash 65 and like it a lot. However, The sleeve holding the frame sheet is a bit fragile. Mine tore and i needed to make a pretty major repair overlaying the stress points with much stronger material. I have seen a number of reports of similar damage, so maybe that is a weakness of the original flash models. Compare one with the new version to see if stronger material and construction is used in the replacement models.h

I do like the pack though. It is for me very comfortable and carries a 30 lb load well. I find the shoulder straps and hip belt to be really good, and wonder how they have been able to "improve" them in the new model.

Re size: I was brought up and trained in the (Brit) army style of backpacking - absoluteley nothing on the outside of the pack, and that indoctrination sticks, so I go for the larger size so that ALL of my shelter and sleep system can go inside.

I also have an REI Flash 18 as a day and summit . Outstanding IMO. I use it as my EDC going to work etc. For weekend grocery shopping, I use the Flash 65.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
REI Flash predecessor on 04/10/2012 20:48:13 MDT Print View

I have the REI Cruise UL, the 2nd gen of that UL pack line in 2008. It's held up well except for one time when I had to get a shoemaker to sew the hipbelt to the suspension attatchment at the lumbar area.

I use aftermarket side pockets I've rigged up with short webbing & Fastex buckles (also found at REI). This gives me quick access to things like 1st aid, water treatment kit, etc.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
And on 04/10/2012 21:02:13 MDT Print View

the obvious. Just buy it and if you need to you can return it at any time. In new condition of course. Then you don't have to worry about missing the deal. And if you change your mind later, no biggie.

Katy Anderson
(KatyAnderson) - F
Get it! on 04/10/2012 21:32:23 MDT Print View

I picked up a REI Women's Flash65 recently at the previous sale. Only taken it out for a couple of trips, but so far so good.
The 65 is a fully framed pack, weighs 3 pounds, fits a bear can and some winter gear quite comfortably. I would imagen that the 50 would be fine if you all you needed was 3 season gear plus a few days of food.
Packs are like shoes, they fit or they don't. Buy one and try it out. As others have said if it's not for you send it back.

Jeff McWilliams
(jjmcwill) - M
Fit is a personal thing on 04/11/2012 07:19:42 MDT Print View

I recently tried on the REI Flash 65, the Boreas Lost Coast 60, and the Granite Gear Blaze AC 60.

With 25lb in the pack, the lumbar pad on the REI Flash 65 pressed into my lower back and really aggravated it. I have some minor lower back issues, so it was a definitel deal breaker for me. I had a heavy backpack made by Eureka that I bought used in 2008 that had similar issues.

Neither the Boreas nor the Granite Gear pack had this problem.

Pack fit is a personal thing. Try it on in-store if you can, or as soon as you get home. Put weight in it and walk around for a while.

William Segraves
(sbill9000) - F - M
Flash fit with and without framesheet on 04/11/2012 07:35:10 MDT Print View

Fit on the Flash packs is indeed personal. For me, the Flash 65 works best without the framesheet. I use a light foam torso-length pad inside my pack to give it a little structure, and with the pack packed right, can comfortably carry 25-30 lbs plus for full days on trail.

Good luck!

Best,

Bill

Michael Levy
(neweyes) - F
Flash 50 en route on 04/11/2012 09:22:44 MDT Print View

Trigger pulled. I knew I had a short torso, but it was kind of weird to order a small (I'm 5'9", 160#). But as someone pointed out, no risk with REI.

Picked up a Steripen Omni too. Now just have to figure out what container it can/will be used with. Thanks for the advice everyone!