REI Flash Packs
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Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
REI Flash Packs on 11/29/2013 11:33:31 MST Print View

REI flash packs are on pretty good discount for black friday. The 18 is a great general purpose pack for town or day hikes and is going for $20 (MSRP $35). Beyond that the Flash 45, Womens 52, and Mens 62 are all on clearance. I just picked up a 45 for $65 and hopefully the W's 52 fits my girl friend.

Not the lightest or best packs out there, but good enough for loaners or people new to backpacking. The only other sub $100 packs tend to be used, or GG's G4 which is on sale now (but gargantuan too for no frame).

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: REI Flash Packs on 11/29/2013 12:53:27 MST Print View

I like my Flash 45, Its a good 3 season weekend pack, it would make a good winter overnighter/day pack.

. Kirby
(Kirby805) - F
Flash 65 on 11/29/2013 15:44:00 MST Print View

I got the older model, the grey/orange one, last year on close-out for $85. After I hacked away at it with a pair of scissors, I got the weight down to 36oz. For the price, they are a great deal.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Flash 65 on 11/29/2013 16:51:23 MST Print View

Nate,

What did you hack off? I was thinking of removing the hydration pouch from my 45, I also have a 62 but might return it as prefer the 45.

Steve G
(sgrobben) - M

Locale: Ohio
Flash 45 on 11/29/2013 18:32:27 MST Print View

Is the Flash 45 on clearance in anticipation of a new version? I was thinking of picking one up eventually, hope it isn't discontinued.

Greg Yurkovich
(Chubbs4U) - F
REI on 11/29/2013 19:05:24 MST Print View

It seems recently that REI is redesigning them each year. I know one I got won some award a few years ago and the newer ones are different than the one I have.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Flash 45 on 11/29/2013 19:43:23 MST Print View

REI responds to customer feedback, for better or for worse. They recently redesigned the Flash 62/52 models because the prior versions were not well received by the consumer at large. Basically they made the packs heavier, gave them a beefier frame and suspension, but lost a lot of the options and simplicity.

I would suggest picking up a 45 now if you like the design, no telling what the new model will entail (likely just new colors but could get a new suspension too).

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Flash 45 on 11/29/2013 19:53:16 MST Print View

I much prefer the 45 over the 62, my wife has the 52 and likes it also.

Edited by stephenm on 11/29/2013 19:53:46 MST.

. Kirby
(Kirby805) - F
Flash 65 on 11/29/2013 20:10:58 MST Print View

The top loader pocket is removable, so that is gone, along with all the attachment points for it. I trimmed the waist belt, lift loader and shoulder straps down to just a little over what I needed (they are all excessively long). I removed the ice axe loops and shock cords and the sleeping pad straps. I also cut away the outer portion of the outside pocket, so it still has the sleeve and mesh side pockets but not that long-ways zipper pocket ... if that makes any sense. I should post some pictures, but that would go in the gear section.

I saw a post from another member a while back who had cut away basically everything except the main compartment. I didn't go that far. I think the Flash packs are perfect for people who are just getting into lightweight backpacking and still want a few bells and whistles that come on conventional packs. The packs are so affordable, you won't feel guilty about cutting them up whenever you feel comfortable doing without some of the features. OR for people who want a cheap pack to experiment on.

Edited by Kirby805 on 11/29/2013 20:12:16 MST.

J Butler
(nowallthetime) - F
RE: REI Flash Packs on 12/01/2013 07:32:37 MST Print View

They're clearing out inventory for the 2014 models that will be out for the spring (probably available between Feb-March:

http://www.rei.com/pdf/features/gearapparel/PUB3058794_REI_Brand_Lookbook_Spring_Reader.pdf

It looks like the biggest revisions two all three of the full size flash models are redesigned side mesh pockets to make accessing your water bottle easier, they got rid of the top lid lash points, and they added some new attachment points and a cellphone pocket to the straps. Here is a couple pictures that show off the new mods:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-H5QZiD7HgqQ/Uf_8udsT7gI/AAAAAAAAANg/N86gVivR6eo/s1600/5-REI.jpg
http://www.carryology.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Outdoor-Retailer-Summer-Market-2013-3.jpg
http://www.carryology.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Outdoor-Retailer-Summer-Market-2013-2.jpg

I have the current model Flash 45 and I like it a lot. I've taken it on a couple 2-3 nighters so far and it carries well and is pretty light even without removing anything yet. The only problem so far is that the mesh pocket has a tendency to flop over and dump everything when you are unloading the main compartment because the main attachment points clip to the lid instead of the body of the bag, so I am going to mod the clips so they clip to the spot where the compression straps meet the frame instead. For ~$70 it's worth the dive.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: RE: REI Flash Packs on 12/01/2013 09:49:18 MST Print View

I should add that there are now women's 50 and 65 on the outlet for similar prices, but there's currently a 30% off coupon for the outlet. That's under $60 for them! Only size large but they should work for some guys too if you don't have a flat arse.

Unfortunately the medium was too big for my gf, hoping they have a small in stock to try on so we don't have to do the order and return dance for fit. She's never backpacked (but did a dirtbag road trip with me) so we're trying to find her one "rule them all" pack for travel and occasional weekenders in all seasons. If it fits, this could be the one for a great price!

Joseph Lynch
(rushfan) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
thanks on 12/01/2013 11:25:53 MST Print View

Just got my wife a Christmas present. This was a screaming deal at $55 shipped for the Flash 50.

Jeff Jeff
(TwoFortyJeff) - F
Re: RE: REI Flash Packs on 12/01/2013 12:52:38 MST Print View

Does this imply that the Flash 18 is getting dropped? I hope not, as that pack has been around for about 5 years with very little changes. It's a good pack for what it is.

Daniel Allen
(Dan_Quixote) - F

Locale: below the mountains (AK)
Re: Re: RE: REI Flash Packs on 12/01/2013 19:06:35 MST Print View

flash 18 isn't getting dropped. They had the new version of it up on the website for awhile, but it looks like the took it down while they cleared out this current version. New 18s looked really similar, just a couple different angles and newer, even more pastel colors.

Adrien Baker
(AdrienBaker) - F - M

Locale: Kern County
Still 50% Off on the 45 and 62 on 12/23/2013 22:44:12 MST Print View

I couldn't pass up the deal on the 45 and I'm trying to get my hiking buddy to purchase the 62.

Adrien

D S
(smoke) - F
Scored a 45! on 12/24/2013 11:50:46 MST Print View

Thanks for posting this. I got a 45. Had to pay tax, but still a good deal.