REI Flash 45 Pack



This is a fantastic lightweight pack. It carries well…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $89


This is a fantastic lightweight pack. It carries well for such a light pack that doesn't have much in the way of a frame. This pack would be great for those starting on the journey to ultralight backpacking, while still having a pack with a lot of features.


  • Lightweight
  • Handy hipbelt pockets
  • Very adjustable


  • Comfort limited to around 25 lbs and below
  • Sternum strap can move around
  • Could use additional compression straps on lower body

Fit:  This pack claims it fits up to a 19" torso in the Large size. I am 6'3" with around a 20" torso but decided to give it a try anyway. The pack is essentially frameless outside of the back padding and the Delrin rod around the outside of the back.

Comfort:  Even overloaded with 28 lbs the pack was comfortable. As my load lightened throughout the weekend, it got better and better. All of the straps are adjustable and it even includes load lifters.

Capacity:  The Large is advertised as a 50L pack and I would say this is pretty accurate. I was able to fit a hammock, top quilt, undercover, tarp, clothes, food and a fleece jacket in it pretty easily. 

Organization:  The pack body itself is just one large sack. I loved the stretch pocket around the outside which I used for wet camp shoes, wet tarp, water bottles and filter. The lid contains a fairly large top pocket which is great for frequently accessed small items.

Ride:  I found the pack sat on my hips well once i had the hipbelt tight enough. I really had no trouble during the entire 3 days of my hike.

Compression:  There are two compression straps on the side of the pack near the top. I would have liked to have had an additional set lower on the pack, but overall this isn't a big deal.

Ease of Use:  I found the pack very easy to use and met my expectations for a lightweight pack.

Features:  The back padding is very comfortable and makes you forget that it is almost frameless. Hipbelt pockets are nice and will hold a point and shoot camera or a couple of snacks. In addition the shoulder strap pocket makes a great place to store your smartphone should you choose to bring it.

Durability:  The pack appears to be well made but at this point I've only used it for one long weekend hike.

Conditions:  I used this pack for a long weekend hike on the AT near Franklin, N.C. It was a fun weekend in what I believe to be the wettest place on Earth.  :)


Thanks for the review. I have a Flash 65 that I greatly enjoy (though I'm partial to external frame packs).

11 months ago