User Review: REI Men's Flash 50 Pack
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $125-ish
It's a good bag for transitioning towards UL; its removable features give you options both more traditional and lighter weight. Its best feature is its price now, years after it came out in 2010, though.
- Fairly light
- Only one hip-belt pocket
- Only fairly light
I took this bag on a 40-mile overnighter. I was trying to be "UL", but I was planning on being out longer and had WAY too much food. Total packweight was about 30 lbs. to start off, but since I was trying to be "UL" I took out the frame.
Mistake! I think it would have been comfier for me if I'd left the frame in, but as was I just went beastmode and hammered out about 40 miles in 14 hours of hiking and was sore, sore, sore the next day, both in my shoulders and in my hips.
It has one good hip-belt pocket, and maybe I'm spoiled, but I really wanted to have two. The left side, without the pocket, has molly straps or something, which look like they're meant for affixing things with clips, like a walkie-talkie. I really wanted to use it for my bear-spray, but it was a pain to finagle it on there in such a way that it didn't bang my leg constantly as I walked, but at least it was quickly accessible if I needed it.
I returned it because of this, and have since gotten a real UL pack that suits me better as I've learned the style, and I've been fairly happy with my ULA CDT since I got it.
The Flash 50 would be best suited to someone just beginning to lighten up, as you can use it with a frame for heavier loads but also leave the frame home if you want to try going lighter in both your load and level of support.
Given that, for the money it'd be a great first UL bag and then keep it as a loaner once you figure out exactly what you want with more experience hiking with lighter loads. That's what I should have done; I probably returned this one too soon.