REI Flash Insulated Air Pad



After 18 months of use over four seasons, I've had…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $95


After 18 months of use over four seasons, I've had NO problems and tons of great sleep. It is replacing my ExPed SynMat 7 (which I love). Packs much smaller and the same comfort (in three seasons).


  • Packed size
  • "10 blow" inflation
  • Comfort


  • It's AIR, so it CAN pop.

Spring through fall, this alone has been all I've needed. Night time comfort is wonderful, even for this old, 55-year-old body. In winter, the insulation isn't enough alone (isn't supposed to be) so I just put a closed foam pad under to keep me insulated from the frozen ground.

Inflating and deflating is a breeze (seperate one way valves) and, even though I'm a small guy, I have it up in 10 deep breaths. I really loved my last pad, an ExPed. It was my first compact pad (retiring my Therm-a-Rest) and took the ExPed on a week long backpacking trip and found inflation took a bit too long with the hand pump. The Flash is just so much quicker and packs to 1/2 the size.

It seems my "horizontal perspective" is a little skewed; I always seem to find a tent site on just a little slant. We've all been there, sleeping on slippery pads and ending up slammed against the tent wall. This has just the right texture to keep me in place. Best part of this air mat, so far, no leaks after quite a bit of use over 18 months. 

For me, this works just perfect. In fact, I went and bought another as a spare for a "padless backpacking buddy."


Thanks for this review. Just saw the Flash for the 1st time today and really liked it. My current Prolite is "OK" but not as warm for late fall high mountain backpack hunts. I "NEED" the Flash mattress.

3 months ago

BUT... I'd also like a combo waterproof stuff sack/inflator sack. I hope REI makes one for it. I think they will sell a lot of Flash mattresses at that $100. price and 15 oz. weight (size Regular mummy).

3 months ago

Lightweight, quick inflate, and very comfortable.

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $109


Lightweight, quick inflate, and very comfortable.


  • Lightweight (1.1lbs)
  • Easy and quick to inflate
  • Comfortable
  • Packs small


  • None that I am aware of.

REI Flash sleeping pad (long) is one of the lightest and compact pads I've owned. I primarily hike on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia and North Carolina and this pad has made my nights very comfortable. 

I would recommend this air pad. 


Welcome to Trailspace. As an aspiring AT thru-hiker, I envy your proximity to the trail!

4 years ago

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