Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: $190
Pros: Lightweight, lots of pockets.
Cons: Not super durable or the most comfortable, only available through REI.
Best Uses: Backpacking, trekking.
The newer REI Flash 62 is a big improvement over the previous REI Flash 65. It has a far nicer back panel, better shoulder straps, and more durable material. All this and it is lighter than before! At 3 lbs. the Flash 62 is the second lightest pack in our review. It carries well for most users up to 30-35 lbs. and doesn't feel that good for most people over 40 lbs., making the Flash a good choice for folks who already go fairly light. This would have been the lightweight winner but the Osprey Exos 58 took that title.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
Built with a fairly minimalist design, is is comfortable for most people for loads of 30-35lbs. The back panel is an improvement on the previous model. The foam used in the shoulder straps was just okay and it did start to pack out a little after several trips. The waist belt at first glance doesn't look like much but it worked surprisingly well. As a whole we thought it was more comfortable than the Kelty Coyote 80, around the same as the Gregory Z-65 and not as nearly as comfortable as the Gregory Baltoro 65 or the [[Arcteryx Altra 65].
Weighing in at 3 lbs. even, it was 12 oz.'s lighter than the next pack we tested (Mountain Hardwear South Col) and two pounds lighter than many of the packs in our review. Great for most people for 2-3 days.
The suspension was likely the flimsiest in our review and won't serve most people well above 35 lbs. If you are going to carry 40-50 lbs. and are looking to cut a few dollars by buying this pack…don't do it. This pack won't feel good.
Ease of use
This pack has a few nice pockets. Its large "beaver tail" area is nice for flip flops or layers but smaller items get lost. For people who like water bottle pockets, this pocket worked okay but not great. The zippered pocket on the back of the pack is nice but can be a little hard to get into when the pack is full.
The pack is small enough that most users won't use the lower access point that is similar to a sleeping bag compartment (without being a separate compartment). Getting into the lid when the pack was full was a challenge because it is so long. That said, you can fit a bunch of stuff in there. We liked the reverse pull waist belt.
This pack is not very adjustable but comes in three sizes and most testers felt they could fit into one of those sizes.
— Ian Nicholson
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: February 6, 2014
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