If you're looking for a lightweight pack that can accompany you on just about any mission you can dream up, AND you're on a budget, then look no further. For just under $40, the REI Co-op Flash 18 receives our Best Buy Award and is by far the lightest and most minimal product in our review. This pack is a minimalist's dream and scored the best of all the packs in weight and versatility. With a simple top-loading design opening into a single compartment, this pack remains comfortable during a myriad of activities.
The Flash 18 is one of REI's best-selling daypacks, and to keep it fresh they have a constantly rotating cast of colors, like the artichoke green pictured above. The grey and yellow version that we reviewed is no longer offered, however, the technical specs of this pack remain the same. If you see a color you can't live without, grab it now, because that hue may not be offered next season!
The Flash 18 is an awesome lightweight pack that is less hiking specific pack than any we tested but can most certainly transition between just about all of your activities, especially if you're on a budget and need a pack to take you from urban life to the mountain then to the crag. This pack climbs well due to its narrow profile and is a great option for multi-pitch days and summit attempts.
This great daypack is also available in a larger size; the REI Co-op Flash 22 has more space in your pack for whatever adventure you may be on.