REI Flash 22 – Review

If you are anything like me then you have most likely been through multiple day packs. Searching for the perfect pack seems like such a simple thing to do right? Think again. Over the past couple of years I have been through maybe five or six packs until I found REI’s Flash 22 Day Pack. I am not here to sell you this pack, this is what works for me. I am merely here to help you in the right direction.

Also, there are more current versions of this day pack.

Lets get into it. My Flash 22 has been on my back for the last 2 years, every day hike and in all weather condition (sometimes covered, sometimes not). I have carried my pack over 200 miles through Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York to the 100 Mile Wilderness of Maine, ranging from 3 miles to overnight trips.

Diving into what the Flash 22 has to offer.

  • The REI Flash 22 Pack also has 2 daisy chains that let you attach items on the front
  • Large mesh side pockets for bottles and other trail essentials
  • Has an internal sleeve to hold a hydration reservoir (sold separately); includes a port to route the sip tube over either shoulder
  • Includes a zippered lid pocket and an interior zippered pocket
  • Hip belt and sternum strap can also be detached; sternum-strap buckle doubles as a safety whistle
  • Mesh back is soft and breathable; back also has lightweight padding for added comfort
  • Lightly padded stretch-mesh shoulder straps move freely; robust construction provides durability

The REI Flash 22 weighing in at 1 pound 1 ounce makes it easy enjoy hiking with this ultralight pack on my back. Besides being ultralight you can stuff this bad boy. The polyester material that is used forms around the items in your pack keeping everything tight and in place making for a better, more comfortable hike. I have used this pack in light and heavy rain and also in the snow and it has always held up great. light rains didn’t seem to penetrate the pack for a few hours of constant contact. Heavy rains seems to seep through quicker (who would of thought).

My last day hike was a few weeks ago on the snowy trail of Ricketts Glen in Pennsylvania (see picture below) and the bag kept everything dry, I was shocked.

Now, dipping into some thing I don’t like about this day pack.

If you are on a hike 7+ hours long you may start feeling the just barely padded shoulder straps. I also haven’t really found a rain cover or alternatives. This is not so much of a big deal as I sometimes if needed just put my Kuhl Parajax Jacket.

The last thing I noticed and wasn’t a fan of was the unpadded/unnecessary waist strap. To me there really is no point to it as it is uncomfortable and quite frankly doesn’t need to be on this pack at all. Maybe you will, nut if you do not, have no fear, this accessory is very easy to remove. BAM! Waist strap free.

All in all, this is a really solid day pack to have. I really enjoy mine and I will hike this pack until it is beaten and battered. If you are in the process of looking for a new day pack feel free to head to your local hiking store and try one on and ask some questions to see if it meets your needs.


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