Sometimes you don’t need a plethora of features. Sometimes you just need something light and comfortable to haul your gear around the mountain. This is the REI Flash 22.
About the Backpack
The Rei Flash 22 is a 22 liter backpack that’s designed to be minimalist in practically every aspect of it’s design. It’s comprised of a simple stuff sack style main panel that will hold most of your gear, a top loader compartment, and two side water bottle pockets. It weights one pound on the dot, and is comprised of rip-stop nylon and polyester taffeta. The pack retails for just under 50 bucks, and comes in two color varieties, lime green and titanium.
What I liked
This pack is very light weight. You really can’t find a much lighter pack with a 22 liter capacity. I was able to carry plenty of water, snacks, a change of clothes, emergency gear and some other essentials no problem. Despite the light weight and minimalist design, the pack is quite comfortable. It sits snug against the body, and the chest and waist straps do a surprisingly good job of keeping the pack from swinging around during rock scrambles. There is a thin padding across the back panel to keep objects in the pack from jabbing into your spine as you hike. Daisy chains down the pack allow for some extra attachment points for gear you can’t manage to stuff inside.
What I didn’t like
It could use a little bit more padding in the shoulders. It’s not uncomfortable, per say, but you could use a little fluff if you’re packing much more than ten or 15 pounds. The pack has very little in the way of tensioners to keep the contents of the pack from moving around. There is a single vertical tensioner, but if you’re not carrying much gear, you’ll have some extra room for your gear to move around. Throwing in a rain jacket fixed the issue for me.
I really like the Flash 22 pack. It’s replacing my old long standing favorite daypack (one I’ve used for about 3 years now) as my go to pack. It’s large enough to carry everything I need, and comfortable enough to forget I’m even carrying it. If you’re looking for minimal weight, without the bells and whistles, and don’t mind minimalist padding, this might be the pack for you.