Nov 29, 2013 at 10:33 am #1310365
REI flash packs are on pretty good discount for black friday. The 18 is a great general purpose pack for town or day hikes and is going for $20 (MSRP $35). Beyond that the Flash 45, Womens 52, and Mens 62 are all on clearance. I just picked up a 45 for $65 and hopefully the W's 52 fits my girl friend.
Not the lightest or best packs out there, but good enough for loaners or people new to backpacking. The only other sub $100 packs tend to be used, or GG's G4 which is on sale now (but gargantuan too for no frame).Nov 29, 2013 at 11:53 am #2049076
I like my Flash 45, Its a good 3 season weekend pack, it would make a good winter overnighter/day pack.Nov 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm #2049119
I got the older model, the grey/orange one, last year on close-out for $85. After I hacked away at it with a pair of scissors, I got the weight down to 36oz. For the price, they are a great deal.Nov 29, 2013 at 3:51 pm #2049140
What did you hack off? I was thinking of removing the hydration pouch from my 45, I also have a 62 but might return it as prefer the 45.Nov 29, 2013 at 5:32 pm #2049171
Is the Flash 45 on clearance in anticipation of a new version? I was thinking of picking one up eventually, hope it isn't discontinued.Nov 29, 2013 at 6:05 pm #2049183
It seems recently that REI is redesigning them each year. I know one I got won some award a few years ago and the newer ones are different than the one I have.Nov 29, 2013 at 6:43 pm #2049196
REI responds to customer feedback, for better or for worse. They recently redesigned the Flash 62/52 models because the prior versions were not well received by the consumer at large. Basically they made the packs heavier, gave them a beefier frame and suspension, but lost a lot of the options and simplicity.
I would suggest picking up a 45 now if you like the design, no telling what the new model will entail (likely just new colors but could get a new suspension too).Nov 29, 2013 at 6:53 pm #2049202
I much prefer the 45 over the 62, my wife has the 52 and likes it also.Nov 29, 2013 at 7:10 pm #2049214
The top loader pocket is removable, so that is gone, along with all the attachment points for it. I trimmed the waist belt, lift loader and shoulder straps down to just a little over what I needed (they are all excessively long). I removed the ice axe loops and shock cords and the sleeping pad straps. I also cut away the outer portion of the outside pocket, so it still has the sleeve and mesh side pockets but not that long-ways zipper pocket … if that makes any sense. I should post some pictures, but that would go in the gear section.
I saw a post from another member a while back who had cut away basically everything except the main compartment. I didn't go that far. I think the Flash packs are perfect for people who are just getting into lightweight backpacking and still want a few bells and whistles that come on conventional packs. The packs are so affordable, you won't feel guilty about cutting them up whenever you feel comfortable doing without some of the features. OR for people who want a cheap pack to experiment on.Dec 1, 2013 at 6:32 am #2049538
They're clearing out inventory for the 2014 models that will be out for the spring (probably available between Feb-March:
It looks like the biggest revisions two all three of the full size flash models are redesigned side mesh pockets to make accessing your water bottle easier, they got rid of the top lid lash points, and they added some new attachment points and a cellphone pocket to the straps. Here is a couple pictures that show off the new mods:
I have the current model Flash 45 and I like it a lot. I've taken it on a couple 2-3 nighters so far and it carries well and is pretty light even without removing anything yet. The only problem so far is that the mesh pocket has a tendency to flop over and dump everything when you are unloading the main compartment because the main attachment points clip to the lid instead of the body of the bag, so I am going to mod the clips so they clip to the spot where the compression straps meet the frame instead. For ~$70 it's worth the dive.Dec 1, 2013 at 8:49 am #2049571
I should add that there are now women's 50 and 65 on the outlet for similar prices, but there's currently a 30% off coupon for the outlet. That's under $60 for them! Only size large but they should work for some guys too if you don't have a flat arse.
Unfortunately the medium was too big for my gf, hoping they have a small in stock to try on so we don't have to do the order and return dance for fit. She's never backpacked (but did a dirtbag road trip with me) so we're trying to find her one "rule them all" pack for travel and occasional weekenders in all seasons. If it fits, this could be the one for a great price!Dec 1, 2013 at 10:25 am #2049597
@rushfanLocale: Northern California
Just got my wife a Christmas present. This was a screaming deal at $55 shipped for the Flash 50.Dec 1, 2013 at 11:52 am #2049625
Does this imply that the Flash 18 is getting dropped? I hope not, as that pack has been around for about 5 years with very little changes. It's a good pack for what it is.Dec 1, 2013 at 6:06 pm #2049758
@dan_quixoteLocale: below the mountains (AK)
flash 18 isn't getting dropped. They had the new version of it up on the website for awhile, but it looks like the took it down while they cleared out this current version. New 18s looked really similar, just a couple different angles and newer, even more pastel colors.Dec 23, 2013 at 9:44 pm #2057251
@adrienbakerLocale: Kern County
I couldn't pass up the deal on the 45 and I'm trying to get my hiking buddy to purchase the 62.
AdrienDec 24, 2013 at 10:50 am #2057335
Thanks for posting this. I got a 45. Had to pay tax, but still a good deal.
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