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Gear Review: REI Flash 30 Daypack

REI Flash 30

REI Flash 30
$80, 1 lb. 6 oz. (medium)
Sizes: Medium 30L/1,830 c.i., Large 31L/1,892 c.i.

Unless you can afford a quiver of packs, you expect a daypack to be many things: lightweight and compact for when you don’t need to carry much, spacious and comfortable when you do need to haul a fair bit of stuff. Not many daypacks are that flexible—but the Flash 30 is. On a recent trip to Oregon, I used it on Columbia Gorge dayhikes by myself and with my family, and even a quick morning ski up to 10,000 feet on Mt. Hood.

I easily fit food, water, and extra clothes for family members inside the pack, and it proved perfectly comfortable with 15 to 20 pounds inside, thanks to a very simple foam framesheet and spare but adequate shoulder and back padding. That foam framesheet is also removable, letting you roll up the pack and stuff it inside a backpack for side hikes on a multi-day backcountry trip. When I wanted a smaller daypack for light, solo jaunts, the front bungee squishes the pack nicely—and the whole thing weighs only as much as many much smaller hydration packs, so it feels like a small pack. While Spartan in design, this top-loader’s spacious lid, side mesh, and hipbelt pockets offer all the organization you really need. The Flash 30 does a lot by not trying to be too much. And after buying it, you’ll have cash left over for post-hike pizza and beers.

—Michael Lanza



About The Author

Michael Lanza

A former field editor and primary gear reviewer for Backpacker Magazine, Michael Lanza created The Big Outside to share stories and images from his many backpacking, hiking, and other outdoor adventures, as well as expert tips and gear reviews to help readers plan and pull off their own great adventures.

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Welcome to the Big Outside

photo of Michael Lanza

Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside and former Northwest Editor at Backpacker magazine. Click my photo to learn more about me and my blog. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside now to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. And click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

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