REI Flash 18 Review

The REI Flash 18 is an ultralight daypack that’s incredibly versatile and can meet the needs of a variety of hikers.

Go ahead and entirely remove the hipbelt and sternum straps…

Or how about turning it inside out & so it can double as a stuff sack while backpacking… It truly is an awesome day pack for under 50 bucks.This baby’s a no-frills backpack, so you only have one compartment to store all your gear in (REI did throw in a zippered pocket so you can store any valuables without worry).

Also, since it is so ultralight, you’re left without a frame and with essentially no padding. This makes the pack uncomfortable for longer day hikes, but that’s the sacrifice you have to make for ultralight gear.

Below are video reviews of people who have owned the REI Flash 18 daypack. These are real hikers, giving unfiltered thoughts on their gear so you know it’s honest and done by someone who knows the Flash 18 inside and out.

Video Review

Name: Allyson

Pros: Lightweight, Comfortable, Adjustable

Cons: Not enough pockets

Owned For: 3 years

Recommends: Yes

Hi everyone. This is Allyson, with Today I’m going to be reviewing the REI Flash 18 daypack.I’ve had scoliosis for most of my life, and so, for me, lightweight is really important. And you certainly get that with the Flash.

Here’s how it opens up. And we get into the bag… No real compartments. Mainly just big open space.

There is mesh back here if you want to put something for quick, easy access… Either your car keys, or a powerbar.

And then down in the bottom… We’re just on a quick dayhike today, so I don’t have much in there. I have my phone, a pen, a headband…

But then in the back I have a 3 Liter water bladder back here. It fits in nicely and can just form to whatever the shape of your back looks like.

And then it comes out here… The water drop means that this is where your hydration comes from. It’s a big enough hole that you can easily slide the whole thing through. Sometimes you’ll have to take off your water bladder clip, but you certainly don’t need to. You can still slide it on through…

And that way you can take it out and refill it.

Then I’ll show you again going back in. Depending on how full you have your water bladder, it can be more challenging to get it in there. But this is only half way filled right now, so certainly not bad.

Now, getting the hose back through… This buckle comes off if you want to get the hose in there even faster. And the hose comes straight out the back, so you can put it on whatever side of your body you feel most comfortable with.

The straps are mesh, so again, real lightweight but you also stay cool.

And I’ll show you how it zips back up… or, well, tightens back up.

There are gear loops on there, if you did want to use this pack to carry a heavier load.

There’s a hipbelt, and another belt around my chest.

Always important to have a whistle, in case of an emergency. And tighten her up, clip my water hose right on there, and we’re ready to go!

I would give the REI Flash 18 a 4 out of 5 stars.

Why not a full 5 stars?

Umm… because of the lightweight, you’re sacrificing some of the other conveniences. While it’s important to me that it is lightweight, but I am missing the extra pockets, some more space for easy access… I’d prefer those conveniences if they could still make it so lightweight.

Where to Buy

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The REI Flash 18 is available exclusively at REI.

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