How Does the REI Co-op Flash 55 Hiking Backpack Compare to Others?

REI co-op Flash 55 hiking backpack: key features, durability, and comfort for serious trekkers. Ideal for outdoor adventures.
REI Co-op Flash 55 Hiking Backpack - A masterfully captured outdoor adventure.


  • The REI Co-op Flash 55 backpack is a lightweight, durable option for trekkers weighing in at 2 lb. 13 oz. and costing $199.
  • Features include an adjustable suspension system, ventilated back panel, hydration reservoir compatibility, and multiple pockets.
  • Designed using recycled nylon, contributing to its eco-friendliness and sustainability.
  • Practical for hikers with up to 30 pounds carrying capacity, gear loops, and a modular design.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts rate it highly for its balance of comfort, features, and affordability compared to other brands.
  • Suitable for serious long-term use, with strong ripstop fabric and a good warranty, though might need a rain cover for added protection.
  • The pack includes a female-specific design, reflective details for safety, and an integrated whistle for emergencies.

Hey there, trail blazers and gear lovers! Are you weighing your options for a trusty hiking companion? Let me tell you, the REI Co-op Flash 55 backpack could be your next game-changer. We’re talking fit, function, and yes – fashion! How does it really stack up against the pack? Stick with me as I dive into the nitty-gritty of this trail buddy. Whether you’re a peak-bagger or a casual day-hiker, let’s find out if the Flash 55 hits that sweet spot of comfort, durability, and storage smarts you’ve been searching for. Strap in, it’s time to dissect what makes this pack a potential favorite or a passable option for your next adventure.

What Are the Key Features of the REI Co-op Flash 55 Pack?

Let’s dive right into the guts of the REI co-op flash 55 pack. It’s a light mover and it does the heavy lifting for trekkers. Weighing in at just 2 lb. 13 oz, this backpack offers a great mix of weight and space. It’s made of Robic nylon, which comes in at 100D & 210D.

Does it sit well on your back? Oh yes, it does! The adjustable suspension system not only fits your torso but also helps with load management. You can hike all day and your back won’t scream at you. The system keeps your load stable and spreads out the weight. It’s a real game-changer.

What about the backpack load during long walks? The Flash 55 scores high here. It won’t sag or shift; instead, it holds your stuff tight and right. No more back pain or unbalancing acts here.

And the heat? Hikes can get hot, but this pack’s ventilated back panel feature keeps the air moving. It’s like a little fan strapped to your back. No more swampy feeling while scaling a hill!

Now, let’s talk water. Staying hydrated is key, and this pack has room for a hydration reservoir. This means easy sips without stopping.

When put side by side with others in the REI flash pack series, what stands out? Well, the Flash 55 still comes out shining. Versus the bigger boys, it’s the sweet spot for price, weight, and features.

Pockets? You get a handful. A top lid, a large front one, two on the sides, and the main section. It’s like a magic hat; there’s room for more than you think!

Remember that a trekker’s dream is to go light. The Flash 55 won’t let you down here. Its design shouts “lightweight” and it means every trekker can keep going for miles without a break.

How Does the REI Co-op Flash 55 Compare to Other Lightweight Backpacks?

When we throw the REI Co-op Flash 55 into the ring with the best hiking backpacks, it stands tall. I studied its nuts and bolts to see its punch. And sure, I laced up and hit the trails with it. I wanted to know, does this pack tick off the multi-day hiking essentials?

Outdoor enthusiasts often rave about the Flash 55’s dynamics. It balances features, comfort, and weight like a pro. Costing $199, it goes easy on your wallet too. With a weight of just 2 lb. 13 oz. for a men’s medium, it’s a solid choice for those counting ounces. Made of Robic nylon, which is a mix of 100D & 210D, it promises to take a beating but asks you dodge sharp rocks.

The heart of its comfort is a well-made suspension system. It’s adjustable, so you can tailor the fit. On multi-day hikes, its medium-thickness padding and full-perimeter metal frame support you fully. You can lug around 30 pounds max, making it a champ for those longer trips.

In terms of storage, the Flash 55 flexes hard. It’s got a roll-top closure, great for stuffing it to the brim. The pack’s layout is on point, too. There’s a top lid, front pocket, beefy main compartment, side pockets, and a spot for your hydration bladder. You won’t need to play Tetris with your gear here.

Now, durability. Reviews suggest the pack’s outer material might fuss around sharp edges. Yet general build quality holds up. For ventilation, the backpanel and hipbelt keep you breezy, though shoulder straps could be airier.

Other packs, like the Osprey Exos 58 or Hyperlite Southwest 55, may outshine in some areas but also ask for more of your cash. Granitie Gear’s Crown3 60 is a closer match in price and features, daring you to compare.

What I like best is fitting almost anyone. REI offers a wide range of sizes, ready for most backs. Plus, they throw in eco-friendly points for using recycled nylon and bluesign-approved materials.

Sure, it’s not without quirks. Some hikers find the shoulder straps noisy, and the backpanel could poke a bit. Also, the thin material asks you to treat it kind on rough treks.

But stand it up against others, and the REI Co-op Flash 55 more than just holds its own. It brings a punch of comfort, smart features, and loves the earth a tad more with its recycled fabric. For a backpacker eyeing a balanced, eco-wise gear, it’s hard not to give the Flash 55 a winning nod.

How Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly Is the REI Co-op Flash 55?

The REI Co-op Flash 55 is made with recycled nylon. This nylon comes from old materials made new again. This helps cut waste. The recycling process for the nylon used in the Flash 55 takes old fabric scraps. It turns them into fresh fibers. Then, it weaves them into new backpacks. This is just one part of its eco-friendly design.

The backpack’s durability is key. It needs to last through many trips. The Flash 55 has Robic nylon. This material can take a lot of use. This means you won’t need a new backpack often. Over time, this cuts down on waste and helps the planet.

The Flash 55 also helps you stay dry. It has a water-resistant material. This means less need for a rain cover. Rain covers are often made of non-eco materials. Using the bag’s own material saves resources. Plus, it keeps the weight down. Lighter loads mean less strain on you and less impact on trails.

Choosing gear like the REI Flash 55 keeps your adventure green. It mixes strong, light, and earth-friendly traits. This backpack shows that gear can be tough and kind to the Earth.

What Are the Practical Benefits of the Design Choices in the REI Flash 55 Backpack?

Let’s talk pack smarts! The Flash 55’s design rocks for stuffing in gear. How? Think of a game. A game where every inch counts. This pack plays it well. Every pocket and strap is a tool here.

Does it hold a ton? You bet! It can carry up to 30 pounds. That’s like toting a small dog through the woods. And every bit from the big main space to the hip belt pockets is a chance to keep stuff safe and snug.

What about clipping things on? Easy! Gear attachment points are your pals. Here, you have lots of spots to hang tools, like those hiking poles. No hands needed. Just snap them on and go.

And poles? They get their own loops. It helps to keep hands free. You can walk easier and safer this way. Plus, you won’t lose them!

Now, what about that heavy feeling? The weight distribution system spreads it out. So, your back and shoulders don’t get all the pain. It’s like having a helping hand holding up your pack.

A top-loader backpack is like a big mouth, ready to gobble up your gear. But it’s not just about being hungry for more. It’s about reaching in quick and knowing exactly where everything is. That’s a big plus.

Finally, let’s squish it down with compression straps. No loose gear bouncing around here. Just a tight, tidy load that won’t shift or throw you off balance on the trail. Now that’s smart packing!

We’ve seen what makes the Flash 55 tick. It fits a lot, it clips your tools, and keeps things balanced. It’s a pack thought out for the trail enthusiast. As an expert, I say nice job, REI!

Who Is the Target User of the REI Co-op Flash 55 and How Is It Tailored to Them?

The REI Co-op Flash 55 targets avid hikers. It fits them well with its smart design. The pack’s warranty and customer service demonstrate REI’s commitment to their customers. The Flash 55 comes with a solid warranty.

How does the Flash 55’s fitting guide help? It ensures hikers can pick the correct size for their body. This guide is a big help. It means you get a pack that fits right. That’s crucial for comfort on long trails.

The Flash 55 offers value. Compared to other packs, it is affordable and packed with features for its price. At $199, it holds its own against pricier rivals.

Women hikers get a treat with the Flash 55. Its female-specific design considers fit, taking into account women’s unique body shapes. This means better comfort for women on their hikes.

Comfort on the trail is key. The Flash 55 shines here. Its suspension system, padding, and frame work together. They make sure the load feels lighter on your back. This is essential for those long days outdoors.

What Extras and Innovations Does the REI Co-op Flash 55 Offer to Hikers?

The REI Co-op Flash 55 stands out with its gear loop utility. Each gear loop gives hikers a spot to hang tools or clip on items. This ups the pack’s versatility. It means you can quickly reach for your gear without rummaging through your bag.

Are the reflective details on the backpack effective? Yes, they make you more visible in low-light situations. This is a key safety feature when hiking during dusk or dawn. It adds peace of mind for those who trek into the night.

Adjustment features on the Flash 55 allow for a custom fit. You can tweak the torso length and hip belts. This helps you get the fit just right, which is critical on long treks. A snug fit means better load distribution and less strain.

Hiker backpack comfort features built into the Flash 55 include medium-thickness padding. The backpanel and hipbelt are designed for airflow. But, the shoulder straps may get a bit warm.

This pack has a modular backpack design. You can remove or add parts to suit your trip. For example, the top lid can come off to save weight on shorter hikes. You can also adjust the pack’s capacity with a roll-top closure. This helps compress the load for a snugger, more stable carry.

Does the backpack’s integrated whistle feature have practicality? Absolutely. The whistle is built into the sternum strap buckle. It’s handy for emergencies or when you need to signal your pals without yelling.

In sum, the REI Co-op Flash 55 offers hikers adaptable features that bolster safety, comfort, and pack management. It’s a smart choice for both casual and serious hikers alike.

How Do Outdoor Enthusiasts Rate Their Experience With the REI Co-op Flash 55?

People who buy the Flash 55 give it high marks. They say it’s light and holds a lot for its size. It’s strong for a pack that weighs little. The back and hips feel good, even with a big load. This is because of the good frame and straps it has. There are many pockets and places for stuff. Hikers like the roll-top because it makes closing and shrinking the pack easy. The 100D nylon is thin but tough. Still, be careful near sharp rocks to avoid tears.

The bag’s breath lets your back stay cool. But the shoulder straps could use more air. Most find the perfect fit, thanks to many sizes. The bag uses recycled nylon and other safe materials. This shows REI cares about our planet. The women’s pack is just like the men’s but shaped better for them. But some parts could be better. The shoulder straps can be loud. The back can stick out some. And the thin fabric may not take hard use for long.

Now, how does it compare? Compared to others, its price is less, but it’s just as good. You save money but don’t lose quality. Osprey and Granite Gear are more but not much better. Hyperlite is lighter but costs a lot more. The REI Trailmade is cheaper but also heavier.

In short, most who use the Flash 55 love it a lot. They say it’s comfy, useful, and great for the Earth, all while being easy on the wallet.

How Will the REI Co-op Flash 55 Hold Up in the Long-Term for Serious Hikers?

Serious hikers ask, “Will my gear last?” Yes, the REI Co-op Flash 55 is made to endure. It has a strong warranty. This means REI stands by its gear. If it breaks, they’ll help fix or replace it. That’s peace of mind on the trail.

The bag’s made with durable ripstop fabric. This makes it tough against tears. Both the 100D and 210D Nylon hold up well. While hiking sharp rocks or thick brush, this pack can take hits.

But do I need a rain cover? Yes, it keeps gear dry. No one likes a soggy sleeping bag. This backpack doesn’t come with one, so grab one just in case.

Hiking means carrying lots. The Flash 55 helps manage the load. It has a good frame and padding. This makes heavy loads feel lighter. Plus, it fits well and adjusts. So, it’s comfy on long hikes.

Packing right matters! The Flash 55 nails gear organization. It has many pockets, like a big front one and dual side ones. So gear stays in place, even when the path gets rough. It’s easy to find what you need fast.

Last thing, how’s the airflow? The backpack has a ventilation system. It helps you stay cool. The back panel and hip belt let air flow. Yet, the shoulder straps could be better. They don’t breathe as much. Remember, airflow is key in hot or humid places.

In short, the REI Co-op Flash 55 is a pack ready for many trails. For those who hike hard and often, it’s a strong choice.


We’ve looked at the REI Co-op Flash 55 pack from all angles. Its adjustable system, load spread, and ventilation make long hikes a breeze. It stands tall among the best, with its durable build and smart design tailored for serious hikers. Pack up, hit the trails, and trust in the Flash 55 to join your every step.

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