REI Flash 22

REI Flash 22 Eddie Bauer First Ascent Bacon Black Diamond Equipment Bolt best packs of 2013 summer buyers guide

REI Flash 22, Eddie Bauer First Ascent Bacon, Black Diamond Equipment Bolt     Photo: Inga Hendrickson

BEST FOR: Quick jaunts; traveling.

THE TEST: The Flash doesn’t look like a whole lot. It also doesn’t take up a lot of space. Remove the foam back panel and it rolls up smaller than a bottle of wine. But unlike most ultralight packs, it’s surprisingly capable, with a tiny lid, two good-size mesh side pockets, and 15 gear loops. Just pack wisely: the shoulder straps have virtually no padding, and there are no side compression straps to cinch down small or awkward loads.

THE VERDICT: Considering how much you get out if it, it’s the best $50 you can spend. 1 lb.

HAULING COMFORT: 2
VERSATILITY: 4.5

Brand: REI $50

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