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REI Flash 65vs. Flash 62

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REI Flash 65vs. Flash 62

Postby Ross939 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:22 pm

Hello, firstly thank you to those who created and moderate this forum. It's been a great asset in planning my son's thru hike of the JMT this summer with his uncle.


My question is concerning a backpack for my 16 year old son. He is in decent football shape, but probably not in the best trail hiking shape. Months in the weight room have enabled him to bench a good amount of weight, but it has also added on some pounds, which I'm sure he will shed as the hike progresses.

We were in REI today, and he tried a number of backpacks, including the Gregory Baltoro 65 and the REI Flash 62, as well as some others that are, frankly, out of his price range. Of all the packs that he tried, the one that he kept going back to, and said really felt the most comfortable was the Flash 62. At $189, this is within his price range

REI's website happens to have the Flash 65, the predecessor of the Flash 62, on sale for $115. I realize the importance of a properly fitting pack for this trip, and was tempted just to purchase the Flash 62. However, the $80 in savings between the two packs would go along way in buying additional gear.

His uncle has indicated that he prefers he pack as light as possible and keep total weight to 35 lbs or less. Anyone here has experience with the Flash 65? Any comments on which pack might be better would be appreciated.
Thanks!
John


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Re: REI Flash 65vs. Flash 62

Postby markskor » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:39 pm

Ross939 wrote:Of all the packs that he tried, the one that he kept going back to, and said really felt the most comfortable was the Flash 62. At $189, this is within his price range
REI's website happens to have the Flash 65, the predecessor of the Flash 62, on sale for $115.


First off welcome, and don't feed the eagles.
Re: the Flash line of backpacks- Key words here are price, most comfortable, and REI.

If it were me and having narrowed things down to this one choice due to comfort (a wise criteria.) - Order the Flash 65 and have it delivered to your closest REI store. Knowing nothing about this pack specifically other than REI does make some good gear, but knowing REI's return policy, if the fit/suspension of the cheaper 65 is not the same (just as comfortable), you have lost nothing as you can then return it immediately and buy the "in stock" but more expensive 62.

I would carry a few items (tent, sleeping bag, pad, bear can) down to the store and see if everything fits and feels as comfy before making a final pack selection.
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Re: REI Flash 65vs. Flash 62

Postby freestone » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:42 pm

I used the Flash UL 65 for two years as an introduction into UL backpacks. When I upgraded to another pack, I went a slightly different direction since the 62 had not been introduced yet. Manufacturing logic would say that the 62 is an improvement over it's predecessor, so I would not argue that and select the the 62. The point I would like to make is these packs are designed for Ultra Light gear to go into the pack. My Bearicaide Scout fit perfectly, but a Garcia would take up the whole pack. If you need to bring the kitchen sink, a couple of changes of clothes, and a polar guard sleeping bag, the 62 and 65 will not work. I think 35 pounds is at the very top limit for both packs, but your son is young so I think the 62 would be the better choice since REI is trying to clear their shelves of obsolete packs and your son may be savvy to that fact.

REI UL 65. Sawmill pass 2011. A five day trip with bear can in the pack.
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Re: REI Flash 65vs. Flash 62

Postby 87TT » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:15 pm

I like my 65. I do tend to load it heavy. About 45 lbs. I don't know about the 62
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Re: REI Flash 65vs. Flash 62

Postby Ross939 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:59 am

Thanks for the Welcome, and your Replies. Great idea to have the 65 delivered to the store, I never considered that. I'll have both backpacks fitted for him with a load to try before we decide on the pack.

Freestone, your observation that most manufacturing updates imply that the product has received some upgrades generally hold true, I would agree. However, in the case of the 65 being discontinued and replaced with the 62 line, seems like a good amount of folks online feel that REI got it wrong, and that the design changes, including significant changes in the hip belt, more contour in the back, and minor changes in the compression strap and suspension, make the back less stable than the 65 when you back it heavier than 30lbs.

Either way, I'm sure he'll get fitted with the right pack, and who knows, maybe I'll purchase the one he decides not to get for myself and start doing some over-nighters with him this spring, in perparation...
Thanks for your input!
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Re: REI Flash 65vs. Flash 62

Postby markskor » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:07 pm

Just a few miscellaneous thoughts -
IMHO, a name-brand, well-made, size 58 - 65 liter pack seems optimum for 7 -10+ day Sierra type adventures. A good thru pack, a Muir pack, not UL but capable of carrying 35 - 40 pounds easily, the trick is that ~40 pounds up, comfortable, and under 4 pounds.

I carry the best gear for me, am Sierra prepared (for bugs and snow), self-contained - stove, tent, bearcan, and fishing gear, and spent years getting my kit together - stuff that works. With a loaded Bearikade, tickling 40 pounds all up stretches limits - both the carrying capacity of me and the pack - (Last summer, the only time I weighed anything full – 38 pounds – felt right…) When considering buying a new backpack, 35 pounds seems to be the comfort limit on many of today’s lighter 60-size packs… (Ask Mike.).

Your son is doing the Muir - kudos to him, hear it’s a nice hike.
Am impressed that he considered a size 62; most first-timers carry more – usually a lot more.
Realistically, with your son’s newness to the sport and gear budget, unless you have a gear-whore uncle with a killer loaner locker, he will exceed 35 pounds including his required bearcan. Thus 35 - 40 pounds with a can should be your in-store target weight. Suggest assembling all the other gear first – weighing everything - buying the pack last.

I like the report that the 65 carries weight, unsure about the 62 carrying 40 and a can.
Look at last year’s Atmos 65.
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Re: REI Flash 65vs. Flash 62

Postby Ross939 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:32 pm

markskor wrote:Just a few miscellaneous thoughts -
IMHO, a name-brand, well-made, size 58 - 65 liter pack seems optimum for 7 -10+ day Sierra type adventures. A good thru pack, a Muir pack, not UL but capable of carrying 35 - 40 pounds easily, the trick is that ~40 pounds up, comfortable, and under 4 pounds.

I carry the best gear for me, am Sierra prepared (for bugs and snow), self-contained - stove, tent, bearcan, and fishing gear, and spent years getting my kit together - stuff that works. With a loaded Bearikade, tickling 40 pounds all up stretches limits - both the carrying capacity of me and the pack - (Last summer, the only time I weighed anything full – 38 pounds – felt right…) When considering buying a new backpack, 35 pounds seems to be the comfort limit on many of today’s lighter 60-size packs… (Ask Mike.).

Your son is doing the Muir - kudos to him, hear it’s a nice hike.
Am impressed that he considered a size 62; most first-timers carry more – usually a lot more.
Realistically, with your son’s newness to the sport and gear budget, unless you have a gear-whore uncle with a killer loaner locker, he will exceed 35 pounds including his required bearcan. Thus 35 - 40 pounds with a can should be your in-store target weight. Suggest assembling all the other gear first – weighing everything - buying the pack last.

I like the report that the 65 carries weight, unsure about the 62 carrying 40 and a can.
Look at last year’s Atmos 65.


Thanks, Marskor. This is the kind of advice I've come here to seek. Still in the research stage of shopping for the pack, so the REI 62/65 aren't "set in stone", as of yet, but would like to be prepared to make a purchase by about March 1, so he can get some trail hiking experience in throughout the spring and early summer. I'd be lying to say that money is not object, I'm a working guy and truthfully looking to pinch every penny possible without jeopardizing his safety and comfort. Truth is, we haven't weighed out equipment, yet. He sat down last night and compiled a list of what he felt was necessity:

Backpack
One man tent
Sleeping bag
Sleeping pad
Tent groundcloth
Goose down jacket
Quick dry shirt (1, including the 1 worn)
Quick dry shorts (1, including the 1 worn)
Shoes or boots
2 Pairs Socks
Wool cap
Sun hat
Light weight rain jacket or poncho
Wool long Johns (1) (worn to sleep and under hiking shorts when whether demands it)
Headlamp
Sunglasses
Towel
Toothbrush
Toothpaste 1 oz
Floss
Liquid soap 1 oz
Bear Vault 500
Cook pot
Cup
Spoon
Can opener
Lighter
Stove
Trash bag (we have to hike out all our trash)
Very light weight fishing pole, 2 lb line, and fishing license.
Go-Pro camera (Not a necessity, but something he already owns, hopes to create documentary for school assignment next year.).

My bro is under the impression that this should come out to under 35lbs. You think this is within reason for such a hike?
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Re: REI Flash 65vs. Flash 62

Postby markskor » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:59 pm

Using your gear list – weights (in pounds) are only conservative estimates.
Backpack---------------------------------------------------------------------------------4 - 5
One man tent----------------------------------------------------------------------------2 - 3
Sleeping bag------------------------------------------------------------------------------2 - 3
Sleeping pad------------------------------------------------------------------------------1
Tent groundcloth----------------------------------------------------------------------------.2
Goose down jacket------------------------------------------------------------------------1.5
2 Pairs Socks- Wool cap- Light weight rain jacket or poncho--------------------------1
Wool long Johns (worn to sleep and when weather demands it)-------------------------.5
Headlamp………………………………………………---------------------------------------------------.2
Sunglasses- Towel- Toothbrush – Toothpaste - TP – duct tape – super glue,
Floss- Aspirin, sunscreen, Liquid soap, needle and thread, bug juice------------------1
Aqua mura/ water filter------------------------------------------------------------------ .2 - .8
Bear Vault 500 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------3
Cook pot- Cup- Spoon- Can opener, lighter, book, maps, compass-------------------1
Stove + fuel/canister --------------------------------------------------------------------1
Fishing pole, reel, extra spool, lures, flies, bobbers, hemostats and fishing license--1 - 2
Go-Pro camera --------------------------------------------------------------------------------.5
Longest re-supply - 100 miles = 8 -10 days with a few zero days…..1.5 lbs/day minimum
+ candy + drink mix---------------------------------------------------------------15+ pounds

My bro is under the impression that this should come out to under 35lbs. You think this is within reason for such a hike?

Possible but with good food…looks closer to 40.
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Re: REI Flash 65vs. Flash 62

Postby sparky » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:21 pm

You can save quite a bit of $ and get lightweight clothing at army surplus stores & walmart. You can also buy used gear from places like backpacking light and gear trade.

Listen to mark.....get the pack last.
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
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REI Flash 65vs. Flash 62

Postby Ross939 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:58 pm

Markskor, thanks very much for the list break down. It makes it easy to see how things really start adding up. I'm inclined to agree that he's looking closer to 40 lbs than 30. I thought he was going pretty bare bones, but I think he might need to trim an item or two keep it in the 30-35 range. We'll experiment with gear on some smaller hikes this spring, hopefully we'll find the right combination.


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Re: REI Flash 65vs. Flash 62

Postby cloudlesssky » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:03 pm

My gear list from last years JMT is attached (MS Excel format). I used a Osprey Exos 58 (which is about 62L in the large size).

Lightweight Gear List JMT for upload.xls
JMT Gear List 2012
(36 KiB) Downloaded 47 times


This is the perfect time of year to gear up. Keep your options open and the shopping list ready. The sales are just starting and you can also watch ebay for some good deals. For example I bought the BA Flycreek tent new for under $200 by just watching ebay for a week or so. You can also get last years cast-offs from "gear-o-philes" for a song (sometimes).
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Re: REI Flash 65vs. Flash 62

Postby Baffman » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:08 am

I used a 65 for two seasons. I ripped the waist belt stitching by pulling too tight and REI replaced it with a 62. All I really wanted was to have them stitch it up. It was my fault. I haven't used the 62 yet, but it seems pretty darn similar. For $80 I'd probably use the 65 since I know I like it. Great idea to try them both in the store though. Also, how often will he use the pack? It might make sense to save the money.
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