As I build out my fastpack, I’ve been trying to find the best (and most cost effective) gear to stuff it with. One of the most important pieces of any backpacker or fastpacker’s kits is a sleeping bag.

After reading a number of reviews, conducting some comparisons of my own based on weight and lower limit temperature ratings, it became apparent to me that the REI Flash was a hell of a good deal.

I bought the regular length, which is just fine for my 5’6″ frame. In fact, I just laid down on my bed in this bag and honestly couldn’t lay there much longer than the few minutes I did in my temperature controlled apartment. I seriously started to sweat!

This bag is unique compared to others I considered, primarily because it has 700-fill duck down on the topside of the bag, and a thinner synthetic layer on the bottom, which reduces weight and bulk.

I’m planning on using this for cowboy camping or tarp tent camping soon, and eventually I’d like to test out hammock camping with it. I’d be interested to see how it holds up in a hammock with the backside elevated and exposed to wind and cool air. I imagine I will need to use a sleeping pad inside the hammock to block the elements, but time will tell.

Here are some stats about the REI Flash Sleeping Bag:

Best Use FASTPACKING
EN Lower Limit 29 degrees Fahrenheit
EN Comfort 41 degrees Fahrenheit
Temperature Rating (F) 29 degrees Fahrenheit
Temperature Rating (C) -1.7 degrees Celsius
Weight
Long Left
1 lb. 12 oz. ounces
Regular Left
1 lb. 10 oz. ounces
Ultralight Yes
Shell Ripstop nylon
Zipper Location Left
Insulation Type Down, with synthetic bottom fill
Water-Resistant Down Yes
Fill 700-fill duck down (top) and PrimaLoft Sport (bottom)
Fill Weight
Long Left
10.1 ounces
Regular Left
9.3 ounces
Lining Nylon taffeta (super comfy)
Sleeping Bag Shape Mummy
Fits Up To (in.)
Long Left
78 inches
Regular Left
72 inches
Shoulder Girth (in.)
Long Left
60 inches
Regular Left
60 inches
Hip Girth (in.)
Long Left
55 inches
Regular Left
55 inches
Stuff Sack Size 7.5 x 15 inches
Stuff Sack Volume 11 liters
Compressed Volume
Long Left
3.7 liters
Regular Left
3.1 liters
Gender Unisex

Here are some photos of the bag in its various sacks:

REI Flash Sleeping Bag in Cotton Sack

Here is the bag in the cotton storage sack it comes in. The cotton sack allows the down to maintain its loft, so it doesn’t compress when not in use.

This is the bag in the stuff sack it comes with. Measures about 17″ long and 7″ wide

This is the bag in a Sea to Summit compression sack (uncompressed) You can save some space in your backpack by using a different stuff sack than the one it comes with. This measures about 15″ long and 6″ long before compression.

This is the bag in the Sea to Summit compression sack (compressed). Hard to get an exact read on the measurement in this photo, but in real life it is packed down to 7″ long and 6″ wide. That’s a lot of saved space in your pack compared to 17″ x 7″ in the REI stuff sack

Lots of good things to be said so far for this bag, but the true review will be upcoming when I give a proper go in the wilderness. Stay tuned for that review.