All of REI’s new spring gear just hit the website and a large chunk of it is dedicated to lightweight backpacking. Taking on feedback from the co-op’s avid backpacking community, REI re-designed tents, packs, sleeping bags, poles, and even chairs to cater to the fast and light set.
The new lightweight backpacking gear centers around the updated Flash pack for men and women. Weighing less than 3 pounds, the 45 ($159) and 55-liter packs ($199) are light and efficient and offer a high degree of personalization options.
Featuring a removable hipbelt and shoulder strap pocket, and a removable top lid, the Flash 55 can be stripped down to drop additional weight, or fully-featured and endlessly configured. Both the 45 and 55-liter packs feature compression straps that can be easily repositioned to secure the pack contents.
The compact, lightweight, and packable Flexlite Air Chair is a brand-new comfortable addition to the co-op’s popular series of Flexlite chairs. It weighs 1 pound so easy to carry on any backpacking trip, costs less than $100, and can hold up to 250 pounds.
This spring, REI also adds a new super lightweight (SL) tent design to its Quarter Dome series. Starting at 1 pound 15 ounces, and offering vertical sidewalls for added livability, the new semi-freestanding Quarter Dome SL 1 ($279) is the lightest-weight tent REI makes, and a Quarter Dome SL two-person SL 2 ($319, 2 pounds 8 ounces) is also available.
The Magma sleeping bag series for men and women has also been updated to cover a broader temperature range with 15-degree ($369) and 30-degree ($319) bags now available. These lightweight compressible sleeping bags are stuffed with 850-fill-power goose down to keep you warm while keeping weight to a minimum. The Magma Trail Quilt 30 ($299) is designed for those who prefer to pack even less. The quilt attaches directly to a pad for a comfortable night’s sleep.
And finally, REI added a new style to its carbon trekking pole line with an easy to deploy folding trekking pole, the Flash Folding Trekking Poles ($149). Available in four sizes, and starting at 13.5 ounces, these ultralight poles help minimize trail weight without sacrificing sturdiness.