Cycle Touring Pack

REI Flash Pack
REI Flash Pack

Tested a new pack I purchased at REI. It is called a Flash Pack made for climbing but I am trying it for cycle touring too. It is a super light-weight pack that can be cinched tighter by adding a 5 foot piece of shock cord threaded through the two gear loop chains (thanx to Erik Werner for this tip). When clinched up, the pack is tube-shaped, doesn’t flop around, and hides behind your spine without being a wind drag while riding. When un-clinched, the pack is large enough to haul a couple of days of groceries back to your campsite. The other modification I would make is to cut off the waist belt, the extra straps are not needed as the pack has a pretty good shoulder straps system. The Flash can also hold a hydration bag.
I am hoping to use this pack on multi-day, self-support cycling tours along with a trunk bag over my bike’s rear wheel. If the pack is turned-inside-out, it becomes a stuff bag. I think I can carry about 2-2.5 pounds in this pack without being cumbersome or noticeable on your back while riding. When not cycling, it folds up very flat and is not bulky to store. I can also use it for climbing or on Euro ferratas days. The best thing about the REI Flash pack is it only costs $29!