REI Co-Op Flash 3 Tent Overview

REI Flash 3 Tent Review

The REI Flash 3 is a freestanding, double-wall 3-person tent that’s light-weight and compact sufficient for backpacking however spacious sufficient for automotive tenting. Whereas REI charges it for 3 folks, I believe it’s on the small dimension for 3 full-grown adults until your third companion is a canine or a small baby. The place it actually shines is as a 2-personal palace with an infinite quantity of ceiling mesh for air flow and stargazing, with loads of additional room to unfold out. Along with its beneficiant size, good for tall folks, the close to vertical facet and finish partitions on the Flash 3 present higher livability for occupants than the sloped partitions of many dome-shaped tents.

Specs at a Look

  • Greatest Use: Backpacking and Tenting
  • Kind: Double Wall
  • Construction: Freestanding Tent
  • Doorways: 2
  • Variety of Poles: 3
  • Inside pockets: 4
  • Claimed Minimal Path Weight: 3 lbs 7.6 oz
  • Precise Minimal Path Weight: 3 lbs 11.8 oz (Interior Tent and Rainfly: 41.5 oz) (Poles (3): 18.3 oz)
  • Most pole phase size: 18″
  • Precise Interior Tent Dimensions: 85 x 68/61 (L x W head/foot) inches
  • Peak Peak: 42″
  • Precise Packed dimensions (in stuff sack supplied): 19″ x 7″
  • Seam-taped: Sure
  • Footprint: Not included.
  • Minimal variety of stakes to pitch: 6; Beneficial: 8-9
  • Material: 20D Ripstop nylon

The REI Flash 3 is a light-weight, freestanding double-wall tent with two doorways and two vestibules. It has an enormous expanse of mesh making it excellent for stargazing whereas offering wonderful air flow when used with or with out its rain fly. Totally seam-taped, the partial facet and end-walls present additional privateness, wind, and mud safety whereas the big doorways allow easy accessibility and exit.

Nevertheless, the Flash 3’s head and foot finish widths of 68″/61″ inches, make it decidedly slim for 3 full-grown adults. When you may match three x twenty-inch large sleeping pads facet by facet within the inside tent, it truly is a decent squeeze. You’d most likely be much more snug utilizing the Flash 3 as an expensive two-person tent with a canine or small baby as a 3rd companion.

The inner tent is a palace for two with abundant ventilation.
The inside tent is a palace for 2 with considerable air flow.

The Flash 3 comes with three poles which slot into color-coordinated man out factors. So as to save weight and make the tent extra packable, the REI selected to not join all of the poles along with a number of hubs, which is usually the case with different tent producers. The draw back of that is that it makes the tent a bit extra difficult to arrange and may result in a misplaced pole until you’re cautious to maintain monitor of all of them when breaking down the tent.

REI chose not to connect all the poles with hubs on this tent, because hubs tend to increase packed size.
REI selected to not join all of the poles with hubs on this tent as a result of they have a tendency to extend packed dimension.

Whereas not tough to pitch, it takes a follow session or two to determine tips on how to arrange the Flash 3 and is finest performed in your yard a couple of instances earlier than you try and determine it out with a accomplice within the subject, significantly in the event you’re attempting to impress them together with your outside expertise. There are instructions included within the tent’s stuff sack, though you possibly can determine it out with sufficient persistence. 🙂

While the tent is freestanding it is so large that you need to stake it out.
Whereas the tent is freestanding it’s so giant that you might want to stake it out.

Whereas the inside tent is technically freestanding, it’s giant sufficient and underneath sufficient structural pressure that you need to stake out the corners once you set it up. The rainfly snaps into the corners of the inside tent, so that you simply want one stake in every nook for each. Nonetheless, I’d encourage you so as to add a couple of additional guylines alongside the fly perimeter for stability in wind and to maximise the inner quantity.

There are pockets in the mesh above the back wall.
There are pockets within the mesh above the again wall (the head-end)

Not like a dome tent, there’s a distinct directionality to the Flash 3, with a head finish and a foot finish. Whereas the tent has an infinite quantity of inner quantity, it doesn’t have quite a lot of pockets inside, or the place you’d anticipate finding them. For instance, there aren’t any pockets on the within of the doorways and no gear loft pockets within the ceiling. There are 4 mesh pockets on the again wall of the tent on the junction between the strong material and the mesh wall, however they’re a bit excessive as much as comfortably attain in the event you’re mendacity in your sleeping bag.

There’s sufficient inner quantity, nonetheless, to retailer quite a lot of gear contained in the tent, however the Flash 3 is decidedly mild on the subject of the frills discovered on different tents of this quantity just like the Large Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3 or the NEMO DragonFly OSMO 3P.  The Flash 3 is inexpensive for that motive, so that you’ll must determine whether or not the added options in these tents are definitely worth the value distinction.

The rainfly is scooped to increase airflow and decrease fabric weight
The rainfly is scooped to extend airflow and reduce material weight

Whereas the rainfly covers the inside tent mesh, it doesn’t present full protection over the ends of the inside tent however is scooped to allow higher airflow inside. The uncovered partitions of the inside tent are as waterproof because the fly, so there’s no internet loss in performance. NEMO was actually the primary tent producer to include this scoop design broadly throughout their product line and its been adopted by different producers since. It additionally helps scale back the load of the rainfly as a result of there’s much less material required.

As talked about, the Flash 3 is a two-door tent with two vestibules which is a must have for consolation when tenting with two or extra folks. The Flash’s vestibules are giant with loads of room to stow a backpack. The doorways have bi-directional zippers so you possibly can partially unzip one from the highest down or backside up, even in dangerous climate, to extend air flow by the tent with a view to offset any condensation formation.

Comparable 3-Individual Tents


Whereas the REI Flash 3 is offered as a three-person tent, it’s most likely finest thought of a excessive quantity 2+ particular person tent with area sufficient for 2 adults and a younger baby or canine. Certainly one of its fundamental advantages is a comparatively small pack dimension as a result of the truth that its poles usually are not packaged collectively in a single large multi-hubbed array, however damaged aside so that they take up much less quantity. Whereas it doesn’t have quite a lot of inner pockets and options discovered on dearer tents, its size, vertical facet partitions, and enormous mesh ceiling provide occupants a extra spacious feeling of inside quantity and star-gazing potential than most comparable dome-shaped three-person tents.

Disclosure: The creator owns this tent.

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