REI Flash Air 1 Tent Overview

REI Flash Air 1 Tent Review

The REI Flash Air 1 Tent (new in 2023) is a single-wall ultralight pyramid-shaped tent with a deep bathtub flooring and a big entrance vestibule. Weighing 27.2 oz / g, it’s an reasonably priced ($299) ultralight trekking pole tent (optionally available pole included) designed for backpacking that’s fairly livable, spacious – even for tall individuals, and wind worthy. The setup may be very easy because the vestibule and inside tent are joined collectively, the tent has glorious air flow and is effectively appointed with line loc tensioners within the corners to get a taut pitch.

REI utterly botched the Flash Air 1 product description on its web site, apparently chopping and pasting the descriptions of a number of tents collectively, so I hope you’ll discover this assessment clarifying. I actually suppose the Flash Air 1 is a reasonably nifty shelter and I actually like the truth that it’s competitively priced so that individuals and not using a belief fund can afford it. Ultralight backpacking was by no means meant to be costly and elitist and I’m appalled that it’s develop into simply that.

Specs at a look

  • Dimension: 1 individual
  • Kind: Single-wall
  • Structural: Trekking Pole Tent (optionally available pole included)
  • Precise Minimal Path Weight: 1 lb 11.2 oz (optionally available pole provides 2.3 oz extra)
  • Minimal variety of stakes to pitch: 6
  • Doorways: 1
  • Precise Bathtub Flooring Dimensions: 85″ x 35/27″ (L x W head/foot) inches
  • Vestibule Quantity: 8.4 sq ft
  • Peak Top:42 inches
  • Seam-taped: Sure
  • Cloth: 20D ripstop nylon
  • Hydrostatic head: NA
The Flash Air 1 has a pyramid shaped tarp that covers a rectangular shaped bathtub floor
The Flash Air 1 has a pyramid-shaped tarp that covers a rectangular-shaped (technically a trapezoid) bathtub flooring

The REI Flash Air 1 has a pyramid-shaped rainfly and a rectangular-shaped bathtub flooring (though the pinnacle finish is wider than the foot finish). The 2 are linked internally by slender mesh panels, though the rainfly extends out previous the tub flooring partitions creating further awnings which are deeply curved (referred to as catenary curves) to enhance wind worthiness and save weight.

The rainfly overhands the bathtub floor and has deeply curved edges for improved wind performance.
The rainfly overhands the tub flooring and has deeply curved edges for improved wind efficiency.

I’ve examined this tent in 30 mph wind and whereas I did add a couple of further guylines to take care of the rain fly quantity, it did remarkably effectively. The rain fly might use a couple of extra gear loops for further guylines on its extra expansive rear panels and seams which catch the wind, however their absence is not at all a showstopper.

The tent comes with an optionally available middle pole (2.3 oz) measuring 47″ (119.4 cm) which could be changed with a trekking pole. The deal with of a trekking pole suits into the bolstered peak, whereas the sharp finish suits right into a grommet on the entrance midpoint of the tub flooring. It’s a really safe and structurally sturdy setup. When you decide to make use of the included middle pole (coloured black), it has 4 shock-corded segments, with a most section size of 12″.

The back corners are supported by 16" aluminum struts.
The again corners of the tub flooring are supported by 16″ aluminum struts.

The inner bathtub flooring requires a bit extra rationalization. It’s wider on the head and narrows on the foot, however with these dimensions: 85″ x 35/27″ (we feature a tape measure to make our personal measurements), it’s large sufficient and lengthy sufficient to carry a large sleeping pad or a tall individual with loads of further flooring area for inner gear storage.

The back corners are supported by short aluminum segments. Note the mesh joining the bathtub floor to the pyramid rainfly.
One other view of the again struts. Notice the mesh becoming a member of the tub flooring to the pyramid rainfly.

The again wall of the interior bathtub flooring is taller than the entrance wall, to dam chilly wind and dirt from blowing beneath the prolonged awnings. The corners of the again wall are augmented with 16″ aluminum poles to create distinct corners and hold the again from collapsing. The design of those corners is paying homage to the “pitch-locs” that the corporate Tarptent makes use of on lots of their tents for a similar goal. There’s no must take away these 16″ poles from the tent corners when packing the tent (though you’ll be able to) and I’d advocate leaving them alone.

These nook aluminum poles have one other profit, which is that they improve the gap between your face and the rain fly. That is usually a problem with steeply angled pyramid-shaped tents and tarps (usually referred to as “mids” – quick for pyramids) the place the fly passes just some inches above your face and the tops of your toes. These nook struts deal with this subject by creating extra quantity and distance between you and the rain fly.

There’s plenty of volume over your head.
There’s loads of quantity over your head.

It’s value mentioning that the 16″ pole size of the nook struts gained’t match horizontally in some backpacks, which is one thing to contemplate when you insist on packing your tent horizontally in your backpack. A most nook pole section size of 12″ or 13″ would have made the Flash Air 1 extra appropriate with a bigger variety of backpacks, notably ultralight backpacks, the place pack width tends to be narrower.

The front vestibule provides a lot of gear storage space.
The entrance vestibule supplies a variety of gear cupboard space.

Once you zipper the entrance vestibule closed, it creates a really giant cupboard space in entrance of the tent, for any gear you don’t wish to deliver inside. It’s a one-way zipper, so you’ll be able to’t go away the highest open like a transom for extra airflow, however there’s a peak vent with a kickstand to assist launch moisture, notably out of your breath, or when you deliver moist gear inside with you.

Rear view: the tent has extra guy out points on the seams but not the panels.
Rearview: the tent has further man out factors on the seams however not the panels.

If you’d like, you’ll be able to open the left or proper facet of the vestibule and there are tiebacks on both facet to safe them. My recommendation is to tie one of many further reflective guylines that include the tent to the loop on the apex of the rainfly, so you’ll be able to roll again either side of the door and have one facet of the tent utterly open, with simply the entrance mesh for insect safety. That is my favourite truthful climate configuration.

For further credit score, you may additionally wish to add a Zpacks double hook equipment to the doorways, which helps you to use one guyline connected to the apex, to roll again the left vestibule door, the proper one, or each on the similar time with out having to re-stake the doorways individually.

The tent is easy to enter and exit, although using a foam sitpad as a doormat under the vestibule make sit easier on your knees.
The tent is straightforward to enter and exit, though utilizing a foam sit pad as a doormat beneath the vestibule makes it simpler in your knees.

A couple of extra particulars:

  • The rainfly has fairly a couple of further man out loops sewn into the seams, however none on the bigger panels. These can be useful in excessive wind to assist keep the inside quantity.
  • When establishing the tent, the corners of the tub flooring have fixed-length traces, whereas the corners of the rainfly have line loc tensioners. You need to use one stake for each traces, however some re-staking could also be crucial.
  • The top finish of the mesh has two facet pockets sized to carry electronics or private gadgets.


The REI Flash Air 1 is an ultralight trekking pole tent that weighs 27.2 oz and is made with extra standard supplies (ripstop nylon) to maintain its worth affordable. The inside of the tent is sort of giant, with loads of area above the pinnacle and toes and alongside the perimeters. It has a large vestibule for gear storage and glorious air flow for a single-wall tent when you can hold the vestibule partially open. The tent units up quick as a result of the rainfly and bathtub flooring are all one piece so you are able to do it within the rain with out getting the inside drenched.

There actually aren’t that many aggressive tents to the Flash Air 1, when you solely think about single-wall tents, made with extra standard supplies, and never Dyneema DCF:

  • The Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo (26 oz) is its closest competitor. Made with low-stretch siliconized polyester, it’s additionally a single-pole, single-wall tent with good air flow, however has considerably much less climate safety as a result of its flooring isn’t as deep. $260.
  • The Gossamer Gear “The One” (17.7 oz) is a spacious single-wall tent with a two-pole design. Made with Sil/PU coated cloth, it additionally has much less room above the pinnacle and foot ends in comparison with the Flash Air 1. $299.25
  • The Durston Gear X-Mid 1 (28 oz) is a double-wall tent requiring 2 tent poles to arrange that’s made with low-stretch siliconized polyester. Whereas it additionally has loads of non-screened cupboard space, the inside is relatively cramped. $240.

Disclosure: REI donated a tent for assessment.

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