Three REI Hiking Backpacks for Spring

REI hiking backpacks featured image

If you feel like you’ve been trapped inside on your own hibernation cycle for the winter, it’s time to leave the nest and venture forth. But in order to do so, you must be properly equipped. So let’s take a look at three REI hiking backpacks for spring adventures. Impact-Site-Verification: e7c25143-2ccb-4331-b60a-ddb46df7c523

We love spring hiking! Snow is melting, flowers are blooming, and the weather is gorgeous. Our favorite critters are coming out of their dens and enjoying the fresh warmth of the spring sun. So here are a few new REI hiking backpacks to inspire you to get out on the trail this spring.

The REI Co-op Flash 22 Pack

REI hiking backpacks Flash 22
REI Flash 22 Front

This ultralight, frameless, nylon design weighs only 14.5 ounces when empty, but boasts a total capacity of 22-liters or 1,343 cubic inches when full. For reference, that is roughly equivalent to 2.5 bowling balls! The Flash 22 Men’s Pack is best suited for males with a waist size between 26 and 42 inches and torso measurement between 16 and 19 inches.

The Flash 22 offers top access, with zippered pockets on the lid and front providing access to your pack’s contents. The mesh back is lightly padded for ultimate comfort and breathable enough to keep you cool on even the warmest of spring days. To provide flexibility, the Flash 22 was designed with a removable hip belt and sternum strap. Use them if they’re comfy. Stow them in the drawer at home if you prefer!

The Flash 22 is also hydration compatible and boasts a port that allows you to route the sip tube over either shoulder, although appropriately-sized reservoirs are sold separately.

Two stash side pockets give you access to a water bottle and other trail essentials, and built-in tool loops on the top and bottom of the pack allow you to carry those last few items you weren’t able to fit inside the pack. When it comes to lightweight daypacks, the Flash 22 is easily one of REI’s best designs!

REI hiking backpacks Flash 22 Back
REI Flash 22 Back

The REI Co-op Trail 25 Pack


REI hiking backpacks Trail 25
REI Trail 25 Women’s Open

The REI Co-op Trail 25 Women’s Pack boasts an internal frame and durable nylon construction. With a total capacity of 25-liters or 1,525 cubic inches, you’ll be ready to effectively organize roughly the equivalent of 40 Starbucks Venti Iced Teas (or coffees, whatever your preference)! Because it weighs only 1 pound, 9 ounces when empty, filling this pack with all the essentials will still leave you with a pretty light load!

The Trail 25 Women’s pack is designed to fit waist sizes from 28 to 40 inches and torso sizes from 17 to 19 inches. The total dimensions of this pack are 18 x 12.25 x 8.875 inches. The Trail 25 boasts a U-shaped front zippered panel that folds open to provide easy access to gear and the built-in sleeve made to accommodate your appropriately-sized hydration reservoir.

REI has tailored this backpack with a women-specific fit utilizing contoured foam built into the harness and waist belt. They’ve also designed this pack with a removable waistbelt and compatibility to attach an REI Trail 2 Waistpack for additional storage, although this item is sold separately.

The Trail 25 boasts a number of other features, including special fasteners on the back to hold trekking poles and an outer pocket with soft lining for phones or sunglasses. The comfort and ease of this pack, however, are what will have you feeling lighter than ever during your next spring adventure!

REI hiking backpacks Trail 25 womens
REI Trail 25 Women’s Pack Front

The REI Co-op Flash 18

The “National Park Pack”

REI Hiking backpacks Flash 18 National Park Pack
REI Flash 18 National Park Pack

If you want to turn heads and show your pride in America’s National Park system this spring, the REI Co-op Flash 18 National Park Pack is the ultralight, frameless daypack for YOU! The Limited Edition design of this pack is actually inspired by real National Park maps that trace actual park routes, some of which are more than 100 years in the making.

The National Park Pack is engineered using 140-denier ripstop nylon fabric with weather-resistant polyurethane coating. It boasts a total capacity of 18-liters or 1,100 cubic inches, which is roughly the equivalent of 100 tennis balls! If you aren’t anticipating a run on tennis balls anytime soon, imagine what else you’ll be able to bring along on your next spring adventure!

The Flash 18 National Park Pack is also reversible! Turn it inside out and you’ve got a stuff sack to conveniently organize gear around base camp. The pack’s removable back panel doubles as a sit pad and the removable hip belt and sternum strap make this pack extremely customizable.

But perhaps the best part about purchasing your very own National Park pack today is that 5% of the proceeds from your purchase will go back to support our national parks!

A Bonus REI Hiking Backpack For The Kids

REI Tarn 18 Backpack

REI hiking backpacks Tarn 18
REI Tarn 18

We just couldn’t resist! REI boasts too many awesome packs to limit this post to just three. So, we’ve included a bonus pack review for your reading pleasure. The REI Co-op Tarn 18 Pack is great for kids ages 8 to 12. With an 18-liter capacity and durable nylon construction, it’s the perfect pack for encouraging the kids to carry their own gear!

This frameless backpack weighs only 17 ounces when empty. It’s compatible with hydration reservoirs up to about 1.5 liters in size and also boasts two easily accessed water bottle pockets on either side of the pack. The pack’s adjustable shoulder straps and the hip belt will help your young adventurers stay comfortable on those full-day excursions and they can keep their favorite snacks handy in the pockets included in the hip belt.

Perhaps best of all, the Tarn 18 comes with three main pockets: the large zippered compartment, zippered front pocket, and front stuff pocket, which provides great storage space for any items that your kids want to have quick access to.

In addition, an internal pocket gives kids a place to store items that are most sensitive and best kept safe and dry in the event of a little inclement weather. Overall, the Tarn 18 is a great pack for young explorers looking for the same comfort as the Tarn 12, but who’ve graduated to needing a bit more storage space!

Happy Trails To Spring Adventurers!

We hope you’re as excited to hit the trail this spring as we are! There’s no better way to break the sometimes stagnant cycle of winter and launch into a new season of adventure and exploration. Don’t forget, when you shop at REI, you’re earning dividends for future purposes. Future you will thank you!

About The Backpack Guide

the backpack guide - rei adventures 2020
The Backpack Guide on the John Muir Trail

At The Backpack Guide, we’re always looking for new trails and wildernesses to explore. We’re also excited to see and share photos of our readers with their new backpacks. Please don’t hesitate to share your latest adventure or backpack purchase with us on social media by tagging @thebackpackguide on Instagram and Facebook!

As always, please leave any questions, comments, or concerns below and we hope you enjoyed the information we’ve presented here for you today!

Other Resources From The Backpack Guide

I’d also like to kindly invite you to check out the other content on my site. That includes Hiking Tips and Trails and my Outdoor Gear page with reviews on water filters, tents, hiking shoes, trekking poles, and more. Also, you might enjoy my Backpack Reviews if you’re in need of a new pack, which includes brands like Kelty, REI, and Gregory. 

Finally, my YouTube Channel is full of informative video content if you’re not really into reading! I do receive a commission on purchases made through the affiliate links on this website. Those earnings go directly back into my efforts to produce more informative content for my readers!

See you on the Mountain!

The Backpack Guide


  1. Marketa

    Hi there and thanks for your informative article

    Im interested in the kids backpack but wanted to know if it came in different colours? 

    I have five kids ranging in age from 7 to 16. From what you say, the older two would probably be best with a women’s backpack but the younger three would all need the kids one. It would be good if we could distinguish who’s is who’s at a glance 

    These will definitely make great Christmas presents as we’ll certainly be getting some hiking in over the summer break! 

    1. Post
      Tucker Ballister

      Hi Marketa! The Tarn 18 Kid’s Pack does come in two different colors. For your older kids, I’d recommend looking through some of the other women’s and men’s packs that I’ve reviewed on the site. Also, check out the Fitting Guide I put together to learn a little about finding the right size packs for your kiddos. Hope that’s all helpful! 

  2. Henderson

    It’s not yet spring but it is very important to prepare before time and that is what this is. A very important preparation. I think that you have given some very good criteria to look into before buying into anything. This is very nice. Thanks for this awesome information nav when I went through the list of bags you have, I liked the The REI Co-op Trail 25 Pack. When I’m ready to buy, I’ll go for that.

    1. Post
      Tucker Ballister

      Thanks Henderson! I’d love to hear about your experience with the Trail 25 Pack once you purchase it. Be sure to come on back and leave your thoughts in a comment or send me a direct email. Thanks! 

  3. Ann

    Hi! This internal frame in the REI Co-op Trail 25 Pack is so important, in my book. I have used quite a few backpacks in my life and I think I know how to distinguish what will be a good backpack from one that won’t do so well. And the REI Co-op Trail 25 Pack has caught my attention. The total dimensions are just perfect for me! Thank you so much!

    1. Post
      Tucker Ballister

      You are absolutely welcome Ann! I agree with you on the comfort and convenience of internal frames. Which backpack are you currently rocking, for curiosity’s sake?! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.