Product Review: REI Co-Op Spring Camp Gear

This spring REI is offering it’s members an exclusive incentive of 20% off one full-priced item and an extra 20% off on an REI Outlet item if you are an REI Co-Op member. As big REI fans we were asked to pick out a few new products to test on a fishing/sailing trip down to the Florida Keys. Sleeping on a sailboat, the first product we asked for was the new Magma Trail Quilt 30.

If you are spending 4 nights on a sailboat in the Keys, it’s important to have a comfortable sleeping situation, and the Magma Trail Quilt did just that. What we enjoyed most about this product was its ability to breathe in warmer conditions on the boat – since it’s a quilt style bag I was able to adjust the bag to the different temperatures throughout each night.

The quilt features an 850-fill power goose down shell with a water repellent finish – perfect for adventures when you might get a little wet.

On this trip, we spent our mornings on a flats boat working with the Bonefish Tarpon Trust crew on fish sampling and tagging and in the afternoons we would hike around local flats in search of tailing bonefish and hungry barracuda. We looked for a backpack that could fit a bunch of our gear, would work well on longer hikes, and could also breathe well in warmer conditions. When talking with REI they told us about their new Flash – 45 backpack, they said this would be the perfect, lightweight backpack for the trip we were taking.

Our first impressions of the bag were it’s appealing look – we asked for the pumpkin orange color bag and it came out awesome in photos with the blue and green backgrounds of the Florida Keys. REI sent us the Medium bag which is a 45 Liter bag, and it fit all of our gear perfectly with extra space if we were spending additional days off the boat. The bag is simple with one large deep pocket that holds most of your gear, but it’s also very well equipped with ample side pockets for water bottles, extra rods, rain shells, and smaller items like wallets and keys… The 3D contoured hip belt and ventilated back panel were perfect for the sunny afternoon hikes – and the quick pull drawstring on the bag allowed for quick access to contents in the pack – This was especially helpful when we needed to change flies last minute.

Overall we were really impressed with the backpack. There were definitely times where having a fully waterproof bag on this trip would have been helpful, but other waterproof options are twice the weight and half the comfort. We are excited to bring this bag out west – where it will definitely come in handy on longer hikes into high mountain streams.

During our evenings in the keys, we would take the Canoe to a hidden beach and grill up some local seafood. In the bottom of our backpack, we were carrying around the new Flexlite Air Char, weighing in at a mere 1 pound, we didn’t even remember we had the chair in our backpack, but when it was time to have a few beers by the campfire the chair definitely came in handy. Easy set-up and very comfortable, especially considering its size and packability!

We had a blast testing out these new REI Co-Op products, and it’s clear they invested a lot of time and resources into designing these products, not only are they innovative, but they look great and were extremely functional for this recent trip down to the keys. Head to REI and take advantage of their Member Exclusive event valid through April 8th.

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