Flat heat pipes having mesh capillaries were investigated experimentally in this study. An apparatus was designed to test thermal performance of plate type copper water heat pipe having one or two layers of #50 or #80 mesh capillary structures with 5 to 50 W heat input. The working fluid, water, is charged in volumes equivalent to 25%, 33%, or 50% of the internal space. In addition to horizontal orientation, heat pipes were tested with the evaporator section elevated up to 40 degree inclination angle. Temperature distribution of the heat pipe was measured, and the evaporator, adiabatic and condensation resistances were calculated separately. The effects of mesh size, charge volume fraction, and inclination angle on thermal resistance were discussed. In general, the #80 mesh yielded lower thermal resistance than the #50 mesh. Inclination angle has a more significant effect on condenser than evaporator. Analysis of evaporation and condensation in flat heat pipes was conducted and semi-empirical correlations were derived. The present evaporation correlation predicts evaporation resistance between −20% and +30%, and the condensation correlation predicts most condensation resistance data within ±30% for 25% and 33% charge volume fraction.