ProView – Rab Solar 3 32°
The Solar 3 sleeping bag from Rab is the perfect multi-season bag for weekends in the woods. From backpacking to car camping and everything in between, I can truly say it has become my go-to sleeping bag. When I say everything in between, I mean it. I’ve used it for drive-in movies, fire lookouts and sleeping in the back of my open cab truck in the Alvord Desert during a dust storm. Each time I stayed cozy, warm and protected from the elements.
Rab Solar 3 32°
Product Description: A resilient sleep system that excels in changeable conditions, the Solar 3 Sleeping Bag is well-suited to regular campaign and backpacking. Like the rest of the Solar range, the Solar 3 Sleeping Bag uses a 20D ripstop polyester outer with a soft polyester lining and Stratus™ synthetic fill. This lightweight and breathable recycled polyester sheet insulation has excellent temperature regulation and quick-drying properties, making it ideal for all-night comfort in damp or unreliable conditions. The Solar 3 also features a differential cut with blanket base and shingled upper construction to optimise thermal efficiency, plus a snug internal draft collar to keep the cold at bay.
Offer price: $140 MSRP
The Solar 3 is a lightweight, quick-drying sleeping bag that is great for multi-season backpacking and car camping.
- Quick drying for multi-season camping.
- The regular size is slightly too big for petite body types
Most summer weekends you can find me sleeping in my tent or the back of my truck at a trailhead in order to get an alpine start for my trail run. I tested the Solar 3 in a number of different sleeping environments and while they were all moderate in terms of weather (no snow or freezing temps) I did deal with some moisture due to the open-air camping at around 6,000 feet. Sleeping with no cover meant the bag was a bit damp when I woke up (which is to be expected) and I was worried about how long it would take to dry before I could stuff it back in the sack. I was pleasantly surprised that by the time I had finished making coffee and brushing my teeth the bag was completely dry and ready to go. I also took the Solar 3 out on a multi-day backpacking trip through the Obsidian Zone in the Three Sisters Wilderness. While there was still snow on the ground, temperatures did not get below freezing. The bag kept me warm throughout the night and it was so cozy that I decided to keep it on while sipping coffee in my camp chair the next morning. I also used the sleeping bag in the back of my truck during a dust storm in the Alvord Desert. It only took a few shakes to disperse the dirt piled on top and the bag was as good as new!
My favorite feature by far was the internal stash pocket. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up to a dead phone because it was too cold in the tent and drained my battery. I used the internal stash pocket of the sleeping bag to hold my phone and my body heat kept it warm throughout the night. No dead battery! I also used the internal stash pocket to hold my keys as I’m always paranoid that I’ll lose them while out backpacking.
I chose to test the regular size sleeping bag from Rab. This is their smallest size bag and as a 5’4” 120lb person, I found the regular size to be a bit too big. It was nice to have the extra space to move around but in colder situations, I felt like my head was pretty exposed and I couldn’t take advantage of the internal draft collar. The polyester outer and synthetic fill interior make a silky lightweight cocoon that you never want to leave. The synthetic fill is made from recycled polyester and on top of having great temperature regulation it dries super quickly. If you are someone who tends to sleep outside under the stars with no tent, I highly recommend getting this bag for the quick-drying properties. Each time I used the bag and woke up to moisture it took less than ten minutes for it to completely dry. While I love a good neutral colored sleeping bag, I wouldn’t mind a pop of color to liven this bag up!
As all backpackers know, space is a precious commodity. Even with a 65L pack, I’m always worried about how much space my tent and sleeping bag will take up. This was my first stuff sack with buckles instead of just a drawstring and it really helped to maximize the compression. I was able to fit the sleeping bag, camp pillow, and jet boil all within the lower compartment of my backpack. Weighing in at 1,250g it was a great balance between size and comfort while in the backcountry.
The Final Word
The Solar 3 definitely exceeded my expectations when it comes to a lightweight, warm, and versatile sleeping bag. After using it for a number of backpacking and camping trips I haven’t found a single durability issue. Between my dog’s claws and a desert dust storm it has zero tears and continues to hold its shape. After seeing first hand how quickly the bag dried, it has become my go-to for variable weather conditions. If you’re a smaller person, expect a bit of extra room to move around in. The downside is you may not be able to take advantage of the internal draft collar, so bring your beanie! A big four paws and two thumbs up from us.
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About the Gear Tester
Dani Reese is a midwestern lightning bug based in Sawtooth City, Idaho. She is the Community Manager at Ruffwear, an outdoor performance dog gear company based in Bend, Oregon. Dani is passionate about dog adoption and creating community wherever she goes. In addition to more than 10 years of professional marketing, Dani brings a deep passion and authentic approach to each person and project she meets. These days you can find her trail running, backpacking, and skiing with her pinecone obsessed dog, Vilas. You can follow their adventures on Instagram at @danioutdoors.