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The North Face Solar Flare

rated 4.5 of 5 stars

The Solar Flare has been discontinued. It last appeared in The North Face's 2011 product line. If you're looking for something new, check out the best cold weather down sleeping bags for 2024.

photo: The North Face Solar Flare cold weather down sleeping bag
Version reviewed: DryLoft

Well, I finally did it, after years of lugging 15lb. quarter keg sized synthetic sub-zero bags on my winter treks, i dropped the big bucks and got a -20 deg down bag and all I can say is; "I should have done it years ago! What a difference, not only in the size and weight of my pack, but in how much more comfortable I was on some REALLY #%&*! cold nights.

While the Solar Flare isn't anywhere near as roomy as my three season bag (an SD, Sandman) there's plenty of room (I don't tend to sprawl as much at -10 as I do at 20 or above) and PLENTY of warmth! TNF's Chevron design with side baffles and ground level zipper really keep the heat in. Also, the "anti-snag" tape along the zipper really does work. It makes those "last minute, stay in the sack, damn it's gonna be cold out there" dashes in the morning alot less stressful when you know that zipper is going to slide right down without a hitch, believe you me.

So if you're thinking about taking the plunge into a down-filled winter bag and you're considering the Solar Flare, do it, you won't regret it.

Design: Mummy
Fill: 800 fill down
Temperature Rating: -20f
Weight: 4lb. 5 oz
Price Paid: $585, gulp!

Version reviewed: DryLoft

An excellent shape, maximising warmth. With offset chevron channels, a neck baffle, and a construction to maximize the loft of the down it should easily match the claimed rating. I used its lighter and older cousin the Superlight ( a slighlty superior version of the current Superlight ) in temperatures down about -25C and survived. The Solar Flare has much more loft and would have kept me very snug and happy. The DryLoft outer is nice to the touch with a crisp feel that doesn't cling, it also repels moisture that sometimes accumulates in the bottom of tents.

I am six foot and sometimes feel a little claustraphobic, it is only just adequate for me.

For very cold excursions I think its excellent, I just need another bag for the summer.

Design: Mummy
Fill: 700 fill down
Temperature Rating: -26 C

This is the best bag I've ever used. The dryloft is great - the first time I used it I forgot to close my water bottle, the bottom of the sleeping bag froze to the tent and yet the insulation didn't get wet. I woke up warm and cozy!!!

Design: Mummy
Fill: 800+ fill down
Temperature Rating: -20 F
Weight: 4 +
Price Paid: $450

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Regular Long
Price MSRP: $499.00
Historic Range: $258.98-$519.00
Reviewers Paid: $450.00-$585.00
Temp Rating - 20° F / - 29° C - 20° F / - 29° C
Total Weight 4 lb 2 oz / 1875 g 4 lb 4 oz / 1915 g
Fill Weight 2 lb 3 oz / 981 g 2 lb 5 oz / 1040 g
Max User Height 6 ft 0 in / 183 cm 6 ft 6 in / 198 cm
Shoulder Circumference 64 in / 152 cm 64 in / 162 cm
Hip Circumference 60 in / 152 cm 60 in / 152 cm
Foot Circumference 43 in / 109 cm 43 in / 109 cm
Stuffsack Size 11 in x 21 in / 28 cm x 53 cm 11 in x 21 in / 28 cm x 53 cm
Fabric Shadowlite™ HyVent™ Shadowlite™ HyVent™
Price $499 USD $519.00 USD

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