Looking for stunning views of the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona? Well, look no further. I've got just the hike for you.

Hi, I'm Brice, president of Vaucluse, where we like to explore more and sweat less. I want to share a fantastic trail out here in Sedona, plus a closer look at some gear I took to help stay cool and dry along the way: the Cool Dry Frame from Vaucluse, which helps reduce sweat while backpacking.

Let's dive in.

Hiking Review - Brins Mesa Trail and Brins Butte in Sedona Arizona

We’re at the Coconino National Forest in northern Arizona (about a mile north of Sedona), and our starting point today is Brins Mesa Trailhead, also known on the map as Jordan Trailhead. Definitely come by 4x4 if you can because this dirt road gets pretty bumpy.

Why do this hike? Number one, because you’ll get incredible views of Sedona’s Red Rock Secret Wilderness. Plus, there's not a lot of people, which is great, because in Sedona, you can get a lot of people looking for hikes with quick rewards (meaning, great views).

This trail begins right at the north edge of Sedona and is as picturesque as it is convenient. Instead of tucking you away in a deep canyon or clinging to the side of a steep slope, this trail leads into the open where you can enjoy unobstructed views of these spectacular red rock formations.

I recommend bringing a map to help identify and enjoy Chimney Rock, Coffee Pot Rock, Wilson Mountain and other large rock formations here.

Part One of this hike is flat with fantastic views. If this is all you want to do and you’re not interested in doing any of the inclines, you will still not be disappointed.

Part Two has an increasing incline, then goes back to being flat, before another sharp incline takes you all the way up to Brins Butte. As you can see from the photos, it’s beautiful. I did this hike in the winter. Normally, you're not going to find all this snow surrounding you.

You can visit the Coconino National Forestry Services website for more information. The link is below as well as to my AllTrails link, with everything that you could want to know about exactly where this trail is.

Here are the statistics for my hike: The temperature started in the low 40’s F and stayed there throughout the afternoon. The hike was 4.24 miles with an elevation gain of just over 1,000 feet. My moving time was two hours and 26 minutes, out of a total of two hours and 39 minutes – I stopped for 13 minutes to swap out my backpack frame (more about this next). The average pace was 34 minutes per mile with a generous 1,386 calories burned. It was definitely a workout!

Hiking stats:

  • Weather - Overcast with temperatures in the 60s Fahrenheit. (Full overview of the area)
  • Time on trail: 2h39
  • Distance hiked was 4.24 miles.
  • Elevation gain was 1,083 feet.

Strava Tracking: You can review the hike's stats on my Strava account by clicking here.

AllTrails Tracking: You can review the trail on my AllTrails account by clicking here.


Backpack Airflow System - Sweat Less Backpacking in Cold Weather

Now, let's dive into the gear used: I took a Gregory Mountain Zulu which holds 38 liters, weighs 2.9 pounds empty, and retails for $150 (depending on where you look it might be more, it might be a little less). The link for that backpack is below.

This backpack has what is called a “free float ventilated suspension,” featuring a 3-D “comfort cradle” hip belt with “dynamic flex panels that move with” the natural movement of your body.

So… what's really key on this backpack is that I'll remove my Cool Dry Frame – right here is the curved frame that does allow some airflow to happen – and we're going to look at airflow, along with the contents of this backpack.

I had water and extra clothes, just in case, and took off some clothes and shoved them in the backpack. Total pack weight no more than six pounds. I also took my Cool Dry Frame, which is Part Two of the test to increase the airflow of this backpack.

Here are the results, with gear specific to airflow and keeping the back cool and dry during the hike:

Part One is the incline and I only had the Gregory pack. As you can see from the graph, my back temperature gradually increased to 64º F. The humidity was lower initially because I had layers on. The Govee hygrometer doing the tracking didn't pick up my humidity because of the extra layers.

When I took layers off, you can see on the graph that the humidity rose right after because the Govee could more easily track heat dissipating off my back. The outside temperature, as mentioned, was in the low 40’s F.
Part Two of this test was the descent and that’s when I attached the Cool Dry (which you can easily do). Put the loops around the straps and Velcro the frame to the backpack. You can do this to any backpack.

I attached the Cool Dry Frame to my backpack and, as you can see from the graph, my back temperature was much more stable and the humidity was also more stable.

Even though I wasn't on an incline I was moving quite quickly on the descent, and the heat from my back wasn't registering as high because the Cool Dry was providing more airflow. Overall, my back temperature and humidity were more stable with the Cool Dry on my backpack as opposed to off.

Overall results? You don't necessarily need an expensive backpack to increase airflow across your back. All you really need is to take your favorite backpack, order a Cool Dry Frame, install it in a few minutes, and you will have increased the airflow of your favorite backpack (without spending a lot of money on promises).

That's it for me. If you want to learn more about Vaucluse, just click the link or visit VaucluseGear.com.
Thanks so much for your attention to sweating less.

You can read our 5-star customer reviews by clicking here. Yes, this gear works.

Gregory Zulu 40L Backpack Increase Airflow
How to sweat less when backpacking

The Cool-Dry Frame by Vaucluse

It's your best way to stay cool and dry with a backpack.

This lightweight (only 6 ounces), soft, durable, and flexible frame attaches directly to your backpack and creates a natural airflow between you and the pack without using mesh or other material that soaks up sweat and retains heat. This design maximizes airflow to keep your back cool and dry.

Sweat Check