This time I chose to start from the east side, hike the south side of the Grand Montagne, then down to the southern ridge of the Sarrasines.
I would be accompanied by my friend, Hubert, who would be doing the sweat check today. However, we would do things a bit differently: He would start his hike without using a Vaucluse Gear Cool-Dry Backpack Frame, and we would later attach the Cool-Dry Frame to his pack. This way, we expected to see a difference in how much sweat was staying on Hubert’s back while he was using a Samsonite daypack equipped with padding and mess only.
We began by driving through the town of Lafare, France, and parked the car just underneath the chapel of Saint Christopher. Our starting point was the Eastern side of the Grand Montagne of the Dentelles.
We started our hike at 9:30 AM when the temperature was still below 80ºF. We began with an immediate 700-feet incline nearly straight to the peak. Seeing how the temperature would pick up as the morning went on, we chose to get the hard part of the hiking done first.
We continued up to an elevation of nearly 1,900 feet where we were just underneath the peak of the Grande Montagne (to reach the top, you would have to climb up).
To recap our first hour of the hike, we started at 900 feet. That became 1,000 feet up as the temperature started increasing.
Once we got to the top, we had beautiful views of the Vaucluse region and the Mont Ventoux, the highest point in the area, and the first of the rolling hills that lead to the Alps. With all this hiking, there was a lot of sweating.
Below you will see what Hubert’s back looked like without and with the Vaucluse Clear Cool-Dry Backpack Frame.
Afterward, we hiked the southern side of the Grandes Dentelles and then crossed over, to complete our circuit, by hiking around the Dentelles Sarrasines. I enjoy the Sarrasines because you have many options for trails, and can either climb higher or lower depending on your choice. We chose the midway trails, which are flatter around the ridge but still give a stunning view of the region, particularly on the Mont Ventoux.
Here are the data points of the hike provided by Strava:
The weather got hot pretty fast. It was an enjoyable 79ºF at 9:30 AM, but the temperature increased to the 90’s throughout the morning.
Additionally, when we were hiking near the southern side of the Grande Montagne, there was zero wind and during parts of the hike, we could feel the heat radiating off the trail.
I would not recommend hiking the Dentelles in the summer unless you are starting much earlier in the morning. Ideally, you want to finish your hike around 10 AM. I highly recommend not hiking in the afternoon as the temperature keeps increasing into the mid-90’s. The Dentelles are not high enough to cause a substantial difference in temperature between the lowest and highest points.
As mentioned, I offered Hubert a Vaucluse Gear Cool-Dry Backpack Frame during our hike. You can see from the Before (left) and After pictures how the Cool-Dry Frame lived up to its name and helped evaporate sweat from his back.
During the second part of our hike (picture on left side), Hubert did notice the difference and appreciated how the Cool-Dry Frame was indeed keeping his back cooler and drier. He mentioned that he didn’t even notice that the Frame was on his back – it was that comfortable to wear.
Once again, the results of this hike led to a positive sweat check review.
Here is Hubert’s full review (in English):
“Hello, I'm Hubert. I've just hiked in the Dentelles de Montmiraille in France. It's very beautiful, and you can hear the cicadas. It's very hot today here with temperatures over 30ºC (90ºF). I've just tried a new invention here. It's a kind of grid on the backpack and it allows the air to go through it so we will not sweat into the shirt so it's much more comfortable. I recommend it to you. I'm really convinced it's a good invention. So good hiking to everybody, and give it a try!”
Sweat Check after hike up the Dentelles de Montmirail. Back stayed cool and dry where the Frame touched Hubert's back.
The Cool-Dry Frame by Vaucluse Gear
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.
Vaucluse was founded on one simple premise - it's almost impossible not to sweat when wearing a backpack. Consistent with this same thought, it's almost impossible to find gear from a company that you can truly believe in - a brand that's an extension of you rather than the other way around.