Cool-Dry Frame Earns “Impressive” Sweat Check Rating in Central California Backpack Gear Test
Sweat Check by Vaucluse Gear
I partnered with a Backpack Gear Test to test out the Cool-Dry Frame. With over 15 years of testing equipment, BackpackGearTest.org (BGT) is a premier source for online backpacking, hiking, and camping gear reviews.
They reached out and offered to conduct a comprehensive review and test the Cool-Dry Frame.
Joe Schaffer from BGT enjoys camping and hiking in California's central Sierra Mountains. He attached the Cool-Dry Frame to a Medium Gregory Palisade 80 backpack.
Usually, Joe carries with him a tent, mattress, chair, food, water, and other camping items. In total, his pack holds around 40 lbs (18 kg). He typically hikes about 5 miles (8 km) per day in the bright and sunny granite in and around Yosemite.
For this Backpack Gear Sweat Check, he took his Palisade 80 on a short day hike.
Part 1 of 4: Weather Check
Joe hiked Garin Regional Park in California on April 4, 2022, on the east side of the San Francisco Bay just south of Oakland. The weather was clear and calm, with temperatures in the 60s F (18 C).
Here is Joe’s feedback on how the Frame performed:
"The difference in heat buildup became evident almost immediately, though. My back was not getting hot as it otherwise would, and it stayed much more comfortable than I would have expected.
On any day in an hour, I'd have a damp shirt under the pack. For today's test, I wore a cotton tee, thinking that shirt to be the most rigorous testing of the device's ability to keep things dry. The picture shows the outline of the frame, where the shirt is wet in contact with the frame and dry everywhere else.
I would have to rate this as impressive short-hike performance in keeping the shirt dry."
Overall, Joe was happy with how the Cool-Dry Frame performed.
Here is Joe's verdict:
The device attached easily to a Medium Gregory Palisade 80. I wouldn't want to have to muster the dexterity to unhook and re-hook the attaching loops on a cold day or in low light--the two fasteners are very small and tolerate only precise fitting. The frame is about an inch (2.5 cm) longer than would be perfect, as it overhangs the lumbar pad in the hip belt. This was no issue, though, on this hike's very light load.
Once the pack was all strapped, there's no movement in the frame--it stays put. The pack also stayed put--no wobbling around. If in heavier use, the device proves worthwhile, the bit of fuss at mounting the pack would be easily overshadowed by the frame's ventilation merit.
At first, it felt quite different from what I'm used to, which is a fairly smooth backboard. After 15 minutes or so I wouldn't be able to say it's any better or worse for how it feels on the back. Nothing pinched or poked. The pressure seemed evenly displaced.
[The Cool-Dry Frame is] light, minimal-fuss attachment, greatly increases air flow. I would have to rate this as impressive short-hike performance in keeping the shirt dry."
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 is committed to helping you backpack better by upgrading your favorite backpack in seconds with superior comfort and airflow. Vaucluse supplies the backpacking community with high-quality accessories that enhance their backpack experiences. We're always trying to come up with new ways to have a better time outside and make the Cool-Dry Frame even better.