This week was the ultimate sweat check. I took the biggest (55L) backpack that I have on a hike in Austin, Texas, in some seriously humid weather. In fact, there was so much humidity, there was no way I was not going to sweat.
The test was, could I keep my body temperature cool and save my backpack from getting soaked in sweat?
To start, I took my Kelty Asher 55 Liter Backpack and filled it with some extra shirts, a tripod, and a digital camera. Then I attached my Vaucluse Gear Cool-Dry Frame to the backpack, providing me with a comfortable, consistent airflow gap.
Part 1 of 4: Weather Check
The weather started in the low 70s, with a relative humidity of 83%, and was overcast, which could lead you to think it was going to be a cool and cloudy day. But that doesn’t happen in Central Texas. Humid means muggy, regardless of the clouds.
There was a slight southerly breeze of 5 mph that would provide some relief during the hike. After reaching a high plateau, that breeze would feel great as it passed through the Cool-Dry Frame and across my back.
Overall, I was planning to sweat a lot on this hike because of the humidity and the size of my backpack.
I hiked the Barton Creek Greenbelt with a few friends here in Austin, Texas. It’s right next to downtown and I’ve hiked it before. It offers a variety of trails. Today, our leader, Rob, took us over some pretty strenuous paths, with zero stops, and we covered 8.47 miles in about three hours.
The hike was more difficult than usual for me because of the massive backpack and I wasn’t as nimble. The trail requires going up and over fallen branches, and this maneuver was sometimes difficult with a large pack.
At one point, I had to climb a 40% incline for about 100 feet. While not a long distance, the ground was very loose, and my feet were slipping underneath me. This additional work really made me sweat.
I definitely did sweat, as you can see from the photos! The Cool-Dry Frame however did the trick, allowing air to flow between my back and the 55L backpack. I did feel that my back’s temperature stayed much cooler than if I hadn’t used the frame.
My buddy Rob, the trail leader, was also wearing his Cool-Dry Frame and he agreed: The Cool-Dry Frame did provide a cooler, more comfortable respite from having a backpack directly on the back and it stayed dry and sweat-free.
If you’re tired of soaking wet, stinky backpacks, the Vaucluse Gear Cool-Dry Frame will provide the protection you’ve been looking for.
Overall, the Vaucluse Gear Cool-Dry Frame did keep me cool and dry, while also keeping my 55L Kelty backpack dry on an arduous morning hike.
Additionally, because the hike was non-stop for three hours, I didn’t take the backpack off at any time to try and cool down, and I could easily keep up with hikers who were either not wearing a backpack or were using just a small day pack.
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.