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Waypoint and Azimuth 2018

Waypoint and Azimuth

The purpose of this newsletter is to formally announce the sale of Jacks ‘R’ Better LLC.


We have thoroughly enjoyed these last 14 years and truly appreciate the loyal support of all our customers. But, life goes on, and it’s time for the Jacks to move on to their next adventure(s). As of 1 March we have passed the baton to our good friend and hiking partner, Don Gravatt AKA “DGrav”, and his business partner, Dave Gallagher. On 5 March Jacks ‘R’ Better LLC formally opened for business in its new location in Hulmeville, Pennsylvania. For the immediate future, nothing has changed but the owners and the location. You can expect the same speedy service, quality products, and customer service from the new management. In return we encourage you to provide them the same dedication and loyalty that we enjoyed from you for the past 14 years. With that said, we thank you and wish everyone good luck, good hiking and warm comfortable camping. God bless, be safe and enjoy the outdoors.


Jack & Jack


Over a decade ago I had the pleasure of meeting The Jacks at a hammock hang, a few months later we did our first of many AT section hikes together. The Jack’s have become friends, mentors and family to me. Ten years prior to meeting The Jacks I met Dave Gallagher at a Viking funereal for a goldfish (true story), we quickly became friends and each other’s bad influence. Words fail to express what an honor it is to be the next part of the Jacks R Better story! We look forward to providing great customers service, fast shipping, quality products and a few new surprises in the coming months.

Dave & Don

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Waypoint and Azimuth 2017

Waypoint and Azimuth

March 2017

A long overdue report


It is time to review how the last couple of years went and plot the course of progress for the next year. As we stand here in the middle of the shop, surrounded by hundreds, if not a thousand quilts, tarps, hammocks and other stock items we are in our thirteenth year.  We have already registered for JRB’s 14th Trail Days at Damascus in May.  And the following month on 4 June Jacks ‘R’ Better LLC will celebrate our 14th Anniversary.


2015 & 2016 were excellent years by every standard. Quilt sales, our primary yardstick, continued our 13 year growth pattern.  We are thankful to the Lord and our customers.  We hope that our business conduct is pleasing to Him and you, and that you are warmly enjoying your JRB gear.

These last two year have been hectic … Continued sales growth kept us busy maintaining inventory levels to keep filling your orders the day you placed them. We added a large tarp model, the Universal Tarp,  Spring Poles for that tarp, made minor improvements to the Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock and reduced some secondary items such as pots and food when Enertia Trail Foods went out of business … We are hoping they will come back.

The Double Down Dreamcatcher was introduced in 2015 primarily for the Overlanders, the 4×4 RVers. Initial sales were solid and we have continued to make this large quilt available.

Late in 2015 Jacks R Better LLC joined the trend to use sub one ounce rip stop nylon with a Durable Water Resistant (DWR) finish … And by late Spring of 2016 all quilt models were shipping in the new material … Overall, quilts were reduced approximately one half ounce in weight … More importantly, the soft hand or drape improved in all cases … This resulted in a smoother buttery feel of the material and closer drape in use, which increases the warmth … overall nice enhancements especially when paired with high fill power water resistant down, Activ-dri Down, which was introduced in 2013.

Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Trekker pads were introduced for both hammock users and the ground dwellers in 2015 … They will continue but with a shift in models from the Trekker to the XLite for the ultra-light ground dwelling backpackers.


Looking ahead to 2017 Jacks ‘R’ Better will tighten its focus on our primary product group, quilts and under quilts … And our Cottage Industry leading shipping standard of “Same or Next Day Shipping!”

Currently, there are no totally new products under development for 2017.

Maturing our business has resulted in greater focus on production flow, techniques, larger just-in-time batch work, as well as material order efficiencies … So, the Good News … Perhaps Great News is: Jacks R Better LLC is going to help the economy, “Make America Great Again” by significantly lowering prices this Spring … Most quilts are being reduced $20 and some under quilts are reduced by much greater amounts … If you have not visited the Quilt Selections of our web site for a while take a look around …

In closing, we intend to make 2017 a great year of value in both products and customer service.  Our pledges:

*Great Quality.

*Fair, Competitive Pricing … Actually lower pricing!

*Responsive Communication.

*And, as always, “Same or next business day shipping.”

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JRB Universal Tarp Introduction

This large JRB tarp is the most capable tarp available for either hammock or ground camps. Loaded with perimeter tabs, ridge line tabs, panel pulls, pole grommets and spring pole guides  this tarp may be configured to conform to a nearly any configuration required or desired.

It’s an ideal shelter for large and wide hammocks like bridge style hammocks. It can be pitched in a classic A with open ends, or closed ends for storm protection.  Interior volume is easily expanded by use of panel pull tie-outs; alternatively, interior volume can be increased by the addition of JRB Spring Poles (separately available) to create either single hoop or a tunnel style shelter.

Gathered end hammocks users can arc the center area with a single spring pole.  Bridge style hammock users can use two spring pole to create the tunnel style sought by many.  In either case the ends may be closed or nearly closed for storm protection.  Open pitches like the Baker style lean to or the three sided Adirondack shelter are also possible.  In classic “A” Pitch it can easily accommodate 3-4 ground dwellers with generous overhang.  It can be pitched high and wide for maximum overhead shelter providing almost 120 square feet of overhead cover if needed.  This will accommodate multiple hammocks in close proximity or quick easy coverage over a picnic table for a lunch reprieve during inclement weather.

The JRB 12’x10′ Universal Tarp has a true 12 foot ridgeline and a width of 9 feet 8 inches.  It weighs only 21 ounces in a 1.1 oz. silicon impregnated nylon woodland camouflage pattern or 24 ounces in a dark brown silicon impregnated nylon with a urethane coating for security in severe storm plagued locations.

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Waypoint and Azimuth 2014

Waypoint and Azimuth

January 2014


It is time to review how the year went and plot the course of progress for the next year.  As we stand here in the middle of the shop, surrounded by hundreds of quilts, tarps, hammocks and other stock items we are in our tenth year.  We just registered for JRB’s eleventh annual Trail Days at Damascus in May.  And the following month, on 4 June, Jacks ‘R’ Better LLC will celebrate its 10th Anniversary.

OMG, I just realized the Original under Quilt, The JRB Nest, prototypes actually had their 10 year anniversary last month … They were literally sewn up during the Christmas Holidays of December 2003 and tested on a 27° night the week between Christmas and New Years on a windy bluff high above the James River a few hundred yards north of Jamestown, Virginia, the site of the first permanent English settlement in America.   Guess that settlement and the JRB Nest under quilt have success and staying power in common.

Like our country which has sure seen growth and change in the last 237 years, the Nest has seen its fair share of growth and change … 19 changes and improvements in its first decade.




2013 was an excellent year by every standard.  Quilt sales, our primary yardstick, continued our 10 year growth pattern by an amazing 50 percent.  We are thankful to the Lord and our customers.  We hope that our business conduct is pleasing to Him and you, and that you are warmly enjoying your JRB gear.

2013 saw the conversion of all top quilts to the new 14 baffle design for improved down control.

2013 saw the introduction of hydrophobic down, Activ-Dri down, as an option in all quilts and our standard offering in both JRB down hoods and down sleeves.  Activ-Dri Down is a polymer treated down, independently tested to be five times slower to absorb moisture and three times faster in drying than un-treated down.  The recognition of the value added by Activ-dri down is shown by the high rate of customer preference.  Fully 75 percent of quilt orders since its introduction have opted for Activ-Dri down.

Our continued growth demanded increased capacity for 2013.  For the second consecutive year we added permanent staff and machine capability to the JRB shop.  As importantly, we increased USA factory production by well over 50 percent and local sub-contractor production by 25percent.  These increases insured our fundamental commitment to customer service.  Our goal of same or next business day shipping was met on 99 % of orders.

Rounding out our tenth year we added new items to both our kitchen section and repair section.

The OliCamp XTS Pot, with its heat exchanger, for faster boils and fuel savings, joined 2012’s selection of 15 tasty Enertia Trail Foods Meals, the Vargo Titanium Long Handle Spoons and the Vargo Titanium Spork.

Mc Nett product availability increased with the addition of Tenacious Tape and SILFIX to the previously available SILNET, SEAMGRIP, as well as their ReviveX Down Cleaner Concentrate and ReviveX Durable Water Proofing.




Looking ahead to 2014, Jacks ‘R’ Better will debut a new quilt for our Tenth Anniversary.  Initial prototyping and testing is well underway.  It will be available at Trail Days … We expect it will be a big item on launch.  Hope to see ya’ll in Damascus.

We will be expanding our available pads for the ground sleepers.

We currently have two prototype tarps in development, both with increased design capability and new material capabilities.  Look for a spring introduction.

Minor design improvements are in store for the Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock, deluxe models for 2014.

In closing, we intend to make 2014 another great year of value in both products and customer service.  Our pledges:

*Great Quality

*Fair, Competitive Pricing

*Responsive Communication

*And, as always, “Same or next business day shipping”



Jack & Jack


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Way Point and Azimuth 2013


We are over the Fiscal Cliff…And Rebounding. What is next for the economy is anybody’s guess.

The Jacks have spent the Holiday season, like always with family, and stealing a few hours to ship the post-Christmas orders. This period is, more importantly, used to close the books on the old year and set the goals, priorities, projects and key timeline details for the year ahead. Yup, planning 2013 has been a challenge.

Luckier than most small businesses Jacks ‘R’ Better LLC has come through almost nine years of strong growth and investment.  The business is now mature, facilities for all functions are first class, a huge operating inventory has been capitalized and is on hand to start the year, computers, servers and commo systems have all been upgraded along with the new website in 2012. The budget is planned and costs have been continuously trimmed over the years.

Sooooo, JRB figures the best way through the fiscal uncertainty and the possible recession or near recession that will again grip our economy and has mired the country is to focus on doing what we do best and delivering even greater value in JRB products.  2013 at JRB is the year of Greater Value.

For some time now JRB has been reducing baffle width and increasing the number of baffles in its top quilt, multifunctional rectangular and large family quilt models. This significantly improves down stability in use for top quilts, especially those used on the ground.  The Sierra Sniveler and the High Sierra Sniveler were increased from their initial 10 to 12 baffle sections. And by the end of 2013 they will be again increased to 14 baffle sections. The summer season Sierra Stealth has already been increased from its initial 10 to 14 baffle sections.  The multifunctional rectangular quilts, our high value economy valued quilts; Shenandoah Quilts, Hudson River Quilts, and the Old Rag Mountain Quilts have all been increased from 10 to 14 baffles. The JRB Large Family of Quilts including the Mt Roger Quilt and the Katahdin Quilt have both had baffles increased from 11 to 14.

For 2013 there will be a special limited quantity run of digital camo and and intrepid 20, 900 fill power, 13 oz. down quilts.  Like always, these 40 degree summer quilts will have great value pricing and will likely sell out within days of announcement. First announcement of availability will be to subscribers of our newsletter.

Several new products have been added to the web site.  These include an ultra-light, full quart capacity pot with a heat exchanger for faster boils and better fuel economy that will work with virtually any stove to include alcohol, wood burners, and esbit tabs. A nice addition to the Enertia meals and Ti long handled spoons and sporks which were added last fall.

JRB now stocks Hennessy Snake Skins #4 and the value priced large Hennessy Hex Tarp. While this tarp is a bit heavy at 24 oz. it comes complete with hanging cords and pockets for cord storage in each corner and the center seal is sealed by factory taping.

Later in the year the web site will gain an “Our Favorites” section that will feature products we use and have grown to cherish.  Again these are from other manufacturer’s.  All products that combine top function, low weight, and value level price points. “Jack Certified”, if you will. Two of these items, the head lamps, are already in stock in the miscellaneous section of the site.

Finally the web site will get new photos and have videos added this year to enable better understanding of the tips and tricks of use for various JRB products.

Come May you will find us at our Tenth Annual Trail Days in Damascus. Stop by, say hello, share a story, and grab a piece of trail sugar or just hang out for a while.

And Best Value of all, against all trends, though refined techniques, material sourcing and management quilt prices for 2013 have been reduced.

2013 and Jacks ‘R’ Better;

More choices, Better Quality, Better Value, Better Prices!

Hoil fyn!

Jack & Jack

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Way Point mid year 2012

Keeping up seems to get a little harder each year.  Having a blog is a great reason to write this annual update to our Way Point History Series.

Way Point

As JRB enters into its ninth year, the upward growth trend lines continue in all areas. Business is good.  Once again, it is estimated that well over 98 percent of all orders received during this period were shipped on the same or next day.  Thus our primary customer service goal was achieved.  This year, during The Trail Days period in the middle of  May, there was only one order past that shipping goal; a phenomenal improvement in a month that experienced 50 percent growth in sales over same period in 2011.

January saw the introduction of the JRB Spreader Bar Bag designed to accommodate the BMBH spreader bars as well as tent pegs or a long handled spoons.  It is quite efficient in design, durable and secure.  Its emerging popularity has proven its value.

The Greylock 3, a sub 14 ounce, torso length under quilt was introduced right after the first of the year and promptly sold out of its initial production five months ahead of our expectations.  An extra production run of the Greylock 3s was added and they were back in stock, “just in time” as we headed off to Trail Days in May.

Also debuting at Trail Days was the Ultra Light model of the Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock.  Similarly sized but sans the pad pocket, and four inches shallower; this lay flat, lay straight hammock improves scenic views and reduced a full half pound from the BMBH Deluxe.

In our Dutchware department JRB added the popular Dutch Tarp Flyz and Dutch Hooks in the fall of 2011.  The Dutch Whoopie Hooks were added last month. Additional Amsteel Blue and Zing-It products were added that incorporate these Dutch items in their splices for customer convenience.  These are the Ultra Light Ridge Line Cords with Tarp Flyz and the Whoopie Slings with Dutch Whoopie Hooks in the adjustable loop. As a side note, JRB converted from use of the continuous loop to the use of a “12 inch Dog Bone” of Amsteel Blue which has locked brommel loops in each end.  The Dog Bones serve the same purpose and work better with the Dutch Whoopie Hooks for those seeking the lightest of the light suspension approaches.

Turning from new products to advertising, JRB is now in OUTSIDE magazine in addition to every issue of Backpacker magazine.

With the New Year and all this growth came the addition of a dedicated shipping clerk.

Finally, on the 5th of July the new web site went live.  We hope you are enjoying it.  Although it is faster and better laid out, we still consider it a work in progress.  There are future additions in progress, so stay tuned.


First, the company posture in inventory and ongoing production, as well a shipping growth, is in place to assure customers that “Same or next day shipping” goals for the busy and growing fall and holiday seasons will continue to be met.

The Greylock 4, a zero degree capable torso length under quilt, will soon be available. You will not want to miss the introductory special when it comes out.  Hint, if you are not already subscribed to our mailing list, it is worth subscribing.

Our Dutchware department will soon add the new Dutch Stingerz.  The feather light titanium goodies combine the Dutch Tarp Flyz to a micro biner and add a convenient “eye” to tie or splice the tarp line too. And, they weigh a mere 4 grams.

Additional web site improvements are planned in the coming year.  Time permitting, we will be adding some “how to” videos and some improved photos.


Jack & Jack

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Way Point – Mid Year 2011

Just realized that it has been a while since these reports were updated… So here you go.

Way Point

As JRB enters into its eighth year, the upward trend lines in all areas continue.

We estimated that well over 98 percent of all orders received during this period were shipped the same or next day.  Thus our primary customer service goal was achieved.  The Trail Days period in May experienced slightly higher delay, but no order exceeded two weeks to ship.

This spring the Sierra Series of quilts was completed with the addition of the Sierra Stealth in both regular and long models.

An option for customers to order either 800 fill power down or upgrade to 900 fill power down for all JRB quilts was added beginning in January 2011.

The new JRB Hex Tarps were added in three materials; spinnaker (a company first for this lighter tarp material), 1.3 oz. silicon impregnated nylon (silnyl), and woodland camouflage patterned, urethane coated, 1.9 oz. ripstop nylon.

The Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock received another product upgrade to soften the front bug net zipper corners for increased ease of zipper function.

We added a mid size set of the Self Tensioning Line specifically for hex tarps.  Self Tensioning Line sets are now available in pairs or sets with two ridge line cords and one, two or three pairs of STLs for corresponding diamond, hex or large rectangle based tarps.

To reduce production and warehousing and increase capacity issues, the Sniveller line of JRB quilts was reduce from six models to three, with the retirement of the original Stealth, No Sniveller and Rocky Mountain Sniveller quilts.  These models are effectively replaced by the Sierra Stealth, Sierra Sniveller, and High Sierra Sniveller quilts.

New products also saw the successful prototype of the Mt Washington 4 Short on 1 May.  A trial production run is scheduled for later this year.  Introduction of the MW4S is planned for early this winter.

Other new product development saw prototypes, trial run and initial production of the small and medium JRB Speed Sacks. Now available, these double ended sacks provide simple, fast and effective field set up and subsequent stowage of tarps and hammocks.

The prototype of an accessory pole bag for spreader bars is underway and the trial run should be completed in the third quarter, with production hopefully in time for the winter holiday sale period.  Field testing for the last two years has proven the worth of this accessory bag to security and protection of bridge hammock spreader bars, as well as convenient, safe storage for other hard to pack metal items such as tent pegs and long handled spoons.

In advertising, the art upgrade for Backpacker magazine was completed.

During this period total inventory grew to achieve a company goal of three to six months of supply for all items.

In Late march our physical location changed for the third time.  Our larger and more efficient space has significantly improved organization and operations for production, storage of raw material and finished inventory goods, as well as shipping and administrative functions.


First, the company posture in inventory and ongoing production, as well as shipping growth, is in place to assure customers that “same or next day shipping” goals for the busy and growing fall and holiday seasons will continue to be met.

As noted above, new products such as the Mt Washington 4 Short under quilt and the spreader pole accessory bags will soon be available.

Web site improvements are planned in the coming year, as well as another exciting product or two for introduction by the Spring of 2012.  No details for now.


Jack and Jack

Jacks ‘R’ Better, LLC

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Way Point – Mid Year 2010

Way Point

At mid-year 2010 Jacks ‘R’ Better, LLC again finds itself enjoying significant sales growth across the board.

From a customer point of view several programmed and unprogrammed improvements were accomplished this year.

First, the long standing JRB goal of “same day” or “next day” shipping was significantly improved. Once a goal, “same or next day shipping” is now virtually guaranteed as inventory levels crossed from earlier 30-60 day levels into present 60-180 day levels on most products.

Prior to Trail Days six new items were added from NITEiZE, strictly as a matter of customer convenience. These include three separate packaging options, with and without cords, for the popular Figure 9s, the Small Figure 9 Carabiners and the new S Biners in both the small, # 2, plastic, 10 pound capacity and the medium, #3, black, stainless steel, 25 pound capacity.

The introduction of the JRB High Sierra Sniveller quilt occurred 2 months early to complete this ground optimized family of quilts with its winter model, well in advance of the coming winter.

The improved JRB 11×10 Cat Tarp with 8 additional tie tabs attained full inventory status in early march.

Summer saw the movement of the popular 1″ Dutch Clips from Hammock Forums to JRB for distribution. This was quickly followed by the introduction of 1.5″Dutch Clips and Dutch Biners.

To enable single source shopping for Whoopie Sling suspensions or components, JRB added 6 foot Whoopie Slings, Continuous Loops, and three sizes of tree saver straps in September.

Azimuth Update for Remainder of 2010

We continue to focus on customer service and quality products as we enter our seventh year at Jacks ‘R’ Better.

Current plans call for the introduction of a new tarp. Without too much detail, we expect this tarp while optimized for gathered end hammocks to also accommodate the Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. Eventually, you can expect it in economic and light 1.3 oz silnyl, 1.0 oz UL spinnaker, and another fabric yet to be designated; all below the one pound mark.

Those who have waited patiently through our BMBH “Temporarily Out Of Stock” summer will soon be rewarded with a redesigned BMBH that has an attached bug net with three side zip and net storage tie backs. It is a significant improvement in convenience and bug seclusion, as well as a further simplification.

Jacks ‘R’ Better LLC is pleased to announce the delivery of Sierra Sniveller Specials commissioned by Titanium Goat. These Quilts are a full two ounces lighter than a standard Sierra Sniveller and are made with 20D “Intrepid” ripstop nylon and 900 fill power down. They are extreme soft and have incredible drape. Wider body width, tapered foot box and the iconic JRB sniveller style re-sealable head opening place them at the top of currently available UL quilts in function, weight, flexibility and quality.


Jack and Jack

Jacks ‘R’ Better, LLC

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Way Point and Azimuth to 2010

Way Point

It is hard to believe that 2009 is almost over…guess that happens when you are as busy as Jacks ‘R’ Better, LLC has been this year.

The recession made month to month issues a challenge, but overall JRB sale grew over 80 percent in 2008 and 2009.  It was a good time to support warm, comfortable nights out on outdoor “staycations”.

Our first goals for 2009, to make all our standard quilts fully reversible and convert the entire line of quilts to a new color (a muted olive), were accomplished early in the year.

New products and improvements to traditional stalwarts led the efforts at JRB for 2009.  Five new quilts, a quilt liner, a better, lower cost, multi-purpose Weather Shield, improved spreader bars for the Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock and a capacity increase to 275 pounds as well as five more accessories were added this year.

First, the immensely popular Mt Washington 4 design was incorporated into a full line of under quilts.  These new hammock under quilts all have the dual differential design, body contoured radial baffles and minimal to no adjustment “snug fit” attachment design.  New quilts include the three seasons, 20 degree rated Mt Washington 3  under quilt and the Mt Washington 3 Convertible consisting of the Mt Washington 3 Short  (a 2/3rds length Mt Washington 3) and the 1/3rd length “Compliment” which attaches to the Mt Washington 3 Short to form a full size Mt Washington 3.  The Mt Washington 3 Convertible enables the light and fast set to have either a 14 ounce fractional under quilt or revert to a full size under quilt when conditions suggested a full length under quilt may be more desirable.

In October we addressed the long standing request of the ground community for a No Sniveller with better wrap capability and a tapered foot-box.  The Sierra Sniveller is 52 inches wide from the top to the hips and tappers to 42 inches in the foot box.  It has the same great wearable design and JRB omni-tape and draw cord foot-box.  A long model was rushed into October production and early to meet the immediate customer demand.

A micro-fleece quilt liner, the first commercially available quilt liner, was introduced concurrent with the annual Early Bird Stocking Stuffer Sale.  Super affordable at $29.95, this light weight cozy quilt liner easily adds 10 degrees to any JRB quilt.  It may also serve as a stand-alone summer blanket, when night time temps are expected to be above 50-55 degrees.

The Weather Shield II, a work around solution when the waterproof yet highly breathable micro porous polypropylene became unavailable two years ago, was discontinued.  Frogg Toggs began importing the Dri Ducks Poncho (DDP) which was immediately added to the JRB web site.  Moreover, a kit was developed that when applied to the DDP would allow it to function as either a hammock under quilt Weather Shield or as a top quilt Weather Shield.  Effectively a highly breathable quilt style bivi sack.

By late summer a source for stronger, subdued black, aluminum spreader bar material was secured.  New anti torque, non-seizing, separable spreader bars with machine notched ends improved the Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock and enabled a capacity increase to 275 pounds.

Accessories received considerable emphasis and growth this summer as well.  Two new tarps or shelters were added.  A silnyl poncho shelter was added for the light and fast hammock or ground dwellers and an extremely taut pitching 10×10 Sculpted Tarp was added.  The latter has perimeter tensioning gross grain reinforcement and adjustable webbing tie outs as well as a very slight sculpted ridge line.  It serves both the hammock and ground dwelling communities.

Finally, accessories were rounded out with a travel pillow and a small waist pack that functions well as a medium size stuff sack.  Figure 9s were stocked for those who would just as soon not tie knots.

Azimuth for 2010

We expect to focus on customer service and quality products as we enter our seventh year at JRB.

Current plans call for the introduction by mid-year of a winter model of the Sierra Sniveller which we will probably name the High Sierra Sniveller.

Product improvements are in store for the 11×10 Cat Tarp which significantly improve the front over hang when in the Baker/Lean to pitch and elongate the near enclosed “A” pitch to a 7 foot plus ground length.

We hope to continue our expansion, which began in 2008, into wholesaling.  Watch for retail outlets as they are added to our existing retailers in Georgia, Louisiana, Ohio, and Virginia.  If you want your local retailer carrying Jacks ‘R’ Better, LLC gear our best voice is your voice … Ask your retailer to contact us.


Jack and Jack

Jacks ‘R’ Better, LLC

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Way Point and Azimuth to 2009

Way Point 

2008, our fifth year of operation, what a great year!

We began the year with a small but growing national advertising campaign including Banner ads on Both Hammock Forums and White Blaze and quarterly ads in “Backpacker Magazine”.

We entered the wholesale market in addition to our internet retail base.  JRB exhibited at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Utah in August.  Currently there are four retailers carrying JRB gear.  There is a small presence of JRB in Georgia, Ohio, Louisiana, and Front Royal, Virginia.  The web site has a tab for our retailers.

Speaking of the web site, the site got a total makeover in late fall.  Of special note, although JRB still does not do custom work, we have added a page of frequently requested available options.  Some are even FREE.  You will find the page link on the Products page of the new site.

Three new quilts debuted this year:

Our Fifth Anniversary Special, the Winter Nest debuted at Trail Days.  This is primarily the Original Nest, a tried and proven performer, with a 50 percent increase in both baffle height and down.

A totally new quilt the Mount Washington was debuted at the OR Show.  This is a dual differentially designed, body contoured winter quilt.  As an under quilt, it is a simple attach and snug up, error free installation winter quilt.  With loft of 4-5 inches that cannot be compressed by the occupant of the hammock, in normal use, this quilt is zero degree capable.

A special limited offer 2/3 quilt, the Torso Length Wearable Under Quilt, was available for one month special order in November/December for Christmas delivery.  This quilt transformed into a parka length vest and with the addition of JRB Sleeves and Hood becomes a full parka.  It has ¾ inch baffles and is all black in color.

Several other new products found their way to market this year at JRB:

JRB Tri-Glides were developed for no-knot and lashing free hanging by users of 1 inch web straps.  They are machined of 3/16 inch aircraft grade aluminum.  Anyone who can fasten a tri-glide belt buckle can now hang in secure, easily adjustable, knot free confidence.

A Strap set of two 12 foot lengths of 1 inch polypropylene webbing with sewn in loops on one end and an included pair of JRB Tri-Glides quickly followed thus providing a complete package for use with hammocks that do not come with straps.  They also provide the most simple, and normally the lightest form of replacement suspension for those desiring such a conversion of other hammock suspensions.  In fact at 4.2 oz per set, the set reduces an Eagles Nest hammock itself by 0.3 oz when the stock hardware is totally replaced by the JRB Hammock Strap set … That’s right!  The Eagles Nest hammock with JRB Strap set weighs less than the basic Eagles Nest hammock alone … plus the suspension is then included.

The first production run of the Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock, the world’s first and only commercially available, true lay flat, lay straight hammock was received in January and sold out 25 percent faster than forecasted.

The JRB 11×10 Cat tarp first production run was also received in January and it too sold out far earlier than expected.  Subsequent production runs of both the BMBH and 11×10 Cat tarp have been received and continue to do well.

The first true hammock tent, the JRB Hammock Hut, finalized prototyping, trial runs, and also became a full production capability in 2008.

All new color options for tarps and tents, moss green (olive) and cattail brown replaced the original kelly green color.  This customer desired change has been well received.

In an effort to support customers in this uncertain economy JRB experimented with a 60-90 days same as cash sale program during the Annual Early Bird Special Holiday Sale.  We are pleased that those who elected the approach, a strictly honor based, no contract approach, were 100 percent faithful.  We will consider making this optional form of purchase available during future holiday sales.

Finally as a State of the Market Report to the hammock community, hammock camping certainly appears alive and well to us.  Jacks ‘R’ Better grew by over fifty percent in sales volume during the down economy of 2008.  We enter 2009 ready to support your hammock, hammock insulation, and hammock accessory needs.

Azimuth 2009 

First, all of the current JRB items will continue for 2009.

All of the Standard Family of JRB Quilts, the 48 inch width quilts, will be made fully reversible for all model hammocks, including the Hennessy Hammocks.  Look for this change in late January.

There will be a three season model of the Mt Washington family of quilts.  We expect it to début at Trail Days in Damascus Virginia, mid May.

Finally, JRB has obtained a large volume, assured source for a new outer shell color of quilt material.  Same great 1.1 oz DWR rip stop nylon … just a new subdued color … a near return to the original olive color.


Jack and Jack

Jacks ‘R’ Better, LLC