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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