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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

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Way Point Mid Year 2008

2008 has been a great year to date…

Eight new significant JRB items debuted this year with full production run availability.  They include:

The long awaited Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock, the world’s only true lay flat hammock.  The initial production run of the BMBH sold out three months earlier than forecast.   An expeditious second production run quickly put this popular hammock back in stock.  Additionally, all BMBH delivered since April have included the JRB Tri-Glides for knot free and lashing free hanging.  More on the JRB Tri-Glide in a subsequent paragraph.

The JRB 11×10 Cat Tarp not only debuted but also sold out of the initial production run six months early.   The second production run is in stock and continues to be a customer pleasing item.  Perhaps it is the availability in two new subdued colors, cattail brown and moss green.  JRB tarps include appropriately sized silnyl stuff sacks.

Trail Day’s saw the unannounced introduction of a JRB Fifth Anniversary Special Quilt.   The JRB Winter Nest debuted as 10-15 degree capable model of the Original Nest, the world’s first commercially available under quilt.  Same perfect size, baffle height improved by 50 percent, five additional ounces of top quality, 800 power fill down, new five point suspension capability for improved fit and warmth.

Note:  the leg end modification for JRB Nests and any other JRB Standard Family Quilt is highlighted on our web site here and is available to JRB quilt owners free.  Again see the web site announcement for details.

We did bring back a weather shield capability for those minimal tarp users and those afflicted with soaking fog conditions needing additional protection.  Early Spring brought the availability of the JRB Weather Shield two (WS2).  It is slightly larger for improved coverage.  The weight was reduced by two ounces to 7 ounces total.  The WS2 is a three panel construct of water proof silnyl side panels and a breathable yet water resistant nylon center bottom panel.  Additionally, we added a foot box capability so that one item will now function as either an under shield or a top quilt bivi.  Finally it now comes in an appropriately sized silnyl stuff sack.

JRB Tri-glides were developed and introduced in late March.  These 3/16” aircraft grade aluminum are machined exclusively for JRB.  They turn any one inch wide nylon, polyester or polypropylene hammock suspension strap into a knot free and lashing free system.  They have been added to the BMBH as an upgrade feature.  They are sold separately and are also available with two polypro straps with loops to provide a full suspension set for hammock sold without suspension such as Eagles Nest, Travel and Byer hammocks.   A pair of JRB Tri-Glides weighs 8 grams or 0.3 ounces.  The JRB Tri-Glides and strap set weighs a mere 4.2 ounces.

July saw the roll out of another long awaited product, the JRB 8×8 Hammock Hut.  Twenty months in development, it is the world’s only commercially available full hammock tent.  Sized for use with currently available gathered end hammocks, it provides full side, sealed, top vented, single wall weather protection for a hammock camper and up to two ground dwellers.  All for only 1 pound 12 ounces, barely more than a large tarp.  Now for the first time those who want to hammock and have privacy and full protection, as well as those looking for family capability in one tent, and or those looking to protect large dogs in a hammock camp can have their cake and eat it too.

Finally, the Jack’s are pleased to announce there is now a zero degree capable under quilt.  The Mt Washington was debuted at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, in Salt Lake City, Utah in August.  The Mt Washington has a dual differential design with body contoured, constant height radial baffles.  It has a 22 percent overstuff of top quality 800 power fill down and lofts to 4-5 inches.  In use, it’s loft will not compress.  Just snug it up to any hammock bottom with the provided JRB suspension system.  The Mt Washington weighs 28 ounces and comes with a 1.5 oz JRB Compression Sack which allows it to be stuffed to as little as 8x8x9, if desired.

For ground dwellers, the Mt Washington will mate to the JRB Down to Earth Pad Converter with the addition of full length omni tape, separately available.

A hugely successful close out sale of the old kelly green JRB 8×8 Tarps made way for the currently available subdued models in both cattail brown (a nice match for brown Hennessy hammock models) and moss green.

Self Tensioning Line (STL) sets which include two ridge cords and appropriate numbers of STL for JRB small tarps and large tarps were added, at discounted prices to our regular offering of STLs in pairs.

Finally, JRB is pleased to announce, Jacks ‘R’ Better gear is coming to an outfitter near you.  There are now outfitters in Louisiana, Ohio, Georgia and Virginia carrying JRB products.  You can find their names and location on our Retailers page, here.  You the customer are the best indicator that a retailer will do well to carry JRB products.  If you would like to see JRB in a quality outfitter near you, suggest it to them.  Also send us an e-mail and we will reinforce your suggestion with phone calls, brochures, and catalogs to the outfitters.

On a summary note … The first two thirds of 2008 has been great!  The JRB web site has turned over 100,000 hits … AND … JRB quilts number in the thousands.


Jack and Jack

Jacks ‘R’ Better, LLC



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Way Point and Azimuth to 2008

As we close out our fourth year of operation Jacks ‘R’ Better, LLC has continued its phenomenal growth.  Our planned introduction of three new quilt models in 2007 resulted in on-time debuts of the Springer and Katahdin quilts to complete full four season options in the JRB Family of Large Quilts.  In the Standard family of quilts the Hudson River quilt debuted about two months later than planned but quite successfully. It added a third three season quilt, at significant economy, to the JRB Family of Standard Quilts.

Production capacity, quality, investment and inventory growth all made quantum improvement with our move to a full shop operation last March.  The most noticeable impact for our customers was that all long models of quilts moved from a three week special order status to “In Stock” and joined our routine 24-72 hour shipping.

Our planned introduction of the Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock and our two hammock tents made considerable progress in prototype development and production planning.  Although material sourcing and both trial and production runs continue, we anticipate bringing these items to market this fall/early winter.  Be assured the market debuts of this truly unique hammock and these full protection hammock tents will be one of our major foci for the 2008 model year.

2008 will see the introduction of our tenth quilt model.  Francis Tapon is currently about halfway thru the return leg of his Continental Divide Trail YOYO hike.  Francis, an accomplished ultra light and Triple Crown hiker, is sponsored by Jacks ‘R’ Better.  His sleep system and camp insulation is a prototype winter No Sniveller quilt.  When his hike is complete this fall and his test observations are included, JRB will debut the Rocky Mountain Sniveller.  The RMS will complete the No Sniveller style quilt line by providing a true winter model to compliment the three season No Sniveller and the Summer Stealth wearable quilts.

Sadly, the Weather Shield was dropped from production last year.  This unique product was designed for special extreme environments.  It was very economic and extremely water and windproof yet very light because of its two ply micro porous polypropylene material composition.  Our material source was bought and the production machinery was dismantled and shipped to China.  As of this writing we have not found a suitable replacement materiel that does not increase weight by 50-60 percent or quadruple the cost.  Accordingly we were forced to discontinue the Weather Shield.  We are still actively searching for a suitable replacement material and hope to reintroduce it eventually.


Jack and Jack

Jacks ‘R’ BetterTM, LLC