|Ray Jardine, author: Trail Life, The Ray-Way Tarp Book Essential, Beyond Backpacking, Siku Kayak, The PCT Hiker's Handbook. This site features a collection of adventure stories and photo journals pertaining to long distance, lightweight hiking and backpacking, Baja and Arctic sea kayaking, Barrenlands canoeing, round-the-world sailing, skydiving, ocean rowing, bicycle and motorcycle touring, knifemaking, snowkiting, skiing to the South Pole, mountaineering and more!|
"This is our first sewing project, and we are having a lot of fun with it." Larissa G.
"The sewing journey I was on the last couple of weeks was an incredibly deep and enlightening experience to say the least! Sewing the quilt kit, tarp kit, backpack kit, stow sacks, and studying the tarp book, backpack video, and highly detailed instructions with extremely accurate diagrams = A whole new perspective :) Thank you Ray and Jenny" Will Lady
"We just finished our tarp (and are just starting the quilt). I cannot imagine sleeping under anything else now. What a tremendous feeling having made my own equipment. Thank you so much sharing your designs and whole new way of looking at things. Or should I say old way of looking at things. Not many years ago our parents and grandparents made everything they used, now everyone buys the things they use and somehow are never satisfied, and thus are depressed and taking pills and the drug conglomerates are getting rich, people are getting more depressed and so it goes. I have never been more satisfied with a piece of equipment. Because, I made it myself and that is satisfying, which is the antithesis of depression. Thanks again." Bruce R.
"I watched the pack making DVD. WOW!, great job, it is really clear, easy to follow and professionally done. I also finished my knife and sheath and am very pleased with how it came out. The steel in these blades seems to be particularly good" Richard M.
"I absolutely love the 2 person deluxe quilt. It's amazing how light it is. I love how you can adjust how it's positioned over you so you don't have to have a heat stroke like in a mummy bag. Thanks for putting the kits together and making them available to the public." Jason D.
"After doing a 50 mile slog through Kings Canyon in California with my son's scout team, I wanted to try lighter weight backpacking gear. The thought of making it myself with your kits intrigued me. My wife got me started sewing the 2-man tarp on her sewing machine. I heard her laughing and telling my daughter that I was actually sewing. The instructions provided told me everything I needed to know. My son and I tested the tarp out tonight in the backyard with a hose. It's water tight and ready to go! I'm starting the backpack next." Steve S.
"I was given a deluxe quilt kit by my wife for Christmas. It was my first time in front of a sewing machine - my wife showed me the basics then left with the kids for the weekend. I finished the foot box as she pulled back in the driveway. It turned out awesome and her pride in my work was a real boost. Thanks for the great kit - As you imply in your writing, learning to make your own gear is empowering, and I have an attachment to the quilt beyond what my expensive down bag ever meant to me. On top of that, my kids love it and want to sleep under it too, so I'm ordering two more quilts and a tarp." Michael M.
"I have made your two person tarp, net and insulated hat and have found them to be excellent for use in the Australian climate. It gives a real sense of satisfaction to know that you made it yourself and results in no end of questions from fellow bushwalkers. They all want to know where it came from and how good it is. In Australia we don't have the range of materials available to us from local suppliers and your kits make it possible to get the best and lightest at a sensible price. Thanks for making my walking so much more enjoyable." Duncan C.
"The quilt kit just arrived and I've already sewn it together and slept in it once in my back yard. The quilt kept me absolutely toasty the whole night. I woke up and thought I would check the temperature and I was blown away to find out that it had dropped to 37F overnight. The quilt kept me very warm even below the rated temperature and all I was wearing was a t-shirt and cotton pants. I had a blast making it and it weighs 1lb 9oz for the deluxe version. Thank you so much for this great new toy." Tom C.
"By sewing my own gear from the kits that you have meticulously designed and refined, I not only now have gear that is of the highest caliber but I also now have the skills to make this gear myself." David d.
"I recently completed my first project - a 1P quilt made with Light fabric and the extra 3D layer. It looks great, especially considering its the first time I've used a sewing machine! I had ordered the extra 3D layer knowing that my wife sleeps cold, and figuring that the quilt would catch her eye immediately. I guessed right, so have ordered a 1P quilt kit for myself. So if you've got a list of delighted customers, put us at the top! We'll be ordering the backpack kits next. Thanks for all your efforts." Don H.
"Hi Its Quilt Addic Fred, This Will be my 3rd quilt with you. Thanks a million. The quilts that I have already made are all that I now use to sleep in!" Fred W.
"I just wanted to thank you for the excellent backpack. I bought your kit last year while I lived in the US for a short while. As I did not have a sewing machine, I made it fully by hand - it took some 2 weeks several hours per day, but it was fun for most of the time - I was constantly mixing inches with centimeters. I took it canyoning for 2 weeks and it behaved extremely well - just some minor scratches, although I never seriously believed that the pack would stand all the abuse it went through. Now I am also using the backpack for packing hand luggage while traveling perfect size even more perfect weight, I am going shopping with it 35 kg 70-80 lbs without problems and, of course, backpacking. This year I am taking the pack ice climbing and on several backpacking and canoe trips." Atis R.
"I so much look forward to sewing and using these kits! Thank you SO much for the inspiration...I used to be a gearhead junkie..poring through the latest catalogs for the newest and best...you guys have given me the inspiration and the confidence to do it myself..cheaper and better! Thank You!!!" James P.
"I've ordered 8 packs for gifts and extras for if friends go hiking with me. Am ordering 4 more now. Thanks so much for the ideas and kits, Ray and Jenny!" Paul W.
"I have just completed my backpack after making a quilt and a stowbag for the quilt plus a knife. I still have a tarp to put together. I really enjoyed making my backpack. As soon as I was done I loaded it up with all the gear that I could find and found that even with a quilt and a bunch of stuff that it weighs less than my old pack did empty!" Eric S.
"The Quilt kit turned out great, only 1.25 lbs per person with the Gorget and Splitzip options. The Stowbags are the only way to go. I just ordered a Ray-Way backpack kit. Thanks so much for making such great kits that are beyond reasonably priced." Mark H.
"Thanks for making the kits available--we were in the process of locating and pricing the materials ourselves, but yours are actually cheaper by far, and we live near a sizeable outdoor fabric retailer." Trent H.
"I finished my pack yesterday morning! I think it came out very well, I am quite proud of it. For me the combination of the book and the video were superb, and you did a wonderful job with the instructional materials and the plans!" David d.
"Thanks for the great products. I've really come to trust your equipment." Thomas C.
"You have the COOLEST products. This is my second quilt from you." Fred W.
"I ordered my first quilt kit with much trepidation, due to the fact that my only prior sewing experience was watching my wife make throw pillows! I did the whole thing in about 7 hours!!! Wow. Though there are definate signs this quilt was done by a first-timer, it looks really good. This was a most exciting project and I cannot wait to use it. Thank you Ray and Jenny for a most inspirational project." Wil A.
"I received my standard quilt kit just a few days after I ordered it. I thought the kit was excellent. It took me exactly six hours to make from opening the box to sewing the last stitch. Just wanted you to know I'm a very satisfied customer." Patrick M.
"I recently purchased your quilt and tarp kits. I have finished the quilt, and it was easy to sew and is quite amazingly warm. Thanks so much and keep up the great work with your kits, the directions are clear and they are a good deal!" Rick T.
How many times do I need to keep telling you guys you really could be charging folks twice as much for your instructions and wealth of detailed design instructions!!! I can't even tell you how good a deal we all are getting for such great kits!! You guys are way to kind. I tried making my own packs and quilt when beyond backpacking first came out and I must say my first go around of equipment was 100 times more functional than the clunker gear of commercial stores but looked pretty cheezie and after your kits came out, my gear became A+ professional in function, looks, design, and strength!!! Not to mention lasting over 9 years, all year around heavy use!" - James G., CA
"Thank you so much for offering your variety wonderful kits. Thus far, I have sewn a tarp, net-tent, quilt and stowbags using your kits. I have also recently completed the knife kit and am about to start on the leather sheath. All of the kits produce a great looking final project and more importantly function extremely well while on the trail." James S.
"What a deal. I paid $200 for just a backpack before I bought your book, now I have all the major gear for that amount!" Eric S.
"Prior to the JF class I purchased and made your Ray-Way pack, quilt, tarp, net-tent, knife and sheath. I brought them all and they performed wonderfully. I was especially impressed with how my pack felt and performed when we loaded 22 pounds of water for the long climb up to our camp above treeline. The pack carried the load beautifully. The instructions were excellent." Rich M.
"I have just completed my first quilt. it was amazingly easy to put together, your directions were complete and simple to follow. Thank you so much." Jill H.
"Thank you very much for these sewing kits--they're awesome!!!" Trent H.
"I just finished up sewing my 3rd ray-way backpack last night, and I've been thoroughly pleased with the packs. I'll be sewing a couple more quilts in the next couple of days, along with another stowbag. Thanks again for the kits and the prompt service! Nothing but praise so far!" Paul W.
"Ray and Jenny, Thank you so much for offering your products in kit form. There is definitely *Magic* created while sewing your kits. After thru-hiking the AT in the early 90's, I never thought that I would bond with a backpack or sleeping bag (now quilt) again." Darren P.
"This will be my nineth quilt." Don R.
"Thank you for your wonderful kits. They are much more than a weekend project, they are passports to freedom - spiritual, physical, and material." Elleyne B.
"Ray and Jenny, THANK YOU for sharing your ideas, inspiration, experiences, advice, insight, philosophy, positive /limitless attitude, etc!! I have always enjoyed backpacking and what you call *elbow* room. However, as hard as it is to admit, I, like many others, have been disillusioned by marketers, advertisements, etc...until now! Early this year Molly and I decided to hike the John Muir Trail in August. We purchased 2 backpacks + the DVD, a Tarp, a Net-tent, a Quilt, 2 spools of thread and sewing machine. Having never sewn before I was a little nervous, but your encouragement and the success of others gave me confidence. I completed my backpack, tarp, net-tent, quilt, several ditty bags, stuff sacks for the quilt, 2 umbrella modifications, and a hiker's friend filter. Molly sewed her backpack and dehydrated our homemade food for the trip. In retrospect we are really glad we got these made as they proved indispensable! We were very pleased with the performance of all the gear." Brian L.
"I've enjoyed making your kits: seven backpacks, four tarps, two bat wings, and three quilts, so far." - Craig H.
"I am 14 years old and have recently finished a tarp kit from you. The tarp works great and I plan to use it during my scout troop's 50 miler on the Appalachian Trail. I am going to make a backpack kit next. Thank you for your great products." Ben B.
"I recently finished a quilt kit--thank you so much--it works great! Now that I've made one quilt, the next one will be a piece of cake. Thanks!" Steven B.
"Our first Quilt (and also first ever sewing project) only took a weekend to complete--GREAT INSTRUCTIONS, thanks." Blue & Nika M.
"This weekend my wife and I took our newly constructed Ray-Way tarp to Anza Borrego Desert SP for its inaugural voyage. We particularly enjoyed sleeping under the tarp which allowed for us to enjoy the perfectly still and balmy desert night without sweltering inside our old claustrophobic *backpacking* tent. Not to mention the other perks in leaving 4 unnecessary pounds at home and the deeper connection to the landscape of stars and sounds of the night." Ben T.
"I wanted to thank you guys for all that you do. I really appreciate your philosophies. I just finished making your tarp, quilt, pack, and stuff sack. It all turned out great. Its amazing how satisfying and rewarding it is to making your own gear. I am looking forward to many excursions with my newly sewn gear. Thanks for everything." JC P.
"I bought a Ray-Way pack last year and it was a joy to assemble. I never knew I could sew! My son and I are planning an extended packing trip this May for his HS graduation. I ordered another pack for him and we are both thrilled with our packs. Thanks Ray!" Taylor F.
"I love these projects." Nick R.
"I just finished the tarp project and am excited by the results. It was my first sewing project ever, and I can't wait to try it out." Noah B.
"I am sewing the kits with great enjoyment and sense of accomplishment. I finished the stowbag, and am now working on the quilt. Planning to do the backpack next, then the tarp & net-tent. I think that your materials, designs and instructions are simply superb. I can hardly wait to get out in the Sierra this summer and use the new gear." Steve S.
"Made a quilt last fall, it is fantastic!! Can't wait to make the Tarp (ordered today). Thank you so much!" Matt L.
"THANK YOU!!!! i love my pack- this one is for my husband (he said he'd even sew it!)" Elleyne B.
"We have made tarps, quilts and stowbags with total satisfaction. Keep up the good work." Phillip B., Australia
"I work at backpacking equipment shop and despite the fact that it's somewhat of a conflict business-wise, I am not hesitant to recommend Ray-Way products as a source of superior gear." Jeff D.
"I ordered a Package #1 (tarp, net-tent, Tarp Book, and thread), along with a delux 2-person quilt kit with the alpine upgrade, and two stowbag kits. The box and materials combined weigh less than the tent I use now!! And it's considered an ultralight product." Jason L.