Customer Comments

Ray-Way Products

Ray & Jenny Jardine


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We are so grateful for our customers. A big thanks to one and all!
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"Just got my first Ray-Way kits together (Quilt and Hat) and must say, congratulations for instructions and material! Great job! Compared to a project I finished a year ago (another brand anorak), your instructions were much, much clearer and easier to follow!" - Urs G., Switzerland
"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.
"How many times do I need to keep telling you guys you really could be charging folks twice as much for your kits 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 too 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. After your kits came out, my gear became A+ professional in function, looks, design, and strength!!! Not to mention lasting over 9 years of all year around heavy use!" James G., CA
"I just wanted to make a comment about the thread you sell. After playing with the bobbin tension per the instructions, this thread sews perfectly. It's stronger than store bought, and seems to feed better. Also, virtually no lint buildup in the bobbin case. I've sewed 2 tarps and several stuff sacks with it, and I am a lifelong customer." - Robert G., TX
"I just ordered one of your two person quilt kits after enjoying your tarp kit so much!" -Scott M., WA
"Our 2 person quilt was a joy to construct. The wife was skeptical on how it would work, now she won't use anything else." - Kevin N.
"I have made 3 of your backpacks, 2 quilts, a tarp and a two-person net-tent. They are great!" -Mary E.
"Hi Jenny and Ray, You both are doing great stuff. I read 'Beyond Backpacking' years ago and got hooked on ultralight backpacking. My first project was your Backpack-Kit. Your kits are of outstanding quality and, especially because of the very good instructions, worth every cent! Thanks for sharing your experiences. You both raised a new generation of backpackers - free in their minds, free of commercial influences, thinking for themselves. All the best from Germany " C.F.
"Thank you for inspiration and providing a method for a 62 y.o. retired guy to even think and plan an AT adventure." -Jim C.
"Hey Ray & Jenny, The last Ray-Way backpack I made has done over 10,000 miles, but I need a new one. I still have my old video for making the pack, hopefully it still applies to the one I ordered here. Still the best backpack out there!" Scott Williamson, CA
"Your tips and experiences in your books "Tarp Book Essentials" and "Trail Life" allowed me - 6 years after having replaced my natural hips by artificial joints - to start again hiking with a minimum of package and an optimum of joy." Michael S., Germany
"The quilt kit just arrived and I've already sewn it together and slept in it in my back yard. 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 absolutely toasty the whole night, 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 product." Tom C.
"The Ray-Way quilts are awesome; I haven't used a sleeping bag once since making my first quilt a year or so ago. This includes two trips in snow, and a few near-freezing temp trips in the desert. When people are worried about the feasibility of going ultralight, the Ray-Way quilts are exhibit number one in convincing them that ultralight is not about skimping on safety and comfort. Not only are the quilts lighter than conventional equipment, but they are better: every bit as warm, easier to adjust to comfort, less constricting, and more adaptable to multiple uses (e.g., as a blanket around camp). The kits were straightforward to put together with clear instructions taking you through the process step-by-step. I am an ultra-satisfied customer." Scott G.
"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 just finished the the JMT and put the Ray-Way tarp to the test. We had some intense storms. It was the windiest, rainiest and most lightening I've camped in, and most intense storm I've seen since moving to California. I remained completely dry inside the net tent and under my quilt. I knew that the tarp should hold up, but now I know viscerally how strong a shelter system it is! I was at Lake Marjorie just north of Pinchot Pass for the show. It was plain awesome! Thanks again for producing such a great product." -David C., CA
"I've made so many of your projects that I need more thread. Thanks!" Earl W.
"Thanks again Ray and Jenny for the awesome products you have made available. I have read Beyond Backpacking several times and have given it away several times. I have thought about making my own quilt, tarp and pack but wanted more instruction and *hand holding*. Your kits are the answer. You guys are doing wonderful things. keep it up." Geoff G.
"My Ray-Way backpack has been traveling with me around Europe. Not only do I enjoy its many advantages, but I'm also very proud when friends ask me where I have it from. Being so content with this product, I have decided to also make a two-person quilt for an upcoming hiking trip in Southern Italy." -Stefan M., Germany
"I just returned from a trip along the JMT and my Ray-Way tarp worked fantastic! There was quite a bit of rain, thunder, lightning and hail but the tarp took it all in stride. My Ray-Way quilt also worked great!" -Darren O.
"I can't say enough good things about your Ray-Way designs! I've been able to go out on trips once a month all last year, call them "microadventures" and plan to do the same this year. Even in the dead of winter up just shy of the Arctic Circle, Ray-Way gear works great! Cheers Ray and Jenny for the awesomeness of your designs!!!" -James G.
"I am really enjoying the process of building your kits. So far I have finished my first quilt and stuff bag. They are beautiful and I can't wait to try it out in two weeks on the Tamarak Trail. Thank you so much for your guidance and your very useful information." -Frank A., NY
"I made Ray-Way quilt, tarp, and spitfire and used them on my 2010 AT thru hike, and loved how they performed! Thanks soo much for offering these kits!" -Jason T.
"I recently ordered your 2 person quilt kit, and found the instructions and materials to be of superior quality. The project took a little longer than expected, but the results have been well worth the time and effort. The quilt fits perfectly. As for performance, we hurried off the very next weekend to try it out. The weight savings was incredible, weighing less than one of our traditional bags. The trip was a bit blustery and got down into the 30's but we noticed no loss of comfort. Thank you for such an innovative idea." Jason M.
"We had a wonderful two weeks cycling trip across the alps from Germany to Italy. I finished the tarp just before we left and it did a great job. Thank you for the ideas and the materials. Accomplishing the sewing project has been a deeply satisfying experience!" - Dominik, Germany
"I ordered Trail Life and it changed my whole backpacking paradigm. Now after 20 years of health issues, i have been able to hit the trails once again. So I'm putting another order together. Thank You!" -Ron T
"I purchased your tarp and quilt kits. The instructions are easy to follow and the finished quality is equal to or better than anything store bought. I took my first lightweight trip with my dad and my dogs. The tarp and quilt kept me more than warm in the 30 degree weather. When it is not in use I leave the quilt laying out on a spare bed so that it stays lofted. I also made it a little larger as my dogs like to sleep under it with me, it is probably more of a two person. The quilt is so comfortable that I stripped the blankets and sheets from my bed and use it instead. Camped along Reavis Creek in the Superstition Mountains, this was also the first time I had ever slept under a tarp and it was amazing. Warm, no condensation in the morning, no getting up to let dogs out for bathroom breaks, and I had it stowed and my pack loaded the next morning before my dad made it out of his tent." -Daniel S.
"I have built most of your kits over the past few years and find the finished products to be functionally superior to anything on the market today. The backpack is the first one to fit me perfectly. My wife and I will never use a tent on the trail again, as your tarp is vastly more enjoyable to sleep beneath, and the 2P quilt we've used happily for a year now. And the one kit that has given me the most down-right pleasure is the knife kit." - Tom C., AZ
"I want to thank you for setting me down the road of lightweight backpacking--I have gotten out more, and further, since reading "Trail Life" than ever before, thanks to the Ray-Way. The tarp performs fantastically. I am now working on a 2-person quilt kit." -Greg P.
"Hey guys, Just wanted to say that I very much enjoy my Ray-Way Tarp. I've used a lot of products and have the ability to purchase most products at a discount. However, I'd rather use the tarp in most cases. Simplicity is elegance. Solid work on your product design. I want to put together a Net-Tent as well, so my wife and I will be sewing that up." John W., UT
"Thanks for providing such awesome, and well-thought kits. My son (now 15) and I made one of your two person tarps last summer. He's a very active Eagle Scout and has been using it exclusively ever since, even in the winter. He says he'll never use a tent again. The tarp is 1/3 the weight of his "lightest" backpacking tent. He camped under it this winter in temperatures below 20F at night and he said he was warmer under the tarp than he's ever been in a tent in winter. He's also read your book Trail Life cover to cover several times and says he learns something new every time. He's one of your biggest fans. Keep up the good work." Scott M., IN
"Hey Ray and Jenny! Just ordered the tarp and net kits for my PCT thru hike this year! Couldn't go wrong with your products, I've heard nothing but praise!" -Mark D.
"Just finished reading Trail Life. Wow! Within 30 minutes my way of thinking about backpacking was changed. By the end the read I have a completely shifted view about gear and preparing for and enjoying the outdoors. Thinking for yourself about these things is actually more fun. I have taken my first step toward "commercial independence" by making my own a fleece hat and mittens on my wife's sewing machine. Next comes your tarp. Big Thanks for sharing your knowledge, experience and philosophy. It has made a difference." Dana N., CA
"This will be my second Ray-Way backpack. You wouldn't believe all the places the first one's been. Thank you!!" -Melissa
"People have commented that your thread lasts forever." -Julius D., FL
"I just am putting the finishing touches on the backpack kit. When I first read the instructions I was a bit overwhelmed and thought "What have I gotten into." However, by following the instructions one step at a time they made perfect sense. I don't think I have ever worked with another set of instructions that were as detailed and well thought out as yours. The pack gradually took shape before my eyes and the daunting process ended up being a series of small steps. Thanks for all the effort you put into the instructions and the kit. After completing the process I now see the genius in the order and progression. Again superb. I will be ordering some more Ray-Way kits in the future." Ron S., VA
"I just finished up a thru-hike on the A.T. using your philosophy and sewing kits extensively. 2183.7 miles (includes the approach trail) in 88 days. Thank you two so much for sharing your thoughts, ideas, and sewing instructions with a backpacking novice like me." Paul W.
"Just crossed the Brooks Range 170 miles. Used Ray-Way gear & methods exclusively. We found the Ray-Way gear better suited for navigating the challenges of the Arctic landscape. Our best memories were being all cozy & warm under our tarp & quilt, in a downpour, with all the exploding sights, colors and smells of the late summer tundra all around. Ah the places my homemade gear has taken me! Many thanks!" -James G. AK
"it has been extremely rewarding making my Ray-Way tarp and quilt on my own and can't wait to use them this summer!" -Jason T., MD
"I've ordered a tarp kit, net-tent kit, and quilt kit, all of which I've enjoyed immensely." -Nick D., ON Canada
"Thanks a lot for your effort! You really offer the finest materials, we both LOVE the Quilts, the lightweight nylon fabrics in their beautiful colours, they have real mood improving qualities! And it's relaxing to follow your instructions, they're so well thought out! Thanks for your good work by which you also improve our lives." Kirsten G., Germany
"I’m extremely grateful for your efforts and that you’re sharing this Blood Cleaner technology." -Conall M.
"It's been a few years since I've tried to sew anything, so I like the step-by-step of the quilt instructions you included. The quilt kit and instructions are excellent. " -Helen A., WA
"Dear Ray, I am writing to thank you. My copies of all of your books are dog-eared from being referenced again and again. I have great respect for the manner in which you share your experience, knowledge, suggestions and opinions. From the beginning I recognized that you were interested in attraction rather than promotion, and this principle seems to be pervasive throughout your writing. You write with respect for the intelligence of your readers; rather than try to "prove" that your way is best, you simply explain what works for you and invite readers to experiment for themselves if they wish. Mostly, I am thankful because your influence has allowed me to enjoy nature far more than I would have otherwise. I feel the purpose of gear is just to work so that it stays out of the way and allows the natural flow of being outdoors to emerge. The Ray-Way has taught me about being present, mindful, and happy in the outdoors, rather than "protecting" me from nature. Finally, I would like to thank you for sharing your life of adventure so thoroughly and enjoyably in your books and on your website. Every trip report makes the world of possibility a bit larger for me. Thank you." John G., Shenzhen, China
"Now that my son has outgrown the pack I made for him almost 2 years ago, he's sewing a bigger one. I'm sewing a higher capacity one for myself at the same time, so we are going step by step together. This is his second sewing project, having started learning on a quilt stowbag. We're going slowly, and we're very thankful for the excellent instructions you guys have developed. Thanks Ray and Jenny." Mike W., CA
"Just finished my 2P splitzip Quilt, and tested it out in the Tetons/Yellowstone! I'd gone with the woodland insulation for an up-and-coming bike trip, but my wife and I slept TOASTY-warm even though the night temperatures in Wyoming's monstrous mountains were far from the recommended temperature rating! I attribute this to wonderful cuddling feature of the quilt, and your aforementioned advice on wearing warmer clothes to sleep in. Even though some of my stitches mighta' zigged and zagged, the quilt looks and works great! It was my first sewing project, and I could see my proficiency improving with every step along the quilt's instructions. Can't wait to make another "prettier" version come my next adventure! Thanks for all your help, advice and ideas!" Brent L.
"I’m extremely grateful for your Blood Cleaner efforts and that you’re sharing this technology." -Conall M.
"Thanks for all your impact on the ultralight hiking community, and for offering such great products. Best regards from Germany" Jan W.
"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.
"Just completed a knife purchased from you. It turned out great. When I went to sharpen it more (it was already very sharp), I used the sharpening method from your video. I have never been able to get a knife as sharp as this one. I love the blade, the sharpening system, and video sharpening instructions. Another great Ray-Way product." Ron S., VA
"I just wanted to let you know how impressed my wife and I continue to be with the versatility and functionality of our single layer Alpine 2-person quilt. We easily cover temps to 45 without adding more than a thin hat to our shorts and hiking shirts, impressive for a single layer of 3/4" insulation. Yet we don't get too hot at 75. Sharing body heat is a massive plus; it's amazing how much less insulation this allows us to get away with. The Gorget ensures a lovely warmth-snaring drape. It's amazing how much warmth is felt the second the Draft Stopper is tucked under our bodies and between our necks. The split zip makes it feel nearly weightless in our pack. We love all our Ray Way gear, but the quilt is really my favorite! Thanks for taking the time to refine this lovely piece of gear and make it so accessible through your kits." Kerry, MI
"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.
"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.
"Thank you for sharing your journey around the world! I really enjoyed it. Now when I am working on my quilt I can have a better appreciation of the wonderful people who designed it." - David B.
"I started the Blood Cleaner 4 weeks ago and I have noticed a Huge improvement in my health. And I look forward to getting so much better! Iam feeling this is all too good to be true! but I honestly can say...I was a person very near death and suffered like there was no tomorrow. Iam more than happy to be you and Jenny's Customer, you two are saving my life!! Thank you!!" - Sherry B.
"Thank you very much for the great communication and fast shipping! Unfortunately, now I must repackage everything and wrap each item in Christmas paper/ribbons as this is my gift to myself this year!" - doug s.
"I ordered your Tarp Book Essential, Trail Life, and a Tarp recently and have read the books cover to cover. They have been very thought provoking and have helped me look at things in a new way. One afternoon I slept in the tarp during a hard rain. I was nervous because I was in a bit of depression between two trees. I stayed completely dry without a drop of water inside the tarp. The water run-off just soaked into the ground. The next morning I made my breakfast inside the tarp on my alcohol stove. There was so much room and ventilation. I am having a paradigm shift and want to sew more gear." Ron S., VA
"Hi Jenny and Ray, just finished your backpack kit and tested it on Mallorca / GR221 a few days. It performed excellent without a hip belt. My next project is to sew a quilt." Andreas L., Germany
"I really enjoyed making my tarp, net tent, and sleeping quilt. I've been rereading Trail Life and the Tarp Book Essential as well. Thank you for making sewing so easy and fun. I'll be working next on my backpack next! I plan to be on the High Sierra Trail this July." - Aika M. CA
"I have enjoyed making you kits over the years and just want to say thank you for such a great products." - Bruce R.
"Your kits are perfect. I have never sewed before but was able to follow the instructions and get a lot of praise from friends and family on the finished projects. My hiking buddy and I have been going every other day on hikes to train for our upcoming trip. We are having a blast together. Thank you again for making my life richer and fuller." Randall B.
"I watched the backpack 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.
"THANK YOU for all that you have done to make it possible for amateur beginners like myself to make our own quality pieces of gear. I have completed the Net tent, Tarp, insulated hat, and 1P Quilt, and all have been a truly incredible learning experience. The quality of your designs have so many in-built subtleties and details that emerge as the sewing journey unfolds, and yet it all flows naturally with the use of only a simple, carefully chosen materials. The fact that the process has been easy enough for a beginner like me to successfully complete is an astounding design achievement. I am truly in awe!" Raymond Y., Western Australia
"I ordered another Blood Cleaner for mum and Dad. They seem pretty excited by the idea." - Ben D.
"I am very grateful for the insight you provide in your writings, your encouragement that you provide in the kits, and guidance for folks like me who have never sewn in their life - as well as the incredible support you have provided when we go astray. It is obvious you take great pride in your products and truly care about your customers. Thanks again" Michael B., MD
"I recently completed my first project - a 1P quilt made with Light fabric and the extra layer. It looks great, especially considering its the first time I've used a sewing machine! I had ordered the extra 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.
"I decided to try to assemble your deluxe quilt kit on a long weekend. By the second night I was sleeping under it! (Quite comfy, by the way.) The directions were clear, the materials outstanding, and the work involved was not that difficult, despite tri-focals and an el-cheapo sewing machine. I want to thank you for making this wonderful project possible. I am literally a happy camper!!" Greg D.
"Thank you very much for these sewing kits--they're awesome!!!" Trent H.
"I just finished the JMT and finally put the tarp to the test. We had some intense storms at Lake Marjorie just north of Pinchot Pass. It was plain awesome! It was the windiest, rainiest and most lightening I've camped in and most intense storm I've seen. I remained completely dry inside the net-tent and under my quilt. I knew the tarp should hold up, but now I know viscerally how strong the shelter system is! Thanks again for producing such great products." - David C.
"I successfully sewed your backpack and quilt and used them on my hiking trip to the Altai Mountains in Russia. Most notable a 10-day hike around Belukha mountain. Everything worked almost perfectly. Next time I hope to order and sew the tarp kit. Thanks for the site, info and possibility to make my own backpack and quilt!" -Gwen F., Altai, Russia
"I think your kits are fantastic." Jeanette E.
"I just placed an order for some of your awesome thread. I'm about to run out and realize now I should have followed your advice and ordered more than one spool! oh well, I ordered 3 this time because I can't imagine using any other thread for any of my projects ever again." Joel C., IN
"I have completed my backpack kit. The materials, kit instructions and well engineered, elegant design were much appreciated. Lightweight does not have to be fragile - and now that I have made this pack I can see it lasting for a long, long time. I wish I had this during my boy scout days. Would have made those hikes less painful. Can't wait to put some miles on this pack!" -Brooks P.
"We have placed two orders for a trip to north Sweden, laponia. We have heard and read enough about your kits to be absolutely unconcerned about the high quality. Thank you so much for the opportunity to order such great stuff. We are completely amazed by your business." - Eddie and Helene P., Germany
"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.
"I received the backpack kit and video, along with the quilt, etc. The video hits just the right spot for demonstration and explanation of the steps involved. I know it's not meant to replace the instructions, but seeing it done is a great help and worth every penny. Thank you again for doing the video, this way many people can take a sewing class with you. I also want to note that your instructions for the tarp kit are clear and easy to follow as well as helpful in teaching sewing techniques, i.e. a balanced stitch and different types of seams. Needless to say, what you provide at any cost is a bargain, so much gratitude to you and Jenny." Steve B.
"My son and I took our Ray-Way tarps to Philmont this year and they were awesome. The head ranger was not happy with our tarps. Said they did not meet the Philmont Standard ... a tent. Anyway, since we were already on the trail, we were able to complete the trek with them. It was awesome, rain, hail, wind, always dry and what views the entire trek. We use the tarps all year here in MN and wherever we go. It is amazing to see how much better they work than tents, especially for eliminating condensation and we love the open views. The tarps have been a big success so tonight, I'm ordering a quilt for myself and a tarp kit for one of my Assistant Scoutmasters! Ray & Jenny - thanks for the awesome design, complete kits and quality materials!" Ken D., MN
"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.
"Let me again take a moment to thank you for your books and kits. I absolutely adore the gear I've made (including 4 quilt kits) and always look forward to using them." -Kerry, MI
"Just ordered a couple more books. Love giving them away." - Craig C.
"On the hundred mile wilderness, Maine AT, I carried my 2800 Ray-Way pack plus tarp, spitfire, and quilt (and plenty of food :). I am really proud of how beautifully the kits came out. But more importantly they made my successful completion of hike possible. I love the feeling of freedom your light weight kits have given me. I also love how the system allows me to go from hiking to camping in minutes. The simplicity of Ray's roving hitch really makes setting up the tarp a breeze. The illustrated guide to pitching the tarp in the TBE has really improved my pitching skills. I feel confident in my ability to complete longer treks." - John B.
"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.
"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.
"Just finished a ton of fun trips all over Alaska. I decided to experiment and use traditional backpacking gear for a couple of trips in the northern latitudes of AK. Yet in every scenario the tent failed miserably in multi-day wind, rain, and damp conditions. The whole time, Gena and I wished we had our homemade Ray-Way tarp and bug tent, even above the Arctic Circle. I know from our previous trips in the Brooks Range the tarp would have out performed the tent in all these places. Can't say enough good things about your designs!!! Been saying it for years." -James Gibling, AK
"My 1st quilt was finished last weekend - 5 more to go for family, 2 kits arrived today. Slept in mine for 2 nights @ 36'F - lovely! Perfect instructions." -Cassi Y.
"Just finished the first two quilts, boy is that fun. My son had a few friends over while I was sewing and he was bragging about his dad sewing and about how lightweight his gear is. What fun to see the look on the boys faces when they saw a dad sitting at a sewing machine. The quilts are awesome and so much better than the pictures elude to. The construction is excellent (as with all your kits) and the instructions are easy to follow. I just ordered more thread because with one backpack, a tarp, 2 quilts, (so far) 3 quilt and stowbags, and other ditty bags and many other little repairs and projects, I finally need more." Geoff G.
"I had zero experience with a sewing machine, but making your backpack was a thoroughly enjoyable journey. It was time consuming, but worth it. Can't wait to try it out! Thank you so much!" -Kayla E.
"I gave away the last four Trail Life's I ordered a few weeks ago, now I'm ordering four more. Everyone appreciates the book." Mark F., WA
"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.
"Your sewing kits are the best! Plus, it is so much fun to make my own gear - I'm up late every night at the sewing machine, listening to books on tape and stitching away. The instructions are very good, obviously carefully written and reviewed, so they are quite clear and complete. Everything about these products is first class. The backpack and extra thick sleeping quilt passed their first test this month on a 24 mile winter backpacking hike. The Trail Life book is a treasure of experience and information. Thank you so much for everything." Stephen K., KY
"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.
"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.
"So far, i've made your tarp, sleeping quilt, knife, batwing, and now this will be my second backpack. You seriously provide the best products of anywhere out there - no competition! I don't think people realize what a huge value your kits are. I would pay double the price of these kits. Thanks for providing such incredible materials, books, and service!" Agnieszka G.
"If you are considering hiking all or part of the PCT, I recommend you forget all that you know about hiking, especially if it is based on conventional backpacking knowledge. Study Ray's advice and you will learn things the easy way, rather than having to learn from your struggles like I did my first year on the trail." - Scott Williamson
"I am reading your book, Trail Life, and I am so intrigued and excited! We want a backpack that we can use for all types of hiking and after much looking and comparing we came back to your website and without a doubt know we will be forever happy with making one ourselves with your kit!" -Margie G.
"I just want to thank you for all the knowledge you've imparted for a great cause. Not only innovative and inspiring but also well written. You have changed my life. I sewed a Ray-way tarp and I'm hoping to use it on the AT this summer." Paul E., MN
"While preparing for our FFT (first Ray Way!), few things have been as valuable as "Trail Life". Early in my studying the book, I started making notes. My notes quickly turned into pages, too large for a web post. So rather than trying to convince experienced outdoor enthusiasts to buy your book, I just started buying extra copies and gifting them. If I hadn't buddied around and climbed with Ray in Yosemite, I might find what the two of you have accomplished as somewhat unbelievable. For the less experienced adventurist, in a one-liner summary I would simply suggest the following: "Ray and Jenny provide not only useful products and trustworthy information to believe - but also, and more importantly - two people to believe IN." You can quote me on that. Thanks again for sharing your experiences, tips and inspirations. I love what you have done and are doing." Craig C., AK
"I am thru hiking the AT and now under my Ray-Way tarp and quilt in the middle of a thunderstorm 19 miles north of Harpers Ferry and am dry as toast. Lots of people have recognized the tarp as being a Ray-Way product so I must have done an ok job of sewing." James G.
"I started using the Blood Cleaner, and it's working wonderfully, as well as making Nano silver I'm getting Great results! I'm so impressed with this unit, and means a lot to me knowing they are hand made by Ray and Jenny, two very intelligent people! I just bought another 300 Blood Cleaner just to put away. Everyone should have one of these, healthy or not! Just makes so much common sense. Once again Thank you both so much!" -Sherry R., Canada
"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'm working on backpack kit, the instructions are easy to follow. This is my forth Ray-Way project and I feel like I can now sew anything." John K.
"I'm sure you get this all of the time, but I just adore you guys. Not only because of the amazing things you do or the awesome advice you give, but because you do all of these adventures together. If I could pick any two people in the world to meet, it would be you. May you have many more adventures to come!" C. P.
"Thanks for the great kits. I have completed the tarp, quilt, hat, backpack, and a knife kit and have ordered a net tent kit. I must say that the instructions in your kits are bombproof. They are extremely well written and make the process easy. You simply do one simple thing at a time. My son and I spent a week on the trail in Shenandoah National Park. The backpack and tarp performed exceptionally. We even weathered a couple of blistering thunderstorms and stayed completely dry. We used many principles and ideas from Trail Life to keep our packs light." Ron S., VA
"I just want to say thanks for the awesome tarp kit. I had a wonderful dry night despite the rain. Your Trail Life book has so many great tips to offer. A huge thanks to you!" -Valerie A., UK
"The order placed today will be my seventh backpack!! Two for myself, and others as gifts. Planning on the AT with ALL Ray-Way gear." Craig H., GA
"I finally thru hiked the AT with my son. I was a student of Ray's in a 1975 Outward Bound course. He has been a life long guru to me. Thank you Ray!" - Rob S., NH
"We sewed like fiends for a month--two backpacks, a sleeping quilt, tarp, and net tent along with stowbags--and then took the gear on a five-day alpine trek. Everything worked so well that it was hard not to evangelize Ray-Way to our friends, who may have found our enthusiasm a little tiresome (they were carrying considerably more weight). Thanks for the excellent video guidance and the paper instructions as well as for writing Trail Life and The Tarp Book. We cite you constantly! We can hardly wait to go on our next trip . . . thanks for re-igniting our passion for trail life." -Catherine & Dan, BC Canada
"I've been a devotee of Ray-Way hiking since I read Beyond Backpacking in about 1999. A few years ago I ordered and sewed a two-person tarp, and I've used it on Outward Bound trips in Colorado these last two summers. It has worked really well! The tarp has even sheltered three people on two courses; I know it's not designed for that, but we were all fairly short, and didn't mind scooting close together when it rained. Thank you for the high quality kit, and for the inspiration over the years!" Priscilla H., CO
"I ordered a tarp kit, net-tent kit, 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.
"I completed my quilt last month. It turned out great! Just ordered 2 more. One for my son, and one for my son in law. I also ordered the tarp book, so that will be my next project! Thank you!" Will N., NZ
"Wow, your new knife kit that I received today is really over the top! Your other blades were excellent and I made quite a number of beautiful functional knives with them. Your new blade is what I consider the optimum in shape, finish, grind, thickness, quality and overall design. It is exceptionally sharp right out of the box and after a run through the Ray-Way sharpening method I am positive that it will have no equal." - Fred E.
"Made a quilt last fall, it is fantastic!! Can't wait to make the Tarp (ordered today). Thank you so much!" Matt L.
"Just let me say that Ray is THE God of backpacking in my book. When I read the Hiker's Handbook some 20 years ago I was blown away and you forever changed my outlook on the great outdoors. And you singlehandedly created an ultralight movement and a cottage industry to support it!" -Mark C.
"We're having a great time on the A.T. using your gear and system and have met a number of others doing the same." Ben and Lauren T. J.F.
"Hello Ray, Jenny! I'm currently putting together several of your kits (I've finished the Quilt, Tarp and I'm about halfway through the Backpack), I can't stress enough how awesome the projects are. I've really gotten to enjoy sewing, and am extremely proud of the projects I've finished. Another bonus is that the instructions are so well thought out and detailed that you're practically given no room to mess up :) I've found that any delays in sewing were due to me not having read them carefully enough, thus spending time with the seam ripper :) And, the triple and quadruple stitching on the backpack shoulder straps almost made me feel like I was putting together a parachute harness! :)" Dan D., Prague, Czech Republic
"I took up backpacking but didn't get very far because I was not strong enough to carry all the recommended gear. But adopting your gear with the training I'm doing now, I'm looking forward to a lot of fun backpacking this summer. I'm loving my just completed quilt and am working on my tarp and spitfire. Thank you for your kindness in sharing your experiences and your encouraging attitude." Kristin B., VT
"I ordered the quilt kit last month. What a boost of confidence your clear instructions gave me! I felt like a sewing expert (once I remembered how to thread the machine). I'm looking forward to another fun sewing adventure with the tarp and net-tent kits. Thank you." -NM
"your 2-person tarp performed flawlessly in our last outing, bivouacing at 1900m in a pretty stiff breeze (Föhn), temperatures around 10°C (50°F). The next official weather station (Adelboden) recorded gales up to 52km/h that night. We were on 1900 and certainly got our share of that: Anything not weighed down with a rock or staked to the ground would be blown away – I actually was surprised how little your tarp was affected by the wind." - Urs G.
"My wife likes my quilt so much that she doesn't want it finished (i. e. close the foot end). So, I'll let her have that one and I'll make another one (this one with alpine insulation). We'll get to try both." Michael B., MD
"You have the COOLEST products. This is my second quilt from you." Fred W.
"My wife and I recently did a nice 7 day hike on the North Country trail here in Michigan, using Ray-Way Backpacks, Tarp, Net-Tent and Quilt. One of the nights we weathered a torrential downpour during a heavy (but windless) thunderstorm. We had never seen rain like that. We found out from a local person the following afternoon that it had rained at a rate of 5" per hour where we were-- torrential indeed. We stayed completely dry under the tarp, if not kept awake by the extraordinary noise of that rain. Site selection gleaned from your books also played a role-- no pooling to speak of on our elevated site on a very thick bed of pine needles." Kerry R., SW Michigan
"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 LOVE my Ray-Way quilt and have ordered another quilt kit for my sis for Christmas." -Deborah H.
"I love this quilt! I have used it on several trips this year on the AT and will not go back to a sleeping bag. I have slept very warm in temperatures down to the high 30's. It is built with two layers of woodland." - William D.
"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 stowbag. 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.
"Ray-Way gear is hands-down the best gear a wilderness traveler can carry." - James G.
"I ordered your tarp kit and everything went great. You provide very detailed, yet easy to follow instructions. I also ordered your Atlantic Caper video, which I enjoyed very much. I'm glad you added the skydiving footage at the end...very cool." Calvin H., Ohio
"I’ve really enjoyed sewing all the kits I’ve ordered from you." -Chris J., CA
"I just made a second quilt, this one with extra insulation for winter camping, and had one of the coziest nights ever at bitingly cold Joshua Tree over the weekend. This was under a tarp, while wearing the insulated hat. A ray-way triumvirate!" Scott G.
"I have been using my Blood Cleaner for over a month with great results. As a trail runner I'd like thank you for developing a tool of this nature and selling it for such a reasonable price. And thanks for writing about your adventures, I love reading about them and find the travelogues to be inspirational and educational." -Andrew F., CA
"Just dropping you a note about how pleased I am with the tarp I made from your kit. We took a group of scouts to Mt. Whitney this summer and it held up well through many days of rain keeping us warm and dry. One evening it blew especially hard, but the tarp stood firm. The other scouts and leaders were impressed as well (but not as comfortable in their domes)." Greg Z.
"I use Ray-Way camping gear on bike tours. I am really proud of my backpack! Thank you!" -Francois L., Québec
"Our ($800) order is large because we figured we might as well just jump into the “Ray-way” with both feet. It is perhaps a bit rash to order everything at once, but we’ve read through your website thoroughly and from what we’ve read, to use the Ray-way backpacks we need to pare down our shelter and sleeping bags, so we want to go ahead with the whole deal and try it out as it was meant to be used. I don’t anticipate any trouble with the sewing. And your testimonials are numerous and highly positive, so we are pretty confident! We’re looking forward to getting started on the sewing and to using our new lightweight gear on the next adventure!" -Catherine & Dan 0., BC
"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 am 68 years old and have been camping since the year before I was born, and found your "Trail Life" book extremely informative and very enjoyable! I am reading it again for the second time!" Bob T., TX
"I just received the order placed earlier this week, and I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for the good service, taking care to ensure your products are high quality and that orders exceed expectations. Thank you for the kits, which have enabled me to learn new skills and rethink what I really need in the outdoors. This order included a third backpack kit, for my growing son, 10, who will be taking the lead in sewing it this time. I would not be able to pass on this skill if not for encouraging people to "break out of the mold of imagined inabilities". It is greatly appreciated." Mike W., CA
"Just got back from the Gila Wilderness NM where I used the trusty 2P tarp, net tent and my newly completed quilt. Loved sleeping in the quilt. Regulates temperature much better than a sleeping bag. And a whole lot less fussing with zipper, etc. My new favorite price of gear!" - Brooks P.
"This quilt kit is for my wife - she tried the one I made this summer (the alpine upgrade, deluxe) and now won't part with it until I make her one too =)." Nickolas G.
"Four thumbs up! I wanted to let you know that this is the 2nd healthcare professional that I've seen within the past week who, upon learning of your Blood Cleaner device, encouraged me to continue using it, saying that it sounds plausible as a treatment for blood-borne pathogens." -Donna C.
"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 have made a tarp, quilt, stowbag, and storage bag. They came out great!" Brian K., WY
"Thanks for offering the kits Ray. You have made my wife a garage widow with all the sewing I'm doing. We just spent 4 days in the Golden Trout Wilderness in the Sierra Nevada using your gear. I think we saved a hour a day just because we didn't have to mess with hipbelts." Rick R.
"I enjoyed making your tarp, batwing, net-tent, stowbag, sleeping quilt and backpack very much! My fabulus 260 gram light backpack was pretty easy after making all the other stuff :-) I love it!!" Bianca H., Germany
"I had a lot of fun sewing the tarp. I think the backpack was a little easier to sew because the pieces were smaller. My biggest piece of advice is the same as yours: measure carefully. I spent a long while laying out the fabric and measuring and cutting to make sure I got it right. The drawings where very helpful and everything went together exactly as explained. I can't wait to try it out this weekend." Geoff G.
"This will be my nineth quilt." Don R.
"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 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 just finished my AT thru hike and I am so glad I took the time to read "Trail Life" and make my backpack, quilt, and tarp with your instructions. This was my first backpacking trip ever and I left for it feeling prepared for anything with my 12lb base weight, and I truly enjoyed the whole experience. Thank you!!!" - Elisa Brown
"I love the kits, especially the tarp. I use mine as my main shelter up here in Northern BC. My family doesn't all fit under one tarp anymore! I would like to order another." Dale B.
"Thanks for all your kit and weight shedding inspiration. lots of snow this summer in the Swedish wilderness Sarek, but the tarp and quilt worked well. Just had to lower it a fair bit in the winds to block the rain and draft. Quilt with Alpine thickness worked really well." - Magnus O., Sweden
"Loved Trail Life and had to buy one for my backpacking buddy so she would stop borrowing mine." Heather R.
"Your kits bring a sense of satisfaction that one doesn't get from buying gear! I know you care about others' experiences, so thank you from the bottom of my heart." Elleyne B.
"My fiance and I are devouring 'Trail Life', which is changing almost every thought we had about our PCT attempt which we are planning for next year. Thanks for a fantastic book!!" -Martyn H., Paris
"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.
"Dear Ray and Jenny, We've built your tarp, net-tent and quilt and are about to embark on another quilt and a backpack. We just wanted to drop you a line to say thank-you. Before we read your books and started adopting your philosophies and creating our own equipment, we didn't think backpacking with our 2-year old son would be possible. One of us has to carry him most of the way, so the other person must carry almost everything else. We now have a few adventures behind us and are pleased to say it is possible! Thanks for helping allow us to be together as a family in the wilderness!" Simon H.
"I sewed my first Ray-Way pack eight years ago, and it has served me better than I could have ever hoped, through week-long trips in the southern Appalachians taken every year; several shorter two to three night trips every year; and all the attendant training hikes on the paths near my home. As well, it's been shuffled in and out of airports as my preferred travel pack. In fact, it's the only backpack I have anymore. I'm looking forward to making and using my next pack. This time I'm getting a slightly larger one to accommodate the Ray-Way Sleeping Pad I've been enjoying - another great innovation. Thanks for the design. I've really enjoyed your gear through many adventures." - Jeff D.
"I just finished making the backpack and was really amazed with the end result. I am a crummy seamstress but my backpack looks amazing! Seriously, I am so happy with it and excited to try it out on the trail. Now I am ordering the net tent and tarp." - Elizabeth H., OR
"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 finished my knife and sheath, as usual the components in the kit and instructions are of the highest quality. I was surprised how pliable the leather is when wet allowing a custom fit to the knife handle. The knife and sheath came out great. Keep up the good work providing motivation and inspiration." Charles P., CA
"First of all, much thanks for providing these kits! Quality gear + a new skill for a relatively low cost is a pretty great deal. I recently finished sewing my 2P Tarp and 2P Net-Tent with negligible previous sewing experience. Overall your instructions were phenomenal, and really made these projects more approachable than I thought they would be." Brian S., OH
"I hiked the John Muir and High Sierra Trails, and once again I used my Ray-Way backpack, tarp, and quilt. The larger Ray-Way backpack handled the large bear can and 8 days of food. The 2-layer Alpine quilt was plenty warm. The tarp was as versatile as ever, in wind and rain, tight spots and wide, with trees or with sticks, always giving me the feeling of being outside while still being well sheltered. Thanks again for encouraging people to develop new skills and seek new adventures." -Mike W.
"I've been a fan of yours for over 10 years, I've section hiked over 300 miles on the AT largely with your gear, countless trips to Colorado and California on the PCT, and my wife and I are just die hard fans of what you do and the unique position you're in to give back to the outdoor community. Thanks for all you do." - Robert G., TX
"This is our first sewing project, and we are having a lot of fun with it." Larissa G.
"My wife and I just returned from our 2 week hike on the North Country Trail, here in Michigan, using Ray-Way gear and info from Trail Life and the Tarp Book. Everything went flawlessly." Kerry R., MI
"I just finished the one person quilt with alpine upgrade. It is way lighter than the dinosaur it is replacing. Now I'll need to do extensive testing!!" Jeremy C.
"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 with all the gear that I could find, and found that even with the quilt and a bunch of stuff that it weighs less than my old pack did empty!" Eric S.
"A few days ago I spent my first very rainy night under my Ray-Way Tarp. I was in Washington, just off the coast of the Columbia River. It's impossible for me to have been any dryer. And, with my quilt, I was quite comfortably warm. I got a little nervous when the rain started but the longer it poured the more the nerves turned to pride. I was also using the net tent and shared my under-tarp-space with a stump. Probably one of the proudest camping moments of my life. Though my pitching needs work, I've just finished reading the Tarp Book and have ideas on how I can improve. Thank you Ray and Jenny for the pointers during construction and thanks for sharing all your experiences and ideas. I think we're all richer for them." - Michael P.
"My shipment arrived very promptly and the instructions are very clear and well-written." Don H.
"Oh boy. can't wait to get back on the trail w/new Ray-Way gear. I've researched for two years and nothing compares to your designs. (and your low prices are so appreciated.) C U on the AT." -Cecilia M.
"I placed an order today for a 2600 ci backback. Thanks, I'm so excited to sew up my new pack." -Matt M., NJ
"Since making my 2200 in3 backpack last year, I have used it and LOVE it. The weight of the pack alone is so much better than my old packs that every time I take it out it makes me SMILE! I just ordered my quilt kit and will have that ready to go. Thanks for making wonderful projects and sharing such wonderful ideas with all of us." Isabel T., CO
"I am a fan of Beyond Backpacking (and now Trail Life), and those books have changed my life, thanks for sharing your wisdom. I purchased a backpack kit and it is now done. The kit was great, the instructions were clear and detailed, and I am very happy with the result. Thank you both!" Mark D., Indiana
"Thank you so much Jenny and Ray, for assembling and shipping my new life on the trail! Your life of exciting adventure breathes vigor to my dreams." - Chris H.
"Just took my tarp and quilt to Patagonia, spending 4 nights in Torres del Paine National Park in every kind of weather. While some friends had traditional tents/sleeping bags and spent a few nights awake due to being wet and cold, I stayed warm and dry and could not have been more proud of my handwork and your awesome products. I have struggled to find the same connection to the outdoors that my husband naturally has but these Ray-Way items are the beginning of a beautiful friendship." -Catherine T., UT
"A couple of years ago I made your tarp and net tent kits, and I haven't used a "real" tent since. Aside from one hastily set up camp on a steep hill where my ground cloth slid slightly beyond the tarp's protection overnight, it's kept me dry even in fairly severe thunderstorms. And the ventilation and roominess can't be beat! On one trip it was raining in the morning, so my hiking partner and I cooked breakfast underneath the tarp. Then, the other two members of our party crowded underneath for a relatively dry meal (of course the net tent wasn't pitched at the time). That never would have been possible in a 2 person backpacking tent. So thanks for providing these kits!" - Brian S., OH
"I received my 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 Just wanted to let you know that I appreciate tremendously what you do with your knowledge and products, which totally transformed my and my wife's backpacking methodology. The ideas we learned extend into the rest our lives far further than we'd ever have expected, as we apply much of Ray-Way philosophy to our every day lives. To date I've made 2 Quilts, a 2-person net tent (I added a zipper) for my Ray-Way tarp, 2 bat wings, 1 backpack, several storage/stow bags, not to mention countless repairs and modifications to existing gear, all from the kits/books/knowledge/philosophy garnered from Ray-Way products. I hope you continue to provide your guidance and kits-- much needed in our over-consumption driven society." Kerry R., Michigan
"I have made your tarp (x2), net-tent (x2), quilt (x2), insulated hat (x4) and will order a couple of backpack kits very soon. I have gotten addicted to making my own gear." Matthew L., NZ
"I'm an Eagle Scout from Indiana, and I just got back from a 2 week trip to Philmont scout ranch in New Mexico. I took your tarp and net tent, and they worked great! We stayed nice and dry, and it's much lighter and roomier than a tent. I love your stuff, and I continue to use ideas from your Trail Life book whenever I camp. Thanks for all you do for the hiking/backpacking experience." Mark M., IN
"My partner and I recently hiked the appalachian trail and used a Ray Jardine homemade tarp for the journey. We love that tarp so much, it was our home." -Rainbow
"I really enjoyed making my tarp, net tent, and sleeping quilt. I've been rereading Trail Life and the Tarp Book Essential as well. Thank you for making sewing so easy and fun. I'll be working next on my warm hat kit, and then the backpack! I plan to be on the High Sierra Trail this July. Thank you!" - Aika M., CA
"I spent the last two weekends in a row completing a tarp and quilt, and It has been an incredibly rewarding and satisfying experience. I can't wait to test this equipment in the Sierra this summer. Thank you!" Dylan B.
"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 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.
"I've purchased tarp, backpack and quilt kits a few months ago. I love the gear I've made so far!" -Mike R.
"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.
"Love my tarp/spitfire/quilt/pack!" - Brian W.
"We are very happy with the practicality and performance of our 2 Ray-Way backpacks, 2 quilts, tarp, net tent and batwing." -Adrian, UK
"Hey Ray and Jenny, Just got back from a great weekend hiking in the Buffalo River area with my scouts. Got into a freak windstorm with winds in excess of 50 mph. Lots of tents went down, but my Ray-Way Tarp pitched low didn't have any problems, and later with one side pitched high, comfortably sat 8 wet scouts and leaders along with one grumpy Ray-Way Tarp owner (myself). I told them this could have been avoided if they would get there own tarps! Thanks again for a great design and materials." Curtis W., Missouri
"I recently made the tarp, net-tent, and quilt. I'm working on 2 insulated hats. I really enjoyed working with the nice materials and the well thought-out designs." Gail H.
"Just wanted to say thanks for the great tarp, net-tent, and batwing kits. The projects were a lot of fun and I really enjoyed making them. I'm new to backpacking and the first thing I did was buy your Trail Life book and wow, is that a great book! So now I think I'm on the right path to really enjoying lightweight backpacking." -Joe W.
"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.
"I received my order yesterday, and really appreciate your business! Before you made your products available I was always searching for the materials you recommended and settling for what I could find. Now when I order from you I get the very best!" George M.
"I want to thank you for providing the kits. I put faith in your tarp (and quilt) and it paid off. Using it for the first time ever I was caught in an amazing thunderstorm. My buddies had their fancy ultralight tents, and my tarp seemed out of place. But I was to find out why the tarp is much more beneficial. During the amazing lighting and thunderstorm my friends only were able to witness the storm from inside/underneath their rainflys. I was able to witness the beauty of the storm as it lit the forest up. Also the combination of two eliminated the condensation that both my friends tents were doused in. Thanks." Vincent F., AZ
"I’m not a hiker, but a biker. But also for me the information given in Trail Life Lightweight Backpacking is very, very, very helpful. Worth its weight in gold. After all, it doesn’t just help you to reduce gear’s weight, but also seems to help reducing your mind’s weight. Ray and Jenny, I thank you so much! Keep it up!" -Hans A. Germany
"Thanks for all of the great products that you provide. Making my own gear has changed the way that I interact with the outdoors. The two quilts I've made are my favorite sleeping bags now, and I'm sure my tarp and net-tent will be just as good. Take care, and keep encouraging and empowering the rest of us to make our own gear!" Ben S.
"I just finished a week hiking in the Sedona AZ area. My Ray-Way gear worked great. I have always loved to backpack, and now I use only my home-made Ray-Way gear and I love it. I first bought all the Long Option Kits. but I just ordered all new kits without the Long Option. So I will have a choice which size gear I will use, whether hiking and camping solo or with someone else." -Peter H., HoneyBee Rescue, San Diego, CA
"Am enjoying making this Quilt. It is going to a grandson in West Point! Back to number eight!!" -Sharon H.
"I used your tarp during a month this summer, in Scotland, and it was amazing! It is so much better than a tent. I was more connected with the nature (well, I had no Net, so I slept with spiders, snails and slugs!), it was a great experience. But now I want to order a net-tent, cause I'm going to explore the world during the next 2 years" - Elsa C., France
"I just returned from a trip along the JMT and my Ray-Way tarp worked fantastic! There was quite a bit of rain, thunder, lightning and hail but the tarp took it all in stride. My Ray-Way quilt also worked great!" Darren O., CA
"I have a backpack I made from your kit and instructions (as well as a tarp and quilt) and I love them!" Tucker L., OH
"I'm ordering more Trail Life books to give to friends...appreciate your sharing your trail-learned knowledge...I'm incorporating more of it all the time. Your Trail Life book is a great value." - M. Feltis
"My package arrived this afternoon! Thanks again for the unmatched customer service and fast shipping. I will definitely recommend you to friends and family!" Joe W., TN
"My sewing is going along extremely well. Now I look back and realize my fear of sewing was only what you call *lack of familiarity*. I sure am glad I'm a little more familiar now. Sewing is fun, and your Ray-Way kits are pure magic! Everything falls into place beautifully, one stitch at a time. Thank you Ray and Jenny, your teachings are truly priceless." Will Lady
"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.
"We just completed the PCT using your tarp, quilt and backpack. This was the first time we had really camped with a tarp and found it to be so versatile and simple. We used it in all kinds of weather and situations and every time it was put to the test, it passed with flying colours. The aspects of its simplicity, effectiveness, versatility and weight have halted any desires I have to search for the perfect shelter, as I think it is pretty close. We were so happy with it. This was also the first time we had used the quilts. Like the tarp, it did not cease to impress. At one camp, near Forrester Pass, we endured a significant dumping of snow and temperatures into the single digits (Fahrenheit). Aside from our solidly frozen shoes, we remained quite comfortably warm. The well thought-out design for the backpack was excellent. The pockets were great, directions on packing it from the AT video were excellent. You would probably be disgusted by how much food weight your poor little bags had to endure but they definitely stood up to whatever challenge we could throw at them, although there were a few patched and unpatched holes by the end. We would both like to send you guys are heart felt thanks as the gear was amazing." Ben D. and Kate M., Australia
"Thanks for the great products. I've really come to trust your equipment." Thomas C.
"I love these projects." Nick R.
"I completed my 2 person split-zip quilt kit, my third, this time using one layer of Woodland. My wife and I tried it out this weekend on a 2 day mountain bike-packing trip. It was absolutely perfect! We stayed comfortable and dry under our Ray Way tarp and Net-Tent as temps dropped from a humid 85F to a breezy 60F during the over night pop-up thunderstorms. Next on the list is completion of our new 2,200 in3 Ray Way packs that should work extremely well for our mountain bike-pack trips. Thanks for making these kits and your knowledge available!" Kerry R., MI
"THANK YOU!!!! i love my pack- this one is for my husband (he said he'd even sew it!)" Elleyne B.
"The careful explanations and innovative approach of your "Sharpening The Ray-Way Knife" are wonderful and much appreciated." - Karl K., NC
"Thanks for designing these wonderful kits. I've finished two quilts in addition to the tarp and net-tent. What a great feeling of accomplishment, and empowerment!" David S.
"I absolutely love the two 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 a heat stroke like in a mummy bag. Thanks for putting these kits together and making them available." Jason D.
"Your Trail Life book was a cornerstone in helping my family complete our first backpacking trip, the JMT. Also, the one-person quilt with 2 layers of alpine insulation was a sensation. We swapped quilts throughout the trip and found that the Ray-Way quilt was a great deal warmer than the 20 degree down quilt of equal loft." -Sam J, KY
"My son and I took our Ray-Way tarps to Philmont this year and they were awesome, rain, hail, wind, always dry and what views the entire trek. We use them all year here in MN and wherever we go. It is amazing to see how much better they work than tents, especially for eliminating condensation and we love the open view. Thanks for the awesome design, complete kits and quality materials!" - Ken D., MN
Given Ray's engineering background, the Blood Cleaner is more credible than units from fly by night operators." - Frank V., ID
"I bought your tarp and backpack kits a few years ago, and am so happy with both." -Noah, ME
"Dear Ray and Jenny, First off, thanks for putting together such great products. I just finished sewing the big stack of kits I ordered a few months ago - tarp, spitfire, quilt, batwing, and stowbags for all. I'm pleased to report that they all came out beautiful and professional. I'm an experienced seamstress, but having never sewed with these types of materials, I really appreciated the sewing tips. As an engineer, I found the instructions for all your kits to be a refreshing departure from the norm. The kits are for a through-hike of the PCT this summer, and I am pleased to report that after finishing all the kits, you have a new convert. I've just placed a second order for another tarp and a 2p net-tent, because my husband decided to come with me. He's going to sew the kits himself. :) Thanks again!" -Gwynneth S., AZ
"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, tarp, backpack and stowbag kits, 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
"I am hiking the 500 mile Colorado trail this summer and am more than interested in your products. I can't believe your pricing structure is so inexpensive!" -Curt M.
"Before ordering my kits from you I had never sewed anything, in fact I did not even own sewing machine. I just finished the first project, an insulated hat. I love it! There is one slight problem though, my wife and my kids all want me to make them one too." Randy B.
"I have truly learned so much from your new Tarp Book Essential. GREAT JOB!!" Michael W., GA
"Dear Ray and Jenny, Thank you very much for your book "Trail life" and videos "Caper" and "2010 AT Gear" - something excellent to read and to see! Now my wife and I would like to order a bundle of Ray-Way products. With best wishes" Michael V., Moscow, Russia
"Gena and I just finished the JMT and had a wonderful trip. Wow, those mountains are breathtaking! Well, I stayed up late before our departure but completed the two person quilt and it was clutch. Most nights above 10,000 we awoke to frost on our quilt, but we were toasty warm underneath. Absolutely superb design and function. James G., CA
"I made my first Ray-Way backpack several years ago. It has completed one thru-hike and about 3,000 additional miles of backpacking. I've made a few repairs and it's still going strong!" - Brandon G.
"I have been hauling camping gear around in my 10+ year old Ray-Way backpack and have enjoyed it so much. Now I use it to carry groceries from the local farmers market on my bicycle." John G., TX
"Ray and Jenny, Thank you for your tarp design and kits. You've brought the openness of sleeping under the stars together with even greater protection and comfort than a tent. And this at a lighter weight than other gear with the satisfaction of making it oneself. Your Tarp Book Essential is very thorough in explaining how to make the most effective use of the design. Thanks again." Mike W., CA
"Just wanted to say thank you for your great kits. I was a bit skeptic about the Quilt's temperature rating, and i didn't want to freeze, so i ordered the extra layer. I have never used a quilt before (or a high performance lightweight bag either....) so when I finished sewing it I decided to test it. The weather was perfect - cold and clear with just a breeze blowing from the north. There was a thick layer of snow covering everything and reflecting the clear moonlight. I had a wonderful nights sleep there in my backyard on the snow with my sleeping pad and my new warm quilt and nothing but stars above me. I checked the temperature and was very impressed when i saw it was -10C (14F) !!! I felt that the Draftstopper and Gorget really helped me in keeping warm." Jonas N., Sweden
"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.
"I've enjoyed making your kits: seven backpacks, four tarps, two bat wings, and three quilts, so far." - Craig H.
"Our first Quilt (and also first ever sewing project) only took a weekend to complete--GREAT INSTRUCTIONS, thanks." Blue & Nika M.
"I bought "Trail Life" and instantly read it, many parts over and over. I was expecting a lot, yet still surprised at how much is in there!" Joseph D., Iowa
"Although I have some sewing experience, I am glad I got the backpack video. The materials and instructions for the backpack kit are incredible - well engineered, elegant design, and much appreciated. Lightweight does not have to be fragile, and now that I have made this pack I can see it lasting for a long, long time. I wish I had this during my boy scout days. Would have made those hikes less painful. Can't wait to put some miles on this pack!" - Brooks P.
"I've just returned from a six day hike of the Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier. I think that was the toughest ninety+ miler I've done but the weather was super and I had a really fun trip. I was glad to have a light setup using the Ray-Way backpack, tarp, spitfire, and quilt I've made from your kits." -Russell C., AZ
"The kits are packaged very well, arrive promptly and go together as instructed. Completed projects: 2-person tarp, Quilt, Knife kit. In Progress: Knife kit, Stowbag. Thanks again" Larry B.
"Just a note of appreciation for all you two do. I've been an avid follower of your hiking techniques since reading Beyond Backpacking in 2004, and while we have never met, your insight and knowledge has played such an important role in my life I felt compelled to write you both a "fan letter". I hope you start teaching classes again, because I'd be there for certain. See you on the trails!" -Clint B.
"We used our tarp and the net-tent on our 100+ mile trip of traversing the Uintas in Utah. Both were great and went a long way to lightening our loads. The tarp saved us from several severe soakings on the last few days. We were able to set up the tarp quickly and get out of the rain. Thanks for everything!" John W., UT
"I really appreciate Ray and Jenny sharing what they know and producing the kits that allow me to experience the joy of making my own equipment and using it to experience the joy of being in the wild places. Thank you so much!" -Steve
"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 don't think most people appreciate the deal they are getting from your kits. I was looking up commercial lightweight packs and the closest pack to yours was still 1 lb heavier, poorly constructed and cost $300!!! Well, I'll just add a tip on my next order :) Thank you so much for always being so helpful! You run a great business and I tell everyone I can!" - James G., AK
"We are just back from cycling the north sea cycle way - 2768 miles in 61 days - used the quilt I made and it kept us snuggly warm in the cold weather we experienced. My husband was very sceptical but is now converted to the quilt idea. it saved on space and weight. THANKS." Brenda C., UK
"I made my Ray-Way camping quilt in a small NYC apartment on a very small sewing machine-a 1943 Singer Featherweight. the quilt works great, very soft and comfy. This 58yo woman, a cold cold sleeper, finally slept well--really well--camping on the chilly nights in northern New York, night temps down to 34. No more wrestling with a mummy bag, all my positioning pillows for achy joints accommodated by the quilt. Husband delighted, no more cursing and snarling all night from me, cause now I can sleep. Maybe I'll make him one too! Great work Ray and Jenny, Thanks again." -Terry S.
"I have made your 2P tarp. I'm now ordering a net-tent. I think you and Jenny are amazing. Thanks you so much for sharing your enormous amount of knowledge. It keeps me sane when shopping for hiking gear." -Wendy W.
"We have made tarps, quilts and stowbags with total satisfaction. Keep up the good work." Phillip B., Australia
"We want to thank you ever so much for your fast and efficient service. We have received all our merchandise and are extremely satisfied with your service." Burt M.
"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 a 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, stwobags 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 sewed a Ray-Way backpack and have used it on multiple section hikes (2,215 miles) on the PCT and other trails. It has worked very well, and has been integral in getting my base weight down to 12 pounds." -Dave P.
"Reporting that the Ray-Way quilt worked great, car camping in northern New York, night temps down to 34. This 58yo woman, a cold cold sleeper, finally slept well -really well -camping on the chilly nights. No more wrestling with a mummy bag. All my positioning pillows for achy joints accommodated by the quilt. Husband delighted, no more cursing and snarling all night from me cause now I can sleep. Maybe I'll make him one too." -Terry S.
"Here's why I love my Ray-Way tarp and net-tent (not to mention my Ray-Way quilts and backpacks...): For "fun" this past weekend, I reverted to an old tarptent from an established small manufacturer of light backpacking shelters, a shelter I had from the days before I made all my Ray-Way gear. I'd forgotten how vastly superior the Ray-Way tarp and net-tent are to the older shelter. Because the old tarptent has only one configuration, there was no way to pitch the roof high enough to prevent extremely heavy condensation on the underside of the shelter. While it didn't rain outside, it certainly did inside. I've never had this happen anywhere near this extent in my Ray-Way setup, and, when there is some condensation under my Ray Way tarp, I know I just didn't pitch high enough for conditions. I won't be making that mistake again, and, really, I knew better in the first place. It's time to make stuff-sacks from the commercial tarp tent. Thanks for having made Ray-Way available. It's truly great stuff!" - Kerry R.
"I have ordered eight backpacks for gifts and extras for if friends go hiking with me. Am ordering four more now. Thanks so much for the ideas and kits, Ray and Jenny!" Paul W.
"Ray and Jenny: I have just finished my thru-hike of the A.T using all the gear kits I have purchased from you (backpack, 2 quilts, tarp and spitfire). The gear worked out great!! Also while on the trail I have inspired a lot of other hikers to make their own gear, and to use your kits. Thanks again for your great products. GA-ME 2012" Les P., NY
"Just wanted to let you know that I finished sewing the backpack and I'm really thrilled! The instructions were great and easy to follow, even for a guy like me who hasn't used a sewing machine in 30 years." -Daniel P., Switzerland
"I've made several of your kits. Really like them!" -Brad J.
"I finished making my beautiful quilt a few weeks ago and I am 100% pleased with the results. I work with an outfitter here in Tennessee and I can honestly say that nothing on our wall matches the performance of the quilts simple design and modest price." Jeff D.

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