The Ray-Way Backpack Kit

Make Your Own Backpack!

Ray-Way Products

Ray & Jenny Jardine

Customer Feedback page 13 of 19

Pg 13: Customer Photos

"The last Ray-Way backpack I made has done over 10,000 miles, so I'm ordering a new one. Still the best pack out there!" Scott Williamson

Summit of Mount Langley 14,100 ft just south of Whitney. James G. and homemade Ray-Way backpack

Northern Terminus of the Arizona Trail, Will Lady

Road crossing along the PCT, 2009 Will Lady.

"Dear Jenny and Ray! Your book came right during the preparation for our "late-spring-2weeks-walk" through "Totes Gebirge", which is the biggest connected solid mountain range in Austria!-I sewed your backpack a couple of years ago (....and I would never trade it!) but going through "Trail Life" right in time, we found so many good advices and new details which made this trip so easy in it's little "unexpected difficulties"!-keyword: new blisters in old shoes! ;-) And the nutrition chapter opened culinary highlights for us!-Jenny's Spaghetti-Sauce Leather became the treat of the walk!-Thank you so much for sharing your experience! and best wishes for your future-adventures!" Margot U., Vienna, Austria


Ruedi Anneler, Switzerland - Rucksack Superleicht 260 Gramm

"I have made the ray way back pack an quilt and I love them both to death. I sleep with my quilt every night and use my pack alot. I also did an amazing trek on the AT and used techniques used in Trail Life (which changed my life)." - Hayden J., FL

Gena and James on our first multi-day trip of the JMT in early season, hiking south to North, 19 miles till Yosemite. Ray and Jenny's lightweight techniques made that trip possible for her! Thanks so much and much appreciated.

Chris C. with Ray-Way Backpack. A.T. Rainbow Ledges, ME. Katahdin in the background.

Chris C. finishing the AT with a 2,800 Ray-Way backpack, hip-belt and sternum strap.

On the AT, Ben and Lauren B and what they called "Team Ray-Way."

Hawkeye and Wyoming on the AT. One-shoulder carry, pretty cool we think.

Just got back from a hike of the John Muir and High Sierra Trails. 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 from Blayney Meadows to the end. 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.

"Crossing the Brooks Range N to S 170 miles from Anuktuvuk Pass to Bettles. Used Ray-Way gear & methods exclusively. We probable should have used commercial gear but found the Ray-Way gear better suited for navigating the challenges of the Arctic landscape especially the tussocks, cold swift creek, and especially the mobility to find camps out of the wind and on one occasion keep a safe distance from a grizzly that took an interest in us. 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.

Ray-Way backpack (full of winter gear) with the tarp and net, sewn by Steven S., MI

The PCT Muir Pass 2006, 2nd highest snowpack on record in the Sierra's. The Ray-Way gear handled it, no problem! James G.

99 switchbacks with spectacular views of the East face of Whitney! James G.

"At 14,000 feet near the top of Mt Whitney, Ray-Way gear holds up great." James G.

Trekking Toward the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Will Lady

My First Backpack and Phlox Bloom, southern California, Will Lady.

Les P. on the AT, hiking at night with Ray-Way backpack.

Les P., finishing the AT with his Ray-Way backpack.

"just north of Muir Pass, being chased by a big thunder storm. What a place!" -James Gibling

-40 degrees day hikes in Fairbanks, Alaska! Gena and James Gibling

2013 PCT leaving the Burney Falls Resupply town with full pack heading to our next resupply in Castle Crags. James G.

Will Lady

"Emily working on her first Ray-Way pack, on Jenny's machine" - Will Lady

Crossing the Mojave at noon with relative ease with the help of the mylar covered umbrella. James Gibling on the PCT.

Gena Gibling on her first hike using Ray-Way gear, hiking strong southbound on the JMT, looking forward to the ascent up to Trail Pass at 10,500!

Happiness is a sewing corner and a Ray-Was Kit! Just let me thank you for the fine materials and mainly the ingeniously thought out kits and instructions!" - Urs G., Switzerland

A Ray-Way pack: The 2200cu backpack in the picture looks overly full there on the Hinterer Schontaufspitz near Solda, Italy, even though it was only an overnighter before we climbed. I carried a two-layer alpine Ray-Way quilt in the pack (not really recommended for a 2200 cu in pack, I know...), together with clothing, raingear, stove, cookset, water filter, food and fuel. Sounds heavy? I got that all "for free," as I retired my old mountaineering backpack, weighing in at 2.66kg all empty, and replaced it with the Ray-Way pack, weighing 330grs" - Urs G., Switzerland

"My pack is the first thing I've sewn in my life and after 30 years of climbing and hiking I have fallen in love with this pack!! Did a three day, two night hike in the Olympics with a total weight of 20lbs and the pack rode very well, also climbed Mt Stone in Olympic Nat Park yesterday with the pack pulled in with the second cord. Wow, the pack was fantastic, it hugged my back well and I added an Ice Axe loop which I used. Absolutely the most versatile pack I've ever owned. Thanks for a fantastic product!!"  Todd N.

"Backpack Picture shown with helpers. I just finished this light blue backpack for my girlfriend Christine's birthday. I am pleased with the results and the directions. Just finished it this morning so can't wait to try it out soon. Thanks again!" - Dan P., AZ

Brooks P.

"PCT bound." Rachel B. and Aaron

"Commercial "kid" packs are ridiculously heavy compared to the weight of a young child. Since I don't want them to use something I haven't tried, I made a pack for myself first, but not until I'd learned to sew by making your insulated hat, tarp, and quilt kits. Though I have a great deal of experience with commercial gear---probably because of that experience---I very quickly came to appreciate your designs. So I was eager to use my newly acquired skills to make my kids a pack. I started with an XS 2200 in3 kit, took 6 inches off the bottom, and resized the half rounds to fit. It came out great and fits them and their gear very well. My kids have been hiking with me since they were very young, but the new pack allows them the satisfaction of carrying more of their own gear, yet their load is even lighter than before. Thanks again for providing an easy way for people to begin making their own gear that makes sense." - Mike W., CA

"I enjoyed making your tarp, batwing, nettent, stowbag, sleeping quilt and backpack very much! Here is my picture of my fabulus 260 gram light backpack. I love it. It was pretty easy (after making all the other stuff) smile." Bianca H., Germany

"My sewing is a product of your excellent kits and instructions. Thank you so much for making them available. I tested out my new Ray-Way gear last summer on a section of the PCT in the beautiful mountains of northern California. A larger backback but Ray's design still doesn't allow it to sag on my bum. Another one of my favorite features. And I'm stoked with the mesh pockets on the pack! So many imitations out there, but none come close." - Will Lady

Sewing by Will Lady

Gena G. displaying her first sewing project, a Ray-Way backpack!

"I just finished your backpack (very proud of it)." Tomas Z. Germany

"Our first three projects are done and our teen sons are now working on their backpacks. Our plan is to take on the Superior Hiking Trail." -Sarah H.

"My completed Ray-Way Pack! Thanks for the trail tested and trusted design. Thank you Ray & Jenny. Can't wait to get it on the AT this season. Sparrow PCT'11" -Brennan V

I made one of your classic packs back in 2007. I like it very much; I added a sternum strap and hydration bladder pouch. -Steffan F.

Geoff G.

"Thanks again Ray and Jenny for the awesome products you have made available. I have read Beyond Backpacking several times and have given away several copies. I have thought about making my own quilt, tarp and pack but wanted more instruction and "hand holding". Your kits are the answer.

I really enjoyed making the backpack kit. I have seen pictures of you with the pack, read the book, so I knew about the practicality of it and the philosophy behind it. The design is wonderful, the engineering is great and the execution is superb. The kit really did go together well, and I found that everything was included and with just enough to finish the kit with very little waste. This is not so with buying yardage of fabric. And I was especially amazed about half way through when I realized where it was going.

The sewing was easy and once I got the tension of my 35 year old Bernina sewing machine adjusted everything went great. I even learned some new seams from the instructions.

All and all it was the most fun I have had sewing in a long time. I imagined it was going to be complicated and time consuming but everything was spelled out in the instructions and I finished the pack in about 8 hours. I look forward to many joyous miles here in the Sangre De Christos and beyond.

By the way, I weighed my pack on a mechanical postal scale and got 9.5 Oz! incredible."

- Geoff G.

"Hi Ray and Jenny, 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! Thanks! " - Eric S.

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. My only complaint is the design of the insulated hat does not allow for proper coverage of my ears." - Rick R.

"Ray, Pack number one is complete and I had a great experience making it. My wife and daughter took one look at it and with raised brows immediately suggested I make one for my son for Christmas. Note that I sewed an embroidery type strip on the sock hangers, before installation, that I had purchased several years ago of exactly the right length. I did this simply because I like it.

"The instructions are excellent and the video is a valued tool for the pack construction as well as for other items I make. Thank You both for a great pack," - Fred E.

"Hi Ray, I have been scrambling, but did finish the 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, you did a wonderful job with the instructional materials and the plans!" - David deM.

"My Ray-Way Backpack is in great shape after almost 3 yrs of daily use." Stephen B.

"I ordered my pack, it arrived, and started sewing. It turned out great. I found the pack to be far stronger than expected for 9.3 oz. I just got back from a quick overnighter to Mount Rogers, VA. The packed worked perfectly! Thanks," Jamie X.

In regards to the Ray-Way backpack's utility for trail running: I made a standard Ray-Way pack a couple years ago and have used it backpacking, mountaineering, traveling, etc. I have used it numerous times on ultra-marathon distance trail runs with no waist belt. The only mods I've made from Ray's build instructions were to add a loop for an ice axe. When loaded correctly, shoulder straps cinched tightly and a correct running gait, the pack "fits like a glove". Shawn B.

"I was so impressed at how detailed and clear the sewing instructions for the Ray Way Backpack were. Having zero sewing experience, I really thought I would have to sew the backpack twice. But since the instructions were so great, the pack is by far my favorite pack I've ever hiked with. Thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge." Troy A.

"I have sewn nine Ray-Way Backpack Kits. Two for myself and others as gifts. Planning on the AT with ALL Ray-Way gear." Craig H.

"There are many of us out there who are really excited that you have spent the time to share the kits with us. I was really excited to find that you were offering this kit. I don't imagine there is a pack available out there that has seen more miles, that every part of the pack has a useful purpose and with light-weight and function equally balanced.

For me the instructions and illustrations for building the pack were easy to follow, nice and detailed. I didn't have any problem with putting it together.

I will use the pack for long distance thru-hikes. thank you. you guys are doing wonderful things. keep it up."

- Dodge D.

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