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2007 Jacks ‘R’ Better Nest Down Under Quilt REVIEW

A lightweight down hammock under-quilt designed for a Hennessy hammock that still allows for easy bottom entry. It can also be used as a top quilt or as a top bag.

Recommended

Overall Rating: Recommended

The Jacks 'R' Better Nest is an excellent addition to a hammock insulation system, integrating with a Hennessy A-Sym hammock. It can also be used as a top quilt for hammock or ground use and can even be worn for extra warmth around camp. As an underquilt, the Nest is hung outside the hammock body; with a non-waterproof outer, it requires a separate wind/rain cover in windy campsites.

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by Doug Johnson |

2007 Jacks ‘R’ Better Nest Down Under Quilt REVIEW

Introduction

The Jacks ‘R’ Better Nest Down Under Quilt attaches easily to a Hennessy Ultralight or Hyperlight hammock and features a slit that allows for bottom entry. In addition it can be used as a top quilt, worn as a wrap, or used as a top bag with the optional Down to Earth Converter. It is also a great value at $259.95. Combined with other Jacks ‘R’ Better quilts, it can be part of an integrated hammock quilt system.

What’s Good

  • Designed to attach directly to a Hennessy hammock as an under quilt and still allow easy entrance
  • Loft is a full ½ inch more than the manufacturer claim!
  • Can be used as an hammock under quilt, as a top quilt, and even worn as a wrap
  • Ability to attach the JRB Down Hood at the nylon loops for top quilt use
  • Can be worn as a serape with the optional JRB Down Sleeves and JRB Down Hood (which attaches to the Nest in this configuration) for extra warmth
  • DWR fabric sheds light condensation and spindrift
  • Closable Omni tape footbox with tie closure opens for extra ventilation and versatility when used as a top quilt
  • $259.95 is a great value for a down quilt with these features
  • Also available as part of the “Basic 3 Season Hammock Quilt Set” or the deep winter “Ultimate 4 Season Hammock Quilt Set”

What’s Not So Good

  • Wide footbox is not as efficient as those on single-use quilts
  • Omni tape becomes partially unfastened from the hammock with use
  • Hammock attachment area is not insulated, creating a long, thin cold spot
  • Non-waterproof outer shell means that an additional rain cover is needed when used as an underquilt in cold, wet, or windy situations
  • One color choice- Kelly green
  • At $479.95 for the Basic 3 Season Hammock Quilt Set or $719.95 for the Ultimate 4 Season Hammock Quilt Set, the systems are quite expensive (but fair when considering what you’re getting)

Specifications

  Year/Model

2007 Jacks ‘R’ Better Nest Down Under Quilt

  Style

Down quilt with closable footbox

  Fill

800+ fill goose down

  Loft

Measured top loft 2.5 in (6.4 cm); claimed loft 2.0 in (5.1 cm)

  Manufacturer
Claimed Temperature Rating

Approx. 30 °F (-0.1 °C)

  Weight - one size

Measured weight 21.9 oz (621 g); mfr claimed 20 oz (567 g)

  Size

Size (measured): 46 in x 77 in (117 cm x 196 cm); mfr claimed 48 in x 78 in (122 cm x 198 cm)

  Fabrics

1.1 ounce rip-stop nylon with DWR treatment, no-see-um netting used in box baffles

  Features

3 under quilt attachment points for use in a hammock system (each with two attachment points for a total of six), neck drawstring with dual sliders, foot drawstring with dual sliders, Omni tape foot box closure with ties at top of footbox

  Included Accessories

JRB Suspension System for hammock under-quilt use 1.1 oz (37 g), silnylon compression sack 1.3 oz (31 g), storage bag

  Optional Accessories

JRB Down Hood $59.95, JRB Down Sleeves $79.95, Down to Earth Pad Converter

  MSRP

$259.95

  MSRP- The Basic 3 Season Quilt Set
(includes the No Sniveller and Nest quilts, attachment hardware, and stuff sacks)

$479.95

  MSRP- The Ultimate 4 Season Hammock Quilt Set
(includes the Old Rag Mtn, No Sniveller and Nest quilts, attachment hardware, and stuff sacks)

$719.95

Performance

2007 Jacks ‘R’ Better Nest Down Under Quilt REVIEW - 1
The Jacks ‘R’ Better Nest is a rectangular quilt with a slit and Omni tape strips that attach directly to Hennessy hammocks.

The Jacks ‘R’ Better (JRB) Nest is an under-quilt designed for use with Hennessy hammocks. It is constructed with a 1.1 ounce rip-stop nylon shell with DWR treatment and 800+ fill power down. While the manufacturer claims 2 inches of loft, I measured a full 2.5 inches (it’s great to see such a conservative manufacturer claim).

The Nest is similar to the No Sniveler quilt that ranked first in the BackpackingLight Unconventional Sleep Systems Review Summary. Unlike the No Sniveler, though, the Nest has a ½ length vertical opening with Omni-tape (a Velcro product) fasteners. These hook and loop fasteners align with the Velcro entrances of the Hennessy Ultralight Backpacker and Hyperlight Backpacker, allowing easy bottom entry when the quilt is attached.

2007 Jacks ‘R’ Better Nest Down Under Quilt REVIEW - 2
The Omni-tape fasteners attach directly to the Hennessy Hyperlight Backpacker A-sym, making it an integrated part of the hammock system. This image shows the Hennessy hammock attached to the Nest quilt.

While the hammock entrance no longer seals with Velcro when using the Nest in this way, the weight of the user secures the entrance firmly. Compared to sliding a quilt to the side every time and having to center it after entering the hammock, this system is much easier to use. In fact, it’s quicker to enter and exit a Hennessy hammock with the JRB Nest attached because you don’t have to mess with opening and closing the Velcro. While it might seem that this loose opening could lead to things falling out of the hammock or bugs getting in, I never found this to be the case; once your weight is in the hammock, the opening seals nicely and doesn’t open accidentally.

2007 Jacks ‘R’ Better Nest Down Under Quilt REVIEW - 3
When the cords are tightened, the Omni tape can pull free of the Velcro in the hammock opening. By tightening the adjusters less, this problem can be minimized.

However, the entryway seal is not perfect. Because the Hennessy uses Velcro and the Nest uses less “sticky” Omni tape, the seal is not as good as a Velcro-Velcro connection. This lack of “adhesion” causes the Nest to pull away from the hammock when the cords are tightened. While this surely caused some heat loss, it’s not very detectable because the slit in the insulation is at the less-crucial foot end of the hammock. It is important to note that tightening the adjusters less eliminates part of this problem.

A bigger concern with the system is that there is no insulation at this Omni tape/Velcro junction leaving a strip that’s about 2 inches wide with no insulation. Although you lay at an angle in a Hennessy A-Sym hammock, I did notice this as a cold spot when my legs crossed the strip in cold weather. If the weather gets cold enough that this is a problem, though, you can simply detach the quilt from the hammock and seal the Omni tape slit of the quilt to put the full 2.5 inches of loft at that area (When using the Nest in combination with an Old Rag Mtn as dual under quilts, I always set up the Nest in this way - since the Old Rag Mtn doesn't have a slit, the Nest's slit doesn't help).

2007 Jacks ‘R’ Better Nest Down Under Quilt REVIEW - 4
A JRB Suspension System is included with the Nest for attachment to the ends of a hammock. Also shown here is the Jacks ‘R’ Better Old Rag Mtn for extra winter insulation. Notice that the slit of the Nest is sealed when used in colder temps or dual under quilt setups.

A JRB Suspension System comes with the Nest which includes elastic cords and mini-carabineers for attachment to the ends of the hammock. Side attachment loops on the quilt are aligned for use with Hennessy A-Sym side guyouts.

When the weather gets warmer, you can increase airflow through the Nest by loosening the sliders on the ends of the quilt. By loosening the attachment points, you can also increase the distance between the hammock and quilt, cooling things off even more without having to disconnect the quilt.

2007 Jacks ‘R’ Better Nest Down Under Quilt REVIEW - 5
To reduce the warmth when used as an underquilt, the quilt sliders and attachment hardware can be loosened.

Besides its use a dedicated under quilt, the Nest can also be worn as a vest by wrapping it around your body and attaching the sliders in the rear. While this is not as slick as the No Sniveller setup, it definitely gives some extra insulation at camp that few other bags can offer.

2007 Jacks ‘R’ Better Nest Down Under Quilt REVIEW - 6
The Nest when worn as a vest.

The JRB Nest also has Omni tape strips to form a footbox for use as a top quilt. Drawcords at the foot and neck allow for adjustability when used as an under quilt as well as to create a footbox and neck collar when using it as a top quilt. This extra versatility gives you options for those times when you have to move your hammock to the ground. In these cases, the The JRB Down Hood can be attached to add warmth to the system.

2007 Jacks ‘R’ Better Nest Down Under Quilt REVIEW - 7
The optional JRB Down Hood can be attached to nylon loops on the Nest Quilt for top quilt usage (or can be used seperately).

Like most Jacks ‘R’ Better (JRB) quilts, the Nest can stand on its own or be used as part of a JRB system for extending the range of a hammock. It is available with the included Suspension System for $259.95. It can also be purchased as part of the Jacks ‘R’ Better Basic 3 Season Quilt Set ($479.95) which includes the Nest and the JRB No Sniveller Universal Quilt, or as a part of the Jacks ‘R’ Better Ultimate 4 Season Hammock Quilt Set ($719.95) which adds the JRB Old Rag Mtn Down Quilt.

While these Sets are fairly expensive, they offer discounts over the purchase of the components of $30 and $60, respectively. When you consider the excellent “made in the U.S.A.” craftsmanship of the quilts and all that you get for the price, the sets are a very good value. Further, no company can get you set up for cold weather hammocking like Jacks ‘R’ Better.

2007 Jacks ‘R’ Better Nest Down Under Quilt REVIEW - 8
The Nest is available on its own or as a part of the Jacks ‘R’ Better Basic 3 Season and Ultimate 4 Season Hammock Quilt Sets. When exiting the hammock with a Nest/Old Rag Mtn combination (here shown with optional Weathershield), you simply slide the quilts to the side when entering and exiting.

What’s Unique

The Jacks ‘R’ Better Nest offers a feature set that is unique in the market. It is designed to fit the Hennessy Ultralight or Hyperlight A-Sym hammocks and even improves the ease of entry/exit with these hammock models. Further, it can be used as a top quilt and even worn like a long vest for hanging around cold and dry camps. For those who love Hennessy hammocks, the Nest is a great addition to your system.

2007 Jacks ‘R’ Better Nest Down Under Quilt REVIEW - 9
The JRB Nest is a key component to this deep-winter hammock system.

Recommendations for Improvement

  • The Nest is designed to be used as an under quilt for a hammock and thus, is exposed to wind and wind-blown rain and snow. However, the fabric shell is merely lightweight nylon with a DWR coating. This necessitates the use of an outer wind/rain cover, adding complexity and weight to the system. If the Nest's outer shell was made of a highly breathable waterproof/breathable fabric such as eVENT or Pertex Endurance, the additional cover wouldn’t be necessary. I think the possible downside of moisture accumulation in the quilt would be worth the tradeoff of simplicity and decreased weight.
  • When using the Nest as a quilt on the ground, the footbox is a little too roomy to offer maximum efficiency.
  • The Nest is available in Kelly green only. I rather like the color but others may not.

Citation

"2007 Jacks ‘R’ Better Nest Down Under Quilt REVIEW," by Doug Johnson. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/2007_jacks_r_better_nest_down_under_quilt_review.html, 2007-08-08 03:00:00-06.

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2007 Jacks ‘R’ Better Nest Down Under Quilt REVIEW
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Kenneth Knight
(kenknight) - MLife

Locale: SE Michigan
2007 Jacks ‘R’ Better Nest Down Under Quilt REVIEW on 08/07/2007 23:37:45 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

2007 Jacks 'R' Better Nest Down Under Quilt REVIEW

Edited by kenknight on 08/07/2007 23:38:57 MDT.

Andrew King
(drewboy) - F

Locale: Arizona
The Nest rules on 08/08/2007 14:18:50 MDT Print View

Definitely an awesome product. I upgraded to the Nest recently for my hammock under insulation and haven't ever looked back. I share the concerns on the DRW fabric underneath for excessive rain conditions. JRB had communicated that their source for the breathable polyurethane material used for their weather shield has dried up, and there is no published time frame for them to again offer this product. I wonder if there is any other viable source to satisfy this need, or is there perhaps a DIY project of some kind floating around?

William Kline
(BillyBob58) - F

Locale: SE US
How about the SuperShelter? on 08/22/2007 14:54:46 MDT Print View

These JRB products are great, and deserve their popularity. But I am still looking forward to a long term test of the HHSS. Tom Hennessy, for what it's worth, is still very pro this design and has not yet gone to another. I have used it quite successfully myself. Although, for me, their was a bit of a learning curve to get it below the low 40's or maybe high 30's. But the addition of the kidney/torso pads gives a big boost. It can be boosted significantly with the "Garlington insulator", a trash bag with a space blanket in it. And the original design of using clothing that you are not wearing to bed ( IF there is any not being used )can, again, really improve the warmth. And of course, the system includes some built in moisture/wind protection with the silnylon undercover. I have the larger, heavier Explorer model with the 35" wide pad. The listed weights are: silnylon undercover= 8.75 oz, underpad = 11 oz., for 19.75 oz total. ( the standard for the UL Backpacker is, I think, only 13 oz total).

Though I suspect the down under quilts will be a bit warmer for about the same weight, this is probabbly still a good alternative. Considering that the "weather-shield" is already part of the system, and cost. There MIGHT also be an additional wet weather advantage to the open cell foam compared to down. And there is a cost advantage: $129 size reg. Naturally, all of that nice down cost's more.

But if using the No-Sniv as an underquilt, you would have the multi use advantage of wearing it for camp warmth. That's a big advantage, but it would already be taken care of if using the No Sniv for the top quilt.

So I hope there is a thorough testing here someday! Even though maybe not quite as warm, it has other factors that make it a possible alternative.

William Kline
(BillyBob58) - F

Locale: SE US
no condensation- also use space blanket on 08/22/2007 14:59:16 MDT Print View

P.S.
I normally use a 2 oz space blanket on top of the underpad, as directed by TH. I think this does add some warmth, but I have never had any condensation issues worth mentioning.

Stevan Beer
(PapaBeer) - F

Locale: Gunnison Valley
ULA Rain Wrap for underneath the Nest on 06/21/2009 11:47:23 MDT Print View

I use a ULA Rain Wrap for bottom rain gear and found that it has multiple uses. Haven't tried it yet, but with a little shock cord and some mini-biners, it seems like it would make a great moisture barrier for the underside of a JRB Nest.