Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies






Photo

Tom Bihn Field Journal Notebook


  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 Okami

Okami

    Writing Is Thinking In Ink

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,133 posts
  • Location:The Hurricane Zone
  • Flag:

Posted 10 December 2010 - 04:22

Review may also be read on my blog:


Review - Tom Bihn Field Journal Notebook


[You can click on any of the photos to enlarge for more detail]




Posted Image



A few months ago I (and many others) became aware of a new product from Tom Bihn, the Field Journal Notebook. I was immediately interested.

I sent them a message, including a link to my blog, and asked if they might be interested in sending me one for review ("If you don't ask, you don't get." - Mahatma Gandhi). Darcy Gray, Vice President (a woman after my own heart, a finder of lost dogs) promptly replied asking me what color I would like (I chose Steel because I have been considering another bag and wanted to see this color in person).

First a little about Tom Bihn, the company, from Manta.com: Tom Bihn, Inc is a private company categorized under Textile Bags Manufacturers and located in Seattle, WA. Our records show it was established in 2002 and incorporated in Washington. Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of 1,900,000 and employs a staff of approximately 23.

You really have to check out the About Us section of their website and read about the founder and staff. This is a small company, that obviously takes pride in their people. I know that they produce a wonderful quality product, I own one of their Imago bags and am extremely happy with it. It's nice to see a company that takes pride in all aspects of their business.

The notebook arrived right after Thanksgiving and I have been carrying it around with me to get a feel for it and test it out.

Below is a video from the company website about the Notebook:

[YOU WILL NEED TO GO TO THE BLOG POST TO VIEW THE VIDEO]



Now, my thoughts. This is a very high quality product. It has ample space for pens, paper and other items that you might want to carry. I crammed it with pens, pencils, a small watercolor box and travel brush. I even zipped up an Exacompta sketchbook inside and one day my handbound leather journal. The materials are quality and extremely well p
ut together. The exterior surface is U.S. 1000 denier Cordura Nylon, lined with U.S. 500 denier Cordura. The zippers are splash-proof YKK Uretech coil: #8 on the main compartment and #5 on the front pocket. This is a durable notebook.


Posted Image


I can think of many uses for this notebook.


Posted Image


As part of my review, I took it with me to a meetup of fountain pen lovers on Saturday and asked everyone to take a look at it and try out the paper.

Posted Image


So, now, about that paper.... (from the website)

... to make things a little easier, we've included a package of 100 sheets of Harbor 100 60# from Gray's Harbor Paper - it's 100% recycled and comes in your choice of college ruled -or- graph grid, both printed on both sides. We also offer as a separate option, packages of 100 blank sheets of Crane's Crest 24# 100% cotton paper. This paper is quite beautiful and is suitable for letter writing, sketching and even watercolor. We have it micro-perforated 3/4" from the left edge so that you can remove the left margin with the punched holes: send the letter or frame the sketch. All of these papers are available from us as refills as well.



[YOU WILL NEED TO GO TO THE BLOG POST TO VIEW THE SLIDE SHOW OF THE WRITING SAMPLES]



Personally, as a fountain pen user, I found the paper options to be... well, non-options. The Gray's Harbor paper is low quality and has both bleed through and show through issues. The Crane 100% cotton is typical Crane 100% cotton - it has a little too much tooth for me. Both of these papers will probably be fine for non fountain pen users (I also played with my watercolors on the Crane paper and it's ok, but there is some buckling). The one thing I do like about the Crane paper is the micro-perforation. I can see writing letters or notes and like have the option of removing the holes from the paper cleanly. For fountain pen users, either Bihn will need to come up with options (maybe a partnership with Rhodia a la Levenger), or do what I did - make your own.

The nice thing about this binder is that it is a standard 3 ring binder, although a 5.5" by 8.25" size. This means that all you really need to do is take standard 8.5" by 11" paper and cut it in half and then use a hold punch. I did this to some standard black paper (my standby paper is Neenah Classic Crest) and also to art paper (watercolor and bristol) and Rhodia Uniblank and Dotpad. The Uniblank and Dotpad are a little offsize but they work.

So, this is a notebook is a great addition to the Tom Bihn product line and I'm sure that artists, journalers and others will find many uses for it. I wish I'd had one when I went camping in Minnesota's Boundary Waters area a couple of years ago.

The Field Journal Notebook is $75 at Tom Bihn, thanks so much to Darcy and everyone at Tom Bihn for providing me with this one, at no charge, for review.

If you would like to read another review of this product, head over to The Pen Addict.
"There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face." ~ Ben Williams

My social media sites Via Gravatar

Join Pen Collectors of America

Sponsored Content

#2 clickiechick

clickiechick

    I'm just lurking!

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 329 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 10 December 2010 - 06:51

Nice review!

I have a question about the binder portion of the field bag. Can it hold just a regular pad of paper (top bound or sidebound) in a secure fashion, sans rings? I'm not a fan of the rings, though I can see how some would love that option. I'm just curious to see if the field bag design forces you to use the rings as the only paper holding option.
Wassup wid that, homes? Looks like you're WANT to feel the hurt. -ethernautrix

#3 Okami

Okami

    Writing Is Thinking In Ink

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,133 posts
  • Location:The Hurricane Zone
  • Flag:

Posted 10 December 2010 - 11:18

Unfortunately there is no option other than the rings with this binder. Great question and perhaps a suggestion that should be made to the company.

Julie
"There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face." ~ Ben Williams

My social media sites Via Gravatar

Join Pen Collectors of America

#4 Surfbits

Surfbits

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 276 posts
  • Location:Northern Wisconsin

Posted 10 December 2010 - 13:48

Great review Julie.

I reviewed the Field Journal in October on my blog, Surfbits.com.

I've been working with Tom Bihn for many years and when they told me about the Field Journal coming out, I gave them a list of pen and paper blogs I subscribe to in my RSS reader. Glad to see they realized the scope of our passion for a unique and functional product like the Field Journal.
Take care,
Tim Verpoorten (Surfbits)
http://www.surfbits.com : Blog
http://www.macreviewcast.com : Podcast

#5 pen2paper

pen2paper

    arty o the irst art

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,897 posts

Posted 10 December 2010 - 14:28

Julie, and Surf, thank you for the review and commentary..
I currently use bagalinni.. small wallet style, crossed over the shoulder, work calls for hands free, fast movement, we are constantly on-the-go.
The bagalinni is light, but is inconvenient in so many ways.. pens escape from the dual pen loops, phone just gets loosely squished in -lost a few times : ( everything gets dumped to find small items, as the bag does not spread open without spurting items willy nilly.
It has filled my need, but with great faults. clumsy access to cash transactions is one.
It can be tossed in the wash. is Very light.

In the video, cleaning was mentioned during the breakdown of the unit.. is this just a wipe? or toss into the washing machine?
1lb, I'm sure unloaded.. with ring unit, paper, phone etc, how heavy is this bag? the bagallini is light, Thin strap, a good weight.
How does this strap feel on the shoulder neck area? critical.. no latex correct?

the current model bagalinni is comparatively priced, though found on sale, for much less.. however, the current lighter design and strap last, in heavy daily use about 1 year.,
Also, have just purchased small 2011 Rhodia weekly planner. wondering how I might uitlize this.. probably just tucking in the side pocket..
Initially this product looks So Well thought out.. I Love good design!

emoticon-animal-007.gif~Hi! fountain pen enthusiast here~


#6 Okami

Okami

    Writing Is Thinking In Ink

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,133 posts
  • Location:The Hurricane Zone
  • Flag:

Posted 11 December 2010 - 00:47

I would think that cleaning is going to be wipe down or some other kind of spot cleaning - the front cover contains a hard plastic piece - I don't think it would like the washer - but I'm not sure.

As far as I know, there is no latex in this notebook. This notebook will last you years and years - it is extremely well made. I have had my bag for about 3 years and it looks brand new, this notebook is the same quality construction.

It is very light, filled with paper it weighs less than 2 lbs. I think this is a much sturdier product.

Tim - I remember seeing your review, it was one of the first times I saw any really detailed info on this product.

Edited by Okami, 11 December 2010 - 01:01.

"There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face." ~ Ben Williams

My social media sites Via Gravatar

Join Pen Collectors of America

#7 pen2paper

pen2paper

    arty o the irst art

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,897 posts

Posted 11 December 2010 - 00:49

from the video it appears that both front and back plastic are inserts.
once removed, thinking the fabric shell might be washable..?

emoticon-animal-007.gif~Hi! fountain pen enthusiast here~


#8 Surfbits

Surfbits

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 276 posts
  • Location:Northern Wisconsin

Posted 11 December 2010 - 14:34

I would feel comfortable washing and air drying it, or maybe re-inserting the plastic pieces while wet to maintain the shape and size you want.
I think Julie hit on the same thing that I felt about it, the paper is nice, but really not a great Fountain Pen paper. I keep thinking of a pencil or sketching type paper more then FP. I really think that as it sits now, the Field Journal is perfect for outside trips, rugged and functional.
Take care,
Tim Verpoorten (Surfbits)
http://www.surfbits.com : Blog
http://www.macreviewcast.com : Podcast

#9 pen2paper

pen2paper

    arty o the irst art

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,897 posts

Posted 11 December 2010 - 14:41

Thanks surfbits.. will keep an eye on this for my next bag once the bagalinni deteriorates.
Will try to fill with printed, punched paper, look for a planner to fit.
The Entire design of the bag appears to be perfectly designed for quick, secure access - on the fly too.
Great thought to detail, such as: the ring placement so that pens, phone, etc not contacting rubbing metal rings.
Great design is a thrill!
ps.. not a leftie, but Wow ! they designed this to reverse for lefties! How Cool is That!
pps.. have a heavy Ally Droid = most of the weight in my bag. Not secure in current bag.
Bihn design is For this type of phone Cha-ching ! another win/win feature!
ppps :rolleyes: wish I weren't so shy > to make inquiry > to be testdrive subject..
my job(s), would be the ultimate field test of this bag..

Edited by pen2paper, 12 December 2010 - 03:34.


emoticon-animal-007.gif~Hi! fountain pen enthusiast here~


#10 JSButterfly

JSButterfly

    JSButterfly

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 117 posts

Posted 12 December 2010 - 03:13

Thank you so much for this great review. I love everything about this journal :thumbup:
...only wish it came in leather :crybaby:

#11 Anne-Sophie

Anne-Sophie

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,119 posts

Posted 28 December 2010 - 06:29

The Field Journal Notebook in action and in a new color, Conifer.


Is it fair for an intelligent and family oriented mammal to be separated from his/her family and spend his/her life starved in a concrete jail?

#12 Anne-Sophie

Anne-Sophie

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,119 posts

Posted 28 December 2010 - 07:32

Julie, and Surf, thank you for the review and commentary..
I currently use bagalinni.. small wallet style, crossed over the shoulder, work calls for hands free, fast movement, we are constantly on-the-go.
The bagalinni is light, but is inconvenient in so many ways.. pens escape from the dual pen loops, phone just gets loosely squished in -lost a few times : ( everything gets dumped to find small items, as the bag does not spread open without spurting items willy nilly.
It has filled my need, but with great faults. clumsy access to cash transactions is one.
It can be tossed in the wash. is Very light.

In the video, cleaning was mentioned during the breakdown of the unit.. is this just a wipe? or toss into the washing machine?
1lb, I'm sure unloaded.. with ring unit, paper, phone etc, how heavy is this bag? the bagallini is light, Thin strap, a good weight.
How does this strap feel on the shoulder neck area? critical.. no latex correct?

the current model bagalinni is comparatively priced, though found on sale, for much less.. however, the current lighter design and strap last, in heavy daily use about 1 year.,
Also, have just purchased small 2011 Rhodia weekly planner. wondering how I might uitlize this.. probably just tucking in the side pocket..
Initially this product looks So Well thought out.. I Love good design!


I own both Bagallini and Tom Bihn bags.

While the Bagallini fabric is very light and washable, its durability cannot be compared to Tom Bihn's strong and very nice looking Cordura or Dyneema.
Is it fair for an intelligent and family oriented mammal to be separated from his/her family and spend his/her life starved in a concrete jail?

#13 pen2paper

pen2paper

    arty o the irst art

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,897 posts

Posted 28 December 2010 - 13:56

The Field Journal Notebook in action and in a new color, Conifer.

http://www.youtube.c...player_embedded

From Anne-Sophie: 12/28/2010
I own both Bagallini and Tom Bihn bags.

While the Bagallini fabric is very light and washable, its durability cannot be compared to Tom Bihn's strong and very nice looking Cordura or Dyneema
Annie-Sophie! Thank you for revisiting this topic!

Since Julie's first review.. >>
[please All do see Okami's blog, wherein she she carefully details products, including exciting new finds, that we at FPN find useful.. a few are off the well-beaten path - as in this case, may be Just the thing for on-the-go small office organization]
>> A Package arrived!
Within was a Tom Bihn bag!
Can't describe how very exciting!
Due to the nature of my work, The Tom Bihn will be involved in a real life, busy person, torture test..
as I've used several bags, (including 3 bagalinni - kept their sad remains-yes they have been through automatic clothes washer successfully) in the past 2 years.. there will be multi-level comparison, with my decidedly non-pro photos..
And, while this is a delightful, unexepected surprise ! ! ! I'll be reporting accurately - candid per my usage.. obviously, personal use varies.. so the potential weight issue, hands-free aspect, for me, may not be an issue for others.
Initial inspection - inner pockets are 5 * the heavy Ally Droid phone fits Perfectly! fountain pens stand upright ! Easy access 5*

Still home this week, work holiday, still mending.. the TT torture test part 1 begins next week.
Thank You! : D



emoticon-animal-007.gif~Hi! fountain pen enthusiast here~


#14 dapv

dapv

    dapv

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,361 posts
  • Location:Boston
  • Flag:

Posted 28 December 2010 - 15:59

Can some one please tell me the measurements for the paper, and for the three holes, i.e., how from the edges of the paper are the holes, and how far from each other are the holes? Thank you in advance for the help.
CFTPM

#15 pen2paper

pen2paper

    arty o the irst art

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,897 posts

Posted 28 December 2010 - 16:45

Can some one please tell me the measurements for the paper, and for the three holes, i.e., how from the edges of the paper are the holes, and how far from each other are the holes? Thank you in advance for the help.

1st, went hunting a measuring device :doh: the TM bag Comes With it's own little ruler.
Paper packs read:

Specialty Paper for the Tom Bihn Field Journal
100 Sheets - 8 1/2 X 5 1/2 inches
All 3 hole
measurements From Top & Bottom of paper:
To the Exact Center of the top & bottom Hole is 1 1/2 inches
To center middle hole is 4 1/2 inches
From side edge to center of hole is 3/8" inch

Package Part # TB1951 =
100 Sheets - 8 1/2 X 5 1/2 inches
100 % Cotton "Crane's Crest" Blank - Perforated left margin - has a built-in reinforcing strip :thumbup:
(looks just like the ream of Natural White Wove purchased from Tuesday Morning)

Package Part # TB1952 =
100 Sheets - 8 1/2 X 5 1/2

100% Post-Consumer Recycled "Gray's Harbor 100"
Colleged Ruled (9/32 inch) (Both Sides) lines appear grey

Package Part # TB1951 =
100 Sheets - 8 1/2 X 5 1/2

100% Post-Consumer Recycled "Grey's Harbor 100"
5mm Graph Ruled (Both Sides)
www... tombihn.. . + 100 phone #

note: your mileage may vary.. no association with Tom Bihn.. this is purely an exercise in whether this bag size is versatile, rugged, long lasting, lightweight enough, for my mileage.. which may/may not, translate as useful for Others..

emoticon-animal-007.gif~Hi! fountain pen enthusiast here~


#16 dapv

dapv

    dapv

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,361 posts
  • Location:Boston
  • Flag:

Posted 28 December 2010 - 17:48

Greetings pen2paper,

Thank you so much for the quick and thorough information; very helpful.

Warm regards.
CFTPM

#17 Okami

Okami

    Writing Is Thinking In Ink

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,133 posts
  • Location:The Hurricane Zone
  • Flag:

Posted 28 December 2010 - 21:31

Chris,

Great update on the info - I can't wait to see how the FJN works out for you during your rugged torture test Posted Image
"There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face." ~ Ben Williams

My social media sites Via Gravatar

Join Pen Collectors of America

#18 JSButterfly

JSButterfly

    JSButterfly

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 117 posts

Posted 30 December 2010 - 05:44

The Field Journal Notebook in action and in a new color, Conifer.

http://www.youtube.c...player_embedded

From Anne-Sophie: 12/28/2010
I own both Bagallini and Tom Bihn bags.

While the Bagallini fabric is very light and washable, its durability cannot be compared to Tom Bihn's strong and very nice looking Cordura or Dyneema
Annie-Sophie! Thank you for revisiting this topic!

Since Julie's first review.. >>
[please All do see Okami's blog, wherein she she carefully details products, including exciting new finds, that we at FPN find useful.. a few are off the well-beaten path - as in this case, may be Just the thing for on-the-go small office organization]
>> A Package arrived!
Within was a Tom Bihn bag!
Can't describe how very exciting!
Due to the nature of my work, The Tom Bihn will be involved in a real life, busy person, torture test..
as I've used several bags, (including 3 bagalinni - kept their sad remains-yes they have been through automatic clothes washer successfully) in the past 2 years.. there will be multi-level comparison, with my decidedly non-pro photos..
And, while this is a delightful, unexepected surprise ! ! ! I'll be reporting accurately - candid per my usage.. obviously, personal use varies.. so the potential weight issue, hands-free aspect, for me, may not be an issue for others.
Initial inspection - inner pockets are 5 * the heavy Ally Droid phone fits Perfectly! fountain pens stand upright ! Easy access 5*

Still home this week, work holiday, still mending.. the TT torture test part 1 begins next week.
Thank You! : D




please a link to Okami's blog...

#19 Okami

Okami

    Writing Is Thinking In Ink

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,133 posts
  • Location:The Hurricane Zone
  • Flag:

Posted 31 December 2010 - 00:28

please a link to Okami's blog...


Whatever


Hi - here is the link to my blog.
"There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face." ~ Ben Williams

My social media sites Via Gravatar

Join Pen Collectors of America

#20 inquisicorp

inquisicorp

    ObserveClosely

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 111 posts
  • Location:Maryland

Posted 22 March 2011 - 13:26

Julie, excellent review. Thanks for taking the time to write and post it. Invaluable!!! I went ahead and got the Field Journal to try it out for myself.

My review is here.

Jan

Posted Image
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Travel Sketchbooking
Observe Closely






Sponsored Content




|