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Field Notes Shelterwood Review


yogalarva
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Just put this review up on my blog this afternoon, and figured I would post it here as well. :-)

 

Even if you are not a pocket notebook user, I bet that pretty much everyone has heard of Field Notes and especially the Spring 2014 special edition, Shelterwood. Since I can’t really describe it better than they can, here’s the description from the website:

 

The “Shelterwood” edition features covers made from actual American Cherry wood, sliced ever-so-thin and bonded to a substrate of kraft paper for durability.

fpn_1402261804__shelterwood_cover.jpeg

 

 

I really like that each cover is totally unique. The picture above is a scan of one of mine, and the grain pattern on the three I purchased are all different. The cover also seems very robust and I’m sure will take a thorough beating before looking too worn. The gold staples are also a nice touch. :-)

Inside the cover is cream colored paper with green ruling. The ruling is a bit narrow, but it’s a pocket notebook, so it seems to be reasonable for what it is.

Field Notes don’t have a great reputation for being fountain pen friendly, and this is true as well for the Shelterwood. The paper is decently thick and seems to resist feathering in most EDC type nibs (M and narrower). Sadly, bleed through is a thing that occurs.

fpn_1402261880__shelterwood_ink_test.jpe

fpn_1402261901__shelterwood_bleeding.jpe

On the picture above, the right side is the back of the variety ink test page and the left side is the back of PIP #14. Obviously this is not the kind of notebook you would want to be using a wet noodle in, but I think that it’s not so bad as to be unusable.

Overall, I really like this notebook. At first I couldn’t get past the bleeding issue, but I think the important thing was shifting my expectations. This is an EDC pocket notebook, and as such it’s not exactly like I’ll be writing my memoirs in it. I use it mostly to take quick notes in meetings, write out to do lists, and doodle. If something bleeds through too bad, I just don’t use the back of a page. If you really want super FP-friendly paper in a pocket notebook, I would suggest buying one of the Clairefontaine pocket notebooks.

If the price turns you off ($10/3 notebooks), then there is nothing I will be able to say that will change your mind. In that case, make your own pocket notebooks or pick up something cheaper at the drug store. I don’t know that I would pay $10 for a pack of the basic Field Notes, but for the limited editions I feel like I get my money’s worth because of the fun covers and variety of papers available.

So, those are my feelings about the Shelterwood Field Notes. I recommend them if you have the funds to spend on fun pocket notebooks and can look past a little bit of bleed through with broad nibs. :-)

I purchased this notebook with my own money and I am in no way being compensated for this review. All opinions expressed above are my own and you can feel free to disagree with them if you like.

Fountain pen blog | Personal blog

 

Current collection: Pilot Vanishing Point, TWSBI Vac 700, Kaweco Al Sport, Lamy Safari, Nemosine Singularity

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Thanks for the review! The wood covers got my attention this time, as the previous editions just didn't seem 'special' enough to justify their price. It's quite a relief to learn elsewhere that the covers are 'bendable' and are like cardstock, am quite interested in the manufacturing process in fact.

 

However I've been quite skeptical about the staple binding, which was one of the main reasons holding me back - how do they hold up generally in Field Notes? It's just that I have very bad experiences with staple-bound notebooks in pre-uni days, what with rusting and stuff and things falling apart, and have never voluntarily used staple-bound notebooks since. But this might make me change my mind.

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Field Notes is on my never buy list. Can't get past their lack of commitment to a quality (for FP) paper. Sad, because I love what they do with this whole series. They were very FP friendly when first launched, but the paper changes along the way have all been a backwards step.

http://img356.imageshack.us/img356/7260/postminipo0.png
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However I've been quite skeptical about the staple binding, which was one of the main reasons holding me back - how do they hold up generally in Field Notes? It's just that I have very bad experiences with staple-bound notebooks in pre-uni days, what with rusting and stuff and things falling apart, and have never voluntarily used staple-bound notebooks since. But this might make me change my mind.

 

So far the staples seem to be holding up pretty well. I think my current notebook has been in use for a month now, coming everywhere with me, and I see to signs of weakening. But I think that the staple dependability has a lot to do with the cover materials too, since the Shelterwood cover seems more robust than others that I've seen.

 

Field Notes is on my never buy list. Can't get past their lack of commitment to a quality (for FP) paper. Sad, because I love what they do with this whole series. They were very FP friendly when first launched, but the paper changes along the way have all been a backwards step.

 

Yeah, I do really wish the paper was more FP friendly, but at the same time the fact that it dries really fast is ideal for a pocket notebook. It's really a tough line to walk...

Fountain pen blog | Personal blog

 

Current collection: Pilot Vanishing Point, TWSBI Vac 700, Kaweco Al Sport, Lamy Safari, Nemosine Singularity

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Field Notes is on my never buy list. Can't get past their lack of commitment to a quality (for FP) paper. Sad, because I love what they do with this whole series. They were very FP friendly when first launched, but the paper changes along the way have all been a backwards step.

I agree, they're not the most FP friendly. Do you have an alternative in comparable size and page number? I use Clairefontaine but I actually appreciate the thinner Field Notes (i.e. few less pages so thinner).
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I bought this set when it was first released because I loved the idea of having a notebook with a wood cover. Granted, the paper isn't the most FP friendly. But if I use XF or a "dry" ink in a F nib, it's ok enough and I can use the back side of the page. I keep one of these notebooks in my handbag and bring it almost everywhere. It's holding up well; although, that is because it doesn't get too abused in my bag. The wood cover has darkened, which is cool.

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I agree, they're not the most FP friendly. Do you have an alternative in comparable size and page number? I use Clairefontaine but I actually appreciate the thinner Field Notes (i.e. few less pages so thinner).

Unfortunately not. I use the Clairefontaine. Tis a pity as they are doing a sensational marketing job with the range of notebooks they have created. I would love to be a customer but paper is a no no for me.

http://img356.imageshack.us/img356/7260/postminipo0.png
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Nice to know that it holds up well, thanks. Regarding FP-friendliness, I read that the paper used this time is a different one and some reviews mention that this edition performs better than the regular ones in terms of stuff like bleeding, feathering, etc. Is that the case in your experience too?

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Nice to know that it holds up well, thanks. Regarding FP-friendliness, I read that the paper used this time is a different one and some reviews mention that this edition performs better than the regular ones in terms of stuff like bleeding, feathering, etc. Is that the case in your experience too?

 

I have never used any of the "classic" Field Notes and the only other ones I have experience with are the Pitch Black ones, but the paper in the Shelterwood is definitely thicker than those ones. I have not had any feathering problems, but I pretty much only use M nibs or finer in it, and the bleeding is not that much of an issue for me. For mundane things like to do and shopping lists, who cares if you have some spots of bleed through? :-P

Fountain pen blog | Personal blog

 

Current collection: Pilot Vanishing Point, TWSBI Vac 700, Kaweco Al Sport, Lamy Safari, Nemosine Singularity

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