Review: Field Notes Kraft Notebook

Journeywind Junk owes a lot to Field Notes. This website was conceived in one of their notebooks, a mass of ideas and details scribbled down on a cross country flight. Since then, every gear review we’ve posted has begun as lines jotted in our trusty Kraft. It’s been an indispensable part of our Everyday Carry, and we’re excited to share our review.

Form

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Simple, rustic, elegant – That’s the Field Notes Kraft in a nutshell. The “Packing Brown Wrap” cover and “Bright White” pages make for an incredibly attractive package. And with a total measurement of 3 ½” X 5 ½” between its rounded corners, the notebook will slide effortlessly into the back pocket of your pants. We carried it that way for exactly a month before each of its 48 pages was filled. As the photo below shows, it held up incredibly well. It’s not a water proof (or even water resistant) design, but it performs flawlessly under normal circumstances.

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While on the topic of covers, we love what Field notes has done with the inside flaps. The front features a plethora of useful ID and data fields, while the back has a 5” ruler printed next to the brand’s story and specs. If you’re curious about the manufacturing of these “Made in the U.S.A.” gems, you’ll have all the answers right there in your hands.

Though we found the ¼” ruled line version to be best for writing purposes, Field Notes offers graph or blank paper models for those more inclined to arithmetic or doodling. They also produce limited releases of different designs, some of which are particularly stunning. Check out the Field Notes “Lunacy” in the photo below (courtesy of the company’s website) to see what we mean.

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5 stars out of 5

 

Function

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What is the functional purpose of a notebook? In essence, it’s a mass of neatly bound paper for you to scribble on. We’ve carried a lot of notebooks in our day, but none have offered the mobility and versatility of the Field Notes Kraft.

Moleskins and other such notebooks are great, but they fall short in the comfortable carry department. Field Notes has managed to put together a product that offers the same classical elegance with a more rugged, work-ready design. Its flexible cover provides good protection for the pages, maintaining enough stiffness to be used as a brace while writing in a standing position. Placed on a desk, the Kraft hits the sweet spot for comfort. Its pages are just large enough for easy extended writing while still being small enough to tuck in the pocket.

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If there’s a downside here, it’s the lack of waterproofing. Unlike a product from, say, “Rite in the Rain,” the Field Notes Kraft will probably suffer in a moisture-heavy environment. On the other hand, most waterproof writing surfaces don’t play well with fountain pens or even popular gel designs like the Pilot G-2. These will slide off of a “Rite in the Rain” page, while the Field Notes will gladly soak up expensive ink. If you’re a fan of nice pens, the Kraft will probably be a better option. It played very well with our Lamy Safari, though there was a touch of bleed-through.

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4.5 stars out of 5

 

Future

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Like several of the items we’ve recently reviewed on Journeywind Junk, the Field Notes Kraft has become a permanent part of our everyday carry. Their attractive design, user friendly nature, and durability won us over almost immediately. As far as utility – Well, we didn’t realize just how handy these little notebooks would be until they found their way into our back pocket. From jotting grocery lists to scribbling notes and even composing whole paragraphs, they make perfect companions for writers on the go. Field Notes’ myriad of designs and limited releases extend our interest even further.

 

5 stars out of 5

 

Finance

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Three-packs of the Field Notes Kraft go for just under $10, both on Amazon and the company’s website. We haven’t been able to locate a brick and mortar retailer in our area that sells Field Notes products, but be sure to check FieldNotesBrand.com’s Retail Locator page for yourself. While they’re not as cheap as the sub-$1 notepads you’ll find elsewhere, we feel that each pad is certainly worth the approximately $3.30 unit price. We’ll gladly pay the extra few dollars for the stylish look, durability, and craftsmanship of the Kraft. We like them so much, in fact, that we wish there was an option to buy in bulk.

4 stars out of 5

 

Misc. Notes

Three staple binding.

Futura typeface.

Printed and manufactured in the U.S.A.

 

Where to Buy

Amazon

Averaging 4.5 out of 5 Stars over 241 customer reviews as of 10/18/16

Field Notes Website (Same price as Amazon)

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