Seeking awesome notepad
October 19, 2012 2:22 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a notepad to use with a fountain pen with binding and paper similar to moleskine large (5x8) pads, but at 8x11 size. Moleskine does sell 8x11 pads but they have a less smooth paper that does not work well with fountain pens. Clairefontaine is pretty good but it has thicker, smoother paper.

To sum up, I need:

- thin, fairly smooth paper like moleskine 5x8 size
- about 8x11 size
- preferably in hard cover, not stapled and definitely not wirebound
- also preferably available unlined (plain)
- ideally $12 or less and available with amazon supersaver

Is there such a beast of a notepad out there?...
posted by rainy to Shopping (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Rhodia makes good stuff.
posted by 4ster at 2:46 PM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seconding Rhodia; Black N'Red does an 8x11-ish size casebound, and their paper is very fountain-pen friendly for the price, though perhaps a little thicker than you'd like, and I don't think they do unlined.
posted by holgate at 3:13 PM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Have you seen Leuchtturm?
posted by feloniousmonk at 3:13 PM on October 19, 2012

I think this is the specific one you want, but it is a little pricier than you wanted.
posted by feloniousmonk at 3:18 PM on October 19, 2012

Yeah, I was going to add the Leuchtturn 1917 master (slightly bigger than A4), but even the slim variant is double your budget.
posted by holgate at 3:22 PM on October 19, 2012

Best answer: Paper reviews by fountain pen fetishists:
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:04 PM on October 19, 2012

I like the Rhodia webnotebook, but it doesn't come in an A4 size (A5 is the largest). To my knowledge, Rhodia does not make a hard cover bound notebook in that size. I wish they did.
posted by fremen at 9:31 AM on October 20, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for all the answers, I've ordered rhodia in large size from amazon.
posted by rainy at 6:11 PM on October 25, 2012

Response by poster: I have to say, regretfully, that rhodia did not work well for me at all. There are two major issues that work in combination: first, ink (noodler's) never dries up, not even after 10 hours, and imprints on the page above. To fix this, I've tried using tissues between the pages, as I've done with all other notepads I use, but that doesn't work because they slide out very often when I pick up the notepad and put it in my backpack. This is due to the way the notepad folds up and over, creating a small gap between pages even when they are folded back again.

I'm currently using two notepads: a japanese Olives Des Olives which is a bit smaller than I prefer, lined, double spiral and unperforated but otherwise perfect; the second one is the spanish Miquelrius from Target which is the perfect size, perforated, 5 colour coded sections, but the paper is slightly less smooth than I would like, single spiral but seems fairly sturdy, and lined.

I'm thinking of trying Moleskine Volant plain extra large, the paper seems to be the right kind on those.
posted by rainy at 8:55 AM on December 1, 2012

Try asking the Head Noodler what paper he likes.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:58 AM on December 1, 2012

Best answer: I have tremendous respect for Nathan Tardif (and own pens that he's custom-nibbed, as well as ones sold under his brand) but Noodler's Ink has that reputation with fine coated papers, especially in its most highly-saturated varieties, and actually works better with lower-grade paper. Perhaps by design, as Nathan's stated goal is to make FP usage once again cheap and accessible.

Knowing your ink preference, FPN is going to be your best port of call, because there are plenty of people in the same situation. Post your query there, and tell them the specific inks you're using, along with the pen and nib size, because that also makes a difference.

You may end up having to compromise somewhere: either sacrifice some smoothness from the paper, or switch to a less saturated ink.
posted by holgate at 9:54 PM on December 1, 2012

Response by poster: I'm not devoted to Noodler's, it just happens to be the only ink I have. The only two pens I have are Lamy Safari and Roetring Core, and I think something bad happened to the latter, last few times I tried it it was leaking into the cap and the flow is far too powerful, it's like writing with a water hose, so I always use Safary. I plan to buy some new pens and inks in the next few months so maybe I'll revisit Rhodia again, because I do like how the paper feels under the pen and the size is perfect, too, and it is unlined.
posted by rainy at 5:34 PM on December 2, 2012

Best answer: Perhaps try some other German inks with the Safari: Lamy's own brand, Mont Blanc, Pelikan, Rohrer & Klingner. Lamy is fairly quick-drying with decent saturation. Goulet Pens sells samples, so you can find an ink that works for at limited expense.
posted by holgate at 10:06 AM on December 3, 2012

Response by poster: That's pretty cool, I did not know samples are available.. will order asap.
posted by rainy at 5:02 PM on December 3, 2012

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