All of my recent pen orders arrived, and I decided to try all of them out on the three most popular (and affordable) pocket notebooks.
Click on any photo to go to its Flickr page with alternate sizes, comments, etc. I apologize for the strange lighting; these were taken late at night and I did not have my normal light setup available.
First, the pens:
From left to right: Sharpie Pen, Pilot G6 Black, G6 Blue, Lamy Safari (Medium Nib), Pilot Varsity Black, Varsity Blue, Platinum Preppy Black, Preppy Blue, Preppy Red. All are fountain pens except for the G6s and the Sharpie.
Second, the pocket-sized notebooks:
Pen samples in the Field Notes notebook:
Checking for bleedthrough:
Only the Pilot Varsity Black has significant bleed through the paper.
Next, the Moleskine notebook:
The Moleskine paper is a cream color and “feels” smoother than the paper in the Field Notes and Doane notebooks, but the Lamy Safari doesn’t flow as well on it. I’ve read that Moleskine uses a coated paper, which would explain it.
Checking for bleedthrough:
Only the Pilot Varsity Black bleeds through on the Moleskine as well.
Finally, the Doane Paper Utility Notebook:
And a bleedthrough check:
No significant bleedthrough at all, even with the Pilot Varsity pen that was a problem on the other two notebooks.
My first fountain pens were the Pilot Varsity disposables that I picked up a few months ago. I got the Lamy Safari (with medium nib) about a week ago, and the Platinum Preppys arrived yesterday. I’m a little dissapointed in the performance of the Lamy cartridge ink on the coated Moleskine paper (since I have quite a few Moleskines), but will be getting a converter soon that lets me try some Noodler’s Black ink to see how that works.
The Platinum Preppy pens are really nice for the price ($3 each at JetPens), and feel/flow better than the Pilot Varsity models. I won’t be buying any more Varsitys once these are empty.
The Pilot G6s (a fatter version of the G2) were included for comparison. I have a bunch of them and like them for “general pen use”. I do not like the Sharpie Pen at all and included it because I had one on my desk.
The paper on the Field Notes and Doane Paper notebooks felt more “scratchy” than the Moleskine; I attribute this to their non-coated paper.
You really can’t go wrong with any of these notebooks; which one is best for you will depend on what you intend to use it for and your preferences about paper and paper color. Choice of pens is even more of a personal preference; use what you like!
Update: I’ll be glad to review any notebooks or writing instruments that companies want to send my way.