A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed the Lochby Field Journal (you can see the review here, plus Scrib waxed lyrical about it last week). This week, I'm going to have a look at the notebook that came enclosed within the Field Journal. You can buy all the different Lochby notebooks at Nero's - plain, dot grid and ruled. The one that came with my Field Journal was a dot grid notebook.
Once you remove the bright yellow belly-band, you have a kraft-card cover with minimal branding - just the Lochby hexagon at the top left-hand corner on the front and top centre on the back. On the inside front cover is a space for adding details - the style is free-form so you can put whatever you like - it's not labelled for name/address etc. The back inside cover is plain.
This is where I start to wax lyrical! There are 72 pages of the slightly heavier weight Tomoe River paper (68 gsm instead of 52 gsm). For me, this is the holy grail of paper and finding it in a notebook is quite rare. The 52 gsm paper is lovely, don't get me wrong, but it has too much show-through/ghosting to the reverse of the page for me. I like to be able to use both sides of the paper.
It's stitch-bound, so will lie flat as a pancake. The dot grid is subtle enough not to overpower but crisp enough to guide. But it's the paper that's the real star. Even with 72 pages, the notebook is slim, and as Scrib pointed out last week, the Field Journal can easily hold several of them without groaning. Like Scrib, I like to separate different notes/projects into different notebooks, but I also like to keep them all together. Since I've (alarmingly) had some major ideas about three more books (brain, just stop it. Now!), I will be keeping them all together in the Field Journal, in a 'separate yet together' fashion, utilising the slip-pockets and the elastics.
For those of you who don't know about Tomoe River paper (Who are you? Where have you been?), it's an absolute delight to work on, though be aware it has a longer drying time than other papers. I find it similar to Clairefontaine paper in that respect. If you're using inks with a sheen or with sparkles, Tomoe River paper will show it off an absolute treat. The paper is smooth to write on - my pens glide across the surface beautifully, and it's very ink-resistant so there is no bleed-through, though there is sometimes a little ghosting (much more so on the 52 gsm version).
Overall, I think these are splendid notebooks and the kraft-card exterior is a perfect complement to the rugged, no-nonsense Field Journal. It's also a sturdy enough cover that it doesn't actually need any further protection (but it just looks so good in it, why would you not?).
The version I've been playing with is A5, but the Field Journal and the notebooks also come in pocket-size.