There are so many notebooks on the market that it’s easy to become numb to yet-another-notebook debuting. Not this time.
Back Pocket Notebooks released this three-pack, space-theme set of notebooks a little while ago. A UK-based outfit, they seem focused on finding cracks in the notebook niche market and filling it with some interesting projects! SpaceX is their second notebook release (the first being a set of responsive design notebooks), and their third project-in-the-works is an ambitious undertaking: a nine-notebook set celebrating our solar system! Wow (sneak preview here).
But, today we’re focused on a less ambitious mission, that of exploring Phobos & Deimos, Olumpus Mons, and Valles Marineris, or more precisely, the SpaceX notebook three-pack.
Although many may not be familiar with these space destinations, all will be with the standard pocket notebook size of 3-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ although with slightly fewer pages (36) than typical page counts for pocket notebooks. But that sacrifice is more than overcome by the cover and inside paper choices and the quality print/bindery work. The covers, beefy 300gsm (~110#) off-white, wrap around 120gsm (~70-80#) white inside pages with a small, reticle grid format. I’m not a fan of Field Notes’ reticle grids, but the SpaceX reticle cross symbols are much smaller and I think I may like reticle presenting like this. My first glance upon receiving the pack for review was “Oh nice, dot grids…” but are actually small, light-grey crosses.
The notebooks do not have the ubiquitous rounded outside corners, but instead a clean, square edge that echos the square edge of the cover art nicely. The covers, which is part of what stands these apart from other notebooks, have printed space posters released to the public to emulate tourist travel posters advertising exotic space vacations. The covers are clearly eye-catching and dream-inspiring. Who among us hasn’t wished on travel to the stars and planets?
All that said, how does the paper perform? In a word, excellent. Graphite felt really nice, with just the slightest tooth. My Blackwing 602 did exhibit slight smearing, but in tolerable range for me. Fountain pens, the usual death-knell for most of my notebook tests, surprised me with a great experience leaving no bleed, show-through, and retaining expected nib-width lines and was a good feel to write on.
As of this writing, I believe these are only available direct from Back Pocket or from PocketNotebooks.co.uk. If I find out who might be carrying them stateside I’ll update this review. That said, a test checkout at backpocket.co showed the three-pack at 12 pounds ($15.50) and standard shipping at 5 pounds ($6.50) so not too bad for stateside notebook enthusiasts.
If you’re a space or sci-fi fan these definitely belong in your rotation. Yet the cover art and the overall quality should be appealing to anyone who enjoys a visually stunning quality pocket notebook that works well across the usual writing tools!
Two packs were provided to me by backpocket.co for the purpose of this review. I used one for sampling, which leaves FIVE single notebooks to giveaway (and two awesome stickers that I’ll randomly tossed in two winners’ packets) to FIVE lucky winners!
How can you win one? Simple: comment which is your favorite cover below and/or on one of the Facebook posts for this review and I’ll draw five names for the notebooks giveaway next Sunday (Aug. 21). Oh, and this time…anyone can win…U.S. or international.