I received this Apica Rain Guard Waterproof Notebook as a sample from JetPens recently when they started to carry several new lines of notebooks and journals. As the name indicates, the main selling point of this notebook is the waterproof paper. Despite being on the short list of things I need to try out, I have never ordered a Rite in the Rain notebook, but this Apica seems similar enough in design and function. So does it really work? Without question, yes.
The first thing I wanted to test out was how various inks handled the pages. Never having used waterproof paper before, I was thinking the paper would have a waxy, slick feeling, but it essentially feels just like normal paper. I also assumed that rollerball and ballpoint inks would outperform their gel ink relatives, and that also held true for the most part. Pens like the Uni-Ball Vision Elite and Uni-Ball Jetstream performed like champs, while the Pilot G-2 struggled a bit, not really putting down a clean line. Fountain pen ink - you can forget it. Not that it would ever be an option for this type of notebook anyway.
Once I had the ink on the page, I took a medicine dropper filled with water and started dropping water on the page. The water beaded up immediately and held its place like it was standing at attention. It was a very impressive display. I let the water stand for one minute to see how the inks would perform. If you click on the picture above you can see very quickly which inks were holding up and which were beginning to smear out.
When the minute was up, I lifted the notebook from the binding and let the water roll off the page. Obviously the same inks that did well in the water dropper test did well in the runoff test. The gels like the Pentel Energel and Pilot Hi-Tec-C did very poorly, while the Jetstream and even the Copic MultiLiner looked like they hadn't even been wet. The paper is not that thick as you can tell by the back of page bleed thru photo, so it is even more impressive how stable some of the inks were.
With a specialty paper like this, it pays to pay attention to what writing instrument you are using. I did the written review with the Uni-Ball Vision Elite and it was just like I was writing on normal paper the whole time, and after seeing how it performed in the water test, I would have no concerns with the page getting wet. If you have a need for this type of notebook, the Apica Rain Guard would be well worth taking a look at.