International Correspondence Writing Month is almost over, but that is no reason not to have a nice pad of letter writing paper on your desk. Sure, you could use the Clairefontaine Triomphe as a high quality notepad, but where it really shines is for letter writing, and is one of the best options around.
Clairefontaine has long been known for making wonderful fountain pen friendly paper. The Triomphe pad is perfectly smooth and extra white, both features which make your writing pop off the page.
It handled any pen or pencil I threw at it, with fountain pens being the standout of course. My nib choices tend to lie at the extremes, with extra fine needlepoints mixed in with fine cursive italics. Soft, rolling nibs these are not, and they all performed flawlessly. When I branched out to medium nibs, the Triomphe paper handled it in style, with no feathering of bleeding to speak of.
Rollerball inks did well too. They are the most similar to fountain pen inks since they are water based, and I saw no issue with them. Gel inks did well, as did ballpoints and pencil. The one pen style I did not enjoy on this paper were plastic tip pens. My beloved Kuretake and Copic felt waxy on the page, even though there is not much coating on the paper as best as I can tell.
Outside of pure performance, there are two small features that make this pad perfect for letters. One, the glue binding allows for clean page removal, and two, the pad includes a lined guide sheet. I can write somewhat straight lines on my own, but getting the neat output like I got below only comes from guide lines.
When I have a size option, A5 is usually my first choice, but there is an A4 pad option as well, with envelopes to match. The price is reasonable too: $6 for 50 sheets of A5, $9 for 50 sheets of A4. If you are looking for quality letter writing paper I would look no further than Clairefontaine Triomphe.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)