A few times a year I pick out a product from JetPens that I think is one thing and ends up as not at all what was in my head. I’m bad at reading descriptions apparently. Most of the time it works out just fine because I am a stationery junkie and like almost everything. Additionally, it forces me to go outside of my comfort zone, which is a great position to be in when it comes to reviews.
The Midori Camel Spiral Ring Notebook is a kraft cover stock spiral bound notebook, or so I thought. It is also a kraft paper on the inside notebook, which I didn’t consider when selecting based on the title of the product alone. Turns out, this kraft paper is pretty great.
When I think of craft paper my mind immediately jumps to a paper bag. The surface of paper bags aren’t smooth, and if you have ever experimented writing on one you know they are porous and soak up ink. The paper in this Midori is not that at all. It is smoother than you think (although not dead smooth like standard Rhoda paper for example), and the ink performs far better than I anticipated with little to no bleed or feathering.
It was a given in my mind that I would test this paper with the Uni-ball Signo UM-153 white gel ink pen. It is tailor made for an application like this. The 1.0 mm line is thick and looks awesome. And since it was a gel ink pen there is little to no chance it would feather or bleed through the page.
What I wasn’t so convinced of was using liquid inks like found in rollerballs, brush pens, and fountain pens. I thought the brush pens would go right through the page, but they didn’t come close to doing that. Both of the Kuretake brush pens I tested were great, and might be the ideal pen for this notebook. No feathering at all from either. The Schmidt P8126 roller came close to bleeding through the page. I could tell it was getting into the fibers, but the ink never made it through the back.
Fountain pen inks behaved well, with the Califolio Andrinople from a medium stub nib being the only one showing the slightest bit of feathering around the edges. And that only occurred as it dried. When I was writing I didn’t see it at all. The lone negative is that it wasn’t smooth enough for me to use my XXF fountain pen nibs comfortably, but that is an outlier. Otherwise, this kraft paper exceeded every expectation I had for it.
The only thing left for me to determine is how to use the Midori Camel. It feels like purely a sketchbook at this point. I wouldn’t choose it for notes or journaling, but for drawings and sketches it is ideal, especially with easy rotation into landscape mode.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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