Lihit Lab Smart Fit A5 Notebook Cover Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

I find most of Lihit Lab's bags and cases to be well designed and practical. Except for the Actact Stand Pen Case, I've enjoyed all of their products that I've tried. And the Smart Fit A5 Notebook Cover is by far my new favorite.

It's made of sturdy Cordura polyester. It has three outside pockets: a pen holder that fits even bulkier pens (my Pilot Custom 823 fits perfectly with a little wiggle room); a front pocket with a Velcro flap that's large enough to hold most phones (or a good-sized stack of Field Notes); and behind that is a larger slot that can hold a medium notebook, stray papers, or a whole fistful of gel pens. Inside the front cover are two card slots and a larger slot that's perfect for a pocket notebook. These pockets are on a firm band of fabric that can be used as an additional notebook cover slot--so the case can actually hold two A5 notebooks. The back inside cover has another notebook cover slot, and a folder pocket that can hold papers or can be used as a memo pad holder. The cover closes with an elastic band that's attached to the inside front cover and stretches around the long edge of the back. There are two ribbon bookmarks--one white and one brown.

This thing has not been more than ten feet from me since the moment it arrived. It's more than my everyday carry, it's my every hour carry. My carry-from-room-to-room. Here's how I'm using it:

I have my main pen-o-the-day in the pen slot, my phone and a pocket notebook in the front pouch, and a handful of other pens in the larger pocket. This pocket also acts as a catch-all for papers I gather through the day. I have all my important cards in the card slots (it doesn't fit many cards, but it easily fits the essentials), and a pocket notebook in the larger slot. I'm not using the front notebook cover holder, because I have a large notebook in the back holder. It's about 1" thick, but it fits in the cover nicely. It's my planner/bullet journal/diary, so it gets used about ten times a day. The two ribbon markers are in my monthly and weekly trackers, and I use a separate marker for my daily page. In the back folder I have my BuJo stencils and my planner stickers.

This packet of essentials is like my external hard drive. Every inch of it is imbued with powerful usefulness. +10 to productivity.

Of course, it isn't perfect. There are a few things I'd change. One--the Velcro. I'm a knitter, so Velcro is my nemesis. I can't put this in a bag next to my yarn without risking tragedy. Two--the ribbon markers are a little puny. This could really do with more substantial markers. Three--the notebook it comes with is awful. It has flimsy, weak plastic rings that don't like to line up properly or close easily, and the paper quality is pretty terrible. Even my rollerball had some slight bleed-through, and fountain pens were a no-go. Thankfully, it's easy to switch out, and with the A5 size, you can replace it with some of the nicest notebooks in existence.

This case is going to stay in use till it's falling apart--or until something comes along that improves on its weaker features. I'm sure there are already such things out there in the world, but I haven't found too many at this accessible price point. If you're in the market for an A5 cover that can also tote some of your tools, I highly recommend this one.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, which I am very grateful for.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Posted on February 16, 2017 and filed under Lihit Labs, Pen Case.