Saturday, May 2, 2020

REVIEW: LOCHBY FIELD JOURNAL NOTEBOOK COVER

REVIEW: LOCHBY FIELD JOURNAL NOTEBOOK COVER
Lochby. A relatively new brand on the market. Yet, by now, if you don't live under a rock, you've probably heard about them or seen one of their products pass by on social media or on other blogs.

It doesn't happen very often, but I was immediately intrigued by the name: Lochby. Lake by. Lake bee? Well, the Lochby logo is a bee, but that's apparently not quite what the name means. According to the owner it translates to lake town, a nod to his home town by the lake. Perhaps a missed opportunity for another bee reference, because you might notice that all of Lochby's products are filled with small bee-related details - very tastefully done, I might add. 
REVIEW: LOCHBY FIELD JOURNAL NOTEBOOK COVER
Anyway, enough linguistics nonsense, you're here for the Lochby Field Journal notebook cover, so let's take a look at that. 
REVIEW: LOCHBY FIELD JOURNAL NOTEBOOK COVER
The Lochby Field Journal is an unapologetically EDC-styled writing Folio. If the design on the outside hasn't made that obvious yet, I don't know what will. The rugged, brown, waxed canvas outer fits right in with an adventurous lifestyle, and the large clasp on the front (a very nice, heavy-duty one made from aluminum) adds to the 'ruggedized' look and feel of the entire cover. The clasp closure is also quite practical in use. It can be adjusted in length, depending on how much notebooks (and other paraphernalia) you want to stuff inside, and the slightly curved shape makes it easy to clip into the loop closure. The clasp can also be attached to a loop on the back to keep it out of the way, although I find it adversely adds bulk to the backside of the cover, preventing it from laying flat.
REVIEW: LOCHBY FIELD JOURNAL NOTEBOOK COVER
In hindsight, I realized how dumb it would look to hold it like this...
A strap runs along the spine of the Field Journal. At first, I wasn't quite sure why it's even there (to hold it like a briefcase?). But all of a sudden it made sense. If you're on the go, slipping your hand behind the strap keeps your notebook securely tied to your hand, whether you're just toting it around, or supporting it while quickly writing something down on the go. It's not as stupid as I initially thought... It's just me that's the stupid one. (The video on Lochby's product page does an excellent job explaining all the features, I probably should've looked it up earlier!)
REVIEW: LOCHBY FIELD JOURNAL NOTEBOOK COVER
Admittedly, all the design elements add up to something that's not quite the clean, sleek, leather journal cover that I would tend to go for. But I'm willing to make an exception here because I very much appreciate the thought that Lochby put into the design. The subtle brown outside is balanced nicely by a pop of warm honey-yellow (=bees!) rip-stop fabric on the inside, making for a playful contrast while still keeping a fairly subdued look from the outside. I told you there would be a lot of bee references, so here's another one: The ripstop fabric on the inside is woven in a honeycomb pattern. Heck, even the mesh pocket on the front inside flap is woven in a honeycomb-like pattern... style points for Lochby! 
REVIEW: LOCHBY FIELD JOURNAL NOTEBOOK COVER
Apart from the different and playful design that I came to like more than I expected, the Lochby Field Journal is a very practical and complete product that's perfect if you want to keep multiple notebooks (for multiple projects perhaps) nicely together, along with a plethora of loose papers, business cards, small paraphernalia (as long as they're thin), and a pen of course.
REVIEW: LOCHBY FIELD JOURNAL NOTEBOOK COVER
A nice velcro-closed mesh pocket on the inside to keep small paraphernalia
REVIEW: LOCHBY FIELD JOURNAL NOTEBOOK COVER
Closing the Field Journal with the clasp keeps your pen extra securely strapped in
The waxed brown canvas is actually quite water-repellent indeed, so that's nice if you take it outside in less than ideal weather. The reinforced edges of the cover are not waterproof though, and obviously, the sides of the notebooks are still exposed, so you'd probably still not want to carry your important notes around in it during a downpour or something. But every bit helps, right?
REVIEW: LOCHBY FIELD JOURNAL NOTEBOOK COVER
The Lochby Field Journal contains four elastic bands that run along the length of the spine, making it possible to attach up to four thin notebooks or cahiers at once. If that's not enough, the two vertical pockets on the front and back allow two additional notebooks to be held in place, although 6 may be just a bit much for my taste.
REVIEW: LOCHBY FIELD JOURNAL NOTEBOOK COVER
I prefer to carry two or three of these thinner notebooks at once (or even a single, hardcover A5 notebook), which keeps the overall thickness manageable, and also makes writing in each of the notebooks more comfortable. 
REVIEW: LOCHBY FIELD JOURNAL NOTEBOOK COVER
The Lochby Field Journal is made to hold Lochby's own Tomoe River cahiers (obviously!), which are in fact very nice. One dot grid cahier is included with the Field Journal, and additional notebooks (also in plain or ruled) are available for 9$ each. The craft-brown softcover notebooks contain a decent 72 pages each, but stay thin due to the 68gsm TR paper. Did I already tell you how awesome Tomoe River is for fountain pens? It really is pretty great...
REVIEW: LOCHBY FIELD JOURNAL NOTEBOOK COVER
Lovely shading (from the, equally lovely, Kyo-No-Oto inks!) and sheen are to be expected with Tomoe paper
REVIEW: LOCHBY FIELD JOURNAL NOTEBOOK COVER
If you are ok with longer drying times, Tomoe River is really in a league of its own. Ink dries crisply and colors pop while also showing tons of shading and sheen. I've also come to enjoy the slightly heavier 68 gsm Tomoe River paper between this and the Endless Recorder notebook that I reviewed a while ago. It's slightly less crinkly and characterful as the lighter 52 gsm paper, but in my experience, it seems slightly better at dealing with bleedthrough and ghosting. That said, it's still not ideal if you want to write on both sides of the page.
REVIEW: LOCHBY FIELD JOURNAL NOTEBOOK COVER
The Schmidt P8126 rollerball is not the easiest refill, although feathering is still rather limited
And as I love TR paper, I still wouldn't count it as the most all-purpose type of paper. Take quick notes a bit too quickly, and you'll likely end up smudging all over the place. Limit yourself to rollerball or ballpen,... well then there's honestly more practical and cheaper paper types out there. So is TR the ideal match for an EDC-minded product like the Field Journal? Maybe not, but that didn't withhold me from using it a lot as my personal carry in the past months! The notebooks are standard A5 (5.8" x 8.3") size, so there are enough alternative paper options available if you want to add more flexibility to your daily carry. 
REVIEW: LOCHBY FIELD JOURNAL NOTEBOOK COVER
Little pockets and places to put items all over the Field Journal!
The Lochby Field Journal is - first of all - an incredibly practical notebook cover filled with functionality. The build quality is excellent all around, and I like the playful accent color and subtle bee theme that's going on on the inside, giving the Field Journal its own character. Whether or not you like the rugged, EDC-minded appearance will be up to you, but the design actually grew on me quite a bit in the time of using it.

If you weren't convinced yet, the Lochby Field Journal is also just a killer deal. At just 39$ for the cover with one notebook installed, I feel like you're certainly getting your money's worth. It certainly looks and feels like something that should cost quite a bit more.

NOTE: This product was provided by Lochby, so I could write this review. I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, the opinions shared in this review are completely my own! This post does not contain affiliate links.
REVIEW: LOCHBY FIELD JOURNAL NOTEBOOK COVER
REVIEW: LOCHBY FIELD JOURNAL NOTEBOOK COVER

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