Thanks to Erin of Rite in the Rain (RITR), I received a Nº 980B-Kit for review several months back.  The chief reason why it took me so long to produce a review is that I was waiting for the raining season in Virginia.  I figure, the storm in VA is usually down pouring cats and dogs.  What better occasion I can test out the kit?  The rain definitely kept me waiting, and the Baker could not believe that I had a smirk on my face when clouds gathered and thunders rolled.  As soon as it started to pour, I put on my raincoat and boots, dashed out to the porch to try out the notebook.

I was only out for less than a minute.  When I came inside, my raincoat was drenched and had puddles in my boots.  The only item that remained unaffected was the notebook. Do you see how raindrops just beaded on the surface?  The writing might be fainter than usual, but it is overall legible.

Can you see the water on the cover?

Even some raindrops on the back cover.

If I were recording some important thoughts on this field book in the rain, I would not need to bust out a hair dryer to dry the pages.  The pages are a bit warped, but everything looks fine!

One thing I noticed was that color ran a little while I was drying the black cover that is made with Cordura® fabric (feels like canvas when touched, but it is made with a collection of fabric that can withstand harsh environment and resistant to wear and tear).  When I toweled it dry, the fabric color remained intense, no blotchiness.  Just keep that in mind, so the color won’t transfer onto any light-colored textile.
The paper feels just a bit waxy when touched, but the writing does not haze, even with the finest tip pens, like Hi-Tec-C.  Because of the water-based coating on paper, one needs to be mindful when choosing writing utensils.  From the writing test below, the best media one should use with RITR notebook are ballpoint pens, pencils and alcohol-based markers.  Gel pen inks virtually disappeared, especially the Hi-Tec-C; Uni-Ball retained most of its ink.  Most fountain pen inks will not work with this paper either because the inks were not water resisted.  Interestingly, though gel and fountain pen inks mostly disappeared, they are still faintly legible on paper.  

Before and After: you can see how the water drops happily
incorporate colors.  Faint traces left, but becomes a bit illegible.
Here is an interesting discovery.  As seen below, it is possible to use gel pen and fountain pen with RITR paper, as long as they are oil-based or irongall.  I have tried both oil-based Uni-Ball ink and Rohrer & Klinger Scabiosa, with artificial rain test.  Both types of inks retain their integrity very nicely. Of course, in a tactical situation, it might not be feasible to carry a fountain pen around, but I can imagine Hemingway using a RITR and a fountain pen as a wartime reporter. 🙂
The writing did not disappear!  
RITR is almost like a Swiss Knife in notebooks.  Organization and information are part of its engineering.  The notebook opens up to a contact information page, in case the book is misplaced.  The opposite page is table of content, which is beneficial to users who are accustomed in numbering notebook pages.  It also helps maintain organization and facilitate information retrieval.
Even though these inks do work with the paper, but be mindful that the experiment is conducted under dry condition.  These pens probably won’t write on wet paper, as the enclosed ballpoint pen by Fisher.

Because RITR is advertised for outdoor writers, it includes handy tools like Imperial and metric conversion page, as well as doubles the edges of notebook as rulers for both measuring systems.

At a glance, the pages are college ruled, but when look closer, horizontal lines are lined in dashes, which made a virtual grid.  Very handy for scientists who measure variance in rainfall or water level, for example.

Besides putting out unique stationery product, RITR is also committed to environmental conservation.  Though the pages are virtually indestructible by rain, they are entirely recyclable, unlike paper with polyurethane coating.  The company strives to utilize as much recycled components as possible; the only stage when virgin materials are used is to fortify the paper.  

Company motto, plus their environmental pledge.
The Cordura® cover is durable yet lightweight, so it will not burden anyone’s rucksack while exploring or working outdoors.  It has a YKK zippered closing and inside, there are 4-slot pen holder on inside front cover.  In the back insider cover, there is a single big slot that is big enough to hold a compass or other tools.  

The all-weather clicker ballpoint pen that comes with the kit is manufactured by Fisher, that also produce the Space Pen.  That means this pen will perform as new under extreme weather conditions, upside down, under the water, or in space should you have a chance to go.  The clicker mechanism is easy to operate and it also solves the problem of misplaced cap.  The metal body ensures the durability of the pen.  Appearance aside, this pen writes very smoothly and without blobs.  
Though I am not an outdoor person in general, having this kit would encourage me to be one!  This notebook has the Indiana Jones feel and it performs as stellar as it looks.  
Where can I obtain one?
Other outstanding reviews on RITR products:

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2 thoughts on “Notebook Review: Rite in the Rain All-Weather Field Book

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