I have lately received an interesting product from Straits Pen, and the product is from a company I have never heard of before. It is the Backpocket Ink Tester. I love new products from new brands, so I was pretty excited to review this notebook!
The Backpocket Ink Tester is a pocket-sized notebook which reminds me much of Field Notes, the super-popular pocket-sized brand of notebooks that everyone seems to love. It is made by Curnow Bookbinding & Leatherwork, from Dixon, California. These are handmade journals, which makes it even more appealing to me!
When you flip to the middle of the book, you will be able to see the binding, which seems to be some sort of wire or twine. It’s an interesting way of binding (while Field Notes are bound by classic staples).
Within the book, there are 46 pages of forms for you to fill out your ink records, so you can record 46 different kinds of inks in one single book. The fields allow you to record the ink brand, ink name, the pen and nib you used for the record, and the date. Following those, you can give star ratings for ink characteristics like shading, saturation, and flow, as well as an overall rating. Drying time of the ink is also important to know, so there is also a section that allows you to do 5-second, 10-second, and 15-second testing. Very convenient, and covers pretty much all the general characteristics of ink that one would like to record!
After rating the ink, you can write your comments on how you feel about the ink, and to see how a written sample of the ink looks like. Below that, there is also an empty box where you can apply a swab of ink so that you can observe its characteristics at a glance. They’ve gotten it all covered!
The only thing I probably can’t do with this pocket Ink Tester is the water resistance test. Dripping water onto the page may cause the ink to bleed through to the next page, which would then reduce the number of entries I can make in this book. But for a pocket sized journal, it’s not a huge issue!
This ink journal was supposed to have fountain pen friendly paper, but when I did my ink record, I found some slight feathering as well as show-through and some signs of bleeding through as well, on the back page. Granted, the Pelikan Edelstein Topaz ink is a very wet ink, making my M400 EF nib write more like an F, but it’s a pity that the ink affected the back page, which means that to OCD people like me, I wouldn’t use that page anymore. I imagine that if I happened to record a bunch of very wet inks in this notebook, I would have to skip using all the back pages! On the positive side, the fact that certain inks bleed through the paper does mean that the ink record will capture such a property of the ink, which fulfils the true purpose of making ink records in the first place. Surprisingly, the ink swab, which was made using a totally soaked Q-tip, did not exhibit any bleed-through, and only slight show-through.
I’ve done a video exploring the notebook. Check it out below, and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel!
Check out The Modern Stationer’s review of the Backpocket Journal that uses Tomoe River Paper for an alternative type of notebook.
Now for the giveaway!
As the Ink Tester comes in a pack of 3, and I’ve used one of them, I have another 2 books that I can give to 2 lucky readers of my blog (one book each). Just enter the Rafflecopter contest widget below (following the instructions) and you’ll stand a chance to win one of these notebooks!
Mandatory entry: Leave a comment under this post.
Contest ends in 5 days (on Sunday June 7, 10pm, GMT+8)
Once again, thank you very much, Straits Pen, for sponsoring this product for my review. Opinions in this review are my honest opinions, and not influenced by anyone else. Visit Straits Pen if you’re interested to buy the Backpocket Ink Tester, or other writing materials: