Monday, February 27, 2012

Comparison: Large Brown Midori Traveler's Notebook & Burnt Cognac Pelle Leather Journal

Hi again folks! This has been an epic undertaking! I know that some of you may be surprised with my opinions but please remember, they are just that - my opinions! You may love the paper or the leather more or less than I do, so take it all with a grain of salt. I'm just trying to give you a comparison to help you in your decisions! For each section, I will highlight my preferences where applicable!

Getting Your Hands On One
Ease of acquisition
  • Midori - Not bad if you know where to go!
  • Pelle - It was difficult at first but it's getting better. If you're only waiting for JetPens, it can be tough. Don't forget you can get them directly from Pelle! Unless you want the burnt cognac specifically. 
Price of journal
  • Midori - $58.00 - $59.95
  • Pelle - $44.99
Price of refills
  • Midori - $6.00
  • Pelle - $9.99
In the package
  • Midori - Brown leather cover, one extra rubber band, one refillable notebook (blank), cotton cloth case
  • Pelle - Burnt cognac leather cover, one extra rubber band, one refillable notebook (blank), cotton cloth case
Journals with Case Resized
IMG_2232 Resized
Cotton cloth case: Midori on the left, Pelle on the right. I prefer the Pelle cloth case as it has a draw string!
  • Midori - Great
  • Pelle - Good
Front Back P Vs. M Resized
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Again, I apologize for the extra orangey-ness of the Pelle in the top pictures. It really is rather orange though.
  • Midori - Dark brown
  • Pelle - Warm reddish-orange brown
  • Midori - Starts strongly chemical, but fades to a perfect leather
  • Pelle - Perfect leather, straight out of the package
Size of leather cover
  • Midori  - 4.5" x 8.5"
  • Pelle - 4.5" x 8.3"
Edges of leather cover
IMG_1950 Resized
Pelle on top, Midori on bottom.
  • Midori - Dark brown
  • Pelle - Black
Leather hardness
  • Midori - Medium/firm
  • Pelle - Supple/soft
Tolerates scuffing and blending
Scuff Resized
I scuffed both with my finger nail. The Midori tolerates general scuffs without being so obvious but they both blended well with a bit of rubbing.
  • Midori - Yes, quite well
  • Pelle - Yes, very well
Leather will earn a unique look with use
  • Midori - You bet!
  • Pelle - Yeppers!

Refill cover
Refill Comparison Resized
Refills: cahier belongs to Midori, linen belongs to Pelle
  • Midori - Kraft cahier
  • Pelle - Linen
Paper (Blank)
IMG_1941 Resized
Top: Pelle (creamy), bottom: Midori (more white)
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Top: Pelle (creamy), bottom: Midori (more white)
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Back to front: Quo Vadis Habana + bright white paper, Pelle drawing refill, Pelle blank refill, Midori blank refill, Quo Vadis Habana + ivory paper, Rhodia Webbie, Rhodia R pad.
  • Midori - White
  • Pelle - Off-white/light cream
Paper weight (Blank)
  • Midori - ?
  • Pelle - 28 lbs
Number of pages in a refill
  • Midori - 64 pages
  • Pelle - 64 pages
Toothiness of paper
  • Midori - Good
  • Pelle - Almost none
Fountain pen friendliness - for more details, see the Pelle review, or Midori review!
  • Midori - Low
  • Pelle - Low
Bleed through
  • Midori - Medium
  • Pelle - High
Show through
  • Midori - A little
  • Pelle - A lot
  • Midori - A lot
  • Pelle - Almost none
Gel Ink/Liquid Ink/Ballpoint Friendliness - for more details, see the Pelle review, or Midori review!
IMG_2253 Resized
Pelle on left, Midori on right. You can see the obvious difference in show through but I rather enjoy the crinkle.
  • Midori - Medium
  • Pelle - High
Bleed through
  • Midori - A little
  • Pelle - Almost none
Show through
  • Midori - Yes
  • Pelle - None
  • Midori - None
  • Pelle - None
IMG_2228 Resized

IMG_1938 Resized

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Elastic band around journal attached to
IMG_2226 Resized
  • Midori - Knotted through hole in center of back cover
  • Pelle - Knotted through hole in center of spine
Elastic bands attached to journal
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Top: Midori. Bottom: Pelle
  • Midori - Tin clasp
  • Pelle - Bead
Elastic band across spine attached with
  • Midori - Knot
  • Pelle - Brass clip
Elastic color
  • Midori - Brown
  • Pelle - Lime green
Back up elastic color
  • Midori - Orange
  • Pelle - Dark brown
IMG_1973 Resized
Midori on top, Pelle on bottom with two refills.
  • Midori - Yes, many customizable inserts available!
  • Pelle - Only with four refills and back up elastics, no further customization is available as yet.
Lies flat with refills
  • Midori - No
  • Pelle - No
Lies flat without refills
  • Midori - Almost flat!
  • Pelle - Yes
  • Midori - Yes
  • Pelle - Yes
Made in
  • Midori - Thailand & Japan
  • Pelle - USA (California)
Other Bits
Do you have to be a traveler to be one?
  • Midori - No
  • Pelle - No
Inspires creativity?
  • Midori - Yes!
  • Pelle - Yes!
Makes you feel awesome?
  • Midori - Definitely 
  • Pelle - Definitely
Rustic awesomeness
  • Midori - Lots of it!
  • Pelle - Lots of it, when it's tidied up (tightened strings, etc)
Quality control
IMG_2223 Resized
Notice how messy the Pelle looks.
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You can barely see the Pelle journal stamp!
  • Midori - Great
  • Pelle - Moderate
Overall Appearance
Elastic Resized
  • Midori - Really awesome
  • Pelle - Fairly awesome, despite the negative bits

Final Verdict?

Either leather cover is great. If you're looking for a deal or prefer the burnt cognac color, go with the Pelle. If you're not, go with the Midori. Either way, make your own refills if you want fountain pen friendly paper and you'll be good to go and pleased as punch!

I hope you enjoyed it. I'm sure there are things I missed or have yet to discover but this is just after a week or two of use!


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