Thursday, May 3, 2012

Review: Rite in the Rain Notebooks & Field Pouch & Tactical Clicker All Weather Pen

A big thank you to Erin at Rite in the Rain for sending this marvelous package for me to test and review!
RITR Package Total
Whoa! Major mailbox goodies!
The RITR motto is "outdoor writing products for outdoor writing people". Essentially, these are products that make your outdoor work easier - by protecting your writing and your work from the elements (i.e. rain!). There is a huge range of products available - from regular notebooks to notebooks tailored for general use, tactical, public safety, construction, agricultural, recreational, underwater, and sportsman use. In addition, the 20 & 30 pound paper is archival and therefore, will last your entire lifetime!


RITR puts it best:
RECYCLABILITY In spite of Rite in the Rain's durability, it is totally recyclable as standard paper, which is untrue of synthetic, or poly coated papers. Simply recycle Rite in the Rain as you do other white or printed papers.
POST-CONSUMER RECYCLED MATERIALS Our unique "Polydura" cover and reference card substrate contains post-consumer recycled materials and is recyclable. (Recycled milk, shampoo bottles, etc.)
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF MANUFACTURING PROCESS The process involved in the manufacture of Rite in the Rain paper was designed to have ultra-low impact on the environment. The water based coating process emits only steam and all mill off-cuts are recycled back into the paper-manufacturing stream. All printing plates and processing liquids are recycled. 100% of printing inks are soy based. The modern facility and equipment are designed to be energy efficient.
RECYCLED FIBER CONTENT Rite in the Rain All-Weather Writing Paper is a patented substrate created for use in outdoor writing situations. Since this paper is designed for use in extreme conditions it is manufactured with the most durable yet recyclable components available. Recycled content pulp, as a result of the repulping & reprocessing involved in recycling, produces a "weaker" substrate due to the shortened fibers. This inherent weakness reduces the field-durability of paper and as such is not used in the manufacture of Rite in the Rain paper. It is one of the rare instances where virgin fiber adds significantly to the end-product function. Papers designed for "office or indoor" uses do not require this strength and as such can contain recycled fiber. This all being said, the wood fibers we utilize for Rite in the Rain are purchased from FSC Certified sources. By doing this it insures our product is manufactured with high environmental and social standards and practices. 
Nº1773 - Universal Polydura
RITR Polydura
This is a classic Rite in the Rain notebook - side spiral with the bright yellow cover. It has rounded edges which is really a nice touch for a journal that is likely to get beat up. Sharp corners would get dog-eared in no time. What really stands out in this notebook is the ruling - it's lined but has dot grids as well! The best of both worlds, quite possibly? I love notebooks where the front cover can fold back. It makes writing in it very comfortable.

I wanted to go outside and test these notebooks in the rain, but I'm in Texas. Where, apparently, it hardly ever rains. Therefore, I will have to settle for using the sink - filling it with a little bit of water and writing underwater. I subjected this notebook to the water test because it would be easiest to photograph and demonstrate its ability (although the other notebook was also tested but was hard to hold open and photograph - I need better assistants).
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Writing sample: Sharpie Micro, Pilot Hi-Tecpoint V5, Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm Coleto, Uni-ball Signo DX 0.38 mm, Tactical Clicker All Weather Pen, Uni-ball Kuru Toga auto lead rotation mechanical pencil 0.5 mm. 
Water Test
Notice the Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm Coleto disappeared pretty much the second water hit it! Also notice the awesome water beading!
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This was written under water. No problems whatsoever. Both the pen and pencil wrote like there was nothing on the page at all.
Nº390-4F Pocket Journal - Fabrikoid
Hardcover RITR
I love this one. It looks so elegant, no?
I have fairly high standards for what counts as a "pretty" journal but when I removed this journal from the Field Belt Pouch (below), I was in awe. It has a beautiful, somewhat glittery, canary yellow hard cover, with rounded corners. It is fairly thick and has lovely lined paper. This is a tough notebook and is a perfect size for carrying around with you.

This paper performed just as spectacularly as the Universal Polydura. I am truly amazed that the water does not soak in nor wash off certain inks or pencil, without the paper feeling slimy or coated. It feels like normal, nice paper.

My only complaint is that because it is a hardcover, it can be difficult to keep open while writing. I haven't broken the spine so that may help...I hate breaking spines though!
Notebooks RITR
Side by side.
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Can you see the difference in the yellow covers?
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Top to bottom: Roaring Spring Elephant PooPoo Paper, Rite in the Rain Universal Polydura, Rite in the Rain Fabrikoid Pocket Journal, Roaring Spring Environotes Sugarcane notebook, Rhodia Reverse Book.  
NºC540F Field Belt Pouch - Tan Cordura® fabric
Pouch Front Back
Man...this awesome pouch is going to make me feel so cool when I tote it along on our next outing. It has several loops on the front for your writing utensils (or a pocket knife and other things), as well as two pockets to hold your notebooks. It closes with a snap and is easy to open, but will not open accidentally! It also has two waist clips on the back so you can attach it to your pants as you trek outside. Or, if you're like me, as you vacuum, to see how well it holds - which is very well. It will further protect your already hardy RITR gear.
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Nº97 Tactical Clicker All Weather Pen - Black Ink
Pen RITR
This pen is really cool. It has the same technology as the Fisher Space Pen, which allows you to use it in water, upside down, or in temperatures ranging from -30F to 250F. And really, if you're in either of those temperatures, you're probably crazy enough to absolutely require one of these pens.

It is very slick, and certainly does look like a tactical pen, with its smooth, matte black surface. It is a simple clicker and ballpoint but it wrote very well in both notebooks here. It write under water, and through water easily. The water did not wash away the ink, and once it dried, it's as though nothing had ever happened. Amazing.

Even if you don't have intentions of writing under harsh conditions, you should get one of these pens anyway, because they have ink that will not evaporate and cartridges that won't leak in your pocket - good for flying.

More RITR
Dave's Mechanical Pencils
Tactical Intelligence
Woods Monkey
Gear Junkie
The Pen Addict
Black Cover
Allison Outside

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Price

Nº1773 - Universal Polydura - $9.95
Nº390-4F Pocket Journal - Fabrikoid - $16.95
NºC540F Field Belt Pouch - Tan Cordura® fabric - $24.75
Nº97 Tactical Clicker All Weather Pen - Black Ink - $10.95

Overall
While Rite in the Rain products will have a premium, they will protect your works forever - you won't have to worry about floods or rainwater ruining your work, or time fading your words. Your works will be safe to store, no matter where you put it (you know... if you're somewhat reasonable about where you store it). You will also have the peace of mind knowing you are supporting a company that is making efforts to reduce its impact on the environment in more ways than one. I highly recommend Rite in the Rain to all you stationery fans and outdoorsy people out there!

**I was provided one or more of these products for review, but all opinions are my own!

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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