Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Banditapple Carnet Notebooks

Give Away Banner
We're always on the hunt for good paper, rights readers? A little while ago, Brian and Rachel of Goulet Pens started carrying Banditapple Carnet notebooks. My interest was piqued by their clean look and I heard the paper was great. I contacted Mr. Arnie Kim of Banditapple to enquire about samples for review. Mr. Kim graciously agreed and soon after that, I received a parcel! This is a picture heavy post, but I hope you enjoy them.
Banditapple Carnet Packaging
The packaging is simple - plastic envelopes to protect the notebooks, and a sticker label to identify the notebook and provide some basic info (such as number of pages and paper weight). The packaging is more than I expected given the price of the notebooks, though I would really love to see some recyclable plastic. On that note, I would totally pay more for little reusable cloth bags holding several notebooks.
Banditapple Carnet Spread
Banditapple Carnet notebooks come in three different sizes:
  • Tablet - 13 x 21 cm
  • Handy - 11 x 21 cm
  • Peewee - 9 x 14 cm
I love the names to identify the notebook sizes because they tell me way more than "A4" and "A6" ever could. Tablet is (obviously) approximately tablet-sized, thus, the largest of the three, Handy is a handy, convenient size, and Peewee is little!
Banditapple Carnet Side by Side
Tablet, Handy, Peewee.
On the outside, these are plain, simple notebooks, and I say that in the best way possible. I love their classic design - textured colored covers that have just the right stiffness to them, with color-matched stitched bindings, and clean cut aligned edges. The rulings on the pages are very easy on the eyes and not too dark to obscure writing.
Banditapple Carnet Stack
Beautiful work! Straight stitching!
Banditapple Carnet Stitching Inside
They have just the right minimalistic look that allows you to give them character that suits you - whether you want to cover them with stickers and doodles, or just leave it as it is. The notebooks also lie flat, which is awesome.

All the notebooks have 64 pages of 80 gm acid-free paper. Weekly planners have 52 pages obviously, and are printed with soy-based inks, which are more environmentally friendly than the more common petroleum-based inks. It also makes paper recycling easier (not that you would recycle these notebooks). The paper is slightly off-white but does not near cream whatsoever. It just isn't bright white. It is the right combination of not-blinding-white and not-too-yellow. I am a big fan of the paper color.

The paper has very slight texture to it, no glossy coating here, and that's probably what allows it to be so fountain pen friendly. Thin nibs (such as extra fine fountain pens) or micro tip gel pens (such as Uni-ball Signo DX 0.38 mm) may scratch at the paper. The Pilot Plumix Italic nib did "scratch" on the edges, although it did not affect the ink to paper performance. From the following images, you'll notice there is no feathering. There is also no show through or bleed through. Even the Sharpie barely is visible. I don't know how that is possible because Sharpie shows through everything, but it's a miracle.

Blank Peewee Notebook in Finland Pine
PeeWee
What a great color name - I totally think of pine when I see this color.
Peewee Writing Carnet
The blue print on the page on the left side is because I smeared ink from another notebook on to this one. Don't even ask how... so lame.
Lined Tablet Notebook in Manuka Honey
Tablet Carnet
Honey is right. *Drool*
Banditapple Carnet Lined Writing Sample
Perfect ruling - not too wide, not too narrow. Doesn't obstruct view of even light inks. 
Graph Handy Notebook in Gingerbread
Handy Carnet
Gingerbread...*drool* again!
Banditapple Carnet Graph Writing Sample
The graph ruling is well done, too! Doesn't it look pretty with all the colors on it?
Weekly Planner Handy Notebook in Gingerbread
The first page is for contact information and dating your planner.
Banditapple Carnet Weekly Planner
On the left side, a full week with equal sized slots, and a place to fill in the week and month at the top of the page. On the right side, it's a blank page for notes, to-do lists, doodles, whatever your heart desires! I rather love that there is nothing else to this planner. Sometimes you just need a planner to start in the middle of the year and all you want is just the calendar, no conversion tables, no formulas, nothing.
Banditapple Carnet Weekly Planner
I absolutely adore the font chosen for this weekly planner!
In other fantastic news, the Handy size notebooks/weekly planners fit into the Pelle leather journal and Midori Traveler's Notebook. Does it get any better than this?
Banditapple Carnet In Pelle
3 refills - a Pelle blank, followed by the Banditapple Carnet Handy weekly planner, and the Banditapple Carnet Handy graph notebook. 
Banditapple Carnet In Pelle
3 refills - a Pelle blank, followed by the Banditapple Carnet Handy weekly planner, and the Banditapple Carnet Handy graph notebook.
Banditapple Carnet in Pelle
Left - a blank Pelle refill. Right - the Banditapple Carnet Handy weekly planner.
Banditapple Carnet Graph vs. Pelle Refill
Size comparison - Banditapple Carnet Handy weekly planner and large Pelle linen paper notebook.
Well, yes, it does get better. This information is from Notebook Stories - I didn't find this information myself but I really wanted to share it with you because, in addition to the other tidbits throughout my review, this information is great stuff.
  • All notebooks handmade with ecological Heritage paper
  • Practice with fair business
  • Banditapple works with minority women and handicapped persons in Vietnam
I love supporting companies with practices like these. I still think these notebooks are a fantastic price. Sure, they could have more pages, but I'd rather take a few less pages and help support Banditapple's choices.

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Price
Goulet Pens - Blank Peewee - $3.50
Goulet Pens - Lined Tablet - $5.50
Goulet Pens - Lined Handy Weekly Planner - $5.50
Overall
If you are in the market for new notebooks, do not pass up the Banditapple Carnet notebooks. Whether you are searching for fountain pen friendly paper or not, these notebooks will not disappoint you. Banditapple has positive practices, great prices, and they make fantastic notebooks and weekly planners. These are ideal notebooks to act as refills for leather journals, and they're still great on their own.
Banditapple Carnet Stack
Eye candy.
Banditapple Carnet



Give Away Banner
Thank you to Banditapple Carnet, we are giving away a Weekly Planner Handy Notebook in Gingerbread! Remember, you can start using this planner at any time because there are no set dates! Please follow the Rafflecopter form below for your chance(s) to win! 
**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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