I just received my three-pack of the new Field Notes Expedition edition this morning. They came in a color called “Antarctic Survey Orange” with a “Polar Night Black” rear cover color. It’s a slick looking cover with a topical map of Antarctica on it. The pages are a dot grid gray.
The real innovation in this new series is the paper. The whole book is printed on Yupo Synthetic paper. It’s tear proof and water proof. It’s extruded from polypropylene pellets in Chesapeake, Va. Yupo says its paper is 100% recyclable, waterproof, and tree-free. It has attributes that make it desirable for many uses in today’s markets.
Field notes has videos of 12 tests it did on the paper, the link is here, and they include waterproof, visibility, wind, flame, acid and compression to name a view. They said that the Expedition edition will accompany explorer, Ben Saunders as he and his team retrace Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s ill-fated journey to the pole and back on foot. That begins October of 2013.
What did I think of the paper on first use? As you can see from the photo, the paper is not fountain pen ink friendly. It is the slickest, smoothest feeling paper I ever wrote on. It puts Clarefontaine high-end paper to shame. But the negative aspect of that smooth feeling is a coating that seems to resist ink as it does water. Even my beloved Hi-Tec-C ink seems to sit on top of the paper and not want to dry. A basic ballpoint pen is perfect for the paper and Field Notes even suggests you use a Space Pen with the notebook for the perfect combination. Even using a ballpoint, the paper made the pen fell like a wet, thick gel pen instead of a dry ball point.
I will try some water tests and tear tests, but the bottom line is that this is totally different, writing on the Yupo paper is an experience you have never had. For Field Notes to try this experiment is surprising and a real treat for all pen and paper enthusiasts. Is it for you? Maybe, all it takes is $9.95 for a 3-pack and you can find out for yourself. I’m going to have fun trying every pen I own on this paper, got to run!