RITE IN THE RAIN OUTDOOR JOURNAL
TEST SERIES BY JEREMY R. LAPORTE
INITIAL REPORT - September 24, 2009
FIELD REPORT - December 08, 2009
LONG TERM REPORT - February 09, 2010
Jeremy R. Laporte
Idaho Falls, Idaho, U.S.A.
5' 10" (1.78 m)
163 lb (73.90 kg)
I grew up in France by the sea, camping and backpacking for as long as I can remember. Three years ago I moved to Idaho U.S.A. discovering new environments: wilderness, arid lands, forest, mountain, and snow. I also started to learn rock climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering. Because of many contacts I had with the military I thought they had the best gear available but I recently befriended some hikers and became aware of lightweight backpacking. I'm slowly migrating to that style, mostly using hammock during summer and lightweight tents during winter.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Rite in the Rain
Year of Manufacture: N/A
Manufacturer's Website: www.riteintherain.com
MSRP: US$34.69 for the kit and US$9.95 for the journal
Listed Weight: 6.35 oz (180 g) for the kit and 3.17 oz (90 g) for the journal
Measured Weight: 6.38 oz (181 g) for the kit and 3.67 oz (104 g) for the journal
I'm testing two things:
a kit (Ref: 1701-kit) which includes an outdoor journal (ref 1701), a cordura cover (ref C1700) and an All-Weather pen (ref 97)
the outdoor journal (ref 1773)
The cordura cover is about 6.5 in (16.5 cm) tall and 5 in (12.7 cm) wide. The color is a greenish tan. It has a flap that closes with a plastic fastener (see picture). Inside there are two pockets. The main one for the note book and the second pocket in front has an elastic band sewn that allows it to hold two pens and something bigger if needed. The cover has two loops on the back to hold the pouch on a belt.
The pen is 5 in (12.7 cm) long, all black and it feels like metal. It seems to be a sturdy pen and I want to know if the clip will hold.
The journal that comes with the kit is 6 in (15.24 cm) tall and 4 in (10.16 cm) wide. It has spirals on the top and a yellow plastic cover and back. The back has a ruler in inches and centimeters on the side.
The second journal is 7 in (17.78 cm) tall and 4.5 in (11.5 cm) wide. The spirals are on the left side. Same yellow cover and back without the rulers though. The first page is different with a space for Name, Address, Phone, and Project. The second page is the "Contents" page where I can write a page number, reference and date.
Otherwise for both journals the pages are made of squares of 5 x 5 mm (0.2 x 0.2 in).
TRYING IT OUT
The first thing I did with the notebook was rip one of the pages off and it came off like a regular notebook.
I then wrote on the paper with a regular ball point pen, the all-weather pen and a pencil. I put the whole piece of paper underwater in my sink then took it out. The paper was not soggy at all but stayed wet for a while. I dried it with a towel and all the ink was intact except for the pencil which smeared over the paper a bit. I then put the paper underwater again and wrote with the all-weather pen underwater. It worked without problems but the ink was not as dark as when out of the water. I crinkled the paper and tore it and it behaved like regular paper.
The Rite in the Rain Outdoor Journal behaves like expected. It's really like regular paper but it doesn't absorb water.
We are expecting snow in Idaho as soon as this week so I'm excited to take the journal out and test it in this wet and cold environment. I'm taking the all-weather pen with me on all my day-to-day
activities to see if it will fail me or not but so far it's a great pen.
Everything is currently positive.
I would like to thanks Rite in the Rain and Backpackgeartest to allow me to test the Outdoor Journal, and I will enjoy writing my field report in a couple of months.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I was able to test the Rite in the Rain Outdoor Journal on multiple occasions. The notebook and the pen became my constant companions. I don't think I ever had any rain but it's snowed a few times and currently it's snowing every day.
Conditions ranged from 67 F (19 C) in my office cubicle, to a 5,000 ft (1,500 m)-high, snow-covered mountain where temperatures were -6 F (-21 C).
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I'm very pleased with the Outdoor Journal. The notebooks held up very well throughout the course of the testing. The pages are not torn or don't show signs of wear while I carried the journal every day with me for the last two months.
I was able to take notes in snowy weather and the pages didn't suffer from the snow flakes and the cold. The pages truly repels water or any king of humidity. Because there is absolutely no humidity inside the paper and the fiber is a bit plasticized, the pen doesn't go through the paper as with a regular journal. Though if I erase pencil I have the feeling that it's removing some coating but still remains waterproof.
Because the paper repels moisture instead of absorbing it, I got clothes a little bit damp when I mingled the notebook and my clothes in my pack. The pages need to be dried before storing, otherwise the water will just go somewhere else to be absorbed.
The pen is my favorite, it's not too long but very sturdy, stylish but not screaming design. What I love with it is the ability to write in all sorts of situations. I already mentioned writing upside down and underwater in my previous report but currently I'm enjoying it's ability to work very nicely under cold temperatures. Currently the weather is too cold outside for regular pens. They just don't work: I need to warm them up between my hands and/or blow hot air on them to be able to write one or two letters, and then
have to restart the warm-up process all over again. Not with the Rite in the Rain pen though; it is working fine just even under negative temperature, the ink is not faint but regular.
A little side note about the pen. People keep making comments about it at work. But somebody may have like it so much that my pen disappeared. I bought a new one to be able to keep testing it.
I didn't use the pouch very much. The pouch is designed to go on a belt and in my opinion I would look very nerdy going to work or outside with a pouch on my belt to carry a note book. I also can't use it while wearing a backpack because it would interfere with the hipbelt, neither can I put it anywhere on my backpack because the loops on the pouch are sewn. I did use it to carry my pen notebook and other pamphlet and maps together but I think it's too bulky for the convenience it provides and it doesn't fit with my minimalist hiking style.
I'm very pleased with the Rite in the Rain Outdoor Journal. All components are performing exactly like I expect them to perform and I haven't found any problems or aspects that I don't like except for the pouch which is not very useful.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Since the winter arrived in Idaho I was able to get out and enjoy the outdoors only three times in the last two months.
I went snowshoeing and did a one-night camp in the snow. The camp was done near Idaho-Falls, Idaho, in the snow but urban environment at about 5000 ft (1530 m)and temperatures around 12 F (-11 C). The snowshoeing was on the back of Kelly Mountain in a forest environment at about 6500 ft (2000 m) and temperatures around 12 F (-11 C) as well.
I used the notebook as a diary for the campout and a place to record information on the waypoints I entered in my GPS while hiking. I just carried the notebook and the pen in the external pocket of my backpack. I didn't bother with the pouch because I don't find it very useful because of the added weight and bulk to what I'm carrying.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The notebook keeps performing as expected. The paper repels water perfectly. The only inconvenience is that it does not absorb humidity. I got things in my pocket a little bit wet because of the water on the notebook and I had water freeze a little bit on the paper.
The pages I wrote at the very beginning of the test didn't turn yellow and the writing on it didn't fade out.
I didn't use the pouch too much because it doesn't fit with my hiking style which is quite minimalist. I didn't feel the need of an extra pocket to put my notebook and pen in.
The pen is simply amazing. I love the ability to write in cold temperatures. While no other would work because of the cold, the Rite in the Rain pen is extremely reliable. I could a use a pencil, but with the pen I know that the writing won't smear or erase.
I can't find anything negative to say about the Rite in the Rain Outdoor Journal. The notebook feels very similar to paper, but repel water like plastic. The pen works perfectly in all the conditions I encountered.
I have no complaint about the pouch either, just that it doesn't fit with my hiking style.
I want to slowly convert all the pens in my house to the Rite in the Rain pen because it's simply the best pen I have ever used. Its design is sleek and elegant and performs outstandingly in hot, cold, and wet environments.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
I don't have much use of the notebook outside hiking because my life conditions are pretty sheltered but I enjoy having somewhere where I can write my thoughts, notes and other things without being afraid of being destroyed by water. Also being able to write something down without the need of a shelter is very convenient.
The pouch is not for me, but maybe one day I will find a use for it if I decide to go out without a backpack.
Read more reviews of Rite In The Rain gear
Read more gear reviews by Jeremy R. Laporte