What exactly makes refillable notebook the best? Whether you are a student or just looking for an EDC notebook that can last for a very long time, a good choice is a refillable notebook.
However, because there are lots of different brands out there, you may be tempted to pick the first one you see, just so you can start using it.
However, you need to consider a few things while shopping. This is so you can be sure that you are getting the most suitable refillable leather notebook for your money. Yes, these notebooks can be somewhat pricey. This article will aim to teach you about the features you need to actively search for so you won’t suffer from buyer’s remorse later.
Table of Contents
- Top 5 Refillable Notebook Reviews
- How to Choose Refillable Notebook
Top 5 Refillable Notebook Reviews
1. Komal’s Passion Leather Refillable Journal Notebook
The cover of this notebook is made of genuine buffalo leather, so you can be sure that it will last for many years. This might just be the last notebook that you will ever buy. The leather is cured and treated properly.
It also makes use of thick cordage designed to help hand-stitch the seams. If the string ever deteriorates after a couple of years, you can have it re-stitched, effectively adding more years to it.
Not only is this notebook made from sturdy materials, but the construction is also top-notch. Every Komal’s Passion refillable notebook is handcrafted by highly-skilled leather artisans.
These are not machine-made. A lot of skill and attention went into every notebook. This is one of the reasons why this notebook is on the expensive side, but this is undoubtedly worth every penny.
Speaking of skill, on this particular design, there is an intricately detailed Tree of Life symbol carved into the leather. Even if you are not particularly interested in the symbolism, you will no doubt appreciate all the time and skill put into carving the design into the leather cover. This is one of the most beautiful notebooks I have used so far.
Even though I love this notebook a lot, I do find it annoying that it is difficult to find a notebook refill that perfectly fits it. Komal’s Passion does sell refills for this notebook, and the paper they use is high quality, but it is kind of disappointing that I could not use my preferred brands.
2. MALEDEN Leather Spiral Refillable Notebook
Even though the cover is not made from genuine leather, the vinyl faux leather does feel nice and sturdy. In addition, unlike real leather, you do not have to worry about faux leather drying out after some time. Anyway, unless you are really familiar with how real leather looks and feels, you will not spot the difference.
The included blank pages may not be to everyone’s liking but they are quite decent. The pages look like vintage parchment and are even dyed a yellowish hue to complete the look. The surface is smooth, which makes it ideal for fountain pens. Also, even though the pages look thin, they are resistant to bleeding.
Another nice thing about this notebook is that it uses binder clips to hold the pages in place. Some people might not like these kinds of notebooks, saying that it ruins the aesthetics, but it is undeniable that a refillable binder notebook is a lot more convenient to use compared to regular book-bound notebooks. For instance, you can remove and replace individual pages easily.
I know the cord lashing has a lot of fans but the one used in this notebook is just not working for me. Yes, the amulets at the ends of the cord are nice, but it does not do a good job of keeping the book closed. I would rather have an elastic band to keep my notebook closed. It might not be as aesthetically pleasing but it is good at what it does.
3. WANDERINGS Leather Travelers Refillable Notebook
You can immediately tell that this notebook is made from genuine, full-grain leather. Although the leather quality is not top tier (this is what’s called saddle leather), you can be sure that it will be able to last for many years. The leather is also quite soft, so much so that the cover will fold over itself if there are no notebook refills inside.
Although this notebook is not handcrafted, it does look and feel like it. The leather cover is cut from a single piece of leather and it does not have a book spine to help it keep its shape. Simple elastic bands also hold the notebooks in place. These features may seem crude and overly simple, but the important thing is that they work quite well.
I am not a big fan of the old-fashioned leather cord lashing that other notebook brands use. I feel like they only add unnecessary bulkiness to the notebook. I very much prefer the elastic band that this notebook uses because it makes opening and closing the notebook a whole lot quicker and easier.
However, finding a notebook that will fit this refillable cover perfectly (aside from the ones made by Wanderings) is kind of hard.
The only complaint that I have with this notebook is that the leather was quite dehydrated when I got it. You can tell that it was manufactured in a large factory because leather artisans would not treat their wares like this. Fortunately, after laying a bit of almond oil, it was enough to bring the leather back to its intended beauty.
4. Amazing Office The Tree Refillable Writing Journal
I like the magnetic strap that keeps this journal closed. Other notebooks use old-fashioned leather strips to close the pages, and although they do look charming, they are not practical.
The magnetic strap used on this notebook is not just convenient but is also less bulky than leather straps, making it the perfect choice for a journal that you can bring with you everywhere.
One thing to take note of is that this notebook is not made of leather. The cover makes use of vinyl faux leather material and the insides come lined with fabric. Even though this is not made from genuine leather, this notebook is quite durable and can most likely last more than a couple of years.
There might be an issue with the surface of the cover peeling off after a while. However, this will not be noticeable until after a year or so has passed.
The notebook pages that came with this notebook are also quite nice. You are getting 200 lined pages, and although the paper is not highly resistant to bleeding, it is not horrible at all.
You can use regular pens, even gel pens, and there will be minimal bleeding through the pages. Anyway, if you are unsatisfied with the quality of the included notebook, you can replace it easily as standard notebooks fit this product well.
I do question why this notebook is a bit too expensive, especially for something made from vinyl faux leather. In addition, the printed Tree of Life design was easily erased. I was even able to scrape some of the print off using my fingernail.
5. Le Vent Refillable Leather Journal Notebooks
One of the best things about the Le Vent leather journal is the free stuff that came with it. First, there are two notebook fillers, so you can start writing immediately. You will also be getting two earphone cord organizers and a leather keychain. These small additions somehow give this notebook a bit more value.
This notebook is also quite durable. The main reason is that it is from genuine cow leather material. Although it is not made from top leather (the kind used for making luxury shoes), it is still from saddle leather.
This type of leather might not be as beautiful as top leather, but it is still durable. You cannot tear it apart and it is difficult to cut even if you tried. However, you should still treat it with a bit of mineral oil now and then to keep the leather strong and supple.
The cover might seem easy to scratch because the leather is so soft but you can easily repair it using a bit of mineral oil. However, a couple of scratches on the leather add character to your notebook, thus making it uniquely yours. In addition, the cover might seem too big, but this is intentional so you can use bigger notebook fillers.
I do love this notebook a lot but it does have a couple of issues. One of which is that the leather is a bit too soft. As mentioned earlier, the leather cover is quite soft and easy to scratch. Sometimes, it is a bit too easy. I had to condition the leather to make it a bit more resilient to damage, and it took a while before it got to a state where I am satisfied.
How to Choose Refillable Notebook
When you are shopping for a leather notebook with refillable paper, it is not wise to just purchase the first one that you find. For one thing, these kinds of notebooks are quite expensive, so you should pick the one that would last longer and provide you with years of enjoyment.
To make your choice a bit easier, you will need to take a couple of factors into consideration, including the following:
- Materials Used
- Convenience and Ease of Use
1. Materials Used
Typically, people who are looking for refillable notebooks are looking for those made of genuine leather. Not only does leather look great but it is also quite durable. Compared to cardboard, you cannot tear leather apart with your bare hands. You can scratch and crease leather but it will not deteriorate.
However, leather notebooks are quite expensive, especially the ones handcrafted by artisans. If you want a notebook that is as durable as leather, you might want to consider getting one made from vinyl faux leather. This material looks great and it is also almost as durable as real leather.
2. Convenience and Ease of Use
You do not want a notebook that is overly complicated to use, right? You just open it and proceed to write. However, it should also be easy to remove and insert notebooks between the covers. There are refillable notebooks where you just slip the covers of the notebook refill into the pockets of the outer cover.
However, others provide a more secure hold on the refills but are a bit more complicated to use. Choose the one that suits your needs the best.
Also, pick a notebook that provides you with additional conveniences. For starters, one feature that should always be in refillable notebooks is a pen loop. Make sure that it is sturdy and fits your pen properly.
Other features that you may also want in your notebook include pockets for cards and other miscellaneous items, a bookmark, and a sturdy strap to keep the covers closed.
Are you looking for a small refillable notebook that you can put in your EDC bag? Or perhaps you are in the market for a notebook large enough to hold your lecture notes? Consider what you will be using the notebook for so that you have an idea of what size you need to get.
Also, if you have a brand of notebook that you particularly love using, make sure that the most preferred refillable notebooks for work you get are large enough to accommodate it. I also advise against getting notebooks that use proprietary notebook inserts made by the same company. This extremely limits you from choosing a notebook that you want to use.
The cost of a quality notebook with refillable pages should not scare you. If a notebook is made well, it might be the last one that you will be buying, or at least not for many years to come.
Also, if you are eyeing a nice-looking leather-bound notebook, expect that you will be paying a premium price for it. Genuine leather is not cheap and it gets even more expensive when crafted by artisans.
On the other hand, if you do not have the budget for a leather-bound notebook refillable but you still want something nice-looking and durable, consider vinyl leatherette. Faux leather somewhat looks like leather, and good quality products even feel like the real thing.
Also, when taken care of properly, vinyl faux leather notebooks can last for quite a long time.
Just because a notebook is from genuine leather, that does not automatically mean that it will last a long time. You also need to check the craftsmanship that went into making it.
Is the stitching tight and done properly? Is the leather treated to prevent surface damage? These are things that you need to check before buying a premium refillable notebook.
On the other hand, if you are buying a faux leather notebook, you need to check if it has a veneer. The veneer of these kinds of products usually peels off after just a couple of months. This is kind of hard to predict, so you should check customer reviews first before deciding on getting one.
Finding the best refillable notebook might seem challenging, but that is only if you do not know what you need to look for. There are lots of brands that you can choose from, so there will surely be at least one notebook that fits you perfectly.
Now that you have reached the end of this article, you probably know most of the things that you need to keep an eye out for while shopping. A good quality refillable notebook might be quite expensive, but if you choose the right one, you will never be buying another one ever again.