The Ongoing Leather Notebook Cover List – Field Notes, Moleskine, Rite in the Rain, Rhodia

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To have your notebook cover featured here, contact Bobby at [email protected] to arrange. This is an ongoing list.

Here we are featuring great notebook covers sent to us by reputable leather companies in the business of making quality goods. The links are in the product titles.

Galen Leather | Field Notes & Moleskine Covers

The No. 44 Field Notes cover falls in a category I haven’t seen before. Typically leather notebook covers are quite structured, with only a bit of flex. This cover is downright floppy! The leather is very soft and thin. Think of this as a leather turtleback binding–it’s another skin on the outside of your notebook to protect it without changing the flexibility. This keeps your notebook very thin and mobile. In addition, it feels really great to use. Sometimes more rigid covers need a lot of break in to have this kind of usability. Alongside the pen loop and some slots for cards or other small papers, the No. 44 is a great way to upgrade your Field Notes game.

On the other end of the spectrum, Galen’s Pocket Moleskine journal cover is extremely sturdy! I was suprised by the contrast. This cover features quite a few options for organization. There are some common pockets, such as Field Notes sized pockets on either side and a single pocket for holding cards horizontally. On top of that, this cover has a taller pocket with a leather strap. This might be used for a cellphone or similarly sized items. The strap could also supplement the pen loop to hold additional pens. I also like the large elastic closure. The obvious usage is to use the inner part to hold your notebook and the outer part to hold the entire cover together. However, this larger outer strap could easily be used for an extra (thicker) notebook, as well!

Galen Leather has a couple different options here for notebook covers. If you want to add a bit of protection and style to your notebook with minimal storage, the No. 44 should satisfy. If you need some serious protection for a larger notebook and a variety of other small goods, I’d go with the Pocket Moleskine cover. They’re both made well, are a pleasure to use, and get my BestLeather recommendation. Head over to Galen Leather’s website and check out their variety of quality products.

Colsen Keane | No. 117 Journal Cover

You’re going to have a hard time finding a more rugged, tank-like journal cover than this offering from Colsen Keane. The No. 117 is made from thick Crazy Horse leather. Crazy Horse is a chrome tanned pull-up leather with a gentle suede feel. Marks and folds will show up nicely, which will only make this cover look more at home in the wilderness. By thick, I mean the kind of thickness you’d see on a bag. Stitching and rivets are proportionally strong. You’ll have a hard time wearing out this Buy It For Life item.

The 117 features a thick wraparound strap closed with a large snap. It’s good for secure closure and quick release. There’s lots of great optional add-ons such as pen and card holders. The pen holder is really handy and well sized to firmly hold onto most standard sized pens. This cover easily holds four 5×8 Moleskine notebooks. Two are held in place by sliding one cover into a pocket and the other two are held in place by elastics. It’s all very well organized and it’s easy to switch between journals. The elastics are also good for holding your page.

The Colsen Keane No. 117 Journal Cover has joined me on many an adventure, and I highly recommend giving this item a look if you’re in the market. This is a pricey journal cover, but it looks great, functions well, and will never need to be replaced.

 –Bobby

Alstad Goods | Alstad Carry

The Alstad Carry in natural chestnut is a clear visual standout; quite fine contrasting stitching, black burnished edges, a shapely form, fancy silver embossed logo, topped with a cool pen. The leather is definitely vegetable tanned from Wicket & Craig. I would guess 4 oz thickness, or in other words, “just right.” They say the included pen is Japanese but it has French all over it. Strange. It’s a clever touch that the pen keeps the notebook closed and the notebook holds on to the pen. You have a couple nice slots for business cards or credit cards. Hand saddle stitched as well. Alstad took the design on this notebook cover to 11. What’s not to like? It’s pricey but you get what you pay for here.

–TJ

Alstad Carry Leather Notebook Review - 1

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Craft & Lore | Enfold Field Notes Cover

This class of small notebook cover sometimes reminds me of massive wallets and this one more so for good reason. Craft & Lore’s Enfold collection synthesizes one style into a couple different designs. A card wallet, full wallet, and notebook cover (and you can get one in cordovan!). You get solid vegetable-tanned, hand saddle stitched, mild burnishing, customizable thread color, a nifty wood field note, and a unique closure method. It has the standard pockets for lockpick sets, business or credit cards, or whatever other slim things you want to fit in there. I don’t know which tannery the leather calls home but it’s pretty rugged stuff. This will take a while to break in soft. Maybe your great-grandchildren will fight over it?

One interesting detail of this Field Notes version are the copper staples.

–TJ

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One Star Leather | Park Sloper No Pen

Simplicity is the story here. No pen holder, field notes, and card slots. I’m pretty sure the leather is some kind of Horween product based on it’s soft feely quality (confirmed). Horween leather is great for carry goods. It’s a nice cover but I wish we would have had the Senior model to show since that one has the pen slot, remember to look that up. The Park Sloper Senior is the one with the integrated pen holder. One Star has always made good stuff. They don’t sell off their website so Etsy is the place to go.

One further interesting note. Keegan, the proprietor of One Star Leather, is also a writer/director of films.

–TJ

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American Beechcraft | Field Notes Cover

It’s leather, it’s simple, it is quite affordable. American Benchcraft is giving good value for only $49. There is no stitching. The brass rivets will provide tons of robustness. Their whole line of wallets and accessories follows this brass rivet minimalist construction style. I actually tried decently hard to tear them off but my fingernails paid the price when there was no give. The rivets are well pressed. Surprisingly you get a very good burnish and edge paint for the money. Most edges would come unfinished at this price point.

This Field Notes cover comes with a lined version but when I bought coffee to start this writing session my first order of business was to spill coffee all over me and this notebook, so I substituted a different graph paper version.

–TJ

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Saddleback Leather | Moleskine Cover

I have had this Moleskine cover for years and it has had nearly daily use. Saddleback Leather quotes that “They will fight over it when you are dead” and it is obvious why they would, it is is nicely rugged. It’s thick, mine has the black pigskin from years ago, and fairly stiff. The elastic band which can hold and pen and keeps the cover closed has not really worn at all and there is no worry of undue fraying on stitching. If anything I wish it would show its age a little more. Patina has been hard to develop on this one, but I guess you can call that a compliment.

–TJ

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Marlondo | Large Journal Cover

This roundup isn’t exclusive to 3×5” Field Notes style covers. Marlondo offers that size as well, but the large Journal Cover we have here accommodates (and comes with) 5×8″ notebooks.

Most aspects of this journal are nicely oversized. It’s not a tight fit for the included notebook, most pens, cards, etc., and takes up a fair amount of desk space opened up. Sleeves on both sides mean you can secure your notebook in a few different ways, either cover or both.

The leather is a rich brown color that is happy to show some character as it gets scuffed, and the simple leather wrap enhances the rugged feel. It also appears to be chrome-tanned, which means softer leather but not my personal favorite smell (others tell me they prefer it, however!). Full grain leather and nylon thread mean this cover should last for many years and look great doing it.

–Bobby

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Gfeller, Winter Session, Moxie & Oliver, Mr Lentz, and Mascon Leather coming soon!

To have your notebook cover featured here, contact Bobby at [email protected] to arrange. This is an ongoing list.

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About Author

Computer engineering graduate student, research assistant, DJ. Lover of music, volleyball, good conversation, cold milk, corgis, and the work of passionate leather artisans.

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