Pen Chalet Endless Recorder Notebook Review

John Bosley Reviews 4 Comments

Tomoe River paper is, without a doubt, one of the most popular and loved fountain pen friendly papers on the market today, so it’s no surprise that more notebooks are being made with it. The Endless Recorder notebook is a perfect example of a notebook that takes Tomoe River paper and mixes it with some other useful features to create something that fountain pen users will love. In this post I’ll take a look at the Pen Chalet Endless Recorder notebook and see what sets it apart from other notebooks on the market.

Disclaimer: This notebook was provided to me for free for the purposes of this review. All opinions in this review are my own and were not influenced by the generosity of Pen Chalet.

First Impressions

When I first received this notebook, I had very positive first impressions. The notebook thickness is in what I would consider to be the sweet spot between not too thick and not too thin. The leatherette cover has a nice, grippy feel to it and looks much more luxurious than a paper cover. The endpapers have a nice design, adding to the quality feel of this notebook. The page ribbon and elastic closure are both a bright blue color, which offers a nice visual contrast to the black cover. The paper is Tomoe River, so no need to discuss its quality, as it should be exceptional.

Pen Chalet Endless Recorder Notebook Review front cover

This is how your new notebook will arrive.

The Details

Here’s a closer look at the details for the Pen Chalet Endless Recorder. Keep in mind, these are specific to this particular notebook. Endless Recorder notebooks from other pen dealers may have different details.

  • Pages: 160 (80 sheets)
  • Paper Weight: 68gsm
  • Binding: Stitch
  • Page Style: Dot, Blank
  • Size: A5

Other features

  • Back cover inner pocket
  • Page ribbon
  • Elastic Closure
  • Hard Cover

Pen Chalet Endless Recorder Notebook Review

As I already mentioned, the Endless Recorder has many different features. Let’s start with the cover. It is one of the few notebooks I’ve tested so far that has a hardcover. This alone is enough to set it apart from many of the A5-sized notebooks on the market. In addition to being a hardcover, the cover material is a leatherette that feels very nice and has a bit of grip to it. Both the front and back covers have minimally debossed branding that is attractive.

Pen Chalet Endless Recorder Notebook Review back cover

The back cover has the notebook name debossed in the material.

Pen Chalet Endless Recorder Notebook Review front cover

The front cover has the same design that’s found on the inside covers.

Other features include an elastic closure and page ribbon that match. There’s also a pocket inside the back cover where you can stash receipts, notes or other pieces of paper. Speaking of the inside covers, the front and back endpapers have a nice printed design, which makes them more interesting than just plain paper. There’s even a space inside the front cover where you can write your name and contact info.

Pen Chalet Endless Recorder Notebook Review cover

The notebook has an elastic closure.

Pen Chalet Endless Recorder Notebook Review page ribbon

It also has a page ribbon that matches the elastic closure.

Pen Chalet Endless Recorder Notebook Review flyleaf paper

The paper on the front and back endpaper has this nice pattern printed on it.

Now let’s talk about the paper. Since this notebook uses Tomoe River paper, I’m not going to talk about the specific paper qualities. It should be enough to say that it has amazing sheen, great shading and no feathering or bleed through. Since it is the thicker 68gsm paper, it has less ghosting than the 52gsm variety, but still has more than many other papers on the market. For more info, here’s my Tomoe River paper review.

This notebook has a stitched binding, which allows it to lay pretty flat during use. I think the cover material is a little stiff and doesn’t allow the notebook to lay completely flat, but it may break in with frequent use and become more flexible. One thing that I really enjoy about this notebook is that it is not so thick that it is uncomfortable to write on. Many thicker notebooks can be difficult to use when writing in the front or back, but I had no trouble using this one. The hardcover also helps keep the page you’re writing on stiff so it doesn’t move and flex under your pen.

Pen Chalet Endless Recorder Notebook Review stitch binding

The stitch binding allows this notebook to lay flat when opened.

One thing that I did notice when flipping through the notebook was that some of the pages in one signature seem to have been folded. They were flat inside of the notebook and the notebook showed no signs of damage, so I’m sure it happened before they were ever put into the notebook. Only about 10 pages were affected and normal writing shouldn’t be impacted, but it’s still a little disappointing to receive a new notebook and find that it’s not perfect.

Pen Chalet Endless Recorder Notebook Review bent pages

Here you can see the bent pages I found in the back of this notebook.

Conclusion

In my opinion, there are many amazing and different notebooks on the market today. They all have different features and different papers, but one thing that they have in common is good, fountain pen friendly paper. When you think of fountain pen friendly paper, Tomoe River is probably one of the first that comes to mind and that’s what the Pen Chalet Endless Recorder notebook is filled with. Not only does it have great paper, but it also has many different features (such as a hard cover, page ribbon and elastic closure) that make it even more useful than a regular notebook. If it had page numbers, it would make a no-brainer bullet journal. As it is, it’s a wonderful choice for anyone who wants a high-quality notebook with amazing paper. Despite the fact that I received one with a few bent pages, I am confident in the overall quality of these notebooks.

Pen Chalet Endless Recorder Notebook Review sticker

Be sure to look inside the back pocket for a sticker and some info!

If you’d like a bit more information about how I test papers and notebooks, I wrote an article about my paper rating system.

Interested in trying this paper before buying a notebook? Head over to my shop and pick up a paper sample pack.

Disclaimer: This notebook was provided to me for free for the purposes of this review. All opinions in this review are my own and were not influenced by the generosity of Pen Chalet.

Pen Chalet Endless Recorder

Summary

Pros: Tomoe River paper, many useful features
Cons: Expensive compared to other similarly-sized notebooks
Value: Cost per A5 sheet: $0.23
Who this notebook is for: People who want Tomoe River paper and lots of pages in a thin notebook.
Upgrade to this notebook from: Any premium softcover notebook like a Life Noble or Midori MD
Upgrade from this notebook to: Something a little more luxurious like the Century Edition or a different hardcover like the Yoseka Notebook

Comments 4

    1. Post
      Author
  1. after years of Clairefontaine A5 notebooks (which I still love) I tried this notebook and am very very very impressed. (no folded pages in the one I received) It very likely will replace the Clairefontaines as my daily work notebook. I use different notebooks for different purposes and suspect that no one will ever be able to replace my Rhodia meetingbook tho with its cornell style page format… But this Endless Recorder is a real winner and the perfect size.

    1. Post
      Author

      That’s great, Mark! I’m glad it’s working out well for you. I’d have to agree that these are much more enjoyable to use than Clairefontaine notebooks (which are still great, just different).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.