For some reason, I’ve never been a huge fan of the Profolio Oasis notebook. I don’t have anything against it, but it just doesn’t check the boxes I want it to check for a notebook. When I found out that Profolio started offering a different version of that notebook, the Profolio Oasis Light, I wasn’t very excited to try it out. Still, what kind of reviewer would I be if I didn’t grab one and test it? Hopefully this notebook is not light on performance and can win some points back for Profolio notebooks.
To be honest, I am always underwhelmed by thin notebooks. They just don’t feel very substantial and, compared to a thick notebook, seem much less desirable to me. The Oasis Light is a B5 size, so since it’s even larger than an A5 notebook, it seems even more flimsy than most thin notebooks. So that was my first impression… thin and flimsy.
I knew that this was a very superficial first impression, so I looked beyond it. Simple design, lots of color options, unique Profolio page layout? It looks like these notebooks have some good things going for them as well. The paper feels nice and smooth, so that’s always a good thing.
Here are some technical details for the Profolio Oasis Light notebooks:
- Pages: 60 (30 sheets)
- Paper Weight: 70gsm
- Binding: Stitch
- Page Style: Custom Pattern
- Size: B5
Ink-handling characteristics (A table with the following properties can be found at the bottom of this post)
- Sheen: High
- Shading: Very Low
- Bleeding: Very Low
- Ghosting: Average
- Feathering: Very Low
- Dry Time: High
- Many different colors available
- Top and bottom margins with date area
Let me start out by saying that I like the paper in the Oasis Light much better than in the regular Oasis notebooks. Both have a similar texture when writing (slight feedback, but still nice and smooth), but writing on the regular Oasis feels a little more dry, while writing on the Oasis Light makes my pens feel a little more wet. This observation seems to hold up in the dry times for each paper, as the Oasis Light has longer dry times.
The Oasis Light shows a good amount of sheen, but interestingly doesn’t show as much shading as I would hope. For a paper with good sheen and higher dry times, I can’t figure out why inks don’t shade as well on it. Fortunately, it handles fountain pen ink very well. I observed no feathering or bleed through, even when I put big drops of ink directly from my pen on the paper. While there is some ghosting, I had no problem using both sides of a page.
Here is a look at the results from my standard ink tests:
The notebooks themselves are fairly simple. The stitch binding is great and helps the notebook lay flat, although you’ll have to give it a little encouragement since it consists of only one signature. There are no extras such as page numbers or an index. Each page has Profolio’s unique grid pattern, which I enjoy more every time I use it.
One nice surprise about this notebook is how lightly the grid pattern is printed on each page. In the regular Oasis notebooks, the pattern is fairly dark. This may have to do with the cream color of the paper used in those notebooks and the pattern needing to be darker to make it more easily visible. In the Oasis Light notebooks, the grid is much lighter and is very easy to ignore (if you want to ignore it). The paper is also much more white and doesn’t really have any color tint to it.
I guess I should also mention where the “Light” comes from in the name of this notebook. According to the Pofolio site, the physical properties of the notebook are what makes it light. The weight and thickness are what contribute to this, but the paper is also a little lighter than the original Oasis notebook, weighing in at 70gsm vs 75gsm. It also has lighter colored paper and a lighter grid pattern, but I guess this isn’t what Profolio meant when they named it.
When I first picked up a Profolio Oasis Light notebook, I was underwhelmed. But the more I used it, the more I appreciated and enjoyed it. I like the paper more than the paper in the regular Oasis notebooks and also appreciate that the grid pattern is much lighter, making it much less intrusive when writing or reading.
Many people may find these notebooks to be boring and, to be fair, they aren’t very exciting. Still, the price is right and the performance is there. If paying for extras that you don’t use doesn’t thrill you and you just want a solid notebook with good paper, the Profolio Oasis Light would be an excellent choice.
If you’d like a bit more information about how I test papers and notebooks, I wrote an article about my paper rating system.
Profolio Oasis Light Notebook
- Sheen (higher is better)
- Shading (higher is better)
- Bleeding (higher is better)
- Ghosting (higher is better)
- Feathering (higher is better)
- Dry Time (higher is better)
Fountain Pen Love Overall Rating
Pros: Great paper, inexpensive
Cons: Longer dry times, only available in B5 with Profolio line pattern
Value Rating: 3.43 Stars, Cost per B5 sheet: $0.08
Who this notebook is for: People who want an inexpensive notebook that is very fountain pen friendly
Upgrade to this notebook from: CVS Caliber
Upgrade from this notebook to: Apica CD (non-premium)