I’ve carried the Quad Field Notes Leather Notebook Cover from Old Church Works in Andover, Kansas for over nine months and I’m pleased to say it’s aged well. I just wish it were a little thinner and little softer.
I’ve written before how I got the Quad Cover to replace the Midori Traveler’s Passport sized cover. My main gripes with the Passport were that it fit only notebooks that were smaller than i was interested in carrying and that it had an annoying metal bit strapped to the outside.
However, the one thing Traveler’s gets right is the leather itself. It is the perfect weight and starts out soft and flexible which makes it comfortable to use and carry.
In the case of the Quad, the 6-7 ounce leather cover has developed a nice patina, but it remains too stiff to lay flat without forcing it by bending the cover around backward. I find that one hand has to hold the cover down while I write.
This thickness and stiffness also make it bulky in the pocket, especially when carried with a full complement of four notebooks or, in my case, three. I feel as if every time I use it, I need to bend the cover back and forth a few times just to soften it up a bit. It reminds me of breaking in leather boots.
That said, everything else about the Quad is terrific. The straps have held up well. With the Traveler’s I kept having to tighten the binding strap that holds the cover closed, but I haven’t had to do that with the Quad. When I’m writing while standing, the stiff leather cover actually comes in handy by providing a solid writing surface.
I also think the Quad is the perfect size. I can use every type pocket notebook I own (precise number: too many) without having parts of them stick out. If the leather were a touch thinner and more supple it would be perfect. I hope Old Church Works experiments with lighter leather.