After carrying the Old Church Works Quad Field Notes Leather Notebook Cover for over 20 months now, I’ve reached the conclusion that its strength is its weakness.
Although it has aged beautifully–the patina compared to when it was brand new is awesome–the thick leather never softened as much as I’d hoped. Although I open and close the Quad several times a day, it still won’t stay open when I just let it sit and try to transcribe my notes. It’s easier to take the notebooks out and open them.
Part of it is my fault as I started using it to hold a full complement of four notebooks knowing that would make it uncomfortably thick. In fact, it’s as thick as keeping a small paperback with leather cover in your pocket. However, it is designed to hold four notebooks so I thought I’d use it as intended.
However, I’ll probably be either dropping down to two notebooks, or simply pocket carrying the two I use the most and keeping the Quad in my book bag with the notebooks I don’t use very often. This is not the Quad’s fault, but a problem with me constantly changing my system.
Also, the Quad protects notebooks so well you can’t really test much about the notebooks other than the paper.
The only durability issues I’ve noticed with the Quad are that the elastic band holding the cover closed is starting to fray. At this point it’s only an aesthetic issue, but it is something to watch.
I still like the Quad better than the Midori Passport sized, and will probably start using it again eventually, but I’d still love to see a version with thinner, softer leather.