I reviewed a beautiful Paper Republic notebook over a year ago– that one was a small hardcover notebook with an elegant cover pattern. Now Paper Republic has branched off into something quite different, but also rather elegant: the Grand Voyageur travel notebook.
The style of this notebook is hardly unique– like the Midori Traveler’s Notebook and Pelle Journal, the Grand Voyageur is a leather cover with elastic bands that hold in smaller staple-bound or stitched notebooks, all held together with a horizontal elastic closure. The Grand Voyageur comes in a lovely gift box, and the minute you open it, you’ll notice the wonderful smell of real leather. I almost hate to review this notebook before using it for several months, because it’s made of the kind of rich, thick leather that should break in and soften and darken in color over time, developing a patina that no brand-new item can ever imitate.
The leather is Italian cow leather, vegetable-tanned without chemicals and hand -cut in Vienna, Austria.
The cover is designed to hold 2 notebooks, plus a passport and a pen, according to the packaging. There is no separate loop for a passport and pen, but there would be enough room within the cover to tuck them in along with the notebooks that are included.
The inner notebooks are a bit different in shape from the typical Field Notes or Moleskine Cahier format– these are about 4 x 5.5″, but standard 3.5 x 5.5″ notebooks would also fit. Shown below with a pocket Moleskine for size comparison.
The included Paper Republic notebooks were in two different colors, one with lined paper and one with plain. The paper is creamy and smooth and felt good to write on, with pretty typical show-through and bleed-through. Fountain pens feathered a bit.
Black and red covers are also available, as is a larger size. This pocket size costs 40 euros, and the large is 60 euros, so you’ll be making a bit of an investment, but the Grand Voyageur is a sturdy, refillable cover that you should be able to use for many years.