Notebook Review: Field Notes (F)All Editions

Field Notes 2019

I meant to publish this review/overview months ago. Then I realized that my Field Notes subscription had lapsed and I had to renew it in order to get the most recent Colors subscription. And for whatever reason, getting Field Notes from Chicago to Kansas City is a Herculean task that takes weeks. I think they arrive faster to the UK than they do to me.

Since it took awhile to get all the editions and then I received the notification for Group Eleven, I just waited. I decided to just do a great big round-up of the currently available editions for 2019: Group Eleven, Autumn Trilogy, National Parks, Mile Marker and Wilco. It’s been awhile since I have talked about Field Notes at any length.

FN Calendar 2020

FN Group 11

If you subscribed to the Colors Quarterly Editions, all but the Wilco edition would have been shipped to you over the last six months. If not, you can subscribe starting with the Group Eleven edition. As a subscriber, there is often a subscriber “extra” included that is not available with individual purchases. The Autumn Trilogy “extra” was a screenprinted cotton bandana that featured the leaves printed on each cover. Mile Marker shipped with a map of the US and Group Eleven shipped with a 2020 desk calendar.

Field Notes Map

FN National Parks

In the case of the National Parks edition, subscribers received all twelve editions. In order to get all twelve editions in open stock, you have to order packs A, B, C and D at $12.95 each.

After some thought, it seemed that the best way to see the differences between the features of each Color Edition (and the Wilco set) was to put them in a spreadsheet.

Title No. of Editions Notebooks in each edition Lined/Graph Paper Weight Special Features Price for full set (USD)
Mile Marker 1 3-pack Dot Grid 60#T holographic laser foil 12.95
National Parks 4 3-pack Graph 60#T there’s a lot of them 51.76
Autumn Trilogy 1 3-pack Ruled 70#T deep deboss 12.95
Group Eleven 1 3-pack Dot Grid 70#T metallic foil edging 12.95
Wilco 1 6-pack Dot Grid 60#T slipcase storage box 27.95

All the books feature 48 pages per book regardless of whether they have 60# or 70# paper.

When lined up like this, it’s easier to see that over 2019 dot grid has reigned supreme if you don’t count the sheer volume of National Parks edition books. If dot grid and the heavier 70# textweight paper is your jam, then you’ll want to grab the new Group Eleven books.

Wilco x Field Notes

Wilco x Field Notes

Wilco x Field Notes

At this point, this is almost a “which Field Notes of 2019 is your favorite?” post.  So, I’ll roll with it.

While the Wilco edition has not clearly been stated as a regular edition or limited edition, it’s still available. From an aesthetic standpoint, its my favorite. But I have to confess, I am not actually a Wilco music fan. Don’t shoot me.  The Wilco x Field Notes is still a total treat.

While a 6-notebook set seems like a lot of notebooks, it’s not as big a commitment as the 12-notebook set of National Parks. The slipcase box for the Wilco set provides great storage for the notebooks too for a mere $2 upcharge. The 60# text weight paper is just right for most people and, even if you’re not a Wilco fan, the colorful graphics are fun and who doesn’t like dot grid? I think it would make a perfect holiday gift for the “paper curious” or the music enthusiast.

The National Parks edition is great for the outdoorsy folks. Pick an edition with parks that might be places they’ve visited.

The Group Eleven is almost elegant in its simplicity and the latest edition to feature the heavier 70# text weight stock inside. It is also dot grid so it should satisfy most paper fanatics. Autumn Trilogy also features 70# text weight only with lines instead of dot grid.

In 2019,  Field Notes created an edition to satisfy the most discerning tastes or the most ardent collector. Which edition is your favorite?

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5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Nice review! I want to like Field Notes. They are a nice size, nice covers but the paper isn’t FP friendly, my Japanese F nibbled fountain pens and my Kaweco Sport EF feather and bleed no matter what ink I use.

    Tomoe River may not be ideal for fast drying ink in a pocket notebook but CF paper is what I use for work and my work pens dry in an instant, plus no feathering or bleeding. The thing is that there are competitive pocket notebooks use higher quality paper, albeit without the fluff stories and covers for about the price. Are you paying for the fluff or the paper and product? It’s my bugaboo that the one thing that matters in a notebook… The paper you put pen, pencil, etc. on: is not the highest quality or even semi decent quality.
    I’ve tried the #70 Fieldnotes and they are marginally better for a price that is more than many of their competitors that use better quality paper and less fluff… Caveat emptor

  2. IIRC, subscribers only received series A, B, and C of the National Parks Edition. Series D didn’t come out for several months after the Edition was released.

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