|Rating:||8.5 / 10|
|Durability||2.1 / 2.5|
|Versatility||2.1 / 2.5|
|Weight||2.2 / 2.5|
|Value for Money||2.1 / 2.5|
For many years part of my standard hiking kit included a small notebook and pen which I would use to record my daily thoughts and to make notes about logistics for my hike. These days I tend to rely on electronics to keep my notes, an iPad or iPhone, but every so often when I have concerns about battery life I will still take a notebook. And I always take a pen.
A pen and paper are fine but if it’s raining then typically they will stay in your pack until you find an area you can safely bring them out. The other issue with the typical disposable pen, and even many of the more expensive ones, is you need to use the pen with the tip down which means that if you are sitting in your tent at the end of the day you need to be sitting up or laying sideways with the notebook on the floor of the tent. For me I just find either position to be extremely uncomfortable.
This is where Rite in the Rain comes in. This US based company has products that enable you to write in moist or even wet conditions; paper in various formats, waterproof pens, and various folders to hold everything in. The two main pens are a metal or plastic based ‘click’ style pen and because the ink cartridges are pressurised, they will work when upside down position. This is a big bonus for me because if I’m in my tent I prefer to be laying down to write which means my pen needs to write upside down. Refills are available so the pen outer will last as long as you have it. Rite in the Rain also claims these pens will work under water but I didn’t test that claim out. What they will do is write in very wet conditions and in the image below I used the pen to write on paper that was under a flowing tap and it worked well.
The paper that Rite in the Rain produces comes in a range of formats and sizes from top/side spiral notebooks to stapled and bound notebooks. They also produce other paper such as loose leaf paper, index cards and recipe cards. The difference with this paper is that when most paper turns to mush when it gets wet, this paper stays in one piece. You don’t need a special pen to use this paper and Rite in the Rain can be used with most pens however they don’t recommend using gel pens; not because they don’t write on the paper but if the paper gets wet, the ink can wash off.
This paper and ink based system is really aimed at those people who either do field work, or want guaranteed writing implements are that need to be reliable. What it comes down to is what size suits you. I prefer small formats so like the 12.7 cm x 7.6 cm which fits into my pack easily and in most cases when I’m recording key factual information records, a day a page works well.
The big negative of these products is the price; put simply they aren’t cheap. Having said that if you do need to write on paper in the pouring rain then this really is your only option and it does work well. So if you still like the paper format then this writing system is an excellent choice.
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There is a large range of notebook sizes as well as multi packs in addition to a range of pens that vary in price. the multi pack work out cheaper/item. The price quoted in this review includes the pen as well
There are various options for both the notebooks and pens available to meet your needs
Rite in the Rain Notebook. They come in spiral bound and non spiral bound versions
Rite in the Rain Weatherproof Black Metal Clicker Pen – Black ink
Rite in the Rain notebook. In this example the notebook is sitting under a running tap and when I used the Rite in the Rain pen it worked well, the ink didn’t wash off and the paper didn’t tear
This review was done with a combination of product purchased from a retail store by Australian Hiker