The Field Notes Expedition was not well received as the paper does not agree with many pens. The Expedition edition uses a synthetic plastic paper and cover which makes the pages and cover tear resistant and waterproof. The pages have a grey dot pattern. I haven’t used any other waterproof papers so I don’t have anything to compare it to but I really like these Field Notes .
As you can see below, this paper is not the most pen friendly. I have found that regular (non-gel) ballpoint pens and pencils work the best. Writing in the notebook feels like writing in cold butter; it is so smooth and pleasant that even the finest points feel great on this paper. I dipped the notebook in water after doing a smear test and the plastic pages were completely fine, however, most of the ink was not.
1. Zebra Arbez Piitro Ballpoint – Smeared but not affected by water
2. Field Notes Brand Bic Clic Ballpoint – No smear no issues with water
3. Pilot G-Tec-C3 Gel Pen – Smeared but not affected by water
4. Caran d’Ache Technograph HB Pencil – Lightly smudges but is comparable with regular paper
5. Uni Woodnote Gel Pen – Very slight smear but not affected by water
6. Marvy Le Pen Drawing Porous Tip Pen – Smeared and affected by water
7. Pentel Energel Rollerball – Smeared and affected by water
8. Noodler’s Konrad w/ J. Herbin Eclat de Saphir – Smeared badly, ink completely gone with water
9. Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen – Smeared badly, ink completely gone with water
10. Platinum Preppy Sign Pen – Smeared badly, ink completely gone with water
11. Stabilo Bionic Worker – Smeared badly and affected by water
12. Staedtler Triplus Fineliner – Smeared badly and affected by water
13. Morning Glory Mach 3 – Slight smearing, ink completely gone with water
14. Itoya Paperskater – Smeared badly and affected by water
15. Ohto Graphic Liner – Smeared but not affected by water
16. Sakura Pigma Micron – Smeared badly and affected by water
In addition to the Field Notes Bic Clic pen below I have found that the Pilot Down Force, Lamy Dialog 1, and the Parker Jotter all worked well on this paper.
Here are some great reviews of Expedition Field Notes:
(I have no affiliation with the sites linked below)
Pocket Philosophies – Finding the Right Pen for the Field Notes Expedition Notebook
Pencil Revolution – Field Notes Expedition Edition: Smeary?
The Well-Appointed Desk – Expectations and Expeditions, Field Notes that is.
The Pen Addict – What is the Best Pen for the Field Notes Expedition Edition