I ran across this notebook on Amazon and knew I had to give it a try. I had never heard of this brand before, it's called Dingbats (I love that name), you can find out more about them at their website. These notebooks are handmade in Lebanon. This particular notebook is from their Wildlife notebook collection, which designs include: green deer, blue whale, red kangaroo, grey elephant, brown bear, and black duck. They come ruled, blank, grid and dot grid (mine is a grid). They come in two different styles, the side bound (like mine) and a reporter style that is bound at the top.
The notebook is hardcover bound with PU leather (vegan). I love the texture to the cover-just enough to be interesting but not enough to bother me. The deer adds a nice touch to the cover. There is an inner pocket, black bookmark, elastic closure, and pen loop.
The paper is 100gsm silk cream, acid free and fountain-pen friendly. Each page is micro-perforated, and the book opens flat. There are 96 sheets (192 pages). I love that the book opens flat, that's a deal breaker for me. I thought I would like the perforated pages, but I really don't. The more you turn the pages the looser the perforations get, to the point where I worry about accidentally tearing some of the pages out. I don't like tearing out pages from my book so I'd rather the perforations weren't there. The grid is 5mm, which works fine for me, but I wish the pages were numbered.
The pen loop is a nice touch. The thickest pen I have inked up right now is my Montegrappa Copper Mule, and it fits in the pen loop just fine.
They call this notebook an A5+, at 8.5 inches tall. Compared to my other most used notebooks it is the tallest. In this picture, top to bottom are: Baron Fig Confidant (Flagship size), Leuchtturm 1917 A5, Rhodia medium webnotebook, and the Dingbats A5+.
Width wise, it is also the widest at 6.3 inches. In overall size, it is closest to the Leuchtturm 1917 A5. I'm happy to report that after a month of daily use, the ribbon bookmark has not started to fray, and is still holding up well.
Here's a list of the fountain pens I currently have inked up. None of the pens bled through to the other side, there was just a little bit of ghosting. The Robert Oster Peach in a broad nib feathered just a little bit, as well as the Robert Oster Tranquility in a medium nib. The J. Herbin Violette Pensee feathered the most (but I have found that ink feathers on a lot of different papers).
I do a lot of ink testing, so I wanted to see how the paper dealt with some ink swabs. The paper handled it beautifully-just a little bleed through, but that's to be expected since you are putting down so much ink. It showed some of the shading, and the shimmer, but it doesn't show any sheen. The paper seems to be like a thicker version of Leuchtturm 1917 paper, which is 80gsm.
These are a handful of the pens and pencils sitting on my desk. I think you can tell a lot about a person by the pens on their desk. The paper handled the pencils beautifully, and most of the pens as well. Only the sharpie marker and the Prismacolor Premier marker bled through, but to be fair, those markers bleed through almost every paper. Even the highlighter didn't show through at all.
I use flex nibs a lot, and any notebooks I have need to be able to handle that amount of ink. Above, I used Lamy Petrol in a Noodler's Ahab, and there is a medium amount of ghosting, but no bleed through. Below, I used Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz in a Noodler's Ahab as well, and there is a very small amount of ghosting. The paper handled flex writing like a champ.
Overall I really like this notebook. It's just a tiny bit too big, but I love the cover, and the paper is great for almost any pen and ink combination I can come up with. I wish the pages were numbered and not perforated, but I think it's a great notebook overall.
Disclaimer: I purchased this notebook myself and was not compensated for my review. There is an affiliate link below to where you can buy this notebook on Amazon.