5 Best Moleskine Notebook Alternatives and Competitors

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Moleskine notebooks have a wonderful feel to them – being rustic and dependable.

Further, you can always depend on them for high-quality writing experiences. This brings us to the question – what if you wanted to replace your Moleskine notebook?

They are wonderful, but there are alternatives and some good competition on the market, should you be on the lookout.

Newer alternatives bring some modern designs and yet have the same beautiful, flawless, and smooth writing that you must’ve come to expect out of Moleskine notebooks. Hence, looking at the competitors is definitely recommended in this case.  

Today, that’s what we will be focussing on. We’ll be walking you through the best Moleskine notebook competitors and alternatives, following it up with a small guide to help you choose the best products according to your tastes.

With this in mind, let’s begin with the product reviews!

Best Moleskine Notebook Alternatives

Preview
Editors' Choice
Leuchtturm1917 Medium Size Hardcover A5 Notebook, Ruled Pages, Black
Piccadilly Essential Softcover Medium Ruled Notebook
Clairefontaine Basic Large Clothbound Notebook (6 x 8.25) Green 192...
Field Notes Kraft Ruled 3-Pack
Rhodia Orange Meeting Notebook  16 x 21 cm,
Title
Leuchtturm1917 Medium Size Hardcover A5 Notebook, Ruled Pages, Black
Piccadilly Essential Softcover Medium Ruled Notebook
Clairefontaine Basic Large Clothbound Notebook (6 x 8.25) Green 192...
Field Notes Kraft Ruled 3-Pack
Rhodia Orange Meeting Notebook 16 x 21 cm,
Density
70 gsm
80 gsm
90 gsm
90 gsm
80 gsm
Dimensions
5.8 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
8.1 x 5.9 x 0.5 inches
5.5 x 3.5 x 0.1 inches
8.3 x 6.3 x 0.4 inches
Pages
249
240
192
48
80
Rating
Editors' Choice
Preview
Leuchtturm1917 Medium Size Hardcover A5 Notebook, Ruled Pages, Black
Title
Leuchtturm1917 Medium Size Hardcover A5 Notebook, Ruled Pages, Black
Density
70 gsm
Dimensions
5.8 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
Pages
249
Rating
Preview
Piccadilly Essential Softcover Medium Ruled Notebook
Title
Piccadilly Essential Softcover Medium Ruled Notebook
Density
80 gsm
Dimensions
5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
Pages
240
Rating
Preview
Clairefontaine Basic Large Clothbound Notebook (6 x 8.25) Green 192...
Title
Clairefontaine Basic Large Clothbound Notebook (6 x 8.25) Green 192...
Density
90 gsm
Dimensions
8.1 x 5.9 x 0.5 inches
Pages
192
Rating
Preview
Field Notes Kraft Ruled 3-Pack
Title
Field Notes Kraft Ruled 3-Pack
Density
90 gsm
Dimensions
5.5 x 3.5 x 0.1 inches
Pages
48
Rating
Preview
Rhodia Orange Meeting Notebook  16 x 21 cm,
Title
Rhodia Orange Meeting Notebook 16 x 21 cm,
Density
80 gsm
Dimensions
8.3 x 6.3 x 0.4 inches
Pages
80
Rating

  1. Leuchtturm1917 Medium Notebook

The Leuchhturm1917 medium-sized notebook comes straight from Germany, and brings with it a sense of quality all around the product – be it the thick feel of the cover, or the lush inner pages which are bound using threads.

In a way, this is the ideal successor to the Moleskine – no longer coming with leatherbacks, but having the same hefty feeling you’d expect from Moleskine.

Leuchtturm1917 Medium Size Hardcover A5 Notebook, Ruled Pages, Black
  • Numbered pages and blank table of contents for...
  • Thread-bound opens flat

Experience

The notebook is thread-bound and hence opens up flat. This ensures you have enough space to write whatever you wish to without bending the notebook, which is a common problem among notebooks. The pages are blank-lined, which makes sure you have a pristine surface to write on or draw on. It also comes with labeling stickers and small tidbits, which are very useful add-ons.

The paper quality is exquisite, and the material is acid-free and very hefty. Hence you can rest assured – none of your inks are likely to bleed through the pages. The pages are also perforated so you can easily tear pages out of the notebook should you need to, without any damage to the rest of the notebook. Ultimately, the heft and all-around quality make this a notable alternative.

Pros
  • The notebook feels great to hold and to use
  • There are rulings, but they’re faint enough to not interfere in the writing experience
  • Comes with page numbers to reference earlier notes/drawings/entries
Cons
  • May have occasional ghosting issues with certain kinds of pens
  1. Piccadilly Essential Notebook Medium

The Piccadilly Essential is exquisitely crafted and gives you 240 varied, high-quality pages to lay bare your thoughts and notes on. Piccadilly is known for their vast collection of notebooks, and the Essential brings with it all that you’d expect from a notebook, and then some. This particular notebook comes with a choice of graph, ruled or unruled paper to choose from.

Piccadilly Essential Softcover Medium Ruled Notebook
  • Cover Style: Hard Black
  • 240 1/4 Inch College Ruled Pages; Inner Pocket

Experience

The notebook is in some ways much better than a Moleskine. The first noticeable difference comes with the paper quality which is a bit thicker and softer to touch than the Moleskine. Then, you have a larger number of bookmarks and more sheets to write on when compared to a Moleskine. And to top things off, it’s cheaper than the Moleskine!

Your fountain pens are no more a danger to your writing – the paper is thick enough to avoid ghosting and bleeding in any case. Further, it comes with an overall feel which is simply somehow better than a Moleskine – whether it’s the outer cover or the inner page we talk about. The elastic on the outer surface is also nice to touch and to use.

Pros
  • Better than the Moleskine in almost every measurable manner
  • There’s no bleeding from markers or fountain pens
  • Cheaper than most comparable notebooks
Cons
  • Does not have any attachment to keep pens or pencils in
  1. Clairefontaine Basic Large Clothbound Notebook

If the prospect of using a leather-bound notebook does not appeal to you anymore, do look into the Clairefontaine’s cloth-bound series of notebooks. The outer cover is not only aesthetically pleasing but also ensures the pages remain protected from the elements. The pages are definitely of a medium thickness, enough to give a page its own identity and not be skipped.

Experience

The Clairefontaine stands out because of a number of factors – starting from the smooth paper feel, the luxurious texture, all the way to the medium bulkiness. Fountain pens cause zero trouble while writing, so don’t markers. As long as you’re not playing with paints, the notebook can easily handle whatever you may throw at it. It is also very soft on the whole.

The ruled paper is also free from acids, thus ensuring you’re able to use a variety of writing instruments and media without worrying about the ink bleeding through the pages. There is very little chance of ghosting as well. A number of people buy these regularly because of their overall feel, and the quality of the writing experience.

Pros
  • Comes with a cloth outer cover, which feels soft and is rather different from the Moleskine notebook’s cover
  • The page quality is much better than the Moleskine
  • Avoids ghosting and bleeding in most cases
Cons
  • The metal on the elastic can sometimes get in the way of writing
  1. Field Notes Kraft Ruled 3-Pack

This notebook is best for those looking to keep varied types on notes (say different subjects) all in one place for ergonomic reasons. The outer finish is made of cardboard and gives it strength and solidity – enough to ensure the notebook stays in one place regardless of where you chuck the notebook. This notebook is also good for writing reminders such as work and personal ones.

Field Notes Kraft Ruled 3-Pack
  • Ruled Paper 48-page memo book
  • 3 Books per pack - banded and shrink-wrapped

Experience

Instead of one notebook giving you hundreds of pages, this gives you three notebooks all bundled into one. The pages are finished in great white color, and the page quality is up to scratch for both pencils and ink based media. They are very high quality and are suited for field work as well, because of their outer finish. Pencil writings and drawings don’t fade easily.

A number of outdoors enthusiasts and field researchers swear by their Kraft Field Notes, and that’s all due to the high quality of paper which allows only Sharpie to bleed through. The paper is, however, simply stapled so getting sheets out if you need them can be a pain. Hence, besides this small issue, there is very little to doubt about getting this notebook pack.

Pros
  • Sturdy, reliable and compact enough to fit into your back pocket
  • The paper quality is much better than the Moleskine, possibly one of the best on the market today
  • Gives you three notebooks so you can handle a variety of content at once
Cons
  • While sturdy, many of the competitors are also waterproof
  1. Rhodia Orange Meeting Notebook

Chances are if you’ve had the Moleskine, you’ve seen the Rhodia Orange around as well. The pages are incredibly high quality and are non-toxic as well as acid-free. It’s minimal, yet a stunning combination of a thick, hefty outer cover and high quality, reliable and sturdy paper. It comes with lined pages and a spiral for easily taking pages off and laying the notebook flat.

Sale
Rhodia Orange Meeting Notebook 16 x 21 cm,
  • 80 sheets - printed front/back with Date - Notes -...
  • Smooth - satiny white 80-gsm paper

Experience

The notebook is luxurious, yet sturdy. A surprising fact is that this notebook is waterproof – something the outer cover and the lush paper don’t give away. The papers are resilient to the point even the heaviest, darkest fountain ink or Sharpie can’t seep through them. The layout is certainly more versatile than the Moleskine and gives you more freedom in what to write.

If you intend to write a book or a thesis, you can easily get your ideas down to paper in this notebook. A number of authors, researchers, and long-time notebook users swear by it. Budget lines, list making, taking notes – this notebook can handle it all like a champ. Combined with 80gsm high quality paper and microperforated pages, this makes for a wonderful alternative.

Pros
  • High-quality satin-white finish for the paper
  • Rhodia orange coating is luxurious enough to look good during meetings and correspondences
  • 160 waterproof pages with Date/Action Steps/Notes printed
Cons
  • The cover is not hardbound

What to Look for in Moleskin Notebook Alternatives

With this, we bring the section on the top five Moleskine notebook competitors and alternatives to a close. All of these notebooks may have varied lining designs, paper quality, and sturdiness – however, the reliability and quality of these notebooks are beyond reproach. Many of these companies have hundreds of years in experience in printing these, and it shows.

That’s only a part of the picture, however. Choosing a notebook is a very personal decision, and you should know what you need to consider while buying a notebook. Hence, what follows is a small guide on how to choose the best notebook according to your tastes and requirements.

  1. Finishing of the exterior/cover

Some notebooks come with a leather cover, much like the Moleskine. However, there are a variety of finishes on offer – including plastic, cloth, and cardboard on some. You should look for a notebook that’s presentable in professional scenarios and appealing enough to your own eyes. It should also be durable enough to last your regular usage of notebooks.

  1. The weight of the paper

This is also directly dependent on your personal preferences, as well as usage. If you’re generally predisposed to using ballpoint pens and pencils, this factor shouldn’t weigh in too much. However, for heavier and wetter media like Sharpies and fountain pens, you should consider the thickness of the paper as a crucial factor so the ink doesn’t bleed.

  1. Ruled/Unruled sheets

This also depends on your personal writing style, but generally, if you’re into drawing more than writing – steer clear of ruled notebooks. Conversely, you should consider ruled notebooks for meetings and official uses. You most definitely shouldn’t end up with a ruled notebook for doodling into, and an unruled notebook isn’t organised enough for a professional environment.

  1. Pricing

The pricing is also a large factor you need to consider. By no means should you be spending more than $15-$20 on a regular notebook, with some adjustments for higher paper quality and features such as being waterproof. Hence, do look for a notebook that delivers on all your expectations but does it without being exorbitantly priced.

  1. Toxicity/Acidity of the pages

Some cheaper notebooks come with paper which is acid-based and hence, more likely to be toxic. This can have severe consequences on not just your writing experience (the ink gets ruined while writing on the pages), but is also dangerous for the environment at large.

Final words

This brings us to the end of today’s discussion on the best alternatives for the ubiquitous Moleskine notebook. While it is a behemoth in the writing world, the alternatives bring with them either more sturdiness or better overall writing experience. Hence, if you’re looking for a change, we urge you to consider the alternatives listed.

If they don’t float your boat, follow our guide for tips on how to choose the best notebook for yourself. Have fun writiing, and best of luck shopping for your notebook!

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