Review: Kraft Korner PH Expedition Travelers Notebook

Last December, while still in the grips of fauxdori frenzy, I came across Kraft Korner PH’s Travelers Notebook offerings when they post it on the Fauxdori Philippines Facebook group. I was intrigued by the design of their Expedition model, which took liberties with the original TN prototype and added a few “steampunky” embellishments that looked like something out of Indiana Jones (I know Indy isn’t steampunk, but it’s got that rough ’40’s archaeology vibe going for it).

Anyway, I promptly ordered one, but had to add my own modifications. KKPH was very accommodating and gave me a reasonable price, though they told me it was introductory and would change soon.

Anyway, here’s a cursory review and some pics to go along with them. I hope you’ll excuse the video quality as it is my first.

Here’s how it looks from the front: LEather is a waxy glossy maroonish-red. Reminds me of wallets and briefcases. They were offering a distressed brown leather in their earlier editions. i think i would’ve preferred that, although they DID tell me they were changing their leather. I told them to go ahead with my order. Now that it’s here, however, I’m afraid to take this leather around for fear it’ll scratch. I’m usually quite rough with my notebooks. Also, the leather at 2mm is a bit thin- this isn’t a problem for smaller notebooks, but something this bulky and large would probably benefit from a thicker, sturdier leather.

Travelers Notebook from Kraft Korner PH

The modified expedition model which I ordered.

Travelers Notebook from Kraft Korner PH

3/4 view.

I specifically asked them to size it for six inserts. They did a pretty good job, the measurement is more generous than I need.

Travelers Notebook from Kraft Korner PH

Stuffed six inserts, though the strings were initially too thin (my fault, I didn’t ask for larger strings). Eventually I restrung this with my own elastics.

Here’s what it looked like before I added inserts, in its ‘pure’ form.

Travelers Notebook from Kraft Korner PH

Interior folded out view

I mention this in the video, and I just can’t get over it- this enclosure strap with the buttons is just too wobbly and loose. It’s a great concept ( I asked for buttons instead of buckles, because leather buckle straps tend to tear over time) but it just …doesn’t….quite work the way it’s executed here. I think some reinforcement stitches to the strap, plus more buttons, would’ve helped.

Travelers Notebook from Kraft Korner PH

Exterior folded out view. You’ll notice that the enclosure strap (with the buttons) is only held to the cover by a two tiny stitches. This makes the strap wobbly and unpleasantly loose.

Kraft Korner Travelers Notebook

Loose Stitch nub! Inadequate for size of cover.

Kraft Korner Travelers Notebook

stitching and eyelet details. Stitching could be neater, but otherwise is fine.

I’m not sure I like this stitching on the edges of the strap itself. Maybe it’s a taste thing, but I also feel the stitches will eventually come loose. Would have preferred none at all. Maybe the stitches are reinforcing the strap? Either way, not my taste.

Kraft Korner PH Travelers Notebook

Button enclosure. Points deducted for the way it was finished. That pasted thread looks like something I sneezed. Sorry to be so crude.

Verdict: I paid about $US 30 for this, including all the modifications. At that price for a leather notebook it’s still way better value for some of the fauxdori I’ve bought. Plus, bonus points for an  eye-catching design. I still like it, despite my misgivings. Time will tell how it holds up to my rough daily use.

I’m going to keep an eye on Kraft Korner PH. If they fix some of these flaws, I’m sure their future TN’s and journals will be even more interesting.

Kraft Korner Travelers Notebook

Overall, it’s a nice notebook that’s worth the price when they make some improvements to the design and execution.

2 Comments

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