Despite the rugged beauty of a well-worn Field Notes memo book, maintaining the longevity of your memo books can often be a chore. For those times when your memo books need to be maintained for the future, a memo book cover is of the essence.
Choosing a great cover can be difficult though. There are many craftsmen creating beautiful leather wallets and they all happen to be but a click away.
Undoubtedly, one of the best covers out there is the Hellbrand Leatherworks Field Notes cover. It has a simple design and a utilitarian purpose. Best of all, the Hellbrand Leatherworks cover looks better the older it gets — just like your trusted Field Notes books themselves.
The Hellbrand cover has been made to fit snugly in the back pocket of a pair of jeans. The thick and durable Horween leather is more noticeable in your back-pocket than a single 48-page memo book, but the cover isn’t uncomfortable to sit on. As a bonus, the small knicks and scratches the cover accumulates in your back-pocket only increases its beauty.
That thick leather is held together by an elegant white stitching that spans the outside edges of the cover. My initial reaction was a negative one — I didn’t expect the white stitching would hold up after extensive use. After six months, there is little doubt this Field Notes cover has been made to last.
All this thick leather and durable stitching amounts to a cover that begs to be used in the field — both figuratively and literally.
Whatever your choice of memo book, the Hellbrand cover holds the book in place by sliding the back cover of the book into a slip of sturdy leather. This allows the memo book and the cover to become one unit and improves the cover’s usability in tougher conditions.
This small piece of leather poses the one flaw of the Hellbrand cover’s design however. The small flap of leather used to hold your memo book in place quickly becomes a writing hindrance as you approach the back of your memo book. The thickness of the leather flap creates a ridge that your pen has to glide over while writing. How you use your memo books will define your level of annoyance with the back flap.
More often than not, I find myself sliding the book straight into the Hellbrand cover instead of securing it inside the back flap. If I was to be using the cover under tougher conditions, I would consider securing the book in place. For the time being, sliding the memo book into the cover is sufficient for my needs.
My favourite part of the entire Hellbrand design is the beautiful debossed logo in the bottom right hand corner of the cover. The logo is very reminiscent of the entire Hellbrand experience — simplicity, elegance and utilitarianism line this Field Notes cover from top to bottom and the debossed logo is the perfect cherry on top.
Although I rarely find myself in need of the Hellbrand Leatherworks Field Notes cover while in the field or on-the-go, you can be rest assured that it sits ready and waiting for when the time comes. Its durable and utilitarian design make it a trusty companion for my Field Notes books, and it only becomes better the more it ages and the more it’s used.
Despite the plethora of 3.5″ by 5.5″ memo book covers on the market, the Hellbrand Leatherworks Field Notes cover is as good as it gets. And at $45, you won’t find a better solution to maintaining your back-pocket crop and harvest notes well into the future.