Rite in the Rain vs Field Notes

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Updated on January 20, 2023

When it comes to outdoor writing, two of the most popular options are Rite in the Rain and Field Notes. Both brands offer durable, portable, and high-quality notebooks, but they have some key differences that make them suitable for different types of outdoor enthusiasts.

Rite in the Rain paper (1916) is specifically designed to be waterproof and weather-resistant, while Field Notes (2007) is more commonly used by office workers and students.

We will compare Rite in the Rain and Field Notes based on specifications, durability, size, portability, price, quality, and uses, and help you decide which one is best for your writing needs.


Rite in the Rain notebooks are:

  • A special paper that is waterproof and tear-resistant,
  • Making them perfect for writing in heavy rain or extreme conditions,
  • A variety of sizes, from pocket-sized to larger journals, and
  • A variety of binding options, including spiral-bound, wire-bound, and top-spiral bound.

Field Notes

  • A thicker, higher-quality paper than most other pocket-sized notebooks 
  • Mostly pocket-sized and staple-bound,
  • A variety of cover designs and colors for each edition.


Both Rite in the Rain and Field Notes are built to withstand the elements, but Rite in the Rain takes it to the next level. Rite in the Rain notebooks are completely waterproof, meaning you can write in them even in heavy rain or extreme conditions.

Field Notes, on the other hand, are durable, but they are not waterproof, so they are not suitable for writing in heavy rain.


Rite in the Rain notebooks come in a variety of sizes, ranging from pocket-sized (3.5″ x 5.5″) to larger notebooks that are perfect for taking notes on longer hikes (4 5/8″ x 7″).

Field Notes are slightly smaller at 4¾” x 7½”. They also come in packs of three. So, they can be easily shared between multiple people. The smaller size makes it easier to tuck away into a pocket or small bag when you’re on the move. 


Both Rite in the Rain and Field Notes are designed to be portable, but Rite in the Rain has a slight edge. Rite in the Rain notebooks come with a variety of binding options, including spiral-bound, wire-bound, and top-spiral bound, making them easy to flip through and write in. Field Notes, on the other hand, are mostly staple-bound, which can make them a bit more difficult to write in.


Rite in the Rain notebooks come with a higher price tag than Field Notes notebooks; however, this is understandable given their superior quality materials and construction processes. A single Rite in the Rain notebook typically costs $4.89 – $15 USD depending on size and features desired.  Field Notes typically costs around $14 USD per three-pack set (with each individual notebook costing about $3 – $4 USD).


Rite in the Rain has become known for their resilience to weather conditions like rain and snow. This makes them ideal for outdoor use in all types of climates. The paper is also designed to be fade-resistant so that your notes remain legible even after extended use. 

Field Notes is best known for its excellent design features. Each notebook has a unique cover art pattern that can be customized to your taste. The paper inside is made from high-quality stock with a smooth finish that allows for easy writing and sketching with pens or pencils.


Rite in the Rain notebooks are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who need to write in heavy rain or extreme conditions. They are perfect for hikers, backpackers, hunters, and anyone who needs to take notes in the field.

Field Notes, on the other hand, are perfect for those who want a durable and portable notebook for everyday use. They are perfect for artists, writers, and anyone who wants a high-quality notebook for sketching, writing, or note-taking.

What Is So Special About Field Notes?

Field Notes notebooks are made with high-quality paper and are bound with a sturdy cover that can withstand rugged use. The brand is also known for its unique designs and limited edition releases.

Does Rite In The Rain Work?

Yes, the paper is made with a special coating that allows it to repel water, oil, and other liquids, making it ideal for use in wet or damp environments.

Are Field Notes Durable?

Field Notes are known for their durability and are often used in outdoor and rugged conditions. They are made with high quality materials and are designed to withstand wear and tear. The covers are made from durable cardstock and the pages are made from a heavy-duty paper. Additionally, the bindings are stitched, not glued, making them more resistant to falling apart. Overall, Field Notes are considered to be a very durable brand of notebook.

Do You Have To Use A Special Pen For Rite Rain Waterproofing?

Forget about special pens, Rite in the Rain paper lets you write in any weather, with any pen! From ballpoint to pencils, this specially treated waterproof paper ensures your writing stays legible, no matter the conditions.

By And Large

All things considered, whether you choose a Rite in the Rain notebook or a Field Notebook depends largely on your intended use case. Both offer plenty of benefits depending on what activities you plan to use them for. If you need something rugged enough to survive wet conditions then go with Rite In The Rain. However if portability and ease of use are key then opt for Field Notes instead.

Whichever option you choose though, make sure it’s one that’s right for your individual needs.