Friday, March 6, 2009

Review: Rickshaw Moleskine Folio

I have an obsession, and it’s a little strange. Most men have an obsession with cars, sports or beer.

My obsession? Moleskine notebooks.

For those of you not in the know, Moleskine notebooks have been used by the likes of Picasso, Chatwin and Hemmingway, though it’s really just a marketing ploy and the current brand of Moleskine is more of a spiritual successor. They are still made in Italy and the just look damn cool.

I discovered Rickshaw bags when looking for Moleskine related videos on YouTube. I happened to come across a video of man named Mark Dwight talking about his love and passion for his Moleskines. He had so much love for the beloved notebooks, that he crafted messenger bag with pockets specially designed for the Moleskine.

“I must own this,” I said to myself.

Eventually, a folio just for the Moleskine was designed.

Severe geek-lust ensued.

About a week ago, I spoke with Mark on the phone, and he informed that I could own a folio, and as far as I’m aware are still not available widespread. But will be sometime this month.

Which brings us today.

The unique thing about Rickshaw is that they have quite a selection of fabrics to choose from, they also allow customers to bring in their own fabrics so they can have a truly original folio (or any other product Rickshaw offers).

The fabric I selected is called Salvage Reed and it’s part of their Bottle to Bags series of fabrics made from recycled bottles. The texture of the fabric feels really nice in your hands, a little rough, along the line of a natural canvas. It’s actually quite amazing considering the process it went through.

Once the folio is unzipped is where the real magic happens. On the left interior is three slots to hold various pens and markers and a nice clear window to hold your business cards or I.D. there’s also a zippered pocket for some loose cash or whatever you fancy.

Your Mollie (as I like to call ‘em) slips in to a pocket on the right of the folio. A padded flap protects the front cover of the Mollie from the clips of pens. I actually think this is quite ingenious, a simple little addition of a padded flap makes an ordinary product extraordinary. There’s also a clear window on the right side of the folio that takes place of the accordion pocket in the back of the journal.

Not everything is golden, with pens and journal in place, and when the folio is zipped, it
does tend to bulge out a little bit, though I do believe they added some plastic to stop it from bulging out. This isn’t a major drawback, far from it, but I do have to point out flaws where I see em. It’s there but not a deal breaker, akin to a single dead pixel on your new 30” LCD monitor. You only notice it because you love it.

In conclusion, I highly recommend the Rickshaw Moleskine Folio to any Moleskine enthusiast.

Buy it!

Video Review:

Rickshaw Moleskine Folio Review from Michael Lee on Vimeo.