Lamy Aion Review

The Lamy Aion was sent to me to review here on the blog by Pen Heaven. All the thoughts on this fountain pen are entirely my own.

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The Lamy Aion was a welcome addition to the Lamy line of fountain pens and the mid-range fountain pen market as a whole. It’s priced at approx £50 and you get a lot of good pen for the money.

Pen specifics.

The Aion comes in two colour options black and silverolive similar to the colour options from the Lamy 2000 and Lamy Studio range. The design of the Aion positions this fountain pen with Lamys premium products and separates it from the playful entry level pens in Lamys line.

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I have the silver Aion which almost has a brushed aluminium finish. It gives the pen some grip and texture but also looks really nice. The grip section of the pen is smooth, there isn’t any knurling or the moulded grip you get on the entry level pens. In use its been fine but this smooth grip section isn’t something that’ll work for everyone.

 The Aion grip section and nib close up

The Aion grip section and nib close up

The Aion also has its own nib, the Z53 again setting it apart from entry level pens. It’s a firm steel nib that takes my heavy hand well and writes really smoothly. Although it’s new I can’t say I noticed a huge difference from other Lamy nibs. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I really enjoy my other Lamy pens.

 Size comparison versus the LX and AL Star

Size comparison versus the LX and AL Star

Impressions.

The first thing I was struck by was the size of the Aion. It’s a hefty pen and feels pretty heavy. Most of this weight seems to come from the cap and once you remove that and begin writing the weight and length of the pen give you a nice balance especially if you are using the Aion for long periods of time.

Posted the Aion doesn’t look much bigger than Lamys other pens, however take the cap off and you really see how long that barrel is.

 Posted the Aion doesn't look much bigger than other Lamy fountain pens

Posted the Aion doesn't look much bigger than other Lamy fountain pens

I have a medium nib which seems to be standard, at least here in the UK. If you want an extra-fine, fine or broad nib these are special order. I have come to really like a medium nib from Lamy because it means I get too appreciate the ink I am using a lot more. The ink flow has been excellent, I haven’t experienced any issues with skipping. Considering this is a different nib to the Lamy Safari/AL Star/LX ranges I didn’t notice too much difference. The progression from these entry fountain pens to the Aion felt seamless.

Overall thoughts.

The Aion is a really good fountain pen at a great price point. I had high hopes for this pen and there were a few elements, such as the size which threw me off initially. However after using it for a while and getting used to it, how it felt and how it wrote I am really impressed. More than anything a pen from Lamy at this price point is a very welcome and much needed addition into their range bridging the gap from the Lamy AL Star/Safari to the Lamy 2000.

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I would like to thank Pen Heaven for sending me the Lamy Aion to review.

Baron Fig Train of Thought limited edition Vanguard.

Baron Fig contacted me and asked if I would like to use and review the Train of Thought limited edition Vanguard notebook. All thoughts in this review are entirely my own.

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The Train of Thought limited edition Vanguard notebook was a collaboration with a designer, Zipeng Zhu, who featured in Baron Figs bag Kickstarter campaign. I have been using these Flagship sized notebooks for some time now and wanted to share my thoughts with you in todays review.

The Train of Thought notebook has some very striking cover designs. Each notebook has a section of a train on the front and back cover and has a different colour - purple, green and red.

The artwork continues to the inside cover with each notebook expanding on the theme of seeing where your thoughts take you. The purple notebook has a sleepy night time feel with animals and clouds floating through space. The green notebook is more of a traditional sci-fi take on space with planets and aliens and finally the red notebook is playful with doughnuts, people and flowers floating through space.

 Playful, fun and colourful designs. 

Playful, fun and colourful designs. 

The artwork is playful and fun. Its randomness definitely works with the theme of seeing where your ideas take you. As this artwork consumes the covers both inside and out there isn’t the usual information box on the inside cover which does mean theres no room for personal info, but really who cares.

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The paper is the normal Baron Fig stock with dot grid ruling inside. The performance is as you expect from Baron Fig products. They take pencils well because the paper has some tooth, fountain pens and inks ar suitable as there is little / no bleed through or shadowing. Essentially you can use most writing tools and you’re fine.

 Choo-choo!  

Choo-choo!  

The Vanguard notebooks are solid, with 72 pages per notebook and three notebooks in a pack. I really enjoy their size and the slim form factor because they are comfortable to use and write in for long periods of time. They’re kind of the perfect size with he perfect amount of pages.

You can still get your hands on the Train of Thought limited edition Vanguard notebook, so head over and snap some of these notebooks up.

Thank you Baron Fig for sending me these notebooks to review.

Travel Kit: Edinburgh

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I am heading off to Edinburgh for a long weekend of relaxation, whiskey drinking, eating lots of tasty food and soaking up the sights of this city. Part of any trip gets me thinking about what stationery items I want to take...and then trying to take only what I need, a task I am always awful at. In this post I will share my stationery travel kit for this trip.

Travelers Notebook + inserts.

I will be taking my trusty black TN with my weekly refill + memo insert.

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I have also thrown in a mishmash Travelers notebook refill which is an extended journaling notebook for those times I want to be creative or have more to say.

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I have a Baum Kuchen + Superior Labor pouch which hold some stickers, washi tape, postage stamps and other bits and bobs that all help me with my journaling.

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Nock Co Sinclair + Field Notes.

My Nock Co Sinclair has become a staple carry. In here I have the Haxley sketchbook where I have been playing around and experimenting with my doodles. The small size of this sketchbook somehow frees my mind and I am less concerned with trying to get things right. The additional pages are also good.

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I also have a East coast Coastal Field Notes for general note taking. I have some itinerary plans included in here for the trip.

Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook + watercolour palette.

I want to try and draw while I am in Edinburgh. I am taking my relatively new and untouched A5 Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook. To go with this I will be using my new(ish) watercolour Winsor and Newton palette. I have a Pentel waterbrush which will more than likely be my main paintbrush due to its convenience. I want the focus to be on just painting and not have any obstacles in my way.

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Field Notes Signature Ruled Notebook.

This has been my journal lately. The paper quality in this notebook is better than the standard Field Notes which means I can use lots of different writing tools. The slightly larger size, different binding and additional pages makes it a really convenient notebook.

Writing Tools.

This felt like one area where I could limit what I was taking with me on this trip and carry only the essentials. I have the Baron Fig Key Squire, a Zebra Sarassa Clip in grey-blue and 2 pencils that always sit in my Sinclair, so nothing changes here.

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On top of this I will have the Caran d’Ache mechanical pencil and the Worther Shorty which will be useful for sketching. I will also have my Lamy AL Star and a couple of Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pens for the inking.

I will also take with me my Lamy LX fountain pen inked up with Sailor Blue Black because I love this pairing and enjoy writing with it.

Other Tools.

The final things I will be bringing with me is the Penco big clip which is always handy for holding open notebooks. I will also have a couple of smaller Tools to Liveby clips for my Field Notes. I will be bringing an eraser, the Carta Pura which I really enjoy using and I find doesn’t leave a lot of residue.

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I will be taking a standard sharpener with me. I don’t have anything better at the moment but will need to have something with me for obvious reasons.

I will have my Sudio Neat Glif for my iPhone in case I need to prop up my phone for reference doodling.

These extras will all be thrown in my Hightide Pen Roll. And then all of these things will be carried in my new Baron Fig backpack. The compartments, pockets and open fully system make this a really interesting travel item kit. I think this could work really well, but time and testing will tell.

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Overall Thoughts.

This doesn’t look minimal in any way, this is still a lot of things to bring on a short trip but I am a stationery addict and this is me being restrained. I love to have things with me and not fall short. I like to record things and draw at times so I need lots of different tools to do this.

Rollo London Hardy Notebook Review.

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[Rollo London] contacted me asking if I would like to review one of their notebooks here on the blog. I have been using this notebook for a few weeks and wanted to share my thoughts.

I really like using and reviewing British products on the blog. Sometimes it feels harder than it should to find British stationery brands and products and I think there are some great products out there. Rollo London contacted me and asked if I would test run their [Hardy] notebook.

The Hardy Notebook Specifics.

This is an A5 hardbound notebook which comes in numerous colour choices. I requested the British Mulberry which is a beautiful rich purple colour.

The cover has a textured grain effect but with a smooth finish giving it a premium feel. On the cover you have the signature Rollo dog pin in gold, the most visible bit of branding on the exterior of this notebook.

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There is some impact of this pin on the inside front cover that did leave an indent on the pages when it arrived, but once I started using the notebook I hardly noticed it.

There is an elastic closure in the same purple and a single long purple bookmark.

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On the inside back cover there is a handy pocket for any loose bits of paper or ephemera you may need to carry around.

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The edges of the notebook are gilded in gold foil. This is not something thats overly common on notebooks, Field Notes released the [Ambition] limited edition and one of the unique but [complicated aspects] of that edition was the gilded edges. The gilding adds to the premium feel of the notebook and makes it feel a little bit special.

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Inside the notebook is cream coloured paper with a dark, thin line ruling. At the top of every page you have space for the date and at the bottom the same dog branding is mirrored inside.

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I like ruled notebooks especially for long form writing. I also enjoy cream coloured paper and find this nicer to write on than bright, stark white. The ruling however falls down for me with the Rollo notebook. It’s too dark, a lighter ink colour would make the ruling blend into the background and be the guide its designed to be. The spacing is also too thin for my personal preference forcing me to use every other line.

Paper Performance.

The paper on the whole held up well. I have been using my notebook for morning pages which I like to do in fountain pen and ink. Some of my fountain pen and ink combinations performed well. The Lamy LX and Sailor Blue Black worked particularly well. There was some show through on the page but this doesn’t personally bother me too much when I know I’m writing on the full page.

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Then there were other inks such as the Lamy Dark Lilac in my Lamy Aion with a medium nib that bled through the page quite a lot. The heavier, wetter inks with a wider nib fountain pen were too much for the paper.

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With all other pens and pencils they performed fine with no bleed or show through. The paper worked quite nicely with pencils, there isn’t a lot of tooth which means the paper doesn’t eat up the graphite but it glides nicely over the page.

Overall thoughts.

There is a lot to like about the Hardy Rollo notebook. It’s a well made and finished notebook that comes in some lovely colour options and would make a really nice gift because it’s a notebook that feels special. Personally I think the paper should be better especially in a premium notebook. I would rather not have to consider my pen choice but just pick up anything and write, but this isn’t a deal breaker it would just make this notebook even nicer to use.

If you’re interested in what Rollo London has to offer head over to their website. They have several other notebook options available and some lovely colour choices.

Thank you Rollo London for sending me the Hardy notebook to play with and test for the blog.