Banditapple 2G carnets

In a previous blog post from 2010 I had a look at Banditapple’s notebooks (carnets). What happened since then? Banditapple released a few limited edition carnets. Another interesting development is that the manufacturing process of the next generation of Banditapple carnets uses less chlorine while VOCs were reduced, too … and the new version of these notebooks is out. The current generation (2G) of notebooks is available in three colours: Gingerbread, Manuka Honey and Finland Pine.

Since I’ve been very happy with the 1G carnets and use them regularly at work I asked Arnie, the man behind Banditapple, whether I can order a few of the 2G carnets directly from him as he does not have an online shop yet. To cut a long story short, in the end he send me four of the new notebooks and I only had to pay the postage (€5, ~$6.65; £4.20). The package he sent to me last year only took a few days to arrive, but unfortunately it wasn’t treated very well by one of the postal services involved. Luckily, after storing the maltreated 2G carnets under some heavy books, they were (nearly) back in shape. I specifically asked for the tablet sized notebooks as I find this to be the most suitable size for daily use, at least for my purposes.

The peewee sized notebooks (9×14 cm) are ₩2500 each (~£1.40; $2.20; €1.70).

The tabled sized notebooks (13×12 cm) are ₩4000 each (~£2.30; $3.60; €2.70).

CdA edelweiss, Stabile LeftRight, Staedtler Wopex, M&G AMP33701 and Pelikan Souverän 605 on a 2G carnet


The new notebooks are still sewn, not stapled and the cover is still made from coloured paper, something I like very much as this enables me to label the notebooks using a white pencil [1]Like the Faber-Castell Goldfaber Heft&Tafel 1133 or the Eberhard Faber 1410 in white.. The paper quality of the 2G carnets is possibly even better than the quality of the previous generation. It copes very well with ink and I cannot think of a paper that is better in terms of erasing graphite without leaving traces.

1G Hanoi Red (used) and the new 2G colours


A great, but difficult to get notebook.


Prices and exchange rates: February 2012.

Paperandco, an online shop from Paris still has a few of the 1G carnets in Hanoi Red and Saigon Black in stock.

The official Banditapple website and blog can be found here.

This previous Bleistift blog post has more information about the 1G carnets.

You can find a review of the 2G carnets at Okami Whatever.

I would like to thank Arnie Kim for the Banditapple 2G carnets.

8 thoughts on “Banditapple 2G carnets”

  1. …and therein lies the problem as always, distribution channels, but otherwise nice looking practical product. But, whats with the political colour naming these days? – Hanoi Red, Noodlers Tiananmen. Next we might have Tory Party Dark Blue.

  2. Thank you very much for your comments.

    Sean, I used to prefer graph lines for notepads and notebooks. Currently, I prefer graph lines for notepads, but for notebooks I prefer ruled paper …but I guess my taste might change again, somewhen in the future. By the way, the lines in the ruled 2G notebooks are black while the squares in the in the 2G notebook with graph lines are blue.

    Kevin, I assume the names Hanoi Red and Saigon Black were chosen because these notebooks are made in Vietnam. I don’t think Arnie had any political reasons in mind, but I cannot be sure. Noodler’s names are often political – and in his videos on youtube he also talks about politics and the economy quite often. Not getting too off-topic here, but I really like Noodler’s inks. One of several reasons is that I want ink to be waterproof, but so far I haven’t been too excited about the Noodler’s pens I bought.

  3. Oh, Kevin.

    No political or any other plan.
    Just Black cover is from HCMC (Saigon), and Red cover is from Hanoi.
    So I called Saigon Black, and Hanoi Red.


  4. Hi Arnie – I think Noodler’s sent me down the wrong track. I still like the 2nd gen naming though…Gingerbread, Manuka Honey, Finland Pine, a more eco friendly feel. Love to see them in Australia….not too far from Vietnam.

  5. On the subject of Noodler’s: I used to use Noodler’s, before I actually knew about the political connection/agenda. That, and the owner’s generally bad attitude, put me off the brand totally.

    I switched to Sailor’s “Kiwa-Guro” in black, which is the best ink I’ve ever tried.

    To go back on topic, once I use up some of my huge stash of pocket notebooks, I’ll be sure to give the Banditapples a try — they seem perfect for my needs.

  6. Thanks for telling me about the Kiwa-Guro ink. Whenever I order something next from a shop that sells them I’ll give this ink a go. I vaguely remember reading somewhere (probably in the FPN forum) that the bottle shape is not ideal for piston fillers (and there was possibly a report about an exploding Sailor ink bottle somewhere), so I never tried them – but I actually didn’t realise they make water-proof ink… Does the Kiwa-Guro dry quickly?

    The Banditapples are great, even though it’s such a simple item you can feel the attention to detail that went into designing and making them.

  7. I bought my bottle from Andy’s Pens by email order, and I can’t speak highly enough of the service. So far, the bottle hasn’t exploded, and the little reservoir for filling makes for a cleaner experience. I don’t have a piston-filler, though, so YMMV.

    As for drying, it’s very quick, even on glossier papers like Rhodia. It’s a vast improvement over the ponderously slow Noodler’s I was using before, and means I can shut my diary nearly instantly, instead of having to wait a few minutes for it to dry. It’s also a lot smoother-flowing in my pen too, which is another plus.

    The Banditapple’s simplicity is a big part of its appeal to me: I want a notebook for jotting things down in quickly without having to worry about how the paper performs. On that count, these seem perfect.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.