Friday, February 25, 2022

Review: Rite in the Rain Paper


2/14/22 Graphite on Rite in the Rain looseleaf paper. See the raindrops? No problem for this paper.

After he read my review of the waterproof Karst Stone Paper Journal, a Facebook friend kindly offered to send me a few sample sheets of Rite in the Rain paper. Although I was familiar with the Rite in the Rain name – the company that makes it is just down the road in Tacoma – I was not curious enough about its “all-weather” notebooks to try one (though I like the company’s tagline: Defying Mother Nature). But since I’ve tested both Expedition and Karst, what the heck – why not give Rite in the Rain a try, too?

Rite in the Rain tears like ordinary paper.
Cruising through the company’s website, I see that Rite in the Rain offers a variety of form factors – spiral bound, hardbound and looseleaf notebooks and even index cards. With only a couple of unruled options, it’s obvious that its main customer base is industrial, scientific and other outdoor workers – not sketchers. The blank and ruled sheets I was given are 4 ½-by-7 inches and punched for looseleaf use.

Unlike Stone Paper or Field Notes Expedition, both of which feel more like plastic than paper, Rite in the Rain feels like ordinary paper, though perhaps lightly coated. Also unlike the other two, which are nearly indestructible by normal means – when I’ve tried to tear them, they simply warp – Rite in the Rain tears easily like normal paper, both wet and dry.

I had heard that, as with Expedition’s Yupo paper, not many pens would work on Rite in the Rain. Any ink that remains a bit wet for a while would smear easily and quickly, I was told. I tested some common writing instruments below on a dry sheet and confirmed that smudging can be a problem, though it smeared less than Yupo in most cases.

Variety of media on dry Rite in the Rain paper

However, like Yupo, as soon as I spritzed the page with water, the gel pen and other water-based inks floated away. Graphite and colored pencil, ballpoint ink and Sharpie ink did the best.

Spritzing with water made many inks bead and float away.

I already knew that soft graphite would probably be my best bet sketching on this paper in actual “all-weather” situations (also known in these parts as “rain”). I kept a couple sheets in my walking bag for an opportunity to give it a field test. The sketch at the top of the post is the result (I blew it up larger than life so that you could see evidence of actual Seattle DNA on the surface). The mild tooth feels like ordinary paper, and my Gekkoso 8B pencil took to the surface well. As expected, the paper was unaffected by rain, as was the soft graphite. Once the page dried completely, it looked good as new.

As a sketching surface, I prefer Rite in the Rain to both Expedition and Karst Stone – it could pass for “normal” paper. But I don’t see any form factors that I would want to use for sketching, so I won’t pursue it as active option. I appreciate knowing, though, that Rite in the Rain offers so many different choices in a waterproof paper. If the primary use is not sketching, I would recommend it over the other two alternatives to people who need a waterproof notebook to do their field work.

Incidentally, I love the image below (swiped from the website) and this product description of the hardcover book (the only one with an unruled page option): “Everything from the cover, the paper, the sewn-in pages, even the glue is designed to survive mother nature’s wrath.” So maybe sketchers are among Rite in the Rain’s field users!

Image from Rite in the Rain website


  1. In another lifetime I did some research that required snorkeling while collecting data. We used sheets of plastic drafting vellum attached to clipboards. This stuff has a frosted surface and is designed to accept pencil in a precise way. With CAD systems being 'de rigor' these days, it may be that the old drafting materials aren't available anymore. You'd have to want to do a lot of rain sketching, though as it's sold in rolls (grin).

    1. No thanks -- I'll stick to small booklets of Yupo paper. ;-)

  2. Glad to know there are options out there for waterproof paper...not that I seem to need it.

    1. No excuses about not being able to sketch because it's raining! ;-)

  3. I have several of these papers, just for curiosity because in San Diego I almost never have a need to sketch in the rain! (sigh...) But I don't have Rite in the Rain paper. I wonder if it is similar to the waterproof paper notebook I got from Daiso? That photo from their website with colored pencils in the background is total eye candy!! Anne

    1. I wish Rite in the Rain had a pocket-size format that I would enjoy using for sketching. If they did, I would probably use it over Expedition because it's more like real paper.

  4. I love Rite in the Rain. It just makes sense along with Space Pens and AlphaSmart Neo2


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