O'Bon's Sugarcane (Bagasse) Notebooks

O'Bon Sugarcane Cover, Spiral-Bound

On a visit to notebookism I spied the O'Bon notebooks and as I am more than keen on green, whether it is grass, trees, or a piece of pottery, I inquired and asked if they would send one of their green products for review.

Several days later I received a spiral bound A5 (148 x 210mm or 5.83 x 8.27in) sugarcane (bagasse) notebook.

From the Obon site:

The Sugarcane Series A5 (and A4) Spiral Notebook features three different vibrant, yet classic notebook designs. Each notebook comes branded with our "Sugarcane Paper" logo in the center of the cover, along with “Sugarcane” written vertically across the cover in cursive. The three designs to choose from are – White Blue, White Red, and White Green. Along with a bright white background color, “Sugarcane” is either written in blue, red, or green. Every notebook comes with 80 pages of O’BON’s own environmentally-friendly bagasse paper. Cover made from 100% recycled cardstock.

As am very pleased with the responsiveness of the Staple's bagasse paper products, I hoped to find these more attractive O'Bon notebooks of equal or superior quality for note taking.

And they didn't disappoint.

Testing in the Green Bagasse O'Bon notebook
Pens used from top to bottom:
Stypen FP, stiff F/M nib; Pelikan M215, B nib, Staedtler .05 Pigment liner; Micron fine; Faber Castell Pitt Indian Ink; Lamy Safari, F nib; Sailor Calligraphy pen (using its functionality to demonstrate both fine and broad stroke): and Pelikan M200, B nib.

O'Bon Spiral Notebook, Close Up View

With the exception of the wet Pelikan M215 (B nib) filled with Pilot Iroshizuku Momiji ink and the Faber Castell Pitt Indian ink pen, no feathering or bleeding occurred.

Testing pens on Staples Bagasse 8-1/2 x 11-1/2? writing tablet

I tested the same pens, with the same inks on the Staples Bagasse tablet, with similar results.

The differences between the two may make or break their use.

The O'Bon is a white paper, with pale grey lines, spiral-bound, line width 6mm and has imprints at both the upper and lower right hand side. The product appears to be made in China, although I believe it is assembled in the United States.

The Staples brand papers are an off white, with pale brown lines, 7 mm line apart. It is not clear where these are made or what styles are available. On my last visit to one of two local Staples they had file folders on sale, 10 to a pack, but very few tablets or notebooks.

The O'Bons vary in price from $3.99 to 5.99 and can be bought directly.

The Staples Environmental paper line appears to differ in price depending on location. The last tablets I bought were around $3.00, plus or minus, for a two-pack (in Monticello, New York).


  1. I'm glad to hear you liked them because I'm awaiting delivery of mine. I have some of the Staples notebooks as well. (They moved them around the store quite a bit as specials, but now they're in the notebook section, on the bottom (!) shelf.) The O'BON covers rock.

  2. I'd love to hear what you think of the O'Bons, and if they hold up against the Staples.

    When I'm next at a Staples I'll at the notebook section--even between the two stores nearest to me--neither close by--their overall stock differs widely.