Product Reviews

Paper Nomad- A Product Review

Recently, I was contacted by the team at Paper Nomad, a sustainable case company, asking if I’d be willing to review their line for my readers.

Having never done a product review before, I was hesitant to do so. But adventures come in all shapes and sizes. Why not journey into uncharted territory and test it out?

So I agreed, and they swiftly sent their iPhone 4 sleeve, iPad mini folio, and Moleskine journal for me to do with as I pleased.


As I would learn, Paper Nomad is an eco-friendly electronics and journal case company that is dedicated to bringing customizable products to adventurers. You can make any of their products uniquely yours with just a stroke of a pen, paintbrush, finger paint or crayon (I personally endorse crayons, but to each their own).

The materials are water and tear resistant, making them a great choice for environmentalists. They are also bio-degradable so they can be composted if you ever decide to trash it.


I spent three weeks with the products, carrying them through my day-to-day activities and asking my friends who were artists to draw on them for me.

I spilled on them, monitoring how much water damage they sustained. (Let’s just pretend this was SUPER scientific. After all, I DID win first place in the science fair every year growing up). I consulted with other notebook and iPhone users, gathering their opinions.

And after my  evaluation, I concluded the following…

These cases are great for creative nomads or creative nomads at heart. But here’s my list of pros and cons.


The Durability

Paper Nomad products are made of (you guessed it, Watson!) paper. While it’s highly water-resistant and reinforced by magic, they deteriorate like wet paper bags over time. They hold up well to initial spills due to their water-protective barrier so you’ll escape unscathed on the first assault.

Depending on how much you’ve spilled and how long you let it sit in the liquid, you’ll see the paper soak in a miniscule amount, causing the top layer to soften and warp. It will hold up well to the second spill, as the wool blend interior deflects rogue water seeping through. But by the third or fourth accident, your case starts to breakdown.

Granted, FEW cases are built to protect your electronics from clumsiness on multiple occasions, but it is a factor to consider. And they do tell you upfront not to put this in the washer. (Also, don’t put your phone in the washer. Just a tip. Not speaking from personal experience or anything).

PaperNomad Wet 1

Ease of Access from the iPhone Sleeve-

Out of all the products, I probably wouldn’t purchase the phone sleeve. It’s not practical for day-to-day use, as it’s difficult to remove the phone from the case. I would only use the case for extended travel where I wasn’t planning on using my phone and just wanted to keep it safe in an unassuming holder. It includes a hemp pull strap to help you get your device out, but I couldn’t figure out how to best use it.

And while the phone sleeve was a bummer, there were a lot of things I did like about the products.


Coloring My Intrigue-

These things are SUPER DUPER customizable. You can sketch, write on them, color, or play tic-tac-toe for all it matters. You are the master of your own adventure and can record it on your cases.

I love this because as a writer, I’m always looking for ways to immortalize my moments and the people I meet. I had animators paint and draw on my collection to test it but I could see myself asking friends I meet to sign the cases, much like yearbooks.

I could use it as extra space for those inspirational moments, or to catch that last number or e-mail when I run out of paper. Also, the cases are smudge-proof. Win.

paper nomad

Totes for Tree Huggers-

Paper Nomad is an environmentally friendly company. They use materials like hemp, tapioca root, sugar cane, corn starch, corn-derived bio-plastic, and wool blends to make their products. These materials have a smaller carbon footprint than cotton and synthetic fleece materials. Not only do you have something that you can make completely yours, you can feel good about your purchase.

The Nomad Grad’s Top Pick-

Naturally, my favorite product was the journal. I could see myself taking it around the world and back, then shelving it with my other notebooks. But this time, instead of paying for an expensive ‘travel looking’ notebook, I’d let the journey illustrate my words. No two journals would ever look the same, much like my travels. So stay tuned for future photos of my progress on my collection. :)

To learn more about Paper Nomad, visit their website. And be sure to send me photos of your Paper Nomad designs! I love admiring everyone else’s artistic abilities while simultaneously mourning my own lack of skill. :)


  • Reply


    December 18, 2013

    YOU!!! Not have artistic talent!! You are a wonderful artist-we have seen your work and it is beautiful. Just like everything you do -always the best,

    • Reply


      December 31, 2013

      Haha, thank you for the compliments :). But I think I’ll reserve the drawing for those who can do more than stick figures! ;)

  • Reply

    El Guapo

    December 19, 2013

    Nice products!
    How would a strong environmentalist reconcile that with all the toxic components of an iphone?

    • Reply


      December 20, 2013

      Hahahahaha! My coffee almost went everywhere when I read this. Spilltastic.

      I suppose a ‘strong’ environmentalist wouldn’t ‘own’ any piece of technology, so I’m sure they’d have some choice words. So I suppose the market is more of a middle-of-the-road environmentalist. Or a geek who wants to be environmentally friendly. Or maybe just posers. Or people who like paper :).

  • Reply


    December 19, 2013

    Great review.

    I would totally miss the point though. I’d go out and buy the journal case and stuff it with a rite in the rain product.

    • Reply


      December 20, 2013

      Thank you! That means a lot, especially since it’s the first :).

      And no worries; I’d probably do the same. What’s life without living it, right?

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About Me

Hey fellow adventurers, my name is Hilary! After being rejected from grad school, I took off on a solo journey around the world. Now I constantly challenge myself to take on new experiences. This blog documents my journeys from Europe to Fiji, swimming with sharks and living with tribes, to becoming an accidental beauty queen and working for one of the top national media outlets. If you like what you're reading, please subscribe! Here's to the next great adventure!

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