Portable Bible Battle: The Cambridge Clarion vs. The Schuyler Personal Size Quentel
Having a portable Bible that goes with you doesn’t have to mean sacrificing quality construction. In fact, I would argue that one of the better reasons to own a Bible constructed from premium materials is that it is durable and is built to last. That being said, if you’re going to invest, which is the right one for you?
In this review, I want to compare two premium Bibles that are both portable, but each bring different things to the table. Hopefully, if you’re considering picking up a premium, portable Bible, this will help you make an informed decision. I’m going to compare the Schuyler Personal Size Quentel (PSQ) with the Cambridge Clarion. Each brings something unique, but both are very popular, portable Bibles.
As a disclaimer, I am going to mention my preferences here just for comparison’s sake, but that is what they are—preferences. Yours may be different and that’s ok. I’m writing this so you can know the differences in two great Bibles, but I think it will be helpful if I tell you what I like and dislike as well.
Both Bibles I’m comparing have goatskin covers. To my touch, the Clarion has a deeper grain while the PSQ feels a bit more smooth. Both are Smyth Sewn, which means top quality binding. Both have two ribbon markers (more on that later). Both use a 28 gsm paper that has art gilt edging. Both have edge-lined covers. All of these things are what you want when it comes to premium quality Bible.
Now, let’s talk about a few differences in construction. The PSQ features a split calf liner while the Clarion has some sort of synthetic, slick feeling liner. Both are flexible, but the split calf gives a more premium feel. The PSQ also has a gold gilt line on the inside cover, which also gives a more premium look.
The PSQ has five raised spine ribs while the Clarion’s spine is mostly flat. Once again, this is personal preference, but I prefer the raised ribs. To me, it gives the Bible a classy look and once again makes it seem premium. That being said, I’ve talked to others who prefer the flat spine so it all comes down to your preference here.
In my opinion, the PSQ has nicer ribbons. Each have two, but I wish they each had three. The ribbon material for the PSQ has a shine to it and the ribbons are a bit wider than the Clarion’s ribbons. If you are picky about your Bible ribbons, the PSQ will win this category.
The type settings are where the major differences between these two Bibles happen. Starting with similarities—both Bibles include references and both are line-matched. That’s pretty much where our similarities end.
The most stark difference between these two Bibles is that the PSQ is a double column while the Clarion is a single column. Typically, I prefer single column so I lean toward the Clarion in this regard, but I know many people who prefer double. This all comes down to personal preference.
The Clarion features a slightly larger font than the PSQ. The PSQ has an 8.5 point while the Clarion has an 8.75 point. That being said, the Clarion uses a typeset called Lexicon No. 1, which is a typeset that is supposed to almost trick the eye and appear bigger than it actually is. I think it actually works. Side by side, the Clarion font looks noticeably bigger than the PSQ and I would’ve guessed the size difference is more than .25. To be fair, when I look at them side-by-side the PSQ seems to have a blacker font. It appears darker, which helps the text look sharper.
Speaking of color, the Clarion uses a solid black theme, while the PSQ uses two different font colors. Page headers, chapter numbers, and reference locations are all a different color than the black text. I think this is attractive and definitely helps with the way that the PSQ lays out it’s references.
References are in different locations in these two Bibles and I believe each one has chosen the best location for their column format. The Clarion has references in the outer page margin with verse numbers in bold and references in regular font. The PSQ locates the references at the bottom of the page blocked off by a horizontal line. I like how each Bible lays out their references.
Miscellaneous Last Things
Both of these Bibles have maps in the back, which is nice feature to have if you use them. The Clarion is a little shorter and a little wider than the PSQ. I’ve heard some people complain about the shape of the Clarion, but I actually like it. The Clarion is also thicker and heavier than PSQ making it less portable if weight is a factor for you. That being said, the Clarion also includes a concordance in the back making it a more feature rich reference Bible in my opinion.
If I had to outright say it, the Schuyler PSQ is the nicer built Bible, but it’s also slightly more expensive. The calf split liner, nicer ribbons, and raised spine ribs make this Bible stand out, especially when you add the fact that you can get several color options that aren’t your typical black or brown. Inside, it comes down to whether you’re a double or single column person and if font size matters. If font size matters, the Clarion will be your better choice. If a double column matters then you definitely want to pick up a Personal Size Quentel.
Bible choices are highly preferential. Either way you choose to go, you’ll be the owner of an incredibly nice premium, portable Bible. You can find both of these Bibles in multiple translations and you may find you have trouble deciding!