Kaweco Eco Wild Raw Leather Pen Pouch

The Kaweco Eco Wild Raw Leather Pen Pouch is a Cult Pens exclusive, according to their website. I typically order from them once or twice a year, concentrating on products not available in the US (they’re in the UK) and added this case to my last order. There’s not much to the cases, their a simple sleeve. There is a one pen case and a two pen case for the Sport line of pens. There’s also a one pens case and a two pen case for the Lilliput line of pens. Based on the pictures on Cult Pens’ website it looks like the the two pen versions don’t have a divider so the pens touch.
I ordered the one pen case for the Kaweco Sport. I have a red Kaweco AC Sport and unlike the AL Raw Aluminum or my new Black Stonewashed I don’t want it to get scratched up being carried in my pocket. The case is £22.99 inc VAT or £19.16 ex VAT. US foreigners don’t pay VAT.
The case is nice soft calf-skin leather. Initially the AL Sport was a tight fit but after a day or two of use it stretched out nicely and the pen is now easy to remove. It’s still sits securely in the case with no chance of slipping out. The case seems well built and durable but only time will tell. The stitching is a little rough where it ends. There’s a stiff piece of thread extending about 1/20th of an inch from the case. The leather will attract nicks, cuts and scuffs over time which will give it character.
My Franklin-Christoph Model 40 Pocket also fits in the pouch but it’s a much tighter fit. I imagine the pouch could expand a little more but in that case it might be too loose for the Kaweco Sport. I won’t be using the Model 40 in this sleeve while I still use it for the Sport, but If I wanted a case dedicated to the Model 40 I would consider this pouch.
The case is also light so it doesn’t add much weight to the pen. My case is 0.4 oz (12 g) so with my currently inked AL Sport Stonewashed the total weight is 1.3 oz (36 g).

Gallery

The pictures below show the case slightly lighter in color than mine really is thanks to the lighting. My case has more brown to it. But I couldn’t get the color right so decided to go with these. The photos on the Cult Pens site are a bit darker than my case.
Except for the first photo, the pictures all show the case with a pen in it. The pen is listed in the caption since it’s not obvious from the picture.

Review: Hightower Pen Case by Nock Co

Photo of the closed Nock Co Hightower

I already had more pen cases than I needed but that didn’t stop me from backing the Nock Co pen cases on Kickstarter. I backed at all the cases, along with 472 others, and this has proven to be the most used case of the bunch in the month and a half I’ve had them. It’s the Hightower Pen Case in the Kickstarter LE colors, Peacock exterior (a blue-green) and a Midnight Blue exterior (a navy-blue).  There’s slots for three pens on the left, covered by a flap. The right side has a pocked sized for Doane Utility Journals, Field Notes or similar pocket notebooks and fits three comfortably. A fourth can be squeezed in put it requires a bit too much effort to be practical. While multiple notebooks can be held it does bulk up the case and keep it from being flat when it’s closed. I find anything more than two notebooks and the case doesn’t close flat enough for my taste.
For the record, my iPhone 5S and a Nokia Lumia 920 fit in the pocket (not at the same time) but are not secure and bulk up the case. It seems inevitable the phone would slide out and head to the floor.
The exterior is made of heavy nylon with a durable water repellant (DWR) coating that feels very cloth-like. The interior is pack cloth that is very smooth and is unlikely to scratch any pens. I say unlikely to scratch because there are no guarantees, but I’m certain all my pens will be scratch free.
Personally, I prefer using my Franklin-Christoph Penvelope 6 case for transporting pens in a computer or other bag. The heavy leather and heavy cloth gives the pens more protection, in my opinion. Since the Hightower material is cloth I’m paranoid the pens could be crushed or cracked if the bag was thrown around and a heavy object shared the space with them. That said, the material does seem very strong and would protect the pens against keys and other objects. Another concern is that the case doesn’t snap closed so something could work it’s way into the case. I’m too paranoid to use this case in my daily computer bag, since it doesn’t have it’s own pocket to secure it and would bounce around. The Hightower is not the case I use for my everyday carry, but it still gets used. If this case closed securely, with a zipper for example, it would probably replace my Penvelope and be nearly perfect. It does get used to keep my current favorite writers and active notebooks handy. I have a habit of leaving them around the house and end up having to search for them. Keeping them in the case avoids the problem. It does leave home and travels occasionally and keeps the pens well protected.
The case is about 6 3/4 inches tall and about 4 1/4 inches wide when closed and 8 3/4 inches wide when open. I haven’t had the case long enough to really test the durability but the case is well made. The Nock Co cases are handmade in Georgia. I expected to find some hanging threads or mis-cut corners but can’t find any on my case. This, along with the tight stitching, bodes well for the long term durability.
I keep three pens in the left side, usually three different inks in thin nibs, suitable for writing and note taking. There’s one, sometimes two, pocket notebooks on the right along with some business cards. I primarily use it to keep handy around the house so I don’t have to go hunting for pens or the current notebooks. But it does travel with me on occasion.
At 6 3/4 inches the Franklin-Christoph Model 66 either doesn’t fit in the case or just barely fits, depending on your point of view. It comes right up to where the flap is sewn onto the case so the flap doesn’t lay flat when the pen is in the case. On the other hand, the case can be closed and the pen will be protected. But in my opinion, the pen is too big for the case. All my other pens fit fine. The pen slots are about 4 3/4 inches deep and the flap seam is about 1 1/3 inches above the slots.
Nock Co is a venture of Brady Dowdy and Jeffrey Bruckwicki. You can read about them here. The Nock Co Kickstarter cases are almost all shipped out. They’ve said they’ll need to build inventory after the that and then will open their online store. Currently you can sign up to be notified when the store opens or read additional information about their products. Brad has mentioned (either on the Podcast or twitter) that they expect the store to open in June.

Additional Reading

Reviewed at The Well -Appointed Desk
Reviewed at The Clicky Post
Reviewed and then a motorcycle test at No Pen Intended

 

Pen Cases: Franklin-Christoph Penvelopes

Franklin-Christoph Logo on Penvelope Six
Click any photo for the full size version.

Related to my fountain pen addiction is a recent addiction to pen cases. Until March of last year all my pen cases had been either free throw-ins with a pen, or a case I bought because it was the cheapest I could find.

That changed last year when I decided to upgrade the quality of my cases and bought a Franklin-Christoph leather case. I was hooked.

Franklin-Christoph Penvelope Six

Photo of the F-C Penvelope Six

I bought a Franklin-Christoph Penvelope Six case in March of 2012. This remains my favorite case to this day and holds my daily carry as I travel to and from work. As the name suggests, it hold six pens. I got the boot brown leather with a rust colored interior. The boot brown leather has a distressed look. The scuffs it gets during normal use gives it character.

The case is 6″ wide by 7″ tall and 1.25″ thick and can handle pens up to 7″ tall and .75″ thick according to the F-C website. Based on my case I find the 7″ X .75″ pens size a bit too generous. My 6.5″ Edison Huron Grande does fit, but it’s a very tight fit. Maybe a thinner pen would allow the leather to stretch up rather than out. Still, I’d be wary of expecting a 7″ pen to fit. The Franklin-Christoph Modell 66, at 6.3″ fits in just fine, no stretching required.

There’s a magnetic snap to close the case. The magnetic snap is more secure when my large Huron Grande is in the case, putting some tension on the snap. When there’s no tension the snap can slip open when some lateral pressure is put on the case, such as when sliding it in our out of a tight bag. The cover still stays closed but if I have any complaint about the case, it’s the snap closure. I’d prefer a more secure physical connection, rather than the magnetic one. But it’s a minor complaint.

The interior is a nice heavy cloth that protects the pens well. There’s 6 individual slots for the pens. In my Penvelope 6 the slot on the right side is clearly smaller than the other five. It can handle all but my thickest pens, but there are pens that have to go in one of the other slots.

Penvelope Six side view

The pens aren’t completely enclosed in the case. There case is open about 2 1/2″ on ech side, although the pen slots rise about 1″ into the opening to protect the pens. While the material is thick and provides good protection, it’s still a soft case which doesn’t protect the pens from being crushed. I’ve never had any problem after nearly a year of carrying the case in my computer or messenger bag.

As the name suggests, the front opens like an envelope and there a thin pocket for papers or other small items. I typically just carry a slip of paper listing what ink is in which pen and the occasional Field Notes notebook. But as a test I was able to fit a box each of Lamy, Pilot and Waterman ink cartridges.

There’s room next to the pen loops, but still inside the case, for an additional pen on each side. There’s less protections for the pen since they aren’t in a loop, but if the pen has a clip is stays in the case. I wouldn’t recommend in as standard procedure, but it comes in handy to carry extra pens into the office.

After nearly a year of daily carrying the case is still in good shape. It’s got the scuffs that give the distressed leather character, but that’s to be expected.

Franklin-Christoph Lucky 13 Penvelope

Photo of the F-C Lucky 13 Penvelope

After the success of the Penvelope Six I bought a Lucky 13 Penvelope, also in Boot Brown leather. Everything about the Penvelope Six applies to the thirteen pen versions, except for the obvious size difference. It’s a little big for my daily carry so it travels a lot less, mainly being used for pen storage. The Lucky 13 Penvelope is 12″ X 7″ X 1.25″.

Franklin-Christoph Penvelope Two

Photo of the open F-C Penvelope 2

A couple months later I decided I wanted a smaller pen case and bought a Penvelope Two. I stuck with the Brown Boot leather and as the name suggests, it’s a two pen case. The material and build quality is the same as the other Penvelopes but there’s a leather tab and slot to hold the cover closed rather than a magnetic snap.

There’s also a loop on the back with two snaps that can be used to attach the case to a belt or a strap. The case seems too big to be comfortable on a belt. The snaps weren’t secure enough for me to trust them to hold the case on my computer bag. On my first test trip, traveling to work the case must have snagged on something when I pulled the bag out of the car as the Penvelope Two was missing when I got to my desk. I retraced my steps and found it on the car floor. So I haven’t attached the case to a strap since then.

This case easily holds my Edison Huron Grande so I do believe the claim that it can hold a 7″ pen.

I don’t use this case as much as I thought I would. Mainly because I can’t seem to leave the house with just two pens. But it does take less room than the Penvelope Six so it gets some use.

Wrapping Up

Like I said in the beginning, the Penvelope Six is my favorite pen case. But all three Franklin-Christoph Penvelope fountain pen cases are at the top of their class. The cases are pricey, but worth every penny in my opinion. The materials and build quality are top notch.

Bottom line – highly recommended.

Click any photo for full size version