Yak Leather Pen Sleeve & Pen Case (with GIVEAWAY)

30 04 2018

The good people of the Pen Boutique Ltd. sent me a pen sleeve and a 12 pen case for review. I’ll start with the one I liked, the single pen sleeve in brown.

Fun fact, we can’t remember the last time the complex mowed the grass. I’ve got catnip growing in my backyard!

The leather is smooth and sturdy, with the Yak Leather logo stamped at the top. It’s been a perfect little holster for one of my currently inked clipless Vanishing Points. In spite of not having a secure closure at the top I’ve had no issue with my pen falling out. The stitching is neat and even. And the leather smells AMAZING. I wish there were some way for you to be able to smell this through the internet. It smells like Good Leather. Picture me, sitting at my desk, covertly sniffing this leather pen sleeve, because it’s so good I just want to keep smelling it.

I also kept smelling the catnip. It smelled like mint!

There’s not much else to say about the pen sleeve—it’s a straightforward product, made well. The sleeve, I’m keeping.

Then there’s this 12 pen case.

This could be yours someday, if you’re lucky. Or if you buy your own

The good: it’s also seemingly well made. You’ve got protective cushioning to the covers, two zippers with leather pulls. The leather is a pebbled texture, which I’m guessing will better hide any blemishes it may pick up. The zippers unzip far enough to almost get it to lay flat when open (perhaps with time the leather will relax to do this without needing help). The velvety divider in the middle is removable, presumably so you can use it to lay a pen out on, the better to look at.

Or the better to one day forget to put back in and lose. Hey, look, a size comparison!

Now for the perplexing and annoying. This case is an inconveniently large size to only be carrying 12 pens. I can easily fit 12 pens in a Nock Sinclair and only take up half the space. Maybe if all of your pens are those honking jumbo oversized novelty fountain pens–but even those don’t fit!

I will award points for being unusual, but minus all those points for practicality

The pen loops used here are not intuitive. At first I thought these were just excessively wide leather loops, and this case was only for people who like big, chunky fountain pens. It wasn’t until I saw a YouTube review of the case that I realized there were elastic loops underneath the inflexible leather loops to hold pens in place. But unless the pen you’re putting in comes to a point, you’ll have to use two hands to finagle reaching under the leather loops to hold up the elastic loop and slide the pen in.

It took more time than I feel it ought to putting 12 pens into individual loops

When the case only holds 12 pens, I presume it’s meant to be carried on the go. But this case is too large and cumbersome to properly put pens back into to be one I wanted in my everyday carry. But it might just be me, that’s why I’m giving it away!

You might love it! I might just be crazy!

The rules:

  1. Since I can only afford so much postage, I’m going to limit this giveaway to the U.S. only. Just leave one comment on this post any time between now and May 31st 2018 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time.
  2. One winner will be picked at random from the comments section of this post. Only one comment per person! Comments in excess of one shall be deleted. The comments will be numbered in the order they are received, i.e. the first comment is #1, the second #2, and so on. I will hand-number the entries because that’s still just how I roll. The Random Integer Generator at random.org will be used to pick the number of the winner.
  3. I’ll post the contest winner on June 1st 2018. Winner will have one week to email me. There’s a link to my email at the top of the right sidebar.

Yak Leather Single Pen Sleeve (Brown) at Pen Boutique

Yak Leather Premium Leather 12 Pen Case (Black) at Pen Boutique

(Pen Boutique provided this pen sleeve and pen case at no charge for reviewing purposes — opinions entirely my own)

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Update: Nock Co. Hightower Pen Case Motorcycle Test

8 10 2013
btw adding captions from the phone wordpress app is some horse baloney

I cannot color edit on this new adobe photoshop mobile app worth a diddlycrap

I took my Nock Co. prototype along for a motorcycle trip to West Virginia. Previous motorcycle trips with pens that traveled daily ended poorly (as rugged as a matte black finish seems, it’s just not cut out for the life of badassery and motorcycle travel). As a control, I also carried a retractable Space Pen loose in my shoulder bag…and here are the results: the Space Pen literally rattled itself completely undone…and all the pens in the Hightower case were just as good as they were pre-trip. Round one durability test success. I’ll let y’all know how it does if I get rained on…though I would definitely prefer to not get rained on.





Nock Co. Hightower 3+1 Pen Case Prototype

4 10 2013

If you’ve been living on a deserted island, or hiding yourself from all forms of social media lest the government know how much you REALLY spend on pens (spoiler alert: “about $20” is probably never what I spent on that pen, now put it down and walk away slowly), then it’s possible you missed hearing about/being up-to-the-Kickstarter-launch-minute informed about these Nock Co. pen cases. They’re the brainchild of Brad Dowdy (The Pen Addict) and Jeffrey Bruckwicki (the stitchmaster master tailor), they’re already fully funded and then some, and Brad’s sent me a prototype of the Hightower 3+1 case to try.

In steel/bluejay colors

In steel/bluejay colors

Outside, hm, steel gray, professional, let’s open it up—BAM! BLUE JAY BLUE! A bluesplosion of beautiful blue. The outside is a heavy 1000 denier Cordura nylon with durable water resistant coating, and the liner is smooth pack cloth. I like the billfold structure, though the lack of a zipper makes me mildly nervous (for mostly unfounded reasons; the pens are all secure, maybe a single notebook could fall out if the case were upside down and open, but not when it’s shut…zippers are just so…traditional, and make everything always line up neatly). It’s got a slim, flat profile. It fits in the side pocket of my tactical pants. It fits in the back pocket of my regular pants!!

The bigger your pockets, the better it will fit

The bigger your pockets, the better it will fit

Now, how many pens can I fit in it.

The answer depends on how thick your pens are

The answer depends on how thick your pens are

Technically, there are three pen slots. Comfortably, I can fit two pens in each slot, and using two slender pens I can even get three pens in the far left slot alone. And you can tuck a slim little pen like the Marvy La Petite in the label loop if you really want to. On the notebook side, hardback notebooks are a bit much, but small softcover notebooks were no problem.

No more than about 2 notebooks at a time. More notebooks is pushing it. But all of these were compatible, and this is just what notebooks I had conveniently on hand

No more than about 2 notebooks at a time. More notebooks is pushing it. But all of these were compatible, and this is just what notebooks I had conveniently on hand

This is a quality prototype, and if the prototype is this good, I can’t wait to see how the finished products turn out.

These images specifically courtesy of Nock Co., but I collaged them together!

These images specifically courtesy of Nock Co., but I collaged them together!

There are multiple case styles available thru the Kickstarter, and you have almost an entire month to back the project! After that, you’ll have to wait for the store to open. Get excited! Get on it!!

Nock Co. Handmade USA Pen Cases on Kickstarter





Nomadic PE-08 Easy Classification Pencil Case

5 01 2011

No, I didn't draw this. But I did take the pictures. And buy the stuff. It's comparable, yeah?

I agree with the title, this pencil case is easily classified as FANTASTIC. In my earlier days of pen acquisition (and by earlier I mean a few months ago), I saw one of these pencil cases on sale for about $9, and, thinking that my burgeoning pen collection could use a nice, orderly home, added a beige Nomadic pencil case to my order (beige being the only color available).

Godzilla Hamtaro not included with purchase

Lo, I filled it with many assortments of writing utensils, before finally settling (currently) on keeping a traveling artists’ kit in there

My art supplies collection

I put in only what I needed. What I needed was a Kuretake waterbrush, all five Akashiya SAI autumn color watercolor brush pens and the outline brush pen, a Sailor Ink Bar disposable fountain pen, a Prismacolor Col-Erase light blue and regular blue pencils, the Uni-Ball Color soft blue 0.5mm mechanical pencil, 0.38mm Uni Style Fit Slim in Blue-Black, a Faber-Castell black brush pen, a black 0.5mm Kuru Toga with NanoDia lead, 6 different sizes (005, 01, 02, 03, 05, 08) of Sakura Micron pen, Pentel Jolt 0.5mm pencil, Pilot Color Eno 0.7mm soft blue lead, a Bic stick grip, another Kuru Toga in blue with 0.5mm Pentel Ain Stein blue lead, Uni Jetstream in 1.0mm, PaperMate Tuff Stuff Eraser stick, 0.28mm Uni Style Fit Slim in Brown-Black, UniBall Signo white gel pen, Sharpie pen, Tachikawa comic nib fountain pen, Pentel Pocket Brush pen,  Pentel standard brush pen with medium tip, Paper-Mate Black Pearl eraser, Boxy black eraser, 0.5mm Pentel Ain Stein Blue lead, Pilot Color Eno Soft blue 0.7mm lead, Uni NanoDia 0.5mm HB lead, pencil sharpener, and the watercolor mini palette. That’s 31 writing utensils, 1 stick eraser, 3 lead refills, and the other stuff.

In spite of my desire to carry around more stuff than I would ever need in a single artistic episode, the Nomadic performs well. I have no trouble getting it zipped. The case itself, as you can see from the picture above, bulges somewhat, but shows no signs of wearing out or pulling apart at any of the seams.

DISASTER?! No, not for this pen case.

It’s also performed admirably in the face of disaster. Before having the beige Nomadic be designated for art-supplies only, I would carry all my fountain pens in the front zippered pocket. One day, for reasons only attributable to the malevolent nature of the universe, one of my fountain pens leaked. I responded by calmly freaking out, evacuating all pens from the spacious inner compartment as I became convinced that they would all be covered in gallons of black ink. Such was not the case. In fact, there was no indication anywhere in the inner compartment of a leak having happened on the other side. Once I had everything out of the other pockets, I rinsed the bag out in the sink, noticing that water was not pouring through the other side as I washed the stain. The inner and outer pockets are separated by multiple layers of material; the only material on the bag that isn’t more than one layer is the mesh pockets and accent, and the flap of fabric on either side of the bigger pocket that forms the short sides when the bag is unzipped and gaping open (you can see it in the bottom stain picture, the orange fabric between the two sides of zipper, to the left). If you have any pens you worry might leak, but you still want to carry them around like they aren’t freaks of nature, put them in the front pocket. There is a nice pouch you can slide the pens into, and if they do explode like a firework of ink and fury, you won’t have to worry about your other pens in the main chamber. Nor will you have to worry about washing.

Being so pleased with this pencil case, I bought another.

another

And I filled that one with pens, too.

23 writing utensils, 1 eraser stick, 1 eraser, 2 chapsticks, 1 box of purple fountain pen cartridges, 1 spare blue cartridge, several spare Liquid Sharpie erasers, a pencil sharpener, 5 mini-pen refills, 4gb of memory, and 1 pencil lead refill. Still not all of my pens and pencils.

And I still had more pens, so…

So I sewed all those pens into a dress and wore it around at all times. Just kidding, I bought another Nomadic case.

This pen(cil) case is well-constructed, holds a lot of stuff without taking up a lot of room, and it’s only $14. I like the color scheme (adding a bright light blue would be nice though), and I like the design of the case itself.

The small mesh pockets in the main pocket are good for holding ink or pencil refills, erasers, memory sticks, extra small Moleskine volant notebooks, money, whatever.

The small front pocket is good for eraser blocks, pencil sharpeners, more refills, chapsticks, small pens, more money.

The larger front pocket perfectly fits my waterbrush, watercolor brush pens, and palette, or all my fountain pens, or just whatever pens you like to use most.

Now, to be fair, I don’t own any other pen(cil) cases. I can’t review this bag comparatively, but on its own merits, I think it does very well, especially if you like to carry around a lot of writing instruments at once.

I’ve had no problems with any of my three cases so far, and I’ll probably end up buying the yellow(really it’s orange, but whatever you want to call it, JetPens) case as well.

I don’t read Japanese, so I can’t tell you what the tag on the case says; if there’s any advice or product construction detailed there, we will just have to live without it (or at least without that information coming from me.

It has withstood my abuse very well, is made of durable, water-resistant material, and might be sewn by faries worth every penny you should spend on it.

Nomadic PE-08 Easy Classification Pencil Case at JetPens