Truth be told, I do not have a dedicated fountain pen carrying case.  The one I have been using is a leather pen pouch that I have since I was in third grade.  Perhaps this pen pouch has been formative in my pen case experience, I have wanted to look for something similar but with a bit more protection for my everyday carry.  After using Nomad Easy Classification Pencil Case and roll pen case by Saki Collection for about 6 months each, the thought of “maybe there is a more suitable product” continuously surfaces.  Alas, the quest of searching for a pen case continues.

While perusing on Galen Leather’s site, I was curious on whether the shop carries pen cases.  While it has designated slotted pen cases, my eyes were drawn to the leather tool roll.  I have tendency to carry more than two fountain pens with me to work so slotted pen cases may not suit my habit.  The leather tool, however, could accommodate my needs of carrying multiple fountain pens, a mechanical pencil, an eraser, a ruler, and a lead case. When the leather tool roll arrived, I was nicely surprised as the tool turned out more stunning in person.

Here are some specification on the leather toll roll:

  • Color:  chestnut brown
  • Material:  vegetable tanned leather
  • Measurement:  13.4 inch x 11.9 inch (34.2cm  x 30.4 cm)
  • Softness level:  medium stiffness
  • Unlined interior
  • Price:  $89-95 USD (with or without personalization)

I am usually not a big fan of the color brown, but the warmth and richness of the hue are mesmerizing.  The leather is quite sturdy, in medium stiffness, but not buttery smooth that makes the roll ideal for everyday carry because the last thing I want to worry about is to safeguard the soft leather from being scratched up in my chaotic messenger bag.  when

As it is, the exterior leather feels like a well-seasoned Midori Traveler’s Notebook (TN), a bit glossy to touch, but you can still feel the grain.  With use and time, I am sure the leather will age well, similar to TN.  The pen roll has an unlined (or rough out) interior.  One usual concern for unlined leather is shedding, but the interior looks properly finished and has a suede feel to it.  Of course, it is still leather so any staining will stay.

 

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Fully extended roll

Quality aside, what usually attracts buyers is the aesthetics.  This pen roll has that finesse as well.  One element that catches my attention first is the cream-colored stitches that offers good contrast to warm brown hue.  The stitching also gives that rugged feeling to the pen roll.  Perhaps something that Indiana Jones would carry with him 🙂

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Backside of the roll
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Cream colored stitches give the roll a rustic feeling

Initially, I was worried that that pens will take their turn rolling out of the case, as there is no obvious build-in anchors in the roll besides the pen clip on each pen.  Even for fountain pens without flips, such as Kaweco Liliput, the fit is quite snug (or at least I have not encountered any missing pen cases).   After several days of carrying, all pens stay put without obvious signs of shifting.  The same observation stays true the roll after three months of usage:  each pen rests in its nest without flying out, despite the possible tumbling in my messenger bag.    Because the leather softness level is medium, when the roll is entirely up it provides good insulation to pens, as I have not noticed obvious cosmetic damages on various pens I have carried.

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I finally can use clips on most fountain pen caps!

The pen roll is suitable for other writing utensils  as well.  As seen below, the roll is tall enough to accommodate most colored pencils.  I roll up the case and give it a good shake, all pencils stay put even without any clip.

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Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer watercolor pencils and Caran d’Ache Supracolor watercolor pencils are modeled here

The closure of the pen roll, expectedly, is a leather string in a slightly darker brown that measures approximately 62 inches (152.4cm).  At the beginning, I would fold up the pen roll from one end to the other, and secure the fold by winding the leather string until it runs out and tuck in the end.  In this method, it will take me a good minute to unroll the pen case.  What I do nowadays instead is to fold both sides of the pen case toward the center, then fold the case in half.  Meanwhile, I will fold the string in half and wind up the doubled leather string to secure the roll.  This setting is equally secured but take a lot less time to undo.  I speculate the length of string is to accommodate how big/thick the pen roll could be, in case every pocket is filled, and to add more security when tying.  However, it can be quite long if only few things are stored in the roll.

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All rolled up!

The level of care and attention to detail extends to the pen roll’s outer packaging.  The pen roll arrived in a craft colored sturdy box, printed with steampunk-inspired logo.

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Outer packaging in steampunk motif

Each item arrives with its “birth certificate” card with care instruction and leather selection, a short biography of Galen leather along with an evil eye charm, and the good you have ordered.  Visually speaking, the packaging implies that the good should be used and loved, and not to be placed on the pedestal.  Indeed, similar to TN, I would carry this pen roll to places I go so pieces of memory will attach to it, in ways of scuffs and wears.

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The good

Here is the pros and cons of this pen roll:

Pros

  • Medium stiffness leather that provides structure and protection to the roll and is nice to touch
  • Made with durable material that can lasts a long time
  • Large capacity– can carry up to 10 pens (varied by size)
  • Price:  for the material used and the size, it is reasonable

Cons

  • The size can be prohibitive as an everyday carry; it may be too big for some bags/purses
  • When fully loaded, the pen case can be heavy
  • The string is on the longer side, but can be remedied by doubling up the string prior to tying

If you are like me who love to carry multiple fountain pens with you everywhere you go, this would be a good pen roll.  It may not be dainty or elegant, but it is definitely a workhorse that protects the endeared pens.  It is interesting that whenever I open the pen roll, my coworkers joke that it looks like a surgeon’s kit.  Gathered from their reactions, it is one handsome roll.  🙂

Galen Leather’s Amazon storefront

This tool roll is graciously provided by Galen Leather free of charge.  All opinions expressed here are entirely my own.  Besides being able to keep the product, I receive no additional compensation from Galen Leather.  Thank you, Zeynep, for reaching out!  To read more about Galen Leather, see here.

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6 thoughts on “Galen Leather Tool Roll

    1. It is rather huge! Couple of my coworkers thought I carry around a surgeon’s kit. It depends on how many pens you will realistically want to lug around. Couple days ago, I see Galen Leather has a zipped up pen case. Perhaps that is more suitable to your purpose?

      Liked by 1 person

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