Even though pen pouches in various formats are reviewed a few times in this blog, actual fountain pen case/storage is a rare sight. Besides the one I have cobbled together several years back, most of my fountain pens still live in their original packaging and are collectively stored in a plastic tub. Thanks to staff at Pen Boutique, I received a black 12-pen leather case by Yak Leather, as well as a brown mini pen sleeve by the same company for review.
The first sense that struck me when I opened the box was the leather smell, but not overwhelming. The size of the pen case reminded me of a portable CD case (remember those?) that measures 8 x 7 x 1.5 inch (20.32 x 17.78 x 3.81 cm) and weighs 10.1 oz (286g), which makes the case portable and fit easily in most messenger bags or backpacks. The pebbled leather exterior can withstand more “roughing” than smooth leather and without worrying about leaving behind fingerprints scuff marks. The zipper closure makes easy access to one’s treasured possessions and the zippers feel sturdy that ensure that the pens will stay enclosed, as well as the longevity of the case. All the attributes that have been mentioned so far make this case travel friendly.
The pen case opens like a book, with 6 pen loops on each side, lined with soft velvet protecting pens against scratches. The velvet, unfortunately, attracts dust and lint easily so to keep it pristine could be a challenge. The distance between each pen slot is far enough that pens will not touch each other. Here comes the puzzling part. Even though one may think the leather loop as the holding mechanism, but it is actually the elastic underneath the leather loops that holds the pen in place. At first I thought that pen clip can be attached to the leather loop, but the leather bands are awkwardly placed that if I have done so, the pen would be pushed all the way toward the spine of the case.
Despite the confusion, the elastic accommodates pens of all sizes, from a chubby rOtring Initial to a petit Kaweco Liliput. To prevent each side from touching, a velvet pad is in the center that can be repositioned with the Velcro strip located on the spine of the pen case. Although this pad is useful, design wise it seems to be haphazardly placed at the last minute.
Of course, we do not carry our entire collection all the time; that is when pen sleeve comes in handy. The pen sleeve is truly mini. It measures 4.5 inch (11.43 cm) and 1.5 inch (3.81 cm) and can fit a Kaweco Liliput and IceSport. Judging by the size, it can fit a Fisher Space Backpacker Space pen as well.
Similar to the large pen case, the mini pen sleeve is made with smooth leather with matching color stitches. The interior is unlined, with the backside of the leather exposed. It is soft to touch and will not abrade the pen. Amazingly for the one week I have this sleeve in my bag, Liliput never rolled out once. The sleeve kept it nice and snug.
Besides some interior design flaws, this case is sturdy and even a bit plushy to touch. Yak Leather Pen case may not be as fancy as other competitors, but it is ideal for anyone who is looking for a basic functional and portable leather pen case to protect beloved fountain pens.
I have received both items for reviewing purpose from Pen Boutique, a Maryland-based stationery store. Besides being able to keep the samples for personal use, I receive no additional compensation for writing this review.