Most “fancy” pen cases are leather. I get that. Leather is durable, attractive, and has a premium reputation. But for whatever reason, some of us want an alternative: something made of non-leather material that still protects our precious pens and that looks great, too. There are plenty of fabric cases out there, but few of them pass muster. The bare minimum for me is that each pen must have its own distinct, full-length slot.
Obviously, there are the wonderful cases from Nock (see my previous reviews for details). I’ve been deliriously happy with my several Nocks and use them every day. But I still keep an eye out for other options. Like this one.
The ever-innovative Franklin-Christoph offers a number of pen cases, including this model, the Penvelope 6 — which is available in several fabric finishes.
I ordered one in “Suit Grey” a few months back, for $60. Here it is.
The basic concept ticks all my boxes:
Holds several pens. Six individual slots, plus extra spaces to squeeze more in. This is not a “chuck the pens in” traditional pencil case.
Work-friendly design. Where some of the Nock colours can come across as casual, this is definitely suitable for the boardroom. And there’s no noisy velcro like some of the Rickshaw designs to distract from a meeting.
Pen-safe design. There are no zips, buckles, badges or anything that would scratch or rub the pens.
Easy access. Unlike tied-up pen rolls, all it takes to get to a pen is to flip the lid up.
As you’d expect from Franklin-Christoph (and for the price of 60 bucks) it’s very well made, protective, and looks great.
Even my largest and longest pens — like the Pelikan M1000 or Lamy Dialog — fit in without any problems.
There are a couple of things you should be aware of, though.
First, the slots are really large, long and stiff (TWSS). Put a slim pen in and it’ll rattle around.
Put a short pen in and it’ll get lost at the bottom: you’ll either have to tip it out or push it up from below. You really have to clip small pens to the slot (which is a bummer if you like clipless pens).
Second, this is a big case. It’s as wide as a Nock Sinclair is long, and it’s square.
More importantly, it’s thick, with pronounced edges. Where I never have a problem slipping the fully-loaded Sinclair into my slim laptop bag — or even a coat pocket — the Penvelope takes much more careful bag-packing. I was surprised what a difference there was.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the Penvelope is not dust sealed. Probably not an issue on the commute for most people, but there you go.
These few issues haven’t stopped me making regular use of the Penvelope. It’s handsome, protective and practical.
Like most Franklin-Christoph products, the Penvelope is only available direct from the US. So watch out for customs charges!