Franklin-Christoph Penvelope Six Leather Pen Case Review

The San Francisco Pen Show is coming up Friday the 22nd, the same day that I have to fly to Seattle. Luckily for me the SF Pen Show is taking place at the SFO (airport) Sofitel.

I need to bring three pens for tuning AND I need to have room for purchases AND I need to have a highly protective case for air travel …so what case do I bring?  A big pen wrap?  Both of my 3 pen cases (the Nock Co. Lookout and the Pelikan)?

I realized that each case is flawed for my purposes…the pen wrap and the Lookout case are soft don’t provide quite enough protection for air travel, the Pelikan case protects well but if I end up buying big pens they wont all fit.

Franklin-Christoph Penvelope Six Leather Pen Case

While surfing around on the Fountain Pen Network I came across the “Penvelope” by Franklin-Christoph.  Penvelopes come in three sizes: 2 pen, 6 pen and 13 pen.  I opted for the 6 pen case as this is the most practical for use with a backpack.  The 13 pen model is tempting but more appropriate for a briefcase than a backpack.

The Penvelope has 6 very spacious slots which can be filled with your fattest pens (up to .75″ wide and 7″ long).  You could comfortably fill all 6 slots with Montblanc 149s and none of the pens would touch each other.

Franklin-Christoph Penvelope Six Leather Pen Case
Left to Right: Sailor Clear Candy, OMAS Paragon, Montblanc 149, Montblanc 136, Recife, Conway Stewart 58.

The slots extend almost to the bottom of the case and approximately measure 5″ long in total.  The slots are in from the hard leather edges about .75″ so your pens will be well protected on the sides.

Because the slots are so spacious I recommend clipping your pens (especially the smaller ones) so that they don’t move around if the case were accidentally turned over.

The interior is lined with a burgundy color cloth that Franklin-Christoph claims is safe for all pens.  The case closes securely with a magnetic snap.

Franklin-Christoph Penvelope Six Leather Pen Case

The overall dimensions of the case Penvelope are 6″ wide  x  7″ tall  x 1.25″ deep.  When the Penvelope is filled you it will get a bit fatter.

When purchasing a Penvelope you get three choices of leather: boot leather, Napa leather, and “croc print” leather (yuck!).  You can chose black or brown leather (except for the Napa which only comes in black).  I opted for the soon to be released brown boot leather because it is thicker and will develop a patina with use.

Note the nicely embossed Franklin-Christoph logo.
Note the nicely embossed Franklin-Christoph logo.

The quality seems decent.  It is machine stitched with a thick thread and the stitching is mostly straight.  The outer part of the case is made of three pieces of leather and they aren’t combined in the cleanest fashion but for a large $70 leather case these sorts of things are to be expected.

Franklin-Christoph Penvelope Six Leather Pen Case
You can fit more than just pens in this case. The double gusset allows you to fit a small notebook (I can fit 3 Field Notes in and still snap the case).

Overall, the Penvelope is an excellent 6 pen case that will protect your pens well.  I am not sure it will replace my Nock Co. Lookout as my regular every day carry case but it is definitely my new go-to travel case.

Here is a great review of the Penvelope 6:

(I have no affiliation with the site linked below)

PENS PAPER INKS…WHATEVER! – Franklin Christoph Penvelope 6 

 

Nock Co. Chimneytop Pen Case Review

Small mandarin Chimneytop
Small mandarin Chimneytop
Medium midnight Chimneytop
Medium midnight Chimneytop

The Chimneytop is a simple zippered pouch for pens and accessories.  They are sold as a set of two, you get one small size and one medium size.  They are made out of a 1000D textured nylon that is very much like Cordura.  The small size measures about  7″ long and the medium measures about 7.5″ long.  I found both of them to be a tight squeeze from my freshly sharpened wooden pencils.  This isn’t a big deal as soft cases are not ideal for carrying wooden pencils but I thought it was worth pointing out.

Nock Co. Chimneytop Pen Case

Bottom of the medium Chimneytop.
Bottom of the medium Chimneytop.

Per the Nock Co. website the small Chimneytop has a capacity of 6 pens and the medium has a 12 pen capacity.  I was able to almost double these figures but obviously the size of the pens you carry is an important factor.

Here is the small mandarin Chimneytop with 11 pens:

Small Chimneytop with 11 pens.
Small Chimneytop with 11 pens.

Nock Co. Chimneytop Pen Case

Nock Co. Chimneytop Pen Case
Not a bad stash for such a small case.

Here is the medium midnight Chimneytop with 21 pens:

Medium Chimneytop with 22 pens.
Medium Chimneytop with 21 pens.

Nock Co. Chimneytop Pen Case

Nock Co. Chimneytop Pen Case

I found that I preferred the smaller size.  It’s proportions are a bit more attractive to me and the thick 1000D fabric gives the small Chimneytop more structure than the medium which was more blob like.  The set is sold for $12 and for an American-made product constructed out of hardwearing materials the price is a steal.

Nock Co. Chimneytop Pen Case

 

Here is a great review of the Nock Co. Chimneytop pen case:

(I have no affiliation to the site linked below)

patrickrhone – A Brief Review — The Chimneytop Pop-Up Zip Case by Nock Co.

 

Nock Co The Lookout Pen Case Review

Nock Co Lookout

I finally got my hands on some Nock Co cases and while I haven’t had a chance to use all of them yet I have been carrying around the Lookout case the last few days.

The Lookout is a 3 pen case made out of a soft but heavy duty nylon exterior and a smooth pack cloth interior.  I choose the steel exterior and the blue jay interior.  The color combo looks great; I especially love the blue stitching on the grey exterior.

Left to right: Montblanc 149, Nakaya Naka-ai Negoro, Aurora Optima
Left to right: Montblanc 149, Nakaya Naka-ai Negoro, Aurora Optima

The exterior nylon feels somewhat similar to a Cordura nylon, that is to say it is a textured nylon which gives it a more organic and less technical feel.  The interior packcloth actually reminds me of  the nylon material on Nakaya’s Kimono cases.

When I backed the Nock Co Kickstarter I was not certain that I would want to use the cases with some of my more expensive pens.  After handling the cases I believe them to be pretty safe.  Being a soft case the Lookout may not provide as much external protection as the Pelikan 3 slot pen case, which has a more rigid structure; that said, the Lookout separates the pens better so I am much less worried about my pens coming in contact with each other.

Nock Co Lookout

Unlike the Pelikan case, the Lookout can hold three large pens comfortably.  I was able to fit my Nakaya Naka-ai, Montblanc 149 and OMAS Paragon into the lookout without problem.

So how is the build quality?  The Lookout, like all Nock Co cases, are made by hand in Georgia, USA.  The stitching is tight; I measured a consistent 9 stitches per inch which means the seams should be very strong.  I noticed that the band that holds the flap isn’t perfectly aligned; the right side seems to be a bit lower. The stitching while, tight is not perfectly straight in some areas but being a handmade item there is always going to be a bit of variation and that’s part of the charm.

Nock Co Lookout Case

I am not certain what the price will be when the Lookout becomes available for sale on the Nock Co website but in the $15-$25 range, this pen case is a great buy.

Here are some great reviews of the Lookout:

(I have no affiliation with the sites linked below)

Alt. Haven – Review: Nock Co – The Lookout

Ed Jelley – NOCK CO. – “THE LOOKOUT” PEN CASE KICKSTARTER LAUNCH

The Well-Appointed Desk – Review: Nock Co Lookout 3-Pen Holster

 

Pelikan Fine Leather Black Triple Pen Pouch Review

Pelikan 3 Pen Pouch

Up until now I have been carrying my larger and more expensive pens in single pen pouches.  I would carry two to three pouches at a time which was cumbersome; I finally broke down and bought a Pelikan 3 pen pouch.  I have been using a Pelikan Fine Leather Black Triple Pen Pouch every day for about a month now and I quite like it.  I spent a good amount of time looking for a quality case that really protects pens.  I had originally wanted a Montblanc pen pouch but after looking at it, I knew that it wasn’t right.  The main issue I found with the Montblanc case (apart from the $180 price tag) was the fact that the dividers stopped about halfway down the case; this in my opinion is a design flaw that would allow the bottom of the pens to knock into each other.  So after doing a bit more research I found that the Pelikan case would accommodate larger pens and had dividers that run the length of the case.

Pelikan 3 Pen Pouch

The Pelikan pouch is made out of a soft leather (softer than the Montblanc case) and comes in black with a green strap or black with a black strap.  Each case has the Pelikan logo embossed on the strap.  The leather is of good quality, however, it is not as nice as the leather Montblanc uses but for $35 the Pelikan case is of excellent quality.  I don’t know where the case is made but I cannot find any flaws in its construction; every thing is cleanly cut and sewn.  It’s clear that this case was carefully made.  The interior of the flap is leather and the inside of the case seems to be some sort of felt sort of felt.

Pelikan 3 Pen Pouch

Top to bottom: OMAS Ogiva, Montblanc 149, Aurora Optima
Top to bottom: OMAS Ogiva, Montblanc 149, Aurora Optima

Compared to the Montblanc case pens do fit a bit more snugly.  I can easily fit my Montblanc 149, 146, and Aurora Optima into the case but it is a tight fit.  If you want to fit three 149s the Pelikan case is not for you.  Also the top of the pens that the flap covers are not protected much on the side.  I carry my case in a backpack or briefcase without issue.

Pelikan 3 Pen Pouch

When the case has more normal sized pens in it the flap comes down further.
When the case has more normal sized pens in it the flap comes down further.

Overall I am really satisfied with this case and highly recommend it.