Kaweco Leather Traveler's Case
Size: 5.75" x 4.5"
Capacity: 6 pens + a few accessories
Material: Tan leather (outside) & tan suede leather (inside)
Most of you that have followed me probably know that I have a loyalty to Nock Co. and their awesome pen cases. It would really take quite a bit for another case to pull me away from those, unless it fit a pretty specific use-case that Nock doesn't cover. Still, I was eager to give this Kaweco case a try, because I love the products that Kaweco produces. Unfortunately, this case isn't going to be replacing anything in my rotation any time soon. Let's talk specifics...
The Kaweco Leather Traveler's Case is nice and portable in it's 5.75" x 4.5" stature, and features a slightly toothy camel-colored outer leather cover. It feels like there is sturdy cardboard or maybe even some sturdy plastic inner liner for stability. On the inside it features a nice suede tan leather inner liner, as well as a protective flap of the same material and a net holder for accessories. You'll only be able to fit small things in the net like ink cartridge boxes, converters, etc. Not a ton of room there, but those are the typical things you'd probably be carrying in there anyways.
This case isn't a terrible case at all. On the contrary, it's fairly well built, and protects pens quite nicely. I did, however, find the pen slots to be fairly narrow and tight, which made it a little bit frustrating to use. There's something to be said for a balance between being snug enough to hold the pens securely, and being just loose enough to be able to move them in and out without much fuss; this case kinda fails in that way. I used this case for about 2 months, and the elastic of the pen slots loosened only ever-so-slightly - which isn't necessarily a bad thing. If your pens fit perfectly, you really don't want them to loosen up, but I found it really difficult to get them in and out. The slots are also pretty close together so once you get your pens in there, they're practically touching. I can't help but think they intended this to be used with their line of pens only, which as you know are quite a bit smaller than most - Liliputs, Sports, etc. - even though the Sport even struggles to fit in there.
Another thing that bugged me a bit about the case was the protective flap on the inside. It wasn't the flap itself, I actually find that to be a nice addition for extra protection. The issue is that when the flap was sewn into to case, it was sewn just a tad off center. So even when the case is empty, the flap lays off to the left slightly. It may just be my OCD, but it does bug me. With pens in the case, it can exaggerate the issue, and it can sometimes put the off-center flap in the way of the zipper.
Speaking of the zipper, the case does have a very nice leather pull on the zipper, making it easy to find when you're ready to zip/unzip the case. I did find the zipper to be fairly stiff. An (almost) square case like this doesn't lend to a very responsive or smooth zipper, because it tends to stop or "hang" at the corners; but I do think this one is especially stiff when compared to something like a YKK zipper that I've seen on other products. This one doesn't have any markings on it, so unfortunately I don't what brand it is.
I hated giving this case a somewhat negative review, because when I first saw it I thought it was beautiful and I couldn't wait to try it out. In use, it just didn't push my buttons like I thought it would. The case wasn't a failure on the whole - it was just a number of small issues that bothered me enough that I just can't use this in my daily carry. Along those lines, we should talk about the price. This case retails for between $107 to $118 depending on where you purchase it. I honestly do not believe for a second that this case is worth that kind of money. As a rule, leather cases are quite a bit more expensive than most, but this case only holds 6 pens and has a couple fit and finish issues - I just don't see the value there. If you like leather, you can pick up an Aston 10 pen case for $64 and an Aston 20 pen case for $90 from Goulet. If you prefer no leather and some added color, go for a Nock Co. case - you can get the Lookout 3 pen case for $25, the Brasstown 6 pen case (plus extra storage) for $40, and others - all made in the US. Both the Nock and Aston cases have more comfortably sized pen slots and are quite a bit less expensive. I would really only recommend the Kaweco case if you love the look of it, and have some money to burn.
(Kaweco has provided this product at a discounted cost to The Desk for the purpose of review. My opinions are honest and without bias - visit the About Me page for more details).
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