Posts filed under Fisher Space Pen

Fisher Space Pen Backpacker Pen Review


(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

The Fisher Space Pen is a pen that most (if not all) pen enthusiasts are familiar with, if not most people in general. It's a common premium pen that can be found at some big-box retailers in the US. Outside of the pen, the refill is also just as famous and easy to swap into pens that take the standard Parker-size refill.

Because of that recognition, it's exciting when the company releases new products. In this case, it's the Backpacker Key Ring Pen, or the Backpacker for short. The Backpacker is a pocket-size pen that features a capped design and contoured writing grip inside of a colorful, durable metal package. It's similar in size to the ubiquitous Bullet pen, but a bit longer and wider. The main differentiating feature of the Backpacker is the inclusion of a keyring on the top of the cap. Unlike the Bullet, which has the option of a pocket clip, the Backpacker can be attached to things and uncapped from those things for jotting down quick notes.


The Backpacker feels a bit cheaper in general compared to the sleek brass body of the Bullet, but it also costs less. The ends of the pen are plastic and feature an embossed Fisher logo, which is hard to make out due to the small size. The body and cap are mostly metal, but the grip section is also plastic. The grip has a nice contour that makes writing more comfortable.

The Backpacker definitely feels like a sub-$20 pen, but it's still well-made. Capping the pen is secure and take a good bit of force to uncap, which means you don't have to worry about the pen coming loose and falling out of the cap if it's attached to the outside of a bag. On the other hand, when posted the cap to the rear of the pen, I've been less than impressed with the tolerance of this connection. It takes a great deal of force to fully seat the cap onto the rear of the pen, and an equal amount of force to remove it. It's a chore, and I don't enjoy that process. For all I know, this issue is isolated to the review unit I've been using, but it's worth pointing out.


Writing with the pen is fairly comfortable when posted, and it's also usable without the cap posted. It's about the length of a Kaweco Sport body when unposted. I certainly wouldn't be comfortable after writing several paragraphs, but it's perfectly suitable for a quick note. The Fisher refill behaves as expected, but you can also easily swap it out for another color or size. The pen ships with a black medium refill.


Overall, this is a great addition to the Fisher Space Pen lineup. It's different enough, both visually and functionally, from the Bullet to justify its existence. In practice, I've really found the addition of a keyring helpful. I've put it on my main keyring, secured it to the inside of bags with the assistance of a small carabiner, and also attached it in my Tom Bihn Daylight bag using the included key strap. It's an extremely useful pen, and the reliable, durable nature of the refill solidify the Backpacker as an excellent portable, stow-able pen that you can use anywhere.

The Fisher Backpacker is available in Silver, Red, Blue, Orange, and Black, and costs about $18.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

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Posted on August 30, 2017 and filed under Fisher Space Pen, Ballpoint, Pen Reviews.

What is the Best Pen for the Field Notes Expedition Edition?

Field Notes Expedition Edition

The Expedition Edition is the latest release in the Field Notes Colors line and marks just the second time I've seen fit to review a Field Notes Memo Book since my original review over four years ago. I've bought the majority of the Colors releases in between, but there are only so many ink tests you can do. Since the Expedition Edition was a break from tradition I felt it deserved a review of its own, as did my Twitter followers.

What makes the Expedition Edition different from all prior releases is the use of Yupo Synthetic Paper which is known for its waterproof and tear proof properties. I have reviewed similar products in the past from Rite in the Rain and Apica so I was eager to see how the Field Notes compared.

I understood prior to ordering the Expedition Edition that the paper would be a challenge for most inks. The paper is waterproof, and most inks are water based. This means that fountain pen ink, gel ink, and rollerball ink have almost no shot at working on this paper. While I knew what to expect, I found it odd that Field Notes didn't really make this clear when they released the product. The assumption was only a certain type of ink will work, but they failed to set those expectations up front. The product page has now been updated with this:

Note: Synthetic paper is nonporous and doesn’t absorb ink like our conventional papers. Ballpoint pens and soft pencils work best. The ‘belly band’ that wraps the 3-Pack is made from the same Yupo Synthetic Paper, so test your pens on the inside of the belly band, then try to tear it!

Now that we are all on the same page, let's check some ink and lead out.

Field Notes Expedition Edition

I tested out the Fisher Space Pen first, mainly because Field Notes released their own branded Space Pen in conjunction with the Expedition Edition. That gave me a pretty good idea that they felt this was the best option for the Yupo paper, and if you are traveling to the South Pole, it likely is. I found it was a decent option, but not the best pen for us normal folks. In the image above I let the top paragraph dry for five minutes before running my finger down the middle. There was a decent amount of smearing to be found.

Field Notes Expedition Edition

Pencils should work very well on this paper, and for the most part they did. As you can imagine, softer leads smudged more than harder leads, and the erasability was decent with a good eraser.

Field Notes Expedition Edition

Where things fall apart is with the water-based inks. Fountain pen ink was bad, liquid ink was worse, and gel ink was a complete train wreck. This is not a knock on the product at all - this paper is not designed to accept this type of ink. Again, this is the expectation and I wanted to show what would happen if you attempted to use other inks.

Field Notes Expedition Edition

If you look closer at the writing samples you will see two pens that stood out - the Uni-ball Jetstream and the Bic Clic. Hybrid ballpoint ink and standard ballpoint ink work great, and trump even the Fisher Space Pen in the smear test. If you want to know what the best pen is for the Expedition Edition I would have to go with the Jetstream.

There are more pens to test - I just realized I forgot to test a permanent marker like the Sharpie - so I will update in the comments section. Feel free to make requests and I will do my best to accommodate. But realize that if you are hoping for something besides ballpoint or pencil to be usable in the Expedition Edition you're gonna have a bad time.

My friends at Pencil Revolution and Surfbits both posted their thoughts on the Expedition Edition so be sure to check them out.

Posted on December 20, 2012 and filed under Field Notes, Fisher Space Pen, Notebook Reviews.

Holiday 2011 Favorites

I get asked for pen, pencil, and paper recommendations all of the time so I wanted to put together a list that might help you out this holiday season. All of the products listed below are items I own and use frequently, so I can give them my highest personal recommendation.

If you are looking for something specific that is not covered in this list feel free to leave a comment below. Happy Holidays!


Kaweco AL Sport

This fountain pen provides one of the most pleasant writing experiences in recent memory. I didn’t know what to expect when I first used it, but I haven’t stopped being fascinated by it yet. The aluminum body construction it top notch, and the fine nib is as smooth as it gets. (review)


Blackwing 602

Many of us were not able to know and love the original Blackwing 602 pencil. The brand was brought back to life over the past year and has turned me into a woodcase pencil fan. Even the most hardcore pen geek will appreciate these. (review)


Doane Paper Idea Journal

Paper is a big deal to me and Doane Paper is far and away my favorite. My all-day, every-day notebook of choice is the Idea Journal. It has a permanent home on my work desk and packs up easily in my backpack for when I want to work outside of the house. The quality is unparalleled.


Pilot Hi-Tec-C 10 Color Set

Is this the best gel ink pen on the market? Your won’t get much of an argument from me. The lines are clean and sharp, and the ink colors are vibrant. This has been my favorite every day writing pen for years and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. (review)


Fisher Space Pen

The original every day carry pen. It uses a pressurized ink refill which allows you to write on wet or dirty surfaces, hot or cold temperatures, and even upside down. This is the pen you want to have on you when you leave the house.

Posted on December 5, 2011 and filed under Blackwing 602, Doane Paper, Fisher Space Pen, Hi-Tec-C, Kaweco, Pilot.