It takes a lot for me to get excited about a fountain pen, but the Kaweco Sport Al has gotten me all riled up. I had read off and on about this fountain pen for a while now - even in the New York Times - but it took a lot of looking at all the models available at JetPens before I was convinced enough to bring one home. If you couldn't tell by now, I'm pretty picky about my pens, and fountain pens aren't normally at the top of my list.
I am also a very visual person when it comes to my pens, and one of the things I do not care for are gold accents. Its just not my thing. So in the Kaweco line, that eliminated the Kaweco Sport Chess and the Kaweco Sport Classic and their gold nibs. I was pretty convinced the Kaweco Sport Ice was going to be the winner with its silver nib and cool translucent barrel (not to mention the lowest price point), but I wanted the Aubergine Purple ink cartridges, and I was worried about how it looked in the orange or blue barrels that I preferred.
That left the Kaweco Sport AC Carbon and the Kaweco Sport Al. The carbon model is over $100 , and I didn't want to go that high (even though with JetPens as an advertiser on The Pen Addict I do get some pricing benefits), so the Sport Al won out almost by default. And I couldn't be happier.
(Sidebar: What I covered above in three paragraphs literally took me several hours over several days to sort out. I must have changed my mind and my shopping cart a dozen times. Yes, I have issues.)
I don't have a lot of fountain pen experience - the Lamy Safari line is about as deep as I have been, but not only is this the best fountain pen that I have used, it is one of the nicest pens I have used period. The way this pen is designed and performs is top notch all the way. The full aluminum body is just 4.1 inches capped, but extends to 5.3 inches with the cap posted. The way the cap screws on makes this pen highly portable and easy to carry in a pocket or a purse and take up very little space. I have carried around in my front jeans pocket for several days at work.
From a writing perspective, the nib transfers the ink to the page very smoothly. I had zero issues at all popping the Aubergine Purple cartridge right in and writing away. No scribble prep at all. The fine nib seems pretty true from my limited experience with fountain pens, and gives an overall excellent writing experience.
The highest compliment I can pay this pen is that it reminds me of the Zebra Sharbo X, which is one of my favorite all-time pens. Obviously they are two completely different types of pen, but the overall design, feel, build quality, utility, and general coolness makes the comparison apt. Put it this way - I have never taken a fountain pen to work before I had the Kaweco Sport Al.
Click here for the XL review.