(This is a guest review by Brian Draghi. You can find Brian on Twitter @Sketchscape)
I’ve been on a pen case kick recently and have been looking for a flat case design where I could have direct, easy access to a few of my key pens with the ability to store them without taking up too much space. I wanted to be able to quickly locate a particular pen without having to fish around a pouch or container full of my other favorite pens.
The Nomadic PN-04 Snap Button Case is exactly the type of case I was looking for that fits all of my criteria for having flat and easy access storage. The case is sturdy and flexible and flat enough to fit inside a file folder organizer and keeps everything from pens, pads of paper and other items perfectly organized. It’s portable and durable to carry all of your important documents and writing instruments. The case itself is made from a nice durable nylon fabric that has an appealing graph pattern on the outside. You would probably need something really sharp to damage this case since the fabric is rather strong. There is an appealing color contrast that helps to see all of your items clearly. I picked up the Khaki Green case which opens up to a light tan interior with pockets on both sides. The two zipper pockets on the front and side open up to nice bright orange. The color contrast helps to really highlight the pens to quickly see and find the exact pen you need. That, and I happen to just be a sucker for anything orange.
If you have an aversion to velcro, then this case is right in your wheelhouse since it has none. The Nomadic case contains two zipper compartments; one in the front and another on the side. The front pocket is a good size for smaller items such as pen refills and extra eraser tips and lead. The back pocket is large enough to hold a pad of paper such as my favorite Doane Paper Utility Notebook 3.5 x 5.5 which fits perfect with enough room to zip up the pocket. The case is closed with two button snaps on each end of the case without any noisy velcro to pull off. When the case is opened, there are pockets on both sides that can be used for storing pens on each side by clipping unto the pocket. There is enough room on both sides of the pockets to fit about six to seven pens of standard size. The problem with the pockets is the fact that you are required to have a pen that has a clip to attach to the pockets. You can store a pen without a clip in one of the pockets but it might be rather difficult to find the pen you are looking for buried in the pocket. There is enough room in the front zipper pocket of the case to fit one or two smaller pens without clips. This way you can keep a few of these pens without clips secured in the zipper pocket without having to dig inside the case.
While there are many features that highlight this case, there are a few small drawbacks as well. There are a limited amount of pens you can store before the case can become too bulky. Ideally, it’s best to only use one side of the case to store pens. Placing pens on both sides would not only cause the case to be too bulky but would cause the pens to rub against one another when the case is closed. For the collectors out there, this might be a big issue for any damage that might occur with the pens depending upon what kind of pens you're storing here.
Another issue is how the button snaps expose the case by not totally enclosing it. There is a little bit of a gap around the case between the buttons when the case is closed. You could easily pop open the case if something gets caught in between the buttons depending upon how the case will be carried and travelled with. The strong nylon fabric is good for durability on the outside but I would have preferred a softer fabric for extra protection for each pen stored on the inside of the case. You can tell right away that this is a Japanese based case since it opens from left to right instead of the right to left. Nearly every time I pick up the case, I open it up the wrong way which is upside down. Thankfully my pens are clipped unto the pockets or they would just fall out. This is a really minor problem that can be worked around after several uses or you can just get into the habit of selecting a pen upside down.
Minor issues aside, this is a great portable case for traveling without taking up too much space. This is perfect for carrying a few key pens without the need to carry a bulkier case. Its flat profile is ideal for file folders and portfolio storage. The Nomadic PN-04 snap button pencil case is recommend for anyone that travels and would like to carry a few select pens and paper for quick access and durable storage.