Kokuyo has another new model for their lineup of innovative pen cases: The Shellbro, a horizontal zipper case that opens like a clamshell. It has a high capacity and interior mesh pocket, but I don't think it lives up to the same design standard as some of the other Kokuyo cases available.
To be fair, this is a perfectly decent case. It does the holding pens thing just fine. But we have a million options for decent pen cases, so when I ask myself "why would I pick this one?" The answer is, I probably wouldn't. There isn't anything about it that stands out, either in terms of innovation or functionality. Some of Kokuyo's other cases push design boundaries and explore some new pen case frontiers (sometimes even too far, in my opinion), but this case doesn't have that same excitement.
The case is made of lightweight polyester canvas that comes in both muted neutrals and bright colors. There's either a contrasting or matching zipper that opens from one back corner to the other. The top opens and stands upright fairly well as long as there isn't something too heavy in the interior mesh pocket. When open, it's a lovely trough of pens with a mesh pocket above. The layout and capacity does mean that you'll have to dig to get to pens on the bottom--not everything in the case is visible. The case holds a LOT of pens, so the ones on the bottom will be well buried.
A downside to the construction is that the mesh pocket doesn't really contain items that well, so they can easily slip out as the case is carried around, and then those items swim around in the pool of pens. A large or heavy item, like a roll of washi, may weigh the pocket down too much so that the lid of the case doesn't stay open on its own.
The zipper does have a double tab, which is nice, but the zipper itself feels a bit fragile, with shallow teeth and very thin fabric. It would hold up well enough with gentle use, but I don't think it would last long in a middle-school student's backpack.
While this case didn't win me over, there are a lot of other great cases from Kokuyo, most of them a buck or five cheaper than this one.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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