The Zebra Zensations fountain pen is a recent addition to the disposable fountain pens category at JetPens, and one that I'm happy to recommend. It's been a while since I experimented with the disposable fountain pens category, and the Zensations pen just solidifies my opinion that just because a pen costs less than $5 does not mean it performs poorly.
Similar to the Pilot Varsity, the Zensations fountain pen is a disposable, non-refillable fountain pen that costs only $3. This is the same price as the Varsity and I would say they are perfectly comparable. The Platinum Preppy is another popular choice in the disposable category, but they are different from the Varsity and Zensations pens because they feature a cartridge system. When the ink runs out, you can simply replace the cartridge with a color of your choice.
The Zensations pen features a slip cap design and an all-plastic body (except for the nib, of course). Despite the materials, this pen is rugged and can take normal bag and transit abuse just fine. The clip isn't the strongest clip I've encountered, but it does the job well. The plastic clip is a tad springy, but it provides plenty of gripping power on clothing, bags, cases, and other objects. If you like to post the cap while writing, the Zensations pen will handle that well. The cap posts securely and adds very little weight to the end of the pen while writing.
As an added bonus, there's a convenient ink window on the side of the barrel so you can easily see how much ink is left in the reservoir. The pen barrel is mostly black, but there's a lot of accent color thrown in, as well as a gray/silver trim for the clip. The ink feed section is visible through the grip, which can also be helpful when the ink is close to running out.
The nib on the Zensations pen is fantastic considering the cost. It's smooth, dependable, and has excellent flow. Straight out of the box, it wrote well and without any hiccups. This is important with any fountain pen, but it delights me to see this level of performance with a three-dollar pen. In a lot of cases, this pen may be someone's first exposure to a fountain pen, and I expect that to be a good representation of the nib and feed mechanism. These are perfect to hand out as a "try it" challenge to friends, coworkers, etc.
The steel nib is fairly stiff, and you won't notice much line variation as a result. The 0.6mm sizing roughly equates to a Japanese medium or European fine. It's a great size that most people are familiar with if they're coming from a bold ballpoint or 0.7mm gel pen.
The unit I have is the blue variation, which corresponds to the ink color inside. Where most pens seem to favor the darker blue hues in the standard lineups, the Zensations pen has a beautiful lighter blue that I absolutely love. It's more of a medium turquoise than a standard blue, and that makes me incredibly happy. Although, if you're expecting a darker blue or even a blue-black, I'd recommend looking at the other color options.
Speaking of which, there are seven total colors to pick from, and you can also pick up a pack that includes one of each color. At $3 per pen, and $17 for the seven pack, these pens are a fantastic deal. Throw some in your cart next time, and enjoy this newest player in the entry-level experience that give fountain pens a good name.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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