(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter. And check out her first novel, The Bone Weaver’s Orchard, now available where books are sold!)
I'm eternally delighted by the many ways a simple concept like a pen case can be made new and exciting and clever. The Kamio Japan Paco-Tray Pen Case is all of those things. It appears as a simple rectangular cuboid--not very big, not ornate or fancy--but put into practice, it's a wee genius of a thing.
It's a clamshell-style, nylon canvas case, with the zip opening lengthwise across the front and side edges. It has a double zipper, which is always a plus. When opened, the inside lining blooms like an accordion into three separate trays. Magnets in the spine snap together to hold the case open. When you close it, the dividers hold the contents nested in those trays, so everything stays neat and orderly and is easy to find when you need it. If you overstuff the pockets (lol if), there may be a few things that smoosh out into other compartments, but otherwise it does a great job of keeping things separated. When the case is closed, the magnet in the spine can be used to attach the case to a metal surface, like the front of a desk drawer.
Despite its small size, the case can hold a surprisingly large number of pens. A few dozen easily, plus accessories. It is, alas, too short to hold some wood case pencils at their full length, but once they've been sharpened down a bit, they'd fit, too. The rectangle shape makes it easy to fit in bags alongside books and other pen cases.
One downside is that you can't just open one end of the case and dig out a random pen. Because of that tray lining, the case has to be opened the whole way to get to anything. So, it's great for sitting down to a work station, but not great for quick access.
It is, overall, one of my favorite pen cases that I've reviewed. I love compartments, and I love the way the magnet keeps the case open. It doesn't so much hold your pens as present them to you, like the small treasures they are. At $16 on JetPens, it's also a really good price. If you need more ways to carry your pens (lol if), this is a great tool for the job.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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