The new Kaweco Traveler case fills a need for Kaweco Sport users. The Sport is a small fountain pen when capped, which makes it seem perfect to carry around. But ironically, the Sport is so compact that it actually doesn’t fit well in my usual pen cases.
My single-pen cases are made for larger pens — as are the two-pen cases I have. A conventional large zippered pen case that I have for 24 pens, below, does work — barely. But there’s a lot of wasted space.
Even a standard-size cloth pen wrap isn’t ideal. Kaweco Sports almost get lost in there.
Into the breach comes the Traveler case. Made by Kaweco, the Traveler is a leather case with elastic slots for six pens, and a mesh pocket for accessories. Kaweco loaned me the Traveler Case for this review, and I’ve been using it for a few weeks now.
The things I love about the Traveler case are the size, the look and feel, and the attention to detail in the design.
First the size. When zipped, it measures a mere 6 inches tall by 4 1⁄2 inches wide, and its maximum thickness is about 1 and 1⁄4 inches.
While compact on the outside, the Traveler case fits a lot inside. The best thing for me is that while the Traveler is perfect for Kaweco Sport pens, it also accommodates other pens. Most of my standard-size pens fit: a full-size Sailor Professional Gear, a Kaweco Dia2, a Lamy Safari or Al-Star (just barely), a Parker 51, and more. The Traveler case takes my Pelikan fountain pens from M200 through M600.
The Traveler does not work for large pens: a Montblanc LeGrand is too long, and Aurora Optimas are a little chubby. But Kaweco didn’t make the Traveler case for large pens. It’s designed for Kaweco Sports. So I think it’s great that the Traveler also fits standard-size pens.
There’s a mesh pocket on one side of the case interior, which fits accessories like cartridges nicely. Kaweco would probably blanch, but it even fits a few extra pens, in a pinch.
The case’s look and feel is nice. The outside leather is soft, and almost suede-like, with a finish that distresses with wear and shows marks of use. That’s different than the conventional pebbled or smooth leather of my 24-pen zippered cases. It’s got a nice leather scent, too.
Inside, the case is lined with a soft synthetic fabric, with an attached sheet that divides the pen side from the pocket side. This photo shows the divider pulled down a little, so you can see the pens.
I get the feeling that the Traveler case has been designed by people who use and care about fountain pens. For one, look at the placement of the elastic loops. There’s room between the outer pen loops and the zippered edges of the Traveler case.
The two outermost pen slots are placed at least 1⁄4 inch away from the zipper. That means I can use all six slots without worrying about scratching the pens. In my economy pen cases, in contrast, the outermost slots are placed right against the zippers.
I would not zip that cheaper pen case closed with a pen in an outer slot.
And look at the Traveler’s spine, which is straight, or squared like a paperback book spine. This photo shows the Traveler case’s spine compared to that of my 24-pen case.
So the Traveler is a smaller case, but it provides more height at the spine and thus more room inside. That lets you fit more things into the webbed pocked without mashing it all. Smaller case, but more protection for what’s inside.
The only reservation I have about the Traveler case is its price. It’s new, and I haven’t seen it listed in many places yet, but one US retailer is showing it at $118, and one in the UK at £90.50. For comparison, there’s another brand making a six-pen zippered leather case selling between $50 and $75. Now, I haven’t tried that other case, but its dimensions are bigger, and it looks more like the 24-pen zippered cases I have now. But that is a more budget option.
I think what the Traveler has is excellent quality, with good materials and workmanship. The soft leather looks good; the stitching is even, and the zipper pull is large and closes smoothly. Having taken the Traveler case out and about, it’s a case that people notice. So it does have a premium feel to go along with its rather high price.
In fact I’m considering buying one. The decision would be a no-brainer at a lower price, in fact. It’s been so useful to have a case this size. The Traveler fits neatly inside a purse or briefcase, and it’s lightweight and easy to carry.
Yet even with such a compact form factor, the Traveler is designed to fit a lot inside. I pulled these out of it one day.
For me it’s an excellent case: it looks great, and it’s very well-designed for pen users. Not only is it the first case I’ve tried that really works for my Kaweco Sport pens, it works well for my regular pens, too.