School supply shopping was always my favorite part of returning to classes. I loved exploring the endless aisles of brightly lit pens, pencils and notebooks. Backpack purchasing decisions were made solely on the number of pen sleeves and pockets that the bag had. While picking pens and pencils was part of the fun, meticulously organizing them in a new backpack provided the real payoff.
Fast forward ten years, and I'm clawing for a cheap pharmaceutical-company Bic at the bottom of my bag, amidst a sea of coins, keys, and paperclips. In my college years, no pen lasted more than a month, which was fine, considering that most were free company swag. I'm happy to say that I'm now a reformed pen abuser, mostly because the quality of my writing tools has increased exponentially. There's no way that I'm throwing a fountain pen, like a Lamy 2000, into a bag full of keys.
Japan introduced me to the concept of a pen case. Sure, I had a plastic box for my pens in elementary school, but this pen-obsessed culture took cases to a new level. There were simple pen cases, which resembled an elementary school recorder case, and fancy leather pen wraps. The simple cases are nice enough, but I'm not a fan of pens rubbing together. The fancier leather wraps made it too difficult to remove a pen quickly, and I wasn't prepared to drop $100 on a pen case. I needed something that was affordable, easy to access, and durable. The Nock Co. Sinclair was the answer to my payers.
The Sinclair is a $35 nylon pen case that holds three pens and a pocket (Field Notes size) notebook. It zips from the top, so it's easy to quickly retrieve a pen and notebook. The case's zipper is very sturdy and has held up well with time, and its high quality stitching hasn't frayed a bit, even after months of use. The nylon case material is even coated with water repellent, to keep even the fanciest of pens safe and dry.
The pen slots are wider than a typical slot in a backpack or messenger bag, so most pens should fit with ease, as long as they aren't much longer than a typical pen. I keep a Nock Co. DotDash Pocket Notebook in the notebook slot, but there's also plenty of room for a stack of index cards as well (I use Nock Co. DotDash 3 x 5 Note Cards).
The Nock Co. Sinclair comes in several color variations. I chose the Mandarin/Blue Jay combo, since it was the only color in stock at the time, but I would love to own a version of this case in the Steel/Mango fabric combo, which doesn't currently exist.
The Sinclair is a fantastic case for the price, and I'm very happy to have it as my first pen case. It fits easily into an existing messenger bag or backpack, and provides extra protection while maintaining ease of access. The case's durable nylon and notebook slot also makes it feasable to carry the case by itself, loose in a purse, or even in a cargo pocket, for those EDC types. This case is a must buy.