There comes a point in every pen enthusiast’s life when the built-in sleeves of a messenger bag just don’t cut it anymore. When that moment comes, NockCo is here for you.
It started with a kick.
Back in 2013, Brad Dowdy of The Pen Addict Podcast & Blog and Jeff Bruckwicki of Project of Seamster decided that the options available for pen and pencil protection just weren’t cutting it. After weeks of sketching, prototyping, and probably a considerable amount of coffee, a Kickstarter campaign was launched. Shortly thereafter (seriously short, like, an hour after), the project was fully funded. To date, NockCo has launched over seven cases, five paper products, and a pretty slick Fishing Vest enamel pin. Their products are now available from online retailers, and they have no apparent plans to slow down.
Around the time I picked up my fourth fountain pen, the Lime Green Twsbi ECO, I knew it was time to protect these tools proper. Naturally, being an avid Pen Addict Podcast listener, the NockCo. Brand was fresh in my mind. Eventually I narrowed it down to the Sinclair ($40 retail) and the Hightower ($20 retail). They both have their benefits; the Sinclair is made to hold three pens and a Field Notes size book with a little extra room (more on that later), and the Hightower is made to hold the same, but slots a top-bound notepad for immediate access when opened. Spoiler Alert: I went with the Sinclair.
The first thing you notice when you pick up the Sinclair is the texture of it. Nock uses a very durable 1000D Nylon material, which is typically found in bags and gear intended for rough use. The surface of the Sinclair is textured but soft, any much stronger than canvas or vinyl. This material typically holds color very well so the rich “Coffee” brown and “Amethyst” purple stand out and will stay true for the foreseeable future. The pouch uses the YKK zipper closure, which extends about two thirds of the way down the sides and up over the top. Inside the pouch, you’ll find three nylon pen slots on one side and a 3.5 by 5 inch pocket on the other with a little space in between.
The default configuration of the case is three pens and a notebook. These pen slots are large enough to accommodate most pens on the market. The widest pen I own is a Jinhao 159, which fits without issue. But if you were to put three of those in this case, you might get some bulging. In any case, whatever pens you put in this case will be secure and protected. The full length sleeves ensure that the pens wont move around or rub against each other causing unsightly scrapes or scratches.
Now, seeing this configuration of pockets might lead you to believe that this is the only way to use the Sinclair. Well Pen Friends, I’m here to tell you that there is another way. That little space in the middle of the pouch is perfect for storing another four pens with their clips on the notebook pocket.
In the off chance that seven pens aren’t part of your current EDC, but you want to use all of that empty space, you could easily fit another two Field Notes books in this case.
So, is it worth it?
Picture this: It’s the end of the month, you’re budget has been on point, and you find yourself with $40 in the pen fund. Should you buy this case, or opt for one of the cheaper options on the market? In short; get the Nock. The Sinclair is a simple but effectively designed case that was built for pen enthusiasts, by pen enthusiasts. It has a great feel in the hand and can be slid into a back pocket a easily as it can be dropped into a bag. To put it simply, It just works. And sure, you can go with one of the cheaper options on the market, of which there are many, but you do get what you pay for. A $20 savings now will, in all likelihood, lead to a secondary purchase down the road when the lower-end pouch starts to degrade or fall apart.
If I’ve learned one thing it’s that, when money is tight, you can really only afford the best. Going with the cheaper option is appealing in the here and now, but how cheap is something that you’ll have to replace down the road?
In my opinion, for $40, it doesn’t get better than this.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored review. This case was purchased at full retail price from JetPens.com.