Review: Eva Enveloop — a refined wrap-style pen(cil) case
The Japanese seem to have a thing about stationery. Perhaps the cultural significance of calligraphy is behind this fascination. Whatever the reason, Japan produces many quality stationery products which are unusual, yet functional. The Eva Enveloop pencil case from pencils.jp is one of them.
I don’t mind spending extra on products I enjoy using — especially things I use often. I prefer to take notes by hand and I’ve picked up a few nice pens for this job. Nothing outrageously expensive, but a lot more than the cut-price trophies you’re likely to score in a raid on the office stationery cupboard.
I went looking for a case for my pens that:
- stored 3 or 4 pens;
- protected its contents by preventing writing implements from making contact with their neighbors; and
- didn’t look out of place in a professional environment.
My research uncovered a huge variety of products, materials and suppliers. It took quite a bit of hunting before I settled on the Enveloop.
The Enveloop is a simple, but well designed wrap-style case. The exterior is made from Kurashiki canvas while suede is used for the internal pockets. A leather strap secures the rolled-up case and a leather disc at its end prevents the case from opening unintentionally.
Individual pockets and a suede flap protect your writing instruments by preventing contact between neighbors. The flap also prevents your pens dislodging if you drop the case or pack it upside down.
When laid flat the Enveloop measures 13″ (w) × 7.85″ (h) or 330mm (w) × 200mm (h). The rolled size will depend on how much you pack into it, but mine is approximately 3.5″ (w) × 7.85″ (h) × 0.8″ (d) or 90mm (w) × 200mm (h) × 20mm (d).
There is room for 7 pens in total — more than I needed, but still not bulky. A single external pocket provides convenient access to your most-used writing implement without unrolling the case. Inside there are 4 full-length pen pockets (5.5″ or 140mm long) and 2 short pen pockets (3.5″ or 90mm long). Two other pockets provide storage for an eraser, spare lead or other small items.
The internal pockets comfortably accept a Render K — the widest of my pens — measuring ½” (13mm) at its widest point. The Enveloop should accommodate most pens though you may struggle with stockier fountain pens.
I think the Enveloop materials look classier than nylon which is more common for wrap-style cases. I can also vouch for this case’s durability. After two years of daily use, it’s holding up well. Some shiny regions have developed along the pen slots where these areas rub against other items in my bag. Some marks are visible where the pen clips have compressed the suede near the top of the pockets. Otherwise, the case is as good as the day I got it.
The case is roughly half the size of a large Moleskine notebook when rolled up making it reasonably compact and convenient to carry.
The ¥5,100 price tag (roughly US$41 at the time of writing) will make you think (at least) twice before buying one. That’s a lot of dough to shell out for a pencil case! It is however a simple, elegant and functional design. Durable materials and quality workmanship mean you’ll see many years of service from this case.
Pencils.jp is the only supplier I know of. The bad news is that they are out of stock. I checked on availability and they advised it will be 4 to 8 weeks before they receive more stock.
- Product: Eva Enveloop available from pencils.jp
- Materials: Kurashiki canvas, suede, and leather
- Capacity: 7 pens in total (1 × external pocket, 4 × full-length internal pockets, 2 × short internal pockets). 2 other internal pockets for accessories.
- Colors: Black (outside) / black (inside) / black (pockets) or moss green (outside) / mustard yellow (inside) / brown (pockets)
- Price: ¥5,100 plus shipping
- Recommendation: Unless you’re a hard-core stationery fan, you’ll probably have a hard time justifying the price. If you appreciate quality stationery and carry only a handful of pens at a time, the Enveloop might work for you. It is a distinctive, well designed and hard-wearing pencil case offering good protection for your writing instruments.
Disclosure: The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I purchased this product and have no relationship with any of the suppliers mentioned in this article.
Question: What’s your favorite pen case? Leave a comment below.