Branching away from the normal pen and pencil reviews for a bit, a product I've wanted to review for some time is the One Star Leather double pen sleeve.
Keegan was kind enough to send me a sample several months back to check out right around the time he was releasing them in his shop. I've wanted to give it some use to gain my thoughts over the past months and, not to spoil the review, I've been very pleased.
Full disclosure, Keegan has become a good friend of mine almost since the beginning of The Clicky Post, but I've enjoyed and loved his work since before then. I can say flat out with no sense of obligation to him as a pal that his work is fantastic. I've purchased many pieces from him and each has blown me away.
The level of craftsmanship and finish he puts into his pieces is top notch. He may be one of the pricier leather makers on the block, but the quality is inarguably some of the best I've ever seen. I'm sure there is a little bit of compulsion in his work to make things perfect and, for a consumer, that is a good thing. I have friends locally that also dabble in leather and when I show them one of Keegan's pieces I usually get a "whoa" or "this is really nice".
All of his work is hand stitched, his seams are tight, edges nicely burnished, and his lines are straight and clean.
I seem to be a sucker for dark brown leather goods, primarily Horween Chromexcel when it comes to Keegan's work and he was kind enough to send me a double sleeve made from this material.
The leather is thick, supple and smells great (as it should). The sleeves come a little snug fresh from the workshop, but they easily break in. I recommend pushing a slightly larger pen inside first to try and loosen things up a bit.
The sleeve is an open top style wherein you simply push the pens into an opening in the top leaving the tip of the cap exposed. To remove, pinch your fingers around the top and pull the pen out. (likely self explanatory, but I went there)
The sleeve is a good length at over 6.25" which generally leaves a good space between the top of the pen and the end of the leather. This is comforting as it provides some cushion around the top as to not scratch your pens if bouncing around. Is there a slight chance that something could sneak in there and hit the top of the pen? Yes, but I'd recommend being conscious of where you are putting it in your bag to avoid the top of that Pelikan M800 from being dinged to heck.
One Star Leather originally offered only single pen sleeves for both large and smaller pens like the Kaweco Sport series. Super simple, convenient and easy to toss into a front jeans pocket knowing that your writing beauties would be safe and sound even against your keys.
The double pen sleeve, being larger, makes it a bit more difficult to be portable in your pocket, but what I've found is that I'm completely happy toting it around in my hand if I'm going to work or other places that I know I'll be using the pens I'm carrying. It is also something that goes easily in a bag.
From a utility standpoint, what I've found is that if I'm carrying only a couple of nicer pens around with me for the day, the One Star Leather double sleeve is where I turn. This thing is so practical but also elegant in its own simple way.
I'm definitely a believer in form and function needing to live harmoniously together and I think Keegan hits the nail on the head. Nothing flashy, but a joy to hold and look at. Its beauty almost lies in its plainness if that makes sense. It is a product I'll be excited to own until it wears out (wherein I will buy a new one from Keegan if he is still doing leather in the next 40 years...).
Thanks again to Keegan from One Star Leather for sending me the sleeve for review. Check out his listing for the double pen sleeves if interested in seeing his wares and peruse his other goods if you feel the urge (which you likely will!).