First and foremost I want to extend my congratulations to Brad Dowdy of The Pen Addict (the legend) and his colleague and newly made celebrity, Jeffrey Bruckwicki, an amazing seamster (cool word) who is becoming a legend in his own right. These two gentlemen recently set out to create a Kickstarter campaign to present to the world their new brand, Nock Co., and their first offerings in a line of affordable pen, pencil, and notebook cases.
I was privileged enough to have Nock Co. send me one of their sample prototypes of a model called the Hightower. Thanks gentlemen for the opportunity to review the prototype and share my thoughts.
The Hightower is what is considered a 3+1 case which means that it has three pockets on one side, and one pocket on the other. The configuration that Brad and Jeffrey came up with holds 3 pens on the left and one small 5.5 x 3.5 notebook like a Field Notes book or Doane Paper Utility Notebook on the right.
I have to say, even with this being a prototype model I am super impressed with the build quality and feel of this product. Knowing Brad and his particulars with certain products, it would only make sense that he and Jeffrey would do their best to provide a quality that they themselves would enjoy for their daily use and to protect their pens. The case is simple enough as it is made out of fabric and isn't anything overly fancy, but looks to be incredibly durable and I imagine it will wear really well.
The outer shell is made from a strong nylon material similar to what you would find in a sturdy school backpack and is a really tight weave. The walls of the case are lightly padded which is really awesome as you can fill it with some of your nice pens and not worry that they'll get scratched or damaged through the cover.
The inner pockets and flaps are made from a lighter weight material but still feels incredibly durable and should hold up to a lot of trips in and out of your bag or satchel.
I really love that there is a flap over the pens. If not, I'd definitely be worried that they might fall out while carrying, so good work to the guys for putting in this feature. When I first got it and opened the flap I though to myself that perhaps it would need some velcro or a snap of some kind to hold it down, but the way that it has been stitched keeps it pointed down and requires either holding it open or tucking it around the cover while laying on the table to keep it open.
Even the flap has a nice sewn edge all the way around that adds a nice level of detail and care in the manufacturing that shows how well they want to make their products.
The notebook pocket is deep enough to hold two or even three (maybe pushing it) of your small notebooks, although for the best result in closing the case I found that one really was the sweet spot.
The color way I was able to review was the Midnight Blue exterior and the Foliage Grey interior. Super conservative by all standards, but I really like it a lot. A classy combination if you're not looking to make a splash when you pull out your pen case! The bright colors shown on the Kickstarter campaign are really fun, but this combo may be the one I opt for in my cases if it is an option for all of them.
If I'm entirely honest, I've felt a need for a small, portable pen case although I haven't bought one yet. Being a pen fanatic, I seem to always have people at work that want me to "help them buy the right pen". Some days I was carrying one pen in my shirt pocket (or two), one in my jeans pocket, and maybe even another just in my hand to bring to work for people to try. This is what crazy pen people do; we spread the love and help other people make the decision to spend more money on pens than they probably thought they ever would. I'm so happy that the fellas decided to send me this one as just today I had a friend that was interested in rOtring pens and I wanted to bring some in for him to see. This case made it so easy for me to carry safely up to three additional pens to show him without needing to have them tucked in every pocket imaginable on my person. This is a super small need for me, but one that I'm so glad to have a solution for.
I backed the Mass Storage pledge level on the campaign and can't wait to get my other cases from Nock Co! If you haven't already seen the campaign, please go visit and pledge as the products are well made and extremely affordable. For international buyers the shipping is $10 which is super reasonable and coupled with the low price of the cases make it a great value.
Granted, the campaign has already reached it's goal by a landslide, but still give a strong consideration to pledging if you haven't already. Best of luck to Nock Co.!
My One Suggestion:
This isn't a criticism on the product in the least, but eventually I would love to see a version of the Hightower with a zippered edge as I think it would be a successful design and give even more peace of mind that your pens are safe and sound in your case with no chance of falling out. This is a feature that I would gladly pay a bit more for.