The Pilot Coleto gel pen is never going to be a pen that's the top of your wish list, it may not even be something you specifically head online to buy, but its definitely a worthy addition to any pen pot. I picked up mine from Cult Pens a few weeks ago when it was on a promotion. I wasn't looking for this pen, I was perusing other items on their store...like I do most days, but the offer was too good to miss so I added one to an existing order. In total the Coleto and refills came to around £10. Total bargain.
I was pleasantly surprised once I started using the Coleto. I have the entry level barrel in pink and equipped it with 0.4mm refills in orange, blue-black, cherry red (I adore this colour!) and apple green. This gives me variety but also keeps a sensible colour, just in case. When these arrived I was pleasantly surprised by the refill packaging, it was brilliant! It's not often you see Japanese branded packaging so it was almost a mini pen treat.
The Coleto Pen Barrel
In terms of performance the barrel is average, but it does cost less than £4, so I didn't really expect a lot more. Its downside is its very plastic and feels a bit flimsy. Personally I don't like thick grip sections as I don't think they are very comfortable and this pen barrel has a thick grip section. The clip is also flimsy so if you rely on the use of a pen clip, don't expect too much from the Coleto. Moving between the refills is nice and easy and the mechanism works smoothly. I haven't experienced any issues of sticking. When the time is right I will upgrade to a nicer barrel. The good news is this will cost a mere £15 for something that appears slimmer and is made from nicer materials.
The Coleto gel refills are great. I have used Pilot Hi-Tec-C pens in the past and you always get reliable performance as well as a great range of colour options. The Coleto refills give the same performance working particularly well on thinner paper stocks like that found in Field Notes memo books. The versatility of the Coleto works well, you can throw it in your bag and have 4 different pen colours ready to rock which makes this a good grab and go pen option. The colours all work pretty well and seem to be bold enough on the page, even the green which I was a bit concerned about. They write smoothly and the 0.4mm line is perfect however if this is a bit thin you can get a 0.5mm refill. There are plenty of other colour options available which is one of the big selling points with Pilots gel pen range.
To buy, or not to buy?
I was truly surprised by the Coleto. I think this is a great travel companion pen. There would be no concerns with cartridges leaking, you can carry only one if you wish but have a variety of colours ready to go. I can also imagine for some professions, such as teachers, this pen would work well.
The next time you have an itch to try out a new pen, give the Coleto a try. It's worth it. It won't be your favourite pen, maybe not even your most used pen, but it will be a pen you can rely on and use again and again. It's a reliable workhorse, with a quirky and playful Pilot branding.