Ballpoint

Field Notes Space Pen Review

The space pen is not a pen I use very often. I bought it in 2014 when visiting Chicago and decided I needed to have a space pen. I definitely didn't need a space pen but it's not the worst pen to have lying around. 

What's a Space Pen?

Firstly I think I should cover off briefly this very basic concept. The Space Pen was created by Fisher with the aim to have ink flow only when the pen was in use. There was some very cool science behind this, but due to the design the space pen can be relied on in a variety of different conditions - hot or cold, dry or wet etc etc. The space pen name came about due to astronauts using it over pencils. For a detailed overview of the history behind the space pen you can take a look here

Space Pen Positives 

A comparison of the space pen next to other pens 

A comparison of the space pen next to other pens 

A huge benefit of the space pen is the small size. The Field Notes space pen can easily fit in your pocket, your bag or the smallest of carry around systems. Its around half the size of a regular gel or ballpoint pen making it extremely portable. 

Posted the space pen length dramatically increases

Posted the space pen length dramatically increases

To make the space pen comfortable to use when writing you have to post the cap. Even trying to write with this pen un-posted is very uncomfortable. Posted you get a far more comfortable length making is easier to write with. 

The space pen is probably the most durable pen on the market. The space pen is designed to write on anything and in any condition. It can be left for a long periods of time without being used and start up instantly. I left mine unused in a box for months without touching it and on it's first use it started up without any issues.  

All of the component parts of the space pen

All of the component parts of the space pen

I really liked the Field Notes version of the space pen as it has a really nice matte black finish with some gorgeous bronze effect branding on the pen barrel. The contrast of these two colours works really well. If the matte black look is not your thing then there is also a chrome version available.  

And the negatives 

The standard refill that comes with the Field Notes space pen is the Fisher Space Pen PR4 BLACK MED refill. At its core this is a ballpoint refill with some cool technical wizardry behind it. The medium tip gives you a fairly good line width on the page however if I ever need to replace this refill I will opt for a fine tip. 

Look at the size of that pen tip! 

Look at the size of that pen tip! 

I do have a few minor irritations writing with this refill. The main one is the super fat tip! The proportions of the space pen feel wrong. The pen tip is far too big for the width and length of the pen barrel which makes it very off putting when actually writing things down. It also makes it very difficult to actually see what you're printing on the page. Also you have to get the writing angle just right. At some angles it can feel a bit scratchy on the page. This is just a small point to note and something you can overcome once you are aware of the issue.   

In Summary

The Field Notes space pen is definitely not the pen I will reach for, but then it's not designed to be. It is a functional pen created for functional tasks. I have this in my pencil case and take it with me when travelling or on the move because I know it's going to work. I wouldn't rush out the buy this pen, however if you need a reliable pen then the space pen would be the perfect option.