submitted by Mon Garcia
Most people carry a pen on their person for EDC to ensure that they can easily sign checks, take down notes, or write in their journal, wherever they may be. Sometimes, though, the conditions you may find yourself in may not be ideal for writing effectively with regular pens. Rain, wet and muddy conditions, having to write upside down, or more extreme circumstances such as intense heat or cold, or even zero gravity, require a bit of technology to make sure you can even write anything at all.
In this guide, we survey ten contenders for a write-anywhere carry. Whether you choose a pen that uses pressurized ink refills or one that pressurizes its own cartridges through a built-in mechanism, these pens will ensure that you can lay down the ink for your notes or journals, regardless of where and in what position you use them.
Fisher AG7 Astronaut PenPurchaseKey FeaturesTimeless, classic designThe original write-anywhere penFun to use deployment and retraction mechanismSpecificationsRefill TypeFisher Space Pen pressurized ink refillTip SizeMediumMaterialsChrome-plated brassReviewsPrice$We all know how the story goes: Paul C. Fisher and his company supposedly invested a million dollars to create a pen that astronauts could use in space. The original AG7 “anti-gravity” pen was patented in 1965 and taken into space in 1967 by NASA. The pen did not require gravity to get the ink going, but rather used pressurized nitrogen to consistently and evenly push the gel-like ink out regardless of conditions, in zero gravity or upside down. The Fisher AG7 Astronaut Pen is a timeless design that holds up to this day with reliable writing performance, classic looks, and a fidgety click mechanism that uses a pusher to deploy the tip and a side click button to retract. Put a little bit of history in your shirt pocket with the AG7, still available in the original chrome-plated brass body.
Rite in Rain All-Weather Clicker Pen 93KPurchaseKey FeaturesProprietary permanent inkThick, legible smudge- and smear-proof linesGrooved grip section and rubberized bodySpecificationsRefill TypeRite in Rain 47R All-Weather Pen RefillTip Size0.9mmMaterialsRubberized plasticReviewsPrice$The Rite in Rain All-Weather Clicker Pen features ink that can not only, as the name suggests, write effectively in the rain, it also can write in grease and mud without smudging or smearing. The 0.9mm tip also writes under water, at any angle, and continues to perform even in intense temperatures. The design of the proprietary pressurized ink cartridge ensures that the ink won’t leak in your pocket or evaporate, avoiding unnecessary ink loss. The pen is 5.375" long and features multiple grooves in the rubberized body and plastic grip section to facilitate use in the extreme conditions this pen was designed for.
Pilot Downforce PenPurchaseKey FeaturesInternal mechanism to pressurize inkThick grip for comfortLarge clipSpecificationsRefill TypePilot BKRF-6F ballpoint refillTip Size0.7mmMaterialsPlastic body with antibacterial propertiesReviewsPrice$$The Pilot Downforce uses a different approach to providing a write-anywhere and take-anywhere pen. A mechanism in the top button channels air pressure into the refill, providing smooth and reliable ink flow in any condition. The spring-loaded binder clip is the retraction mechanism, and this ensures that you don’t mark your other stuff with ink when you clamp it down for attaching. Its wide jaws also mean you can easily clip the Downforce to your thickest pockets or book covers. The body and grip themselves are also thick, making the pen easier and more comfortable to use over longer periods. Meant as a take-anywhere pen, the Downforce uses antibacterial ingredients in the body material, giving you a degree of hygienic safety from an instrument that will see a lot of use in your EDC.
Zebra F-xMD Ballpoint PenPurchaseKey FeaturesDurable all-metal constructionKnurled gripMod allows Fisher Space Pen refillsSpecificationsRefill TypeZebra F refill, Fisher Space Pen refillsTip Size0.7mmMaterialsStainless steelReviewsPrice$Zebra has always made pens that are popular for EDC, and the F-xMD Ballpoint Pen is their latest iteration of the venerated F-701. The stainless steel body provides the heft and durability that F series is known for, and a diamond-cut non-slip grip keeps it securely in hand during use. The all-metal construction lets you disinfect the pen with all kinds of cleaning materials without fear of damaging the pen, making it ideal for industrial use. With a simple and popular modification, it takes the Fisher Space Pen refill, turning this tough EDC pen into a write-anywhere pen as well.
Tombow Airpress PenPurchaseKey FeaturesInternal mechanism pressurizes the inkLarge, sturdy clipRubberized bodySpecificationsRefill TypeProprietary Tombow ink refillsTip Size0.7mmMaterialsRubber-coated plastic bodyReviewsPrice$The Tombow Airpress is a carry-everywhere pen favored by many outdoor enthusiasts, featuring a robust metal clip and rubberized body that stays durable during carry and usage. It’s also a great write-everywhere pen due to its internal construction. Instead of using a pressurized ink cartridge like most of the pens in this list, the Airpress has a built-in mechanism that primes and pressurizes the ink cartridge every time you click to deploy it. This allows you to write upside down and in cold conditions, and even on wet paper. The tactile feel of the clicker mechanism and the subtle sound it makes as it pressurizes the cartridge make for a fun and fidgety pen for EDC.
Fisher Space Pen TrekkerPurchaseKey FeaturesPlenty of carry optionsCompact form factorDurable stainless steel bodySpecificationsRefill TypeFisher Space Pen pressurized ink refillTip SizeMediumMaterialsStainless steel body and rubber gripReviewsPrice$The makers of the original write-anywhere pen created a version that’s also easy to take anywhere with the Fisher Space Pen Trekker. The cap comes with a key ring, and the package includes a small carabiner and lanyard loop, allowing you to easily attach this pen to your keys, belt loop, or pack. The 3.875" long stainless steel body ensures it can take on the rough and tumble of daily carry, while a heavily grooved rubber grip helps during the use of this extremely compact and portable pen. Of course, it carries the reliable Space Pen refill that writes upside down, in zero gravity, in wet conditions, and withstands temperatures of below 30 and up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. At just 1.6 ounces and with multiple ways to carry, the Trekker Space Pen makes for a lightweight and durable daily companion.
Uni Power Tank PenPurchaseKey FeaturesArchival quality, fade-resistant inkComfortable and secure gripThree colors and three tip sizes availableSpecificationsRefill TypeUni Power Tank ballpoint refillTip Size0.5 / 0.7 /1.0mmMaterialsPlastic body and clip, rubber gripReviewsPrice$If you’re looking for a pen for your next adventure, look no further than the Uni Power Tank. It lets you write smooth, dark lines in extreme conditions due to its proprietary refill. Internal compressed air lays down the high density, oil-based pigment ink evenly in wet conditions and cold weather, even in zero gravity or upside-down. The ink is archival quality and fade-resistant, ensuring the notes you take along the way remain for posterity. Inhand, the 11mm-thick rubberized grip features ergonomic cutouts that provide comfort while ensuring the pen doesn’t slip from your hands during use. The Power Tank comes with red, blue, or black ink refills in different tip sizes, letting you choose how you want to write while out on the field. At just 0.45 ounces, the it packs light and easy, ready to chronicle your next excursion.
Schon DSGN Classic PenPurchaseKey FeaturesClassic designPopular Fisher Space Pen refillCopper bodySpecificationsRefill TypeFisher Space Pen pressurized ink refillTip SizeMediumMaterialsCopperReviewsNo reviews yetPrice$$$Machined from a single piece of metal, the Schon DSGN Classic Pen features design lines rooted in a simpler time when things were less digital and disposable. It comes with the always-dependable Fisher Space Pen refill that ensures you can lay down the ink in whatever circumstance you find yourself in. The cap is threaded for closure and for posting, making this weighty and durable pen more suited for slower and more deliberate use. A long, narrow grip section lets you take your time and find the grip you’re comfortable with. It’s available in different materials, including stainless steel, brass and titanium. This particular version features a polished copper body that takes on scratches and develops a patina with use, creating a pen with character and a unique look over time.
Everyman Grafton PenPurchaseKey FeaturesTakes different types of refillsAluminum body with heavy duty clipDesigned for ergonomics and balanceSpecificationsRefill TypeVariousTip SizeVariousMaterialsAnodized 6061 aluminum pen body and brass clipReviewsPrice$The Everyman Grafton Pen makes a strong case for EDC with its robust build, well-designed ergonomics, and the ability to take on different refills. At just 5.7" long and 1 ounce in weight, the pen is designed to be balanced in hand for better comfort and control during prolonged use. The pen fits Grafton’s own refills, both gel and ballpoint refills from Parker, the Monteverde Ballpoint, as well as those for the Fisher Space Pen for write-anywhere capability. The included refill-sizing kit also lets you also use Uniball Jetstream and Pilot G2 refills. The anodized aluminum body is available in a variety of finishes and combines with the heavy-duty bolt-on brass clip to provide the durability that makes this a buy-it-for-life pen.
Big Idea Design Ti Pocket Pro PenPurchaseKey FeaturesAuto-adjusts to accept most refillsTitanium constructionCompact sizeSpecificationsRefill TypeVariousTip SizeVariousMaterialsGrade 5 Titanium pen body and Grade 4 Titanium clipReviewsPrice$$The Ti Pocket Pro from Big Idea Design features an adjustable clutch mechanism inside its compact Grade 5 Titanium chassis that allows it to adapt to over eighty different types of ballpoint, gel, and rollerball refills. This allows you to easily replace them when out travelling, and not have to worry if the refill available to you will fit inside your pen. The Ti Pocket Pro simply adjusts in length depending on the refill you put inside it, and yes, it does take pressurized refills like those for the Fisher Space Pen. There are also copper and brass versions of this pen, but for the titanium body, you can choose between a stonewashed or antique black finish.
What’s your experience with write-anywhere pens, and what’s your favorite one? Sound off in the comnents below!