Let’s talk about pocket pens. More specifically, fountain pens that, while closed, are less than 125mm. These pens are great choices for jackets, bags, or your favorite pair of cargo shorts. Our product Ambassador, Drew, has a wide assortment of charming little pens he suggests, starting from small and moving to tiny.
One of the most lengthy of the little pens on this list, the Esterbrook JR is exactly 125mm. The JR stands for J: Reborn - which is noting that this is the spiritual successor of the iconic Esterbrook “J” from the golden age of fountain pens. Naturally, you’ll catch some vintage-inspired elements in the design here. It’s got a steel nib made by JoWo, and filled with a cartridge or a converter.
As the name suggests, this pen is a smaller version of the TWSBI Vac-700R (which is a pretty big pen). It IS a vacuum filler, and it’s a super affordable way to get access to such a cool filling method. This pen threads to post, so it’s a pocket pen that’s made to post. One reason that this pen is a great pocket pen is that you can shut off ink flow to the nib - minimizing how much spritz and spray can get into your cap while you’re running around doing all manner of physical crazy stuff.
The Pilot Prera is a little demonstrator that gives you the option to pick between 6 different accent colors. This pen is still sizable enough that you could say that unposted it’ll still feel just fine - but closed, it is slightly smaller than the other pens considered to be pocket pen size. The Pilot Prera has a durable, crisp plastic body, reliable steel nib, and a most excellent capping feel makes this an awesome quick-draw pen.
The Pilot E95s also features a gold nib, and while closed it is noticeably smaller than the pens at the top of our list, when posted, it’s one of the longest. So the E95s has an awesome posted vs capped differential that makes it a very practical addition to this list. The gold nib is extremely comfortable to write with and is currently the most affordable gold-nib fountain pens out there. Unlike some other pocket pens, this can take either a cartridge or a converter!
The TWSBI Mini is a bit smaller than the Vac Mini mentioned above, and features an internal piston filler instead. The design has its similarities to the vacuum version, like having a thread-to-post cap, and you’ll get the same steel nib and a comparable ink capacity. In our opinion, the TWSBI pens on this list are one of your best best for a pocket pen that holds a lot of ink! The TWSBI Mini comes in various styles, including the "AL" version with aluminum hardware.
The next fountain pens on this list are all intended to be posted in order to create a “full size” pen.
The Sailor Pro Gear Slim Mini is definitely a fountain pen that falls into a "must post" category! Unposted, this little pen is just about the size of the ink cartridge inside. Once you post it, though, it’s much more manageable! The gold nib is smooth and provides just a little bit of that sweet feedback for which Sailor is known.
Kaweco is well known for focusing on small fountain pens. One of the most recognizable profiles in the industry, the Sport is a tried-and-true pocket pen that is only 105mm closed - and is EASILY the model on this list with most color and material options. Most of the Sports all feature tough plastic, and feel great posted or unposted. Then you’ve got the AL Sports, which are aluminum and feel amazing in the hand. The Brass Sport is also up there if you’d like a pocket pen with some weight to it!
The Monteverde MVP is an acrylic pocket pen that’s super simple. Cartridge-only with #5 steel nib, there are a few different patterns available. It threads to post, gives you a very manageable length to work with, and is fitted with an o-ring so that you can have the option to bypass the cartridge and fill the barrel entirely with ink.
Next we have the Traveler’s Company Brass fountain pen. Right now it’s just available in polished brass, but limited edition color has been available in the past. Regardless, it’s a great pen for the price, it seals really well, and like the Pilot E95s it caps and posts using internal tension bars that give it a great feel. It’s the only pen in our store that features a ring top!
The Kaweco Supra is not a pocket pen - unless you want to be. The Supra is a very unique pen because while it initially is very much a full-size fountain pen, it has a bit of a transformer functionality to it - removing this spacer allows you to drop the size of this pen down to a closed length of just 99mm, making this variation of the Supra the third-shortest pen on our list. Another kicker is that despite its size, it features a large #6 steel nib.
The Kaweco Liliput is a tiny pen. Short, lightweight, thin. This little pen could find a home in even the most superficial of pockets, and would be a perfect pen to get lost at the bottom of your purse. I use mine all the time and I love it - it writes every time, sealing up very effectively. The green aluminum version (pictured above) and is the lightest weight pen we currently have.
If you think it can’t get any smaller than the Liliput, well... here's the SCHON DSGN Pocket Six fountain pen. While capped it is noticeably shorter than the 97mm Liliput, making it the shortest on this list at just 90mm. The Pocket Six is machined in Ian Schon’s Philadelphia workshop. The bodies, cap and grip sections are 100% made in the USA. The nibs are made by JoWo in Germany, and - true to the “Pocket Six” name - are the full-size #6 nibs that just happen to be equipped onto the shortest pen. The Pocket Six threads to post, and has an o-ring in the cap that give the rotations a delightful smoothness.
While this is a great list, we have lots of other compact and pocket pens which you can check out here!