If there's one thing I don't lack, it's pen cases, pen boxes, pen stands, and other storage options. Once you fall deep into this hobby, you become unnaturally preoccupied with the best way to store, carry, and display your collection. As interest in fountain pens and other high-end writing instruments has experienced a resurgence in recent years, companies have not only begun to product more pens and ink, but also accessories to go along with them. Aston Leather, Franklin-Christoph, Tom Barrington, and now Dee Charles Designs, all make some excellent leather pen sleeves and pen cases. In this review, I'll look at a black leather two-pen sleeve from Dee Charles that Ron at Pen Chalet was kind enough to send me.
What's perhaps most notable about the Dee Charles leather pen sleeve is its simplicity. It's basically two pieces of black leather stitched together to form a pouch, with a line of stitching down the middle to divide the case so the two pens don't touch. Unlike a more expensive case such as those from Tom Barrington, the edges on the Dee Charles pen sleeve are left rough and unfinished. There's also no lining on the inside. To be honest, when I initially received this case, the leather felt extremely stiff, and I worried that it looked a bit "plasticky."
My initial impressions appear to be wrong, and this case has "broken in" nicely. While long-term durability remains to be seen, it's held up well over the past month (during which I've carried it every day) and the leather has definitely become more supple with use. Once it accumulates the creases and scuffs that naturally come with actually using any leather product, the unfinished edges and interior blend a bit and actually lend this case a rugged charm.
Another thing I appreciate is that this double sleeve can hold two big pens fairly easily. At first, the fit was tight, but now that the leather has softened up it can easily hold a TWSBI 580 and my Kanilea Pen Co. Mauna Kea. The Tom Barrington case is a touch too short to hold either of these pens.
Takeaways and Where to Buy
This Dee Charles double pen sleeve is a sturdy option to protect your daily carry pens, and is available at an accessible price. Curiously, I've been able to find very little information about Dee Charles Designs as a company, and would be interested in learning more. From what I can tell, they're new, and their product line is currently limited to one and two-pen sleeves and a pocket notebook cover. All three products are available in black, "sunrise" (tan), or rawhide leather, and you can choose colored stitching with red, blue, or gold thread to give your case a bit of character. I immediately opted for the black leather with red thread combination, and it's sharp.
You can purchase Dee Charles pen cases from Pen Chalet, priced at just under $20 for a single pen sleeve, $25 for a double sleeve, and $50 for the pocket notebook case. To sweeten the deal, for a limited time Pen Chalet is offering a free pen with your purchase of one of the Dee Charles cases. You will have your choice of a Lamy Logo, a Parker Jotter, or a Pelikan Belle ballpoint pen.
Disclaimer: This product was sent to me by Pen Chalet free of charge for review purposes. This post contains affiliate links.