A little while back, the Rhodia Drive blog asked the question of who might ever have need of an ink pen that writes in damp conditions.
Right away, we thought of a few: Journalists, construction supervisors, attendance takers – and anyone who lives in the UK.
With that in mind, we asked our Twitter followers for their recommendations on ink pens that are good for use outdoors and in inclement weather. (To qualify as a good outdoor pen, it has to use a pressurized ink cartridge that will force the ink to come out, even when it doesn't want to, and must use a non-water soluble paste ink.)
Rite in the Rain All-Weather Pen – This was the No. 1 response we received. The company makes notebooks that can be used in the rain, so it only makes sense that they would offer pens for the same purpose.
All-Weather pens come in a range of shapes and designs, including ones that look like pistol bullets, and are available in blue and black ink. They run in price from abot US$8 to US$20.
According to Rite in the Rain:
This 5 1/4 in long metal All-Weather Pen writes on wet paper and upside down in temperatures from -30F to 250F. The ink won't leak, evaporate or blow up in your pocket!
Good to know that the pens are not also bombs.
Inka Pen – The makers of the Inka Pen are so confident in their product, their URL is writeanywhere.com.
The barrel is made of stainless and contains a pressurized ink cartridge with a tungsten carbide tip. When it's closed, the pen is a little over 3 inches long and clips onto belts, keychains, etc.
According to Inka:
The pressurized ink cartridge ensures the pen will write wet or dry at any angle, any temperature, and any altitude.
The pen even comes with a lifetime warranty, which is not a bad deal for a pen that costs about US$12 to US$15.
Also available in a ridiculously expensive titanium model.
Uni Power Tank RT – A completely underrated 'all weather' pen from Uniball that costs significantly less than its more macho competitors.
The Power Tank is a plastic-bodied pen containing a pressurized ballpoint ink cartridge. It has a very comfortable rubber grip, something missing from most pens of this type, and even comes in an eco-friendly model made from recycled materials (including sawdust, of all things).
...the Power Tank RT can write clearly upside down, in minus temperatures and on wet paper without blurring. The ideal pen for those who work outside or enjoy outdoor leisure pursuits.
Alex at Economy Pens wrote a great guest review of the Power Tank for us earlier this year.
At a price of about £2, one of the least expensive options for outdoor pens, although also one of the least rugged.
Fisher Space Pen – Of course, we couldn't omit the pen that started it all.
Fisher pens come in a broad range of barrel designs, but most share the same basic features: a tough aluminum or steel body and a pressurized cartridge that works in wet conditions, extreme temps, high altitudes and at any angle.
They vary in price from US$20 to US$200, depending on whether you choose a basic or luxury model.
Fishers are the original 'all weather' pen and another one highly recommended by our Twitter followers.
So, if you find yourself in need of a pen that will perform in the wet, check out one of these and tell us what you think.