Review: Tombow Airpress

Tombow Airpress Comparison

The Tombow Airpress is another contender in the “extreme conditions” pressurized ballpoint pen race. Other tools in this category are the Fisher Space Pen, the Uni Power Tank, Pilot Down Force and Rite in the Rain All-Weather Pens. The Airpress body design is pretty unusual. The length of the pen is relatively short but quite wide. The Airpress is just a little longer than a Kaweco Sport capped but the width is comparable to a large capacity multi-pen.

The body creates a pretty comfortable grip, despite the short length, thanks to the ridged windows on the grip section.

The clip is a large hinged clip that will attach to just about any notebook or binder cover. On the opposite side from the clip is a loop that could be used to attach the pen to a lanyard.

Tombow Airpress disassembled

Inside the pen is a small refill that would be easy to replace when the need arises. I test drove the pen on appropriately-tough Rite in the Rain notecards. Deeper in the pen body is a pressurizing chamber. By pressing the button on the end, the ink is pressurized to write upside down for up to about 500 feet.

Tombow Airpress

For the price point (about $10), the Tombow Airpress is about the middle of the price range for pressurized pens with the Fisher Space Pen being at the upper end ($20 or so) of the price spectrum and the Uni Power Tank being the lowest, starting at $3.30.

The writing experience was good for a ballpoint. I didn’t have any real issues with it and the point was pretty fine. I like the Airpress better than a lot of ballpoint pens, pressurized or otherwise though I find the body shape to be a bit too wide for my hands.

Giveaway: Would you like to try out a Tombow Airpress? I have TWO to giveaway. Leave a message in the comments and tell me what extreme writing you would do with a Tombow Airpress to be entered to win.

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Friday, November 29, 2014. All entries must be submitted at, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Monday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 30 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. US readers only this time, thanks!

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Tombow for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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44 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I am always ready to try new pens. Wait – do I have to be upside down AND five hundred feet above…sea level, I guess?

    I’m not very extreme, but as a result of some health problems I do like to write while lying on my back, which is generally impossible without a pressurized pen.

  2. I am a high school band director who takes my group to high school football games on Friday nights in the fall to perform. Let me tell you about the extremes of heat, cold, sweat, rain… I can put it through the ringer!

  3. I would love to try this… It would be for use in my car, where I often get hard starts and skipping from regular ballpoints.

  4. The Tombow has been on my list to try. I’m interested in something that can live in my glove compartment along with a notebook and handle the temperatures. It gets very hot here, and it’s even worse in a car that sits in the sun all day. Thanks for the opportunities to win!

    1. WE ARE! EVEN THIS REPLY IS EXTREME. Ha. Actually it’s been funny to realize just how often extreme pens and stuff like that come in handy. I’m a little league umpire after work and I keep score on our notebooks. Though not extreme conditions, a little dirt and wet hasn’t gotten in the way.

  5. I have an orange Airpress. The pocket clip is nice and springy and works well attached to my jeans pocket and it works well on my lab coat. I think the diameter of the pen is really comfortable, as well.

  6. Would love to win this! I’ve never tried a Rite in the Rain notebook either, so I would like to go out in the rain with this pen and a Rite in the Rain journal and check out exxxxxtreeeeeme office products!

  7. I wouldn’t say it’s extreme, but I do tend to write on clipboards set at odd angles on my lap. I’ve had a standard ballpoint skip many times, so I would love to give one of these a try.

  8. Seeing as I already own a Fisher Space pen and a Rite in the Rain pen, I would love to have a “Pepsi Challenge” between them and a Tombow Airpress. Getting through a long New England winter with its bone chilling cold and never ending snow is as extreme as it gets for me.

  9. If I won, it would be my “pocket pen” for when I need to take notes or complete paperwork out on the mill floor in a manufacturing environment.

    1. Ha! I’m an RITR employee, and I’ll say that there’s a certain satisfaction from leaving a waterproof note on a windshield after being boxed in outside of my Seattle-area apartment. I had to take an Uber to work, though.

  10. I’m not usually in many extreme situations, aside from today. Taking notes in extremely windy weather is a very big hassle. Besides that the only extreme situation I’m ever in is note-taking before a big final (which to my horror is coming up).

  11. Maybe I could take it with me to do some EXTREME journaling at the beach. Sounds tame but the beach can be a pretty inhospitable place for pens…

  12. I would love to try a new pen! I started my NaNoWriMo this month, and I am not going to finish in time. I love working out my story ideas on paper and I am looking for a new long lasting pen. I tried the seven year pen, but the flow is not consistent, and frustrating. Thank you for having these giveaways.

  13. WouId love to try this pen. I would most likely keep it in my daily carry bag as my go to pen for writing on the fly (in my rite in the rain notepad). Not too extreme, sorry.

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