A while back, Ana asked me if I would like to review something a bit different than my usual; it was the Silo ballpoint pen from Caravan Designs ($25.00 for the pen, sleeve, and refill). I was excited to try a new kind of pen – Every Day Carry (EDC) items are not usually my area. Why not? Because women don’t get pockets.
When I opened the package, I was quite impressed by the look of the Silo pen; the pen sleeve is a thick leather in rich brown, exactly long enough for the pen. The pen is an interesting item in the looks department as well; a slender cylinder of stainless steel with only a bare hint of where the cap and body meet. The design is a minimalistic look almost to an extreme; the result is a very eye-catching pen.
Of course, I had to take the entire pen apart before anything else. I was impressed to find that it consists only of four components: the barrel, the section, the cap, and the refill. No O-rings, no separate grip piece, no adapters. The stainless steel has a brushed finish – I think it will take scuffs and scrapes beautifully without detracting from the overall look.
A quick rundown of the pen dimensions and some common pen comparisons:
Weight: 32 gms
Length: 150 mm
Diameter: 5 mm
The Silo ballpoint arrived with a lovely gel refill that looks to be a 0.5 width. The Caravan Designs website claims that the Silo pen is “compatible with various ballpoint and gel style refillable ink cartridges” and I believe that means refills that match the Pilot G2 dimensions (see Ana’s world-famous refill guide if you want an easy reference for other refills that will fit).
The refill had no issues with a loose fit; there was no rattling or movement at all.
I did notice that it took several turns to open the pen – just over 5 turns which seemed too much in my experience. The Silo pen can’t be posted, but holding the cap didn’t bother me at all since it was just the right size to act as a fidget piece.
Since there is no grip section with the Silo pen, holding the pen to write is either on the section very near the ballpoint tip or a bit further up on the barrel of the pen. I had no issue with this and the brushed finish kept it from ever feeling slippery. If you find metal grips to be slippery in your own writing, take that into consideration.
Another point to consider is the lack of a clip on this pen. This definitely adds to the overall aesthetic of the pen, however, it introduces the danger of rolling away on a flat surface (especially with the same diameter along the length of the pen). Pen loops may not work well for the same reason. However, the included sleeve solves that problem for me.
The weight of the pen is quite nice in my opinion, but the weight distribution is a bit heavy in the back depending on how you hold your pen. I found that it was perfectly balanced for my grip, but when I asked other people for opinions about the pen, a few individuals thought there was a bit too much weight towards the back.
If you hold your pen very near the writing tip, this might be an issue for you.
Overall, I found this pen to be quite fun to use especially because I like to fidget with pens; the price is a great one for a stainless steel pen that takes many other refills and includes a leather sleeve. I love the fact that I can use colorful refills (especially Pilot G2’s), that I can take it fully apart, and I love the weight. The only point that was a downside for me? The time it takes to screw the cap off and on each time. But I can get over that, especially since this pen is a great conversation starter!
Now to get some pockets…