Nomad Pen Review: Bring a Taste of Analog Luxury Into Your Life

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The Lowdown

The Nomad Pen is an excellent writing utensil that is luxurious without carrying a luxury price; if there were a clip option available for it, I would call it perfect.

Overall
4.5

Pros

  • Refined look and feel
  • Satisfying click mechanism to extend and retract the ballpoint
  • Perfectly balanced
  • Flattened sides of the barrel make it a pleasure to hold for extended periods of time

Cons

  • I would like to see an option to add a shirt clip
Nomad Pen Review: Bring a Taste of Analog Luxury Into Your Life Listen to this article

Nomad has made a name for itself by releasing some of the best mobile accessories on the market. Whether you have an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch, Nomad has something for you. Now, with their new Nomad Pen, they’ve gone in a new analog direction; sure, it’s “just” a pen, but it is all Nomad.

Nomad Pen in retail box

I do almost everything electronically these days; between my iPad Pro, Brydge keyboard, and Apple Pencil 2, just about everything I need to do is covered. I can type a review like this using the keyboard, and I can take notes in a meeting using the Apple Pencil.

But no matter how deeply I go into the digital world, there are still countless times each day when I need to use a good old-fashioned pen. Although I used to be a pen collector (in fact, I had dozens of Parker 51s), in recent years, I’ve moved to simple plastic pens that work fine and are inexpensive enough that I don’t care if they get lost or “borrowed.”

However, for the last few months, I’ve been using a pre-release version of the new Nomad Pen. The pen, which is now available on their site, is … a pen. Click the button on the bottom, and a ballpoint pen tip emerges; click it again, and… the pen tip retracts into the barrel. There’s nothing to recharge, and there are no special features; it’s just… a pen.

Nomad Pen

But this pen reflects Nomad’s design aesthetic and the build-quality we’ve come to love.

Nomad Pen

Measuring 134.5mm in length and reaching a maximum thickness of 9.8mm, the main body of the pen is constructed from Grade high-quality stainless steel, while the top and cap are made from aluminum. At 32g, the pen has just enough heft without being so heavy that your hand will tire out after writing a few sentences.

Tip of the Nomad Pen

The pen uses a Schmidt EasyFLOW 9000 ink cartridge with a medium point, but it is also compatible with Parker-style G2 refills.

Nomad describes it this way:

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4

Confidence Inspiring: Machined from solid stainless steel and aluminum, then coated with a physical vapor deposition (PVD) layer and anodized for added abrasion and corrosion resistance, Pen gives you a perfectly weighted writing tool that feels confident in the hand and provides a smooth and controlled writing experience.

The clicker on the Nomad Pen

The mechanism for extending and retracting the pen is solid, and it delivers a satisfying “click” when activated. The section that houses this mechanism is perfectly round; it is a lighter color than the rest of the pen with the Nomad name embossed in white letters that are large enough to see but not so large as to be obnoxious.

Nomad Pen and ink cartridge

Nomad explored various cartridge options before settling on the Schmidt EasyFLOW 9000 ink cartridge. As they explain,

While testing a massive amount of ink types, we found that the EasyFLOW 9000 was the perfect balance that glides smoothly over paper, writes cleanly and precisely, and does not dry out when left open.

I’ve found it quite pleasant to write with.

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end of Nomad Pen

I especially love this pen because, while the section housing the click button mechanism is perfectly round, the barrel itself is flattened on two sides. This, combined with just the right amount of heft, makes the Nomad Pen exceptionally comfortable to hold and use.

While I appreciate that the Nomad Pen is an uncomplicated writing utensil, I can’t help but wish that Nomad had designed the pen with a shirt clip or offered the option of adding one.

While I recognize that adding a clip would change the Nomad Pen’s clean lines, I’ve been hesitant to use the pen away from my desk for fear that I’ll lose it within minutes. Obviously, I really like the Nomad Pen, and I don’t want that to happen.

Nomad Pen

The Nomad Pen is an excellent writing utensil that is luxurious without carrying a luxury price; if there were a clip option available for it, I would call it perfect.

The Nomad Pen sells for $49.95; it is available directly from the manufacturer.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Refined look and feel; Satisfying click mechanism to extend and retract the ballpoint; Perfectly balanced; Flattened sides of the barrel make it a pleasure to hold for extended periods

What Needs Improvement: I would like to see an option to add a shirt clip

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.