Inka Pen Review

October 6, 2008

I'm not a pen guy per se. I mean sure, I expect a pen to write good but I don't care if it's stainless, gold plated, a certain brand or whatever else people use to rationalize buying a $100+ pen. But when I saw the Inka Pen at this years Winter Outdoor Retailer Show I knew that this pen would soon be on my "needed" items list. As a backcountry skier I'm often interested in taking notes of snow conditions, avalanche activity and results from the snow pits that I dig. Trying to use a pencil on wet paper, even the waterproof paper (which is expensive!) can deliver mixed results at best. Try using a pen in the cold and snowy weather and you're SOL. When the pen arrived and after reading all the marketing materials that it "writes in extreme environments" and writes "upside down" it sounded a lot like the Seinfeld space pen: [youtube][/youtube] The pen can be used in compact or full expanded mode, making it useful for quick writing or comfortable for prolonged writing. Ideal for situations like writing in a journal while in a tent at base camp on an expedition or perhaps on a train as it rumbles through Europe when you're living out of a backpack. Whenver space is a premium and reliability tantamount, the Inka Pen measures up. But what about super cold or up-side down as advertised? Regardless of its claims I put it to the test in cold snowy and wet conditions to see if it really measured up. Quick Review of the Inka Pen As you can see from the image on the right I used the pen in 5 different scenerios all written on the same note card. For the wet paper situation I put snow on the paper and let it melt. It was snowing pretty hard and the air temperature was in the low 20's. I also had stored the pen in my backpack to ensure that it was at or near air temps. The results? You can decide from the image but it wrote well each time. I'm sold on the reliability and use of this pen. I slip it in my pack with a small stack of 3x5 cards (with a hole in the corner as the pen comes with a key ring that I slip through the hole) on every adventure. Good Inka The Inka pen writes upside down, wet, cold and even under water. Small and easy to use in either compact or full mode Fits in a pocket Built to last Bad Inka Price of $19.95 may scare some. However, the moment you need something to write with in an "extreme" situation you'll gladly plunk down a Jackson for the Inka Pen. BUY: PIck up the Inka Pen from the REI catalog for$ 19.95. Seinfeld jokes are free of charge.

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