Thursday, June 9, 2016

Review: Constellations88 48 Pen Folder 4D - Black

This pen case was sent over from Constellations88 for review. I have a few cases, ranging from some inexpensive ones off eBay, to Visconti, Castelijn & Beerens, FPRevolution, Delta, and others. The pens that are not in use need a place to be stored, so that's where a case like this comes in for me.
Review Constellations88 48 Pen Folder 4D - Black (1)
ABOUT

Color: Black
Price: $54.00USD - regular price $60.00USD
Shipping: $10.00USD (up to two items)
Where To Buy: Constellations88
Constellations88 has kindly offered 10% off to all GourmetPens readers if you use the Where To Buy link! I do not receive any commission.
Follow Constellations88: Facebook | Instagram

PACKAGING

No packaging.

APPEARANCE

This 48 Pen Folder 4D is a fairly large case, which is quite thick even when it's empty. It has slightly rounded corners, and the Constellations88 star logo is on the front. The black material is dark and a little shiny, It is fairly smooth and doesn't have much visible texture. The stitching and zipper is a matching black, which looks pretty nice. Although the covers and spine are quite stiff, the lower corner of the front cover was quite beaten up when it arrived.

The inside of the case is black and velvety, with black stitching. The four pillows are cut to cover the elastics, leaving no area exposed. The elastics themselves are tan, with tan stitching. I'm not sure why they selected tan elastics! I would have preferred a black color scheme entirely.
Review Constellations88 48 Pen Folder 4D - Black (5)
I like the overall look of this case but once again, it needs some attention to detail. The pillows inside are a little uneven and it's not my favorite design as you have to flip back one pillow at a time to access your pens. The velvet at the back was rubbed off in some places, so it looks a little messy.
Review Constellations88 48 Pen Folder 4D - Black (4)
Review Constellations88 48 Pen Folder 4D - Black (3)
PERFORMANCE & FEEL

Like Constellations88's other cases, this case feels pretty decent in hand - it's firm because the covers are stiff, and the material has a soft touch to it. Although the cover's edge is beaten up, it hasn't affected the inside or its performance as a pen case. As far as how it feels, I do think it's pretty nice. It holds its shape well, so it does a good job of protecting pens from each other.
Review Constellations88 48 Pen Folder 4D - Black (2)
I really like the idea of the foamy, padded pillows inside the case, except that they're a bit of a nuisance to move aside all the time. One pillow that could flip out would have been more convenient for me. However, they do protect the tops and bottoms of the pens, and when the case is closed, the pillows come into contact with each other, and protect the pens from touching. As with the 12 Pen Case, if you put large pens in here, once you close it, the pillows take up a lot of space, and the case is so full that it becomes really stuffed. There should just be more space to allow for expansion as the case gets bulgy.
Review Constellations88 48 Pen Folder 4D - Black (7)
The double elastic set up prevents pens from moving around under the pillows. This has pros and cons. The good thing is just that: everything is protected. The downside is that they're really, really snug and I found it pretty tough to get wider pens into the elastics. In doing so, quite a bit of pressure is applied against the velvet base and I ended up wearing down some of the material on the back. I am hesitant to put delicate pens in such snug elastics, and of course, this is not unique just to this case - I am hesitant to put delicate pens in any case with really snug elastics. In addition to this, I found it difficult to get pens into the bottom rows when the top rows were full.
Review Constellations88 48 Pen Folder 4D - Black (6)
Large, long pens fit in this case well, once you get past the struggling with elastics. After a few months, the elastics did loosen up a little but have not become overstretched, fortunately. Although wide pens fit, I think the elastics and this case is better suited for thinner to normal-sized pens. Of course, you could always alternate slots and not use every single one, but I wanted to see how it would work out with every single slot full. It's much easier to use and access when every other slot is empty.
Review Constellations88 48 Pen Folder 4D - Black (8)
Review Constellations88 48 Pen Folder 4D - Black (9)
Like the other cases I have used from Constellations88, the material doesn't hold up well to scuffing. Where animal leather develops character, picking up scuffs and marks, this one doesn't show anything, unless you nick it, in which case it just looks cut. This one seems to be in better condition after weeks of use than the others, but perhaps it's the nature of use it sees.

PROS
  • Foam leather - ideal for vegans or those who don't want an animal leather case.
  • Soft finish feels nice.
  • Minimal branding. 
  • Padded inside to protect pens.
  • Firm covers provide extra protection.
CONS
  • Cannot hold many large pens - becomes too thick and strains when closed.
  • Finishing needs some refining. 
  • Double elastics are really hard to work with if you have larger pens - they're really snug.
  • The struggle to get pens into and out of the elastics wears down the velvet underneath.
WHO IS THIS FOR?

This is a good case for those who have small to medium pens, or who do not intend to fill the case up completely with larger pens. Also a great option for those who observe a vegan lifestyle.

OVERALL
Review Constellations88 48 Pen Folder 4D - Black (10)
Once again, this is a decent looking pen case at a reasonable price. Although it's not inexpensive, it's also not so bad either. It looks like leather, it sure does protect your pens, and although the finish is not immaculate, it's not a bad deal. Best for smaller, thinner pens rather than larger, wider pens, as the elastics are a bit of a struggle - but that is often the case with elastics, isn't it? So far, they haven't stretched out too much. And vegan!

Since the majority of my pens are large, and since it stays at home, this case does work out for me. The fact that it bulges and isn't in pristine condition can be more easily overlooked because it's more of a storage case than a portable case. I still hate having to battle with the elastics, though.

I received this item free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. I do not receive a commission if you purchase through the link here.

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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