How does the Dryden Designs Bamboo Fountain Pen do with every day use? You’re about to find out. Dryden Designs calls this a luxury pen, this is definitely not a luxury fountain pen. It’s very hard for any pen to fit into the luxury fountain pen category at less than $30 retail and I will give you the pros and cons of this cheap fountain pen.
Dryden Designs Bamboo Fountain Pen Design
I love the Bamboo look and feel of this fountain pen.
Specifically, don’t you love how when the pen tapers, it reveals where the grain is cut to form the shape.
I also love the two ends. Both ends are rough and show the end cuts where two bamboo pieces were sheared off, glued together and then, apparently coated with a matte finish after creating the internals of the pen. Intriguing.
Nib Width: 7mm
Nib Length: 18mm
Pull/Screw Cap: Pull
Capped Length: 142mm
Posted Length: 153mm
Uncapped Length: 121mm
Mid-Grip Width: 5mm
Cap Band Width: 9mm
Cap Weight: 13g
As soon as you witness the bamboo box, you get excited to open it up and see the pen.
The gift box is made of the same bamboo that the pen is and it makes for a beautiful gift pen, or for anyone that hangs onto the original boxes (not me.) 🙂
In terms of shape, this pen is classic and tapers on both ends like a cigar. The ends show the end cuts of bamboo, which are fun to ponder… you can see where the grain ends and how it was finished.
The grain across the pen is awesome, you can see it’s a natural product and you just want to touch it.
Dryden Designs Bamboo fountain pen comes only in a medium nib and that’s what you see in the writing sample. The nib is gold plated, I don’t know if the rest of the hardware is gold plated steel or just gold colored, but I’d guess the latter based on price point and I think they’d advertise it as such if it was gold plated.
Nib and feed are steel with gold plating (nib) and feed works well to complement the feed and keep juice flowing since I didn’t experience any skipping, although some minor hard starts were apparent when writing with it after it sat overnight.
How Does The Bamboo Nib Perform?
This bamboo fountain pen has a steel nib which is nail hard as expected. You aren’t going to feel a lot of flex out of it.
The nib is smooth however, and the ink flows well. It’s a medium/wet writer, laying down a pretty good amount of ink using Noodler’s Baystate Blue.
Dryden Designs also sells a box of international cartridges in six colors if you prefer cartridges.
When using it on notebook paper, I experienced heavy ghosting or bleed through, so much that I wouldn’t use the back of the page, it won’t be legible. Using Rhodia paper, it’s fantastic, as most fountain pens are, this paper is so smooth and absorbent, it’s a pleasure to use with a fountain pen.
The Cap – It’s a poster and it pulls off!
Oh, if you’ve been reading my reviews for any length of time, you know my love of pens that post the caps on the back securely. Dryden Designs Bamboo fountain pen does just that. It looks a little awkward given the shape, but it posts well.
The pull off cap snaps on and off with a satisfying click, and you won’t find any complaints from me about that! awesome!
The clip is my only complaint, and that’s because it’s a cheaply made clip.
What does that mean? Well it doesn’t add any value to the pen at all and detracts from it in my opinion.
The clip is pressed metal, which is to say you can see the machine marks pressing the back of the clip into this shape then the cut out at the bottom folded behind it. This pen is marketed as a “luxury” fountain pen, which this clip completely betrays.
A luxury clip would be spring loaded and would have a solid back, not a hollow back where you can see the press marks. The only bonus of this clip is the same as every other clip, it keeps it from rolling off the table.
When posted, the cap stays put and doesn’t chatter. The cap ring has some sharp edges on the inside and I’d be concerned that it’d wear the finish right off the back of the pen over time. The inner cap fits nice and tight over the back of the pen, but when pulling it on and off of the back, there’s an easy opportunity to bang the metal against the back and it’s not a smooth bump, it’s a bit sharp.
Who is the Fountain Pen Good For? Is It a Good Overall Value?
This fountain pen is such a great gift pen for someone looking to get into fountain pens, who likes the look of wood pens. This Bamboo pen by Dryden Designs is a great example of a fountain pen that would be an excellent gift and share your love of fountain pens.
Nib and feed work together well, no complaints here. Occasional hard starting could likely be prevented by storing it nib down in a cup to keep the feed primed with ink.
Great gift pen for anyone just beginning their journey into fountain pens.