This Metier Life pen case caught my attention because it is such an unusual design; it’s a trifold pen case, not what you normally find when you are looking for a pen case; and as it was only $14.99USD I ordered one.
I had never heard of Metier Life before, so I decided to dig around and find out what I could about them . It turns out that they are a ethical company who use no animal-based products and donate a percentage of their profits to Endangered Species International. They also focus on ethical sourcing for their production facilities, sustainability and low impact products.
My case took about a week to arrive and when I opened it I could see that in line with their commitment to not using animal-based products Metier have used a combination of canvas for the outer shell and vegan leather for the inner lining, pouches et cetera.
The canvas outer shell is a very nice light grey and it feels durable, the sort of material that will wear well over many years and the only branding is the Metier ‘M’ logo on the closure flap. The stitching throughout is very neat and I can find no fault with it which is a good sign as it points to high production standards.
As for the vegan leather, this is a good quality synthetic material that is soft and pliable and should provide reasonable protection for your pens. The main panels of the case are stiffened using, I would guess, a layer of card sandwiched between the inner and outer shells except at the two-fold over points where the stiffening has been omitted to ensure the case folds neatly.
The case has three sections; the top, middle and bottom. The top is the closure flap which contains the magnets that keep it closed, the middle is the pen pouches and the bottom section holds the notepad.
It’s the pen pouch and notepad sections where I have concerns; Metier advertise the pouches as being suitable for fountain pens, well they are, and they are not. They are if your preference is for very slim fountain pens but if your pens ten towards average size or larger, they are not. I was able to get an average sized Wing Sung 3008 in the centre pouch, but the two side pouches are only suitable for Bic sized ballpoints/pencils. It also has a strange loop that covers the top end of the pen pouches but serves no practical purpose I could discern
As for the notepad holder, it’s a great idea but it should have been sized to take a standard A7 notepad; that way it would have accommodated a range of sizes but as it is it’s just a little bit smaller than it needs to be. The notepad itself is a simple stapled and tape bound ‘To Do’ notepad that hooks onto the case using a strap positioned behind it.
Overall, I think this case is an idea with great potential, but it really needed more time spent on the design, particularly the sizing. Whilst I know that getting the sizing right would increase the overall size of the case it would be worth it to have a case like this that would take standard sized pens and pads et cetera. I would even go so far as to suggest that Metier add a small pocket perhaps an extra layer of canvas on the outer shell behind the pen pouches as somewhere to store receipts.
For now, I don’t think this is worth your pennies, my advice is wait and see if Metier revise the design before you consider buying one.
Disclaimer: The case was purchased with my own funds at retail price. The opinions expressed in this review are my own; and I am not connected with either the retailers or manufacturers in any way.