Finding the right case is a difficult thing, there’re so many options that come in all different sizes, and with features ranging from tons of little pockets and organizational tools to nothing at all. Even where a zipper is positioned can really affect how convenient a product is to use on a day-to-day basis. So today I’ll be looking at an inexpensive pencil case available in a wide range of areas (at least it was when I bought it at a grocery store, but it takes time to properly test a case and I don’t know what’s going on with them now).
The Tech Gear pencil case is a simple thing, being made of mostly black nylon in a rectangular-ish shape that’s about 8” long and 4½” wide. There are two support pieces, one going around the bottom, and another on the “lid” and they keep everything roughly in the right place. Just underneath this support piece is the zipper, which runs along the top edge. When unzipped, the “lid” (which has a rubber logo patch, 5-stripe “design”, and possibly a different color upper half) hinges back along one of the long edges revealing the inside, which is just a “bucket” about 1” deep where you can dump things. This “hinge” is reinforced by another piece of nylon both inside and out.
The inside is a smoother texture than the outside, with several of the seams covered up by a plastic-ish, almost electrical-tape feeling material. There’s a tag that tells you it was made in China, but otherwise it’s just an empty cavern into which you can dump whatever you want that’ll fit. And that is pretty much anything that is the same length or shorter than a standard, unsharpened pencil (about 7½”, you might be able to squeeze longer things in if you’re creative) and about 1¼” thick (even that might be stretching it). And that’s a fair amount of stuff. I’ve been using it to carry around my “to-review” items and never had a problem with space. I’ve only got around 15 items in it now, but it can hold 30 writing implements and a few other bits and bobs comfortably.
But it is a cheap case, so how well does it hold up? Reasonably, I’ll say. It’s been a long time since I went to school (and I just used a Ziploc for my pencil case then) and I know I would’ve been much harder on a case then than I am now, but after carrying it around for a while now there is very minimal wear (a loose thread here and there and the rubber patch on the front is a little scuffed, but nothing significant). Still, I can see a lot of the cheapness in its build quality; most seams are unfinished and liable to tear or unfurl, and the material itself isn’t that strong a stuff in the first place. The zipper works but the material is cheap and soft (and paint already flecking), etc. For someone like me who won’t put it through much hard work it’s fine and’ll probably last for quite a while, but in school I’d say it’s about a 1-year bag.
And that’s pretty much it. The bag has some organizational problems but it’s also fairly small so nothing should get too buried. And it’s got some craftsmanship problems but for the price you couldn’t really expect better. It’s good for what it is and if that’s what you need it’s easy enough to get. So if you just need something to dump your pencils in and won’t worry about having to replace it later because it’s cheap, this one’s a good thing to look at.