The Top 3 Fountain Pens for Travelers: Ultimate On-The-Go Writing

SUMMARY: Between the Lamy Safari and the Kaweco Sport, I find them both ideal for travel due to their lightweight, compact design, and affordable price point that makes losing them less painful. Each offers unique benefits, but you’ll be well-equipped for writing during your adventures with either choice.

Ever found yourself wishing for the perfect fountain pen to jot down memories while hopping from one destination to another?

As an avid traveler and a seasoned connoisseur of writing instruments, I’ve spent countless hours testing various fountain pens to bring you trustworthy, expert advice. My journey has armed me with the insight to distinguish the exemplary from the merely acceptable, ensuring you only get recommendations that are tailored for the rigors of travel.

Continue reading to discover your ideal travel companion and embrace the joy of writing, wherever your adventures may lead you.

Essential Features in a Travel Fountain Pen

When pinpointing a fountain pen suitable for your travel escapades, several key factors come into play. It’s not just about aesthetics; it’s about finding a pen that copes well with the demands of mobility, practicality, and reliability. As an enthusiast, I’ve learned that the ideal travel fountain pen should tick the following boxes:

  • Durability: A sturdy build that withstands the rigors of travel.
  • Portability: Compact and lightweight for effortless transport.
  • Ink Capacity: A decent ink reservoir to reduce the frequency of refills.
  • Leak-Proof Design: Well-engineered to prevent leaks at high altitudes.
  • Price: Affordable enough that loss or damage isn’t devastating.

The Best Fountain Pens for Travelers

Lamy Safari

The Lamy Safari is a true workhorse in the realm of fountain pens, ideal for writers who wander. Its sturdy ABS plastic construction and ergonomic grip make it a reliable choice for jotting down inspirations on the go. The pen features a flexible chrome clip that’s practical for attaching to notebooks and pockets alike.

  • Pros: Durable design, comfortable to hold for extended periods, and a wide selection of nib sizes to suit various handwriting styles.
  • Cons: The proprietary cartridges can be a disadvantage for those preferring the use of bottled ink while traveling, as it requires carrying additional Lamy cartridges or a converter.

Kaweco Sport

Compactness is key when it comes to the Kaweco Sport, making it a favored fountain pen among travelers. Its unique, octagonal design is not only eye-catching but also fits comfortably in your hand, and when capped, the pen is just over 10 centimeters in length—perfect for slipping into a pocket or travel pouch. The screw-on cap ensures that the pen stays secure and the ink doesn’t dry out or leak during your travels.

  • Pros: Its small size when capped transforms into a standard-sized pen when posted, making it versatile for all writing tasks. The variety of nib sizes accommodates different writing styles, and it uses standard international cartridges, offering greater flexibility in ink choice.
  • Cons: Some users may find the pen too short when not posted, and those with larger hands might not find it as comfortable. Additionally, the converter for bottled ink, if preferred, is sold separately and has a small ink capacity.

Your Guide to Buying a Travel Fountain Pen

Embarking on the journey to find the best travel fountain pen can seem daunting, but with the right guidelines, you’ll be equipped to make an informed decision. Consider the following aspects to ensure you select a fountain pen that aligns with your travel lifestyle.

Durability and Reliability

Travel can be unpredictable, and your pen should withstand the rigors of your adventures. Opt for pens known for their robust construction and reliability in a variety of conditions. Test the clip, cap, and barrel for sturdiness before committing to your pen of choice.

Size and Portability

The ideal travel pen is compact and easy to carry. Look for pens that can be comfortably stowed away in a pocket or travel notebook. Lightweight pens are also favorable as they won’t add much bulk to your luggage, making them perfect for travelers looking to maintain a minimalist approach to packing.

Ink Filling System

The ink filling system of your fountain pen is crucial, especially for extended trips. Cartridge systems can be more convenient for travel, as they’re simple to replace, although bottled ink and converters offer the appeal of a wider variety of ink colors. Decide which system best suits your traveling habits and preferences.

Price Point

While fountain pens can be a significant investment, the best travel fountain pen doesn’t need to break the bank. Balance the pen’s cost with its features and your specific needs. An affordable pen like the Lamy Safari or Kaweco Sport is practical, as losing it won’t be as painful as misplacing a more expensive luxury pen.

Nib Options

The nib should suit your writing style and be versatile enough for various paper types you might encounter. A sturdy, fine or medium nib is often recommended for travelers due to their adaptability and lower risk of ink bleeding through thinner paper types common in travel journals or stationery found abroad.

Armed with these considerations, your purchase will be a step toward seamless writing experiences wherever your travels may take you. Opt for what resonates best with your needs, and let your chosen fountain pen become a trusty companion in documenting your journey.

Alternative Pens for Traveling

If the Lamy Safari and Kaweco Sport don’t quite match your style or preferences, fear not—there are other noteworthy contenders in the realm of travel fountain pens. Here are a few alternative options that deliver on both form and function, perhaps aligning more closely with your writing and travel demands.

Pilot Metropolitan

The Pilot Metropolitan is a sleek, stylish option that offers a smooth writing experience. Its reputation for durability and a comfortable grip makes it another excellent choice for travelers.

  • Pros: Reliable, elegant design, and comes with a converter for bottled ink use.
  • Cons: Slightly heavier than other travel pens, which might not appeal to those looking to minimize their load.

TWSBI Diamond Mini

For those who prefer a demonstrator pen or a larger ink capacity, the TWSBI Diamond Mini fits the bill. This compact pen is designed to be carried without fear of leaks and boasts a piston-filling system that negates the need for cartridges or converters.

  • Pros: Large ink capacity, see-through body for monitoring ink level, and no need for cartridges.
  • Cons: Cleaning and maintenance can be more involved than with cartridge pens.

Faber-Castell Loom

The beautiful design and excellent craftsmanship of the Faber-Castell Loom make it a desirable pen for those who want a touch of luxury on their travels. It’s well-balanced in the hand, and its smooth nib performs consistently on various grades of paper.

  • Pros: Solid construction, premium feel, and an exceptional writing experience.
  • Cons: The metal grip section might become slippery, which is a consideration for those who prefer longer writing sessions.

Each of these pens carries its set of advantages that may cater to different aspects of travel writing. Whether durability, design, or ink capacity ranks highest on your list of priorities, there’s a fountain pen out there that’s poised to become your trusty travel mate. Ultimately, the right pen is the one that feels like an extension of your hand, regardless of the destination.


After careful consideration, it is clear that both the Lamy Safari and Kaweco Sport stand out as the best fountain pens for traveling, thanks to their compact design, durability, and affordability.

  • Portability and ease of use are paramount when selecting a fountain pen for travel.
  • The Lamy Safari offers a robust and ergonomic design ideal for on-the-go writing.
  • Kaweco Sport’s pocket-sized form factor makes it an excellent choice for minimalists.
  • Both pens are budget-friendly, reducing the worry of loss during travel.
  • The importance of considering personal preferences in size, weight, and style to find a fountain pen that suits your travel needs.

Traveling with Fountain Pens FAQs

Why choose a fountain pen over other types of pens for travel?

Fountain pens are chosen by many travelers for their reliability, the pleasure of writing with them, and their eco-friendly nature since they are refillable. Their durable nibs and customizable ink choices also allow for a personalized writing experience that can adapt to the preferences of any writer on the go.

How do I travel safely with a fountain pen to prevent leaks?

To prevent leaks when traveling with a fountain pen, it’s best to travel with the pen either completely full or empty to minimize air in the reservoir that can lead to leaks caused by pressure changes. Keeping the pen stored upright and cleaning it before your journey can also reduce the risk of leakage.

Can fountain pens clear airport security checks?

Yes, fountain pens can typically clear airport security checks. However, to avoid any issues with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), ensure that your fountain pen is either devoid of ink or securely stored in a clear plastic bag if it’s filled to alert security staff to its presence and show that it’s not a threat.

What’s the best way to carry ink for a fountain pen while traveling?

The best way to carry ink for a fountain pen while traveling is by using ink cartridges, which are less prone to spillage compared to bottled inks. Alternatively, you can opt for a portable inkwell designed for travel, or a fountain pen with a filling mechanism that can hold more ink for extended use.