I love my Fisher Space Pens. They are small, feel nice in the hand, the ink never skips, and they can write under water and upside down. I always have a pen on me, whether I am at work, out and about, or even on the trail. I like to be able to write things down if necessary, so I keep a couple of slips of paper in my wallet, and take a small Moleskine plain notebook (lined paper is the devil) on the trails. My Space Pens have been faithfully working for me for many years, but I saw the inka and was intrigued.

inka

The version I bought was the titanium one, which runs about $23 shipped on ebay. The tube is the only titanium part, which the rest of the body being plastic and the split ring being regular stainless steel. With a large portion of it non-titanium, the part that is actually titanium seems to be just for looks, which is fine, since it does not exactly tear a whole in my pocket with its immense weight.

The problem with the pen is that, unlike the Space Pen, you do not just remove the pen portion and stick it in the cap to make a full pen. Let’s take a look at the Space Pen, apart and assembled:

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Two steps, very easy to do. Now, let’s compare that with how to take the inka and turn it into a full size writing instrument:

1. Remove the pen portion from the tube.
2. Unscrew the key ring from the back of the tube.
3. Unscrew the stopper piece from the back of the pen.
4. Put the stopper in the tube.
5. Screw the pen portion onto the tube.
6. Figure out something to do with key ring, since it has no way to attach to the fully assembled pen.

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inka

I am all about overcomplicated gadgets that take months to figure out, but a pen? I owned Transformers as a kid that took less time to take from one stage to another. They make the pen portion easy to remove from the tube, why not just stick the same connection with an o-ring on the other side so you can just flip it around? They bill it as the “first pen designed and built for the adventurer,” so why a keyring instead of a pocket clip or just nothing? That keyring is extra grams! Yes, ultralighters, I was making fun of you with that last one.

The back of the pen refill doubles as a stylus, but you still have to unscrew the back of the pen to access the tip. Contrast that with the Space Pen stylus, which is just on the back of the pen, so you have to, well, turn the pen around.

Anyway, I give the inka pen two ink stains out of five (that is my new rating scale). It functions as a pen, just an overcomplicated one. It gets an extra point for being partially titanium, which makes everything better.

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