Pencil Cases, Pouches, & Rolls: A Comprehensive Guide

Pencil Cases, Pouches, & Rolls: A Comprehensive Guide

November 19, 2014 - Posted by Miriam to Guides

In the wonderful world of pens and pencils, pencil cases often don't get the attention they deserve. Yet they are the ones who bring order to your collection of writing instruments while keeping them safe and out-of-the box new. We're turning the spotlight on pencil cases; whether you're a student, artist, working professional, or just need an all-around stellar pencil case, here are our hand-picked recommendations for you.

Lihit Lab Teffa Pen Case: This pen case is incredibly versatile, with 5 main compartments of various sizes and the ability to carry 17-24 pens. It's shaped like a medium-sized book with rounded corners, and fits nicely into a backpack, making it the perfect companion to a student. The nylon fabric is easy to clean, and there are compartments suitable for extra cartridges, erasers, calculators, and pocket notebooks. If you love office supplies but hate sorting through clutter, this pencil case is highly recommended.
Kokuyo C2 Tray Type Pencil Case: This sharp two-tone nylon case has an appealing box shape that, once unzipped, turns into a tray. Not all of the items inside will be immediately visible, particularly if the case is full, but things are certainly much easier to find. This feature makes it extremely convenient to bring to class. The no-frills design has a minimalist appeal, and works wonderfully if you have a large set of writing instruments to carry about. In the absence of a bag, you can also dangle the case comfortably from the button strap.

Also consider: Saki P-666 Roll Pen Case

Midori Brass Pen Case: We love the sophisticated look of the Midori Brass Pen Case for working professionals. The pen case has a nice weight and the brass material has a lovely sheen. The lid comes off completely and snaps to a secure closure. It gives a luxurious touch to your office desk while storing and protecting your pens at the same time. It's also convenient to carry around, as its slim shape slips into any laptop or business case comfortably.
Kokuyo Will Stationery Actic Pencil Case: The Will Stationery Actic is streamlined and sturdy, with protective sides and very solid construction that can take a beating without showing any serious scars. It stands up easily on desks and bookshelves, doubling as a pen holder with a small footprint. It's also the perfect size to slip into a laptop bag or purse, and its sleek body wouldn't look out of place on an office desk. With a capacity of 8-10 writing instruments, you can carry all of your necessities. It's also available in a mini size.

Also consider: Saki P-660 Roll Pen Case

Nomadic PN-91 Top Open Pencil Case: This top open pencil case will help keep all your art tools organized. The mesh pocket is perfect for storing rulers or other slim items, while the center divider features elastic loops, ideal for keeping brushes or pens. There's even a small covered section for erasers or pencil leads. Since the case is opens from the top, your tools are visible and accessible while you create your masterpiece. If spills happen along the way, the nylon material is easily cleaned.
Kokuyo Neo-Critz Transformer Pencil Case - Double-Zipper: Artists often carry their tools with them wherever they go, especially when inspiration may strike at any given time! The Kokuyo Neo-Critz Transformer Pencil Case is another recommendation for artists. Its double zipper design is convenient, allowing you to grab pens from both sides of the case. What's more, this pencil case transforms into a stand, perfect for those times when you're out and doing some impromptu art. You can have all your tools in one place in an easy-to-see-and-grab format. To see it in action, check out this video.

Also consider: Saki P-662 Roll Pen Case

Sun-Star Pencil Case & Bag: The Sun-Star Pencil Case & Bag is just what it sounds like--a pencil case that can turn into a bag. The pencil case can hold up to 10 writing instruments, and the bag can carry standard size sketchbooks, journals, and notebooks. The convertible feature is useful in a variety of travel situations. Maybe you're at an art museum and a book of paintings grabs your eye, or the night market has some fruits you've never tried before, or you simply want someplace to put your sweater. In these sorts of situations, the ability to finagle more storage space out of thin air is a pretty valuable one.
P+G Pochi Slim Silicone Pen Case: For traveling, a flexible and durable pencil case is invaluable. As it gets tossed around in your larger bag, you need it to protect what's inside. We take the P+G Pochi Slim Silicone Pen Case with us when we travel. It's made from a soft, but thick silicone material that can withstand hard knocks while keeping your pens safe. The clasp closure is sturdy and secure, so there's no chance of it accidentally opening and causing a mess in your larger bag.

Also consider: Raymay Spalding Stretch Pen Case

Nomadic PE-08 Easy Classification Pencil Cases: The nylon Nomadic PE-08 has a carrying capacity of 20+ writing instruments, and can hold pretty much anything you need. There's a main pouch with two small mesh pockets in it, as well as two outer pouches of different sizes. This makes the pencil case a lot easier to navigate, since you can allocate everything according to function or category. Like most other Nomadic pencil cases, it's extremely functional, durable, and water-resistant.
Raymay Double Zipper Color Pencil Case: The Raymay Double Zipper Color Pencil Case is another all-around pick. We're fans of the classic pen pouch shape, and with two zippered compartments, you can sort pens from pencils or other items easily. The nylon material is easy to clean, so your pen case always looks brand spanking new. Its long skinny shape lets it slip easily into whatever space you have left in your backpack or bag.

Also consider: Kutsuwa Duplex Canvas Pencil Case

Kutsuwa Dr. Ion Super Mega Pencil Case: In case the name didn't tip you off, this heavy-duty pencil case is... well, quite big. It's the size and shape of a rounded lunchbox, with a very solid handle attached to the top, and metal rings on the sides for a long shoulder strap (not included). The construction is superb, and there's a wonderful assortment of pockets, pouches, dividers, and slots for you to organize your stuff. You can fill it with your fountain pen collection, school supplies, cosmetics, or any number of other items. In the event of the apocalypse, it'd be a great bug-out bag for absolutely essential items. Anybody with a penchant for organizing clutter into neat little trays and compartments will enjoy configuring this pencil case.
Nomadic PE-09 Flap Type Pencil Case: If the Dr. Ion Super Mega Pencil Case is a little too intimidating for you, don't fret--we have the next best thing. The Nomadic PE-09 Flap Type Pencil Case has several compartments for you to not only store pens and pencils, but also cards, pencil leads, chapstick, and other small items. When you lift up the velcroed flap on the front of the case, there's an additional compartment with mesh pockets in different sizes to carry those miscellaneous items.

Also consider: Kutsuwa Dr. Ion Mega Pencil Case

Quiver Double-Pen and Single-Pen Holders: These Quiver Pen Holders are handy for bringing one or two pens with you in a convenient and hassle-free way. We like the durable leather material and how the elastic band allows you to securely attach it to an A5 size notebook or Apple iPad Mini case. That's one less thing to have to carry!
Sun-Star Pen Jacket: You can attach these slim nylon cases to notebook or textbook covers. The Belt Type pen jackets attach to notebooks via a strap that can be lengthened and shortened, while the Magnet Type pen jackets "clip" to notebooks through the strength of two magnets. Both types are streamlined and light, designed to carry 2 or 3 of your must-have pens. A slide closure loop keeps the pen jacket closed, so even if you carry it sideways or upside down, the pens inside will remain secure. If you like to travel light, with only the items you really need, these pen jackets are a nice and minimal solution.

Also consider: Kokuyo Will Stationery Actic Mini Pencil Case

Cute and Chic
Lihit Lab Otomo Pencil Case: The Otomo is a triangular pouch made from nylon, and functions much like a wristlet. The interior holds 10-12 pens, and is printed with a chocolate brown polka-dot design that matches the pink exterior quite nicely. The two slim pockets sewn into the main compartment are great for cards, ink cartridges, or lead refills, and the side pocket accommodates extra items like a USB drive, chapstick, and gum. In a casual office setting, the Otomo is an ideal companion.
Miyamoto Collection Retro Komon Pen Case: The designs on these pen cases are so sweet and charming, it's hard to resist the urge to collect them all. From playful cats to quirky robots to cute bird houses, you can easily find one that matches your style. This slim pen case has one zippered compartment that is perfect for basic, everyday use. We adore the careful craftsmanship and attention put into this high quality pen case, such as the 100% cotton cloth and sturdy hardware.

Also consider: Saki P-661 Roll Pen Case

Sun-Star Fakus 2 Pencil Case: Fun and functional is this pencil case's motto! The optical illusion (trompe-l'oeil) design is eye-catching and a great conversation starter. Don't be fooled by the flat shape--this pencil case can fit up to eight pens in the zippered compartment to easily store all your essentials. There's also an open pocket on the front of the case to put easy-to-grab items.
United Bees Split Pen Case: With its comically large zipper and a fun assortment of colors to choose from, your friends will definitely do a double take when they see it. As silly as the zipper is, it's fully functional and the case itself holds a good amount of pens. The pen case is not proportional to the size of the zipper--it has a slim shape that allows it to fit comfortably into your backpack or bag.

Also consider: Miyamoto Collection Retro Komon Pen Case

Different Types of Pencil Cases
Zippered Pouch

The zippered pouch is a classic style, and very recognizable. The Miyamoto Collection Retro Komon Pen Case shown here is the simplest variation, with a squared cylindrical shape and only one pocket, but something like the Nomadic PE-09 Flap Type Pencil Case would also be considered a zippered pouch. Because they keep everything securely enclosed, they're viewed as highly portable and versatile.


Wallet style pencil cases like the Nomadic PN-04 Snap Button Pencil Case are relatively low capacity, but offer the best visibility. Your writing instruments are spread out, so you know exactly where everything is, and tools aren't constantly shifting around. Wallet cases are also slim and easy to slip into a laptop bag. However, the pockets are usually open on one side, so the case must be stored upright to prevent pens from falling out.


Book style cases are typically deep and high capacity, with a "hinge" along the side. Many, like the Lihit Lab Teffa Pen Case, have a wide assortment of compartments and pockets. Book style cases are ideal for anyone that wants to carry a lot of supplies, but can be somewhat bulky.

Roll Up / Wrap

Roll up (or wrap) pen cases are usually made with softer materials like cloth or leather. Like the wallet style cases, roll cases tend to have great visibility, making it easy to find the tool you're looking for. The flap on top keeps the pens from falling out, and the tie cord wraps it all up into a pretty little bundle. There's something very artisanal about the design that artists will appreciate. See the selection guide for more.


Standing pencil cases like the Kokuyo Neo Critz Transformer - Double Zipper are basically pouches that can be converted into pencil holders. They have a small footprint, while still managing to keep everything decently visible. Students with limited desk space will appreciate the multi-functional design of the Neo Critz and its ilk.

Different Pencil Case Materials
Hard Cases

Hard cases made of metal or plastic are protective in some ways, and damaging in others. For an example, throwing a hard case in your backpack with a laptop could result in scratches not only to the laptop, but to the pen bodies inside (particularly if they're nice fountain pens). At the same time, hard cases display their contents quite well when left on a table or bookshelf.

Protective Cases

Protective cases made from leather, canvas, silicone, polyneoprene, and nylon are relatively soft, and won't scratch the pens and pencils within. They tend to be flexible, can stretch if needed, and are usually easy to clean. Students, artists, travelers, and anyone that puts their tools through a beating will probably want a protective case. Nylon is especially tough and portable.

Soft Cases

Soft cases of cloth are lightweight and comforting, with an appeal that some of the more utilitarian cases lack. However, cloth is more easily stained and torn than materials like nylon, so be prepared to take good care of your pencil case.

Wrapping Up

Portable, convenient, and even fun, a good pencil case is a must-have for any stationery junkie. What kind of pencil case do you prefer? Tell us what essentials you carry around with you in the comments below!

Product Pen Capacity Style Material Best for
Lihit Lab Teffa Pen Cases 17 Book Nylon Students
Kokuyo C2 Tray Type Pencil Cases 20+ Tray Nylon Students
Midori Brass Pen Case 4 Hard Brass Professionals
Kokuyo Will Stationery Actic Pencil Cases 3-5 Standing Hard foam plastic Professionals
Nomadic PE-91 Top Open Pencil Cases 21 Pouch Nylon Artists
Kokuyo Neo Critz Transformer Pencil Cases - Double-Zipper 14 Standing Nylon Artists
Sun-Star Pencil Case & Bag 6 Pouch Nylon Travelers
P+G Pochi Slim Silicone Pen Cases 10+ Pouch Silicone Travelers
Nomadic PE-08 Easy Classification Pencil Cases 30+ Pouch Nylon General Purpose
Raymay Double Zipper Color Pencil Cases 16 Pouch Silicone General Purpose
Kutsuwa Dr. Ion Super Mega Pencil Cases 40+ Book Nylon High-Capacity
Nomadic PE-09 Flap Type Pencil Cases 40+ Pouch Nylon High-Capacity
Quiver Double amd Single-Pen Holders 1-2 Case Leather Minimalists
Sun-Star Pen Jackets 2-3 Case Polyester Minimalists
Lihit Lab Otomo Pencil Cases 5 Pouch Polyester Cute and Chic
Miyamoto Collection Retro Komon Pen Cases 13 Pouch Cotton Cute and Chic
Sun-Star Fakus 2 Pencil Cases 8 Pouch Cotton Humorous
United Bees Split Pen Case Muji 23 Pouch Cotton Humorous

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