I hate flying. I really do!
And every time I fly, I frequently travel between Asia (Taiwan, Japan) and Europe, I have a dilemma – which pen should I take with me?
The obvious answer – a fountain pen- is sadly wrong. As far as I love them, they are very impractical when you are flying.
First, to avoid leakage the pen should be either full of ink or empty. The empty pen is useless and keeping it full of ink is harder than you might think. If I have a stopover or a connecting flight, it means that I am not able to use that pen at all or it will leak the next time a plane is taking off.
Finally, if you need to fill in any official documents at the airport or on an airplane, good luck! Those papers are usually not fountain pen friendly.
The next thought would be: “A rollerball!” They are as close to fountainpens as it can get. That’s true but it’s not just that they leak on the flight, they often don’t work at all! (usually, they leak first and stain your fingers, clothes and everything around you, and after that, they stop working)
The good news is that there is more than one pen that you can safely use on an airplane. My favorite one, and subject to this review, is uni-ball Vision Elite.
Vision Elite is basically an upgraded version of a uni-ball eye. They have similar size, same tips, and what’s most important same super ink.
Uni’s super ink is waterproof, fade-proof and helps prevent against check and document fraud. That’s why whenever I can I sign important documents with uni-ball eye or something else equipped with super ink.
Uni Vision Elite is as smooth as uni’s other rollerballs which means that you get really smooth writing. Smoother than what some expensive fountains pens offer out of the box.
Uni calls their system “Uni-flow,” and even though it sounds just like typical marketing BS, the truth is that Vision Elite’s ink flow is great. No matter how fast you write, even at altitudes between 36,000 and 40,000 feet, you get a steady flow without ink spills and blots.
And the ink is great!. It dries quickly, writes well on most paper, and you can even get some shading.
If you don’t like capped pens, uni Vision RT is the same pen without a cap.
All in all, Vision Elite is great, not just as am airplane safe pen. It’s one of the best rollerballs on the market.