EDC on a budget: Writing tools under $50

Writing tools under $50 Writing tools under $50

Until recently, notebooks and pens weren’t always considered to be vital EDC items. But with an influx in great pens, pencils and small notebooks available, most EDCers have realized that writing materials make for incredibly useful carry. Plus, notebook design is essentially limitless, adding unique patterns and prints to EDC loadouts. The best part? These are some of the least expensive items in this series–meaning you’ll get some nice and functional items without going over budget, leaving a few extra $$ to put toward other gear. Featured photo via; notebook shown is Field Notes in yellow. No items were comped for this roundup. For an overview on this series, go here




Moleskine Click Roller Pen, $14.95 and Moleskine Cahier Square Journal, $8.95 (for pack of three)
Moleskine has long been a go-to writing brand for avid writers, but this set also serves well as a companion to the urban explorer’s EDC and perfect for jotting down thoughts on the subway. The unique shape of the pen is surprisingly comfortable, and the pen comes with several stickers to add to the handle–a fun way to incorporate a pop of color to an otherwise monochrome set. And since both items are made by Moleskine, the pen is very smooth on the Moleskine’s signature paper. The size of the Cahier–3.5 in. x 5.5 in.–is small enough to tuck into a pocket, and won’t add any weight to a bag.



SKILCRAFT B3 Aviator Pen, $16.67 and ITS Stamped Field Notes Memo Book, $9.99 (for pack of three)
Field Notes have become one of the most iconic notebooks–and EDC items–due to their simple and clean design and appealing size (3.5 in. x 5.5 in., like the Moleskine Cahier). Also pocket-friendly, this 48-page notebook is stamped with ITS Tactical’s logo, too, quite literally giving their stamp of approval. And instead of selecting a tactical pen, we love this military-standard B3 Aviator pen by SKILCRAFT for its great form, function and versatility. Because this pen is made for pilots, it features three writing modes–black ink, red ink, and pencil lead.



Fischer Space Pen X-Mark, $15.17 and Rite in the Rain, $4.95
Rite in the Rain notebooks are an important component in the outdoor enthusiast’s loadout, especially for those who lean toward survivalism. It’s incredible how well these notebooks withstand the elements–ink won’t smudge and paper won’t tear even during a torrential downpour. Not to mention, the clean design is a pleasant addition to your hiking pack. Paired with this is, quite obviously, a Fischer Space Pen–a pen created to be literally used in space means that it holds up against crazy weather conditions, and the minimal, small form factor clips stylishly and unobtrusively to the notebook.



Pentel Graph Gear 1000, $11.83 and Dot Grid Book Mini, $14
The Graph Gear pencil is the only non-pen on this list, as we figured designers, engineers and technical people probably prefer using a precise writing instrument for drafting and drawing designs and schematics. This pencil has 0.3 mm lead, which is much smaller than most other pencils. Because it’s also incredibly sharp, the retractable tip is perfect for pocket carry, and the tip retracts when the clip is in use.  Other lead sizes are available. The Dot Grid Mini is a compact, side-spiral grid notebook, which makes it a great option for drawing whenever an idea strikes.



Lamy Joy Fountain Pen, $29 and Word. Red Bandana Notebooks, $9.99 (for pack of three)
Like Moleskine and Field Notes–both 3.5 in. x 5.5 in.–Word. notebooks are one of our favorite paperback notebook companies. Each notebook comes with a beautifully-designed interior cover with calendar and personal information, and the to-do layout on the pages is great for casual notetaking. Available in several cover designs, this is a fun customizeable piece for the trendsetter’s EDC, as “trendy” certainly embodies these notebooks. We paired this with the stylish but reliably useful Lamy fountain pen as a unique take on everyday writing.

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