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iPenBox Subscription Review + Coupon – August 2017

iPenBox - Eclipse - August 2017 Writing Subscription Box

iPenBox is a monthly box for the ‘pen, paper and ink enthusiast’. Each box contains 5–10 items curated around a theme. 

Reviewed by popular demand!

iPenBox - Eclipse - August 2017 Writing Subscription Box

My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

iPenBox - Eclipse - August 2017 Writing Subscription Box

The Subscription Box: iPenBox

The Cost: $30 a month for the US or $40 a month for Canada/International, both with free shipping

The Products: Each box will contain a fountain pen, an ink sample, paper and at least two more items.

Ships to: USA & International

Check out all of our iPenBox reviews and the Paper & Stationery Subscription Box Directory for more writing subscription boxes!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add iPenBox to your subscription list or wishlist!

iPenBox - Eclipse - August 2017 Writing Subscription Box

The theme for August was Eclipse, celebrating the eclipse that will take place later this month. A 10% coupon code for the iPenstore shop was included.

iPenBox - Eclipse - August 2017 Writing Subscription Box

iPenBox - Eclipse - August 2017 Writing Subscription Box

iPenBox - Eclipse - August 2017 Writing Subscription Box

iPenBox - Eclipse - August 2017 Writing Subscription Box

iPenBox - Eclipse - August 2017 Writing Subscription Box

Retro 51 Tornado Tribute Series Apollo Rollerball Pen – Value $45 (on sale for $36)

This special pen was designed in honor of the Apollo mission. Each pen has its own serial number! The special packaging is beautiful and makes this pen perfect for gifting. The pen has a nice weight to it and feels well made. It creates bold strokes, but like all other rollerball pens I’ve ever tried, it’s not suitable for lefties – there was a lot of skipping and I had to retrace some letters several times. 

iPenBox - Eclipse - August 2017 Writing Subscription Box

iPenBox - Eclipse - August 2017 Writing Subscription Box

iPenBox - Eclipse - August 2017 Writing Subscription Box

Schneider Voyage Fountain Pen – Value $5.97

This fountain pen is made in Germany and came with a blue ink cartridge. I found it to be a little rough against the paper, but I wouldn’t expect perfection from a pen at this price point. I really love the retro style, and it fits the eclipse theme perfectly. 

iPenBox - Eclipse - August 2017 Writing Subscription Box

iPenBox - Eclipse - August 2017 Writing Subscription Box

Diamine Eclipse Ink Sample, about 3ml – Value $0.75 ($7.49 for 30ml)

Diamine ink is non-toxic and pH neutral; it’s made in the UK. This is a blue-black ink and quite dark. It looks black when writing with it, but when painted with a brush you can see that it has some blue. It’s a little darker in real life than it looks in the photo. It flowed nicely but did smudge easily. 

iPenBox - Eclipse - August 2017 Writing Subscription Box

Starburst Fruit Chews – Value $0.10 (buy a 5 lb. bag for $21.95)

I like that iPenBox always includes a little treat! And ‘starburst’ even fits the space theme. 

iPenBox - Eclipse - August 2017 Writing Subscription Box

Stickerology Moon Phase Stickers – Value $0.99

These little moon stickers are meant to be added to a planner or calendar. They’re a cute addition to this month’s theme.

iPenBox - Eclipse - August 2017 Writing Subscription Box

iPenBox - Eclipse - August 2017 Writing Subscription Box

Rosetta Notes Pocket Notebook, Black – Value $2.66 ($7.99 for three)

This notebook has smooth acid-free, archival paper that’s perfect for use with fountain pens. According to the website, ‘Rosetta Notes are milled, manufactured, and printed in Michigan.’ This is an iPenStore exclusive! I really like the quality of the paper and the subtle design on the front. 

Verdict: My estimated value is $46.47, which is above the $30 cost. The most expensive item – the rollerball pen – isn’t a good fit for me, so this isn’t my favorite month for iPenBox. I do love that every item fits the eclipse/space theme, and the Rosetta notebook was a particularly nice discovery. I recommend this box for people who want to try out new pens for a reasonable price, as any pen you can’t use is easily giftable and the variety of items means there’s always something to like. 

What do you think of August’s iPenBox? Are you going to watch the eclipse?


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Written by Désirée Eien

Désirée Eien

Désirée has survived the subscription box rollercoaster since 2013. Her other hobbies include meticulously over-researching minor purchases, crafting things she hopes to pass off as gifts, and dressing her cat up in silly costumes.

Posted in iPen Box Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews| Tags: ipenbox | 8 comments

Comments (8)

  1. I can’t figure out why a pen would be right or left handed. Aren’t they symmetrical? Does that matter? I’m confused. My son is left handed and always uses pencils but I never questioned why. Can someone please explain this to me?

    • It’s probably because of the way we write–with our hands curved around. It might put the pen at a less advantageous angle for writing. Related: if a pen is more runny/smudgy, a lefty is going to end to dragging their hand and getting ink on it, because of the way most notebooks are set up.

    • Look at how your son writes – does he try to hook his hand around the page? Does he hold it over the line he’s writing, or from the left side? Or does he hold his hand under the line, perhaps keeping his paper at a dramatic tilt? Right-handed students are taught one hand position, but lefties have to figure it out on their own and there are a few different common styles. (If he’s still learning to write, encourage holding his hand under the line.)

      If he’s a side-writer, then ink smudging will be an issue. You probably already know if he’s a side-writer because he’ll have pencil smudges on his hand from dragging it over the pencil marks on the page.

      Pens are made to be pulled, not pushed. With a rollerball or some ballpoints, pulling the pen will result in a smooth glide, but pushing it means that the tiny lip next to the ball will dig into the paper, resulting in no ink. Fountain pens can have a similar issue, pushing the nib into the paper instead of gliding over it. Even with a felt-tipped pen, the tip may become bent or make a weaker line for a left-handed person than for a right-handed person.

      If he’s still learning to write with a pen, make sure he has inexpensive felt-tipped pens. Cheap ballpoints are frustrating and rollerballs (like Uniball pens) are the worst.

      If he’s an adult (or just old enough to fill a fountain pen), I recommend one I got from iPenBox last month, the Jinhao 992 fountain pen. It’s surprisingly good for lefties, and only $6. I also recommend the Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen and the Caran d’Ache 849 ballpoint, although some men don’t like slim pens, so you’d have to find out his preference.

      • Great advice. My son is a lefty and has a serious pen obsession. (I have him on video in front of a Christmas tree at age 8 opening up a magazine. It was a special edition of MAD magazine. What 8 year old wouldn’t like that. The look on his face is priceless as he says “I wanted Pen World.” haha). I am going to look for the pens you recommended. Thank you.

      • Wow. What a fantastic answer! Thank you! The push/pull thing makes perfect sense. I’ll have to look into some of your suggestions for my son for back to school. He’s starting middle school and it’s probably time to ditch the pencils.

  2. Another miss for me as I am a left handed. Thanks for reviewing.

    • If there were a lefty-friendly pen box I’d sign up in a heartbeat!

      • There should definitely be a left handed option! I’d be all over that as well!!

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