UPDATE 12/06/2012: The Pilot Camo is now available on Pilot’s US website. According to the description, they can also be refilled with Pilot Dr. Grip refills.
Pilot has introduced a cool-looking new range of pens designed specifically for members of the US military.
The pens, called Pilot Camo, are retractable 1.0 mm ballpoints with matte-finish barrels that match the camouflage patterns on the field uniforms of the four military branches (Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines). They’re equipped with spring clips and are sized to fit into the pockets of military uniforms.
Interestingly, while they use ballpoint ink (longer-lasting, more adhesive, and more resistant to water than gel or liquid ink), the pens do not use pressurized cartridges that would make them ideal for outdoor use. They’re refilled with standard Pilot EasyTouch refills. However, the body of the pens seem to be based at least partly on the Pilot DownForce, so it may be possible to use the 0.7 mm DownForce refills. Pilot tells me the Down Force does not use pressurized refills…instead, the cartridge becomes pressurized by the plunger when it is depressed.
According to Pilot, the pens are part of the company’s support of the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides assistance to injured service members. Pilot regularly donates supplies to the project, and the packaging of the Pilot Camo pens includes the WWP logo asking people to donate.
Now here’s the bad news: So far, their availability is very limited. They are sold on military bases and at least one online military surplus retailer. Pilot tells us they expect to have them up on their US website soon. We do not expect them to be available in the UK.
Still, we’re looking forward to getting our hands on a couple to try them out. It will be interesting to see how they stack up against the Skilcraft, which has been the official pen of the US government, including the military, for years.