Pilot Varsity Disposable Fountain Pens Review

What do you get when you combine a fountain pen nib with the convenience and color of your favorite set of permanent markers? The Pilot Varsity Disposable Fountain Pens.

The Pilot Varsity has nearly 9,500 glowing reviews on Amazon, making it one of the most popular disposable fountain pens on the site. But I didn’t take their word for it. For this Pilot Varsity Disposable Fountain Pens review, I took the pens for a road test to find out if they were really worth the hype.

The Pilot Varsity Disposable Fountain Pen is a disposable, pre-filled fountain pen designed for everyday use. It’s a high-quality pen, from one of the most trusted pen brands in the world.

Holding a Pilot Varsity Fountain Pen

Pilot has been around for over 100 years, and they have everything from ballpoints to permanent markers. Some of their most popular products are gel pens, erasable pens, and the iconic V5 Tech Point.

But Pilot’s very first product (released in 1918) was actually a fountain pen, and since then they’ve been making them a lot easier and more fun to use. In 1963, introduced the first fountain pen with a fully retractable nib, aka the Pilot Capless. Today, they have regular fountain pens with bold, funky casings—including one with a clear, see-through barrel.

So Pilot knows their fountain pens, and Pilot Varsity set is one of many ways they’ve made it easier and more convenient to use them in everyday life.

Is Pilot Varsity Disposable Fountain Pens for you?

There are thousands of kinds of disposable pens. Pilot alone has several lines which have very vivid ink and a good range of color. Why get this set in particular?

You’re trying a fountain pen for the first time

Disposable pens are not only very affordable, but you save on other entry costs such as ink pots and converters. Once you know how a fountain pen “feels” you’ll be more comfortable about spending on more expensive pens.

You like art journaling and doodling

Something about a fountain pen makes journaling and drawing a little more special. Plus, the Pilot Varsity gives many colors to play with, without having to buy additional inks.

You’re left-handed

Some fountain pens need to be held at a particular angle to get the ink flowing, which is a problem for lefties. However, the Pilot Varsity works equally as well with whatever hand you’re using.

You hate changing inks

Some people dislike getting ink on their fingers, so a pre-filled disposable pen is cleaner and more convenient. I don’t mind changing ink, but I frequently forget—so it’s always good to have an extra fountain pen in my desk drawer.

That said, the Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pen isn’t for everyone. If you only use black ink, then it’s pointless to get a set with so many colors. And if you’re a very discerning fountain pen collector, a pen with ink cartridges may better meet your standards for quality and convenience.

What I Like About The Pilot Varsity

I really had fun playing with this set of fountain pens. While they can’t compete with the quality of a classic fountain pen, they definitely exceeded my expectations for a set that costs less than $15.

First, let’s look at the ink flow. Many disposable pens feel “scratchy” on the paper, because of a bad nib or sub-quality ink. However, the Pilot Varsity glides like a dream, even when you’re writing really quickly.

The pens are also pre-filled, so you can use them straight out of the packaging. I didn’t have to prime them at all, they immediately started writing. It’s a quick, convenient alternative for anyone who thinks that fountain pens are too complicated or messy to use.

I also love the fun and very vibrant range of colors. It’s perfect for bullet journaling, doodling, or color-coding your notes.

And finally, I like that Pilot designed the pens to have a visible ink supply. I personally hate it when pens suddenly run out of ink, because my handwriting looks different when I switch to another pen. So, this is a small but very-much appreciated product feature.   

What I Don’t Like About The Pilot Varsity

A Pilot Varsity Disposable Fountain Pens review should always be honest, so don’t expect us to say that this is a perfect pen. At the end of the day, it is still a mass-manufactured pen with limited capabilities.  

Some ink colors have a tendency to bleed or blot, particularly purple and pink. It could be the pigment they used. While it doesn’t happen all the time, check each pen on scratch paper before any important drawing or notes.

I like a fountain pen to have a nice well-balanced feel to it. I think I sometimes equate the heaviness of the pen with quality, and the PIlot Varsity Fountain Pen is very light and feels cheap when you hold it.

You won’t be able to change the thickness of the line, even if you change the angle of the pen. This is a deal-breaker if you plan to do calligraphy.

Finally, the ink is also too thick to use with school notebook paper, and will likely bleed through to the back of the page.

Pilot Varsity Fountain Pen Pros And Cons

Very Affordable. Pens individually cost less than $3!Feels Cheap (very lightweight)
Different ColorsInk isn't the highest quality. Bleeds and leaks.
Smooth WritingCan't do calligraphy
Convenient, and read to use immediately.

What’s Included?

The set includes seven colored pens, in a convenient case that can fit into your bag or drawer.

  • Black pen
  • Blue pen
  • Red pen
  • Pink pen
  • Green pen
  • Purple pen
  • Turquoise pen
  • Plastic case

Technical Specifications

Dimensions3.75 x 0.3 x 5.5 inches
Weight‎10.4 ounces
Point sizeMedium


  • Stainless steel nib that is precision cut with lasers
  • Different ink colors
  • Visible ink supply  

These features aren’t unique, and nearly all disposable fountain pens will make the same claim. However, Pilot feels smoother when you write. The quality is better but is not always consistent across all of its ink colors.

Final Breakdown

For a disposable fountain pen, the Pilot Varsity Pen is actually pretty good. The ink colors are also quite vivid and dry quickly, and the nib doesn’t feel scratchy against the paper.

It’s easy to write with even if you’re left-handed or using a fountain pen for the first time. It’s one of the best choices for a beginner, though it will understandably underwhelm a fountain pen collector who’s used to premium pens.    

If you are interested in purchasing the Pilot Varsity Pen you can get it at Amazon by clicking here.

PILOT Pen 90029 Precise Varsity Pre-Filled Fountain Pens, Medium Point Stainless Steel Nib, Black/Blue/Red/Pink/Green/Purple/Turquoise, 7-Pack Pouch
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