Sunday, February 14, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 151

 Happy Valentine's Day! Here's a fountain pen I bought last month from Staples' eStore--a Cross 'Aventura' in "Fire Engine Red" ...

(all photos by Maja ~ please click on images to enlarge)

Last month, while checking out Staples' online store ( for deals, I spotted this pen on sale for $14.97 CAD (reg. price $24.98). I'd purchased a black Aventura fountain pen many years ago, but I was a bit hesitant to buy the red one because of an issue with the black version's section (more on that later). 

After much humming and hawing, I finally gave in and ordered it online for in-person pickup. The pen came in "gift set" packaging (a Cross cardboard box) with six black Cross ink cartridges. The cartridges are a $6.99 value, so the pen actually cost me less than $8, according to my "Fountain Pen Math" :D

I really like the Aventura's contemporary look, with its split clip design and angled cap & barrel end. The plastic material makes the pen feel a bit cheap, though, but it seems sturdy enough. The pen measures 5 1 inches from nib tip to barrel end, so it can be used comfortably unposted. It posts fairly deeply and since most of its weight is in the cap and section, it's actually very well-balanced when posted (posted length = 6 inches; capped length = 5 58 inches). According to my digital kitchen scale, the pen weighs 18 grams without a cartridge or converter in place.

Some people might find the metal section a bit slippery, but the transition from the barrel to the section is super-smooth--no sharp edges to cut into your fingers. The clip is strong and secure, and has the Cross name engraved on it in small block letters. One online reviewer claimed her pen's cap kept falling off, but I've had no problems with mine. Her review is from 2015, though, and her pen's nib had the old Cross engraving on it, so I suspect it was an older generation Aventura. 


I love the stylized lion engraved on the nib... (click on image to enlarge)

Remember that section issue with my old (black) Aventura that I alluded to at the start of this review? Well, that pen had a two-part section that caused (a) the nib to spin around freely and (b) the pen to leak ink from the section joint :(  I removed the nib and feed and used a strong glue on the section's two components. That fixed the problem, but it was a bit off-putting, to say the least. Anyway, I'm happy to report that my new red Aventura has a one-piece section and, therefore, no nib-spinning and/or ink-leaking issues at all.

The Medium nib and feed on my Aventura look exactly like the ones on the six (!) Cross 'Bailey Light' fountain pens I bought last year. In an earlier blog post , I mentioned that one out of the six 'Bailey Light' pens had flow issues. Turns out that my red Aventura's nib had a similar issue, but after I used some very fine Micromesh on its tipping, it doesn't have any start-up/skipping problems. It actually writes very smoothly--that was never an issue---and although the nib is stiff (no flex), it's fun to use because of its smoothness. The Aventura only accepts Cross' proprietary ink cartridges or a proprietary Cross converter (the "push-in" type, according to one user's comment on this page).

Overall, I think the Aventura is a good deal if you can get it for the same price (~$15) I paid, but I'm not sure I'd pay full price (~$25) for it. The black and blue versions are priced at $48.99 and would get a definite "No thanks, I'll pass" from me. The 'Aventura' is ok as a daily carry pen, but if you're looking for a better-made inexpensive Cross fountain pen, I'd strongly recommend the Cross 'Bailey Light' instead.

~Review by Maja

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