Lamy is well known for making some remarkable fountain pens. Therefore, it should probably come as no surprise that when people are looking for a brand new pen, they are often faced with a choice between two pens from the same company. In this case, it will be either the Lamy Vista or the Lami Safari.
Now, we won’t lie. Both of these pens are brilliant. It is likely that you will be happy with either of them. They are both Lamy pens, after all. However, one is probably going to be better for your needs than the other. Whether this means that you are thinking about the price of the fountain pen or even the overall writing experience. You may even be thinking about how well it is going to be sitting in your pocket with the clip on the cap.
On this page, we are going to pit the Lamy Vista vs the Lamy Safari. We want to give you an overview of both so you know what each of them brings to the table. We are massive fans of the Lamy Safari, due to the affordability of it, coupled with the upgrade options that you have available, but we know that there are some people out there that will prefer the Vista.
We are going to compare them on the same points. This way, it will be a little bit easier for you to see what each of them offers. Remember, no matter what pen you do end up getting, you will be ending up with something that is remarkable.
So, let’s jump into the reviews, shall we? We will begin by giving you an overview of the Lamy Safari and then round off with the Lamy Vista.
Lamy Vista Vs Safari Head To Head
Lamy Safari Review
The Lamy Safari isn’t a new pen. It is actually a pen that has been kicking around since the 1980s. It has had very, very few changes in that time too.
As you can probably tell from the pictures, the Lamy Safari is a fountain pen designed for those that want those brighter and bolder colors. It is absolutely oozing with the 1980s ‘over the topness’ and we love it.
Lamy does market the Lamy Safari as a pen designed for the younger people. However, don’t worry. This isn’t going to be a small pen. It is adult-sized. The only reason why they try to target the youth market with this pen is due to the coloring. While this coloring may probably be a little bit ‘over the top’ for professional environments, they do offer the pen in slightly more subtle colors too.
The Lamy Safari is our favorite pen of the two that we are comparing on this page. This is because, despite the quality, it is a surprisingly robust pen that should last you a good few years.
This pen is also available as a ballpoint pen and a mechanical pencil. We are only going to be focusing on the fountain pen here!
The Lamy Safari Nib
Like most products in the Lamy range, the nib is made from steel. This means that it is of an incredibly high quality and, of course, will provide a fantastic writing experience.
Any of the nibs in the Lamy LZ250 line will be compatible with the Lamy Safari. This means that you can get nibs all the way up to 1.9mm.
Now, you have to remember that the Lamy Safari is a cheap fountain pen. This means that the stock nib isn’t of that high quality. It is still better than other fountain pens at this price point, but it is worth upgrading. We suggest that you go for a Lamy Z52 nib for the ultimate writing experience without a hefty price tag.
As you can probably guess, the nibs are replaceable. This is why this pen is going to last you many years. You will struggle to find anything else at this price like it.
The Lamy Safari should be a smooth writer. However, those that are used to fountain pens will find the stock nib a little bit too scratchy. Thankfully, it doesn’t cost that much cash to upgrade the nib to something smoother.
The Lamy Safari Barrel
As we said, the Lamy Safari is available in a multitude of different colors. This includes:
- Dark Green
- Umbra (which is basically gray)
This means that you shouldn’t have too many issues finding a pen that really suits your personality. This is one of the reasons why we love this fountain pen so much. There really is a color for everybody!
In order to keep the price down, the Lamy Safari is made out of plastic. However, don’t worry, it is robust plastic. We know that this can feel a little bit odd for those that are used to all-metal fountain pens. However, trust us, it does feel great in your hands.
One of the more unique things about the Lamy Safari will be the recessed grip. It is not something that everybody will love at the start. It does promote a different way of holding the pen. However, we can see why Lamy has gone down this route. It is designed as a ‘my first fountain pen’ type of thing, and the grip makes it easier for people to use the fountain pen.
We love the recessed grip. It makes holding the fountain pen a joy and, to us, it has allowed us to write a lot better when using the pen.
The Cap Of The Lamy Safari
The Lamy Safari has a plastic cap. It is a clip-on cap and, despite the low price of the Lamy Safari, it does sit pretty snugly on the top of the pen, which will help to prevent the ink from drying out.
The clip on the cap is the only metal part of the Lamy Safari, outside of the nib. It is flexible, so you shouldn’t have too many issues clipping it to yourself without the fear of it breaking.
The Lamy Safari Ink Reservoir
As standard, the Lamy Safari is compatible with the standard Lamy ink cartridges. They just slide right on in there and you are ready to roll.
However, constantly buying ink cartridges can get quite expensive. Luckily, just like with most of the Lamy pens, there are converters available to turn that ink cartridge holder into a reservoir. It is capable of holding 0.8ml of ink.
While you can buy your ink from Lamy, we recommend saving money and going with Noodlers Ink. It is a low price, high quality, and it comes in more colors than Lamy could ever possibly dream of.
You will always be able to keep tabs on the amount of ink that you have left in your Lamy Safari by looking into the ink viewing window. It is one of the pluses of having a cheaper-looking pen. It means that Lamy can actually put useful features like this on it!
Lamy Vista Review
The Lamy Vista isn’t much to look at once you have seen the Lamy Safari. It is still a decent pen, but the lack of color options is surprisingly quite bland.
The Lamy Vista looks like your typical cheap ballpoint pen. You know the ones. They can be picked up for a couple of dollars and they are completely see-through because the company wanted a quick way for you to see how much ink is left. Plus, they look a little bit fancier than dreadfully cheap plastic.
We know that there are a lot of people that will be fans of the Lamy Vista design, and this is cool with us. We all have our own design tastes. It just isn’t for us.
Putting all of that to one side, though. You are going to be ending up with a decent pen for a low price if you pick up the Lamy Vista. Once again, this is a pen that has been marketed to the youth market, or at least those looking for their first fountain pen, but it is perfect for just about anybody to use.
As before, the Lamy Vista is available in ballpoint and mechanical pencil form. However, we are only going to be focusing on the fountain pen model. It is the more popular option, after all.
The Lamy Vista Nib
The nib is made from polished steel. It is available in all of the same sizes that the Lamy Safari is available in. In fact, the nibs designed for the Lamy Safari will also be compatible with the Lamy Vista.
The Lamy Vista is a dry writer which can be somewhat on the scratchy side. Although, this is to be expected due to the price. This does change a little bit if you upgrade the nib, but this is just adding extra cost. At this point, you may as well just go for the Lamy Safari right off the bat. At least you will end up with a pen that is decent to use.
Since the nibs can be swapped out, you can replace the nibs whenever the old one goes bad. However, since they are Lamy nibs, they are probably going to last you a decent amount of time.
The Barrel Of The Lamy Vista
The barrel of the Lamy Vista is made from transparent ‘non-fade’ plastic. This means that, as long as you treat the Lamy Vista well, it will look as good the day you bought it as a couple of years down the line.
The Lamy Vista is only available in this transparent plastic. It is an OK plastic. Better than the absolute budget pens on the market, but it does feel a little bit too ‘plastic’ for our tastes.
No special attention has really been paid to the grip of the pen. It is clear that this pen was designed to meet a strict budget. It feels good, but it doesn’t necessarily feel that much better than most other cheap pens. The Lamy Safari has a far superior grip, in our opinion. Well, that is if you want an actual amount of control over the way that you are using your pen.
The Cap Of The Lamy Vista
The Lamy Vista uses a plastic cap. It has a metal clip sitting on this cap. There is a bit of flexibility in the clip so you do not have to worry about it randomly falling apart.
Like most pens at this price point, the Lamy Vista’s cap is a ‘push-on’. It does hold pretty snugly onto the pen, at least at the start. Since it is plastic, it is going to eventually wear down. However, Lamy sells replacement caps, so this shouldn’t be that much of an issue.
The Lamy Vista Ink Reservoir
The base unit of the Lamy Vista is going to work with ink cartridges from Lamy. However, this is an exceedingly expensive way to buy your ink.
As with most products in the Lamy range, the company also sells an ink reservoir which you can install in the pen. Once this is in place, you can use any ink that you want. We recommend Noodlers ink for the same reasons before i.e. a huge number of colors, low price, and high quality. No matter which ink you opt for, this pen can hold a maximum of 0.8ml. There is no dedicated ink viewing window. However, let’s be honest, the entire pen is see-through. It doesn’t need one!
While both the Lamy Vista and the Lamy Safari are brilliant fountain pens, we will always recommend the Lamy Safari. This is because it is a far cheaper option, while still offering the quality that Lamy is well known for. When you couple this with the nib upgrade, you will end up with a pen that writes to the same standard as many of the way more expensive fountain pens that are on the market.
At the end of the day, it is what you are looking for in a fountain pen. It is going to be you that is writing with it every single day. We hope that you have a solid idea about what each of the pens offers from our fountain pen reviews. This should allow you to make a much more informed decision about the fountain pen that you are going to be using for the next few years of your life (Lamy pens really do last that long!)