I'm kind of a pen guy. I have a couple of certain brands that I really like and I protect them fiercely at work. Don't even think of swiping my pen, man! I will hunt you down at your cubicle, rearrange all of your stuff, take my pen back, along with two of yours just to be spiteful.

This morning I experienced a bout of pen frustration. I had to swing by the bank drive-through to drop off a payment. My wife wasn't sure of the exact amount, so I was trying to fill out the check in the cold car this morning. It wasn't going well, thanks to most pens not working very well in cold temperatures. My handwriting is normally pretty neat. Not today. While struggling with sluggish ink, my scribbles looked like that of a second-grader. In my frustration, I usually end up ripping the pen through the paper while cursing. (I'm working on my anger issues).

It doesn't help that the pen I was using was a freebie I picked up at some random trade show. "Oooh! Free pens!" I always take them, even though they usually suck. The only pen I could find in my car today was this especially crappy multi-colored unit. These pens were cool when you were a kid. Four colors in ONE PEN!! But they are not cool. They never were, and they don't work any better now than they did then.

Credit: Michael Foth TSM

Poking around on the internet, I found a few pens that promise to work in cold weather. Maybe I'll drop some hints to Santa on a couple of these.

The Rite in the Rain All-Weather Durable Clicker Pen is one of the more affordable options, at under $12. Not only does it claim to write smoothly from -30 to 250 degrees, but its "proprietary ink" will write in the rain, or through grease or mud without smearing. 

The Fischer Space Pen Bullet is based on the classic "space pen" that can write upside down and in zero gravity situations. It also claims to work in extreme temperatures, from -30 to 250 degrees. I don't plan on being in zero gravity any time soon, but the pen is classic, comes in a nice-looking gift box and is priced under $20.

Stepping things up a notch on the price point is the awesome looking Tuff Writer Precision Press Tactical pen. Tactical? Does it shoot ink? Anyway, this bad boy is guaranteed to write in extreme conditions. It's proudly made with quality materials in the USA.  It's also almost $100. Would I ever spend a hundo on a pen? Probably not. Will Santa? Probably not either. But when I hit it big, I'm definitely getting one of these.