Noodler’s Apache Sunset: Ink Review

Noodler's Apache Sunset Ink Splatter

Hi everyone, Margaret here. This week’s ink review features one of my all time favorite inks, Noodler’s Apache Sunset. I was already a fan of this orange ink, and then I got to put it to the test with my Monday Matchup. The drastic range of color that you’re able to achieve with this ink sets it apart from all other colors! You can already tell I love it, but let’s dive deeper so I can show you more of Apache Sunset.

Noodler's Apache Sunset Fountain Pen Ink
Noodler's Apache Sunset Fountain Pen Ink on Tomoe River and Moleskine Paper
Noodler's Apache Sunset Ink Review on Tomoe River Paper
Supplies Used:

Smear Test (Dry Time):

  • Slow – This ink took some time to dry, but it wasn’t a deal breaker for me. Just be careful to note that it could smear, so give it some time. 

Drip Test (Water Resistance):

  • Low -If you want a waterproof ink, I wouldn’t recommend this one. Since it’s already so light in color, water really made the ink disappear. However, I had great success using this ink with a brush pen and some water, so I’d recommend it for sketching or drawing because the different shades you’re able to get are beautiful.


  • Medium/High– There’s a slight change in color between swabs 1 and 3.

Ease of Cleaning:

  • Easy- No trouble cleaning this one of my pen. I think you could leave it inked up in a pen for a while, and have little to no trouble.


  • High -One of the best qualities of this ink is the incredible range of color! The shading is so gorgeous, and you can see the yellow to orange to red color in almost every letter you write.


  • Medium – This ink is super easy to write with because the flow really keeps up. It worked great with all of the different Lamy nibs that I used it with. (EF, F, M, B and 1.1mm)

Packaging and Aesthetics:

  • 3oz glass or plastic bottle (stock is mixed for now)
  • Bottle is pretty easy to fill from, especially if you try using an Ink Miser Intra-Bottle inkwell to help you use every last drop of ink!

Inks similar in color:

It’s no secret that I love this ink. I think everyone should own at least a sample, if not a full bottle! What’s amazing is that it looks awesome even in an extra fine nib, as well as a broad and flex nib too. Brian agrees and even included this ink in his top 7 shading inks! It may not be super practical for work, but I can see it being great for letter writing, sketching or note taking. Try it with different nibs and paper to see the different levels of shading that it offers.

Noodler's Apache Sunset Fountain Pen Ink
Noodler's Apache Sunset Fountain Pen Ink

You can find a 3oz bottle of Noodler’s Apache Sunset available for $12.50 and a 2ml ink sample available for $1.25. You can also find it available in our most popular shading inks sample package set for $9.00

What do you think? Are you a fan of Noodler’s Apache Sunset like I am?

Write on,

2017-10-11T14:37:54+00:00 March 24th, 2016|Ink Reviews|27 Comments
  • Giovanni’s Roomba

    I have a few other orange inks (the original Caran d’Ache Saffron, Diamine Pumpkin, and Iroshizuku Yu-yake), but nothing compares to Apache Sunset. It hardly even seems possible that one ink could produce so many different tones. It’s just crazy how much shading you get from it.

    If you’re trying to explain to someone why you love fountain pens, Apache Sunset is a pretty great argument: you could never find anything like it in any kind of commercial pen, and you can put it in any pen with any nib you like to get different effects.

    • Hi Giovanni’s Roomba! I’m with you – the amount of shading really is unreal. And you make such a good point, being able to use an ink like this is one of the coolest parts of using a fountain pen ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I have a bottle of Apache Sunset and, although I don’t use it as much as 54th Massachusetts or Blue Upon the Plains of Abraham, for example, I do like to use it for artistic purposes. I drew a dragon head the other day and Apache Sunset’s characteristics allowed me to draw the scales on top of the coloring and even put the shades all by using one ink in one pen. Luckily, my work doesn’t require me to have “work-appropriate” colors, so I can use this ink when I feel oranges and reds (usually in fall!).

    • Hi Amaryllis! Being able to use one ink and one pen for all that shading is awesome. We love seeing your sketches on Twitter. ๐Ÿ™‚ What ink do you find yourself using the most?

      • I have a very strong bias towards darker colors, especially when they dry decently fast, so I tend to use Heart of Darkness, 54th Massachusetts and Blue Upon the Plains of Abraham a lot more than everything else. However, when it comes to brighter colors, Cactus Fruit Eel has been my favorite lately! It feels more like spring than Apache Sunset, which I use more in fall. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Julia Traver

          Who makes Blue Upon the Plains of Abraham? I tried to locate it and could not find it!

          • All the inks I mentioned are Noodler’s! Blue Upon the Plains of Abraham is a Canadian exclusive though.

          • Julia Traver

            Are there any Canadian shops which are on-line who would ship? I’ve been to Quebec and would be very interested in the colour.

          • WonderPens have it, you should send them an email to see if they can ship one to you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Tom Johnson

    Hi Margaret, I always marvel at the wonderful results when I see any of the Goulet Team using Apache Sunset. I usually go for darker colors, but I’m changing slowly, thanks to your review and Monday’s Matchup. I also like what I’ve seen of Autumn Oak, but since I have Ancient Copper I passed on Autumn Oak. But, I have to dig out my samples of Apache Sunset and re-visit them. But, yes, I am a fan, and thanks for doing this great ink review.

    • Happy Monday Tom! It was a fun ink to review. Can’t wait to hear what you think of it ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Acid Green

    i ADORE this ink and want to start hoarding it!

    • I’m right there with you, it’s such a great ink! What pen do you use Apache Sunset in most?

      • Acid Green

        I’ve been using it in my Noodler’s Konrad Flex. Is it possible to get it in one of the larger eyedropper bottles?

        • Unfortunately we aren’t able to get those large bottles, only the 3oz bottle. Sorry about that!

          • Acid Green

            Np, thanks, Margaret!

  • Waski the Squirrel

    I was loaned an Omas Ogiva to review, so I decided to put this ink in it to match the colors. With the extra flessibile nib, it really shows off the shading. There is shading from yellow to deep orange. As you mention in the article, it is a bit slow to dry. After a day, some of the periods in my writing still aren’t dry.

    • Hi there – I observed the same range of color! It’s really amazing how you can get both the yellow and orange color with one ink. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • JRK

    I got this in sample form to compare it to Autumn Oak and I prefer that one because the base color is darker. Will get some Habanero to sample next time around as well.

  • I van Beurden

    I have a bottle of Apache Sunset and I like it very much.
    Nonetheless I think I prefer the PR Shoreline Gold as it is a slightly more dark orange.

  • Inkantadora

    I used to hate the color orange ever since I developed an orange rash as an allergy ๐Ÿคขwhen I was a kid and my mom sent me to kindergarten looking like an orange cow๐Ÿฎ. Yet, Apache Sunset is soooooo prettyโœจ it has been helping to make peace โ˜ฎ๏ธ with the color ๐ŸŠ and am looking forward to buying a full bottle from you guys soon… ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

    Ana G. Csiky

    • Hi Ana! Sorry to hear about your allergy. Let me know what you think of this ink once you get a chance to try it out. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • jenn

    would love to see updated comparison with the robert oster orange inks! what do you say, margaret?!

    • Hi Jenn – that would be fun! I’ll see if we can make that happen sometime in the near future. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • jenn