I got my Side Effect on Friday and I love it. The size is just about perfect for a "wallet plus" - something that carries your cards, phone, cash, and a few small items that are part of your daily kit. Just right for running into a store or taking to a restaurant. Currently, mine is holding:
- cards and ID in a Clear Organizer Wallet
- Evo phone wrapped in an ultrasuede cloth
- 1.25 oz GoToob containing hand lotion
- small hand sanitizer
- tube of lip balm
- pack of gum
- small mirror
- cash and coins in the zippered pocket
and it should also contain a slender notebook and pen but I was too lazy to put them in there this morning.
I've tried carrying it two ways: crossbody with the shoulder strap extended most of the way, and as a clutch/over-the-arm bag by using a key strap for a handle. Here's a photo of the latter (on the stroller, of course):
Pay no attention to the child that is screaming. He just wanted momma to get the chariot rolling again.
See how cute the key strap handle is? I love being able to add a little splash of color that way, and to change which splash of color it gets. Fun! And I can clip both ends of the key strap to the same outer o-ring to carry it like a wristlet or run the strap through my belt loops if I need a hands-free option. Clever!
But wait, you say. There is a tuck-away waist strap already. Why not use it? Because a waist pack looks dorky on me. That method of carry doesn't suit anyone with hips.
Then why did you buy a Side Effect? Wouldn't a SCB have been a better choice? Perhaps, but the Side Effect is the same general shape as a Vera Bradley Wristlet, which is my wallet of choice and a shape I find very useful. The larger size, however, makes it much more functional than the VBW - in fact, it's almost my ideal small purse.
If I were able to order a customized Side Effect, I'd ask for just a few changes:
- add a full-width interior pocket made of ultrasuede on the side opposite the existing interior pockets for stashing a phone or iPod
- leave off the waist straps (the exterior pocket could remain the same, which would allow a belt to be run through the bag to make it function as a waist pack for those who prefer that method of carry)
- possibly move the o-rings to the other side of the interior, but I'm not sure about that.
I love how the two external o-rings allow me to use whatever strap option I prefer or clip it inside a larger bag. I love the size and shape and the color choices. I love the price, too. It's a great little bag for just $30. I know I'm going to get a lot of use out of it!