<disengage lurk mode> I did something a little less extreme, but it did involve cutting: I fastened the buckle and and cinched the straps up as tightly as possible under the back panel then I cut off the excess webbing (and melted the edges to stop them unravelling).
If I ever get the mad urge to wear my SE around my waist I can use a webbing belt and a suitable buckle to connect the 2 stumps together :)
Perhaps the wings of the bag (the bits the straps attach to) could be made with loops and then a strap with a hook/clip thingy like the waist straps on the ristretto et al could be attached if and when needed.
It does mean that the straps may not be handy when you do want them though - although it seems a bunch of people wouldn't miss them...
This talk of modifying SE's is making me uncomfortable, LOL. Although I must confess, I did look carefully at my SE's construction to see if I could unpick some of the stitching, remove the waist straps, and resew the seams.
I sure hope Darcy or Katy sees this thread and lets us know what the likelihood of a waist-strap-less SE is for the near future. I like @daisy's suggestion of removable waist straps.
Does anyone else think a Dyneema SE2 without waist straps would totally, completely, utterly rock?
I'd be an enthusiastic backer of removable straps. Also an enthusiastic test subject! Since I have bad nerves in my arms, there are days I really love being able to wear the fanny pack at my waist. It's not fashion-forward, but I tend to jump straight to 'the h**l with fashion; when my shoulders and arms are hurting ;). I wouldn't cut them off, but I might remove them on good days.
I also wear glasses, so I sympathize with jaon on the sunglasses dilemma; with purging I got them in there - mine are big, but they have a shallower profile than the kind that wrap over regular glasses.
Or ballistic, in some of the new colors!
I would also be very interested in a SE without the "fanny option." Us, sturdy girls don't need any more middle additions. I would love to see one in the new forest, or navy, or cardinal.
I was chuckling while looking through this thread, then went to check out the Side Effect page on the catalog. I don't have one, but I can think of a couple of quick ways to retrofit the bag to create a removable waist strap with a quick trip to REI. I'm thinking if you cut off the 1 inch strap leaving about 3-4 inches on each side (this would allow the stubby bits to stow behind the bag with just about no bulk), heat-seal the ends, then when you want to put the waist strap back on, use a pair of 1 inch tri-glides to re-attach the straps to the stubs. You've got your waist belt back. This wouldn't hold pounds and pounds of stuff, but then you're not gonna have that much stuff in this small bag anyway.
The only reason I haven't bought a Side Effect is because of the waist straps. A seam label, as dorayme mentioned, would be a plus for me too.
I don't really like the waist straps either, although I have used them a couple of times. I didn't understand how to tuck them away until I saw maverick's video on the side effect.
Sorry I can't upload pictures of my surgically altered Side Effect--no digital camera at the moment, and my phone is the last dumbphone in the world. (Makes phone calls fine, but that's all it does. No camera...)
What I did was to cut off the waist straps where they attach to the 'wings.' Then the 'wings' tuck neatly into the back of the Side Effect. Because the 'wings' are tucked away, the surgery is completely invisible. I was first planning to heat-seal the ends where I'd cut them, but the 'wings' are generously sized and I can't really see how anything would unravel there.
Simple as can be. But if a Mach II Side Effect without waist strap came out, I bet I could find a color I needed. (And if it was in Ultrasuede...*swoon*)