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Thread: Side Effect review

  1. #31
    Registered User ncb4's Avatar
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    Ultrasuede: yes! But don't ditch the straps completely

    First of all, ladies, look at your bodies more positively: we’re not getting “thicker in the middle,” we’ve got curves!

    And though it’s true that waist/fanny packs are not the best look for those of us blessed with such curves, the reason I bought the Side Effect (though it hasn't arrived yet) is precisely because it has those waist straps. I guess survival trumps vanity; or in other words, I care less about how I look than I do about function. I would never have survived two trips to Disney World with my son and a seething mass of young nieces and nephews without a cheap WalMart waist pack: it was small enough not to get in the way but large enough to carry the essentials, and it kept my hands free to do things like wipe ice cream off sticky faces, and grab hot, cranky five-year-olds who decided they’d be a lot cooler if they jumped into the water at Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

    Later I discovered a Mountainsmith lumbar pack, and for a while, I was in love. It was large enough to carry everything I needed for a day hike in the mountains, and because it was nestled in the small of my back, it felt natural, like an extension of my body. Makes sense, since that’s where both your balance and your muscle strength are centered. But alas, it was too large for daily use, and I made the mistake of selling it on eBay.

    Now I use that same ancient WalMart pack when I walk my dog: I need both hands to pretend I’m in control when a rambunctious 140-pound Newfoundland wants to drag me down the street. Since I’ve taken up Nordic walking, both hands are occupied with the “ski” poles, so I need a small bag that won’t bounce or slip off my shoulder to carry my cell phone, ID, tiny notebook and pen (I’m a writer, and I get my best ideas when I’m walking), iPod Nano, earphones, bandanna, etc. That’s what I plan to use the Side Effect for, so I have to put in my vote NOT to remove the straps.

    However, I do like the suggestion that a few folks made about making the waist straps removable somehow. That sounds like a perfect solution.

    Just to contradict myself, I do think one version of the Side Effect would look better strapless—that's if it were made in that yummy Ultrasuede. I'm crossing my fingers that one day soon we might see an Ultra-SE.

  2. #32
    Registered User ceepee's Avatar
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    What would be really useful is if the strap worked as either a shoulder strap or a waist strap.

    Maybe have webbing channels instead of the O-rings where you would normally attach the shoulder strap and also at the end of the fabric waist belt 'wings'. Then have a 1" webbing strap that attaches in either position using gatekeeper hardware.

  3. #33
    Registered User Maria's Avatar
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    Here's my wish list for a SE v.2

    - ultrasuede!
    - seam badge rather than patch label
    - no waist straps!
    - additional O-rings on opposite wall (for the choice / options)
    - full length interior pocket on opposite wall too
    - option of a wider shoulder strap
    - maybe splash proof zippers?

    Thank you! (I continue to dream of SE v.2)

    Pretty please?

    Cheers!

  4. #34
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    While I don't intend to frequently use the waist straps, I'm glad they're there because it adds to the high versatility of the bag. My main use of it is as a bike handlebar bag; secondary use, toiletry kit for travel. But my third use will be as a tool holder when I'm maintaining my bike (which I keep locked outside in NYC, so I have to take my tools to it). Great to be able to be hands free when doing that.

    I'm a 30" waist, so those waist straps are waaay too long when cinched. I'm not sure why Tom didn't make these straps "closed loop" like the Side Effect's own shoulder strap - this doubles the strap back on itself and thereby manages the excess. I can't imagine adding the extra two sliders for that would add much cost, and it doesn't seem like cost is ever Tom's major concern (it seems to me that perfection is).

    My solution was that of others in this thread - I trimmed straps with a butcher knife on cutting board (to get a straight trim, easier than with scissors) and then used a soldering iron to heat-seal the ends (easier to control than using a candle or match). Happy with the results, and experimenting with a $30 bag is no big deal if it goes awry. (In fact I did a long trim first to see how it would work, then trimmed to the shorter length I wanted.)
    Last edited by makingmark; 08-13-2011 at 09:53 PM.

  5. #35
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    I caved in, ordered the steel SE (among other goodies, of course), even though I do not like the waist strap. I intended to cut them off. I mentioned my plan to a friend who was horrified about me "mutilitating" a beautiful SE.

    I was planning on using the SE as an extra "pocket" inside my Little Swift. So I may just leave the straps alone. If and when a waist strapless SE debuts (I am hoping), I will give away the SE with the waist strap.

    I use a PCSB as a "security" pocket in my Swift. I keep my wallet & items I want hidden from view inside the PCSB. I tether both ends of the PCSB to the Swift using 2 keystraps clipped to the PCSB's strap rings and to the O-rings on both ends of the Swift. When I know I will be in crowded areas, I turn the PCSB upside down inside my Swift. I had experienced getting pickpocketed so I am paranoid about open top bags. But I love, love the Swift & LS.

    If Tom & crew would put hidden O-rings under the pockets of the Swift & LS , I would replace my Swift Cork, LS ultrasuede and the soon-to-arrive LS vulcana hemp fortwith! Until then, I use the PCSB (& SE when it arrives) as "security" pockets inside these bags.

    I like it that I just unclip the PCSB from my Swift, clip on a strap and off I go on quick errands.
    dorayme likes this.

  6. #36
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    Yikes! I noticed the Indigo SE isn't available. Is it gone forever?
    Synapse 25 (Steel Dyneema/UV), Organizer Pouches ( Dyneema, Cordura, Cork - various size & colors), FoJ Pouch, FoT Pouch, 2011 TB Mystery gift(Cork pouch), 2012 Mystery Gift (Forest/ Steel) Pocket Pouch, Sm Yarn Stuff Sack (UV), Small Shop Bag (Steel), Large Shop Bag (UV), Various Color Key Straps, Side Effect (Steel Dyneema/Wasabi)

  7. #37
    Registered User ncb4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXGirl View Post
    Yikes! I noticed the Indigo SE isn't available. Is it gone forever?
    For your sake, I hope not. For my sake, too: since my Indigo SE just arrived today. Please don't hate me!

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncb4 View Post
    For your sake, I hope not. For my sake, too: since my Indigo SE just arrived today. Please don't hate me!
    No worries, ncb4. I'm glad you got one! I already have one in Plum so it's no biggie. Its one of those things that now it's out of stock, I want one
    Synapse 25 (Steel Dyneema/UV), Organizer Pouches ( Dyneema, Cordura, Cork - various size & colors), FoJ Pouch, FoT Pouch, 2011 TB Mystery gift(Cork pouch), 2012 Mystery Gift (Forest/ Steel) Pocket Pouch, Sm Yarn Stuff Sack (UV), Small Shop Bag (Steel), Large Shop Bag (UV), Various Color Key Straps, Side Effect (Steel Dyneema/Wasabi)

  9. #39
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    I would like to spend my remaining few minutes of free time tonight telling ya'll that I love my Side Effect and that I still dream of the SE2.

    I sometimes dream of it in Baby Grasshopper Green Dyneema, thanks to @dorayme!

    Okay...time to kick myself off the computer and get some housework done. Booo!
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  10. #40
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    Does anyone have a link to the Maverick video showing how to tuck the flaps on this?

    This bag intrigues me on a couple of levels. I could see it adding a nice bit of organization to a Brain Bag while flying. Put my iphone, wallet, ear buds, a couple of organic food bars, etc..in there. Now, most of the things I'd want to grab during a flight are handy and out of my pockets. then once at my destination, I have a little waist pack.

    The only two issues I see with it are...

    1. The waist straps. So if they can be easily tucked away, I'd like to see what that looks like.

    2. It does not appear the bag is big enough to hold a bottle of water. To me, that would be idea. Let me put a basic standard-sized water bottle in there for day tripping.

    Does Tom Bihn offer anything that is just a bit bigger than this, but can hold a water bottle and act as a waist pack? So far the next closest thing I've found are the backpack packing cubes, and I just don't like the look of those. What I'd love is something I can use for additional orgainzation in my Brain Bag while flying, and then be a handy daytripping back once I get to my destination. My guess is this is just a bit too small to do that for me.

    Note: I just saw that the Small Cafe Bag can be ordered with an optional waist strap, but I'm not sure what that is supposed to do. Does it allow you to wear it as a waist pack, or are you still wearing it as a shoulder bags but now with a waist strap for added stability? I'm guessing the latter, which doesn't do much for me. I don't like shoulder bags. I just don't move naturally when I wear them. Gotta be either a backpack or a waist pack.
    Last edited by conejo23; 03-14-2012 at 06:41 PM.

  11. #41
    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    Have you looked at the Packing Cube Shoulder Bags? They are substantially smaller than the Packing Cube Back Pack. They easily hold a bottle of water. They weigh nothing. They function more as a shoulder bag as they are named, but it's possible if you tighten the strap sufficiently it could be a large waist pack.
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  12. #42
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    interesting idea, thanks. But one thing about that, my guess is it lacks the organizational features of the side effect or the small cafe bag. I'm really going for both: something that provides that added element of organization to my Brain Bag (especially while traveling), but can be a nice daytripping back at the destination. I don't think any of the packing cubes could satisfy my first requirement.

  13. #43
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    Below is the video of Maverick tucking away the waist straps.

    Managing the waist strap on the Tom Bihn Side Effect - YouTube
    Synapse 25 (Steel Dyneema/UV), Organizer Pouches ( Dyneema, Cordura, Cork - various size & colors), FoJ Pouch, FoT Pouch, 2011 TB Mystery gift(Cork pouch), 2012 Mystery Gift (Forest/ Steel) Pocket Pouch, Sm Yarn Stuff Sack (UV), Small Shop Bag (Steel), Large Shop Bag (UV), Various Color Key Straps, Side Effect (Steel Dyneema/Wasabi)

  14. #44
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    Awesome, thank you! That would work.

    If only this thing could hold a water bottle, I think it would be exactly what I'm looking for.

  15. #45
    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    In the pictures on the product page, apparently it can.

    maybe Darcy can shed light onto what size the pictured water bottle is.
    Also have you tried the bladder style bottles like the Platypus? I would think that style would be nicely suited to be carried in the Side Effect and as you drink down the water, the pack becomes available to carry other things.
    Si non aptus in Peram, ego opus ad buy magis quisque.
    my bags: S, LS, KP, mg'11, S, LS, COW, MCB, LS, COW, LSB, SE, LSB, TT, SB, SE, TSS4, PCSB, PCBP-A, SC, BB, SCB, FJN, BB, FoJ, RS, F.O.T., LSB, S25, PCSB K, LS, I w/AS, A, PP FJN, SE, 3-DC, MCB, PCBP-T/WF, PCSB, CQPC, S19, LSB, SB, TT, SE, S, C-P, P, WF, UT, LSB, CQPC, PCBP-T/WF, SE2, MCB, RiPad, SB, LSB

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