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Side Effect

Regular price $60.00
  • Wilderness 525 Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic
  • Black 400 Halcyon/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
  • Black 525 Ballistic/Island 210 Ballistic
  • Black 525 Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic
  • Nebulous Grey 525 Ballistic/Island 210 Ballistic
  • Constellation 525 Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic
  • Aubergine 525 Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic
  • Ursa 525 Ballistic/Dawn 210 Ballistic
  • Deep Blue 525 Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic
  • Alphaviolet 525 Ballistic/Dawn 210 Ballistic
  • Original 400 Halcyon/Island 200 Halcyon
  • Taiga 400 Halcyon/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
Add Gatekeeper Waist Strap: Add Handle Loop: Add Key Straps:
  • Everything you buy from us here at TOM BIHN is satisfaction guaranteed. We’ve been in business for over 30 years and we stand behind what we make.

    If something goes wrong and it's our fault, we'll fix it for free. Repairs due to normal wear and tear or due to other things that are not our fault will be performed, when possible, at a reasonable charge right here in our Seattle factory where your bag was made. Defects in materials or workmanship are uncommon and almost always evident while the product is still new. Keep in mind that bags and packs are often subject to extreme wear in everyday use: do not expect them to last forever. Only true love lasts forever! You can expect a TOM BIHN product to give years and years of hard service.

    Face Masks
    Our masks are satisfaction guaranteed. Please if you're happy with your mask *or* there's something that doesn't work for you. We want to hear from you!

  • Our bags and face masks are designed and cut & sewn right here in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

    That allows us to be control freaks in the best way possible; we have direct control and oversight of the quality of our materials, our products, and the jobs and working environment that we help create. It also offers us a unique spontaneity: when we have an idea for a new product or accessory, we can design it, figure out how to build it, add it to our website and be ready to ship it out our front door all within just a few weeks. How cool is that?

    Intrigued? You can more about the unusual way we do business on our Company Philosophy page.


bluesign® and OEKO-TEX® certified Ultralight 400d Halcyon/420d nylon ripstop exterior
— or —
bluesign® certified 525 denier High-Tenacity 2x2 Ballistic nylon
bluesign® and OEKO-TEX® certified 200 denier Halcyon/nylon ripstop fabric lining
— or —
bluesign® certified210 denier High-Tenacity 2x2 Ballistic fabric lining
#8 YKK coil zippers
Shoulder Strap: 5/8" nylon webbing with plastic snaphooks


Sewn in USA with globally sourced materials
100% finished seams


Dimensions: 8.7" (w) x 5.1" (h) x 2" (d) / 220 (w) x 130 (h) x 50 (d) mm
525d high tenacity ballistic nylon: 6.9 oz / 195 grams
400d Halcyon®/nylon ripstop: 6.2 oz / 176 grams
200d Halcyon/nylon ripstop: 6.0 oz / 170 grams
Optional Waist Strap: 1.6 oz / 45 grams
Volume: 90 cubic inches / 1.5 liters (ASTM Standard Measure)
What's Included:
1x 5/8 Shoulder Strap
1x 8-inch Black Webbing Snaphook/Snaphook Key Strap
1x Black Zipper Pulls w/ Plastic Ends (8-Pack)
Total O-rings: 5 (4 in the main compartment; 1 in the front zippered pocket)

True versatility: use as an organizer pouch, cross-body bag, or waist pack.

The Side Effect is a bag that has evolved directly from user feedback (mostly from folks on our Forums). The original Side Effect was a small waist pack: you guys were cutting off the waist straps, attaching Key Straps, and envisioning new ways to use the bag which we hadn't. Other mods — more O-rings, different label placement, a removable waist belt — were not DIY-able for you all. We decided it was time to catch up, and then some.

Think of the Side Effect as a deluxe, tricked out, fully organizable 3D Organizer Cube. The main compartment zips with two sliders; inside the main compartment are four O-rings -- two set dead center and two set in lower inside the bag in the side panels. There's also two open-top organizer pockets sized for your phone, a small notebook, or a wallet. The open space in the main compartment can fit larger items: 8-oz water bottle, sunglasses, snacks, souvenirs.

On the outside of the bag is a zippered pocket sized specifically for a passport (or multiple passports — in case you're carrying your kid's passport or you are Jason Bourne). That pocket spans the full width of the Side Effect; there's one O-ring inside it and clipped to that O-ring is an included 8" Key Strap in Black. The other side is clean: a solid panel of fabric. You choose which side of the Side Effect is the "front" and which side is the "back" by how you wear it.

Four ways to carry the Side Effect:

Included 5/8" Shoulder Strap
On either side of the Side Effect are O-rings to which you can attach the included 5/8" Shoulder Strap — nylon webbing, adjustable, with plastic snaphooks (no pad). Wear it over your shoulder or cross body, or use the 5/8" Shoulder Strap to hang the Side Effect on a coat hook or doorknob.

Optional Waist Strap
Also on the sides of the bag: unobtrusive webbing loops to which you can attach the optional 1" Waist Strap with our now-ubiquitous Gatekeepers. Attach the optional Waist Strap, buckle the bag around your waist or hips, and you've got a sweet waist pack — great for cycling, hiking, or any situation where you need your hands completely free.

Optional Handle Loop
Clip the Handle Loop to one of the O-rings on either side of the Side Effect and carry the whole affair in hand. Laden with heavy objects and swung correctly, the Side Effect becomes a weapon, but we would never suggest this use.

Key Strap
Clip one side of any variety of Key Strap to the Side Effect and then clip the other side of the Key Strap to an O-ring inside one of our larger bags. That way, the Side Effect stays tethered to your bag: convenient and secure. (Hint: the Side Effect fits in most of our bags, but we think it works especially well in the bottom pocket of the Synapse 25, side pocket of the Smart Alec, main compartments of the Small and Medium Cafe Bags, and clipped to the hidden O-rings in the Swift.)

Choosing an Exterior Fabric

You like choices and we like to give you choices! That's why the Side Effect is typically available* in three different exterior fabrics. Our Materials Glossary explains each fabric in great detail, but here are some quick facts that may help you decide which to choose. And we're always here if you have questions:

400d Halcyon
Weave: plain weave with 1/4” / 6mm ripstop
Fibers: 400 denier type 6 filament nylon (base fabric); 420 denier ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene ripstop grid
Coating: light urethane
Made in: Japan

Choose this fabric if:
  • You want a lighter weight alternative to traditional nylon fabrics that has remarkable tear strength and good abrasion resistance.
  • You're looking for a fabric with a modern, "technical" appearance.
  • You have pets: 400d Halcyon doesn't collect pet hair, reducing your monthly lint roller costs.

1050d High Tenacity Ballistic Nylon
Weave: 2x2 “ballistic” weave
Fibers: 1050 denier type 6,6 (high tenacity) filament nylon
Coating: medium urethane
Made in: U.S.A.

Choose this fabric if:
  • You want a super-tough fabric – originally designed for use in bullet-proof vests.
  • The weight of your bag isn’t a huge concern (though it’s worth noting that 1050d Ballistic is still lighter than cotton canvas or leather).
  • You want a smooth surface that won’t collect pet hair or sweater fuzz, slides easily into and out of the overhead bin, and fits in whether you're traveling for work or leisure.

525d High Tenacity Ballistic Nylon
Weave: 2x2 “ballistic” weave
Fibers: 525 denier type 6,6 (high tenacity) filament nylon, twisted
Coating: heavy urethane
Made in: South Korea with Canadian yarn

Choose this fabric if:
  • You want your bag to be soft and supple yet tough as nails.
  • You want a fabric that's stately enough to be at home at work, the mountains, or a nice hotel.
  • You don't want your bag to collect pet hair or abrade your clothing.

*There may be times when one of the exterior fabrics mentioned here isn't available. Even with our best efforts, the demand for our bags occasionally outpaces our production capabilities: at times, some products, color combinations, or fabrics might be temporarily unavailable or "In Production." See the In Production color combinations as a guide to what our factory crew is making and what will be available next.

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