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.
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.)
Sewn in Seattle
Our bags are designed and 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 find out more about the unusual way we do business on our Company Philosophy page.
THE BIHN Guarantee
Everything you buy from us here at TOM BIHN is satisfaction guaranteed. We’ve been in business since 1972 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.
- Bradford L.Verified BuyerBought For GiftProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Sewn in USA, Great Gift, High Quality Finishings, High Quality Craftsmanship4 months agoBought For GiftProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Sewn in USA, Great Gift, High Quality Finishings, High Quality CraftsmanshipRated 5 starsAwesome "kit" bag
I bought this to store a portable heating pad and accompanying accessories and it happens to be the perfect size for everything. I'm a huge sucker for the O -rings inside, and as with any bag I've had from these guys, the storage compartments just make sense. Far too often those small compartments just get in the way but with these bags you truly are getting the most legit bag experience possible. Treat yo self. And hey Tom and Friends! I really dig the saturated colors like alphaviolet and Viridian and would love to see more of that in the future. I also really love the Moab Halcyon, its under represented in the organizer bag category!
All in all, my favorite thing about the bag is knowing that the people who made it get breaks and seem to be treated pretty damn well. I'm definitely not made of money but bags are something you want to buy nice, not twice. And while these are at the higher end of whats in my range, they seem to be worth every penny and the company from what I can tell has a business model that others should learn a lesson from.
-guy who sewed a bunch of band patches on a vest and fancies himself to know a thing or two about good stitching.
*If anyone happens to be wondering, it is slightly too small for a Nintendo Switch!
- Sarah S.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, Versatile4 months agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, VersatileRated 5 starsAlmost Perfect
The size of this bag is perfect for daily carry for an average day. The materials are quality and the organizational pockets on the interior are clutch. I do wish however that there were pockets inside of the front zip compartment. I like being able to add in some easy access items to the front of bags but like to keep them stored separately so I can differentiate things like keys and medicine easily. Also would love it if there were a pen/pencil pocket in the main compartment. I love that it can be worn multiple ways as well! But I do find the waist strap is too short to wear my bag across the chest which is disappointing but typical as I have a larger bust (~48 inches) but it fits perfectly as a waist bag and crossbody purse.
- MélanieVerified Buyer2 years agoRated 5 starsThe perfect hand bag
I bought my first Side Effect in my very first TB order about 8 years ago. It has been my hand bag ever since. It holds key, wallet, phone, driving licence, tissues, lipstick, small change, sanitizer, and it's not even full. When black halcyon came out i bought another one, as i found halcyon can fit even more, and it's also lighter, and i prefer the look. I love also that the side effect fits in the bottom pocket of the Synapse 25 or in a side pocket of my aeronaut 30 when i'm flying with one-bag policy only. In black halcyon it fits with every outfit i wear. I also bought later on a side kick to see if it would be a better hand bag - but far too big for me :) if you are a minimalist lady like me (at least when it comes to hand bag content) you will love it! I recommend 100%
- Jacob E.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Durable, Good Storage Size, Versatile10 months agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Durable, Good Storage Size, VersatileRated 5 starsGreat multipurpose bag.
I used multiple side effects over the years, primarily to store cables, chargers and backup batteries. I’ve also used it as a sling bag to store essentials while out and about.
- Jessica L.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Compact, Versatile, Comfortable, Sewn in USA5 months agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Compact, Versatile, Comfortable, Sewn in USARated 5 starsPerfect- inside other bags, or as it's own thing!
I currently use a cubelet + super mini ghost whale + Nik's wallet inside a side effect as an every day purse like object carried cross body. I can carry my Pixel 6 phone, kindle paperwhite, headphones, sanitizer, extra K-95 mask, and keys. When I went to a recent work conference, it was easy to slip off the straps, and stash my side effect inside an icon. I could also take out the cubelet and carry it with a wrist strap. I am excited to use the side effect during the school year inside a teacher bag/backpack in this fashion, so that I can just take it out and put the strap on for the weekend/after school.