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My Side Kick: In detail

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    My Side Kick: In detail

    Hi all. I recently picked up a Side Kick for an everyday bag. It’s my first TB purchase. After a few weeks of use I thought I’d break down how and what I carry, what I like about the bag and a few minor modifications I’ve made.

    Warning: minutiae ahead!

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    Generally speaking
    I really dig this bag. I’m surprised by how much I like it and how useful it is. It simply suits me really well. I’m able to keep my essentials organized and at the ready.

    The bag allows me to achieve something that’s important to me with frequently-used stuff: first order retrievability. I don’t have to move anything to get to what I need. Mostly, I can get what I need with one hand.

    It’s become clear how and why there is a bit of fanaticism around TB bags. It seems that when they fit your needs they solve problems at hand as well as problems you didn’t know you had.

    I work very close to home and return to the house at least once a day. Sometimes more! Unfortunately the nature of my work requires I take my truck everywhere, I often have to run and pick up materials, make deliveries and check on jobs. I can make up to a dozen trips in a day. Having everything I need in the bag ready to go is such a relief.

    Over the past few years I've realized I hate having stuff in my pockets. The only thing I can abide is a bandana in a rear pocket. Everything else has to be bagged. This bag solves the problem better than I would have ever imagined.

    I wear my keys on a belt loop and I carry a Leatherman Wave in a holster attached to my belt. If I didn't, I would definitely have a multi-tool in the Side Kick.

    Well, what’s in the bag? All right, let's see.


    Contents
    Here’s an overhead view as well as a condensed view of the contents.

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    And an exploded view. I know that forum members know this but, wow, pouches and O-rings. What a revelation. One thing that’s surprised me is just how much stuff I can carry in here while keeping it all neat, retrievable and organized!

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    Interior pockets
    • iPhone 6
    • sunglasses case
    • Papermate Non-stop
    • Papermate Flair
    • Nite-ize Inova XP flashlight
    • Index-card-sized clipboard (rift-sawn white oak and brass. I like analog lists for errands and groceries)
    • Small Ghost Whale: Sharpie, extra pen and pencil, Starrett six-inch rule, Presto correction pen (not for correcting but for writing on and labeling tools and containers)
    • Mini Ghost Whale: Tweezers, clippers, lighter
    • Double clear organizer pouch: Stamps, index cards, 3x4 square, business cards


    Main compartment
    Varies by day. I carry it empty, bring a notebook or a camera. Fits my Fuji X100 or my Leica M3.

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    Front pocket
    Nik’s wallet #4 - Just a few pieces of plastic, including ID.

    Mini clear organizer pouch
    • 10’ Lufkin tape measure (Looking for recs for another quality, compact 8' or 10' tape.)
    • Two #2 S-biners


    An aside on the wallet: My new TB wallet fits comfortably inside my old wallet. It’s kinda crazy how small it is. I hardly carry anything in my wallet (ID, a few pieces of plastic) so the upgrade made sense especially considering the bulk and weight I was able to reduce. Though the old Billykirk was quite handsome.

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    Modifications

    Fobs
    The TB zipper pulls are great, and I especially like how they attach without leaving loose ends or protruding knots. However, the bit of plastic at the end left me wanting something else. As I carry the bag all of the time I wanted something smooth to rub between my fingers when waiting on line or standing around. A bit like a fidget spinner. I made a pair of fobs from curly walnut and tried a few different methods for attaching them. But that’s a discussion for another thread!

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    Shim for the pencil stall
    The overall length of my pen light, its clip and the pencil stall built into the bag were not getting along. When I put the flashlight in the stall the clip seated it but left me with hardly any purchase to remove it when needed. My solution was to put a small rubber stopper at the bottom of the pencil stall, acting as a shim, which bumped the light up and gives me better access. Stopper purchased from my local hardware store.

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    Exterior S-biner
    I added a #3 S-biner to the bag. I don’t quite like the way it sits. But it is great to have an external lashing point for my keys, which I keep on a brass snap hook and typically wear on a belt loop. I cycle five or six times a week and when I run an errand after my ride (no pockets in my cycling shorts) it’s great to clip my keys to the bag. Frees up my hands from a water bottle as well.

    If anyone has any ideas to an alternative to the S-biner please let me know. I feel like Tyny Tools (who make the knitting pouch double carabiners) might have a solution but all of their products have disappeared from the internet.


    Overall
    If you hadn't gathered, I'm really pleased with the bag. And wish I had picked one up years ago. Thanks to everyone here for sharing information about their bags, experiences and technique. And thanks to the people at TB for making a fantastic bag.

    #2
    Great report. I've wondered if I could get by with a Side Kick instead of my medium Cafe Bag, for everyday stuff. The one thing that wouldn't work for me in the Side Kick is my iPad.

    I've also gone to a minimalist wallet, sometimes called a "front pocket" wallet. I use Apple Pay when available, even at Chevron stations when gassing up my car. Cash is becoming obsolete. And one can get by with much fewer cards.

    In your first picture, the overhead view, what is the large black book-like object sitting in the middle of the main compartment, if I may ask?
    Go Navy

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Go Navy View Post
      In your first picture, the overhead view, what is the large black book-like object sitting in the middle of the main compartment, if I may ask?
      Oh! I left it out of the pictures. It's a Moleskin hardcover notebook. Size is called "large" and measures 5" x 8.25".

      Comment


        #4
        Great review & pack out - would love to see/read more about your custom pull tabs of walnut!

        ETA: oooh, just saw your other thread, cool!

        I use a small Ghost whale pouch for a small metal ruler, pen & pencils, box cutter, etc - weird random tools and a 10' Stanley tape measure.... probably actually bigger than your Lufkin, but I grew up with Stanley

        I like having the weird work tools all in one (packed) small GW pouch, so it can move from bag to bag
        I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you. This minutia is my favorite kind. Great review!

          Comment


            #6
            You had me at X100 and Leica.

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              #7
              Delightful details! I LOVE the curly walnut fobs, the index-card-sized clipboard (genius use of wing nut) and the shim idea!! Fantastic innovations!!
              Last edited by haraya; 09-23-2019, 06:13 AM.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by G42 View Post
                and a 10' Stanley tape measure.... probably actually bigger than your Lufkin, but I grew up with Stanley
                I'm a Stanley devotee myself. I'm not usually far from the truck and we have countless tapes here at the shop. The compact tape is for emergencies. I have a few of the 10' Stanley 175th Anniversary tapes, which I would love to carry, just a little bulky for the bag. If you haven't seen those I'd recommend you check 'em out!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by haraya View Post
                  Delightful details! I LOVE the curly walnut fobs, the index-card-sized clipboard (genius use of wing nut) and the shim idea!! Fantastic innovations!!
                  Wow, thanks a lot! I made a batch of the mini clipboards in the spring. Started out as a scrap piece of wood and a rubber band and evolved from there. They are super handy.

                  Here's another one from the same batch of curly walnut.

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                  Last edited by Generic Industries; 09-23-2019, 07:28 AM.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Go Navy View Post
                    Great report. I've wondered if I could get by with a Side Kick instead of my medium Cafe Bag, for everyday stuff. The one thing that wouldn't work for me in the Side Kick is my iPad.

                    I've also gone to a minimalist wallet, sometimes called a "front pocket" wallet. I use Apple Pay when available, even at Chevron stations when gassing up my car. Cash is becoming obsolete. And one can get by with much fewer cards.

                    In your first picture, the overhead view, what is the large black book-like object sitting in the middle of the main compartment, if I may ask?
                    When I’m having my most minimalist day, I carry a SCB. My carry includes a 9.7 iPad, water bottle, large sunglasses case (thick), minimalist wallet, and car key fob. There’s still room left over.
                    Bags - S25 (Mars Red balistic/Northwest sky/halcyon), S19 (Deep blue balistic/Iberian/halcyon). S22 (Aubergine)SCB (Nordic)
                    Accessories - including Nik's #4 wallets, ghost whales, Q-kits, pouches, stuff sacks, travel trays.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      ~swoons~ If you had an Etsy shop I'd be all over that tiny clipboard!!
                      Last edited by haraya; 09-23-2019, 10:15 AM.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by haraya View Post
                        ~swoons~. If you had an Etsy shop I'd be all over that tiny clipboard!!
                        I don't even have a need for a tiny clipboard, but love the wood and the ingenuity of the design!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thanks...I'm a Moleskin fan, currently use the 3.5 x 5.5 size, which is where my never ending "to do" list is. It's always with me.
                          Go Navy

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by haraya View Post
                            ~swoons~. If you had an Etsy shop I'd be all over that tiny clipboard!!
                            Originally posted by tress29 View Post
                            I don't even have a need for a tiny clipboard, but love the wood and the ingenuity of the design!
                            Thanks! You are very kind.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Very cute indeed, that clipboard!

                              My Side Kick feels a tiny TINY bit too small for me, but it's still a better choice for a shopping day paired with the Pop Tote than any bigger bag.

                              Comment

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