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Please sell me on the Side Kick - anyone got it in burned orange?

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    Please sell me on the Side Kick - anyone got it in burned orange?


    I'm debating with myself whether my life needs a Side Kick. I'm 98% sure it does, but part of me is doubting whether that's just my life needing more Tom Bihn. I just read through basically all the threads I could find through the search function, but I guess I need just a liiiitle more convincing.

    Mostly what I would use it for is travel. I am planning (hoping....) to travel to Japan in October. My idea was to bring the DLBP as an everyday carry, and then stash the Everyday Cubelet in the DLBP and a Small Cafe Bag in my suitcase for when I want to go out but don't want to bring the larger backpack but also need something bigger than the Cubelet. But I'm thinking the Side Kick might fill that hole? If I get the SK, I can put it in the DLBP during the flight, then when I'm there I can use it for going out and about. (Although I might bring the Cubelet anyway since I love it for holding just my wallet and phone; I can even conceivably carry it under my coat. But the Cubelet can also double as a packing cube; the Cafe Bag... not so much.

    What I would probably carry:
    - wallet
    - phone & charger
    - passport
    - camera (Sony RX100)
    - earphones
    - sketchbook & sketching supplies (I do urban sketching)
    - collapsible coffee mug and/or a water bottle
    - ideally a knitting project like a sock? Would that fit?
    - other smaller stuff like tissues or a small flashlight or whatever

    Am I right in that this would all fit easily inside a SK?

    Next, and even harder decision: which colour? My DLBP and my SCB are burned orange, but my EC is deep blue. I wear a lot of blues, so, say, constellation or deep blue would work, or even aubergine. It would match my clothes the most. On the other hand, I like the brightness of the burned orange, it pops, plus I like the idea of a more visible bag - if anything, it's easier to spot when it's missing! Does anyone here have a burned orange sidekick and would be willing to take some pictures of how it looks 'in real life'?

    So basically:
    - why is the Side Kick awesome and why should I get it
    - would it suit my needs?
    - burned orange is the best colour yes/no?

    Thanks so much.

    I think that the SK would work for your needs but I think stuffing a sock project in there might be a little tight. I tried that, and while it technically worked, it wasn't comfortable getting my stuff in and out of the SK.

    Have you thought about a Packing Cube Shoulder Bag? That could fit your Everyday Cubelet along with a water bottle and a knitting project. Plus, it could act as a packing cube in your luggage. When I travel, that's what I use only I sub a Side Effect for the Everyday Cubelet. I'm able to fit a small knitting project and a decent sized steel water bottle in with it. Unfortunately, I don't think the PCSB comes in Burnt Orange, but I think you have a decent amount of blue options.

    That said, the SK IS an awesome bag. It's just not perfect for my needs. I always have to have knitting and water with me. So, it's just a bit too big for a PLO for everyday carry (for me, that's a SE with a DLBP) and just a bit too small for weekend carry when I need it to be my PLO that can also handle knitting and water. I'd also suggest maybe taking a look at the Icon. It's big but it would fit all of your needs. I don't think it would pack as well as a SK or PCSB though. BUT, the only color option at the moment is Burnt Orange (I think).
    Last edited by AHesting; 04-22-2020, 04:56 PM.
    Current Carry: Swift (Verde/UV), SK (Steel/Iberian) & SSC (Sitka)


      I think the Side Kick is a great everyday bag because it's easy to keep everything organised and it holds quite a lot. I've taken one on my last four trips to Japan. You'll be able to keep the passport in the inner compartment so it's accessible but you you don't risk pulling it out by accident when you're getting something else.

      Although it will hold quite a bit, I think you have just too many things and I'd suggest making some choices. Do you need to take both a camera and a phone? You could use the phone for photos. Or maybe choose between sketching materials and knitting? The torch could also go, unless it's a really mini one. Your phone probably has a torch function, and also Japanese hotels have torches as standard equipment.
      A30 in original halcyon/wasabi. Side Kick in verde/northwest sky and cloud/viridian, Pop Tote in Mars Red and Nebulous Grey, Travel Cubelet in Mars Red, Viridian and Grass, A30 packing cube backpack in northwest sky, large travel tray in sitka, packing cubes, pouches and cubelets


        Hello from your fellow Dutch citizen! I do not own a Side Kick, but happy to think along – especially since I may have a vested interested in possible combined shipping!

        I have considered the Side Kick myself, I guess mostly because I enjoy the idea of such a minimal carry. In practice however, I don't go anywhere without bringing at least my reusable water bottle and a camera. Plus, I'll typically carry an extra layer of clothing or would at least like the option of shedding a layer without having to carry it by hand. As such, I have found that anything smaller than a backpack is too impractical for me.

        Looking at the list of things you intend to carry, it seems fitting everything inside a Side Kick would be very tight. And even if you do manage to fit everything, ease of access would be a concern. Your Small Cafe Bag has twice the capacity of the Side Kick (6L vs 3L) and seems like a much better fit for that list of items.

        A benefit of the Side Kick over the SCB might be the zipper closure (arguably more secure?). For carrying both a water bottle and a camera however, I think the horizontal orientation of the Side Kick is less than ideal – you likely will have to stack one on top of the other. I imagine the vertical orientation of the SCB is more suited for this, plus it allows the water bottle to stay upright.

        You mention your DLBP, which I think is indeed perfect for everyday carry. In addition to you carry list, you'll have space for an optional sweater or jacket, and any souvenirs you might pick up along the way.

        I do understand that a backpack might be overkill for some occasions (going out, restaurants, etc). The question then is: if you do you want a smaller shoulder bag for a subset of your carry list, what's the most likely amount of stuff you'd want to bring in such occasions? If your EC (1.7L) is too tight for this, and the SCB (6L) too big, the Side Kick (3L) might indeed be a good "in between" size. In any case, the Side Kick seems like a much better "bag in bag" for your DLBP than the Small Cafe Bag.

        As an alternatie, have you considered using multiple smaller organizer pouches for your items? This would give you a more scalable system of organization, and you could simply swap the pouches between your SCB and DLBP depending on what you intend to do that day.
        Last edited by yvandermeer; 04-23-2020, 01:11 PM.
        Synapse 25 (Black 525d Ballistic/Northwest Sky), Daylight Backpack (Black 525d Ballistic/Cloud), Truck (1x Nebulous Grey, 1x Black), Monster Truck (Ursa), Large Zip-Top Shopping Bag (1x Northwest Sky Halcyon, 1x Island 210d ballistic, 1x Dawn 210d ballistic), various Yeoman Duffels (small Burnt Orange, small Verde, small Steel, medium Coyote), Side Effect (Black Halcyon/UV).


          I highly recommend the Daylight Briefcase for this type of use... Don't get hung up on the 'briefcase' part of the name - it works great as a cross body bag for when you need zip closure/non-backpack. The Travel/Everyday Cubelet fits inside, as do some 16oz water bottles (ie, Nalgene).

          The halcyon fabric is a great choice if you're going to pack this into another bag to bring empty and/or need something with some flexibility.

          It's definitely a size up from the Side Kick or PCSB, but like most Bihn bags, it can hold more than you think whilst still flattening out when less full.
          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...


            To imagine the capacity of the Side Kick and the Daylight Briefcase imagine EDC Cubelets side by side.

            2 for the SK and 3 for the DLBC plus paperback sized pockets front and back.

            I tried to make do with the PCSB, as a shoulder bag, but it was too floppy, it is one in Halcyon and Ballistic will probably work much better, it certainly has the perfect capacity for what you plan to carry, it has a main pocket that can carry War and Peace in hardcover plus room for a small water bottle the circumference of a soda can, plus a paperback and a small torch in the front pocket.

            The DLBC is basically a sophisticated PCSB that can hold a chromebook or a tablet in its Tom Bihn Cache plus the things that are shown in numerous photos and video on the product page.

            Look at all the photos and videos of the bags mentioned above and one or more will pretty much match or be very similar to the items you want to carry.

            I do hope that more people are going to chime in and give your their experience with each bag everyone mentioned on the thread, it will help you choose one design over the other and, the good thing is, now, you can take your time to decide.


              Thanks for your replies, everyone!

              I feel like my original post was kinda badly worded and not entirely clear: I do not intend to stuff ALL those things in at the same time, but it's more an indication of what I would want to carry.

              I compared all the different bags mentioned - and now I want them all, lol. The PCSB does look very interesting (plus I like the price). I think I'm gonna go for the SK anyway - the comparison of 2 EC's side to side won me over, because I usually can do with just my EC but yeah, I sometimes do wish it was a little bigger. So I think the SK would fill that gap! Now if only which colour, do I go for burned orange or constellation with solaris interior... Gosh choosing Tom Bihn bags is so hard, haha.


                Originally posted by LindaH82 View Post
                Now if only which colour, do I go for burned orange or constellation with solaris interior... Gosh choosing Tom Bihn bags is so hard, haha.

                You realize, of course, that we're going to tell you to go for both!
                In all seriousness, it's worth considering that the Solaris is not going to be around for very long... just sayin'
                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...


                  ... well thanks a lot for that! :P Haha.


                    Having used the SK as my purse / going out bag during travel, I would recommend something a little bigger for all of the things you mention, like a Cafe Bag, unless you have just, say: phone, wallet, earphones, passport, small flashlight, and smaller objects than all of those. I think a sketchbook and supplies would only fit if slim. And if you wanted to fit a bottle or knitting project plus all that other stuff, I doubt it would work. One plus of the SK, though, if you pare down your items, is it isn't as deep as the Cafe Bags so I feel it's easier to see all of the main compartment contents at a glance.


                      Below is the link to a very recent Side Kick review on You Tube. I am posting it here because my Side Kick is a first generation with a lightweight Ballistic interior, instead of Halcyon and, I don't remember it, having pen pockets, nor a central divider.

                      The Side Kick main compartment, front and back pockets are pretty much packed with new little cloth accessories that I know will need replacing when the bag start to feel empty because the accessories would have been moved to their "in active use" TB Pouch that lives in my EDC. This Side Kick has the darkest color scheme of all the TB bags I own and I never noticed the small side pockets.

                      Since I feel, now, that the description of the SK was inadequate, I am including the title of a comprehensive review of the bag as well as a link to it.

                      Tom Bihn Side Kick Review (2 Months of Use)
                      2,094 views•Mar 25, 2020


                      Mods remove the link, if this is not allowed outside of the video link thread.

                      More comprehensive blog post from the same reviewer.
                      Last edited by backpack; 05-02-2020, 05:12 AM.