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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Side-Kick for a guy's EDC

    For a while now, I've been trying to balance my every-day items between utility and bulk. After a few recent TB purchases, I think I'm at a great sweet-spot and want to share what I've learned. I recently went from a side-effect to a side-kick to gain a bit more room. I find myself accessing the bag many times a day, and it’s rarely far away from me. I’ll even find myself moving it with me between floors when I'm at home.

    One of the best things about the bag is that it will stand straight up on its own, taking up very little space on a table and allowing quick access to the contents. It carries all my every-day essentials, but also lets me throw in a bottle, book or other random small item, even a sandwich! The shoulder strap is just the right size and the weight is effortless. I can throw a coat or sweater over the bag while walking. I can move it (and all my EDC items) quickly between a satchel-bag, backpack or use it standalone, so I can easily match my bag with the amount of stuff I need with me on a given day.

    Here are some notes on the image and lessons-learned. Sometimes small tweaks can make a big difference! You guys are probably already sold on TB as a brand, so I'll skip over all of that...

    • The small-size orange GW organizer fits nicely in the front zipper pocket along with the pill-pouch. In it I keep first-aid, upset-stomach medicine, misc hygiene items, spare contact lenses, a lighter and a whistle. Still lots of room left over.
    • The bottle is the "Nalgene 12 Oz Flask" flask I got off Amazon, minus the sleeve and cup. I use it as a water-bottle (with a shit-eating grin in public). It tapers a little toward the base and so slips in and out of the side-kick effortlessly. Holds about a soda-can's worth, which is enough around town or when flying, and weighs nothing when empty.
    • Buy yourself a quality flashlight with a pocket-clip and use it! I reach for mine 2 or 3 times a day. This one's the Zebralight sc63w. It can tail-stand to light up a room, runs forever on a lithium ion battery, lights up a whole back-yard (car high-beam levels of brightness when you need it), or go so dim that you can use it at night without waking your partner. It puts out a nice warm light without the blue you get from cheap LEDs.
    • Don't get the default small swiss-army-knife that everyone has. For a few bucks more, you can get the 'rambler' with a real Phillips-head and beer-bottle opener. Also, the knife and scissors open opposite the key-ring.
    • S-Biners make great accessories! The #1-size (seen here) are great for clipping small items to the bag's o-rings, and 2 of the #3-size biners can be used to attach the side-kick to the back of an airplane seat for quick-access to everything.
    • Instead of deodorant, put after-shave in an atomizer. The alcohol kills odor-causing bacteria, it's healthier for you and takes up less space. Freshen up anytime! The white tube beside it is lip-balm.
    • In the pill-pouch I keep breath-mints, tums, tylenol, aspirin and some prescription medicine. Keeping these with you is great not just for yourself, but you can help out others when they need it.
    • The EVNSIX Earbud Case Organizer Pouch Bag off of Amazon is good for ear-buds. It has one of those squeeze-to-open openings that snaps shut on its own. I keep wired ear-buds in addition to the wireless ones because you can buy ones that are meant to be comfortable against a pillow. I can sleep to white-noise or listen to music in bed.
    • With these essentials with me, I'm in much better shape if an emergency or unexpected event keeps me away from home for a few days.
    • Never hesitate to pay for quality when it comes to your EDC items. They improve your life every day. Since they're always with you, you become a little attached to them, and the greater utility and extra lifespan always pays off.


    Side-Kick for a guy's EDC-sidekick-edc-jpg
    Last edited by carlesque; 11-02-2019 at 10:50 PM.

  2. #2
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    Great review, Carlesque. I'm right with you on a quality small light; I do the same thing with the pill pouch; like to have a knife handy but hate multitools; best water bottle idea I've seen so far; I'm going to take your advice on the small S-biners; got my keys on a leash but longer than yours. I'm currently using a medium Cafe Bag for EDC but now you're tempting me to buy a Side-Kick.

  3. #3
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    That's great. Where were you a few days ago when I ordered a Side Effect to use as my new EDC? Just joking. I looked seriously at the Side Kick but ultimately felt like it was a bit too big for what I needed. Who knows, perhaps when the Side Effect get here I'll change my mind. We'll see how much I can reasonably fit in it.

  4. #4
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    Love that Benchmade--one of the all time great EDC knives ever made.

    That's also an interesting makeshift wallet.

  5. #5
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    Zebralight +10000000000000000!!!! FANTASTIC light, LOVE the headband accessory. Fantastic for camping or riding the bike. So flexible in use.

    Thanks for such a thoughtful review and itemization. It never occurred to me to pack in such a way. Much easier than all the shuffling I end up doing

  6. #6
    Volunteer Moderator bartleby's Avatar
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    Location: Germany / Hobbies: Photography & Guitars
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    Great review! I have the same Side Kick for exactly the same purpose (Nebulous is such a nice color)! It has a perfect size for all the small things you need during a day, the Side Effect was a little too small for me.
    ...spread joy in your neighbourhood
    current bags: Smart Alec, Guide's Pack, Guide's Edition S25, Luminary 15, Daylight Backpack, Aeronaut 45, Tri-Star, Road Buddy 36, Daylight Briefcase, Small Yeoman Duffel, bits and pieces

  7. #7
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    One question: how do you protect the sunglasses from getting crunched?

  8. #8
    Registered User
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    Love your setup. Not sure about the pills rubbing against each other? I keep them separate in small Muji boxes then go into a pouch.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for posting, @pkshiu! (I'd say welcome to the forums, but I see you've been registered for quite a while!)

    For what it's worth, I keep pills in a rigid holder with a little bit of puffy stuff (Kleenex or cotton) to reduce rubbing and rattling while moving around.

  10. #10
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    The far west
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    We shared this on Facebook and someone wanted to know: what's the little pouch holding money in the bottom right corner?
    Current Carry: The Hero's Journey, Skookum Dog Citizen Canine, Founder's Briefcase, Synapse 19 (day hikes), Guide's Pack (longer day hikes), Yeoman Duffel (winter/emergency stuff for the car), Aeronaut 30 (travel), Night Flight Travel Duffel (camera bag), Moveable Feast + Shop Bags (food)

  11. #11
    Forum Member one2many's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    We shared this on Facebook and someone wanted to know: what's the little pouch holding money in the bottom right corner?
    Oh...I thought it was a highly regarded and secret TB's money producing wallet..Smilie

  12. #12
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    Nope the 'wallet' is just a little pouch some earphones came in. Surprisingly it's been a perfect wallet for my for several years now : )

  13. #13
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    I've carried pills this way for about five years. Haven't had any problems. The trick I guess is to not overpack or put them under pressure. I keep them in the outside zipper pocket of the side kick.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Go Navy View Post
    One question: how do you protect the sunglasses from getting crunched?
    I have a soft sleeve that keeps them from getting scratched (not on the picture). I don't overpack the sidekick and it had some structure to it that offers some protection.

  15. #15
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    In all the decades I’ve carried a man purse, I’ve always preferred a vertical orientation so I naturally went for the Café series. Umm, let’s see, Café small, front zipper pocket: wallet, lip balm, hand cream, sometimes quarters for parking meters.; main compartment: sunglasses case, pocket molie, ballpoint, two fountain pens (there’s room for an apple and string cheese, too); on the O rings: car keys, garage fob, SAK nailclips; rear pocket (usually empty since it’s not secure): library book and outgoing mail.

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