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  1. #1
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    Thoughts on the Side Effect

    I just got back from my grad school residency. I had purchased a couple of bags to use (including the Large Shop Bag, which I love!) while I was there.

    One of the bags was the SE. I'm not sure I want to keep it. I know people are crazy about it, but I felt like I was struggling to get things in and out of of it all week. IN it, I kept my phone (a small non-smart Samsung model), a pill container, small organizer pouch for my flash drive and Bluetooth, COW, two pens, and in the outer pocket, a Clinique Chubby Stick lipstick, two packets of wipes, bandaids and eye drops. I could not fit my eyeglasses in their hard case in there at all, necessitating carrying the LSB everywhere, as it contained both my eyeglasses and sunglasses. Therefore the SE would not be of much use to me on a shopping trip or day trip, as I always need one or both pairs of glasses. In the past, I have used a small Baggallini bag that seems a bit larger and will hold both pairs of glasses.

    I am having trouble thinking of a use for it. Open to suggestions, as usual!

    P.S. My attempt to pack lighter for this trip was an epic fail, but that's another thread/story.
    Last edited by ladyinblack1964; 06-29-2015 at 01:35 PM.

  2. #2
    Forum Member adalangdon's Avatar
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    Off the top of my head, I think it's not the bag for you if you absolutely need your sunnies all the time. I have a pair of prescription Gucci 'sun goggles' but that would never fit in my SE even in the soft case (they are... goggles), which is why the SE is for me the ultra pared-down EDC, a.k.a. "going out for lunch with the colleagues", "running to the supermarket" bag where I don't need anything more than $, cards, keys, pen. (It can fit more than that of course, but that is what I use the SE for...)

    BTW, if you are busy and/or on a budget, maybe you can draw out the dimensions of a product on paper and see if your necessities fit into the bag. Since I live in Singapore, returns of large items are more or less out of the question. I have found that estimating the dimensions of a bag with pen, paper, ruler is super helpful and haven't had a case of "size shock" since I started visualising bag sizes this way.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Rocks's Avatar
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    Have you tried the Spiff Kit? I call it the Spiff Effect. Since I got one, my Side Effects (Nordic/solar, navy/solar/ and black/steel) have been relegated to storage. It holds a lot more and it has handles, which I love. Mine carries a notebook, a bunch of pens and pencils, iPhone 5. The pens and pencils fit diagonally in the divided pocket. There's room for a Kindle, too.

  4. #4
    Forum Member marytattoo's Avatar
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    At first I thought the SE was too small. I've always used large bags. I've also needed a large wallet because I carry my mom's cash/cards also. Somehow, by trial and error, I've made it work. I mostly carry things similar to you. I don't carry glasses in mine. I wear prescription lenses, and have prescription sunglasses. I ALWAYS need sunglasses because my eyes are extremely light sensitive. Even if it's dorky, I often have one pair of glasses on top of my head while wearing the other. If I'm going inside somewhere from my car, the sunglasses stay in the car. That said, when I know I need a larger bag, the SE goes into it very easily.

    I use the outside pocket as my "wallet" : cash, small coyote pouch for coins, and my drivers license + debit card. Inside, one pocket holds a thick bundle of restaurant gift cards, and the other pocket contains tweezers, lip balm, emory board, a bandaid, and a tiny pill box. The main compartment has a COW with mom's and my cards. I have a ballpoint pen, a sharpie permanent marker, a skinny brush, and a small Ziploc bag with a few tissues. When I need to, my Note 4 (large) phone also fits. I consider it a large wallet. Additionally, I do not use the shoulder strap as it gets in the way when I put the SE in another bag. I use a large keystrap with clips on both ends as a "handbag strap".

    Many of these ideas came from these forums.

    HTH, and of course, YMMV.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    I find that I'm now using a packing cube shoulder bag where I would have previously used a SE.

    I use it for essentials within another bag though and for pulling out in cafes/airplanes/trains etc. I never use it as a EDC in itself (neither did I use the SE for that).

    My two SEs are struggling now to stay relevant although my wife still uses hers a lot as an EDC for small essentials (cash, phone, keys etc).


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

  6. #6
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    @marytattoo, I can definitely see the SE as a large wallet.
    @Rocks, If the Spiff Kit had a way to attach a shoulder strap I would consider it.
    @Adalangdon, a great idea--I need to make a "dummy bag" before I order.

    Everyone else: what I was looking for was a small shoulder/waist strap bag that I could take on bus trips, to the county fair, and anywhere else where I don't want to carry my fully loaded Swift. Since I can't do without my reading glasses, and wear prescription contacts that make my eyes light sensitive, I do really need to have one or both pairs of glasses with me all the time.

  7. #7
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    My feeling is that the Side Effect is an ultra minimalist purse like an evening purse or a large wallet.

    I too need to carry two pair of glasses, along with other EDC girl stuff which means that the SBC is the smallest TB Bag that can fit everything.

    Sometimes, I place the SBC in the Large Shop Bag along with the FJN and an iPad Mini in a Cache.

    I have been trying to find a container for my pencils, I think you just gave me the idea of using the SE.

  8. #8
    Forum Member marytattoo's Avatar
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    There's also the PCSB.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Forum Member Pokilani's Avatar
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    Thoughts on the Side Effect

    I had a tough time with the ballistic SE as an EDC, but when I switched to Dyneema, I found the SE love. It is much more flexible and can hold a lot more. I let my partner use the ballistic one in Canada and she was very jealous of the capacity. So, I gave her mine because I still had a parapack one that is just as flexible.
    I can fit the following in it:
    Slim wallet
    Mini OP with lip products/lotion
    Pack of tissue
    Pack of gum
    Two pens
    Keys (connected to a keystrap)
    Sunglasses in a hard case
    iPhone 6 in the outside pocket. I still have room. My partner will add reading glasses in a soft case as well. Sometimes I'll use a soft case for my sunglasses for more space.

    I added some Hi-Chews and Cliff Blox to stand in for reading glasses in a soft case. My phone can fit in the outside pocket. But I'm using it to take pictures.


    ETA: the SCB might be a better fit for you. I love it when I need some extra space, like for a water bottle. It's kind of a goldilocks bag for those occasions.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Forum Member marytattoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pokilani View Post
    I had a tough time with the ballistic SE as an EDC, but when I switched to Dyneema, I found the SE love. It is much more flexible and can hold a lot more. I let my partner use the ballistic one in Canada and she was very jealous of the capacity. So, I gave her mine because I still had a parapack one that is just as flexible.
    I can fit the following in it:
    Slim wallet
    Mini OP with lip products/lotion
    Pack of tissue
    Pack of gum
    Two pens
    Keys (connected to a keystrap)
    Sunglasses in a hard case
    iPhone 6 in the outside pocket. I still have room. My partner will add reading glasses in a soft case as well. Sometimes I'll use a soft case for my sunglasses for more space.

    I added some Hi-Chews and Cliff Blox to stand in for reading glasses in a soft case. My phone can fit in the outside pocket. But I'm using it to take pictures.


    ETA: the SCB might be a better fit for you. I love it when I need some extra space, like for a water bottle. It's kind of a goldilocks bag for those occasions.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I acquired a parapack SE and live it. I also adopted a Nordic/solar dyneema SE - love both. But I have used a ballistic aubergine SE and live it, too.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    I like the SCB, MCB, and PCSB very much for carrying the essentials one needs at close range. I have a Dyneema SE and at this time I use it in two settings: 1 - as an airplane seat bag (others have posted on how well this works with the double carabiner clips) to hold lip balm, medicine and 2 - as a very minimal purse when walking to the park (keys, some money, and a credit card). I remain impressed by those who can carry the SE as a regular handbag and have it hold everything they need.

    P.S. Don't give yourself a hard time about not packing in a minimalist way. I am an admitted maximalist packer but I can tell you there have been plenty of times that those traveling with me are delighted to take advantage of the items I have brought for first-aid, relaxation, reading, unexpected overnight airport stays, etc.

  12. #12
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    I also prefer the Small Cafe Bag or Packing Cube Shoulder Bag for minimalist carry and both would fit your load out easily. I have and use the SE occasionally, but find I use my SCB much more. I prefer its vertical orientation , like the flexibility to throw a water bottle in there, and find that as a mother of 8, I prefer my bags to generally be roomier as I frequently am adding "random kid crap" that isn't part of my everyday load (mom can you put my iphone in there while I quickly do this, here's my empty sippy cup, can you just hold this, etc you get the idea Smilie )

  13. #13
    Forum Member marytattoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tlacltme View Post
    I also prefer the Small Cafe Bag or Packing Cube Shoulder Bag for minimalist carry and both would fit your load out easily. I have and use the SE occasionally, but find I use my SCB much more. I prefer its vertical orientation , like the flexibility to throw a water bottle in there, and find that as a mother of 8, I prefer my bags to generally be roomier as I frequently am adding "random kid crap" that isn't part of my everyday load (mom can you put my iphone in there while I quickly do this, here's my empty sippy cup, can you just hold this, etc you get the idea Smilie )
    What I LOVE about the forums is the "why" and "how" people use the bags/accessories! There are ways to use things I'd never have considered. People have different needs at different times. I've mostly carried large bags. Now, I'm carrying much smaller bags because circumstances in my life changed. Right now I've been able to pare down, weeding out a lot of stuff I never use, just carried "in case". But I know I'll routinely carry larger bags again. It's a cycle. And I learn here from the creativity of others.

    Thanks, all.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Forum Member terayon's Avatar
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    In the SE I prefer the fit of the mini OPs or COWs over the small OPs, and I got a couple of short pens (these ones are great: Zebra Minna Mini Ballpoint Pen with Japanese Print - 0.7 mm - Blue Cap - JetPens.com) that fit standing up into the inner pockets so that there's no digging for them.

    I generally keep only flat things like cash and cards in the outer pocket, but I do have a small DOP in there to separate them.

    I think a reasonably sized hard glasses case would work in the main pocket, especially if you could keep other items at one end of it. Can the pill bottle be downsized, say, to a small GoTubb?

    Or if you're thinking of repurposing the SE altogether, I think it makes a good tech kit, small knitting project bag (think socks), snack bag, Playmobil/Lego kit or seat-side bag on a plane. I bet it would also be good for a makeup kit, but I haven't used it for that.

  15. #15
    Forum Member marytattoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terayon View Post
    In the SE I prefer the fit of the mini OPs or COWs over the small OPs, and I got a couple of short pens (these ones are great: Zebra Minna Mini Ballpoint Pen with Japanese Print - 0.7 mm - Blue Cap - JetPens.com) that fit standing up into the inner pockets so that there's no digging for them.

    I generally keep only flat things like cash and cards in the outer pocket, but I do have a small DOP in there to separate them.

    I think a reasonably sized hard glasses case would work in the main pocket, especially if you could keep other items at one end of it. Can the pill bottle be downsized, say, to a small GoTubb?

    Or if you're thinking of repurposing the SE altogether, I think it makes a good tech kit, small knitting project bag (think socks), snack bag, Playmobil/Lego kit or seat-side bag on a plane. I bet it would also be good for a makeup kit, but I haven't used it for that.
    My little pill box is about 1.5 inches square, holding a couple Tylenol, a couple prescription pain pills, and a Vicodin. These pills are "just in case" my pain gets too bad, but I'm usually at home when I might need an extra dose. Anyway, I just bought this in the pharmacy dept at the grocery store. It is maybe 1/2 inch thick.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

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