I effing hate purses. I like the concept of a bag that has all the things you need in it at any point in time, but purses never appealed to me. I like backpacks and messenger bags (read all about that insanity when I wrote about my Pilot) and pockets, but unfortunately clothing manufacturers and fashionistas still can’t seem to grasp that there are women who would rather put all their stuff on their person than in a clutch. Especially one that looks like it came directly out of a bubblegum factory.

I love my LowePro Passport Sling III camera bag, but the outside pockets aren’t secure and it doesn’t fit a Surface Pro 4. (I’ll be honest, if LowePro makes a new version that can hold a 13″ laptop, I’ll be buying several. Sorry Tom.) The only other issue I’ve ever had with it is just that I didn’t have great organization (although TB can help with that). And of course it’s not built for life, and it’s not priced as if it were either.

So when I got my Pilot, I initially got it to carry my camera stuff and my Surface, as well as whatever other art things I wanted to carry around all the time. Unfortunately, my gear won’t all fit in the Pilot at the same time (I got the thicker ballistic version, they have a thinner Halcyon fabric that might work better), at least not without me worrying about bending the screen of my Surface. That, coupled with finding out I wasn’t going to use my Pilot as much as I had hoped, meant I needed (NEEDED) a new bag. Ideally one that could carry my camera and EDC stuff.

But wait…how could I carry my EDC stuff? I mean, the camera is easy, I have my aforementioned LowePro bag and a nice ApeCase drawstring camera insert that can turn any bag into a camera bag, but for EDC I had tried wristlet after wristlet that would carry wallet, phone, and keys, but either they all wouldn’t fit much else (no notebook for me) or they were just a big pouch that wouldn’t fit as much as you’d think (still no notebook). This was not the solution I was craving.

Tom Bihn to the rescue, again.

After some more research, I bought a Tom Bihn Side Effect (SE). Holy. Shit. I love this bag. Like, I mean emotionally I love this bag. I love the way it feels, I love the way I can put stuff in it, I love the way it hangs, I love the way it everything. It’s so perfect, I want to buy more of them. FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN TO HAVE THEM. Crossbody bag, wristlet, fanny pack/waist pack/bum bag, or even as an organizer pouch within another bag, it works how you want it to.

I’ve had the SE for a month now, and have I told you I love it? It’s my EDC; small enough I don’t notice it’s there half the time, but spacious enough that it holds a lot of crap. I can wear it while sitting at my desk (for those times when I was on my way out of the house but then forgot to save something, or print something, or start my Toggl timer), I can wear it while driving the car, I can set it in the middle console as a sort of admin area while riding in the car, I can set it next to my desk to hold my crap when I’m not out and about, I can hang it on the tree next to my hammock, I can stuff it in the front pocket of my Pilot, I can hang it from my wrist, the list goes on and on.

So here’s my first “what’s in my bag” post. Ever. Wooohooo!

Just don’t call it a purse, okay?

  1. Business card holder (buy on Amazon)
  2. Perry Ellis Portfolio wallet with money clip (got it at Gordman’s long ago, this PE wallet looks pretty similar)
  3. Pigma Micron 01 .25mm (buy on Amazon)
  4. Moleskine soft cover pocket dotted notebook in underwater blue in a custom leather case (Etsy shop no longer operational sadly)
  5. Cheap cigarette case, actually holding cigarettes
  6. Zippo Vintage series (no longer available, but this Zippo is similar)
  7. Gerber Paraframe I mini (buy from Gerber)
  8. Fisher Bullet Space Pen (buy on Amazon)
  9. Tom Bihn parapack mini organizer pouch which holds coins, extra cash, and business receipts (gotta deduct yo!) tethered via 8″ Tom Bihn keystrap
  10. Tom Bihn Side Effect (SE)
  11. Tom Bihn parapack mini organizer pouch which holds a feminine product, small vial of Ibuprofen, bandaids, Moleskine notebook, Zebra folding pen, hair tie and a bobby pin
  12. Keys on another 8″ Tom Bihn keystrap
  13. Samsung Galaxy S7 standing in for my Google Pixel (roughly the same size)
  14. Headphones from my old Samsung phone because apparently the Pixel doesn’t come with them if you buy it from Verizon goddamnit

NOTE: No affiliate links here!