ThinkGeek’s Handbag of Holding Is Why Men Should Carry Purses

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On Thanksgiving Day, I came across a sale item I couldn’t pass on: The Handbag of Holding. This cross-body bag features more pockets than I can use, andΒ is everything I want in a purse. Note, I don’t say “man-purse.” Rather, I say “purse,” because that’s what I carry, and I’m not worried about people thinking I’m girly. I rock a beard, blue jeans, and a purse that is better than any messenger bag, backpack, or suitcase.

What it comes down to is utility. If I need something that just holds my wallet, I have a pocket. If I need to carry my laptop, I have a laptop bag. In the past, if I had anything else to carry, I’d grab a backpack, and watch everything I put in there disappear immediately. For work–or pleasure, really–I regularly need to carry my phone, a tablet or laptop (sometimes both), a book or two, and an assortment of snacks, sometimes even lunch. A backpack just doesn’t cut it.

Image: ThinkGeek
Image: ThinkGeek

So, I started carrying a purse. At first, I got a few weird looks. My “purse” looked like a camping or travelling bag, but I still called it a purse, because I have a problem with the idea that any item should be “for men” or “for women.” Of course, when other folks called it a “man-bag” or “satchel,” I didn’t correct them because I’m not a jerk. (Don’t get me started on man-bun, though!) While carrying it,Β I learned a couple of lessons really quickly:

  1. Folks like labels. Purse v. Man-bag is a conversation I’ve been having for almost two years.
  2. Women don’t think it’s weird for a man to carry a purse, and neither do most men.
  3. You should never apologize for your tools. I’ve known this one a long time, but it applies. Your tools are part of how you handle the world. That makes them a core part of you. Never apologize for your choices, especially over something as useful and every-day as a bag.
  4. I was surprised by the folks who appreciate that I carry a purse. Men sometimes ask me for advice on choosing a bag, because I’ve owned a few, and I’m somehow the local authority on men’s utility accessories.
  5. I no longer have to ask my wife to “hold on to this thing that needs to be safe.” I have my own tool, and I can function like an independent adult when my wife isn’t around. It’s refreshing!
front side of Bag of Holding
Image: Rory Bristol

But it isn’t easy to find bags that fit “me.” I don’t want pink, or orange, or (God forbid) rhinestones. I wanted a canvas bag, a lot of pockets, and a quality cross-body strap. I got all of this and more with the Handbag of Holding. The closures are mostly magnets, but there are several zippered pockets inside. It’s substantial, without being too heavy. It also has a padded divider that can protect my laptop or tablet, and two huge side pockets that can hold just about anything. The hand-straps fold down into the side pockets, and the strap is on free-turning clasps, so it never gets turned around the wrong way.

2 Bag of Holding
Image: Rory Bristol

Oh, and did I mention? It has a D20 zipper pull on the main compartment, and a huge chrome D20 on the side, above the three pockets. On the opposite side was a nice place for me to attach my Dungeon Master badge (not included). It is very “Rory” and feels very “GeekDad,” too. Check it out for yourself on Amazon.

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7 thoughts on “ThinkGeek’s Handbag of Holding Is Why Men Should Carry Purses

  1. I’m not going to knock it; carry what you want. However, there is also the Backpack of Holding $50 and the regular Bag of Holding which is messenger bag style (on sale for $35:

    Actually, it looks like the whole Bag of Holding line at thinkgeek is cheaper than on Amazon. Unless of course you go for leather, ‘dragon scale’ or get a deluxe handbag version.

    I carry the messenger bag version almost everyday. Lots of pockets, padded spot for my laptop, etc.

    1. I’ve got all of them, but I think the Bag, Backpack, and Knapsack are all a little too large. Can’t put them easily under my seat at a restaurant.

  2. Heh, I totally could have written this article. Last year, I picked up the Handbag of Holding when it was on sale, planning on gifting it to a friend. But when I got it and started looking at it, I had to keep it for myself. It’s a sweet purse, both for utility and looks. And I’ve caught next to zero flak about my purse..usually doesn’t even come up except when people comment how much they like it. I looked at the Bag of Holding, but it didn’t have the cool d20 zipper pulls, and just didn’t look as cool to me. And the backpack was a bit much. I was tempted to pick up the con edition of the bag of holding, but really, this purse does everything I need. Now if I can just get my wife to stop stealing it from me, guess I’ll have to get one for her too. πŸ˜›

    1. Jason, I have a similar problem, my wife keeps staring longingly at mine! But she has bag-envy, rather than bag-need, so for now, I’m safe. πŸ˜›

  3. Got a kick out of this article. I use the regular Bag of Holding as my purse these days. It is 95% empty most of the time but gets filled to overflowing whenever we go shopping. Since I walk everywhere it is more practical to keep a bag big enough to hold my shopping as an everyday bag. I get comments from my female friends who think it’s a bit odd but the guys think it’s a great (and practical) idea. I never thought about a guy flipping that idea on its head and using the handbag of holding the same way πŸ™‚

    1. πŸ™‚ I cannot tell you how often I receive comments from men and women. I also attached some geeky badges to it, mainly my D&D ones that I’ve been collecting forever. Those get lots of comments, too. I’ve never been given grief over it, either! Such a great tool.

  4. I’m actually glad to hear that other men are using this bag.

    I recently got the dragon scale version from GameStop since they were selling it for 16$ and I really needed a new travel bag. When I got it, the bag suited my needs real easily (I carry alot of shit so this was perfect for that). For some reason (or I guess cause of sleep deprivation) I thought it was a unisex bag and got rather disappointed that I was carrying around a woman’s purse. But after hearing that you yourself carry it with no shame than I feel that I could do the same.

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