Men v women: the handbag heavyweights

Kenzo Man bagPA

The rise of the 'manbag' is complete. Men no longer squeeze everything they need on a daily basis into their pockets, they are embracing the metro-sexual within them and slinging a he-holdall over their shoulder.

A new survey has revealed what is lurking within the lads' luggage, and the hidden risk of shoulder-wear for men.

What's in there?

A survey from Direct Line found that every day, men sling £960 million worth of stuff into their bloke bags. The average bag holds £104.80 of goodies, which is only £4.28 less than the average handbag.

Some of the contents wouldn't look out of place in a handbag either, with 21% carrying aftershave, 5% carrying styling products or a mirror and 2% carrying make-up (although I'm guessing this is to cover up spots rather than to make their eyelashes look longer).

Other items have a distinctly blokey feel to them. Just under 4%, for example, carry a spare pair of underwear. You'd struggle to find a woman who likes to hit the town with a spare pair of pants, but then maybe men are just more optimistic.

The most popular items

Pens and notebooks top the list at 51%
Wallets are next at 40%
Mobile phones are the most popular gadget at 33%
Followed by an iPod/ other music player (22%)
4.6 million men (19%) admitting they carry an umbrella
1.9 million (8%) regularly carry their passport, for impromptu jet-setting
Laptops and tablets also proved popular with 1.9 million men (8%)
1.2 million (5%) carry a gaming device such as Nintendo DS
Just under 965,000 (4%) carry a spare pair of underwear

The risks

Around the country the value of the contents varies. Bags in Northern Ireland contain the most expensive items (£147.27 on average) followed by the bags of Yorkshire and Humberside (£130.09 on average). In comparison, in Wales they contain the least expensive items (£63.42 on average).

And while women all over the country are rejoicing at the fact they no longer have to squeeze their other half's junk into their bag, there are some risks being taken here, because only 5% of men say the contents of their man bag is covered by insurance. After-all for years they left all this gadgetry at home, so didn't need to be covered out of the home.

And when you consider the spare underwear and passports being carried around, there's every chance this bag is in for some unplanned trips, spending quite some time abandoned on unfamiliar floors, making insurance even more vital.
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