Nitori asks whether Japanese elementary school kids’ backpacks really need to be so heavy.

Randoseru, the boxy backpacks carried by elementary school kids in Japan, aren’t cheap. They can easily cost over 50,000 yen (US$370), which is a lot of money to spend on something you then hand over to a six-year-old and say “OK, now take good care of this!”

Randoseru aren’t just a heavy burden on family’s finances, though, but also on kids’ backs. With all their heavy leather and metal fittings, a typical randoseru weighs around 1.2 kilograms (2.64 pounds) before even a single textbook or pencil pouch is placed inside, which is a lot for such young kids to lug around. So to lighten the economic and physical load, Japanese furniture and homewares company Nitori is releasing lightweight, lower-priced cloth randoseru.

At 840 grams, Nitori says its cloth randoseru are 30-percent lighter than orthodox randoseru, and that they were designed specifically because of feedback from kids and parents who wanted less weighty bags, a growing concern as more young students have to carry tablets to class.

The placement of the zipper allows the entire back section to unfold, for easy loading and unloading.

▼ Umbrella, water bottle, pencil case, notebooks, tablet, indoor shoes, textbooks – kids have a lot of stuff they need to carry to and from school every day.

The Cordura-brand polyester and nylon materials are still sturdy and water-resistant, though, and can be hand-washed if need be. And since more colorful randoseru have been steadily gaining in popularity, Nitori’s cloth ones are available in either black or purple.

These cloth randoseru are also significantly more affordable than an old-school leather one, priced at just 19,900 yen, and come with a one-year warranty.

Nitori’s cloth randoseru are available now and can be purchased through the chain’s online store here. On the other hand, parents who are committed to a leather bag but balk at the prices can check out Japan’s recently launched randoseru rental service.

Source: PR Times via IT Media, Nitori
Top image: PR Times
Insert images: PR Times, Nitori
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