Grab a Rootote today!

by Paris B on · 32 comments

in Bags,Shopping

I was first enamoured by Roototes when I saw them on Karen Cheng. Then Tine wrote about how much she loved her Roototes and I knew I had to check them out.

Rootote Bags

Both Karen and Tine gave links to the Rootote store in Australia which ships to Malaysia for a flat rate of AU$12. Not too expensive if you can find a few friends to combine your order. I was doing just this, when I discovered that Roototes can be purchased right here in Malaysia too!

Local online store Tiny Tapir has brought a selection of Roototes in the Medium and Tall sizes. You don’t see it on their website yet, but contact them and they should be able to hook you up with one. (UPDATE: They are now available on the Tiny Tapir Rootote page) The designs are quite selected for now, I guess until they are sure of the demand. The best part is that the prices on Tiny Tapir are in Malaysian Ringgit and my Medium Rootote in the Corners design was only RM38 (Yen 1050)! Compare that with AU$22.73 + AU$12 shipping and you get the idea just how much savings you get buying locally. :) (UPDATE: Due to currency fluctuations, newer stocks are priced slightly higher)

The only thing as I said, is that the selection in Tiny Tapir is quite small for now with a lot of cutesy designs which I was a bit leery of. Cartoons on tote bags just don’t do it for me unfortunately, but they might appeal to you. I would prefer if they brought in some of the more user-friendly designs like those in stripes or simpler designs or plain bags. I think many would prefer that too.

Looking around online for a bit, I found out that Rootote is actually not an Australian brand as I originally thought, but hails from Japan under a company called Super Planning. The Roo in the name Rootote comes from the zippered pocket on the outside that is modeled after a kangaroo pouch. The designs on the Japanese site are so much more varied and they even have collaborative designs with other artists and designers.

I like the Rootote Medium shape because it fits better on my frame. The Medium size is not too large for a tote and although it has no zip or closure, it stays closed because the straps are not that long. Once slung over your shoulder, the bag is automatically kept closed. It turned out also that my design in Corners was a  polyester material. This makes is rather waterproof but also makes it rather stiff. Perhaps its new so I’ll have to wear it in a bit. I am interested in one of the cotton canvas ones though. I think those would not be as stiff and may be nicer to carry.

Rootote canvas bag

On the inside of the bag is a plastic insert to keep the bottom of the bag flat and 3 inner pockets to keep your cards, keys, mobile phone etc. There is no lining on the inside of the bag. Another thing I did not quite like, but the seams are all well finished so it doesn’t look too bad. On the outside is a zippered pocket along the side seam where I keep my house keys. The design of this bag is on the flatter side. There is another design where the bottom is more circular. I thought it might be harder to carry that one flat and close to the body so I skipped it.

I was not expecting much from the Rootote to be honest. Its just a tote after all one might argue. But I was pleasantly surprised by how useful it is. Because it is polyester, it is not heavy so it doesn’t weigh down your shoulders. I took it to the movies and it fit a scarf to keep the chills away, a large bag of crisps and a bottle of water. Best of all, it did not even look filled. The bag was stiff enough to stand up without flopping over which I liked and it sat nicely on my shoulder without dragging it down. I’m so used to carrying heavy bags on my shoulder that carrying a light bag suddenly felt like carrying nothing at all! The Rootote also feels very sturdy which I liked. I could probably fit a ton of bricks in there and it’ll still be fine. Not that I would…

I can see me using my Rootote for weekend shopping trips or for a day trip out of town. The design is fun yet serious enough that I could pass it off for work if I had to. If I really wanted something for work, I might have to pick up another in a more serious looking design. Its big enough to fit A4 files and a laptop and is light enough so I won’t end up looking like the hunchback of Notre Dame.

I tipped off Beetrice and she picked up the same one I did so maybe she’ll be reviewing it soon too. :) I may be keen to check out some in the Luxe or Cotton designs. Just look at the choices available! Ah, temptations! It may be time to get in touch with Tiny Tapir again! 😉

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[ 26 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

fashionasia September 23, 2008 at 4:29 pm

i wanted it ever since i read about it in karenchengs!! and then Tine….and now you too!! ok…..i must get one…tinytapir here i come…..keep 1 for me!!


ParisB September 23, 2008 at 4:33 pm

@fashionasia : It’ll come in useful for a baby bag :)


Stephanie September 23, 2008 at 4:53 pm

Haha, I’ve had a Rootote for months already! Bought it from LYN 😉 Really lovely bag I should say.


Nikki September 23, 2008 at 5:29 pm

Ohh i want one too! Better check them out and see which ones have the better deal on shipping!


ParisB September 23, 2008 at 5:49 pm

@Stephanie : Not sure where/who LYN is but I agree – its an awesome bag!

Nikki: I think Tiny Tapir ships internationally and they may be placing an order soon if you want something more specific 😉


Affy September 23, 2008 at 6:30 pm

I’m so gald u share your findings… i’ve been eyeing this rootote for quite some time…. reading from your experience… i’m now sure wanting to own one… thank you 1000x


YZ September 24, 2008 at 12:23 am

It’s been quite some time since you last wrote a post on bags, eh paris? After reading Tine’s & now your review, I’ll definitely be checking this one out! 😉


Sesame September 24, 2008 at 9:39 am

I carry quite a bit of cotton totes and one thing I dislike is that the fabric rubs too much on our clothes and causes the fabric to wear out easily.


prettybeautiful September 24, 2008 at 10:46 am

nice! i have sent an email to tiny tapir, hopefully they reply me soon.


ParisB September 24, 2008 at 10:52 am

@Affy : Its an awesome bag. Drop the store and line and see what they have left.

@YZ: Yeah, I’ve not been buying too many new ones and have been restraining myself from looking lest I get tempted. But the Rootote deserves a mention!


ParisB September 24, 2008 at 10:55 am

@Sesame : Hmm.. then polyester may be a better option.

@prettybeautiful: They are good with replies :) Hope you find one that you like!


September 24, 2008 at 10:57 am

Bea told me about this, and aiya, so cheap!! I paid about AUD39 for mine :(

Still, I think it’s a great bag for shopping. I can chuck so many things in ’em. I’m looking at the Tall bags now actually. No way I’ll be getting mine here since it’s so much cheaper in M’sia 😉


ParisB September 24, 2008 at 10:58 am

@Tine : Ours are the Polyester ones, not the Luxe version. Those will be more expensive but still not AUD39 😉


Irenelim September 24, 2008 at 11:01 am

Wah, looks very fashionable… I want one too! Tiny Tapir here i come… lol.


ParisB September 24, 2008 at 11:05 am

@Irenelim : It is also very useful! I think Tiny Tapir will be overwhelmed soon lol…


beetrice September 24, 2008 at 1:12 pm

haha…you know me too well! I’ve been a bit busy so didn’t have time to take pics of it – but definitely soon…I’m in LURVE with it… :)


ParisB September 24, 2008 at 1:22 pm

@beetrice : The awesomeness was a surprise indeed! I’m already contemplating another :O


Indulgent Diva September 24, 2008 at 6:21 pm

I was so intrigued after Tine’s post that I went and got one last week! I got the Sumiro and loved it. So good even to bring to work when I’ve got tons to carry. Definitely thinking of getting more. But that cheap in Malaysia? Looks like I’ll get mine from Malaysia as well. Thanks for the tip! :)


Irenelim September 24, 2008 at 9:12 pm

Tiny Tapir will soon become Huge Tapir! :)


September 25, 2008 at 1:57 am

Oh gosh! I want one! Been hankering after it ever since I read about it on Karen Cheng’s and had almost forgotten about it until Tine wrote about it too. But the price plus the shipping put me off so I had written off getting one… now it’s made so available! Tiny Tapir here I come!


ParisB September 25, 2008 at 2:03 pm

@Indulgent Diva : I’m wondering now if a plain Sumiro type Rootote or a Tall one will suit my fancies better. Try checking out shipping costs too. Might cost more to ship from Malaysia. :)

@Irenelim: I would be happy if they did!

@Rinnah: I hope they stock something that you’ll like! Thank goodness for discovering Tiny Tapir 😉


Ong September 26, 2008 at 9:29 am

Thank you for informing about having Rootote in Malaysia!!! Ever since i read it in karencheng, I wanted it so badly. But then i felt that it was too pricey for a canvas bag after the conversion :P. I love the felt onesssssss!!! I already email tinytapir…. hope they get back to me soon!!!


ParisB September 26, 2008 at 9:49 am

@Ong: You are most welcome! There is a really cute felt one up on Tiny Tapir’s site (The Rootote page is ready) so go check it out before its all gone :)


Celine September 26, 2008 at 12:29 pm

Hey Paris, your link to Rootote in Oz has been mispelled, should have been instead of


ParisB September 26, 2008 at 3:49 pm

@Celine : Thanks for the heads up! I’ve rectified it.


Carrey November 20, 2008 at 5:19 pm

you guys can browse at i bought one there from them..but now not much choices left…

PB notes: I have not shopped from the site mentioned so I cannot vouch for it.


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