The Luminary is an everyday bag intended primarily to be a small backpack for adult humans. It's designed for an evening on the town, a day spent at museums, the commute to work and back, and traveling the world: wherever you go, the Luminary has your back.
Though the design may look straightforward, its simple lines hide its subtleties. While on first blush the Luminary appears to have a single compartment, its long zipper with four sliders actually accesses the main compartment as well as two side pockets. Both side pockets are sized generously to fit most smart phones and even the iPhone Plus or the HTC U Ultra: you can carry your phone in one and your wallet/keys/personal minutiae in the other. One side pocket is a bit taller than the other, allowing it to accommodate bigger phones/phablets; this makes the main opening a bit asymmetrical, but that’s OK, we promise. The side pocket zippers now close to the top (rather than to the bottom, as did the original Luminary); the juncture where the zipper goes from main compartment to side pocket closure now features a small fabric “garage” to better seal contents from the weather. Both side pockets have O-rings so you can tether keys, multi-tools, Organizer Pouches, whatever.
Handy too is the largely inconspicuous zippered padded back pocket that is sized to fit a tablet or small laptop (see below). Your device is protected by the 1/4” / 6mm foam back padding, yet is easy to access via the exterior, vertical zipper. Inside the main compartment is a zip-away stretch mesh water bottle pocket/divider: when zipped into place, the divider creates three vertical spaces to help you organize your gear and control the load. If that’s not your idea of a good time, leave the divider unzipped and push it out of the way. A small (read: very small) pocket inside the main front panel has been added by popular demand: Nik’s Minimalist Wallet, tiny notebook, pen, lip balm, not more.
The shoulder straps are gracefully curved and feature soft knit edges and undersides; they are padded with 5/16” / 8mm thick EV50 closed-cell foam. They may be the most comfortable shoulder straps ever. The top handle/grab loop is our new soft handle webbing: easy on the digits but isn’t padded and bulky. A 3/4” / 20mm sternum strap and 1” / 25mm waist strap are there if you want them and easily removed if you don’t.
We’ve opted to make the exterior back panel from the same fabric as the rest of the bag. Some users may find it not as cool as our spacer mesh back panels, but as we did not intend this bag for serious aerobic activities, we chose instead to keep the aesthetic simple and the design elegant.
Stuff that's good to know:
Some folks are inclined to wear smaller backpacks low on the back by adjusting the shoulder straps to their maximum length. We don't recommend wearing the Luminary this way. Why? The shoulder straps of the Luminary are designed to conform to one's neck and shoulders when it’s worn relatively high on the back, y'know, like a proper backpack. If you let out the straps and wear your Luminary low on your back, the padded portion of the straps won’t be adequately long, and the adjusting buckles will likely poke you in the wrong place. Additionally, the curve of the strap won’t ride correctly over your shoulder and the straps may tend to splay widely apart: you might think that the sternum strap will fix this, but the sternum strap will likely be too high on the strap to sit anywhere near your sternum.
The Luminary 15 is designed to carry a device about the size of the 13” MacBook Pro or 13” Air, though you may find you’ll need to do a two-point turn to get either in position (note: that’s without any protective sleeve – add a sleeve and these laptops will not fit). Slightly larger laptops in their respective Cache sleeves (or other minimalist sleeve/case) will fit loose in the main compartment of the Luminary (note that the bag itself does not have rail loops for the Cache). How about a 15” MacBook Pro? Pfft – no way.
- Steven M.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, Compact, Good Storage Size5 months agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, Compact, Good Storage SizeRated 5 out of 5 starsMy Magical Bag
Took this bag on a recent trip to 6 National Parks. For me the size was perfect. Was able to always carry a water bottle (nicely balanced in the middle of the bag), folding trekking poles, first aid kit, headlamp, sunglasses, snacks, spare charging block, and lunch. It seemed whatever I needed to have I had room for in the Luminary and when it warmed up I had no problem taking off a layer and fitting it in this bag. Hiked through all kinds of weather and on all kinds of trails. It sits well on my back. I also appreciated that when I shopped the bag did not stick out. While I am sad that this bag has been retired, I am glad to have snagged one before it did. I can't recommend it enough.
- Blisscosity2 years agoRated 5 out of 5 starsWow I love this beautiful, versatile and well made small-for-me EDC.
I have only used this bag a handful of times but each time I do, I wonder at how much I love it! I was drawn to it by the sleek look and low-profile. I purchased it to use as a daybag while urban traveling (lots of walking, sightseeing and public transpo). I have used it as such locally several times as a trial. I love the edgeless straps on this bag; they are narrower and more comfortable for me than on the Synik - which I returned due to discomfort. But on the L15 - HEAVEN. I have a long torso and this bag is PERFECT. It has a lovely low profile, and feels like nothing on your back. It can fit a fair few things in there, including two Side Effects (or SE-like objects), a standard water bottle and my Side Kick purse on top. The small side pockets hold quite a bit - easily my quick grab items like wipes, sanitizer bottles, sanitizer spray, hand lotion tube, folding shop bag, key on strap, pen. Love the tablet sleeve on the back, and use it for my ipad mini 5 and my 8x5 planner.
Looking forward to many more adventures with my L15s! I had to get a couple of colors... they are all so beautiful! What about a halcyon version, guys?
As with all TB items: high quality materials and craftsmanship make this and all items worth the investment!
- Stephen G.Verified BuyerBought For GiftProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Good Storage Size, Versatile, High Quality Craftsmanship, Compact11 months agoBought For GiftProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Good Storage Size, Versatile, High Quality Craftsmanship, CompactRated 5 out of 5 starsreview of the Luminary 15
The versatility, design, and creativity of this solution is obviously superior to any other product claiming equivalency.
- Richard O. H.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, High Quality Finishings, Versatile1 year agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, High Quality Finishings, VersatileRated 5 out of 5 starsAnother Great Design
I could open a Tom Bihn Store because I have so many items. I wanted a smaller backpack to use as a carryon and something to carry around town. The Luminary fits the bill perfectly. It has a small footprint but amazing capacity. It is everything I expect from TB-great design and fantastic workmanship.
- Erik K.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Comfortable, Compact, High Quality Craftsmanship, High Quality Finishings, Durable1 year agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Comfortable, Compact, High Quality Craftsmanship, High Quality Finishings, DurableRated 5 out of 5 starsGreat day bag!
Perfect size for overnight travel.
Sewn in Seattle
Our bags are designed and sewn right here in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
That allows us to be control freaks in the best way possible; we have direct control and oversight of the quality of our materials, our products, and the jobs and working environment that we help create. It also offers us a unique spontaneity: when we have an idea for a new product or accessory, we can design it, figure out how to build it, add it to our website and be ready to ship it out our front door all within just a few weeks. How cool is that?
Intrigued? You can find out more about the unusual way we do business on our Company Philosophy page.
THE BIHN Guarantee
Everything you buy from us here at TOM BIHN is satisfaction guaranteed. We’ve been in business since 1972 and we stand behind what we make.
If something goes wrong and it's our fault, we'll fix it for free. Repairs due to normal wear and tear or due to other things that are not our fault will be performed, when possible, at a reasonable charge right here in our Seattle factory where your bag was made. Defects in materials or workmanship are uncommon and almost always evident while the product is still new. Keep in mind that bags and packs are often subject to extreme wear in everyday use: do not expect them to last forever. Only true love lasts forever! You can expect a TOM BIHN product to give years and years of hard service.