The Luminary 15 in Aubergine (dark purple) 525 Ballistic. The Luminary 15 in Alphaviolet (bright purple) 525 Ballistic. The Luminary 15 in Nebulous Grey (Medium grey) 525 Ballistic. A profile shot of the Luminary 15 in Nebulous Grey (Medium grey) 525 Ballistic. A rear shot of the Luminary 15 in Nebulous Grey (Medium grey) 525 Ballistic. The Luminary 15 in Nebulous Grey (Medium grey) 525 Ballistic with a Dawn (blue-grey) 210 Ballistic interior. The Luminary 15 in Nebulous Grey (Medium grey) 525 Ballistic with a Island (blue) 210 Ballistic interior. The Luminary 15 in Nebulous Grey (Medium grey) 525 Ballistic with a Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. A profile shot of the Luminary 15 in Alphaviolet (bright purple) 525 Ballistic. A rear shot of the Luminary 15 in Alphaviolet (bright purple) 525 Ballistic. The Luminary 15 in Alphaviolet (bright purple) 525 Ballistic with an Island (blue) 210 Ballistic interior. The Luminary 15 in Black 525 Ballistic. A profile shot of the Luminary 15 in Black 525 Ballistic. A rear shot of the Luminary 15 in Black 525 Ballistic. The Luminary 15 in Black 525 Ballistic with an Island (blue) 210 Ballistic interior. The Luminary 15 in Black 525 Ballistic with an Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. The Luminary 15 in Black 525 Ballistic with an Dawn (blue-grey) 210 Ballistic interior. The Luminary 15 in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic. A profile shot of the Luminary 15 in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic. A rear shot of the Luminary 15 in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic. The Luminary 15 in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic with an Coyote (brown) 210 Ballistic interior. The Luminary 15 in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic with an Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. The Luminary 15 in Cloud (light grey) 525 Ballistic. A profile shot of the Luminary 15 in Cloud (light grey) 525 Ballistic. A reverse shot of the Luminary 15 in Cloud (light grey) 525 Ballistic. A profile shot of the Luminary 15 in Cloud (light grey) 525 Ballistic with a Dawn (blue-grey) 210 Ballistic interior. The Luminary 15 in Mars Red 525 Ballistic. A profile shot of the Luminary 15 in Mars Red 525 Ballistic. A reverse shot of the Luminary 15 in Mars Red 525 Ballistic. The Luminary 15 in Mars Red 525 Ballistic with a Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. The Luminary 15 in Mars Red 525 Ballistic with a Dawn (blue-grey) 210 Ballistic interior. The Luminary 15 in Burnt Orange 525 Ballistic. A profile shot of the Luminary 15 in Burnt Orange 525 Ballistic. A reverse shot of the Luminary 15 in Burnt Orange 525 Ballistic. The Luminary 15 in Burnt Orange 525 Ballistic with a Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. A profile shot of the Luminary 15 in Aubergine (dark purple) 525 Ballistic. A reverse shot of the Luminary 15 in Aubergine (dark purple) 525 Ballistic. The Luminary 15 in Aubergine (dark purple) 525 Ballistic with a Coyote (brown) 210 Ballistic interior. The Luminary 15 in Aubergine (dark purple) 525 Ballistic with a Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. The Luminary 15 in Aubergine (dark purple) 525 Ballistic with a Dawn (blue-grey) 210 Ballistic interior. The Luminary 15 in Wilderness (forest green) 525 Ballistic. A profile shot of the Luminary 15 in Wilderness (forest green) 525 Ballistic. A reverse shot of the Luminary 15 in Wilderness (forest green) 525 Ballistic. The Luminary 15 in Wilderness (forest green) 525 Ballistic with a Coyote (brown) 210 Ballistic interior. The Luminary 15 in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic. A profile shot of the Luminary 15 in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic. A reverse shot of the Luminary 15 in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic. The Luminary 15 in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic with an Island (blue) 210 Ballistic interior. The Luminary 15 in Coyote (brown) 525 Ballistic with an Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. A profile shot of the Luminary 15 in Coyote (brown) 525 Ballistic. A reverse shot of the Luminary 15 in Coyote (brown) 525 Ballistic. The Luminary 15 in Coyote (brown) 525 Ballistic with an Dawn (blue-grey) 210 Ballistic interior. The Luminary 15 in Coyote (brown) 525 Ballistic with an Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. The Luminary 15 in Constellation (light blue) 525 Ballistic. A profile shot of the Luminary 15 in Constellation (light blue) 525 Ballistic. A reverse shot of the Luminary 15 in Constellation (light blue) 525 Ballistic. The Luminary 15 in Constellation (light blue) 525 Ballistic with a Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior.
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The Luminary 15

$150.00

A smaller backpack designed for the urban experience: museums, cafes, restaurants, pubs, galleries.

15 liters / 915 cu.in.

We've retired the The Luminary 15 so we can focus our efforts on other projects. You can sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page to receive updates on what we're working on next!

Description

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.

Materials

Zippers

#8 Racquet Coil water-repellent zippers with metal sliders (all other exterior zippers)

Back

Closed-cell foam back

Straps

Edgeless EV50 5/16" / 8mm shoulder straps (EVAZOTE® OEKO-TEX® foam)

Components

Duraflex®, Nexus, and Woojin buckles and related components

Specs

Dimensions

11" (w) x 16.5" (h) x 7.9" (d) / 280 (w) x 420 (h) x 200 (d) mm

Weight

1 lb 8 oz / 680 grams

Volume

915 cubic inches / 15 liters (ASTM Standard Measure)

Laptop Compartment Maximum Dimensions

 12" x 8.4" x 0.7" / 305mm x 214mm x 18mm

Lifetime guarantee image

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 for over 30 years 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.

Rated 5.0 out of 5
Based on 22 reviews
average rating 5.0 out of 5
Based on 22 reviews
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100% of reviewers would recommend this product to a friend
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Rated 5 out of 5
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Review posted
Reviewed by Alan
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Bought For
Myself
Product Standouts
  • Thoughtful Design
  • Comfortable
  • High Quality Craftsmanship
  • Compact
  • Durable
Rated 5 out of 5

I love it, but consider these issues

It is just the perfect size and shape for me. I like a small bag, because then I can't put much in it. But I still fill it to capacity.

Two things to know about this bag.

1. An Apple iPad Pro 12.9 with a Magic Keyboard just barely fits in the bag, It always takes a few minutes of fiddling to get it in. However, if you are patient you can get both this iPad and a MacBook Air in the slot.

2. If you tend to carry files or legal pads, this might not be the bag for you. They only fit in the main compartment if you take out your water bottle. And, of course, you wouldn't want to carry more than 1/2" of paper in there anyway.

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Reviewed by Evan P.
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  • Compact
Rated 5 out of 5

Already adore it

The size! The pockets! The weight distribution! It such a great daily use bag, the side pockets make it so easy to sling around and grab something. It's big enough to hold a decent daily haul and still not get in the way.

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Product Standouts
  • Thoughtful Design
  • Good Storage Size
  • Versatile
  • High Quality Craftsmanship
  • Compact
Rated 5 out of 5

review of the Luminary 15

The versatility, design, and creativity of this solution is obviously superior to any other product claiming equivalency.

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Reviewed by Matthew T.
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Product Standouts
  • Thoughtful Design
  • Comfortable
  • High Quality Craftsmanship
  • Compact
Rated 5 out of 5

Perfect EDC

Thoughtful pockets, o-rings, good looks, high quality. I wish the o-rings on the inside were placed slightly higher. That’s the only thing I would possibly change. Five stars.

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Reviewed by Maddie C.
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Myself
Product Standouts
  • Compact
  • High Quality Craftsmanship
  • Durable
  • Versatile
  • Comfortable
Rated 5 out of 5

Great bag for Paris, Avignon, Nice

This was the perfect bag to take on my trip to France! I have some back/neck issues, so I needed a lighter bag than the Synik 30. I bought the luminary and was delighted how quickly it shipped. It was more purple than I expected - it seemed more pink-purple on the website but this bag is definitely purple. My doctor approved and my trip was soon, so the color honestly wasn’t a huge deal to me and I wanted a brightly colored backpack (I also know you can order swatches if you are not pressed for time - I’m sure the color difference had a lot to do with my screen!). The backpack was wonderful functionwise - the two pockets were great for storing masks and hand sanitizer and the large inner pocket was a bit difficult to organize without some of the TB accessories - but I am sure has I not been in a rush, I would have been able to get what I preferred. Overall, the backpack met all my needs and was light, carried exactly what I needed in a day, and was able to go with me to every museum (Louvre, L’Orangerie, Cluny, etc) without any issues regarding its size. It never got too heavy and my dad, who is 6’6”, carried it for me for a portion of the trip and said it was comfortable as well.

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