New Luminary Backpacks Are In The Works

Tom sews one of the new Luminary prototypes in his design studio.

Tom has made a couple of design updates to the original Luminary. Most notably, he’s made the right side pocket large enough to fit phablets such as the iPhone Plus and the HTC U Ultra; the left side pocket is a bit bigger too (wider actually) than the first iteration of the Luminary. The asymmetrical height of the pockets makes the main compartment zipper extend further down one side than the other, which we think looks kinda cool. Yet Tom was able to nudge things around so that the new Luminary’s main compartment zipper still opens just as wide as the older version – about 44 cm or 17.4”.

Concurrent with the redesign of the Luminary was the development of a new, larger Luminary—the Luminary 14. Its shoulder straps and over-all height are intended to better fit taller and/or broader folks, and its padded back compartment can fit up to a 13” laptop. The Luminary 14 can hold noticeably more than the original Luminary (henceforth to be known as the Luminary 10), yet is still quite a modest sized pack. (For those paying close attention: we re-measured the volume of the original Luminary when we were measuring this new size, and the original came in at a perfect 10 liters. Both were measured using our new volume measurement protocol, so we feel very confident abut these numbers — more on that some other time….).

Both the Luminary 10 and Luminary 14 are in the final stages of their creation: pattern adjustments are being made and Tom is working with Lisa, Fong, and Nik to ensure both bags are efficiently manufacturable. We expect the new Luminaries will be available for order sometime between July and September 2018. 

To sign up to be notified when the new Luminary 10 is available, visit the Luminary 10 page.

To be notified when the Luminary 14 is available for order, subscribe to our general mailing list or to our blog posts (that sign-up box is on the right). 

Various Luminary prototypes on Tom’s drafting table.


TB Crew

We're the TOM BIHN crew: we design bags, make bags, ship bags, and answer questions about bags. Oh, and we collaborate on blog posts, too.


  1. Alex Derbes on 17 May 2018 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm

    I have a gen 1 Luminary. What I really want from the bag is one additional zip pocket at the top that i can put my wallet and business card holder in. The issue with using the side pockets for this is that it is too risky.

    Also, the current Luminary just fits the 12”
    MacBook, but it is a touch tight. Another 1/2” in the pocket to access the back would be better.

  2. Eveleen Henry on 17 May 2018 3:28 pm at 3:28 pm

    I am so glad to hear of pending modifications to the Luminary. I have now used this bas on two 3-week trips to Europe where it served as my sole carryon and my daypack. I have found the size of the side pockets frustratingly unhandy. A package of Kleenex, lip balm, and small sunscreen OR a glasses case. A slight exaggeration but point made. On the plus side: I was able to fit rain pants, light shoes, wallet, sunglasses case, keys, 3-1-1 bag, etc, a small water bottle, and my iPad mini (in the back pockets). So the modifications sound like this will become a near perfect pack.

    • mm TB Crew on 21 May 2018 4:13 pm at 4:13 pm

      That’s useful feedback, Eveleen — thanks.

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