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 soon-ish (emphasis on the ish).

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.

  3. Laurey on 13 June 2018 4:12 pm at 4:12 pm

    I purchased this daypack for use during a month-long trip to Japan, and I too found it frustratingly designed (though the best of the few decent options on the market for this size of bag). I’m glad to read that the front compartments will be enlarged, though for the life of me I can’t understand how they passed muster in the first place. I kept my iphone plus, wallet designed for foreign cash and anything else important in the backside compartment and my jacket in the main compartment. I didn’t use the interior bottle holder as I didn’t want any potential leaks to happen inside the bag. The zippers, which never became more pliable with use, were too beefy for the size of the bag. If the intention of this design is to have a grab-n-go all day carry, then why make it out of materials better suited for heavy-duty travel and that require two hands to muscle open? I want to keep my pack on my shoulder while using one hand to quickly unzip front-compartment access to my phone/money/train pass.

  4. Lynette on 29 June 2018 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm

    I finally after a month of research I have figured out this bag will be the best for me and well… now I have to wait for production. Good things come to those who wait, Right? I’m actually excited for the changes. Any chance you’ll also be making a FREUDIAN SLIP to fit as well? I would really love one of those!
    Thank you for such amazing products! P.s.. this won’t be my first Tom Bihn purchase.

  5. Jeff on 16 July 2018 10:09 am at 10:09 am

    Good news for fans of the Luminary but us early adopters should be able to get a discount!

  6. Mandy on 31 August 2018 6:56 am at 6:56 am

    I’m new to Tom Bihn, just having received an Aeronaut 30. I’m looking for my next bag, and am wondering if there’s any updated expectation on when the Luminary 14 might be available?

    • mm TB Crew on 7 September 2018 7:09 am at 7:09 am

      Hi Mandy! We just posted an update on the Luminary 14 here:
      Hope that helps a bit. If you can’t wait for the Luminary 14 and would like our recommendations for other bags, send a note over to with what you plan to carry + where you plan to go and we’ll share some other pack options. 🙂

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