View Full Version : Luminary vs Medium Cafe Bag?

11-01-2017, 11:20 AM
Hi Everyone!

Just got both a Luminary and MCB (both in Deep blue/canyon). Obviously, aside from one being a backpack style and the other a messenger style, does anyone have any thoughts on where each one shines?

I'm mostly in urban environments and plan is to carry an Ipad Pro 10.5 as the main 'technology' contents. I also got the MCB Freudian Slip, which works in both. The MCB seems to fit more seamlessly into my A45, but that aside, they seem redundant. I'm not overly concerned about protection for the ipad pro 10.5 since I'm not very rough with the bags.

Trying to figure out whether to keep both, or return one and if so, which one?

Thank in advance for any input and sharing your experiences.


11-01-2017, 12:15 PM
I have been more of a shoulder bag person for quite a few years, but just started using the Luminary and I love it. I'm also in an urban environment and taking the train every day to Boston. I find that a backpack is better for my spine and shoulders, so that's why I switched.

I'd say that there are some intrinsic annoyances to using a backpack, which you're probably aware of, such as having to swing it off when you sit down or want to get at your wallet or train pass (unless you carry those things in your pocket). However, of all the backpacks I've ever owned, including the Tom Bihn ones, the Luminary is the easiest to pull on and off and to hand-carry for short distances, due to its neat, slim profile and comfy top-handle. And although the side pockets are small, I find them convenient for the two things I need handy: keys in one side and a pocket pouch with my train pass in the other. (I mostly carry my phone in my pocket or in my hand.)

The Medium Cafe Bag probably has a little less space than the Luminary? But if you are carrying a lot of notebooks, iPads or other flat things, beyond the capacity of the Luminary's flat back pocket, it might be more useful. And depending on your workplace, it might be more appropriate to have a shoulder bag than a backpack sometimes, and certain places, like museums, will categorically ban backpacks but allow shoulder bags. I certainly think they are complementary.

On a side note, I just discovered this color combo: Deep Blue and Canyon. I really like blue, but had held off getting it in the newly released items because it was often paired with Grass, which I'm not crazy about. But when I realized how good it looks with Canyon I placed a few orders myself.

11-02-2017, 08:56 AM
Thanks for the thoughts @bchaplin. To close the loop...I took the MCB out for the afternoon/evening (since I'm definitely keeping it)...and it worked well. I agree that they are probably complementary.

One instance that I felt a Luminary might be better suited was when I walked a couple of miles to an evening event -- while the MCB was not uncomfortable, I think the backpack style would be more comfortable for longer distances since the weight (even if small) is evenly distributed.

On the other hand, once at the event ( a small book reading/discussion with an author), I loved the ease of discretely being able to access the contents of the MCB.

Net-net is that I like the MCB better once at a destination, and I like the Luminary better en route.

I'm a bit surprised that given the huge number of bags that TB makes and how well its different accessories work together, so few bags are designed to fit (without folding) into the main compartment of the A45. I think the DLBC and PCBP fit well (as does MCB), but would have thought there would be a luminary-like offering designed especially for that space.