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  1. #1
    Forum Member marbenais's Avatar
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    Luminary 12 Review

    Thank you for the chance to review this bag. I have so much appreciation for everyone who can take great pictures of the bag details - I had no idea how difficult it is! (The forum did not upload the pictures. I uploaded the pictures to Flickr and embedded the images here.)

    Nebulous Grey and Dawn is a gorgeous combination. I was really hoping for a Deep Blue/Dawn version of the bag, as I love the Side Effect, Side Kick, and Brain Bag I have in that combination, but I’m very impressed by Nebulous Grey. I don’t like the Steel 1050 Ballistic so I’m glad to have found a grey which I like. Self-fabric/matching piping is a great touch on the front and having the entire exterior of the bag be one color looks really good. It stands out among other backpacks.



    The bottom zippers closing up instead of down makes much more sense and the little flaps are great!



    Rosalind loves the backpack, too.



    I haven’t had a chance to get pictures of the bag on me yet, but I should within the next few days. It’s like the Synapse 19 for me - it feels just right on my back. The shoulder straps are so well done and feel lovely.



    The new sternum strap attachments don’t seem different to me than the previous kind, they just look different.



    Any every day carry bag for me needs to fit in my small locker at work, along with a jacket (I have been wearing a very warm Primaloft winter jacket which compresses to fit in the corner behind whatever bag I’m using). The dimensions of the locker are about 13 3/4” deep by 12” wide by 11 3/4” tall (or approximately 35cm x 30.5cm x 29.5cm). The Luminary 12 fits diagonally without any squishing.



    Since I’ve needed to put various folders and papers in the backpack, I have been using the water bottle holder unzipped - it works as more of a guide to keep the bottle upright than a real pocket to keep it centered in the bag. That openness also gives the Side Kick more room. The Side Effect fits on one side when the center divider is zipped up, as does the Travel Cubelet, but the Side Kick can’t really shove its way into the divided interior space with its own contents. Without the mesh holder zipped to the back panel, the bag can ‘barrel’ out if overstuffed, but I think it’s more noticeable than with the Synapse 19 because of the more narrow bag design. A regular letter-size file folder fits, although the corners get a tiny bit bent - I'll have to see how a hard item fits soon.



    The interior top pocket seems like it is probably better on the Luminary 15 than on the Luminary 12. I completely understand why it’s the size that it is, especially since it’s already long enough to touch the tops of my water bottles, but I haven’t been able to put a full mini organizer pouch inside and still close the pocket.





    I managed to wedge my (not full but stiff) organizer pouch wallet inside with difficulty but couldn’t zip the pocket closed, and I’d want to have an o-ring if I were to put my wallet inside. It's shown vertically here to demonstrate the size of the pocket, it obviously wouldn't fit that way.



    I’ve been putting my very old mesh shopping bag in the pocket since the Luminary 12 is too small to stash many purchases while out and about. My earphone case also fits nicely but I’m not using them all the time to need the quick access.



    I think it’s like the small top pocket next to the water bottle pocket on the Synapse - it’ll take me a while to find the right things for it. It's great to have the pocket there at all, of course.

    I’ve carried the bag to and fro by the webbing handle on the top and have found it sufficient. (At work, I need to have my bag inspected before I leave, so I usually use the Parental Unit so I can have someone check it without taking it off. Testing the Luminary 12, I’ve carried it from the lockers across the store by the grab handle, only putting it on by the backpack straps once I can leave.) The small size of the Luminary 12 means it really can’t get too heavy for that handle. The Brain Bag is the only backpack for which I’ve really needed the big padded handle, and that’s when using it as a travel bag and hauling it around aisles and seats and such. This new, smoother webbing (same as the new strap for the Side Kick) is more comfortable for me to carry by hand.



    I used a regular size Field Notes notebook to show the sizes of the pockets. It fits easily in both of the exterior side pockets. (I carry this one in my pocket at work, so it's a bit worn on the edges.)





    My 13” MacBook Pro just fits inside the bag. It’s not in the Cache, since I have a hard case on it, and I wanted the computer's size inside the bag to show up better in the picture. It’s fine for moving the computer around - throw everything into the bag to move to another room or desk or etc - but it’s not going to be great for actually wearing the bag.



    The padded back compartment is huge for my Kindle Paperwhite but I've put it in there for quick access while out.



    The original iPad fits with no problem, too.



    I can fit the Side Kick, Travel Cubelet, water bottle, and a pair of wireless headphones all in the bag.



    I would agree with the temporary measurement of this Luminary 12 as the Luminary 10 - this is about half of the amount of stuff I can put in the Synapse 19 (it is a very different format of backpack, the Luminary reminds me of the Smart Alec with the side pockets on the bottom of the exterior which take room from the interior when stuffed full) and a not-insignificant amount less than what I've put in the Parental Unit's main compartment.
    Last edited by marbenais; 02-23-2019 at 05:10 PM. Reason: fix typos

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator
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    Thanks for the review! Glad to see that Rosalind is helping out :)
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    You have a lot of useful pictures here, as well as some good observations! Thanks for sharing your experience.

    I completely agree with you about taking good pictures being harder than it looks--I'm always inspired by @ilkyway's photos, but when I try to emulate them I find that the color looks wrong, or I'm in the way of the light and there's a shadow in the picture, or any one of a number of other problems. Actually, that gives me an idea for a post!
    I have a bunch of great bags. Favorite color combos include Aubergine/Island, Navy/Solar, Forest/UV, Original Halcyon/Wasabi, Cloud/Viridian.

    I've fulfilled my dream of palindromic-colored nested bags! Navy/Ultraviolet Pilot with Aubergine/Island Side Effect inside: blue purple purple blue. Forest/UV A45 with Aubergine/Wasabi Co-Pilot inside: green purple purple green.

  4. #4
    Forum Member tuskegee7294's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marbenais View Post
    Thank you for the chance to review this bag. I have so much appreciation for everyone who can take great pictures of the bag details - I had no idea how difficult it is! (The forum did not upload the pictures. I uploaded the pictures to Flickr and embedded the images here.)

    Nebulous Grey and Dawn is a gorgeous combination. I was really hoping for a Deep Blue/Dawn version of the bag, as I love the Side Effect, Side Kick, and Brain Bag I have in that combination, but Iím very impressed by Nebulous Grey. I donít like the Steel 1050 Ballistic so Iím glad to have found a grey which I like. Self-fabric/matching piping is a great touch on the front and having the entire exterior of the bag be one color looks really good. It stands out among other backpacks.



    The bottom zippers closing up instead of down makes much more sense and the little flaps are great!



    Rosalind loves the backpack, too.



    I havenít had a chance to get pictures of the bag on me yet, but I should within the next few days. Itís like the Synapse 19 for me - it feels just right on my back. The shoulder straps are so well done and feel lovely.



    The new sternum strap attachments donít seem different to me than the previous kind, they just look different.



    Any every day carry bag for me needs to fit in my small locker at work, along with a jacket (I have been wearing a very warm Primaloft winter jacket which compresses to fit in the corner behind whatever bag Iím using). The dimensions of the locker are about 13 3/4Ē deep by 12Ē wide by 11 3/4Ē tall (or approximately 35cm x 30.5cm x 29.5cm). The Luminary 12 fits diagonally without any squishing.



    Since Iíve needed to put various folders and papers in the backpack, I have been using the water bottle holder unzipped - it works as more of a guide to keep the bottle upright than a real pocket to keep it centered in the bag. That openness also gives the Side Kick more room. The Side Effect fits on one side when the center divider is zipped up, as does the Travel Cubelet, but the Side Kick canít really shove its way into the divided interior space with its own contents. Without the mesh holder zipped to the back panel, the bag can Ďbarrelí out if overstuffed, but I think itís more noticeable than with the Synapse 19 because of the more narrow bag design. A regular letter-size file folder fits, although the corners get a tiny bit bent - I'll have to see how a hard item fits soon.



    The interior top pocket seems like it is probably better on the Luminary 15 than on the Luminary 12. I completely understand why itís the size that it is, especially since itís already long enough to touch the tops of my water bottles, but I havenít been able to put a full mini organizer pouch inside and still close the pocket.





    I managed to wedge my (not full but stiff) organizer pouch wallet inside with difficulty but couldnít zip the pocket closed, and Iíd want to have an o-ring if I were to put my wallet inside. It's shown vertically here to demonstrate the size of the pocket, it obviously wouldn't fit that way.



    Iíve been putting my very old mesh shopping bag in the pocket since the Luminary 12 is too small to stash many purchases while out and about. My earphone case also fits nicely but Iím not using them all the time to need the quick access.



    I think itís like the small top pocket next to the water bottle pocket on the Synapse - itíll take me a while to find the right things for it. It's great to have the pocket there at all, of course.

    Iíve carried the bag to and fro by the webbing handle on the top and have found it sufficient. (At work, I need to have my bag inspected before I leave, so I usually use the Parental Unit so I can have someone check it without taking it off. Testing the Luminary 12, Iíve carried it from the lockers across the store by the grab handle, only putting it on by the backpack straps once I can leave.) The small size of the Luminary 12 means it really canít get too heavy for that handle. The Brain Bag is the only backpack for which Iíve really needed the big padded handle, and thatís when using it as a travel bag and hauling it around aisles and seats and such. This new, smoother webbing (same as the new strap for the Side Kick) is more comfortable for me to carry by hand.



    I used a regular size Field Notes notebook to show the sizes of the pockets. It fits easily in both of the exterior side pockets. (I carry this one in my pocket at work, so it's a bit worn on the edges.)





    My 13Ē MacBook Pro just fits inside the bag. Itís not in the Cache, since I have a hard case on it, and I wanted the computer's size inside the bag to show up better in the picture. Itís fine for moving the computer around - throw everything into the bag to move to another room or desk or etc - but itís not going to be great for actually wearing the bag.



    The padded back compartment is huge for my Kindle Paperwhite but I've put it in there for quick access while out.



    The original iPad fits with no problem, too.



    I can fit the Side Kick, Travel Cubelet, water bottle, and a pair of wireless headphones all in the bag.



    I would agree with the temporary measurement of this Luminary 12 as the Luminary 10 - this is about half of the amount of stuff I can put in the Synapse 19 (it is a very different format of backpack, the Luminary reminds me of the Smart Alec with the side pockets on the bottom of the exterior which take room from the interior when stuffed full) and a not-insignificant amount less than what I've put in the Parental Unit's main compartment.
    Will the side pockets hold an iPhone XS Max? Thatís going to be the deciding factor on whether I get the 12 or 15.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "Go forward and never lose sight of your dream."

    LCB in Navy/Cayenne; MCB in Nordic/Wasabi; SSB in UV & Black Halcyon; LSB in Island Halcyon; Swift in Black/Steel; LS in Aubergine/Island; SE in Original Halcyon/Wasabi & Nordic Halcyon/UV; Pilot in Black/Wasabi; FJN in Grey & Navy; PCSB in Black Halcyon; TT in Monarch, Sitka, UV, Island, Wasabi & Black, L12: Nebulous Gray/Island and PT in Deep Blue.

  5. #5
    Forum Member marbenais's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuskegee7294 View Post
    Will the side pockets hold an iPhone XS Max? That’s going to be the deciding factor on whether I get the 12 or 15.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Sorry for the late reply, I've been working at another store this week and traveling a lot each day. I think the phone should fit in the larger side pocket but I haven't found one to put in and test.

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