Last October, Bikerumor showed our readers preliminary renderings of some nifty light-up backpacks from Lumos, an India-based company who has already released a line of backpacks with solar panels to charge your mobile devices. Since then, the company has refined the design of their cycling pack, which features several light-up panels and LED’s to ensure motorists can easily see you in the dark.
Aside from the on-board illumination, the initial designs have radically changed and the two models are now one which will come in two different sizes. The renamed Aster is now raising funds on Indiegogo to go into production. If you do daily battles with traffic and want to feel a bit more obvious out there, the Aster may be right up your alley- aside from the front, side and rear lighting the packs include turn signals and an automatic brake light so drivers know exactly what you’re up to…
Lumos set out to make the Aster the ‘world’s safest commuting backpack’ and the concept of introducing lights on all sides certainly seems ideal. Up front, the Aster boasts LED’s in each shoulder strap, which can be adjusted up and down to suit your pedalling position and are intended to help reduce ‘dooring’ incidents. On the sides, two narrow fabric panels light up to provide profile lighting, and on the rear is a multi-function panel with a diamond-shaped arrangement of 16 LED’s which can be set to blink or steady modes, and chevrons on either side to act as turn signals.
Lumos’ Sidekick remote control bolts onto your handlebar, and riders use it to turn the pack on and off and activate the turn signals. When you come to a stop, a sensor in the remote turns all the rear lights on extra bright to act as a brake light. The remote is weather-resistant, but Lumos does recommend removing it in heavy or extended rainfalls.
There’s also a smartphone app (Andriod and iOS compatible) for the Aster which can be used to adjust the lights brightness, check battery life in the pack and the remote control, and hosts an anti-theft alarm. Once set, if the Sidekick remote senses your bike moving for more than 5 seconds you’ll be instantly notified on your phone.
The electronics are powered by a 4000 MaH battery that rides along in a pocket behind the rear lights. It should provide between 10-15 hours of use per charge at default settings, and charges overnight via micro-USB . With the battery and electronics included the larger pack weighs in at 2.2lbs, and the smaller option weighs 900g. The Sidekick remote uses its own coin-cell battery.
To further promote rider safety, the pack also includes a whistle buckle on the chest strap and an emergency info card that can inform first responders of vital info like your blood type, allergies, or contact info if you endure a serious accident.
The Aster pack will come in 24L or 18L sizes, with both utilizing the same construction and features. The pack’s outer shell is made from a waterproof TPU coated material, and the zippers are rain-resistant. The main zipper opens corner-to-corner, allowing you to spread the bag wide open or selectively access the upper or lower sections. The main pocket also features a back panel with sewn-in pouches and pockets for organizing small items.
The Aster also includes top-to-bottom side pockets on both sides (ideal for pumps, water bottles, etc.) a small external pocket on on the back panel, and a soft-lined sunglass or phone pocket inside the top flap. One clever touch is the detachable internal shoe bag which separates smelly riding clothes, wet beach gear or dirty shoes from the rest of your stuff. Other useful features include a laptop sleeve, helmet holder, hideaway U-lock carrier loops, and a rain cover for those sopping wet rides.
The Aster will come in Avatar Blue or Dark Knight (black) colors which both feature reflective patterns to further aid visibility. While the early bird deals have sold out, you can still currently pre-order an Aster with the Sidekick remote control for $99 USD. Check out the Indiegogo campaign here, before it ends on April 25th.