I'm not completely convinced with my new back pack. Like layout of houses, I prefer an "open concept" design vs a traditional many walls and many smaller rooms (unless room sizes are large enough without feeling closed in). Same with packs. There isn't one that is "perfect" for me.
A large central open space that can open almost completely, like the jaws of a shark makes placing once folded clothing in easy. I'm not a roll my clothes person. I find folding clothing just once helps to keep them pressed better especially when I may not have access to an iron.
I like a reasonable width to the pack as well. It means I can slide a pair of sandals (and umbrella) down the side close to the opening so when I am arriving at a warmer destination, I can quickly locate them and change my shoes on the plane before disembarking. I don't wear sandals on a long haul flight because I'm usually freezing and need socks.
There should be one or two smaller zipped pockets as well as a side pocket. The front zipped ones are great for tissues, snacks and the bag of liquids you need to show at x-ray time. The side pocket is where I put my eye mask and ear plugs for easy access.
On a styling note, I would prefer if my pack doesn't scream "camping". So finding one that looks more urban has been a challenge. I want to look as if I'm visiting for the weekend, not someone who has come from far away and have packed to match.
My new one is 33 L, an upgrade from my old one and the shoulder straps are much better designed with a chest strap for weight distribution should you wish. The colour is in a men's charcoal grey and pretty nondescript outside of the logo. In fact this is a guy's pack so the length is slightly longer than I would ideally like.
I might look around a bit more but this one hits the requirements the best and doesn't break the bank. I can now safely find another job for my 15 yr old Eddie Bauer back pack.