Deuter ACT Trail 32
Number of Pockets: 5-6
Max. Load Carried: 30lbs
Height of Owner: 5'9"
Price Paid: $90
I don't give this 5 out of 5 stars for any one reason. It's a fantastic pack in all conditions.
I previously had a Deuter Futura 28 pack for commuting and day hiking. It was wonderful. Then it got stolen. So I bought this because it was on sale. I wish I had this one to begin with.
The build on this pack is for serious day hiking. That's the purpose you get from it after a few uses. And it's definitely heavier than your typical day pack. But its swing weight is phenomenal - that's to say that it moves with your body really well packed down heavy in town or on the trail (overnights are a given with this pack).
I carry it on my walk to work everyday. It can hold a good amount of groceries and two days' worth of trail necessities. It's accessible through the top or through a full side zip that opens the entire pack (cesarean style). The plastic form frame is a bit much with only a little weight, but it can hold a LOT of weight for its size. And it breathes very well - especially compared to the Deuter Futura I had before that had an open back "trampoline" style frame.
The straps allow for a wide range of adjustment and the rain fly is just perfect for those HUGE loads you might have. I recommend it for anyone looking for a pack that needs to stand up to heavy loads, wide loads, abuse and extreme weather.
The pockets you need are here. One side net open to fit a nalgene, one side zipped up to conceal. The top pockets seem especially geared toward technical gearheads with a secret zip pocket and one large outside zip that can hold all the grab necessities. Also accomodates ice axes, trekking pole loops (work well), and has a hip belt pocket (big cell phone size). It is better than most for bladders.
It might be too much for just strictly day commuters, but the extra capabilities come in handy when things don't go my way. Also: I'm not tall (5'9, fits me great) but it seems like it'd be a good pack for taller people.