I feel like I've looked at every smallish backpack on the planet. There are so many great contenders.
My primary focus was 'weight when empty' in relation to capacity. I'm not exactly known for my upper body strength, and I know my limits. At the same time, I'm just a beginner and a hobbyist, and I wanted to future-proof my choice, which to me, means flexibility in the layout.
I'll definitely be getting the Think Tank Steetwalker, or Pro, as they have all of the above. My preference is the smaller of the two, as it comes in under 3 lbs empty, but I feel like I need to try them in person to make that decision. Once I've decided, (it could be awhile) I'll post a quick review here.