I recently bought a new daypack (Osprey Stratos 26), which has got me thinking - bigger packs (i.e. c.50 litres plus) tend to be top loaders. Smaller packs are more mixed, and their style depends on the specific activity they have been designed for
The Stratos series come in top loading and panel loading options. I got the top loading one as the price was good and my other main daypack is a panel loader so figured having options would be good.
I have to say I'm rather taken with the pack but wonder if people prefer panel or top loaders. Panel loaders are easier to get bits in and out of in a rush, and easier for work and commuting, but I can see there being more to fail, not that I've ever had one fail. The top loader feels like it would be a better hillwalking pack
So, along with loading option, what do you look for in a hillwalking daypack?
My main criteria were 20-30 litres, option to stow walking poles, hipbelt, long enough to fit me (6'3), side pockets, main compartment and at least one other pocket. I was hoping to find something with a fairly well ventilated backpanel but didn't know which type