I took this backpack to the deserts of Arizona, right on Lake Mead, from Cincinnati, Ohio, for a research trip. I am a research biologist, hiker, camper, and backpacker, and I am very impressed with this product. I had everything for a 5 day field trip, except for my tent and larger field gear, in this pack, and I used this as my carry-on luggage on the plane. It would be an understatement to say that I had this thing overstuffed. It still fit fine in the overhead storage on the larger planes--smaller planes checked it upon boarding. This pack's performance more than exceeded my expectations--I seriously expected it to bust given how much I'd put in it, and that it was being thrown around by airport staff during layovers and connections involving smaller aircraft. The thing never budged, not one seam, zipper, or buckle broke on the whole trip! The stitching is very durable and trustworthy.
I found the design to be very convenient for my usage: panel-load main-compartment made for easy access to my belongings, internal compartment is huge, divider zips out to open up the bottom compartment to make it even bigger (I was able to fit my Texsport Cold Creek 0 deg sleeping bag down inside this pack when rolled up and fully compressed to ~14x12x12 or so), the compression straps around the bag really bring the load close to your body and take the pressure off of the main-compartment's zipper, top handle strap is very durable, rain cover is easily accessible while pack is on your back, distress whistle is loud, shoulder straps and waist belt are very comfortable and adjustable (the compression straps on the shoulders and waist also help bring the load closer to your body/balance the load), the internal frame is sturdy, there are lots of places to strap things on the outside of it, I even strapped a smaller day-pack to it upside-down using the external helmet compartment thing or whatever that is (like I said, I really had this thing loaded down), and it was still comfortable on my back while standing in line at the airport. I'm about 5'11'' and I noticed someone else mention that this pack wouldn't be suitable for people over 6'2''; I disagree--I think it's likely contingent upon how much weight you have in the bag, which is why I like the adjustable sternum strap and lumbar support. That said, 6'6'' is probably pushing the limits of its adjustable range. The zipper on the bottom-compartment is, as others have mentioned, very difficult to operate when the bottom-compartment is less than full--if the bottom compartment is stuffed full the zipper on it works a little better--this whole issue would be solved if the material around the bottom compartment's zipper were not some type of elastic drawstring. This is an unfortunate design flaw, and my only complaint about this product.
In sum, I've only used this pack once so far, but I feel it was a thorough test of its capabilities. It's an awesomely versatile and convenient pack, it's confortable, and it will be taking the place of my larger top-loading backback when I go backpacking and camping, as well as for international trips. I paid $55 + tax and shipping for this pack, and there's no way you can beat the quality of this pack for that price.