Traveling abroad has a list of challenges associated with it. The expense, the time, and hauling along all the things you need are just a few issues to consider when planning a trip. Where you are going can dictate what you want to use as a bag. Are you heading into the outdoors or are you planning to tour the city? This one determining factor should be considered when choosing a backpack if you're purchasing one specifically for the trip.
A traditional backpack will suffice but a backpack geared towards the urban traveler has a few advantages. We took the Deuter Transit 50 on a trip to Spain. Our plans were to fly into Madrid and drive across the country from south to north. We planned on stopping in cities and touring the sites. This is our experience using an urban backpack rather than the usual backpacking pack.
Right off the bat we noticed a few key features. The ability to cover the shoulder straps to make sure they don't hang up on the airplane. We also liked the zip off day pack on the front. This came in handy during the day when we only needed a few things to carry while walking around. We carried our DSLR camera, water, wifi hotspot, maps and souvenirs we picked up during the day. The bottom of the pack is separated from the top, so you can put dirty or wet items to keep them away from your clean clothes. The pack opened via a U shaped zipper rather than a top opening. This made it easy to pack and unpack without getting everything in and out. The side compression straps were nice to cinch everything down when full. The adjustable shoulder strap system allowed myself or the wife to quickly adjust the straps so that it was comfortable for either one of us. This is a great feature and allows for a good fit. I would say that if you're under 6'4" this pack can adjust to fit you. Lastly, the Deuter Transit 50 has several carrying options. You can use the backpack straps. It comes with a shoulder strap. It also has handles on the side and top of the bag. The backpack doesn't have the ability to be a roller bags. However I think this would weight the pack down or take away carrying space. We didn't miss it.
When not loaded down, the bag fit into most overhead bins on the airplane. On the way back from Spain, the bag was full of things we picked up on the trip and didn't fit very well into bins. The last leg of the trip we had to store the bag in the flight crew closet. Not a deal breaker, but might have to be gate checked on smaller regional aircraft. The day pack while handy has no hip straps. If you have it loaded up, it might cause your back to hurt by the end of the day. These were really the only minor details that we could see that we didn't like.
We loved this pack. It was much better suited for our purpose than our other backpacks we have lying around. It is definitely gear towards the urban explorer rather than a trail backpack. I wouldn't buy it for any other purpose. On the trail, it would cut it. For the person backpacking through Europe who doesn't need camping gear, then this is your pack. They also make the pack in the 65 size, but we think that is too big for most purposes. We like the ability to sneak in on the plane as it is close enough to carry on size.
Here is the link to our Campman Deuter Transit 50 page. They sell fast and for a good reason. Do yourself a favor and get the right bag for your trip. Good gear makes great trips better.