In the ever ending quest to find a backpack that is a.) Made from high quality materials, b.) plenty of function, and c.) doesn't look like it's meant for either an invasion (excessive MOLLE, camouflage, straps, overly militarized) or K2 (bright colors, insane amounts of padding), Crye's AVS 1000 is an excellent solution.
Crye Precision is one of the foremost military equipment manufacturers: Based out of New York, they provide some of the nicest gear taxpayers can buy to all branches and a variety of police forces around the globe. I've found their stuff to be incredibly well designed and purpose built, with a ton of ingenuity involved- Lots of R&D and working close with the people who use it everyday in bad situations. If you're familiar with Arc'Teryx, their LEAF lineup is similar to what Crye does.
Made in the US from US materials in NY
Stretch bottle holder on left side of pack
MOLLE on right side (very small discrete amount, only 3x3)
2 small external pockets
1 large external pocket
Main pocket has a hanger for a hydration bladder (Camelbak) (Or a armor plate, if you're in to that)
Dual zippers on every pocket (Originally designed for antennas, can be used for blueprints or large objects in a civilian fashion)
Removable sternum strap
Comes in Black (pictured), Coyote Brown, Ranger Green, and Multicam
ITW Nexus Hardware
If you're not familiar with the AVS system, the pack is designed to integrate into an armor setup and offer scalability for a variety of uses and situations, but most of these are designed to integrate into the vest. The manual describes much of these configurations in detail, but for 99% of readers, the one setup they'll use the most will be the backpack.
My initial worry with this particular pack was that it would be too big to be used in a carry-on situation or daily backpack. From use I've found that it's very low profile and fits well on my back. (For reference, I'm an L/XL in most shirts / jackets) The straps offer lots of adjustment and have management loops to store excess strap. (You never realize how useful this is until you actually have them).
The use of 4-way stretch materials provides a subtle expansion when you really start stuffing the backpack full of items. The pockets on the outside also have this same material on the outside, letting you really cram them full. Looks are deceiving! In my tests, I would wager that I could fit about two and a half 2 liter US soda bottles into it. There is no official liter sizing, and I'm not sure how to estimate that, but I would guess 6 liters.
One other neat component is the internal composite frame. It looks to be some type of carbon or fiberglass weave, and is removable. I'm not sure how airport security will respond to this.. We'll see soon. Zippers are shrink wrapped + pull tabs. Perfect for when using gloves. There is also removable padding on the interior of the bag (facing your back) and feels great compared to some other bags with nothing but a thicker nylon.
One deficiency that I see is the lack of any type of waterproofing / DWR. The zippers are shielded with fabric, but that won't last long in a rainstorm. I'm sure in incidental water contact it'll hold up fine, and generally a lot of mil electronics are weatherproofed, but it would be an interesting addition for a 2.0. The backpack straps are also less padded than I was expecting, especially compared to my MR ASAP. There also isn't a lot of internal organization possibilities either- You may have to look elsewhere to do this. Crye's EXP packs which are more designed for civillian applications do have a frame organizer, but those bags were too big for my tastes.
The other colorways are definitely subtle but certainly look more government. I would stick with black unless you're dead set on a color. Ranger Green would be my second choice for something a little different. Multicam could work, but it's a very obnoxious camouflage in a civilian setting.
In short, it's a high quality setup from a high quality company, coming in at a steal of a price point (252.10 USD) when comparing to other brands. The little details like shrink wrapped pulls and strap management shows a level of attention to detail that reflects on the rest of the backpack.
In the photos you'll see a bunch of additional straps- That's for vest integration.