I just cruised through the article. Should be “best backpacks” for the author, not everyone else. Backpacks are like footwear - very personal.
Here’s my criteria to apply to a purchase: volume (day trip, 3 day trip, long trip), design, torso length, materials, colors, padding, features, cost, brand, type of travel. This is going to be different for everyone. Actually, I am utterly amazed at the array of bags every time I “people/luggage” watch at an airport.
One point I like to make about torso length. Get a tape ruler or string. Measure from the large bony knob at the base of your neck down to just past the concavity in the lumbar area. Do this 3 times and average your measurements. This is the most comfortable length for you. Find a pack close to this length.
Also, length has to be balanced against volume needed for packing. So, my rule for 1 week of casual clothing is for people shorter than 5’7” is a pack that is 38-40 liters in volume and 19 -20” long. For taller folks - feel free to upsize to a 20 - 22” pack at 45 liters.