As some know, my vision isn't the best and odds are I will likely go blind (I'm already legally blind). In fact, I was presented a mobility cane last week to become familiar with its use (a precursor/prerequisite for a guide dog*). I'm not reliant on it yet, but probably will at some point .
Anyway, since using the thing requires that one of my hands is occupied at all times with the other one being used at times when encountering an obstacle, I need a way to carry stuff. I have a messenger bag from my bike commuting days, but it isn't very comfortable walking around. I have a sling bag, but it has limited capacity, odd shape, and can't hold a water bottle. My current backpack is big enough (maybe a bit too big), but its not the most comfortable either, plus the back panel doesn't breathe too well.
What I need it to carry: one or two water bottles during the warmer temps, a travel mug for warm beverages during the cooler months, a beanie, a balaclava, ear muffs, lightweight nylon jacket, 7" tablet/e-reader, dog treats (should I get a dog), hard sided glasses case, and the cane (when not in use). Would be nice to have enough room for a few groceries, a wine bottle or two, or a hooded sweatshirt as well. Waterproof isn't a necessity, though quick drying is highly desired. Not planning on using a hydration bladder.
Not sure whether or not lumbar/waist belt is needed, but I do know I don't want another bag like my current one- Amazon.com: Ogio Politan Corporate Backpack (Indigo): Sports & Outdoors. That grab handle is comfy when the bag is being carried by hand, but it presses onto my neck/shoulders too much when the bag is worn. I think I want either a top-loader or a 3/4 panel loader, but not the kind that unzips fully down the sides.
*The guide dog is now a TBD thing. The trainer who gave me my cane will help me evaluate things a bit more and also help me figure out which guide dog programs I should be considering- apparently the one I was in the process of applying to doesn't sound too kosher to her for some reason.