This is a great pack - I tried 3 others before settling on the 45. The suspension on the Guide is terrific for my 18" torso, and I think would fit larger or a little smaller fine as well. Hip belt is very comfortable and the fabric is bomber. The pack easily slims down with compression straps if you want to carry a little less. I haven't used the ski straps, but I added straps on the back and it carried snowshoes with ease. I wish it had a couple low external pockets though - similar to other packs in the Deuter line - so that you could more easily carry tent poles on the outside.
Also, I don't really see the point in the separate compartment in the bottom - it adds weight for the zipper, and I don't expect to really use it. The top of the pack doesn't detach, but that's fine by me - it has plenty of room to float high with the collar extended.
Overall a great pack - I'm very satisfied - it's perfect for winter days, and should have enough room for overnight or weekend in the summer as well.