Gear Talk: 5.11 Tactical Covrt 18 Backpack

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I had been looking for a new EDC backpack for a long time. The backpack I was using was breaking down and just not working for my needs. However, I just couldn’t justify 150 bucks for a new backpack. But as luck would have it, the 5.11 Covrt 18 Backpack came into my life and the rest is history.


A few weeks ago, we took a family trip to JC Penney’s, where we were looking for clothes for both squirt and myself. As we were walking around taking in all the sights, we passed by a rack of purses. Of course we stop so my bride could look at them and see if there was one she liked. As guys well know, women love purses. My bride is no exception. She has a ton of purses, but she does use most all of them for one reason or another, so I can’t really complain.

Anyway, she was looking at the purses and I jokingly said “Hey you can have a new purse if I can get a new backpack”. She replies with “You can’t find one you like” to which I said “Oh I have, but I can’t justify 150 bucks for a bag, but I did find one I like”.

“Which one?” she asked.

I pull out my phone, open amazon, find this backpack in my wish list and hand it to her. “This one” I reply. She takes the phone and looks at and we continue to walk along. All of a sudden, she hands my phone back and says “Happy Fathers Day”. This was in February, but that is how the 5.11 Covrt 18 Backpack came into my life.

5.11 Covrt 18 Backpack

I have had it a few weeks now and have used it pretty much everyday. I take it pretty much everywhere. It has everything I need in it for everyday. Plus of course there is a concealed carry pocket. This gives me an additional option for concealed carry. But I will get to this in a second.

This backpack is great for my EDC. It has more pockets then you realize. 5.11 really did a great job putting storage into this pack. There is a main pocket for my laptop and tablet and inside that pocket are a couple of zipper mesh pockets for storing small things. Next is a deep but narrow admin pocket. Here I have pens, paper, my charging cables for my phone and tablet, my spare battery, keys and collapsible chopsticks.

Moving down the front of the pack, there is a smaller pocket with Molle strips on the inside. This is where they have what they call their RAC system. This is the Roll-Away Compartment. The idea here is you can roll down the front of the pocket and expose the Molle. Here you can setup pouches for AR mags, pistol mags, medical. This way, if you were using this pack as an assault pack for a SWAT team for example, when you are stacked up, the guy behind you has access to ammo and medical. I use it for the power pack for my laptop and a couple of other things.

On the front of that pocket are two small zipper pockets. They cross under each other and are only really big enough to small items like a mouse or spare keys and small stuff. On the sides of the pack are 2 mesh pockets that are big enough to hold 32 oz nalgene water bottles. I use one for a Ham Radio Walkie-Talkie and the other either for a water bottle or my Radio Scanner.

On the back is a pocket for a hydration bladder or a small piece of Armor. Plus the back is stiff to help the pack sit properly. The straps are adjustable and have a rip away strip of velcro for various other 5.11 modules.

Finally, the reason I really wanted this bag. The concealed carry pocket. There is a pocket accessible from both sides that will hold a full size pistol, spare mags and other things. I use it with my LC9s and a spare mag as well as the Maxpedition Universal CCW holster. The zippers are concealed and while they aren’t hidden to the point of not being able to be found, a cursory look won’t see them.

Things I don’t like

While I very much overall love this pack, there are a few things that I wish they did a little differently. For example, the straps are a little small. While the pack is designed to be worn a little higher and tighter to the body, having a little more play in the straps would be nice. Also the placement of the heavy duty carry handle on the straps causes the straps to bite into my shoulders and neck sometimes.

The pocket for the laptop could be a bit bigger. I am able to squeeze my 17 in laptop in, but a 15 in would fit better. I am afraid if I flex too much, it will cause the laptop to bend or break the screen.

And to be honest. Those are really my only complaints.

Final Thoughts

I really like this backpack. It’s comfortable to wear all day. I carried it Indiana ComiCon for example this year. It carries everything I need for work, play and home. Plus it has the added ability for self defense. Yes I would recommend this one to anyone who wants the option of having off body carry or needs an Everyday Carry Bag to go to an office job or whatever.


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