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5.11 Tactical COVRT 18 Backpack Review

You don’t always want tactical equipment that stands out. In certain situations it is better to have equipment that blends in and looks as normal and inconspicuous as possible.

And that’s exactly what the 5.11 Tactical COVRT 18 backpack does. The pack is designed with the same thoughtfulness, durability, and performance you’ve come to know and love from 5.11, yet it is contained in a very subtle package. Unlike most tactical backpacks, the COVRT 18 doesn’t look the part. It looks like a normal daypack or bookbag so as not to draw unwanted attention. But peak inside, under its unassuming exterior, and you’ll find a tactical assault pack that ranks right up there with the very best of them.

As you might already know, 5.11 Tactical gives its packs their names partially based on the length of time they are designed to sustain you for. In the case of the COVRT 18, that correlates to 18 hours. With that said, this particular tactical backpack isn’t exactly designed for long missions. It will, however, get you through a day just fine.

So is the 5.11 Tactical COVRT 18 backpack right for you? How does it stack up against the competition? What are its main features? All of this information and much more is discussed in our in-depth review below. If you’re in the market for an undercover tactical daypack, then this review is for you. It will help you decide whether or not you want to make the COVRT 18 your next tactical backpack.

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Here is a list of backpack related to 5.11 Tactical COVRT 18

COVRT 18 Uses

Before you even begin looking at the ins and outs of the COVRT 18, you must ask yourself what exactly it is that you want out of your next tactical backpack.

For starters, what are you going to use it for and how long? The COVRT 18 is a good choice for those not looking for a long-term sustainment pack. This particular backpack only has enough room for gear, supplies, and equipment to last you around eighteen hours in the field. In that sense, it makes a solid EDC bag or get home bag. However, it probably falls short as a bug out bag, or even when used on an overnight camping trip.

You’ll also notice, right from the get-go, that the COVRT 18 looks much different than other tactical backpacks in its class. It strays far from the traditional tactical pack appearance with an undercover look. Simply put, the COVRT 18 looks almost exactly like your standard book bag. This allows it to provide superior tactical utility and efficiency in a wide range of different environments without drawing unwanted attention to you. In this sense, it makes a killer tactical backpack for urban environments when you’re surrounded by a lot of other people.

The 5.11 Tactical COVRT 18 also makes a good daily use bag. Even if you don’t fill it with your tactical gear for survival situations, it makes a great backpack for hauling your computer and other everyday accessories from place to place. Along these same lines, it also excels as a travel bag, checking in under most airline carry-on standards in the process

Top Features

The 5.11 Tactical COVRT 18 is one of the most interesting tactical bags to dissect. It comes with a wide variety of features, the bulk of them designed to blend in and look subtle and inconspicuous. Though camouflaged, each of the bag’s features works just as effectively as intended.

So what specific features does the COVRT 18 come with? A few of the most important that you should take not of include:

      Constructed with durable 500-denier nylon with a water-resistant PUx2              coating

      Spacious main compartment (19” high by 12.24” long by 6.5” deep)

      Secondary storage compartment (11” high by 9.25” long by 2.5” deep)

      Additional sunglasses pouch

      Flip-down ID panel

      Internal sleeve padded for a laptop

      YKK zippers used throughout

     • Adjustable sternum strap

      Comfortable yoke-style shoulder straps

      Ambidextrous side-entry back-up belt system compartment

      Conceals a full-sized firearm

      Reinforced top grab handle

      QuickTact accessory straps

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Here is a video of 5.11 Tactical COVRT 18 Backpack for more information and review

Main Compartment

The most important single aspect of any tactical backpack is undoubtedly the main compartment. Without a sizeable main compartment, where are you going to stash all of your gear?

Luckily, the COVRT 18 pulls through with not only a large main compartment – but also a highly organized one. If you’re the kind of person that likes all of your equipment and accessories to have their own particular place, then the COVRT 18 is for you.

The main compartment on the COVRT 18 measures in at a monstrous 19” high by 12.24” long by 6.5” deep. Inside you will find a padded laptop screen (fits up to a 15” laptop) and two mesh pockets to organize your smaller gear.

The zippers for the COVRT 18 main compartment are all very tough and durable. They zip down almost completely so you have a very large opening for both advanced organization and quicker access. Finally, the main compartment is made with water-repellent material (including zipper pulls covered with nylon) to keep water out and off your important items. If for some reason it does find its way inside, dual drainage grommets sit at the bottom of the pack to let any liquids quickly drain out.

Additional Compartments/Side Pouches

The 5.11 Tactical COVRT 18 comes with a number of additional compartments and pockets in addition to the main compartment. Each of these is broken down in further detail below.

Let’s start with the water bladder pocket. The COVRT 18 comes with a spacious pocket specifically designed for a water bladder. This pocket features dual zippers as well as tube routing for either side of the shoulder straps. The inside of the pocket is rigid, ensuring that nothing will poke the bladder while you’re using the backpack.

The COVRT 18 also comes with a sunglasses pocket. This is located at the top of the bag, behind the grab handle. The inside of the pocket is lined with a micro-fiber, fleece cloth to better protect your lens. Compared to the sunglasses pocket on most tactical bags, the one on the COVRT 18 is absolutely enormous.

Perhaps the most unique feature on the COVRT 18 is actually its “middle flow through” compartment. This is a pocket that has a full vertical zipper on each side with a sizeable interior. It features a large hook and loop patch to secure a concealed carry holster. This pocket can also be used as part of 5.11’s Backup Belt System.

The COVRT 18 also comes with a more standard front compartment. Instead of organizational pockets on the inside, this one has webbing. Though different than most other tactical bags, this feature allows you to use this storage space in any way that you wish.

Finally, we get to a handful of miscellaneous pockets. These include an admin pocket (three pen slots, key hook, two larger pockets, and one full-size pocket) and two small pockets on the outside of the front compartment. The two small pockets are ideal for stashing small items that you don’t want to lose.

Shoulder Straps

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. A great pair of shoulder straps can make or break a tactical backpack. An otherwise great pack is nothing without a solid suspension system.

Fortunately, the suspension system on the 5.11 Tactical COVRT 18 is more than comfortable. It is a yoke-style suspension that allows you to adjust the pack’s fit to your personal preferences. The straps themselves are wide and padded. They have a mesh underside to offer increased breathability and airflow. An adjustable sternum strap adds even more stability to the overall setup.

COVRT 18 Durability

The COVRT 18 is one of the most durable tactical backpacks in the game. Like all of 5.11’s offerings, it uses only the best quality components possible. Simply put, this pack is designed to withstand any and all abuse you can throw at it.

Comparable Packs from Other Brands

If we’re going to be absolutely honest, few, if any, companies compare with 5.11 Tactical. Their gear is preferred by military and police personnel around the world. If that doesn’t say something about the brand’s dedication to quality, then nothing will.

However, if a covert tactical pack isn’t your thing, 5.11 Tactical also offers a number of not so covert packs. These include their Rush line of packs, the Rush 12, Rush 24, and Rush 72. Each of these packs is an option worth looking into if subtly is not of primary concern.

Overall Impression of the 5.11 Tactical COVRT 18 Backpack


The 5.11 Tactical COVRT 18 backpack is one heck of a tactical backpack. Every inch of the product oozes quality. It’s the kind of backpack that you can abuse, in any environment, and count on to come out kicking. In fact, it’s the kind of backpack that thrives on wear and tear, thrives on abuse. So, with that said, if you’re looking for an amazing quality tactical backpack that will blend in and look normal in any setting, well, the COVRT 18 is for you.


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