Comprehensive Review of 5.11 Tactical COVRT 18 Backpack

When it comes to tactical backpacks, there sure are a ton of options on the market. I was recently looking for one that is convenient to carry every day but offers all the tactical benefits I was looking for a backpack. I had heard some great things about the Tactical COVERT 18 backpack, and I decided to try it out.

Before I tell you what I think about the backpack, let me tell you what I was looking for in the COVRT 18. I wanted an EDC (Every Day Carry) backpack that is sturdy and yet elegant and also offers some tactical benefits.

I had tried a few 5.11 gears over that past few years, and I was well aware of the quality they bring to the table when it comes to survival gear. So, the expectations were quite high from the backpack, and it did not disappoint!

I have tried to review the 5.11 tactical COVRT 18 thoroughly so you are fully convinced about the backpack before buying it. Or even if you don’t buy, you should know the reason. So, let’s start.

5.11 COVRT18 Review

I loved the look and feel of the backpack as soon as I took it out of the packaging. It had a nice heft to it and yet was not too heavy to bug me. There are plenty of tactical features in the backpack to put any survival backpack to shame. The design of the backpack does justify the COVRT branding as well. It is quite subtle and looks like a run of the mill backpack, but packs in quite a punch. The backpack is made from a pliable nylon material and is quite durable as well.

After using the backpack for over a month now and putting it to the extremes of the test, I am finally ready to recommend it to anyone looking for a great, lightweight tactical backpack that will not break your bank.

Video Review

General Features

Here are some of the great features that make the Tactical COVRT 18 worth your time and money.

The construction

One of the most important things to consider when buying a tactical backpack is the construction. There are far too many so-called tactical backpacks that come apart at the seams. However, the Tactical COVRT 18 backpack is built like a tank. Made from a superior quality 500D water-resistant nylon, it handles almost anything you throw at it. All the zippers are genuine YKK® and rest of the hardware is from Duraflex®.

All the seams, at least the seams that bear most weight are also double stitched, which increases the durability. With a capacity of about 30 liters, there is a ton of space as well. One of the best things that I love about this backpack is the fact that the nylon used in the construction is pliable and yet quite firm, which makes it a pleasure to carry around.

Sure, there are not a ton of MOLLE webbing on the backpack, but their absence makes it a tremendous covert tactical backpack. When you are wearing the backpack, you are sure not to attract any unwanted attention, that’s for sure! If you want an ‘in your face’ type of a bag that packs in a ton of MOLLE webbing, then this backpack is not ideal for you.

The Comfort

I have used a ton of tactical backpacks that are a pain to carry around all day. They are poorly designed and more often than not, the shoulder straps dig into your skin. Thankfully, 5.11 did a great job with the COVRT 18 series. The yoke-style shoulder straps are quite comfortable even when there is a ton of stuff in your backpack.

Both the shoulder pads and the back of the bag is heavily padded, and it is quite comfortable to carry it on your shoulders for long stretches of time. There is also a coarse nylon webbing in the back, which allows for quite good air flow. You don’t have to worry about a sweaty back after only a few minutes of carrying this one.

The lower portion of the back is made from some rubberized material. It is a great feature to have when you are taking the backpack for longer distances. The rubberized surface keeps the backpack in place and ensures that it is not sliding all over when you walk or even run.There is also a sternum strap that helps to distribute the weight evenly improving the comfort level.

Sternum Strap Helps

Sternum strap is extremely beneficial for health in long term!

Ton of Pockets

Versatility is perhaps one of the most important features of a tactical backpack. The COVRT 18 features a DuickTact® system that makes attaching modular accessories quite easy to connect to the backpack. You can attack a ton of accessories to the backpack that is available to purchase from 5.11.There are two mesh pockets on either side of the backpack that can hold up to a 32-ounce water bottle with ease. If you are a hydration bladder type of a person, the COVRT has got you covered as well. There is a large compartment for a hydration bladder right behind the back wall. The compartment also contains straps to hold the hydration bladder in place and prevent sagging when you walk or run. There is also a port for the hydration tube to pass through as well.The top of the backpack features a small pocket that is lined with a very soft material that is ideal for small things such as your glasses or shades or even a cell phone.

SizeThe main compartment is about 19 inches tall and 6.5 inches deep with a width of about 12.25 inches. There are a couple of mesh pockets on one of the walls of this pocket with zippers as well. The main compartment also features a heavily padded pocket that is big enough to hold a 17-inch laptop with ease. The bottom of the main compartment also contains two grommet holes for drainage as well, which is a deft touch.There is also a concealed carry compartment in front of the main compartment with two full-size zippers. This compartment is accessible from either side of the backpack with ease as well. The pocket is about 14 inches tall, 2 inches deep and about 10 inches wide. You can easily conceal a small firearm or a taser gun in this compartment.There is also a front compartment termed as ‘Concealed RAC’ by the company. It stands for Roll-down Assault Compartment. Containing a web platform and a backup belt system that is accessible by both hands.Enter your text here…

The Design

The bag also has some added features that make it a great buy. It has enough space to let you carry almost anything with you from a laptop to toiletries. I also love the way the backpack is laid out. It is incredibly easy to organize your stuff whether you are heading out to school, a trip for a couple of days or in the jungle for an adventurous hike.I also love the fact that the backpack is designed to be entirely inconspicuous. Although there are a ton of covert features in the bag, you won’t be drawing unnecessary attention to yourself when carrying around this backpack. I carry the COVRT 18 backpack every day at work, and no one bats an eye. I know a few backpacks that would draw so much attention at work. So, if you are looking for a subtle backpack that you can easily carry every day, look no further.

Want to read more 5.11 COVRT 18 backpack reviews from people who have purchased this? Click here.


  • Quite lightweight making it very comfortable to carry
  • Water resistant
  • Made from 500D nylon, the backpack can handle almost everything you throw at it
  • Double stitching in nearly all the seams
  • Big, spacious compartments
  • Concealed carry compartment
  • Multiple colors
  • Affordable


  • Although the backpack is very well made, I would have liked to see a few more MOLLE webbing
  • The mesh pockets are not that sturdy, and the zippers can rip off easily

Important Considerations

Apart from the things that I just discussed some other things could be important to some people as well. One such thing is the availability of different colors. The COVRT 18 backpack is available is as many as five colors. If basic black is not your jam, there are four other colors to choose from as well.

One other thing that is often high on many peoples list when they buy a tactical backpack is water resistance. I have used a few backpacks that would struggle to protect the contents even during a light drizzle. Thankfully, the COVRT 18 is a beast when it comes to waterproofing. I used this backpack in some heavy rain, and it kept my laptop bone dry!

Kudos to 5.11 for nailing this feature as well.The other thing that is important as well is the price. The good news is that this backpack won’t break your bank as well. It is quite affordable, especially considering the amount of value it brings to the table.

5.11 COVRT 18 is Spacious

You won’t cramp for space, that’s for sure!

The Verdict

The 5.11 COVRT 18 backpack is easily one of my favorite backpacks of recent times. I love the fact that the backpack is quite light and durable at the same time. It features an entirely subtle and yet functional design that makes the backpack quite elegant to look at as well.Another thing that I just love about this backpack is how comfortable it is to carry around. The thick padding in the shoulder straps and the back makes it quite a comfortable carry whether you are taking a laptop or an entire survival kit for an excursion in the Amazon! That said, I would have loved to see a bit more MOLLE webbing on the bag, but it is not that necessary for regular usage either.There are a ton of color options as well, and the price is also quite affordable. If you are in the market for some excellent, high-quality backpack, the 5.11 Tactical COVRT 18 is the way to go!


What is the capacity of the bag?

The bag has a capacity of about 30 liters or about 1800 cubic inches. It is enough to carry a ton of things including your 17-inch laptop.

Is there a concealed carry pocket in the backpack?

Yes. There is a concealed carry pocket in the backpack that can be accessed with both hands. It is also big enough to carry a small weapon.

How comfortable is the backpack in daily use?

The backpack is very comfortable to use for daily scenarios. I have had no issues with it even when I ham on a camping trip with a ton of stuff in the bag. The shoulder straps are heavily padded, and so is the back. There is also enough air circulation making the whole carrying experience quite pleasant.

That said, you won’t be able to carry it with a single strap across your shoulder like some other backpacks out there. But, it is so comfortable that you won’t need to use it that way in the first place.

Are additional accessories available to purchase?

There are a ton of additional accessories that you can purchase including some external pockets and compartments. The bag features QuickTact® technology that allows for the accessories to be quickly attached as well.

Will this bag sag when I carry it?

Sagging is a huge problem with some tactical backpacks, especially if you fill them with a ton of things. Thankfully, the straps and sternum belt designed in this bag make it quite stable on your shoulders. I have never had a problem with the bag sagging while I was using it on my camping trip in Yosemite.