This is my second bug out/ get home bag review and is for the bag I currently carry as part of my extended EDC gear. You can check out my review of another 5.11 Tactical bag I used for several years for EDC and still use it for hunting and camping because of the size and setup it has. Take a look at this post on the 5.11 Tactical Rush 72 pack here.
What Should I Look for in a Bug Out Bag?
If you take a look at my post on the Rush 72 pack that I have linked above, I take a pretty blunt attitude towards gear vs. skill but remind everyone that the gear we have skills to use should be of good quality. A bag is going to be the key factor in keeping our gear together if and when we are forced to strike out on foot and it is a great aid in keeping all of our stuff handy at home or in a vehicle as well. Trying to hoof it to a safe place with the necessary gear to reach our objective is not the situation we want to be in when we realize the stitching on our bag is not gonna hold up. Without rewriting the entire post that I made on the other pack, I will simply say that paying attention to the grade of nylon and the make and material of the components will help you decide if a bag is of decent quality or not.
Why Should I Choose The 5.11 COVRT 18 Backpack?
As I stated before, I used another pack from 5.11 Tactical for several years and still like that one for a hunting or camping pack. It has more interior space and is covered with MOLLE panels for attaching other packs and pouches anywhere i need on. The one thing that bag lacks is subtlety. It appears to be a full on military style rucksack that would be issued to a soldier in a desert combat environment (mine is in the coyote tan color). If purchased in black, it would appear that it belongs on the back of an agent or police officer on a tactical squad. Either of these looks can draw unwanted attention to you when you are trying to go unnoticed and be the Gray Man. If you want to know more about the Gray Man idea, you can read my blog post on it here.
The COVRT 18 pack, as the name implies, is much less noticeable to passersby when its being carried on my back. Without close inspection it looks like nothing other than a large book bag or light overnight pack. The color selections are pretty subdued and look normal, but not loud. These are the attributes that led me to purchase this bag. I had some friends in law enforcement comment that my Rush 72 stood out to them and might raise an eyebrow or two if i was on foot or had it piled up in the passenger seat of the truck. After considering their comments, I decided to look for another bag to make my dedicated get home bag and the COVRT 18 is the one I chose. See my YouTube channel below for a video review of the pack.
5.11 Tactical COVRT 18 Backpack Features
Click the picture below to get a better view of the pack from several angles:
The pack is sized at 30L which is a good bit smaller than my Rush 72, however, I have also sorted and reduced my gear. If I am simply trying to reach a safe destination in a couple of days, I am less likely to want to carry a tent and frame or stop and fire up a camp stove and cook a meal. Instead, I expect to move as far as possible while leaving a minimal trail. I have replaced my solo stove and heated foods with survival rations and some MRE meals or entrees. This and other changes have made it possible to fit my main needs in the slightly smaller bag.
Here are some things I keep in my personal Go Bag and you can click to see the items:
Starting on the front, the bag has some small layered pouches then a larger pouch for carrying a handgun in a Velcro holster if you like. I use the space to pack in a rain suit and a trash bag to cover the pack with in a downpour.
The next compartment up has room for spare batteries, pens, pencils, small tools, and a charge pack for electronics. It is snug but allows for easy access to some of the most needed items.
Open up the main compartment and it resembles the larger military style bags that 5.11 makes. Several zip up mesh pockets line the inside giving options to store gear and supplies in an orderly fashion.
On top of the bag is a glasses pouch that is much larger than the Rush 72 and has room for a pair of glasses, a few chemical lights and a small pair of binoculars. I find it pretty easy to get to things in most areas of the bag in spite of it being a tighter fit.
The Covrt 18 shares the another feature with the Rush 72 pack, the hydration pouch in the front where we can place a camelbak or other brand hydration bladder if we chose.
Final Thoughts on The 5.11 Tactical Covrt 18 tactical Backpack
Nothing in this world is perfect for every person or situation. Often we can have multiple purpose/mission specific styles of gear, however we might not have room or time to chose the exact bug out bag we need when we have to bail out. With this in mind, we have to consider our circumstances and goals. Mine is to have enough with me to get out of harms way and to a safe place to stay or resupply and to do so without drawing any attention to myself. The covrt18 seems to do this well. What i give up in storage and modular attachment points is more than made up for in discretion. I have continued carrying this bag for several years now and haven’t felt the need to change it for my everyday go bag. When i have a specific goal such as hiking or hunting, I may chose another pack but this is my current choice for everyday carry. If you think this might be a good bag for you, you can purchase one Here.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think!
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