As much as I like the size and organization of the 5.11 RUSH 24 there are times that I prefer a pack that is less tactical in appearance, for those times one of my go-to packs is the 5.11 Covert 18. The Covert 18 is slightly smaller at 30 liters compared to the RUSH 24’s 37 liters. The Covert 18 has a smooth non-tactical appearance which allows it to melt into the scenery blending with other day and business style packs.
The Covert 18 has a bladder compartment that lays against your back that will accommodate a water bladder, laptop, tablet, or a ballistic panel (my usual choice for this compartment). On the top of the pack is a pocket that’s made of a soft fleece like material which is perfect for storing your glasses or smartphone. On both sides of the pack are mesh pockets for water bottles or anything else that you’d care to have fast access to.
The front exterior panel has upper and lower pockets. The upper pocket has two flat sections with a small admin area that will hold pens, a small flashlight, business cards, notepads, and a small phone charger with cables. The lower and larger pocket has a daisy chain of webbing on the outside common on many daypacks that are useful for attaching a carabiner or something similar. The interior of the lower pocket has a Velcro panel at the top for patches or Velcro attachable accessories, the lower portion has molle for attaching pouches. On the front of the lower pocket there is a pair of slash pockets with horizontal zippers for small items and behind those pockets is another pocket which is accessible through the right or left side, this pocket has a Velcro panel in it that allows the attachment of a Velcro backed holster for concealing a pistol or other Velcro backed accessories.
The main compartment of the pack has a padded pocket with a strap on the back wall that can be used for storing a laptop or tablet. On the wall of the front flap are zippered mesh pockets for quick and easy retrieval of smaller items. The rest of the main compartment is perfect for holding gear and or enough clothing for a two or three-day getaway. The back and straps have mesh covering to enhance airflow, there is a sternum strap, compression straps on the sides, it is comfortable to carry. This is one of my lower profile packs that I use for work or travel when a tactical looking pack is not appropriate to the situation, I like the organization that allows me to place gear for quick retrieval without having to search through the entire bag or use multiple small loose organization pockets or pouches. Cost is: $129.00 and if you subscribe to the 5.11 emails you can catch a good sale every couple months.
- Ambidextrous side-entry TacTec System™ compartment
- R.A.C.™ conceals a full-sized firearm
- Roomy main and secondary storage areas
- Durable, water-resistant 500D nylon
- Reinforced grab handle
- QuickTact accessory straps
- Sunglass pocket
- Flip-down ID panel
- Padded internal laptop sleeve
- Comfortable compression straps
- Adjustable sternum strap
- Yoke-style shoulder straps
- YKK® zippers
- Duraflex® hardware
- Main Compartment – 19” x 12.25” x 6.5”
- Front pocket – 11.5” x 9.5” x 3”
- Hydration pocket -19” x 12.25” 1.5 liter
- Total Capacity – 1841 cubic inch / 30 liters
Author – Art Dorst is the owner of A. Dorst Consulting & Training Services and is a Senior Consultant for LaSorsa & Associates. He served in the U.S. Navy and Army National Guard, is a retired municipal Police Officer, and is currently a security provider/trainer.