Customer Reviews: 5.11 Covrt 18 Backpack (Asphalt/Black, 1 Size)
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Color: Asphalt/Black|Change
Price:$129.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on March 21, 2012
I wanted very badly to like this backpack. I could not have been more excited to see the UPS guy pull up today. When I pulled it out of the box, it became obvious that the quality control on these things is sub-par. While the bag itself seemed to be very functional, and all of their advertisements seemed to be accurate, several of the straps and zippers on the one I ordered were either already broken (zippers on the inside pockets, which I was able to fix after fiddling with it for about a half hour), or they broke upon their first use (the right hand elastic strap on the water bottle holder popped the first time I tried to cinch it up). I am returning this bag, and am now debating whether I should try another one or not. I was purchasing this for a trip I am going on in a week, and I just hope that I can get another unit that fast if I decide to get another one of these. I am not sure what the quality control process is for these, but it seems that it needs to be adjusted. Had I have paid half the price for this backpack, it wouldn't be a big deal, but at this price to have things breaking on the backpack right out of the box is unacceptable. Very disappointing from a backpack of this caliber...

Ok, I did indeed wind up purchasing another one, and this time with better results. I have since been to Korea, China, backpacking, fishing, and have used it at the office every day, and it has actually been a great little backpack. It is indeed laid out well, and it just adapts so well to so many different scenarios. It is also well balanced and extremely comfortable. I bumped it up a star (really wanted to give it 3 1/2, but half in not an option). The reason I didn't go up to five with it is because I am still a little concerned that I heard nothing at all from the company. In fact, I even sent them a contact through their website and nothing. The other thing I am very concerned about is that I left a similar review on the the companies website which never got posted. It is always a little shady to me when a website lets you "review" products, but the negative ones never post. This is akin to false advertisement if you ask me.

In summary, the backpack itself (second time around) is actually really good and I am glad overall that I gave it another shot. The company does not seem to be concerned with pleasing their customers (at least average Joes...maybe it would be different if I were in the service or in law enforcement...), nor will they allow honest feedback on their website's posted comments and "ratings." Again, for a backpack of this price that is in competition with other companies who offer lifetime warranties on their products, this seems like an unwise practice.

There you go! Now you decide...
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on July 29, 2015
First, the name is Covrt Backpack, not Convert Boxpack. I Purchased the STORM color. This is an awesome color. But 5.11 needs some real work to do, especially with the bottom of the bag - it is thin, and needs better stitching. I am concerned about the long term heavy load stress on the bottom. The water bottle holders need better cinch straps, as they do not close enough to securely hold a 16 or 20 oz bottle. Compression straps on the lower sides, across the bottle holders, would also assist in securing bottles as well.
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on March 17, 2015
Overall the design is pretty good, but what I don't like most about it is there is no padding or reinforcement on the bottom of the backpack. It has a great compartment for laptops, but when you carry the backpack with a laptop in it, of course the heavy things (laptops) push down on the bottom of the backpack and what's the first thing to "bang" on the floor...the laptop. The bottom has no support or cushioning, it's just a piece of fabric. I understand the design of the zippers for all the pockets, but they get pretty annoying because they all open too far in my opinion. When you open one of the pockets, they open so wide, all the contents in the backpack all fall out. I like the carry handle on top and the shoulder straps are good. The conceal compartment is great as well, it also has velcro already installed in the concealment compartment for holsters. It is a nice roomy area that can hold quite a bit of gear both in the concealment area but the bag as a whole. Last thing that I don't care for are the design of the water bottle pockets on the side. They are kind of annoying the way they are designed.

UPDATE: I purchased this backpack in February, and by late May, there is already a hole worn in the bottom of the bag. Again, there is ZERO padding on the bottom of the bag, just a super thin piece of nylon material. By having just this thin piece of material, there is ZERO support for keeping the bag structured and "squared", and offers NO and I mean ZERO protection for your laptop. Of course, when carrying items such as your laptop, the heaviest sinks to the bottom of the bag, thus the FIRST thing to make contact with the ground overtime you set it down. The result of this, from daily use, is a hole worn in the bottom corner of the bag, a damaged laptop (the corner of the aluminum case is damaged from continually being set on the ground (yes....gently), and an unsupported backpack with a NON-FLAT bottom not allowing the backpack to sit upright (like shown in the picture). I've used this backpack for 3 months and it is virtually useless at this point. It's too late to return it to Amazon for a credit/exchange for another item, or refund. I called 5.11 and they can't do anything for me since I didn't order direct from them. BOOOO.
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on January 25, 2015
Great all-around EDC but I'm not sure how long it will last with regular use. Quality should be better considering it's a $120 bag though, specifically one designed by a tactical company.

Love the grab handle built into the yolk but, when you have this bag loaded, I just don't trust the integrity of the stitching, and that of some of the other materials used, over the long haul.

Bag gas a great look and great organizational design, though ... It's well thought out. Again, though, quality --- and quality control -- is questionable.

I DO NOT like the fact that I had to cut off extra stiching just hanging out from several reinforced areas. Also, the bag's main compartment "feels" smaller than indicated. This certainly is a day pack in terms of size ... no question.

Regardless, I do like it as an EDC.

One more thing --- although the YKK zippers are good enough, the main compartment's set should be more fluid in function.
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on September 22, 2012
I had some concerns about the weight after reading the reviews online. 500D fabric might be too lightweight was my thought. I wanted very durable yet, carry weight is a factor, too. My concealed carry is a .45 full size and with a few 14 round mags and my gear, what weight I do carry has to be mostly gear, not the bag for my sarisfaction. The zippers are great and while some reviews said the pulls were light so they replaced them, I see no problem with them. The fabric is tough enough, lots of easy access. I like the pouch for glasses, zipper is high and easy to use, pouch is large enough for any pair, plus.
More little features like loops for tie off locaions than I expected, an excellent feature. Stiching is excellent and all of the seams are well finished. The color is all I hoped for, better then the picture lead me to think. Everything about this bag says quality and now with a month or so of dailey use I can say there are no more concerns about how sturdy it is.

The only thing I can say for improvement is the velcro area for the concealed carry compartment could be larger. Not enough for both a holster and a mag pouch. I had to sew in some more myself but there is enough room so that's a positive.

The handle on top is exceptionaly well placed and the shoulder straps are the best of any of my bags. I use this bag every day for my work. I am in and out of rental cars, airplanes and offices and the bag gets pulled, dropped, clipped by elevator doors and tossed to the floor more times a day than I can count, none the worse for it, not even a blemish. Yes, only a month but this is not my first backpack or my second and I know what to expect. The pouch for pens, business cards, and accessories works well is easy to use and get to, holds plenty for my use. I would not hesitate to buy again or refer a friend. It is by far the best backpack I own.

I should mention, like many, I frequently carry my pack over one shoulder rather than pull it on comletely. This is where the 5.11 pack outshines my other bags. It stays on my shoulder and is comfortable beyond what I have experienced with any other pack. This might be my favorite feature of this backpack. DOn't underestimate the value of this feature if you frequently carry long distances like walking several blocks in the city or completely across an airport. Not performing constant shifting of the bag on one shoulder is something you might not even notice at first, but once you realize it, well, that's why it's my favorate feature.
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on February 2, 2015
This backpack had a lot of promise, but I was so disappointed in it that I sent it back.

Here are the positives:
- Wide Shoulder Straps
- Look casual but retains some MOLLE compatibility
- Ample space

Here are the negatives:
- The grab handle is between the straps instead of on top of the back, which prevents getting the load close to your body or above your hips and keeping it there.
- The pack only has two compression straps, and they are way too high on the pack to be useful. You can squeeze those straps tight, and the entire bottom three-quarters of the pack will still sag, pulling the heaviest items away from your back and hips, causing back strain and making it difficult if not impossible to move quickly without bouncing.
- The zippers are not very high quality
- The backpack straps are sewn directly to the body by the liner only. No reinforcing straps of any kind. A heavy load would likely start ripping threads after a couple hard slings from ground to shoulder.

If I cut out the grab handle and sewed one in the right place on top of the bag, added lower compression straps (which pass behind the water bottle pockets), and reinforced the strap connections, this pack would be a sure contender for an excellent air travel and EDC bag. But for $118, I don't feel I should have to put in that level of customization.

As it is, it promises a lot without making much of an effort to keep that promise. This is a $30 backpack with a weirdly placed grab handle and some hidden MOLLE webbing, and for that you pay an extra $90. Keep looking.
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on December 21, 2015
Great all around backpack BUT mine had writing on it with what a white chalk that looks like it was a failed attempt to wash it out. That's why it got 4 stars. But as far as the pack goes. I have recommended it to many many people and lots have picked it up and love it.
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on March 6, 2015
So far I love this bag, except for one big gripe. This is a conceal/carry bag... why is there so little hook and loop in the gun pouch. My previous bag, a Maxpedition Verdi-pack Mongo had the whole side in all three hook and loop area's. This 5.11 only has a third of one side, in one pouch.
The bag is well constructed, fits my very large physic comfortably, and hides my fixed blade and handgun without anyone thinking I'm carrying anything but my laptop or other random items.

Update: after using this bag for several months, everyday, I don't like it.
As I said before, the ccw pouch is a joke. The bag is just a overpriced bag. It's well built, no issue there. But got over a hundred bucks, I'd expect more WITHOUT having to buy more.
The MOLLE pouch is gimmicky. I don't use it much, and I doubt others do for it's "hidden" purpose. I use the webbing to hold some small pouches, one having a special purpose knife, sometimes a backup multitool, and again sometimes, a medium fixed blade. But a better admin pouch works better, imo.
The actual admin pouch is good, could be bigger, but it's well enough. The main pouch is great, as is the dedicated bladder pouch and laptop storage. Very few bags have both, but... You'll lose much of your space in the main pouch if you'd try, just as most bags. The side mesh pouches are small. It barely squeezes a Nalgene in them, and I've had then fall out.
The Velcro on the straps is gimmicky too. "You can attach another pouch, for more money! Others may love it, but I strap my pack to the seat of my forklift at work so any extra pack is not happening for me.
IT NEEDS A WAIST STRAP for long use, like any bag, but again... You can buy your own. FOR THIS MUCH MONEY ON A SIMPLE BAG, YOU SHOULD HAVE INCLUDED ONE!
All in all, I'm going back to Maxpedition or Swiss gear. Maxpedition is better for the spendy price and Swiss gear doesn't overcharge for what this is, basically a laptop bag.
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on April 26, 2013
I like this backpack a lot. The quality is very good. Its roomy, has plenty of pockets and is comfortable too. I do 5 mile runs with it on and fully loaded. It is as comfortable as my Kelty. If I could change anything it would be to add more MOLLE webbing in the main compartment. I've attached mag pouches to the MOLLE webbing in the outer pocket to hold my Glock magazines. I usually keep a knife, flashlight, seatbelt cutter, Leatherman, extra ammo and hearing protection. My problem is that all this stuff is just kind of thrown in the pockets and scattered all over. If there were more webbing, everything could be organized and in a certain place. To fix this I bought a Condor pack insert. Everything attaches nicely to that and I can remove it with everything attached and put it in other packs. I could have bought pack with webbing on the outside but It would defeat the purpose of a covert pack if everyone can see mag pouches attached to the outside. I also wish the compartment to keep your firearm in, had something to to secure it. Its a big pocket but without something to secure it, you'd be feeling around to locate it when you need it. These are all small things and I've rigged the pack up to remedy this. I would recommend this pack.
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on November 8, 2013
Edit (June 2015): lowered from 5 stars to 2 stars.
Strap is ripping at the attachment point. I don't pack this bag very full and don't treat it poorly. I wear a suit everyday and carry a laptop and some papers and chargers. I don't even travel far, maybe 1/2 mile a day of walking with it and the straps have ripped in less than two years. I imagine if you were using this bag tactically as it was intended, it would not last nearly as long.

I loved the bag when it was new, but I will be looking for a sturdier bag for a replacement. This thing was too expensive to fall apart this quickly.

Original review:
I use this pack for my train commute to the office every day. It is everything I hoped it would be,

I have been using it for a couple of months now and it is holding up perfectly thorugh heat, rain, and snow. The material sheds water nicely. It absorbs some and gets wet, so it probably wouldn't protect your gear if submerged, but it does a nice job of keeping wind driven and pouring rain out of the inside.

There are tons of compartments to be able to store all of your gear. There are two places where I feel my laptop will be safe. There is a narrow portion in the very rear of the bag where I normally keep it. It holds the laptop between my back and the rest of thebag. It has good padding, can be securely fastened with zippers, and the size is good. I fit a 13" laptop in there with tons of room to spare. The design is good, becasue the space is narrow. I have left the compartment open, walked a mile, and gotten on the train before realizing that it was open. The computer didn't fall out because of how the bag is designed.

The rest of the pockets and flaps are great too. On the front of the bag there is
-a sunglasses pouch which is lined in a velvet or velour material,
-a smalller pouch where I keep a few keys, about 50 business cards, and my train pass;
-a larger admin pouch where I keep my chargers, pens, headphones, etc. This section is really large and can fit alot more than I put in there. I like to keep it sparce, so I can find what I need inthere quickly. there are also velcro areas and alot of attachement loops in this pocket, so you can customize it for your own gear;
-there are two small zippered pockets on the front most portion of the bag which are good for holding things seperately. They are literally the size of a pocket in your pants.
-there are two more side entry zippers on the front as well. These both lead to a much bigger pocket of the bag with a large velcro area. I beleive this is where they inted for you to velcro a holster if you choose to CCW. You would have no problem fitting a large frame automatic in there;
-Finally that lead me to the main pouch of the backpack.This compartment is large, you can fit a lot in here if you choose. This is the second place I have carried a laptop or tablet. In addition to the small zippered pockets in this area, there is a large, heavily padded "folder" with a velcro starp on the top to secure it. This laptop pocket is much smaller than the one on the back abd also much more heavily padded. I can fit my 13" laptop here, but with no extra room. This is a great spot for a tablet. A 10 incher fits fine and is well protected.
-There are also various attachemtn points on the front and a mesh bottle holder on each side.

This backpack has exceeded my expectations and offers tons of ways to store my gear, more so than I can use at this point. I wholeheartedly recommend this bag whether you really need it for tactical use or if you are commuting to an office job.
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