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511 Tactical COVRT 18 Backpack Review

Vertical view of tactical backpack and its contents laid out side-by-side including a peak cap, binoculars, water bottle, hiking boots and more

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Quick overview


  • Low-profile design
  • High-quality zippers
  • Compatible with backpack locks
  • Comfortable for long-term use


  • Poorly placed grab handle
  • Lacks a waist belt

Keep hearing about the COVRT 18?

Compared to traditional tactical backpack designs, this tactical backpack boasts features that make it better for everyday use.

Also, it doesn’t have the traditional bulk and aesthetic of tactical rucksacks but a more streamlined, sporty feel.

You’ll learn more about what makes it stand out in this 511 Tactical COVRT 18 Backpack review.

511 Tactical COVRT 18 Backpack

511 Tactical COVRT 18 Backpack Review

This backpack takes a different approach to most other tactical bags.

Instead of offering highly structured storage solutions, its style is more relaxed and easy to use.

It has many highly-adaptable features that make it the perfect option for commuting, school, and overnight trips.

The general design of this backpack can make it the perfect partner for the most demanding missions.

Its straightforward design makes it ideal for wearers of all ages, especially as it’s universally sized.

You’ll find the bag is a little more comfortable to carry than standard backpacks, thanks to its ergonomic features.

The quality of the 5.11 Tactical COVRT 18 Backpack is what makes it exceptionally notable.

At a glance, it looks like any other standard backpack designed to carry textbooks and essentials.

However, its intuitive design made with high-quality materials makes it perfect for facing any situation.

You’ll have plenty of storage for your gear, as well as a unique ratcheting system for a full-size firearm.

It’s the perfect solution for military personnel or LEOs who need a ready-to-go bag.

It’s also a phenomenal option for overseas travel, as you won’t be lacking any important storage options.

511 Tactical COVRT 18 Backpack

Who Is This Backpack Meant For?

Anyone looking for an upgrade from standard polyester backpacks will love how this model is designed.

The bag is the perfect middle option between a standard sports bag and a professional tactical backpack.

As mentioned, its style makes it easy for anyone to wear.

Kids will finally have a high-quality backpack for school that’s less likely to rip and tear from carrying textbooks.

Military personnel will have a durable bag specifically designed for all of their most important gear.

Even if you’re someone who enjoys camping and traveling for outdoor adventures, it proves useful.

There’s an impressive number of exterior and interior compartments that help keep you organized.

Also, a smaller tactical backpack size makes it more challenging to overpack, keeping it lightweight.

You will notice that it is sleek and stylish, reducing the amount of bulk you have to bring with you on your trip.

The streamlined design also makes it a fantastic choice for training missions.

As a result, it would be easier to focus on the task at hand rather than be distracted by how uncomfortable your back and shoulders feel.

What’s Included?

There aren’t any accessories included with the backpack, which doesn’t take away from its versatility.

However, there are a couple of extra items you might want to consider buying to boost its versatility.

Fortunately, the backpack is 5.11 MOLLE compatible, so you can add several unique accessories.

You might want to consider tactical patches, expandable pouches, and D-rings for external storage.

We also recommend investing in an insulated water bottle pouch to help keep your fluids cold or warm.

Unfortunately, the backpack doesn’t come with a water bladder, so you’ll have to bring your own.

511 Tactical COVRT 18 Backpack

Overview of the Features

More than anything, this bag is a fantastic entry-level option before upgrading to a bulkier and more structured traditional military backpack.

Here’s what makes it a worthy purchase:

  • Inconspicuous Design

One of our favorite features of the 5.11 Tactical COVRT 18 Backpack is its inconspicuous design.

As its name suggests, you wouldn’t be able to tell that it’s a tactical backpack, making it ideal for covert operations.

It has a similar style to traditional tourist-friendly backpacks, which speaks to its versatility.

  • Storage

There are a few different ways to use this backpack to keep all of your gear separated and organized.

The main compartment is adequately sized, offering 19 by 12.25 by 6.5 inches of storage.

On the front of the bag, you’ll find another pocket that is 11.5 by 9.5 by three inches.

There’s also a smaller pocket best suited for valuables, as well as two water bottle pockets on the sides.

When you open the backpack, you’ll see that there’s a roomy interior designed with a padded laptop pocket and strap.

In total, you will have 30L of storage for all of your gear.

  • TacTec System Compartment

A unique option for storage is the side-entry TacTec System compartment.

You’ll be able to quickly unzip this pocket from either side of the bag, making it ambidextrous.

It’s one of the most useful functions, allowing you to reach essential items in seconds.

  • Water-Resistant Material

Water-resistance is one of the essential features of any tactical backpack.

Whether you’re camping or going into the jungle for a covert op, you’ll need a bag that can survive changing weather conditions.

The 500D nylon material helps prevent water from entering your bag to protect your valuables.

With that said, keep in mind that it’s water-resistant rather than waterproof, so torrential downpours can still cause leaks.

  • RAC System

The integrated Roll-down Assault Compartment is essential for carrying a firearm.

This storage system houses full-size weapons with the addition of QuickTact accessory straps.

Thanks to this, you can ensure your firearm will be professionally secured when traveling.

  • Yoke Shoulder Straps

The yoke shoulder straps are essential for improving the comfort of the backpack for long hauls.

With an ergonomically-designed structure, you’ll find that the bag supports itself more than your shoulders.

This process ensures your back and shoulders experience less fatigue with heavier weights.

You’ll also appreciate the built-in grab handle, which makes the bag easy to carry by hand.

The adjustability of the shoulder straps is impressive, as you can customize the height of the bag per wearer.

Also, there’s an adjustable sternum strap designed to promote more ergonomic carrying.

  • Integrated ID Panel

Ensuring you can quickly identify your gear is ideal, especially if you’re traveling with others.

You’ll find an intuitive flip-down panel on the front of the bag that allows you to store your identification.

  • 5.11 MOLLE Compatibility

If you’re a fan of MOLLE storage, this backpack is an excellent starter option.

It doesn’t have as much MOLLE storage as other tactical bags, but it has more than enough for most uses.

When combined with D-rings, you can hang all of your essential gear so that it’s easy to access.

How to Use It

Using the 5.11 Tactical COVRT 18 Backpack is more straightforward to use than you first imagined.

Instead of having to navigate dozens of small compartments, the storage options are well-placed.

You’ll be able to pack all of your favorite gear in a matter of minutes without the worry of overpacking.

Also, as the fabrics are water-resistant, there isn’t a need to add an extra layer of water-resistant spray.

With the integrated MOLLE storage, you could house some of your gear, such as an added pouch and tactical flashlight.

You’ll appreciate the RAC for your weapon, although it can be challenging to use.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to take the backpack off to access your weapon, which isn’t ideal.

Nevertheless, the unique side-access tactical pocket is excellent for grabbing necessary gear immediately.


ARMYCAMO Small 30L Rucksack

Our favorite alternative to this backpack is the ARMYCAMO Small 30L Rucksack.

With a more traditional style akin to standard tactical backpacks, the MOLLE system is more impressive.

Also, it’s smaller than most other tactical bags, which boosts its versatility.

A few other features we liked include:

Comfortable Padding

One of the most impressive features of the ARMYCAMO bag is its perfectly placed padding.

You’ll find added support along with the back panel as well as the shoulder straps.

When carrying a lot of gear, the extra padding helps to keep the backpack more comfortable.

MOLLE Storage

Above all else, the added MOLLE storage was a significant upgrade.

If you’re someone who prefers external storage, MOLLE systems are intuitively designed for extra pouches.

By using several D-rings, you can affix plenty of necessities, especially for camping.

High-Quality Fabric

We love the 600D polyester material used to construct the majority of the bag.

It has a heavy-duty feeling that makes the bag feel luxurious and rugged.

There’s no doubt it’s designed to last several years without any signs of wear and tear.

Impressive Organization

It can be beneficial to have many compartments to keep all of your small accessories separate.

With the ARMYCAMO backpack, we found several individual compartments on the exterior of the pack.

The inside of the bag has plenty of space for clothes, survival gear, and a laptop.

Is the 5.11 Tactical COVRT 18 Worth Buying?

A common theme in many 511 Tactical COVRT 18 Backpack reviews is how covert and useful the bag is.

You’ll appreciate its lightweight design with an everyday style, making it ideal for any wearers.

Also, it reduces the amount of bulk you would typically have with a standard tactical bag.