Before we get to the review, a friendly reminder. 5.11 is nearing the end of their Ultimate Tactical Experience Contest. There is still a bit of time left to enter, but you best get busy. Anyone can enter, but 5.11 customers get a challange coin that increases their chances. So, on the assumption that you might be looking for another excuse to pick up some 5.11 gear, here’s a good option.
The Covert Triab Sling Backpack
The 5.11 Covert line is designed to blend in. It is urban camouflage. While the function of the gear will serve multiple purposes, they won’t call attention to their intended purposes, or what they conceal.
They make several packs that are specifically meant to conceal guns for off body carry. Some of these are fast access packs, like the Triab. Others are meant more for inconspicuous transportation. Moving guns in or out of the house, but don’t want your neighbors to see you hauling a gun case? The Covert line is perfect.
The Covert Triab Sling Backpack isn’t long enough for a long gun, or even a bullpup. But it is more than ample for a pistol, even one with a suppressor, like the HK USP Tactical with the Silencerco Osprey in the video. And there are several other smaller pockets that are ideal for smaller guns (like the Glock 19).
There are numerous ways to carry with this thing. You can put in a Velcro holster. You can secure guns inside the main compartment. Mouse guns can be tucked in any number of pockets. My favorite is the main compartment option. It is meant to be yanked open. A webbing tab can be left hanging out of the pack. Spin the pack around your back, grab the strap, and yank. The bag flies open.
This is possible becasue the bag closes at the bottom. This seemed really counter-intuitive to me at first, as I’m a bit old fashioned and like for my packs to open at the top. But I’m getting used to it. Why close the zippers at the bottom of the bag? Because when you flip this around to get to your gun, the bottom is no longer the bottom.
While the weight of anything in the bag will be putting pressure on zippers, there is a yoke that cradles the bottom of the bag and takes the weight off the zippers. And the YKK zippers can handle the load.
The hidden features are one of the best things about this bag. When it arrived in for review, I took a look at it and thought is was an odd backpack. But the more I’ve lived with it, the more I’ve realized just how well designed it is. Every aspect of off-body concealed carry is built into the bag. You can easily stage the bag to prepare for a variety of scenarios. And the more you play with it, the more functionality you will discover. Like those rip tabs that open the bag in a flash. We hadn’t found those yet when we were shooting the video.
The Covert Triab can be worn as pack or as a sling. Both straps can connect to either side, and be tucked into the padded back. While the pack is better for carrying a load, the sling is faster for spinning the bag around and getting to the main compartment.
The bag is simply perfect for carrying a pistol. But it is a decent pack as well. It is big enough to hold a laptop. The padded back is exceptionally comfortable, and breathes nicely. It even has water-bottle pockets and a hydration pouch. So if you don’t want to use it for concealed carry, you still have a tremendous pack.
There are only two things about the pack I’m apt to change. I’d like just a bit more length to the bag. For small to medium framed people, the bag is perfect. It feels a bit small on me. And another 8 inches or so would allow for an SBR or a bullpup shotgun to be concealed in the main compartment.
And my last concern is not specific to 5.11, but to pack design in general. We need more security. Backpacks are a favorite target for pickpockets. The Covert Triab would be even better, and more useful, if there were a pocket or two that was impervious to pickpockets. I’ve had my pocket picked, so I’m cautious. I worry enough about my wallet, but I get really paranoid about off-body concealed carry.
Still, the Covert Triab is a great idea. The MSRP on the bag is $169.99. That’s a lot of money for a backpack, but not for a backpack that does everything that the Triab will do. And it comes with the reputation of 5.11.