5.11 Tactical Covert Box Messenger Bag.
I previously owned several 5.11 Rush Delivery Messenger Bags, absolutely top notch. However, I have started on a new armed contract that required a non-military/non-tactical and low profile image.
I saw the 5.11 Tactical Covert Box Messenger Bag with its subdued Storm and Tundra colours, no external molle, completely civilian look. However it was the picture of a G36C 5.56mm carbine that sold it for me. I carry a folding stock, short barrelled carbine, 6 magazines, a pistol with 3 magazines, med kit, gloves, spare radio and torch batteries, multi-tool, tracking system and a knife. My weapon fits in, collapsed. Everybody else on the teams has a daysac or a daysac and a grab bag. All but the pistol with its magazines, my Surefire touch and radio go in the bag.
For me, a great piece of kit and a fantastic concept, perhaps in my humble opinion, it could do with some tweaks. An M4 short barrelled version would be a great addition if it is at all practical.
If you need to carry a lot of bulky gear like clothing then this is not you.
Good points and likes.
• Holds my long weapon and at least 6 full magazines comfortably. I can carry all of my tactical kit and equipment in one bag behind my legs in the vehicle. I can debus straight away with all my kit.
• Immediate access to my rifle from slung position. I will test the practicality of this live on the range next week. All the others in the team have to play about with buckles and draw cords on daysacs to access their weapons.
• Absolute bombproof 5.11 construction and reputation.
• Low profile and non-military look, people think that I am a client and not part of the security detail, usually the ear piece that gives it away in the end.
• Subdued colours are fantastic, I wanted the Storm but Nightgear did not have any in stock it at the time.
• Elasticated section in laptop compound securely hold four of my magazines in place with easy zipped access.
Bad points or dislikes.
• Carrying handle due to its position makes the bag tilt over at an angle and constantly hit your knees as you walk. A second handle on the other side would eliminate this.
• The shoulder strap is just not as flexible as the one on the Rush Delivery Messenger Bag, an adjustment buckle only on one side as opposed to both, the buckle ends up near or right on your collar bone (it should be at the end not the middle, out of the way). Non-detachable and not wide enough. Due to its attachment and angled position it constantly flops over and gets in the way tangling with my feet. Perhaps a couple of hook and loop patches on the strap and the side of the bag to keep it out of the way. Simply not flexible enough. Extra fixed laser cut points just get in the way of the excesses straps.
• Roll top panel keeps unfolding, especially when I add a Gore-Tex jacket to bag, gets so annoying that I intend to have it sewn down. It needs some form of retention strap in the middle as the bags just keeps expanding on its own.
• Sunglass pouch is a good idea but as it is not fixed it just dangles in the way of the molle mounted items and when I have to get my long weapon out. All four sides need to be sewn down.
• Internal Molle mounting is only partial as opposed to the whole side of the bag to give more versatility. I think that main compartment should be just be a whole wall of hook and loop, so nothing can catch my weapon when I pull it out and give the individual user other options.
• The notebook and pen sleeve could be made better, the notebook holder is approximately 10.5cm by 9cm. Even my 9 year old daughters colouring book is bigger than that, simply too small. It is credit card sized, why when there is plenty of space to make it larger. The pen holders should be elasticated as my pens fall out all the time when the bag is not in the upright position or a cover for them. For pockets and sleeves internally, it comes as a poor second to the Rush Delivery Messenger Bag.
• Laptop pouch would benefit from a couple of tie down velcro taps or a cover as I carry a netbook and a small tablet not one large laptop.
• The two external pockets are simply too small, I cannot put my hand inside if I have gloves on, cut at a very strange angle so only small objects will fit in.
• The opening for the larger middle external pouch could do with being widened, again a strange shaped pocket.
• Expensive at £90. I have an armed forces discount code that make it acceptable.