Review: Ogio's Covert is a surprisingly capable small bag

At a Glance
  • Ogio Covert Shoulder Bag

It’s been a long time since I carried a bag as small as Ogio’s Covert—mostly because smaller bags are usually incapable of comfortably carrying all the gear that I tote around with me. However, this petite, vertically designed pack proved me wrong: I was surprisingly able to carry all my essential day-to-day items in it, although it was, at times, admittedly a squeeze.

Ogio makes a wide variety of bags from luggage to laptop sleeves, and with its clean, simple lines and a reliance on functionality, the Covert fits right in to Ogio’s larger lineup as a great lightweight laptop bag. Measuring just 14 inches by 9.5 inches by 2.5 inches, and weighing in at a mere 1.4 pounds, the Covert is designed to hold laptops up to 13 inches in size so it was just large enough to hold my ultrabook (and would be ideal for carrying a tablet).

The Covert is constructed from 1000 denier Kodra fabric with water-resistant coating and is available in either black or heather grey. It features only two compartments: The main compartment and the laptop pocket. There’s also a back slip pocket on the rear of the bag. The laptop compartment, like the rest of the bag, is lightly padded—while I wasn’t worried about putting my ultrabook inside, I also wouldn’t, say, jump into a mosh pit with it. I found the water-resistant coating up to snuff as it held up well to light drizzle and rain.

The main compartment features three mesh pockets (one zippered), two very small pouches, and three pen slots. While the mesh pockets were both fairly helpful at carrying smartphones, USB drives, business cards, and cables, I found both the smaller pockets and the pen slots less useful—the small pockets would fit maybe change or a cigarette lighter, but wouldn't be good for anything much larger. Likewise, I found that sticking pens in the pen slot made it very difficult to zip the bag when it was very full.

Both the rear slip pocket and the small zippered pocket on the front of the bag were extremely practical for items you’d need to access easily. The small front pocket even features a slot to slip your headphones through, which was quite handy. Less handy was the proclivity of the material on the bottom of the bag to pick up pet hair—it was hard to keep the bottom of the bag from looking like a wookie. Additionally, the Covert has both a shoulder strap and handles—the shoulder strap is nicely padded, and although the padding is not adjustable it is generous enough to fit almost any user while the nylon handles were quite useful for quickly grabbing the bag. The zippers felt a bit rough though, particularly when I had the bag packed tight. While they didn't give me any particular trouble, I was concerned about their ability to stand up to more rugged use.

Overall, I was really impressed by the Covert. It was nice having such a small, compact bag to carry—in fact, the first few days I had it, I kept thinking I’d forgotten something because I wasn't carrying a huge messenger with myriad pockets. However, the Covert had me covered—it had all my items right in place, although it wasn’t always easy to reach them when the bag was packed tightly. I was really impressed by the Covert's carrying capacity, although I will cop to downsizing my pocketbook to a smaller wallet while using the Covert. While I personally prefer to have one bag carrying all my gadgets, lunch items, and various gear, the Covert would do very well for those who only need to tote the bare minimum—or who don't mind carrying an extra bag for bigger items.

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At a Glance
  • Ogio Covert Shoulder Bag

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