Survival can be about getting through a large scale disaster or it can be about the every day carry gear. In this case we are focusing on the EDC kit and more specifically the EDC pack. Since I work and live in the city, my pack and contents are configured for the urban jungle.
In 2013 I picked up my first dedicated EDC pack, the 5.11 Covrt 18. It’s designed to be a low profile bag but still provide the ability to carry a weapon, accommodate a laptop and keep your gear organized and ready for use. It served me well for the past three years but at the beginning of 2016 I started shopping for a replacement. After a fair amount of searching I really didn’t see much on the market, the Covrt 18 still appeared to be the top choice and I figured I’d pick up a new one and be done with it.
That was until I stumbled on the Blackhawk! Diversion pack. The Diversion lineup had just been released and if you know anything about Blackhawk!, they make some seriously awesome bomb proof gear. My first pack way back in 2006 was the X-1 R.A.P.T.O.R, a simple but rugged pack that I used for years until I traded it out. They say life is a loop and in this case it is since I came right back around to Blackhawk! after many years.
The Diversion is built from the ground up to be a discreet “grey man” style pack that blends in with the rest of the civilian packs on the market, but provides a conceal carry compartment, velcro patch panel and an organizational section that would make anyone with OCD go crazy with joy.
There are basically two versions of the pack currently on the market. One is made with 420 Denier Nylon and comes in Black/Red, Gray/Black and Grey/Blue color combinations. The other version is made of the thicker 500 Denier Nylon and ships in the Ranger Green/Coyote Tan which just so happens to be my two favorite colors.
The pack is built with organization in mind, both for small and large items. The top pocket which is designed for holding the small stuff is constructed with a thick divider and sturdy internal sections, not thin floppy nylon. It’s very easy to access without unsnapping the buckles that secure the large open mesh pocket. The compartment fits everything listed below with some room to spare:
- CORE Nano Adventure Wallet
- Lumintop flashlight
- SOG Multi Tool
- Rite in the Rain Notepad/Case
- Bic lighter
- Mini Medical kit
Below the top pocket is a wide open mesh pocket that is perfect for storing items such as water bottles, a poncho or jacket. The outer pocket flap has a zippered internal compartment that can fit larger items that need to be secured. I’m storing my Dark Energy Poseidon and Iphone cable in this large compartment along with a comprehensive fire kit.
As if that wasn’t enough compartments for storage, there are two pockets on each side, providing the user with a separate full-width pocket. I haven’t filled out the pockets just yet, for now I’m just storing small items including my SOG Flash II folder and USB drive.
Any EDC pack worth it’s weight has to have a conceal carry option. The Diversion has taken a different approach from most by adding a hidden compartment at the base of the pack. This allows the user to access the weapon without unslinging the pack. Granted it took a little getting used to, but after a bit of practice I found it quite easy to unzip and draw my G19 with a reasonable amount of speed. The full size back panel compartment sports a large velcro patch that can be used to store magazine pouches like the ones made by Hazard 4 or any “sticky” pouch for that matter. Since my job is in IT, I forego the addition of pouches and simply use the compartment to store my IBM Lenovo laptop. The full clamshell design allows me to quickly and easily access my laptop, instead of having to unzip an interior compartment and then unbind it from the storage sleeve as was the case with the Covrt 18 pack.
Blackhawk paid close attention to comfort by providing a set of heavily padded straps, a sternum strap and a padded back panel. The layout of the padding allows air to circulate quite well so your back doesn’t end up hot and sticky. The adjustable sternum strap ensures that the pack remains stable and “locked” into position.
After two weeks of daily use, the Diversion is turning out to be an excellent upgrade from my old Covrt 18 pack. I truly appreciate the attention to detail on this pack, from the heavy duty stitching to the unique zipper pull design. I’m slowly filling out the pack with more equipment as I see fit. In the very near future I’ll be adding the following items: