2015 Ski Guide2015 Ski Guide


A compact, modern day-tripping pack—clearly designed by seasoned skiers.

This versatile pack carries skis or a snowboard, and its dedicated avalanche-gear pocket provides fast access to your shovel and probe when the clock is ticking. Black Diamond gave the Covert Pack a Y-suspension frame that moves with your body so you can tear up the backcountry no matter what kind of sled you're riding.
  • A diagonal ski-carry cable linked to the upper attachment strap makes it super quick and easy to attach or detach your skis
  • Large organizer pocket stows your shovel and probe where you can get to them in a hurry
  • Insulated hydration sleeve spares your fluids from the deep freeze
  • Pull out the tuck-away helmet carrying sling to tote your lid without taking up all the space in your pack
  • Switch to sunglasses on a sweaty uphill slog and zip your goggles safely in their special fleece-lined pocket
  • Hipbelt stash pockets keep the small stuff within easy reach

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Review Summary
4 4
1 3
1 2
4 1

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Black Diamond Covert Winter Pack - 1343-1953cu in

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5

My favorite

I have tried a bunch and always come back to this. I have owned and sold a few different ones to try other "better" packs but this one always wins. Haven't tried the most current but sure it will be nice too. This has everything I need for longer tours. A little big for cruising around the resort but for an all day trek it rules!

I am 5'11" 175lbs. What size do you think...

Posted on

I am 5'11" 175lbs. What size do you think i should go? i'm split between S/M and M/L...

Responded on

If you in between take the small size...you can make the strap longer. but if it is to big you cant make them smaller

5 5

GREAT pack!

I have an older version of this pack from about 3 years ago. I have both avalung and non-avalung versions. This pack has been great. I use both skiing very regularly. The non-avalung has become my school bag. Lugs around pretty much anything and is very comfortable on the back.

This pack is a good daypack as well as short/mid-length day tours. Holds all your avi-gear in the small pack with lots of room for other things in the main pack. Never had any issue.

Ski carry as the diagonal works pretty well. With lots of use the skis wear on the materaial - as expected. But still going strong 3 years later!!!

2 5

Poor Ski Carry

I have to agree with reviewers sgt3603437 and sophie, this is a nice pack except for the diagonal ski carry. The ski carry puts the skis in an awkward position in which they sway excessively when hiking. Further, the sway causes the weight of the pack to be unevenly distributed on my back. My previous pack, a Dakine Heli Pro, had a diagonal ski carry that felt much more solid.

Responded on

I would have to agree....Love the idea of the diagonal ski carry but didn't work well at all for me...Maybe it is operator error...Not sure but can't get the diagonal carry to work right.

4 5

Stoked... with a few thoughts for improvements

In general, love the pack.
- I can load it up for a longer tour or have it basically empty for a quick lap, and it tightens up well... and I barely notice it as I ski.
- Helmet attachment is simple and works well - keeps snow off the helmet without taking room in the pack.
- Hydration sleeve works with 70oz CamelBack bladder

Some improvements I'd like:
- Avy pocket needs to be taller. I've got the large, and I can't fit my Voile tele-pro shovel handle into the avy pocket; my probe fits, but just barely.
- Bigger hip-belt pockets. I'm a huge fan of hip-belt pockets for camera and food. These work, but just barely - I can fit a Clif bar plus a gel in a pocket, but that's about it. If they were about 50% larger (both a little longer and wider, but not deeper), they'd be perfect.

Responded on

My telepro handle fits easily. Just break down the handle into its two sections, which are shorter.

This pack seems heavy for a simple day...

Posted on

This pack seems heavy for a simple day touring pack. Any suggestions for something lighter?

Responded on

For its features specific to snow travel, this pack is at a fairly competitive weight - compare with the Osprey Kode series. If you are willing to sacrifice features, check out the Arcteryx Cierzo series. Barebones, light and tough. Also, I hate to recommend this on Backcountry.com, but REI's flash 18 is a phenomenal pack - for $30.

Responded on

It is a little bit heavy for a day pack in theory. It works really well for me.

5 5

PACKed with good

Nice and simple design that fits well. All that you need out of a small day touring pack. With nice separation of Avy tools and the main compartment. Having the avalung inspires confidence and I've even had to use it a few times. While I was being churned up and going under it was nice to know I would have plenty of air to breath and added time for my friends to dig me out. Got to be careful that this tool doesn't become an excuse for risky behavior though.

PACKed with good

Can this carry a snowboard?

Posted on

Can this carry a snowboard?

Responded on

Nope - at least it isn't deigned to. You could probably rig some straps, but a bag with a specific carry will do much better than that.

Responded on

Hey Ben,

I'm a backcountry snowboarder and bought the Covert 32L w/ Avalung a couple weeks ago. I needed a pack bigger than the Burton Dayhiker I had been using, and wanted to give the Avalung a shot. The pack is great for carrying a board, although the straps are a little wimpy and might have to be reinforced at some point (in case you're skeptical, the booklet it comes with shows both ski and snowboard set-ups).

Go with the Avalung if you're going to spend the money for a substantial pack!

Hey Ben,  <br/>  <br/> I'm a backcountry snowboarder and bought the Covert 32L w/ Avalung a couple weeks ago.  I needed a pack bigger than the Burton Dayhiker I had been using, and wanted to give the Avalung a shot.  The pack is great for carrying a board, although the straps are a little wimpy and might have to be reinforced at some point (in case you're skeptical, the booklet it comes with shows both ski and snowboard set-ups). <br/>  <br/> Go with the Avalung if you're going to spend the money for a substantial pack!
2 5

Black Diamond Covert Winter Pack

I'm not sure anyone at BD tried out the diagonal ski carry system on this pack or else they probably would have repositioned the loops. I used this pack a fair amount and really liked it until I tried to carry my skis with it. My skis felt really unstable and seemed as though they were almost laying horizontally. This becomes especially annoying anytime a boot pack hugs trees or a rock band. I had a little higher expectations for black diamond.

3 5

nice bag, has some issues

I had this bag with the avalung built in - Overall it was decent.

I did not like two things:
1. the bag is a little short so when I put my avalanche probe in the bag it almost didnt zip closed - check the length of the bag vs. your folded probe before buying this one.
2. While hiking up the mountain with my skis mounted diagonally through the pull cord it was hard to get the cord to hold them stable as it loosened off very easily. AND THEN it just snapped - so if you are planning to boot=pack anywhere I would suggest that you get a bag with a webbing strap rather than a little wire pull cord.

but the actual bag was comfortable - good back plate and padding, straps and waist harnesses all felt good.

attached is a photo of the bag at work in the French alps :)

nice bag, has some issues
5 5

The best pack I've owned!

This is without doubt the best pack that I have owned! I have the M/L and have none of the mentioned problems with the Avy Tools pocket... All of my tools fit easily in the compartment... My last pack was a Dakine Blade which I loved... Or I thought so!!! I never had any complaints, but now I can't believe just how much better this pack is!!! It fits so much better and with it's design just hugs my body much better and the hip belt actually sits on my hips like it should!! The loop for routing your hydration tube is one of those oh so simple, but not included in other pack features that make you wonder why it's in every pack made! Getting this pack along with a few other new light weight items allowed me to shed about 6lbs of my pack weight.... Although I am a snowboarder this pack works for me... I pretty much only tour on a splitboard, so in a boot pack situation I would just put my split on in ski mode VIA the a-frame carry method... The horizontal ski carry loops work awesome for carrying my poles on the way down!!! I love this pack!!!!!!!!

2 5

some design flaws

I liked this pack for its clean lines and simplicity. It fits well and has a narrow profile that doesn't interfere with poling. I like how the hipbelt fastens, and the pack carries the load well. What I can't believe is that the designated avalanche compartment isn't big enough to fit my collapsed shovel or even my Black Diamond probe! I have to carry my avalanche gear in the main compartment and other gear in the avalanche compartment. This is a drag when I want to store my wet skins away from my dry clothing. I have a small/medium so perhaps the medium/large has a bigger compartment for avalanche gear. Also the hip belt pockets are so small they are hard to use for anything but chapstick. I really was excited to see someone had made a simple pack for skis only, but I'm quite disappointed.

2 5

Not impressed

Everything about the pack is nice - except for the ski carry system.Pros - It sits on your back nicely, I like the helmet carry, ice tool carry is good, the pockets are nice, and the avy pocket is easily assessable.Cons - The ski carry system on this pack is absolutely horrific. I have trouble even imagining what Black Diamond was thinking when they designed the monstrosity. Sure, the pack does other things just fine, but the reason I bought this pack was to have a pack with a diagonal ski carry system (it will do A-frame just fine). The reason the ski carry doesn't work is because the skis are at about a 45 degree angle and sway a ton. The top attachment strap for the skis is too low on the pack and/or too short. No matter how I had the two ski carry straps adjusted the pack could not adequately carry skis - and I tried a few pairs.

Responded on

Why are you saying it's a design because it won't do what you bought it for (carry skis at a *45) which it wasn't designed to do.

It was designed to carry skis A-framed (which you say it does nicely).

So what gives? Sounds like a pretty amazing pack to me. (As I have the first model that came out a few years back.)

Responded on

*saying it's a bad design

Responded on

I agree. I have this pack and I find the diagonal ski carry to be awkward. The skis sway excessively when hiking. The ski carry is inferior to the previous pack I had, the Dakine Heli Pro.

Responded on

I agree with sco3319617 it isn't a bad design and it is an amazing pack period.

Can one retrofit an Avalung to this...

Posted on

Can one retrofit an Avalung to this pack?

Responded on

Well, technically yes, its effectiveness would be a direct result of how well you add it to your bag. As shown here &lt; http://tr.im/GOVN &gt; you can just zip tie the Avalung on. This raises all sorts of concerns for me though because they avalung is corrugated plastic, not terribly thin, and avalanches tend to be horribly violent and zip ties might tear your Avalung right off your pack. If I was going to retrofit, I think I would find some wide, heavy-duty velcro straps and tie it on with those, less likely to tear the plastic with more force distributed about. The other huge draw back is where to put the exhaust vent. You're likely to need to cut a hole in your pack so you can vent it out the back securely.

So, you can do it but if you are looking at a BD Ski Bag anyways, you might as well get one with the Avalung built-in. Good luck, and be safe with your homebrew method--make sure it works before you trust your life with it.

Responded on

I have seen these "retrofit" ideas posted various places. I would say it is a bad idea generally. I wear the original style Avalung along with my normal ski pack. While it is a a little more work getting it all on and off, I am not going to second guess the BD guys and "hope" that zip ties and duct tape keep it on me if I get caught in an avalanche. I see it like folks who keep their beacons in their jacket pocket because they don't like the harness. If you want it integrated, save up and buy it built that way.

Best Answer Responded on

I'm not sure what you're talking about, Lyric. I guess if you were trying to integrate the Avalung into the pack directly, it would be a problem, but that would be stupid. The Avalung on its own is intended to be worn close to the body, even under your outer shell of clothing, and any pack can be worn over it. The Avalung-equipped packs run the breathing tube up through the shoulder strap, so it wouldn't work the same way to try to combine them. In addition, an Avalung goes for $130 retail, a Covert for $120, and a Covert Avalung for $220, so you're saving 30 bucks getting the integrated pack. If you're not going to do that, though, I'd just wear the Avalung like it's supposed to be worn with a pack over it. That's how it was intended to be used anyway.

Responded on

You definitely should NOT wear the avalung under your outer layer. The CO2 you exhale will fill your jacket and come right up through your collar and into your face again. Some good points about the fastening methods of the retrofit. Make sure the tube does not get crushed and also that its secure(If you go that route).

Responded on

you might as well buy one with a built in avalung. It will will be better.

Great ski tour pack

Great ski tour pack

Posted on

At use on a long tour from Snowmass to Aspen Highlands.