EVERGOODS is the brainchild of Jack Barley and Kevin Dee, formerly of GORUCK and Patagonia respectively. After months of R&D and teasing on social media, they kicked off their brand’s first packs on Kickstarter in July 2017. There were a few hiccups in the manufacturing process which caused EVERGOODS to look to Vietnam to build their packs, pushing back the delivery date slightly while lowering the cost to backers. It’s good to note that many prominent, quality brands also use similar manufacturers overseas, and still deliver a very solid product, and that’s exactly what EVERGOODS has done.
As pictured above, the Civic Panel Loader 24 (CPL24) is made from 500d for the outerfacing materials and a contrasting grey 420d for the internal materials. And as indicated by the name, it weighs in at 24L capacity. Zippers are standard YKK #10 and #8, stays are 7075 aluminum, and the shoulder pad foam is Zote EV50. Elsewhere throughout the pack we see some heavy duty mesh for a side-entry pocket and a 4-way stretch material for a sleeve in the main compartment, as you’ll see shortly. I also want to point out that there are bias-cut panels in all abrasion-prone areas of the pack, which will add greatly to the life of the CPL24.
The harness is well padded and ergonomic, with daisy chains that accommodate the provided sternum strap. The slits on either side of the harness are for feeding a hydration tube through from back side-entry compartment. It’s a nice way of keeping the pack’s clean, urban lines when a hydration bladder isn’t being used, but keeping the hose in place when one is. The back is well padded along with a HDPE frame-sheet. While there isn’t much ventilation, it should do just fine in anything but long treks in the sun. And as a pack I will mostly carry in a urban environment, I prefer this setup over something like airmesh, which tends to wreak havoc on clothing.
I appreciate the attention to detail with the logo stitched into the sternum strap, but I think the attachment is a little bit of a swing and a miss. While it does it’s job, and I don’t think there is a high probability of detachment, it does hurt the otherwise clean lines of the pack, and allows the sternum strap to slide back and forth in the daisy chains. I would have rather seen something like Duraflex’s SIMPLX sternum clips being used. Some elastic strap management would have been nice here since it is mainly an urban pack, but it’s something that owners can add themselves pretty easily.
Moving to the wearer’s left of the pack, we can see the side-entry laptop / hydration compartment behind the frame sheet. For laptop use, I would recommend keeping them in a sleeve of some sort. The compartment is padded, but not raised, and there is sufficient space for a laptop to slide around. Thankfully, due to the harness design and the way this compartment expands into the main compartment, there’s plenty of room for a 15″+ laptop with any kind of sleeve you’d want. The raised bottom is the only thing I think I would have liked to have seen added to this area. There’s also a standard hydration hanger at the top.
In front of that you can see the aluminum reinforced side-carry handle, with another internal stay to add sturdiness. I’ve come to really appreciate these on urban-oriented packs, as it’s often the easiest way to grab your pack exiting a vehicle or transit. There is a very similar carry handle on the top of the bag as well. These might be the best designed carry handles I’ve seen on a pack – they’re stiff, easy to grab, and won’t get snagged on anything since they’re flush with the bag.
Another unique feature of the CPL24 is the way in which the harness attaches to the pack. There is a bit of extra 500d material between the frame sheet and the straps that allows the harness to better mold to the wearer’s back. You can see how that might work a little better in the photo of the side of the pack, two photos up. This allows a unique fit that won’t bend or break your laptop when pulled in tight, which is a problem I’ve found on a lot of other packs. I think this is a great solution. However, I would have liked to have seen some structure or padding there. Both to protect the top of the laptop compartment as well as maintain the otherwise clean lines of the pack. As you can see, it tends to make the top of the pack look a little floppy.
Around front we have another side-entry pocket. I was hoping that this pocket would be a bit larger, but it only makes use of a small footprint of the available front panel real estate, not going above or beyond the line the zipper draws. It’s useful for gloves and other small items.
As you’ve probably noticed, the CPL24 has a few side-entry-only compartments. Both the two above and the mesh compartment in the image below. I love side-entry compartments as it makes it easier to access while I’m wearing the pack; just throw off one shoulder and sling it around front. However, while I realize people have different side preferences, I am of the opinion that the side chosen is the wrong side for right-handed users. I prefer to maintain control with my right hand and manipulate with my left hand. It’s not a deal breaker, but most other side-entry packs use the opposite side.
The CPL24 has a full clam shell opening, which is almost always better than the alternatives on a pack like this. On the front half, there is a small top-entry pocket for easy access items, and a side-entry mesh pocket that we talked about above. The back half houses one of my favorite features on this pack, a completely seamless two-way stretch pocket. It makes for a great alternative laptop sleeve, or for storing other semi-flat items. It’s definitely worth pointing out that this sleeve is raised a bit. In the photo above you can see that I’m currently using it to house a TAD Admin Panel. The lack of any seams makes it incredibly easy to access as there’s nothing for the tools in the panel to get caught on.
While I’m currently using that pocket for tool and EDC organization, I wish I didn’t have to. The lack of any type of hanger, D-ring, or otherwise, is really a letdown for me, as it is something I’ve just come to expect as a standard feature on packs. Because of this, things like inserts for extra organization are almost entirely out of the question unless you hack it a bit. It’s a very small thing that I think would have gone a long way with this pack, and I hope we see one in the next iteration of EVERGOODS packs.
The EVERGOODS CPL24 is a game changer in many ways. There are features on this pack you won’t find anywhere else, and I guarantee we’ll see them cascade into other manufacturer’s product lines. Other than a few nitpicks, Jack and Kevin really hit it out of the park on their first production run. I can’t do anything other than recommend the CPL24 – it’s a definite buy in my book and I’ll be carrying it for the foreseeable future.