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Low-Key Looks, High-Key Functionality: Evergoods Civic Panel Loader 24L Review

As good as ever, the Evergoods Civic Panel Loader 24L truly lives up to its family name. We thoroughly tested this laptop backpack in a variety of situations, environments, and load-outs, and it carried all with ease.

The Evergoods Civic Panel Loader 24L combines a minimalistic style with impressive functionality; (photo/Meghan LaHatte)
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So, you’ve just dropped a chunk of change on that brand new MacBook, but need a backpack to keep it safe during commutes, travel days, or, very specifically in my case, photographing a major sports event. Yep, where better to test a durable laptop backpack like the Evergoods Civic Panel Loader 24L than the X Games, the most extreme winter sporting event around?

I slung this backpack around on the SuperPipe, inside the media tent, and on the chairlift during morning commutes to the courses. Safe to say, it did the trick — but more on that later. So, why choose the Evergoods Civic Panel Loader 24L to tote your precious laptop? Well, this backpack certainly boasts a lot for being a pretty simple bag overall.

The front panel loading system is killer for those needing quick access and organization when it comes to a backpack. Not to mention, the actual laptop compartment is its own armored, zippered pocket that has generous, stiff padding. Lastly, the materials used in this pack are impressively durable, water-resistant, and tailor-made into a perfect mobile office hauler.

In short: The Evergoods Civic Panel Loader 24L is a professional minimalist’s dream thanks to its open-access loading system, well-structured design, and internal organization. Photographers, designers, and tech wizards alike can appreciate the highly protective laptop carry and extra pockets for small kit. At $279, you may need to pass on this one if you’re ballin’ on a budget, as it is pretty pricey compared to other laptop backpacks on the market.

To read more on the best laptop backpacks available today, check out GearJunkie’s Buyer’s Guide.

Evergoods Civic Panel Loader 24L


  • Dimensions 18" x 7" x 11.5 "
  • Weight 3 lbs., 1.6 oz.
  • Capacity 24L
  • Laptop compartment size 17"
  • Best use Everyday and travel


  • Functions as both a laptop backpack and suitcase
  • Well-structured and protected
  • Full panel loading access


  • Limited color schemes
  • Expensive

Evergoods Civic Panel Loader 24L: Review

What better place to test a laptop backpack than the Winter X Games? (photo/Jacob Spetzler)

Love at First Carry

So much more than just a laptop backpack, the Evergoods Civic Panel Loader 24L is a lifelong camera bag, piece of luggage, and aesthetically pleasing accessory. Evergoods itself is a small company based out of Bozeman, Mont., and is dedicated to perfecting the laptop backpack. While I tested this 24L backpack, it’s also available in a 28L version, along with a handful of different colors and styles. This CPL I tested is in its signature color, Solution Dyed Black.

My typical load-out when using the Evergoods CPL 24L; (photo/Meghan LaHatte)

Tested with a variety of load-outs and in different scenarios, the CPL 24L held up well. Despite how I loaded this pack up with layers, lenses, and batteries, it sat and stayed comfortably on my back. I struggle with other laptop backpacks because the straps are too flimsy, so they dig in and cause hot spots.

The straps on the CPL 24L were definitely an exception, as they are well structured, but also breathable and soft. The back panel is designed with a similar material that conforms to my back’s shape and provides support. 

When it came time, this backpack slid off easily, and the extra handles made it easy to maneuver during transitions. As a photographer, I tend to take my backpack on and off constantly, so I was pleased with how streamlined this process was. 

Exterior Details

The Evergoods CPL 24L has a modern, effortless style for any work environment — indoor or outdoor; (photo/Meghan LaHatte)

From the outside, the CPL 24L is quite incognito when it comes to design elements. There aren’t any flashy colors or large logos that distract from the overall uniform style. The harness system is simple: a single sternum strap, and no hip belt like on an “outdoorsy” backpack.

I really appreciated the two handles on this pack, located at the top and side. This made for easy transportation when I didn’t quite feel like putting it on all the way. Think: moving it in and out of an overhead bin on an airplane.

There is only one large exterior pocket located on the front panel, but the zipper aligns with the outer seam of the back, so you really can’t tell that it’s even there. This inconspicuous element functions well while traveling and visiting areas where a little caution is encouraged. 

The backpack itself is designed with Evergoods’ custom-developed 840D ballistic nylon 6 balanced woven with durable water repellent finish — try saying that three times fast. Fancy words aside, the exterior materials on this backpack live up to the hype.

Made to survive the most urban and weather-varying environments, the outer fabric stays clean and doesn’t attract pet hair. Even after testing this pack for multiple months, it still looked decently new by the time I was finished.

The Nitty Gritty

Now for the nitty gritty part of this review: the interior of the Evergoods CPL 24L. This front panel loading backpack opens all the way for easy packing and modular organization.

Once open, there is a sizable, rectangular-shaped storage compartment. I found that it suitably fit my camera cube, gloves, an extra layer, and lenses for my weekend spent photographing the X Games. 

The top handle and pocket on the CPL 24L is great for easy device and key storage; (photo/Meghan LaHatte)

In addition to the storage area, there is one small zippered pocket with a keychain attachment near the top of the panel, a large mesh pocket on the panel, and a tablet sleeve located in the main compartment. I found that my sunglasses, keys, batteries and phone fit superbly in the small zippered pocket. The see-through mesh area was perfect for an extra layer and my thick leather gloves. 

The main storage compartment is spacious enough for any modular storage, whether that is luggage cubes or extra camera protection. Jack Barley, the CEO at Evergoods, opts to use this storage space for a camera, extra clothes, a toiletry bag, a hat, and a rain shell. Safe to say, this backpack is bigger on the inside than it appears. 

The CPL 24L has a suspended and reinforced laptop compartment located on the back panel; (photo/Meghan LaHatte)

Laptop Protection

In terms of laptop protection, the CPL 24L is stellar. Rather than just having a plain old laptop sleeve, this backpack has an isolated compartment with padding on either side. The asymmetrical laptop compartment is accessed from the side, rather than the top of the pack.

From trips to the office, laps through the airport, and on and off the SuperPipe at X Games, this backpack did an exceptional job keeping my 13-inch MacBook perfectly safe.

The padding is designed with a stiff plastic that absorbs any sort of shock or impact from potential drops. And for occasional hikes with a hydration bladder, there’s an interior loop you can use to attach it.

The open panel access on the Evergoods CPL 24L is ideal for modular storage; (photo/Meghan LaHatte)

In regards to size and weight, the Evergoods CPL 24L is ideal for folks seeking a lightweight laptop backpack that can still fit their necessities and some. At a little over 3 pounds when empty, this pack’s weight is pretty insubstantial. Regardless of weight, the integrated harness helps distribute most of the heaviness that comes from adding your kit.

The measured dimensions of this puppy come in at 18 x 7 x 11.5 inches. If you want to bring it as a carry-on for a flight, it’ll fit just fine in the overhead bin. In my experience, it does fit under the seat but sticks out slightly, so you lose a little foot space.


I have only a few small qualms with this backpack. My first one is the lack of a water bottle pocket on either side. Yes, you can throw a hydration bladder in the laptop compartment (sans laptop, of course), but then you’re out of luck on being able to carry both. An additional, inconspicuous bottle pocket on the exterior would be a superb addition to the overall design of the CPL 24L.

The YKK with DWR finish zippers are strong, but tend to camouflage into the bag a bit; (photo/Meghan LaHatte)

I also found that the zippers and tabs camouflage into the rest of the backpack, making them either hard to find or easy to forget when you’re zipping up everything. While this may be a pro for those seeking an incognito style, I did accidentally drop some items out of the top pocket because I couldn’t really tell it was open.

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At $279, the Evergoods CPL 24L is certainly an investment; (photo/Meghan LaHatte)

The Price Tag

At $279, the CPL 24L is a hefty price for a laptop backpack. You can find similar options at a lower cost, but you can’t quite beat the streamlined design and overall longevity his pack boasts. Between the front panel loading access and the suspended laptop compartment, it certainly sticks out from the rest. 

Evergoods also has a lifetime warranty attached to this puppy, meaning any defects will be fully repaired or replaced. Even on any general wear and tear that happens from daily use, they’ll also repair for a reasonable charge. This further illustrates that this backpack isn’t just a piece of gear, but also an investment into protecting your mobile office. 

The Evergoods CPL 24L made for a cruiser day through DIA’s security; (photo/Meghan LaHatte)

Evergoods Civic Panel Loader 24L: Conclusion

Whether you’re a world traveler, graphic designer, or student, the Evergoods CPL 24L is a great do-it-all laptop backpack. Its front panel loading access, modular storage system, and highly durable construction are all top-notch.

At $279, we recommend this backpack for working professionals who are ready to invest in their computer’s safety, back health, and functionality during long-haul days of commuting or journeying. This minimalistic design blends well in any office, outdoor, or educational environment due to its muted colors and lack of flashy logos. 

If you’re not looking to spend a lot or don’t need a lot of storage, you can probably skip over this option and pursue smaller, more affordable packs. Those who have short commutes and pack light would probably find the design and weight of this pack to be a little too robust, as it can store so much.

However, if you need to bring an extra keyboard, tablet, or supplies for your professional needs, definitely try the CPL 24L out. Despite appearing small, it hides a chasm of storage space perfect for weekends away or day trips into a city workplace. Folks will love the larger exterior pocket that also includes an inconspicuous mesh pocket perfect for a passport or set of keys.

(Photo/Meghan LaHatte)

At $279, the CPL 24L is exclusively sold by Montana-based Evergoods on its website. Along with the pack, Evergoods also sells additional accessories and storage bags that can be used in conjunction with the backpack. This option to customize is great for those using this backpack in highly specific work, travel, or lifestyle scenarios. The CPL is only available in black, but the 100% recycled EcoPak version is also available in Coyote Brown.

From the fast-paced media corrals of X Games to work sessions aboard domestic flights, the Evergoods CPL 24L proved to be a bomber laptop backpack for working professionals who tend to pack heavy and seek all-day comfort without sacrificing computer safety. 

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Meghan LaHatte

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