Best Tactical Pants: Be Comfortable When You’re on Duty
Your duties are demanding and you need tactical pants that can keep up
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Your job demands a lot of you, and you need a pair of pants that can keep up. Tactical pants offer you pockets for everything so that all of your gear and equipment is within reach. The tough material is durable enough to withstand any activity you’re tasked with doing. Try a pair of the top tactical pants in our buying guide.
These tactical pants are made from a premium blend of polyester and cotton ripstop fabric. They have a fitted waistband, double-stitched seams, and a fully gusseted crotch. They feature eight-inch, high-capacity pockets and two additional hidden pockets.
The Teflon finish on these pants makes them resistant to stains, dirt, and moisture. They also have YKK zippers for reliable and durable performance.
There is inconsistency in the sizing, length, and cut of these pants. Some of the decorative stitching may start to come loose with wear.
The zippers and snaps on these pants tend to break after wearing them several times. You may also find the material feels coarse or rough against your skin.
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Benefits of Tactical Pants
- Carrying capacity. Good quality cargo pants normally have extra pockets to accommodate a range of different items. Some have extra-strong pockets designed to carry knives or spare magazines. Others have hidden pockets to store smaller items like handcuff keys discreetly.
- Durability. Cargo pants are designed for serious use and are meant to be durable and hard-wearing. They often come with extra stitching around the knee and crotch area to prevent tearing. Some are even treated with materials like Teflon to help repel water and dirt.
- Variety. There are a number of different colors, styles, weights, and materials to choose from to make tactical pants versatile. They can be used in most weather conditions and for a number of different tasks.
Types of Tactical Pants
Overt tactical pants have the classic military look. They are designed to be functional and have a huge carrying capacity with oversized pockets. They often have reinforced areas for added strength and durability.
Covert tactical pants are associated with law enforcement agents who want the versatility of tactical pants while still being discreet. Most of the time, they are made from the same materials but have hidden pockets or smaller pockets that don’t attract attention.
EMS and EMT Pants
These are designed for ambulance crews and other first responders. They are made of similar material to conventional cargo pants but have specialized pockets and compartments to carry a wide range of medical tools and gear.
5.11 Tactical is based in Irvine, Calif, and it designed its first cargo pants in 1968. The founder was a mountain climber who was unhappy with the durability of the trousers at the time, so he decided to make his own. Since then, the brand has grown considerably, especially because of its popularity with law enforcement agents. Check out their 5.11 Tactical Men’s Ridgeline Covert Pants.
Mars Gear is an online retailer that specializes in tactical clothes and gear. They stock many renowned brands like Magpul, Kershaw, and Gryffon, as well as their own line of apparel and accessories. They are a one-stop-shop to get a wide range of high-quality equipment. One popular product is the Mars Gear Vulcan TAC Outdoor Tactical Pants.
Propper was founded in 1967 and is one of the largest suppliers to the U.S. military. They offer a wide range of tactical and duty gear, including tactical pants, boots, bags, body armor, and more. Generations of military and law enforcement officers have trusted Propper to provide tough and functional equipment for any situation. A best-selling product is the Propper Men's Canvas Tactical Pant.
Tactical Pants Pricing
- $10 to $30: At this price point, the pants will still have the required pockets, but the stitching and overall strength won’t be the best. It will also be made of basic cotton fabric.
- $30 to $60: These tactical pants will probably be more durable and feature double-stitching and reinforced areas. The material may vary between cotton, ripstop, or twill.
- $60 and up: Tactical pants in this range will be high-quality with a gusseted crotch and double-stitched areas. They will normally be treated with Teflon and have a comfortable fit.
The reason for the popularity of tactical pants is their carrying capacity. Pockets can range from eight upwards and many have smaller compartments to carry gadgets, magazines, torches, and a multitude of other stuff. Ideally, the pockets should be easily accessible and have easy to use opening and closing types. Buttons are generally out of favor, while zippers and Velcro are the more popular options.
There are a few things to consider when choosing the right material for your tactical pants. Heavier fabrics are ideal for colder temperatures, while newer, lightweight fabrics are ideal for warmer weather. Ripstop and twill are two popular fabrics due to their strength and durability. Some materials are a combination of different fabrics, which allow the pants to stretch and still maintain their shape. Treated fabrics have water-repellent abilities and are ideal for the outdoors.
As with any other pants, having the correct fit is important. Many tactical pants sit higher on the waist than normal pants in order to accommodate heavy equipment and duty belts without sagging. Having the correct fit means they will be comfortable to run or climb in without restricting your movements.
- Reinforcements. For serious use or tactical situations, it’s possible to get tactical pants with reinforced knees or knee pad pockets. Some have reinforced crotch areas. There are also tactical pants available with reinforced stitching and belt loops to accommodate tools or other items. The pockets should also be double-stitched, and the zippers, snaps, and Velcro should all be heavy-duty.
Best Tactical Pants Reviews & Recommendations 2020
- When shopping for tactical pants, look for a pair that have enough pockets for your needs. Then balance that with the freedom of movement that you need. Also, pay attention to the belt loop size for your utility belt.
- Since these pants are meant for wear during highly physical activities, they need to have reinforcement at the stress points. Look for double-layer material on the knees and seat. They should also have reinforced stitching.
- Pay attention to the material used, as you want it to be the right blend for both comfort and durability. Most high-quality pants are a blend of polyester and ripstop cotton.
Q: Why are the belt loops of different sizes?
A: The manufacturers of tactical pants understand that you’ll wear these pants while on duty. This means you need belt loops that are large enough and sturdy enough to hold a duty belt. Most belt loops on tactical pants are between 1.75 and 2.5 inches.
Q: How heavy is the fabric on tactical pants?
A: The weight of the fabric used for tactical pants can vary from 6.25 to nine ounces. You’ll see them categorized into lightweight and original weight. Lightweight pants typically range from six to 6.6 ounces. Original weight pants typically range from seven to nine ounces.
Q: How do I know what size I need for tactical pants?
A: The easiest way to figure out what size you should order is to measure your current pants. Lay your pants flat on a table and measure across the waistband and from the crotch to the hem. Use these measurements to buy your new pants.
The 5.11 Tactical Men’s Ridgeline Covert Pants are high-quality and durable enough to perform while you’re on duty. The Mars Gear Vulcan TAC Outdoor Tactical Pants are a smart and affordable option for those looking for a balance between price and performance.