The Tactical Style

Tactical OperatorThe styling of tactical pants is probably their most distinguishing feature. They have a rugged, technical look that screams tactical operator. Combining a pair of tactical pants with Oakley shades conjures up images of an elite special forces operator or SWAT team member. This coolness factor has contributed to the popularity of tactical pants even among those whose duties might not necessarily be all that “tactical”. They convey an authenticity and a functionality that has proven popular throughout the law enforcement community.

Most tactical pants offer two front pockets, two front bellowed cargo pockets, two rear pockets and typically one or two magazine or mobile phone pockets situated just above the cargo pockets. A hook and loop system is typically incorporated for keeping pocket contents secure. They have wide belt loops to accomodate the larger nylon BDU style belts and usually offer a zip fly. Other common features include slots to insert knee pads, double reinforced seat and knee construction and even Cordura lined front pockets to prevent fabric fraying caused by knife clips at particular stress points.

Not Your Daddy’s Tactical Cargo Pants

U.S. Cavalry breaks down a pair of 5.11 Cargo Pants.

511 Tatical Pants Feature Guide

511 Tactical Pants Features

U.S. Cavalry reviews Warrior Wear Tactical Pants by Blackhawk.

Tactical Trousers by Propper

About Propper

Propper is unwavering in our commitment to outfit members of the United States Armed Forces, law enforcement professionals and first responders serving on the front lines with only the highest quality apparels. Since 1967, we have delivered over 50 million garments to the military men and women and public service personnel who protect our great nation. Our dedication to being the best has earned Propper a reputation of comfortable, rugged and relentlessly durable apparel that gets the job done…on the battlefield or on city streets.

Tactical Trousers and Propper

The Tactical Trouser by Propper will not fade, wrinkle or shrink. DuPont Teflon added to the durable 65% polyester / 35% cotton canvas makes it liquid and stain resistant. Available in Khaki, Black, Olive and Navy Blue.

  • durable 65% polyester / 35% cotton canvas fabric (superior to 100% cotton)
  • fade, wrinkle, and shrink resistant
  • DuPont® Teflon® treatment resists liquids and stains
  • sturdy snap closure w/ french fly
  • heavy duty double seat and double knee
  • internal knee pad insertion openings
  • action stretch waistband
  • 9-pocket design
  • handy D-ring to carry keys and tools
  • pocket-in-a-pocket wallet pockets on seat

Tactical Pants Comparison

5.11 Tactical Pants Reviews

“I brought 5 pairs of these to Iraq where I work as a contractor. They are comfortable and stand up to the KBR laundry well. They have a cell phone/radio/flashlight pocket, and pockets on the legs. The leg pockets are good for taking food out of the DFAC. There’s a metal ring for your keys or ID badge. There’s a strap on the hip where you can hang your Kevlar if you need to. The back pockets seal with Velcro so nothing will fall out. These are really good pants for hostile environments. Get the khaki color because it hides the dust well. The 5.11 Polo’s are good too.” – G.P.

“Outstanding product, durable, comfortable and functional. Cargo pocket space is great. Moving the mag pocket to the left side works much better.
Like the double knee with pad holder.” –
Gregory M. Palomares

“I’ve been buying and wearing 5.11 tactical cotton pants for 4 years. As much as I love the design I would MUCH rather pay $5 or $10 — or even more to bump up the quality of the dye (on black) and the fabric. They just fade and wear MUCH more than other black jeans shorts and shirts that I have had for years. 5.11 cotton fade and wear little holes on the edges of pockets and bottom hem very quickly. I use cold water and have a modern low heat dryer. I have a closet full of too many worn 5.11s that I can only use for ‘yard work’ and one pair fit for work that will stay nice for 3 or 4 months before it fades and wears out too. Again I have lots of black clothes that do hold up to which I am comparing these 5.11s. I do have a pair of your nylon pants that do fade less but cotton is warmer.” – Teach

“At last year’s SWAT Round-Up, I noticed that pretty much all the staff were wearing 5.11 Tactical Pants, and that these pants looked really good. I asked Mike Foreman, the Round-Up’s organizer and head honcho how he liked them, and he said they were great. Well that was enough for me.

I’ve had three pairs of my own 5.11 Tactical Pants for the last year (in beige, o.d. green, and navy blue), and have been…

very satisfied with them. They’ve been durable and comfortable, and are obviously well made. So far, they’ve held up well to repeated washings (and dryings) over the last year.

The 5.11 Tactical Pant is currently the premiere cargo pant worn by federal law enforcement and police personnel, particularly during training. Chances are, if you see someone in law enforcement wearing a pair of cargo pants or cargo shorts while training, they’re wearing 5.11 Tactical Pants.

So, are they perfect? Well, in my opinion, a couple of things could conceivably be modified for my personal tastes. I’ll call them my druthers. First, I’d like to see a “cell phone pocket” added to the left leg, just like the one on the right leg. The “cell phone” pocket is the narrow pocket on the right leg immediately to the left of the main front pocket. It looks like it’s the ideal size to hold a spare pistol magazine, and it basically is. The reason Royal Robbins should add this pocket to the left leg is so that righties like myself can use it to store a spare pistol mag and access that mag quickly with the left hand under stress for fast reloads.

The second modification I’d like to see is strengthened/reinforced pockets. When stuffing spare loaded (and thus heavy) pistol mags in your pockets, it’s reassuring to know that those pockets won’t rupture while running or after repeated washings. The pockets as they are now might hold up to plenty abuse, but I’m just not sure about this. Frankly, I’d have more faith in them if they were reinforced a bit with some more material.

Finally, I’d like to see waist and leg sizes in one inch increments as opposed to two inch increments. For instance, I’d like to try a pair of 5.11’s in a 31” waist and 33” leg. Right now, I have to settle for 30” waist, 32” leg because the 32” waist, 34” leg size pants are a little to wide and long for me. My 31”W, 32”L’s are a little too tight and short, but they work.

Understand that very few pieces of clothing are perfect. 5.11 Tactical Pants at least make the attempt, and are better than anything else I’ve found so far for tactical training. Hopefully, the good folks at Royal Robbins will read this piece and make my desired “modifications”. If they were to do so, they’d make what is currently a great product even better.

Can’t wait to try out one of their new shirts.” – David Crane

“I believe these are the best casual pants I’ve ever owned. Even though I’m not in a hostile environment (unless you count grad school as hostile), their durability and features are welcome additions. I love the weight of the cotton and the bar-tacking and other little touches — like the extra reinforcement at the pocket edges to protect against abrasion from clipping on knives, flashlights, etc. The pockets are roomy and lay flat when not in use. Although I generally avoid Velcro on clothing, they use the high quality stuff on these pants and it’s not annoying or cheap-looking at all. And if those are not reasons enough: the cellphone/magazine pocket is exactly the right size for an iPhone — I tested it with both the original and a 3G model and it’s almost as if it was custom made for it (I swear must have been).” – P.H. Adams

“I’ve been looking for a good pair of cargo pants for a while when I found these. That they come in colors other than black and khaki seems nothing short of miraculous.

I’m a professional computer geek who does a lot of network support, so having a bunch of pockets to stash an assortment of small tools, patch cords, and small bits of electronics is essential, in addition of course to the wallet that’s way too thick to sit on comfortably, the PDA, cellphone, iPod, and a digital camera.

My only complaint is that some have 5 belt loops and some have 7 and there doesn’t seem to be any way to specify which way you want it. my first pair of black pants had 7 belt loops, the second had only 5. My green pants came the opposite. The ability to specify would not be awry.

Personally, I’d also love to have another cellphone pocket on the other leg.” – littlegeekATcox

“5.11 pants are by far the most superior product on the market for the tactical professional. Plenty of cargo space and unique touches make these pants a must have. They stand up to rugged terrain and hostile situations. You will not find a more durable line of clothing. HIGHLY Recommended!” – Steven D. Hanks