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Review: Helikon-Tex Urban Tactical Pants
Sure, I’ve worn cargos before, but I’m happy to say the Urban Tactical Pants were my first experience in a “tactical” pants, and a rather rare tactical pants specimen at that!
I was upset to see that I wasn’t exactly the first person in the world to review Helikon-Tex’s new take on tactical pants. However, I’m quite certain I’m the first person stateside to take these trousers out to test. I have been wearing the pants now for several weeks and have been overall pleased with the fit and functionality of the pants.
It’s obvious that these pants are an amalgamation of the tactical pants that have come before it. You can see hints of a lot of previous tactical pants currently on the market mixed into the design—the 5.11-inspired back pockets and a hint of stretch material like Vertx. One of the most unique aspects of the pants is its Velcro fly. Not being much of a button-fly guy, I found the hook-and-loop closure to be functional indeed. I will say, however, that I worry about it wearing out over time.
The first time I tested out the Urban Tactical Pants, I was on a paintball field on a pretty hot day. The pants were breathable, even in the warm temps. It was approximately 85 degrees in direct sunlight. The 97 percent cotton and 3 percent spandex material did not feel stretchy. The spandex is not noticeable. The pants are definitely not lightweight and feel sturdy even though the material isn’t exactly the most comfortable.
- 97% cotton, 3% Spandex allowing fabric to stretch
- Gusseted crotch for mobility
- Knee area designed with “darts” to enable body shaping
- No metal elements
- Hook-and-loop fly
- Designed for shooting, hiking, climbing
At first I tried to wear the pants on my hips because that’s where other pants normally fall on me. I was obviously a novice when it came to tactical pants—I didn’t realize they are meant to sit high on the waist. As soon as I pulled up the waistline, the pants fit well. I felt like the waistline was a little too high for my taste. Another complaint? The pants were just a little too tight on my rear. I would have preferred a looser fit in that area.
While wearing the pants, I was able to move freely while on the ground doing army crawls. They were well equipped to handle tactical movements. The deep thigh pockets were able to hold a lot of paintball tubes, which would be great for ammo if you were out on the range or on a mission.
The pants were not too baggy like other tac pants I’ve seen. They were definitely not hammer pants. The reinforced and articulated knee shape was a nice touch. It wasn’t really noticeable, but I think that’s a good thing. Ff your pants don’t come to mind when you are being fired upon, then they are definitely doing their job. I didn’t really notice the gusseted crotch, yet I was never uncomfortable in that region. Again, my only complaint was that it was a little tight in the rear.
My girlfriend was probably the least excited about the new addition to my tactical wardrobe. She asked me if I plan to wear the pants outside the house. I am going to surprise her by wearing them with a tuxedo jacket to a nice dinner. I’ll let you guys know how that one goes!
Note: According to Helikon-Tex, Urban Tactical Pants will be available through European dealers only. The recommended dealer is hwesta.eu, who will ship worldwide. The suggested retail price is 69 EUR or about $97. Limited quantities of the pants will be available for purchase on July 1, 2011.