Do you have a highly active and functional lifestyle that demands you to be prepared for whatever comes your way? Quickly becoming the standard among the military, law enforcements and activity enthusiasts the traditional cargo pant has morphed into a whole new type of pant, the tactical pant.
Tactical pants are highly durable and functional pants featuring easy access to tools and made from reinforced materials, making them ideal for a range of different job uniforms and activities. With the rise in popularity of these utilitarian pants come in countless designs and styles, giving the consumer a wide market to choose a pair of the best tactical pants for whatever they are doing in life.
Tactical pants range in price, starting low(around $30-$40) and can go well above $100 dollars. Following are some common design and features of the best tactical pants to take into consideration before making a purchase.
- 1 Fabric
- 2 Construction
- 3 Waistband
- 4 Features
- 5 The Top Tactical Pants on the Market
- 6 5.11 Tactical Stryke Pants
- 7 TRU-SPEC Men’s 24-7 Tactical Pant
- 8 CQR Men’s EDC Assault Cargo Tactical Pants
- 9 5.11 TacLite Pro Tactical Pants
- 10 5. LA Police Gear Operator Tactical Pants
- 11 FREE SOLDIER Four Seasons Scratch-Resistant Duty Pants
- 12 Tacvasen Tactical Rip-Stop Combat Airsoft Tactical Pants
- 13 Survival Tactical Airsoft Wargame Tactical Pants
- 14 SunSnow Men’s 101 Airborne Cargo Pants
Since these pants are usually worn during active situations it is important that they be constructed of durable, but breathable and comfortable fabrics. The type of fabric will determine its durability but also will determine how breathable in different temperature conditions.
Polyester/Cotton – Traditional tactical pants are generally made from a polyester and cotton blend that is ideal for cool to cooler temperatures. You will see most of these pants are made from a 65% polyester/35% cotton blend that is still lightweight, yet functional.
For warmer climates, though, it’s best to switch to a lightweight tactical pant that has either a different fabric blend ratio or different fabric blend altogether so as not to get overheated.
Nylon, Lycra/Cotton – Another consideration is the amount of movement and flexibility you need from your pants. If you are highly active then synthetic materials are going to feel better than traditional cotton/polyester blends. A cotton/lycra blend fabric will give you the range of movement that you are seeking and is a military and sports favorite.
Specialty Fabrics – There are a range of different durable materials that designers are using for tactical pants and they also feature upgraded mechanical fabrics that allow for multi-way movement. Rip-Stop fabrics have become the standard, allowing for greater durability and wear-and-tear. Fabric coatings have also become popular with Teflon-coated materials that are scratch, wind, liquid and dirt resistant.
The design and construction of your tactical pants will make or break them. They are designed to be durable and long-lasting, able to withstand a lot of wear and tear. Look for triple stitching and bartacking, a special stitch for reinforcing garments, at major seams and stress points for maximum durability. Higher quality pants will include dependable, high-quality, ‘YKK’ zippers and ‘Prym’ snaps. Reinforced paneling in high traffic areas, such as the seat and knees is also part of the standard.
Having a full range of motion is a necessity for some and your waistband plays a part. Having an adjustable waistband can be a vital part in your comfort and abilities. High quality tactical pants often feature a self-adjusting tunnel design that will give you the flexibility but fit you need.
Keep in mind that if you are looking for an adjustable waistband that will allow for gun holstering without having to go up a pants size, you will want to look for an elastic waistband that is adjustable.
There are countless variations of features offered for tactical pants. A couple of design elements seem to be a constant, such as the front pocket and some form of cargo pockets, but designers have now brought to the market an array of accessory pocket designs and elements. Whether you are protecting the streets, hiking or joining an intense wargame, there is a tactical pant designed for you.
Pockets – Military and law enforcement designed pants often feature specialized sized pockets and other various specialized compartments, loops and pockets for all manner of accessories. Special pockets for gun cartridges, phones and other tools can be found in police and military inspired pants.
Elements – Additional design elements, like D-rings and strapping add in functionality.
Knee Pads – It is also common to find tactical pants with built-in knee pad pockets for knee protection. Most often the knee pads aren’t included, but there are some that include the knee pads with the pants.
The Top Tactical Pants on the Market
Following is list of the best tactical pants offered on the market today. They range in brands, materials, features, styles and price. Keep in mind that you will want to look for the right fabric and construction with high quality elements and features that will fit your lifestyle.
- Comes in: Khaki, Battle Brown, Black, Charcoal, Coyote, Dark Navy, Stone, Storm, TDU Green, Tundra
- 12 pockets
- FlexTac Rip-Stop fabric
- 76 oz weight
- Mid-price range $$
Fabric – 65% polyester/35% cotton Teflon-coated FlexTac 4-way mechanical Rip-Stop fabric that has been rinse washed.
Construction – Extra duty heavy construction with seam and stress-point bartacking, a gusseted crotch for flexibility, YKK zippers and Prym snaps. Reinforced knee and seat panels with articulated knees that have kneepad ready pockets.
Waistband – Self adjusting tunnel waistband, with heavy duty belt loops.
Features – 12 pockets, including: 2 front pockets, 2 regular pockets, 2 cargo pockets, 2 back pockets.
Made from two-way mechanical stretch fabric, these ultra-durable pants are perfect for the active man. They feature 12 pockets, double deep cargo pockets and articulated knees for total functionality. Super high-quality tactical pants that are long-lasting and fashionable.
- Reinforced knee with kneepad compartments
- Comes in: Black, Brown, Charcoal, Coyote, Khaki
- Teflon-coated Rip-Stop fabric
- 5 oz. weight
- Mid-price $$
- Fabric – 54% polyester/35% cotton Teflon-coated Rip-Stop fabric.
Construction – Heavy duty construction with high-quality YKK brass zipper and Prym snap closure. Extra-wide belt loop and extra deep pockets. Double reinforced knee paneling with knee pad pockets.
Waistband – Self-adjusting slider waist band with no visible gathering and no need for adjustable side tabs. Will work for both paddle and inside-the-pants gun holsters.
Features – Cargo pockets with hook & loop closure and included magazine compartments, external cell pocket on top of cargo pocket, 2 accessory pockets, 2 regular pockets and 2 back pockets.
These lightweight and stylish tactical pants feature tons of storage with deep front pockets, 2 accessory pockets and cargo pockets with separate areas for magazines. Made from Teflon coated Rip-Stop fabric these pants are durable and comfortable, making them one of the best tactical pants on the market.
- 8 multi-purpose pockets & 1 front flap pocket
- Fade, shrink & wrinkle resistant
- Reinforced knee and seat panels with Knee pad compartments
- Comes in: Black, Charcoal, Green, Tundra, Stone, Coyote, Navy
- Fair priced $
Fabric – 65% polyester/35% cotton Rip-Stop Duratex (works like Teflon) fabric.
Construction – Durable construction with metal alloy button and zipper and durable mounted stopper closure. Reinforced knee and seat panels with kneepad pockets.
Waistband – Elastic waistband for easy fit and adjustment.
Features – Features large deep front and back pockets with discreet front slash pocket, 2 large cargo pockets, front waistband D-ring and upgraded front flap pocket. Also included reinforced knee pockets allow for knee pads.
These multi-functional military inspired tactical pants are made from Duratex fabric, repelling liquids, dirt and more. These pants are made for function and comfort from military operations to recreational outdoor living.
- Reinforced knees and back with kneepad compartments
- 12 large capacity pockets
- Comes in: Khaki, Battle Brown, Black, Charcoal, Coyote, Dark Navy, Stone, Storm, TDU Green, Tundra
- 2 oz. weight
- Mid to Upper priced, depending on size/color, etc. $$-$$$
Fabric – Lightweight 65% polyester/35% cotton FlexTac HT Teflon-coated Rip-Stop fabric for a wear-resistant long-lasting pant.
Construction – These pants feature a durable gusseted construction for flexibility and strength using triple-stich reinforcement and bartacking at seams and stress points. YKK zippers and Prym snaps closures for high quality design. Double-thick reinforced knee and seat panels. The knife and magazine pockets are reinforced with Cordura nylon.
Waistband – Self-adjusting tunnel waistband for maximum adjustment.
Features – 2 low profile cargo pockets, magazine/cell pocket, rear strap and slash pocket design and rear web strap, external knife pocket, front waistband D-ring are all featured on these pants.
5.11 makes some of the best tactical pants on the market, with their Pro pants they give you super-reinforced tactical pants made with Teflon enforced FlexTac material and featuring 12 large pockets, a self-adjusting tunnel waistband and double thick knees. These pants come in a variety of colors and are made to be tough enough to take on any outdoor activity.
- Reinforced knees & seat
- 10 pockets
- Comes in: Coyote Brown, Sierra, Old Green, Black, Charcoal, Khaki, Brown, Navy
- 6 oz. weight
- Fairly priced $
Fabric – 65% polyester/35% cotton lightweight Rip-Stop fade resistant fabric.
Construction – Reinforced double fabric knee and seat construction with a gusseted crotch for flexibility. They incorporate a YKK plastic zipper with a brass tac-stud button closure.
Waistband – Elastic waistband for easy holster accommodation.
Features – These pants offer slanted Velcro cargo pockets with organization system, dual front D-rings, front easy slip through access pockets, 2 lower leg Velcro pockets and 2 back Velcro pockets.
These super popular tactical pants are a favorite and for good reason! These pants are affordable, well made and have lots of features! These lightweight, airport friendly pants have lots of pockets and are a favorite of law enforcement.
- Fitness and styleinspired design
- 11 large pockets
- Reinforced knees
- Comes in: Black, Dark Green, Brown, Dark Camouflage, Gray
- Mid-priced $$
Fabric – 50% cotton/50% nylon Teflon-coated Rip-Stop fabric for maximum flexibility, durability and breathability.
Construction – Fashionable and fitness minded design and high-quality construction featuring 3D tailoring. with YKK Zipper and brass snap. Reinforced knee and seat panels.
Waistband – Velcro side adjustable waistband with wide nylon belt loops and brass buckle belt.
Features – These pants offer 2 front hand pockets, 2 front velcro cargo pockets, 2 velcro back pockets, 2 back shank pockets, 1 concealed side pocket, waistband loop and Molle webbing for hanging accessories.
Made with fitness and style in mind, these tactical pants feature a Teflon coated breathable fabric in a contemporary design. They feature 11 different pockets total and high-quality tailoring and details.
- Integrated kneepad construction, with included kneepads
- Comes in: Black, ACU, CP, Desert, Jungle, Jungle Digital
- Mid-priced $$
Fabric – 35% cotton/65% polyester Rip-Stop fabric.
Construction – Heavy duty construction with zipper and low-profile Velcro closure. Features pocketed and reinforced knee panels. Adjustable ankle Velcro closures.
Waistband – Low profile waistband, please make sure to check sizing chart before buying. If you would like a looser waistband please consult sizing chart.
Features – These tactical pants feature 2 front pockets, 2 front Velcro pockets, 2 velcro cargo pockets, 2 velcro back pockets and 2 velcro ankle pockets.
For those wargame or airsoft enthusiasts here is a perfect tactical pant for you. Integrated knee pad design with heavy duty Rip-Stop fabric construction and plenty of pocket room!
- 16 accessory pockets
- Air circulation system
- Kneepad construction, with included kneepads
- Comes in: Typhon Camo, Black, FG, Coyote Brown, AU, Mandrake Camo, Multicam, Nomad Camo, Ranger Gree
- Higher End priced $$$
Fabric – Cotton/polyester Cordura Rip-Stop fabric.
Construction – These pants have a durable design with brass snaps and zipper with a built-in air circulation system. Simply open the mesh-lined knee panels and crotch area for air flow. The knee panels are double reinforced and have built-in pockets for the included knee pads.
Waistband – Elastic waistband with double snap closure with double belt loops
Features – 2 front pockets, 2 back pockets , 2-way access pocket, small gear pocket, 2 velcro cargo pockets, 2 velcro back pockets, 2 velcro ankle pockets
These comfortable tactical pants are made with durable Rip-Stop fabric in a variety of colors. These pants feature 16 different accessory pockets and convertible panels that can be opened for air circulation. Add in interchangeable knee pad reinforcement options to make for stylish and functional pants for outdoor fun.
- Comes in: Army Green, Camouflage, Khaki, Black
- 9 pockets
- Affordably priced $
Fabric – 100% Cotton fabric, very breathable.
Construction – Sturdy construction with zipper closure and zipper ankle detail. Reinforced knee paneling and stylish design elements as well.
Waistband – This is a fitted waistband, please consult sizing chart before buying.
Features – These pants include 2 front hand pockets, 1 front zippered pocket, 1 small front accessory pocket, 2 back zippered pockets and side zipper cargo pockets.
Looking for an affordable and classic design? These discreet tactical pants are functional and stylish while bringing functionality as well.