When you’re in the field getting your hands (and pants) dirty with some rough and tough work, you won’t be able to do it while wearing dress pants. That’s where tactical pants come in.
Tactical pants offer users an extra durable, lightweight option with plenty of storage in the form of multiple deep pockets. They are designed to withstand wear and tear and provide utmost flexibility to the user.
Best Tactical Pants to buy in 2018
With so many options to choose from, it’s quite easy to fall in decision paralysis. We have compiled a list of the best tactical pants currently available in the market. These pants offer a fine mix of durability, storage, resistance, and functionality.
We also have a buyer’s guide at the end to help you with the purchase of the product.
Our Top Pick
5.11 Stryke Tactical Pants
Popular and Ideal
The 5.11 Stryke Tactical Pants are extremely popular for the great mix of storage (12 pockets), durability, resistance, and comfort they offer. These pants come with extra deep cargo pockets and multiple small and large pockets for great storage. They are comfortable to wear and aesthetically pleasing to look at due to their modern design.
Tru-Spec 24-7 Pant
The Right Pants for the Best Price
Tru-Spec offers a lean and fantastic product in the form of the 24-7 tactical pants. These pants come with a whopping 14 pockets for a huge amount of storage space. They are incredibly affordable without compromising on material quality.
The 5.11 Men’s Stryke pants have set the bar for all tactical pants with their practical design and great performance in the field. This his consistently made the Stryke Tactical pants one of the most popular products in the market.
5.11 Men’s Stryke pants feature 12 pockets of varying sizes for all sorts of tactical, emergency, and survival gear. There are extra deep cargo pockets and a variety of small and large pockets, some with flaps and some zippered. In addition to the pockets, there is a elasticized waistband for comfort and proper fitting, reinforced knee regions for protection, and a gusseted crotch to prevent any tears when you need to stretch.
The fabric used in the creation of these pants is Flec-Tac – a proprietary fabric of the company. This fabric is also treated with Teflon to make it stain and moister resistant, so your pants always remain clean and dry.
Aesthetically, the 5.11 Stryke are one of the most pleasing to look at. They look modern and minimalistic without sacrificing the essential functionality of tactical pants. There’s very little to dislike about the 5.11 Stryke, and if you can get it for a reduced price, it should be the ideal tactical pant for any in-the-field individual.
- Very comfortable
- High quality
- Lots of pockets
- Look great
- Colors can fade quickly
If storage space and accessibility are what you’re looking for from tactical pants, then there’s little any other product can do to match the Blackhawk tactical pants. Pound for pound, you’ll be able to carry more in this super lightweight pant than any other on the list.
With more than 1,200 reviews on Amazon and 4.5/5 stars rating, the Blackhawk lightweight tactical pants are the ideal choice for all professionals who need to get their hands – or pants – dirty with some real work.
These pants are multi-purpose, allowing for storage of a variety of different things in the many pockets. Each pocket though has a flat bottom style, which makes it ideal for carrying a knife. There is also magazine storage, which is easy to access from a shooting position.
The Blackhawk Lightweight tactical pants are made with a hybrid 65/35 polyester/cotton blend. This provides great flex and gives them the signature lightweight feel, making them comfortable to wear yet highly functional. The crotch area is gusseted to allow extra mobility as well, and all major stress points are reinforced for enhanced durability.
- Tons of storage space
- Excellent for combat
- Resists stains
- Stay-tuck band can chafe easily
- Can be pricey
Propper takes inspiration from 5.11’s popular TacLite Pro pants to make a great product that is at a great value and doesn’t sacrifice functionality.
The Propper Lightweight tactical pants feature 9 pockets of different sizes for all types of gear, be it survival, emergency, or tactical. The pockets are all double stitched and sturdy, ensuring rigidity and durability and keeping your equipment tucked in well.
Using DuPoint fabric for the reinforcement of the 65/35 polyester/cotton combo, these pants handle stains incredibly well. Stains and liquids stay off the pants extremely well and keep these pants in great shape. The material choice and construction is also such that they are highly resistant to fading, shrinking, and wrinkles.
What makes buying these pants such a great value is that a matching belt and D-ring are included in the set. This is a great plus and given the quality of the belt, we feel the Propper Lightweight tactical pants are one of the best valued products in this list.
The only negative with these pants is the lack of available colors. If you’re not bothered by that though, the Propper Lightweight Tactical pants are the way to go.
- D-ring and belt come with pants
- Durable and strong
- Highy stain resistant
- Resistant to fading and shrinking
- Limited color choice
While most brands try to add all sorts of features and options in their tactical pants, Tru-Spec strips it down to the basics with the popular 24-7 tactical pants. The idea here is to not reinvent the wheel, instead providing customers the essentials that fulfill the purpose of a tactical pant.
The True-Spec 24-7 tactical pants are highly functional and very comfortable to wear. Moreover, they are the most affordable tactical pants on this list, and one of the most popular because of how much they offer for the price.
It’s visible from first viewing that this product isn’t skimping on quality despite its price. It uses the popular 65/35 polyester/cotton blend that is seen in most high-end tactical pants in modern times.
The design is incredibly comfortable and practical. It is also treated with a special Teflon coating like more expensive models to make the pants impervious to most stains and keep the pants dry.
These pants feature 14 total pockets, which is an incredible amount even for a tactical pant. Two of these pockets are for folding knives, two for cellphones, and two rear pockets for magazines in case you’re using these in combat.
Given the cost and functionality of these pants, it’s quite evident why they are so popular. The only two downsides with these pants are that the crotch is not gusseted like most other tactical pants, and the pants are very thin so they may not be suited for cold environment.
- Great value
- 14 pockets
- Great durability for the price
- Many size choices
- Good stain resistance
- Crotch area not gusseted
- Not suited for cold environment
Under Armour has dominated the sports apparel market with its fantastic set of clothing and wearable products, and now they’re foraying into the tactical gear niche to show their understanding of fabric and performance for the most extreme situations.
The Tactical Patrol Pants for Men from UA is a big step in the right direction for them and show how well the company understands clothing. These are comfortable, practical, and quality built tactical pants.
They are made from ultra durable rib stop material. Cut long, they are designed to fit over your boots. The 100% polyester design is quite different from the usual 65/35 blend of polyester and cotton, but with the super tough fabric, it performs exceptionally well.
Under Armor also add its own technology to repel water without sacrificing breathability. Like all high quality tactical pants, the Storm Tactical Patrol pants are reinforced at the knees and the crotch to provide superior durability.
Though expensive, Under Armor’s Storm is everything you’d look for in tactical pants. They may not have the most pockets, but that only gives them a cleaner look. The pockets featured are deep and highly spacious. The durability and comfort is what you’d come to expect from Under Armour, which is why it lands in our list.
- High quality material and design
- Great stain and water resistance
- Good reinforcement on knees and crotch
- Many size choices
- Not as many pockets
We end with the same company that we started. 5.11 is a powerhouse when it comes to tactical gear, and they arguably make the best set of tactical pants. Another incredible, slightly dearer product in their list is the Tactical Apex.
These tactical pants have all the features you’d come to expect, and then some. The most striking thing about them is how formal and modern they look on first viewing. These pants work tremendously well with plaid shirts and t-shirts because of their seemingly minimalistic design.
Right when you lift them off the stand, you’ll notice how incredibly light these pants are. In fact, they are the lightest tactical pants on this list, weighing in at just 7.2 ounces – that’s less than half a pound! The material used in making these tactical pants are Sorona, Cotton, and Poleyester in a 42/31/27 ratio.
The pants are made from what 5.11 call a “Flex-tac mechanical stretch Canvas” which is Teflon treated to repel all kinds of stains and is heavily moisture resistant. The crotch area is fully gusseted to prevent any wear and tear when you need to stretch fully, and the knee areas are reinforced for extra comfort and durability.
In addition to extremely high quality material, the pants also feature seven reinforced belt loops, reinforced knife clip area, and genuine YKK zippers. You also get plenty of storage space with the many pockets.
These tactical pants are also available in a lot of colors and plenty of sizes. This makes the Tactical Apex almost nearly perfect.
So what’s the downside then? The premium price. This is a very high-end product that will demand a high-end price. Depending on the size, these pants can cost up to $100. Regardless, you will know you’re getting your money’s worth with them.
- Premium quality materials
- Tons of storage space
- Extremely lightweight
- Reinforced knife clip
There’s a good chance you’re not buying tactical pants for fashion, so the most important thing you need to factor in before you buy is what type of work you’ll be doing with them on. While almost all tactical pants have great resistance to moisture, stain, and tearing, not all of them are practical for every field.
For example, military individuals will greatly benefit from tactical pants such as the 5.11 Apex or Blackhawk Lightweight because these two pants have additional pockets and clips for magazines and knives.
Those who require fewer pockets but greater comfort and overall performance during heavy movement will prefer tactical pants from Under Armor.
The application will largely depend on you, and for that you need to decide which pants and what features you want.
Resistance and durability are two things you shouldn’t compromise on. Sure, certain products have redundant features that may not be necessary for the purpose you’re buying them; but most of the reinforcements, additional treatment, and choice of material is there for good reasons.
Resistance to stains and moisture is very important if you’re going to be getting down and dirty. Unfortunately, resistance will not remain uniform across your tactical pants’ life, because often the material used to provide the resistance gradually wears off with usage.
However, it is still very important to have tactical pants that are resistant to stains and moisture and can remain dry. Wet pants not only feel uncomfortable, they can also damage equipment you may have stored in the pockets. For this reason, be sure to check how good the resistance of the pants you’re buying is.
Durability is tied with resistance because it also dictates how quickly the resistance deteriorates among other things.
Reinforced knee areas and a gusseted crotch are quite important if you will be moving and stretching around a lot. The latter can be ignored if you don’t have extreme movements, but we don’t recommend on skimping on either features if you plan on moving a lot in your tactical pants.
How much storage your tactical pant should have will directly depend on you. The more pockets, the less aesthetically pleasing the tactical pants may get, as they’ll get baggier.
However, a large number of pockets is functionally invaluable. Storage is not limited to pockets alone though; things like loops or hook tools are also featured in certain pants.
You want to make sure that the pants not only have great storage, but also easy accessibility. Deep pockets are great but they shouldn’t devour whatever you put in them – you don’t want to have to search inside your own pants for half a minute trying to find that screwdriver you just put in your front pocket.
Tactical pants with zipper or hook and loop closures are the best. They provide easy access and also keep your items secure.
What kind of professions can make use of tactical pants?
A very wide range of professionals can make great use of tactical pants. Construction, security, military, mechanics, and medical professionals who work on the field are just a few of many who would find tactical pants invaluable.
Will tactical pants look awkward in normal situations?
That depends on what you’re wearing them with and which tactical pants you bought. Some tactical pants are designed so well that they’re hard to differentiate from regular pants from a distance. Others are egregiously baggy. If you’re wearing tactical pants, chances are it’s not for normal situations anyway.
What should I look for in the pocket designs?
The most important thing to look for in the pocket design of tactical pants are how deep they are. Deeper pockets will keep your items more secure and prevent them from falling out. Of course, deep pockets also give off the baggy effect which not many will want, but generally tactical pants are bought for their functionality over how they look.
How reliable are the size charts?
Unfortunately, size charts aren’t reliable at all. Thankfully, Amazon offers a “Fit” specification with all wearables that suggest how well the sizes represent actual fitting for the consumers who bought them. Any product with a fitting rate of more than 80% should fit well enough to your body as long as you have measured accurately and buy according to them.
Why do my tactical pants look baggy?
Tactical pants tend to give off the baggy look and won’t conform to your body. There are some pants like the 5.11 Apex that have a modern look to them, and there are certain ‘slimmer’ profiles as well, but overall you should accept that tactical pants will always look baggier than regular jeans and other pants.