If you are an officer of the law, a firefighter, an outdoorsman, or someone like me who is a bit of a do-it-yourself guy, tactical pants are a godsend. They are easy to clean, lightweight, rugged, and offer you all the space for your essential tools and kits you need to get the job done in 2021.
Long story short:
When it comes to practical and functional apparel, there is no alternative to tactical pants.
These days, tactical pants are available in various styles to suit specific professionals. Furthermore, you can modify and customize them to suit your particular needs.
So, as you can imagine, there is no shortage of combat pants on the market. But as with everything else, not all pants on the market are worth your money. In fact, trying to search for one can be frustrating, to say the least.
Well, that’s where we come in! In this article, you will find the best tactical pants that you can buy today. But before we jump to it, let’s see what features you should look for while purchasing a tactical pant.
Table of Contents
- Comparison Table For 10 Top Rated Tactical Pants for Men
- Things To Look for in Tactical Pants
- Tactical Pants Reviews 2021 and Why Should You Buy?
- 5.11 TacLite Pro – Stylish & Suitable for Everyday Wear
- TRU-SPEC 24-7 – Most Versatile With Knee Pads
- Vertx Men’s Original – Comfortable in Hot Weather
- 5.11 Tactical Stryke Pant – Great Value for Money
- Helikon-Tex Urban Line – Durable and Sleek
- Propper Lightweight Pant – Perfect Blend of Practicability and Usability
- BLACKHAWK! Tactical Pants – Pockets Galore!
- LA Police Gear Operator – Best for Warm Weather
- CQR Lightweight EDC Assault Cargo – Lightweight
- Under Armour Storm Patrol Pants – Most Durable
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- There are many brands out there. Which is the best one?
- Do I even need a tactical pant?
- How is a tactical pant different from my favorite pair of jeans?
- Are cargo pants and tactical pants the same?
- What are the types of pockets and their uses?
- What color should I buy?
- Is Teflon coated fabric waterproof?
- Are tactical pants suitable for all year round wearing?
- What should be the priority while choosing a tactical pant- comfort, durability, fitting, or style?
Comparison Table For 10 Top Rated Tactical Pants for Men
Things To Look for in Tactical Pants
If you want to pick out the most affordable tactical pants in the market, then you should know what to look for in one, right? Here are some of the most important features to look for when picking out the top-rated tactical pants.
Durability is one of the most important features to look for when picking out a tactical pant. You want a pair of pants that can handle anything that you can throw at them. Once you put them on, you should not be worried about ripping or damaging them during regular usage.
- Ripstop nylon is one of the best materials if your profession involves exposure to extreme weather elements.
- Canvas is also a material of choice for some tactical pants as it is quite comfortable to wear. That said, the canvas can be a bit heavy for some folks.
- A blend of polyester and ripstop is the most popular material that is both lightweight and durable at the same time.
Weather resistance is also quite high on the priority of many professionals. If you plan to work in rain or snow, you want a tactical pant that is waterproof so that the weather won’t slow you down. The best water-resistant fabric is usually coated with a special coating called Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating. Look for the DWR rating if you want a genuinely water-resistant pant.
If the pants you are picking are not practical then the whole exercise is moot, isn’t it? So, when it comes to choosing the best tactical pants, make sure that they are practical to wear. The pants that you buy should be comfortable to move in and not obstruct your movement in any way shape or form.
Furthermore, they should be lightweight and easy to carry. Trust me; you don’t want a pair of pants that weigh you down.
When it comes to the waistbands, make sure that you are looking out for elastic, pleated, or gusseted bands. They are more flexible and allow you to move better, especially in crowded spaces.
Another feature that makes tactical pants practical is the pockets. Ideally, you want deep pockets that allow you to store anything you want. Some manufacturers do offer multiple pockets, but they are too small for anything practical to store.
Even if you have all the money in the world, there is no point in overpaying for stuff, right? Tactical pants come in a wide range of prices, and some of them are worth the extra few bucks, but not all. Make sure that you are weighing the features against the price before picking one.
Tactical Pants Reviews 2021 and Why Should You Buy?
Now that we know what to look for in good tactical pants let’s take a look at the ten best military pants on the market that you can buy.
5.11 TacLite Pro – Stylish & Suitable for Everyday Wear
If you are looking for a stylish tactical pant that is as ready for the streets as it is for the jungle, then look no further.
The 5.11 TacLite pants are lightweight, durable, and most importantly, comfortable to wear. They are arguably the best tactical pants for everyday wear.
The pants are made from fabric that is a blend of 65% polyester and 35% ripstop. It is one of those optimal blends that are both durable and lightweight at the same time.
One of the best features that I love about these pants is that all the seams are triple-stick reinforced, and there is an extensive bartacking at significant seams and stress points adding to the durability of this pair.
When it comes to pockets, the TacLite Pro has two deep cargo pockets, along with one pocket for storing an extra magazine of ammo or a cellphone. The fabric has an HT-Teflon Water Resistant coating making weather-proof as well.
The zippers used in the pants are also high-quality YKK zippers. Additional features include Prym snaps; hip mounted D-ring and clip loop for carrying anything from tactical gear to small tools.
There is a holster-friendly belt loop in it. It really works well with a gun belt.
All in all, the 5.11 TacLite Pro offers excellent value for money, and you should check it out. No wonder they have some of the best reviews out there!
- Very comfortable to wear
- Available in many colors and patterns
- Lightweight and durable
- Deep pockets
- Wide and durable belt loops
- The belt loop on the right side can be a bit of a problem if you plan to mount a gun holster. However, it can be easily removed
TRU-SPEC 24-7 – Most Versatile With Knee Pads
TRU-SPEC is one of the most well-known names in the tactical gear market. So, I had quite high expectations for their top-of-the-line tactical pants. And let me tell you, they don’t disappoint even a bit!
They are comfortable, durable and elegant. I am thoroughly impressed with the build quality and the craftsmanship of these bad boys as well.
The pants are made from a blend of polyester and cotton making them lightweight and comfortable at the same time.
One of the best features of these pants has to be the self-adjusting slider waistband. The TRU-SPEC combat pants are one of the few tactical pants out there with such a waistband.
Long story short, these pants look very sleek.
The TRU-SPEC pants are versatile with as many as 14 extra deep pockets! These are the maximum number of pockets that I have seen on any military-style pants. The positioning of these pockets is also excellent. You can reach all of them with ease, which speaks volumes about the design of the pants.
Each cargo pocket has a couple of internal magazine compartments as well, that come in handy if you into hunting. I won’t hesitate to put them in the ranks of some of the best tactical cargo pants in the market.
The knees of the pants are reinforced with a padded material. They also have openings for insertion of external knee pads if you need that extra layer of protection, making them one the best tactical pants with knee pads on the market.
All in all, I am thoroughly impressed with hat TRU-SPEC has been able to achieve in these. If you are looking for a pair of tactical pants that are versatile and comfortable, do give these a try. You won’t be disappointed!
- Good build quality
- 14 extra-deep cargo pockets
- Self-adjusting slider waistband
- Good quality stitching
- Reinforced knees with an option to insert external knee pads
- The only issue that I have with these pants is the cell phone pocket. It is too small to hold modern large-screen phones.
Vertx Men’s Original – Comfortable in Hot Weather
The Vertex Original pants are perhaps the most comfortable ones that I have ever worn. Thanks to the soft cotton fabric used in the pants, they never felt like military pants when I tried them on. Consequently, these are perhaps the best tactical pants for hot weather.
The fabric is 98% cotton and 2% Lycra, which makes the pants feel very natural on the skin, unlike other pants that use synthetic blends.
The Gusseted crotch area is also an excellent touch to improve the comfort level and overall usability. The side stretch waistband is also very comfortable, and it is good to see tactical pants with a high rise in the back to maintain a proper fit even when you are bending over or sitting down.
The sufficiently deep cargo pockets are placed at the right height that is easy to reach whether you are standing up or sitting down.
There is also a concealed zipper pocket on the right side to sore your valuables including a wallet and a cell phone.
The articulated knee design also deserves a special mention. Not many manufacturers get the knee placement right, but Vertex nailed it with these pants.
I love these pants, and if comfort is your priority, then you won’t be disappointed a bit with these pants.
- One of the most comfortable pants out there
- Available in as many colors and patterns
- High rise in the back for a perfect fit
- Articulate knee design
- There is no water-resistant coating, the cotton material absorbs moisture and take a long time to dry.
5.11 Tactical Stryke Pant – Great Value for Money
We have already seen an offering from 5.11 on this list. But what makes the Stryke different from the TacLite Pro that we saw earlier is that value it offers regarding features and durability. No wonder, the Stryke is among the best-selling tactical pants out there.
The best feature of the pants is the patented fabric that 5.11 uses in their construction.
The two-way mechanical stretch fabric that is a blend of polyester and cotton ripstop makes these light without losing any durability.
I also loved the feel of the material used in these pants. The stitching is also great. There is a triple stitch in high-stress areas that make these quite rugged.
With as many as twelve pockets that are placed just right and deep enough, there is nothing to complain about in the storage department. There are also a couple of smaller pockets that have high-quality zippers to protect the contents.
There is a Teflon coating on the fabric making them water and stain-resistant. These pants are fade proof and wrinkle proof as well, which is always a welcome addition. One more feature that I loved about these pants is how effective they are at shielding your legs from the wind.
Other features that make these quite comfortable to wear include a self-adjusting waistband and a gusseted crotch. The Prym snaps and YKK zippers are also quite durable.
Overall, these are one of the best tactical pants on the market that offer the best features at a very reasonable price. Do check these out!
- Very comfortable to wear
- The patented fabric is extra durable
- Self-adjusting waistband and a fully gusseted crotch make these quite a pleasure to wear
- 12 tactical pockets with a couple of extra deep pockets for tactical gear
- If I am honest, there is not much to complain here. That said, these are a bit pricey compared to the competition. But again, you get what you pay for, don’t you?
Helikon-Tex Urban Line – Durable and Sleek
The Helikon-Tex Urban Line tactical pants are one of the best-designed pants out there. They have successfully managed to bring practicality and style together with these bad boys.
One of the best things that I liked about these pants is the fit. I have used many tactical pants over the years, and not many have as good a fit as these. As a result, they are so comfortable to wear that after a while you won’t even notice them, which says a lot about the fit and finish.
The reason for the high level of comfort with the Helikon-Tex is the choice of the material. It is made from a blend of 60% cotton, 37% polyester, and 3% spandex. The blend makes them quite flexible, especially in the waist area.
The best thing about these pants, however, has to be durability. Despite them being so comfortable, I was quite taken by the strength of the fabric itself and the craftsmanship as well. These pants even have extra padding on the knees built right in the pants themselves, how cool is that?
The low profile and deep pockets make it easy for you to access them. There are as many as 12 loads bearing pockets across the front, rear, and thighs of the pants that speak volumes about their practicality.
The pants also feature enhanced stitching and a water-resistant coating making them wearable in any weather conditions.
Overall, I love these pants, and if you are looking the best fitting tactical pants that look awesome, then you should check them out too!
- Stylish and very comfortable to wear
- Available in as many as 11 different colors and patterns
- 12 deep pockets for storing anything and everything
- Weather resistant coating
- Padded knees and seat
- The only problem I had with these pants is the Velcro front closure. I would have preferred a snap or a button, but it is not a deal-breaker.
Propper Lightweight Pant – Perfect Blend of Practicability and Usability
Popper manages to blend practicality and usability in this design. The Popper Men’s Lightweight Tactical pants are as suited in the field as they are in an urban work environment. I have seen far too many combat pants that make you stand out in an urban setting like a sore thumb; but not these!
They manage to be of great tactical value without being super weird for regular use.
Another thing that stood out in these pants is the fact that they sport a much slimmer design compared to some of the other similarly priced pants out there. These are much quieter as a result and easy on the eyes. That said, the slimmer fit is a bit more constricting compared to the more relaxed fit of some other brands.
When it comes to the choice of the material, Popper scores full points here. The pants are made from a blend of cotton and polyester that is comfortable and durable at the same time.
I also appreciated the action stretch waistband that eliminates the visible elastic band on the sides, making these pants look much sleeker and comfortable to wear as well.
And when it comes to water resistance, you have a Dupont ® Teflon coating that stands well under normal usage. Nine tactically located pockets are deep enough for most of your kits and tools. There are oversized tunnel loops for the belt and reinforced knees for better protection when you are on all fours.
I also appreciated the fact the legs on these pants are cut a bit longer to accommodate hiking boots as well. And the D-clip is also very much present as well.
Overall, I have no problems recommending these pants whatsoever. They offer a great value for money and if you are looking for a design that is a perfect blend of practicality and usability, do give these a try.
- Good design and a slimmer fit
- 9 deep pockets for holding anything you want to store
- Self-adjusting waistband; no visible elastic around the waist
- Reinforced stitching
- Due to the slimmer fit, these pants don’t offer as much mobility as some others on this list. But if you are prepared to sacrifice some mobility for style, then more power to you!
BLACKHAWK! Tactical Pants – Pockets Galore!
BLACKHAWK! has hit a home run when it comes to the comfort and fir with these tactical pants. These are perhaps the best fitting tactical pants that I have tried in a while. But what struck me when I first tried them on was the sheer number of pockets they have managed to pack in these pants. I mean, you can carry everything with you if you have one of these on!
Made from the choice blend of 65% polyester and 35% cotton, the BLACKHAWKS! Feel quite comfortable to wear. The fabric has good strength and can withstand almost any work condition. The double layering in the seat area and the knees add an extra level of comfort and durability in these pants.
If you are worried about rain or snow, then don’t! With DuPont® DWR treatment, the fabric is waterproof and stain-proof. The extra-wide belt loops make it means that you can wear belts that are as wide as 1.75 inches! The zippers and Prym snaps add to the durability of the pants.
Do you hate when your shirt rides up even after you have tucked it in? If yes, then you are in for a bit of a sweet surprise with these pants. These come with a silicone strip in the waistband that keeps the shirt neatly tucked in while you are hard at work! Impressive, isn’t it?
Apart from the plethora of pockets almost everywhere, the cargo pockets on the legs are top-opening mag pockets. There is also a double front belt loop in the design as well. There is also a slot in the knees so that you can slip in external knee pads for additional support.
The pants are worth the few extra bucks that they cost. If you are looking for a pair of law enforcement pants with an aggressive profile, look no further.
- Many, many pockets for all your storage needs
- Durable fabric
- Fully gusseted crotch for extra comfort and mobility
- Reinforced seat and knees with slits to insert external knee pads for added support
- Although there is no real complaint that I have with these pants, in my experience, the darker colors do tend to fade a bit.
LA Police Gear Operator – Best for Warm Weather
I have used tactical pants in all weather conditions, and although most of them perform well in the winters, they overheat during the warmer months.
So, I was looking for a pair of tactical pants to wear during the warmer months that will keep me cool and without compromising the quality and durability. My search ended with the LA Police Gear.
If you are looking for a great one that will keep you cool and still have that rugged built and usability, look no further.
The LAPG pants are one of the most comfortable pants that I have tried thanks recently to the blend of cotton and polyester. The fabric is very comfortable, lightweight and most of all keeps your legs nice and cool. The elastic waistband also helps with the comfort level as well. There is plenty of space for you to move around and you don’t feel constricted even one bit.
When it comes to the hardware, the LAPG has you covered as well. They use standard, high-quality YKK zippers that are plastic to keep the weight down. The front closure is a brass stud that will last you forever.
The cargo pockets are also very well designed in these pants as well. The pockets are slanted at an angle to make it easy for you to reach in and pull out the contents. Even the two front pockets are good sized and can accommodate almost any modern cell phone you might be using.
The pants also feature a reinforced seat and knee area for that extra durability and comfort.
If you are looking for tough, durable tactical pants that will keep you cool while you sweat away, do check these out.
- Great durability
- Elastic waistband
- Fully gusseted crotch
- Reinforced seat and knees
- These pants do not have the best water-proof coating on the market. It is perhaps for this reason that these are so comfortable. So, if you plan on working in rain, give these pants a pass.
CQR Lightweight EDC Assault Cargo – Lightweight
The one thing that sets CQR pants apart from the competition is the weight. They have to be best lightweight tactical pants that I own. That said, there is no compromise on the durability or practicality of the design whatsoever.
The pants are made from fabric that has a blend of 65% polyester and 35% ripstop cotton. The material is quite durable and lightweight at the same time.
Another thing that works for the pants is the high durability alloy snap button and zipper with a durable mounted stopper. All these make the pants rugged while maintaining the lightweight.
The pants also have a water-repellent coating, and you can wear them comfortably in any weather condition. When it comes to the pockets, there are plenty of those as well. Eight, to be precise.
The pants are fade resistant and in my experience, don’t wrinkle that much either, which is a good sign.
If you are in the market for excellent value-for-money, lightweight tactical pants, then look no further.
- One of the lightest tactical pants out there
- 8 deep cargo pockets
- Water resistant, wrinkle resistant and fade proof fabric
- Reinforced seam stitching
- Affordable price
- There was a bit of a synthetic smell to these when I received mine. Although the smell went away in a couple of days, it still bothered me for those two days.
Under Armour Storm Patrol Pants – Most Durable
Under Armour has taken sports apparel by a storm and they are rapidly growing in the tactical apparel field as well. The Storm Patrol pants are one of the most durable pants that I own, period.
They are comfortable, practical and extremely well-built.
The pants are made from a 100% polyester material which gives it that excellent durability.
Whether you are heading out into the woods to planning to work on your roof, these pants won’t let you down. They are cut long to accommodate hiking boots, which in my view is a nice touch.
Although the pants are made from 100% polyester material, they have certain breathability. The fabric is not entirely hydrophobic, and you won’t feel like wearing plastic. To sum it up, I was pleasantly surprised with the comfort offered by the pants.
When it comes to pockets, these pants don’t disappoint either. Although I would have loved to see pockets that are a bit deeper than they are on these, for the most part, they don’t disappoint.
There is no reinforcement in the seat or knees, which can be a deal breaker for some. Another disappointing omission is the D-rings on the belt loops. That said, what these pants lack in this department, they make up in style and comfort.
If you are looking for a pair of tactical pants that are comfortable that will last for a long time, these are worth your time.
- Excellent durability
- Comfortable fir
- Multiple pockets that are sufficiently deep
- Breathable fabric
- No D-rings
- No reinforced knees
- Water-proofing could have been better
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
There are many brands out there. Which is the best one?
Well, the answer to this question depends on what you are looking for in tactical pants. While brands such as 5.11 and Under Armour offer excellent quality and durability, they are priced slightly on the higher side. TRU-SPEC is known for elegant design. So, if quality and durability is your preference, go with 5.11 or Under Armour, and you will be happy.
Do I even need a tactical pant?
Many people have this question before they buy one. But trust me, once they own it, tactical pants are one of the most used pieces of garments they have. Whether you are an avid wilderness survivalist, a law enforcement official, a hunter or just an average joe who likes to get things done around the house, these pants are a must for you. They are made to handle anything you throw at them.
Whether it is cold, raining, snowing or anything in between, a pair of good quality pants can handle them all. Besides, they have a ton of pockets that can carry all the equipment you need to get the job at hand done. So, to answer the question, yes, you do need a pair of tactical pants in your wardrobe!
How is a tactical pant different from my favorite pair of jeans?
Well, for starters, your jeans are not made for you to work in them. The fabric is not water resistant, and neither is it durable to handle the harsh work conditions. Tactical pants, on the other hand, are made from a highly durable ripstop fabric that is coated with a water-resistant coating to keep them from getting wet.
Furthermore, most law enforcement pants offer added padding in the seat and knee area that makes them quite comfortable to work in if your job requires a lot of squatting or kneeling.
Another great feature of such pants is the presence of multiple deep, cargo-style pockets that can hold anything from an ammunition magazine to a pair of pliers with ease. Many tactical pants have a ton of pockets specifically designed to carry everything that you will need for your work whether you are a technician or a medic.
Are cargo pants and tactical pants the same?
Well, let me put it this way, all tactical pants can be called cargo pants, but not all cargo pants are tactical pants. By definition, cargo pants and combat pants share a lot of common traits such as a loose and comfortable fit and tons of pockets. But the similarities end there.
While cargo pants are made from cotton or similar fabric, tactical pants are made from some sturdy and durable material which is a combination of ripstop cotton and polyester & are made to take some beating and rough use. So, there are certainly some major differences between these two kinds.
What are the types of pockets and their uses?
Tactical or military pants have two kinds of pockets: deep cargo pockets and some smaller pockets for carrying specific items such as a cell phone. The deep pockets are ideal for carrying tools and kits. The smaller pockets are also great for carrying smaller items such as hunting knives, flashlights and other things.
What color should I buy?
It all depends on your need. If you are planning on wearing tactical pants during a hunt, you might want them in the camouflage pattern.
Another thing to be kept in mind is the fact that some colors may fade quicker than others. So, I prefer lighter colors over darker ones.
Is Teflon coated fabric waterproof?
Teflon coated fabric is not as waterproof as it is water resistant. What I mean by that is that water droplets will run off from a Teflon coated fabric. But if you jump in a pool of water, the pants will get wet!
Are tactical pants suitable for all year round wearing?
While most everyday wears tactical pants are quite comfortable to wear all year round, some brands are better during the winters. As a rule of thumb, if the percentage of polyester in the fabric is over 45%, it is less breathable and can get quite warm during hot and humid months.
If you pick a tactical pant with about 35%/65% polyester/cotton blend, you can wear it all year round without an issue.
What should be the priority while choosing a tactical pant- comfort, durability, fitting, or style?
If you ask me, fitting and comfort should be the top priority. Think about it, you are going to be wearing these during work, and if you are not comfortable, you won’t be able to focus on your work. So, yes, comfort is paramount. Weight is also an essential factor. You don’t want to lug around a massive pair of pants all day, now, do you?
That said, you don’t want your tactical pants to rip either. So, durability is the next important thing to consider. When it comes to style, it should be the last thing you look for.