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April 05, 2006
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5.11 Tactical Pants: Cargo Pants for Tactical Professionals

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.

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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.



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