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July 11, 2011
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The Monkey MIL-SPEC MONKEY
with The Monkey

Genuine Gear tactical pants offer interesting features

The most unique feature is definitely the open compartments behind the cargo pockets

For more bargain tac pants options, the Genuine Gear brand has popped up semi-recently. With a little research it appears the pants are actually made by Propper, which I consider a good thing as they have been making solid uniform items for a while.

The core material is overall lightweight (6.25-ounce) and consists of a 60 percent cotton / 40 percent poly blend. Upon first look, the layout certainly has that 5.11 original tac-pant vibe, but there are plenty of differences to make the Genuine Gear pants unique.

For an improved fit while not using a belt, there are elastic zones built into the upper waist sides. It's just enough to give some elastic flexibility. The fly area uses a simple button and YKK zipper, and the zipper has a fabric pull cord that is a small yet useful detail.

I’d say the side hand pockets are about medium size. It would be nice to have them slightly bigger, but I didn’t run into crowding issues until I had my wallet and ZT knife in the same pocket. The pocket openings have some extra binding tape to increase the durability with any clip items such as knives, but I wish more material was used to give further coverage. Something is certainly better than nothing, but I know the pant will eventually wear a hole just a little further down the pocket.

On the right hand side pocket, a bonus coin pocket is integrated, which I have mixed feelings about. Despite working well for coins (hence the name), the pocket also can be a bit of a snag point when inserting larger items such as a wallet in the main pocket. The coin area can potentially hold smaller folder knives, and I think the raised position makes for an easy grab.

I’d recommend making the pocket slightly deeper as it is a little short for my ZT 0350, which is not a huge knife. This would require a careful balance as a pocket too deep will make the user look like a chump and require a finger bang session to retrieve coins.

The rear pockets utilize velcro flaps and are of decent size able to fit a 30-round magazine. The velcro spacing and strength makes for a solid hold without being a pain to open. Further down the legs are the cargo pockets, which unlike the old 5.11s, are also able to hold 30 round magazines.

Velcro flaps are used again as well and billows are incorporated so these pockets have good expansion. What makes this area unique is definitely the extra space behind these pockets that have no closure. This is where user preference comes to a fork in the road as they are really convenient for quick storage and access, yet not so good for security, and they make the closed cargo pockets a little more floppy.

Examples of ease of use would be being able to quickly store a pair of gloves without having to open anything up, while on the flip-side, going prone or heavy movement could cause a general retention issue with any items inside. As long as you are standing up, they make for pretty nice dump pouches.

Not to be overlooked is the upper left frontal thigh pocket. It has a velcro flap, and the sizing would be great for holding several phones or most pistol mags. The only down side to this pocket is the lack of another one on the right side. This pocket placement is handy and would still be accessible while sitting down (vehicle ops).

Overall, I like the fit, and the Genuine Gear pants can handle my best ninja impression without a crotch blowout. The main thing I look for is leg freedom, and that is delivered. So far durability has been solid, so I’ll continue to keep an eye on them in the long run.

That tends to be the main concern on budget-priced pants, but these appear to be a good bang for the buck for the time being. The most unique feature is definitely the open compartments behind the cargo pockets, so I suggest potential buyers put in some consideration if they think it will be more useful to them then a hindrance.

About the author

Despite The Monkey's interest in all things tactical, his main skill set is art and design. After he graduated from college, he joined the Army Game Project team. Although his work starts in the public domain, it transitions to the full gov/training side, which he hopes will help save lives.

His status as a DOD Contractor for the US Army is not considered full military; however, the Project is a great way for him to serve with his unique skill set of videogame art and design. His morale patches are another example of using his art skills to add a little amusement in the MIL/LEO/GOV systems. He knows they won't change the world, but he's happy to see them put a smile on a service person's face when times aren't always so pleasant.

He does his best to gather tactical knowledge and participate in training, but you will never hear him claim to be some high-speed cool guy you need to listen to. He doesn't mind looking a little goofy if it helps service people learn a little more about gear. He hopes this helps them get what is best for their needs, allowing them to focus on more important things. When he reviews items, he makes sure to use them the same way a serviceperson would in order to determine if the product does what it is designed to do while being strong enough to survive hard use.

Check out his stuff at MilSpecMonkey.com.

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