Product Review: Genuine Gear Tactical Trousers
With budget cuts and layoffs plaguing departments throughout the country, sometimes saving just a few pennies on uniform apparel can make all the difference. Some manufacturers are paying close attention to this need. Last month, Propper International, a supplier to the U.S. Military, introduced a new tactical pant to its Genuine Gear discount sub-brand. In addition to BDU trousers, coats, and shorts, the brand will now include the 10-pocket trouser at a low price point of $24.99 (MSRP), making it the second least expensive tactical pant on the market today next to LA Police Gear's Operator Tactical Pants.
"The price was driving a lot of the decisions, and we had a very specific target in mind," said Dan Bergeron, Propper's design director. "The price drove decisions based on country of origin as well was the factories and materials we could use to hit those prices."
Manufactured in China, the Genuine Gear tactical trousers are produced in the same factory where other Propper brand apparel originates. When compared to Propper's original tactical pants that retail for $39.99 MSRP, the Genuine Gear pant has several design differences.
One of its biggest distinctions is the double cargo pockets, a design that creates two pockets out of one. Featured on the lower thigh of each side, the cargo pocket contains one pleated large pocket with a hook and loop fastener along with an open-top stash pocket behind. The open-top pocket allows for storage of larger items like a notepad, wallet or even a flashlight.
"I find that being able to drop tools into the pocket is helpful," Bergeron said. "It's is a great place to put things temporarily for easy access."
Bergeron added pocket flaps with a hook and loop closure to the back pockets after receiving feedback from police officers and SWAT team members. The officers complained that the back pocket was a good place to store credentials, but without a Velcro or button closure, it wasn't secure enough for storage.
"The open-top cargo pocket is pretty secure but probably not for credentials for an FBI agent or a Marshall," Bergeron said. "So, the intent of the back pocket flaps was to give something that was very secure but easy to reach."
But the new features on Genuine Gear trousers don't stop at pockets. Propper's previous tactical pant designs contained 65 percent polyester, while the new pant boasts 60 percent cotton and 40 percent polyester. By concocting this blend, Propper avoids paying higher duty rates because cotton-rich products have significantly lower duty rates than synthetic-rich products. This mixture creates a lightweight, 6.25-ounce ripstop fabric, which Bergeron said is just enough synthetic material to give the Genuine Gear pants long-wear strength and durability.
The trousers also have a new take on fit. With a mid-rise, it's less baggy than typical tactical pants with no pleats in the front. Bergeron compares the fit to a dress pant or a class B pant. Additionally, a smaller elastic waistband makes it easier to find the right size.