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Tactical pants – you don’t have to be going on a tactical mission to wear them, and you don’t have to be Bear Grylls or a US Navy Seal for them to have their use.

In fact, built to withstand the elements, and the abuse of wear, tear, tactical pants are a solid choice for adventurous travelers, whether you’re mountain climbing, trekking in the jungle, or just heading out on a short hike.

Pants like Propper Tactical pants look like cargo pants, but they’ve been technically modified to be lightweight, fast drying, and have more concealed pockets than any other pair of pants in your closet.

They’ll also outlast anything else in your closet.

Tactical pants are commonly worn by law enforcement; men and women in the military, SWAT teams, and, yes, Bear Grylls! These aren’t just your average, everyday trousers, but, the following is a guide should you, the average person, want to add them to your everyday armor!

The Average Person’s Guide to Tactical Pants for Travel

What Are Tactical Pants Used For

Peru mountain treks

Image credit: Masa Sakano (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr

As mentioned, these ultra durable pants are the go to for professionals who work in tactical fields; EMT’s, police, military officers. Like tactical boots, though they were originally designed for recreation, and are very popular among civilians.

Originally created by the outdoor company Royal Robbins, they were first marketed at mountain climbers. They were developed as a pair of pants that would withstand extreme weather and be durable through all elements, and have enough storage to carry emergency equipment.

For instance, the belt loops are made thick enough to support a climbing rope, and  the double reinforced seat and knees provide enhanced abrasion protection.

They quickly took off, and after having been on the market for a couple of years, were discovered by a group of Colorado FBI agents who were avid mountain climbers.

They realized that these pants had the potential for so much more than mountain climbing, and it wasn’t long before tactical pants went from a trouser for recreation, to a major competitor in the industry of tactical workday uniforms.

They have since been modified to have gun holsters and places for pocket knives, and today you can buy them from a tonne of different brands, in many different fabrics, colors, and styles. They’re perfect for camping, hiking and other intense outdoor adventures.

Top 5 Tactical Pants in Various Categories

Tactical pants for travel RF

The choice of tactical pants these days is almost overwhelming, but before we jump into their benefits, features, and what you should look for, the following are our favorite top 5 choices, in various categories.

The most important thing to note is that you should choose the best tactical pant for you, and this will depend on your intended wear / use. Fabrics, colors, and carrying capacity all vary, so think about features that will suit your needs before you make a purchase.

Top 5 Tactical Pants

Knee-Pads Based Tactical Combat Pant: TRU-SPEC Men’s 24/7 Tactical Pants

Lightweight Tactical Pant: Blackhawk Lightweight Tactical Pants

Best Tactical Pants for Women: Stryke Tactical 11 Pants

Everyday Wear Tactical Pants: Ridgeline Tactical 11 Pants

Tactical Pants for Cold Weather: Vertx Original Tactical Pants

The Benefits of Purchasing Tactical Pants

Whether you’re looking for the multipurpose 5.11 pants, or a pair of tactical pants designed for a specific purpose (like those with reinforced knee pads), there are several perks of picking these trousers.

The following benefits apply no matter which pair of pants, or brand, you choose:

Top 5 Tactical Pants

➤ Amazing pocket configuration

➤ Comfortable even when loaded with gear

➤ Highly breathable fabric

➤ Total flexibility when on the move

Features of a Great Tactical Pant

Mountain climbing RF

There are many factors to consider when searching for a great tactical pant, and once again we reiterate to make sure the style and brand you buy is suitable for your personal use.

Durability is one of the biggest features to look for when buying. Make sure that the fabric is suitable for the climate you’ll be wearing them in, consider fabric weight, and also consider the specific fabric blend.

Cotton isn’t great for hot and humid climates, but it will keep you warm in cold climates. A lightweight fabric is best if you go through varying climates, though when buying, consider buying a size up so you can wear thermals underneath if you need to.

The fabric should also be weather resistant, and it’s a good idea to go for tactical pants in a camouflage and solid color. Even if you’re just trekking in the jungle in search of wildlife, the key is to blend in with the environment so as to be less noticeable as possible.

You can’t go wrong with neutral tones like olive, black, or tan.

Carrying capacity is another thing to consider – decide how much gear you’ll typically need to carry, and based on that, make an assessment of roughly how many pockets.

Consider things like whether you’ll need hidden pockets, or if they should be accessible. Aim for a pair of pants that will provide you with adequate carrying capacity, but balances that with freedom of movement. Maybe you want to keep things basic and don’t even need a lot of pockets.

Price: Don’t Compromise on Quality

Pexels Money

When it comes to purchasing tactical pants, the price something you’ll also consider. While travelers won’t want to burn a whole in their pocket, it’s equally as important to understand that you’re investing in quality.

If you’re on a budget, make sure you do proper online research, read through reviews, and understand the features provided by different brands. It’s great to find a deal, but you should refrain from compromising on quality.

If a pair of pants costs a few extra $$ while bringing you a promise of durability and much-needed features, it’s worthwhile paying more for a pair you can be happy with, and won’t have to replace often.

In most cases, the 5.11 pants are a great option for someone looking for a multipurpose tactical pant, with the goal to use it for outdoor recreation.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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