Every man (and woman) must own a few key pieces in their wardrobe, such as a formal wear for black tie events, corporate suit, jeans for casual strolls, and a good pair of tactical pants for work and play!
I know it’s hard to choose the best tactical pants.
But don’t worry, we’ve made it easy for you!
After LOTS of research, we listed the 6 BEST tactical pants you can buy in 2018 (so far).
Let’s take a quick look at what I recommend before we go into details:
Price for 1 minute
Mike's Top Choice
(The one we like the best)
Gusseted crotch and knees
Weatherproof and water-resistant
Lightweight and flexible
Breathable and dries fast
(Check current price down below)
Stain-proof and Wrinkle-proof
Lightweight and breathable
Do you want to learn about tactical pants?
Here you can learn:
6 Best Tactical Pants 2023
If you are ready to buy a pair, Mike’s Gear Reviews has listed six of the best tactical pants that you can buy online. The specs and prices are taken from Amazon unless otherwise stated.
5.11 Tactical #74273 Men’s TacLite Pro Pant
From 5.11 Tactical, which provided tactical pants for the FBI Training Academy, the Men’s Taclite Pro Pant is a comfortable outdoor wear that is built for flexibility and durability. For those who are familiar with the original legacy 5.11 pants, this pair looks quite like it but with some upgraded features.
Here are the pros and cons of the Tactile Pro Pant:
|Lots of pockets|
|Double and triple stitching|
The specifications and the price:
- Lightweight 65% polyester and 35% poly cotton rip-stop is treated with HT Teflon wear-resistant finish
- Two cargo pockets; magazine/cellphone pocket
- Signature rear strap and slash pocket design; rear web strap
- External knife pocket
- YKK zippers. Prym snaps, clip look. Hip-mounted d-ring. Gusseted construction for flexibility and strength
- Exceptionally durable with tripe-stitch reinforcement and extensive bartacking at major seams and stress points. For a proper fit, utilize your waist measurement (where you wear your pants)
With eight pockets—two cargos, two hips, two fronts and two rears—the Tactile Pro Pant is a sturdy piece of wear that allows freedom of movement, especially in the crotch and waist area. It is stain-resistant, with its Teflon coating making it water-repellant as well.
There’s no question on its durability. Its seams are doubled and tripled stitched, and it offers reinforced knee.
One Tactical pants review says that it gets a little warm in the summer, though. Breathability of the fabric is a concern as well. Nevertheless, it’s a decent wear during winter time.
It does really look like shooting pants or what you wear on active duty. While it’s not a disadvantage at all, its loose and baggy cut might not be your cup of tea. A loose fit means you can squat and move a lot in it without problem, though.
CQR Men’s Tactical Pants Lightweight EDC Assault Cargo TLP104
From CQR, which manufactures military-grade pants, the EDC Assault Cargo TLP104 is a reliable choice when it comes to tactical cargo pants. It is a durably constructed all-weather piece of clothing that is designed to allow you flexibility.
Here are the pros and cons of the CQR EDC Assault Cargo TLP104:
|Stain-resistant||Zipper quality is problematic|
Here are the specs:
- High-strength, high-density metal alloy snap button and zipper along with a durable mounted stopper
- CQR tactical pants are constructed with a hint of military and law enforcement performance design.
- Duratex (functions 100% the same as Teflon) repels liquids, dirt and other contaminants
- 65% polyester, 35% cotton ripstop fabric materials
- 8 multi-purpose cargo pockets for various tools and equipment
- Face, shrink and wrinkle-resistant
If you don’t mind a bit baggy fit, the CQR EDC Assault Cargo is a great choice. It is lightweight and breathable, qualities that you probably wouldn’t expect from a heavy-duty pair. You would want to wear this in warm climate.
It is weatherproof, stain-resistant and water-repellant. You can avoid spillages and stains from mud and dirt easily. It also dries fast.
It has a loose fit, though, and many reviews say its zipper quality isn’t that reliable. Nevertheless, it is comfortable to wear and flexible, allowing you freedom of movement.
With eight pockets, these survival pants are easily one of the best tactical pants that you can buy for a relatively low price.
Tru-Spec Men’s 24-7 Tactical Pant
Touted as “the best fitting, most comfortable” tactical pants on the market, the Tru-Spec 24-7 is designed as an on-duty, off-duty wear. It uses slider waistband and 2-inch wide belt loops for better fit. It has extra deep pockets, expandable back pockets, two cargo pockets and 2-knife/accessory pockets.
Here are the pros and cons:
|Reinforced knees with built-in knee pad pockets||“Loud”|
Specs plus the price (taken from the official website):
- Self-adjusting slider waist band without visible elastic gathers on the outside. No need for adjustable side tabs
- Teflon coating for stain resistance and durability
- Unique pocket design looks flat from the flat but bellowed side gusset expands to provide secure storage for your duty gear
- Each cargo pocket has two internal magazine compartments, external cell phone pocket and 2 knife or accessory pockets
- Reinforced knees with openings for knee pads
One of the best tactical pants in the market today, the Tru-Spec 24-7 Tactical Pant is lightweight and breathable, best for use during summer times or in hot tropical climate. The self-adjusting slider waist band has no visible elastic.
And although its cut is a bit loose, it doesn’t look baggy at all, according to a tactical pants review. There’s one downside to it, though. Unlike many survival pants, the Tru-Spec 24-7 doesn’t have a gusseted crotch, which makes users a bit wary when squatting or sitting as these simple actions may rip the fabric.
But on many accounts, it’s a durable piece that is also flexible. Its reinforced knees and built-in knee pad pockets make it even more reliable. It is stain-resistant and water-repellant as well. One complaint, though, is the “loudness” of its fabric. Apparently, when the fabric is rubbed together, such as during walking, it creates noise, although this diminishes after a few washes.
While it is not strictly military grade, it does copy the tactical cargo pants that SWAT officers wear, including the ample storages. And at its price, it’s a great steal.
LA Police Gear Operator Tactical Pants with Elastic Waistband
From the Los Angeles-based company that carries police, military and outdoor gears for law enforcement officers and the general public, the LA Police Gear Operator Tactical Pants with Elastic Waistband is the less expensive alternative to some of the best tactical pants in the market today. These budget tactical pants are loaded with most of the same features as the higher priced brands.
Here are the pros and cons of the LA Police Gear Operator Tactical Pants:
|Gusseted crotch and knees||Sizes run small|
- 65% Polyester, 35% Cotton Rip-Stop Fabric
- Zipper closure
- Sizing Note: These pants measure at the listed size when the elastic if fully stretched out
- Large cargo pockets feature LA Police Gear’s top pass through for quick access and are slanted for seated access
- The articulating knees and gusseted crotch allow for better movement
- YKK zipper fly, dual front D rings, double knee and seat fabrics, built in (removable) blousing strings
- Elastic waistband for extra comfort or is perfect for CCW
Unlike some tactical pants, the LA Police Gear Operator uses the same material on the pocket interiors as the rest of the pants. This ensures that the pockets are also as durable.
The gusseted crotch allows you to move freely and feel comfortable when sitting or squatting. The cotton ripstop weave, the reinforced knees and the solid stitching make these pants a force to be reckon with.
Although they are lightweight and breathable, these pants are good for winter use as well. Take into consideration the sizes as they run small. They tend to be snug in some parts, like the thighs, but other than that, these are a fantastic buy.
Propper Men’s Lightweight Tactical Pant
From Propper, an American manufacturer of tactical and law enforcement clothing and gear, these Lightweight Tactical Pants are one of the best cargo pants available at this price point. These offer good protection and lots of storage with nine pockets. As with most of the items on this list, these are China-made, but their durability isn’t an issue.
The pros and cons:
|Lightweight||Tight crotch area|
The specs and the price (lifted from the official website):
- 65% Polyester / 35% cotton with Teflon™ fabric protector
- Fade-, shrink- and wrinkle-resistant
- Teflon fabric protector finish repels stains and liquids
- Extra-large belt loops designed for nylon duty belt
- YKK zipper and Prym snap
- Two hook and look back pockets with wallet “pocket in a pocket”
- Internal openings for knee pads
- Two hidden coin pockets
- Relaxed fit
- Nine pocket design, belt is not included
- Action stretch waist band
With nine pockets—2 cargo, 2 front, 2 rear, 1 phone pocket, 1 wallet pocket and 1 coin pocket—these tactical pants are great for storing almost any gadget that you have. The pockets are deep enough to comfortably stash your tools, with few hidden ones to hide a burner phone or pocket knife.
These are true to size, but you might want to consider their slim fit cut. And because they are supposed to look snug, they aren’t as flexible as you would probably want them to be.
With their reinforced knees and stitching, these are durable finds that you can wear throughout the summer months or in warmer climate places.
Under Armour Women’s Tactical Patrol Pant
The only women’s pants on this list, the Under Armour Women’s Tactical Patrol Pant is also the most expensive. Its brand is more known for its sports and athletic wear products, so it’s no wonder this one has an athletic fit.
Keep in mind that it is a low-waist cut. It can be a good or bad thing, depending on how you would like them. This Indonesia-made pants are 100% polyester and decently stain-proof and water-repellant.
Here are the pros and cons of these UA women’s tactical pants:
|Reinforced knees stitching||Short in length|
Here are the specs. The price is taken from the official website:
- 100% Polyester
- Loose: Generous, more relaxed fit
- Signature Moisture Transport System wicks sweat to keep you dry and light
- Durable rip-stop fabric stands up to the toughest treatment
- 32 ¼” inseam
- Made in Indonesia
If you want the best cargo pants that are also athletic, the Under Armour Women’s Tactical Patrol Pant is what you are looking for. It is best used for cold weather because of its 100% polyester fabric. It is not entirely breathable, but it is water-repellant, stain-proof and is quick-dry.
According to one tactical pants review, the buttons on these pants can be uncomfortable because they press on. It is a little short in length, and so if you have long legs, you might find this lacking You would find this to have a tight fit in the butt and crotch area but loose in the legs area.
Overall, it is a durable and long-lasting pair of tactical pants.
Mike’s Top Choice
Based on the reviews of the top 6 products above, Mike’s Gear Reviews think that the LA Police Gear Operator Tactical Pants are the best tactical pants among the list. They are inexpensive but have all the things you need in survival pants. They are durable and have the pockets that you need for storing your tools of trade.
What To Look For In Tactical Pants?
That said, it’s not smart to just wear any pair of tactical pants as well. There are a few criteria in choosing the best tactical pants for any given circumstance. Check the pants’ style, pockets, weight, fabric, flexibility, climate appropriateness, and country of manufacture.
Function over form is the always the priority when buying tactical pants, but you must also consider the style. Some styles of tactical cargo pants are best suited for rugged settings like the wilderness, while others are for work.
Even if you are wearing the best cargo pants available, they may not be appropriate for your job as a medical emergency responder if they are in unprescribed color.
Shooting pants are normally in subdued earth colors.
Work environment suitability aside, the style of your tactical pants can make your life easier. Look for styles that have drawstrings on the ankle part so the pants can easily be tightened and inserted inside your boots. Get the styles that can carry what you need for your work or play. For example, the pants have flat bottom pockets that are best for carrying knives, which you need for hunting trip.
Perhaps the essence of tactical pants are the pockets.
The depth and number of pockets on them matter because those are what make the best tactical pants as such. If your pants have four or less, than they are not much use to you. They would just be ordinary pants. You also want them to have deep enough pockets so you can store irregularly shaped items in them. You’re not just going to keep your wallet and cellphone in them, as you would normally do when you’re wearing regular pants; you are going to store big and heavy stuff in them. But there’s a delicate balance between deep and not saggy. Deep pockets can make the fit of your pants look and feel horribly, hence the balance.
It’s also good to have a variety of pocket sizes that are strategically placed all over so you can easily take out small items, like whistle and paracords.
Because your pants are basically a wearable toolbox, you don’t want it to weigh heavy without the tools. Otherwise, you will feel tired just by wearing it and even before doing any work. The lighter the pants, the more comfortable they can feel when you wear them.
The best tactical pants should mean they are made from best and most reliable fabric. It should be high performance fabric. It should be able to withstand stains and rips because these survival pants are meant for outdoors and harsh conditions. Look for water-resistant and weatherproof fabrics—ideally quick-drying materials—because you will most likely be in contact with the elements.
You would need your clothing to allow you freedom of movement as well.
Jeans fabrics may be tough and can withstand abuse, but they are also normally rigid and can restrict your movement. And when you are outdoors or out and about rescuing somebody, you need to be able to move freely.
But it’s not just about the material of the pants; it is also how they are made. Look for reinforcement in the knees and in the crotch area. This can help give you full movement range.
Here’s where you need to consider where you are going to wear your pants. Even the best cargo pants would be no match for winter if they are specifically made for humid, tropical climate. Similarly, there are pants that are made for cooler climate and which you can use more suitably during winter.
Where It’s Made
The country of manufacture made perhaps doesn’t matter as much as the other criteria, but it is still something to consider. Where the pants are made might say a lot about the quality and the authenticity of the product.
What are Tactical Pants For?
Every man (and woman) must own a few key pieces in their wardrobe, such as a formal wear for black tie events, corporate suit, jeans for casual strolls, and a good pair of tactical pants for work and play.
The last one is particularly useful for survival outdoors or when you need to do good old-fashioned handwork. And if you do, you need the best tactical pants that you can rely on.
Tactical pants are specially designed for wear in tough conditions.
The first thing you may notice about these survival pants is the many pockets that are strategically placed all over. They are made with lightweight but durable materials that are often stainproof and weatherproof.
Professionals in the medical, law enforcement and emergency industries wear these pants as their everyday uniform because the pants have room for their tools of trade.
Tactical pants were originally developed as a mounting climbing trouser but were then modified over time to accommodate the working force. They are often mistaken for cargo pants, and they are somewhat the same. They are basically more expensive cargo pants that are modified to endure outdoor extremes.
Both look similar, but tactical pants are tougher.
Cargo pants are not exactly built for tough situations, though there are some tactical cargo pants that could probably withstand them all. Sometimes these two are used interchangeably, so don’t be surprised if you asked for the best cargo pants from a shop and they gave you tactical pants instead.
You might also have heard of EMS pants.
EMS stands for Emergency Medical Services, and pants that are named after it means they are specifically designed to fit the needs of a rescue worker or people who work in the same field. Basically, they are also tactical pants, but with some modifications for equipment and essentials, such as gloves, penlight and stethoscope.
There are also those that are called shooting pants. Technically, they are also tactical pants, just worn during shooting sports. There’s not much difference between the two, if there’s any at all.
Do You Need Tactical Pants?
Perhaps you already wear cargo pants as your casual outfit. And why not? They are comfortable and they fit a lot of your gadgets in the pockets. Just take it one notch up and wear tactical pants if you need to do something more active, like mountain-climbing or hiking. You would need the strategically placed pockets for your tools and thingamajigs.
What you wear outdoors can make a big difference in your survival.
These pants are sometimes called survival pants simply because they can help you survive the wilderness. They can protect you from the elements without hindering your movements, unlike if you wear other type of pants, like jeans, which has heavier and stiffer fabric that confines your legs.
If you are in the military or police force, or maybe you are in the emergency services, you would also need to wear the best tactical pants, depending on the industry you are in. Wearing simple slacks or jeans is better than wearing nothing at all, but these don’t work as well as tactical pants in typical job situations.
*** Note that there are some interesting new tactical pants brands like Scollor, Mazerout, Mountainskin and Summitskin. We are currently reviewing them and will be added them to this page soon.
Are you getting ready to start a new adventure? Mike’sGearReviews will help you with your check list: Do you have an EDC Flashlight? Did you get your hiking pants? How about the fire starter?…and you can also read our Zombie Survival Guide, because… you never know!