1. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

Lightweight Tactical Pants Review

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by Mudinyeri, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,142
    Likes Received:
    3,129
    No, I haven't tried the Tru-Spec pants.
     
  2. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,142
    Likes Received:
    3,129
    Hint: Look for the VertX pants to do very well in the Overall Favorite category. ;)
     
    amdmaxx likes this.
  3. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,142
    Likes Received:
    3,129
    Measurements:

    5.11 Taclite Pro
    Leg Opening at Ankle: 8.75"
    Thigh at Top of Inseam: 13.375"
    Rise: 10.5"
    Belt Loop Height: 2"

    Blackhawk Lightweight Tactical
    Leg Opening at Ankle: 9"
    Thigh at Top of Inseam: 13"
    Rise: 10.5"
    Belt Loop Height: 2.1875"

    VertX Phantom LT
    Leg Opening at Ankle: 9.s5"
    Thigh at Top of Inseam: 13.5"
    Rise: 9.5"
    Belt Loop Height: 2"

    Note: A 2" belt will fit through the belt loops of the VertX and 5.11 pants, but it is a very tight fit.

    Laundering Instructions:

    5.11 Taclite Pro
    Wash inside out
    Machine wash cold
    Wash dark color separately
    Do not bleach
    Do not use fabric softener
    Tumble dry, low
    Warm iron if needed
    Do not dry clean
    Made in Viet Nam

    Blackhawk Lightweight Tactical
    Machine wash cold
    Do not bleach
    Tumble dry, low heat
    Iron low heat
    Do not dry clean
    Made in Indonesia

    VertX Phantom LT
    Wash warm water by machine or hand. Do not bleach.
    Dry: Place on hanger and smooth by hand. If automatic dryer is used remove article immediately on completion of cycle.
    For best appearance, light press recommended.
    This garment may be dry cleaned.
    Assembled in El Salvador of U.S. Components
     
    just1man likes this.
  4. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,142
    Likes Received:
    3,129
    Favorite and Least Favorite Features

    Favorite Front Pockets: VertX - roomy opening with a nice-sized notch for a knife or tool clip
    Least Favorite Front Pockets: 5.11 - small opening; hard to get your hand in the pocket with a knife or tool clipped in

    Favorite Hip Pockets: VertX - jeans-like look and security flap make these pockets winners, hands down
    Least Favorite Hip Pockets: 5.11 - hook and loop closure is directly in the center of the pocket and not easy to open

    Favorite Cargo Pockets: VertX - low profile design, large size and unobtrusive inner pocket
    Least Favorite Cargo Pockets: Blackhawk - too many features make the pocket bulky and almost confusing

    Favorite Magazine Pocket(s): Blackhawk - the wider pocket holds my smart phone with less bulge
    Least Favorite Magazine Pocket(s): 5.11

    Favorite Security Pocket: Blackhawk - easily accessible
    Least Favorite Security Pocket: VertX - very difficult to access the zipper when closed if you have anything in your right-front pocket
    Note: The 5.11's do not have a security pocket.

    Favorite Fabric: 5.11 - lightweight, not stiff
    Least Favorite Fabric: Blackhawk - heavier than either the 5.11's or the VertX pants, not as color-fast
    Note: The VertX pants' fabric is lightweight, but very stiff when new - much like a heavily-starched pair of pants. After several wash/wear cycles, the fabric softens up, similar to the 5.11 fabric.

    Favorite Fit: VertX - With a wider leg opening, at the ankle, and a lower rise these pants fit my athletic frame very well.
    Least Favorite Fit: Blackhawk - just a bit tight in the waist per the size

    Favorite Waistband: Blackhawk - really like how the elastic is hidden
    Least Favorite Waistband: tie between VertX and 5.11 - I'd prefer not to have visible, crushed fabric where the elastic is located

    Overall Favorite: VertX Phantom LT - sleek, low-profile design and great fit make these, by far, my favorite "tactical" (functional) pants of the three reviewed
    Least Favorite Overall: 5.11 Taclite Pro - Small front pockets, difficult-to-access hip pockets, a lack of internal admin in the cargo pockets and a near-useless knife/tool pocket put these pants in last place, but not by much. I still like them. The fabric has a nice feel right after the first washing and they come in a wide variety of colors. A couple people have mentioned not liking the tapered leg of the 5.11's. I almost always wear these pants with an 8" boot so the taper doesn't bother me.
     
    amdmaxx and just1man like this.
  5. ArkansasFan30

    ArkansasFan30 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    Messages:
    1,530
    Likes Received:
    1,304
    This!

    I want a boot cut version too, lol.

    As goofy as those back pockets are you're right. That slanted design is a Godsend when trying to get your wallet out with a duty belt. I think it's Propper that makes a pair of pants that are nearly identical to the 5.11 taclites, but they have straight back pockets. They thought to set the pockets lower though so you can still get your wallet in and out easily.

    I've never worn the canvas 5.11's and wouldn't want to. They seem way too stiff for me, and they fade rapidly.
     
  6. Gryffin
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Gryffin Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    May 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,876
    Likes Received:
    1,477
    Planning and training for raids into the Shirt section of the closet, of course. ;)
     
    Barrel, littlequick and Erasergirl like this.
  7. Gryffin
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Gryffin Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    May 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,876
    Likes Received:
    1,477
    More indeed! :D

    I'm lovin' this thread, great job!! Very thorough.

    I just got into "tactical" cargos myself. Got one pair each of the 5.11 regular (not Tac-Lite) and one of the LAPoliceGear Operators. You're spot on about the advantages/disadvantages of the 5.11s, although the regular ones don't taper as much as the Tac-Lites. I actually prefer the fit and features of the LAPG ones, though, and they cost half as much. Too bad you didn't include them in your review!
     
  8. PsychRN

    PsychRN Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    63
    Good review and info...props to the OP.
     
    Mudinyeri likes this.
  9. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,266
    Likes Received:
    2,018
    Excellent and thorough review! I like the way you've added information directly to the pics.
     
    Mudinyeri likes this.
  10. kikaida

    kikaida Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    924
    Outstanding review! I generally agree with most of the review about the 5.11s.
     
    Mudinyeri likes this.
  11. ANJARI

    ANJARI Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    718
    Thank you. Your review helped me a lot in choosing my next purchase.
     
    kikaida and Mudinyeri like this.
  12. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,142
    Likes Received:
    3,129
    Perfect. That was my goal.
     
    ANJARI likes this.
  13. kikaida

    kikaida Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    924
    Same here. My next purchase will be VertX. While I have no choice but to wear 5.11s since they're part of the duty uniform, I'll get some VertX pants for off duty wear.
     
    ANJARI likes this.
  14. Americanozzy

    Americanozzy Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    163
    just checked my 5.11 taclite pants and they have the knee pad pockets. The same as my cotton 5.11's
     
  15. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,142
    Likes Received:
    3,129
    Hmm ... I'll have to go back and check mine. Honestly, knee pad pockets weren't one of the features on my must-have list so I didn't look for them when buying.
     
  16. Sharpy_swe

    Sharpy_swe Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    12
    Great review, thx :)
     
    Mudinyeri likes this.
  17. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,142
    Likes Received:
    3,129
    Minor update: After the question about knee pad pockets was posed I checked all three pants for this feature. Both the 5.11 and Blackhawk pants have internal knee pad pockets. The opening is a little larger on the Blackhawk pants. I'm no expert on knee pads, but I would think this would make both insertion and either accidental or purposeful removal of the pads easier.

    Another discovery: As I was looking at the Blackhawk pants I discovered yet another security pocket with a zipper along the external seam of the right pants leg directly behind the opening to the right front pocket. The Blackhawk pants are like an Easter egg hunt. I just keep finding more features. :D
     
  18. ac7ss
    • In Omnia Paratus

    ac7ss Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    2,442
    Likes Received:
    2,787
    Thanks for the reviews. I get 5.11 TDU and TacLite pants through work (and wear them all the time), and otherwise wouldn't give the other two brands a second look.

    The TDU pants are more like the others, but with a slightly heavier fabric. Much larger and sub-divided cargo pockets, regular back pockets and no knife/phone pockets.
     
  19. Americanozzy

    Americanozzy Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    163
    yeah I never use the knee pad pockets either, but at least I know the knees will never wear out with extra material there. :)
     
  20. just1man

    just1man Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    54
    EXCELLENT review. Thank you.

    I have 5 pairs of vertx which are the only pants i wear to my office job. They fit in well with a business casual environment, although if you put too much in the cargo pockets, they will stand out as a typical cargo pant...physics ya know?

    To add a few things on my vertx experience:
    1) my original pair was navy. Initially extreme lint magnet, but got much less so after several washings.
    2) color has faded a lot on the navy. I've had them appriximately 1.5 years and they are looking a bit dinghy.
    3) my second pair was khaki. I don't know if they were defective or if i messed up and dried them too long, but they are now almost too short and a bit snug. Heed the washing label!
    4) comfort is GREAT. Whether sitting at my desk or wrestling with my boys, these are very comfortable pants.
    5) stiff fabric = noise. Perhaps my biggest irritation. The fabric is
    Noticeably louder while walking than a pair of jeans for example.
    6) I made the mistake of buying 2 pair of "seconds" from sportsmans guide. The fabric and fit are not near as nice as the other pairs i own. YMMV.
    7) I've not tried this, but my understanding is the smaller pocket inside the cargo pockets will fit a 30 rd ar mag. I use the left one of these to carry my slim wallet. In my right cargo i have most of my edc in a max micro organizer. This bulges a little, but is acceptable to me.

    Like everything, there are pros and cons. For my purposes, these are the best looking "functional" cargo pants i have found.

    I am apparently the same build as the OP for what its worth 30/32.
     
    Mudinyeri likes this.