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Lightweight Tactical Pants Review

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

  1. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Loaded Pockets

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    just1man, do you have the Phantom LT or the original VertX pants? I would suspect that the original, cotton version would fade more and more quickly. That might also be why your one pair shrunk. I have four pairs of the Phantom LT's and the two older pairs are much quieter and softer than the two newer pairs.
     
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  2. kikaida

    kikaida Loaded Pockets

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    Anything cotton will fade faster than other materials. I've experienced that with my cotton canvas 5.11 tacticals. I've learned that if you get any pants in cotton, that you should get khaki or some other light color. That way, when it fades, it's not that noticeable. I didn't even notice that my cotton canvas khaki 5.11s had faded until I compared them to the taclite pros. But my navy blue cotton canvas 5.11 have faded considerably.

    I have to say though, after the cotton canvas 5.11s have been broken in and washed several times, they are the most comfortable pants I've ever worn, as comfortable as jeans.
     
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  3. just1man

    just1man Loaded Pockets

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    Good question - I'm guessing they must be the original, but I honestly don't know - are they labeled differently somewhere? I simply asked for Vertx pants when I placed the initial order (none in stock locally), and have been mostly very happy with what I received. The 2 khaki and black I ordered after the original navy have all been the same material - but again, maybe my fault for not doing my homework.

    If the Phantom's are quieter and wouldn't fade/shrink as easily, I know what my next pair will be...
     
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  4. ParacordMan1220

    ParacordMan1220 Loaded Pockets

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    Can the BLACKHAWK Light Weight pants hold a maxped mini organizer in the cargo pocket comfortably?
     
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  5. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Loaded Pockets

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    I would guess that the Phantoms are noisier to begin with but won't fade or shrink as easily as the cotton version.

    ParacordMan, I don't have a Maxped Mini Organizer to try in my Blackhawks, but at 4"X6" I would say that it will fit. However, depending on the amount of stuff in the organizer, it could very easily be a tight/cumbersome fit.
     
  6. ParacordMan1220

    ParacordMan1220 Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks Mudinyeri for the help. The reason I asked is I have a pair of Propper's light weight pants and the cargo pocket is sewn directly to the pants (like most of the 5.11s) and they won't hold very much.
    Does the BLACKHAWK's cargo pocket have extra material between the outside of the pocket and the pant leg (Can the pocket "blouse out" to hold bigger items?)
     
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  7. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Loaded Pockets

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    Very little - probably the least of the three pants that I reviewed. The "billows" is in the center of the pocket not around the outside of the pocket.
     
  8. ParacordMan1220

    ParacordMan1220 Loaded Pockets

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    Are you sure? From the pictures, it kinda looks like it has the billows on one side of the pocket.
    Anyway thanks for all of the help.
     
  9. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Loaded Pockets

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    I looked at them again and there is some expansion at the rear of the pocket.
     
  10. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Loaded Pockets

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    Update: The Vertx Phantom Featherlite pants are now available and reviewed below.

    VertX Phantom Featherlite Pants
    These pants are virtually identical in design to the original VertX Phantom LT pants, but made with an even more lightweight material that also features VertX's innovative IntelliDry system. "IntelliDry keeps moisture OUT, yet unilike other water-resistant pants, does not keep the moisture IN too. We know the terribly hot feeling you usually get when wearing other brand's moisture-wicking pants, but these pants do not give you that feeling at all. Try one out and see for yourself how a true moisture-wicking pant should feel!"

    Unlike the Phantom LT pants, VertX's Phantom Featherlite pants are only available in even waist sizes.

    Seucrity VertX Men's Phantom Featherlit Tactical Pant have concealed, on seam zippered pocket and back pocket credential flap [to] defend your valuables.
    Comfort VertX Pants have gusseted crotch, articulated knee & hip, and stretch waistband combined with world class patterning for the pinnacle of comfort. The pants that you want to wear.
    Arsenal VertX pants also have well organized, multi-purpose and high capacity pockets. The internal Haul pocket fits your mobile coms as perfectly as a set of handcuffs or an AR magazine.
    Mobility Additionally, VertX Men's Tactical Pants have tight sewing tolerances, patterning, and our advantage stretch™ material provide peerless athletic movement. The wide performance range makes these pants appropriate from the briefing to the chase.
    Concealment This combination of mobility, low visual profile, and inset cargo pockets give the function of a full battle garment and the appearance business casual. Stay overlooked and underestimated.
    Fabric Benefit Intelli-Dry™ fabric treatment that keeps the wearer cool while providing superior stain and fluid resistance. Pant fabric is extremely durable and colorfast.
    - 5.2-oz. 65%Polyester/35% Cotton, Low Profile Rip-Stop
    - Concealed zippered security pocket
    - Articulated patterning
    - Gusseted crotch
    - Pocket inside cargo pocket for blackberry or cell phone
    - Internal stretch waistband
    - Back pocket credential trap

    Test Subject: VertX Phantom Featherlite Pants, Men's 30X32 in Desert Tan

    [​IMG]

    Cargo Pockets Identical to Phantom LT
    [​IMG]

    Waistband, Zipper and Closure Identical to Phantom LT
    [​IMG]

    Same Right Hand Security Pocket as Phantom LT
    [​IMG]

    Same Belt Loops and Jeans Style Rear Pockets with Security Flap as Phantom LT
    [​IMG]

    Same Gusseted Crotch as Phantom LT
    [​IMG]

    Same Articulated Knees as Phantom LT
    [​IMG]

    Featherlite Weight: 12.9 oz
    [​IMG]

    Phantom LT Weight: 1 lb, 1 oz
    [​IMG]

    In short, the Phantom Featherlite are the lighter-weight identical twin of the Phantom LT which fared very well in my original review. I'm going to run them through the wash and check the fit in the next day or two.
     
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  11. Lane DeCamp

    Lane DeCamp Loaded Pockets

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    Good review. For my part, I've used just about every variant on the Vertx tactical pant in every fabric, as well as various pants from 5.11, Blackhawk, Crye, Propper, and on and on. I always come back to the Vertx. A few points about them:

    1. The Vertx flush cargo pocket is a perfect fit for a standard iPhone. And in particular, it places the phone lower than your keys, wallet, etc. that are in your front slash pocket. With the Blackhawks, for example, I have a card case, keys, change, and other items in the slash pocket and the phone ends up sitting on top of that, so it really sticks up. It both catches on things and is uncomfortable.
    2. The Vertx pants are larger and much better shaped inside so they don't drop change when you sit. The Blackhawks were the worst on this aspect.
    3. The Vertx hidden zipper pocket is perfect for a concealed carry, or it serves well for valuables when traveling.
    4. After you've been able to get in and out of your cargo pockets all the time without the sound of ripping velcro, you won't go back.
    5. All the Vertx pants come with a lot of sizing in the fabric. It makes them stiff, slightly sticky, and they definitely collect dog hair and lint like magnets. They need three or four warm water washes before you wear them seriously. I just wash them and line dry them repeatedly until this is done. After that, I've noticed occasionally pairs of Vertx pants that seem to shrink a little more, and there are different fabrics used from time to time for each type of pant -- they don't source precisely the same fabric each time, in other words. But I don't have noticeable fading on any of the lighter colors, and even the black hold up pretty well.
    6. The gusset on the Vertx is better shaped, at least for me, than on the other brands. They all let you squat and move easily, but the Vertx doesn't look like you're wearing incontinence diapers underneath -- the fit is just a bit more tailored. These are designed in a partnership with Arcteryx, who do amazing jackets but tend to be so-so at times about pants, but in this case they absolutely nailed the design.
    7. The inside pocket in the cargo pockets isn't big enough to fit a large magazine like an AR, and it doesn't fit most small tactical notepads. These pants weren't designed to carry a lot of munitions -- they are made to be subtle and carrying an AR-15 ain't subtle. They're good for a pistol mag and that's about it.

    Stylewise, tactical pants are common enough that they aren't really seen as military garb any longer, at least not these brands. However, most of them do have a bit of a disheveled look to them. The Vertx isn't a dress slack, but you can put a blazer or corduroy or leather jacket over it and look half-way dressed. Especially if you ARE planning to carry items in your pockets that might startle people, the Vertx at least give you a discreet appearance. And the quality of stitching and finishing is the best of all the common brands, in my book. They get my recommendation.
     
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  12. Toepack24

    Toepack24 Loaded Pockets

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    awesome review.. looking forward for more.. keep it up...
     
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  13. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Loaded Pockets

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    I'm trying to get TAD Gear to give up some of their AC pants. Those should be the lightest of all. If anyone knows of any other lightweight tactical pants or tactical pants that are lighter than the TAD Gear pants, post up and I'll try to get some.
     
  14. Toepack24

    Toepack24 Loaded Pockets

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    they take alot of convincing, but im sure it'll be worth it..
     
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  15. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Loaded Pockets

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    I'm making headway. :D
     
  16. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Loaded Pockets

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    A new contender enters the ring! The TAD Gear Force 10 AC Cargo Pants.

    FTC Disclosure: TAD Gear provided the author with a pair of Force 10 AC Cargo Pants for review.

    From the TAD website:
    Fit
    • Standard Fit
    • Straight Leg
    Material
    • 100% Nylon (3.40 oz) with Durable Water Repellent (DWR)
    Construction
    • Triple Needle Stitching on In-seam and Out-seam
    • Double Needle 1/8” Stitching on Knee Pads, Gusset, and Reinforced Seat
    • Single Needle on Remaining Seams
    Patterning
    • Knee Reinforcement Pockets Accommodate T-Pro Knee & Elbow Armor
    • Reinforced Seat
    • Gusseted Crotch
    Pocket Configuration
    • Two Front Welt Pockets
    • Two Hand Pockets with Coin Pocket Dividers
    • Two Thigh Cargo Flap Pockets with Hidden Dual Button Closure, Drain Grommets and Internal Pocket Dividers
    • Two Rear Flap Pockets with Hidden Dual Button Closure
    • Two Hidden Internal Rear Patch Pockets for Travel Cash & Passport
    Zipper & Fly Configuration
    • Front Vislon Zipper Fly with Single Button Closure at Waistband
    • All Zippers are YKK® Zippers
    Waist & Belt Configuration
    • 1" Width Belt Loops
    • Belt Loops with D-Rings Above Welt Pockets
    Hem Configuration
    • Adjustable Leg Drawstrings
    Logos & Labels
    • One 1”x1” Loop Swatch with Logo Patch on Right Thigh Pocket
    Cut & Sewn in the USA

    TAD Force 10 AC Cargo Pants
    [​IMG]

    TAD Force 10 AC Cargo Pants Waist
    [​IMG]

    TAD Force 10 AC Cargo Pants Cargo Pocket Exterior
    [​IMG]

    TAD Force 10 AC Cargo Pants Cargo Pocket Interior
    [​IMG]

    TAD Force 10 AC Cargo Pants Pockets
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    LG G2 Fits Entirely in the Front "Magazine" Pocket (I left the top of the phone peeking out so it could be seen.)
    [​IMG]

    30 Round AR-15 Magazine with Just Enough Magazine to Grab
    [​IMG]

    TAD Force 10 AC Cargo Pants Gusseted Crotch
    [​IMG]

    TAD Force 10 AC Cargo Pants Rear-Center Belt Loop
    [​IMG]

    TAD Force 10 AC Cargo Pants Front D-Rings
    [​IMG]

    Articulated Knees with External Knee Pad Pockets
    [​IMG]

    Surprisingly, just a little bit heavier than the VertX Featherlites
    [​IMG]

    After just a few wearings, I really like the TAD Force 10 AC pants. They feel very lightweight and breathe well. They have features galore - so many features, in fact, that I actually had to read the product literature to find them all!

    I haven't done all the measurements yet, but these pants run a bit large. I would say about an inch large in both the waist and inseam in size 30X32.

    Even though I have a bit of a nit to pick on the cargo pockets (see below), I really like the organization of the cargo pockets on the Force 10 AC's as well as the access without having to open the pockets' flaps. The D-Ring inside the pocket is ... interesting. Not sure I'll ever use it, though.

    I would say that these pants now rank as my favorite fabric (among those tested), displacing the 5.11's.

    A couple little nits to pick ....

    The fabric is so lightweight that the cargo pockets have no "structure" to them. Even the smallest item placed in the cargo pockets causes them to sag. Buttoning the pockets helps but makes it more difficult to retrieve items from the pocket - even with the opening in the top of the cargo pockets - because you often have to unbutton the pocket. Hook and loop closures on the cargo pockets would make this less of an issue.

    The exterior of the Force 10's cargo pockets seems to be stuck in the 1980's even while the interior of the cargo pockets has advanced well into the 21st Century.

    The sizing irregularity is a small issue. At least they're too large and not too small.

    I really like the knife/tool clip "notch" that the VertX pants have. It would be nice on these pants. The hip pockets from the VertX pants would also be nice on these.

    Even with my nits and picks, I think I would put these at the top of the heap of all the pants reviewed in this thread so far.

    A new #1!
     
    Last edited by Mudinyeri, Aug 6, 2014
  17. DannyX

    DannyX Loaded Pockets

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    First of all, great reviews.
    I'm about to order some VertX pants from the US (hard to get anything but the original in Germany).

    I have one question: I dislike 100% cotton pants (or 98%) so I'd rather go with the Phantom line... which one is better for cold weather? I know they aren't meant for cold weather, but if there is any difference in this respect I'd still like to know. Sorry if you already answered and I missed.

    Concerning the 5.11 taclite shorts:
    These have been my main shorts since I've bought them (I almost always wear shorts from April to October since I do a lot of bike riding and don't move around in a formal environment). I think their front and back pockets are cut very nice, plenty of room, stuff doesn't fly around and it's easily accessible. Their "drag handle" is great for hanging my keys attached with an XXL climbing carbine hook (hint: I don't climb, go figure). I can let the keys hang in the back pocket and further restrain them by closing the velcro. No dangling, don't even know they're there (sometimes I get shocked for a second or two).
    The thing I don't like are the front pockets, they are a little too "over the top" for me. I carry my "essential EDC" (wallet, phone, flashlight, multitool, fixed blade, sometimes keys) in my DIY bum bag (actually I don't carry one single pocket clip item). This is the main reason I want something "slicker", so now I'm going with VertX.
     
  18. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Loaded Pockets

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    I don't like cotton for truly cold weather, period. So, I wouldn't wear any of these pants for truly cold weather (around 10° F or colder) - except as an outer layer in dry conditions. Cotton absorbs moisture and loses its insulating abilities when it does so. Wool or a a man-made fabric would be better for cold weather.
     
  19. SAKplumber
    • In Omnia Paratus

    SAKplumber EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Please edit your post per Rule 11..
    Thanks for your cooperation.

    This post as well...Lightweight Tactical Pants Review
     
  20. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Loaded Pockets

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    Done. The TAD pants were the only ones provided by the manufacturer. All of the others were purchased.
     
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