What Are Tactical Pants Used For?

Tactical pants are similar to the classic style of cargo pants, but they are significantly modified and designed for demanding pursuits and professions. Such as EMTs, FBI and SWAT Team agents, law enforcement officers, and military and fire professionals.


Tactical Pants are made of lightweight, fast drying, waterproof and hard-wearing materials and concealed carry pockets or hidden compartments.

You should consider before buying tactical pants:

  • Fabric–Consider Your Climate

Not only is fabric an important consideration when purchasing tactical pants, but you’ll want to consider fabric weight, as well as blend. The fabric of your tactical pants will play a big role in both your comfort and safety. There isn’t one fabric or fabric blend that is good for everyone, so you’ll need to ask yourself a few questions and consider the main use of your pants.

  • Pattern and Colour

Tactical pants come in both camouflage and solid colours. You can stay discrete by wearing a neutral-toned colour such as black, olive, or tan. These colours do not attract attention and some are even discrete enough to wear in the workplace. Camouflage, of course, is an excellent choice if you want to avoid being seen in a wooded or rural area. The two most popular types of camouflage are UCP (Universal Camouflage Pattern) and Multi-Cam.

Law enforcement personnel will generally have their own uniform colour requirements and contractors might have a company policy that they will need to adhere to. If no requirements are in place, tan is generally the go-to colour.

  • Carrying Capacity

The last important factor you need to consider is the cargo capacity. Often times, when people think of tactical pants, they envision a pair of pants with many pockets. Although you can certainly find tactical pants with more pockets than you can imagine, there are also some designs with minimal or flat pockets the won’t restrict movement. Depending on your mission, you’ll want to look for a pair of pants that balances both carrying capacity and freedom of movement. The last thing you want is a pair of tactical pants with bulky pockets that you’ll never use.

More info: How To Choose The Best Tactical Pants?

Wearing tactical pants will not only allow you to blend in with the environment around you, but it will also protect you from the elements. When it comes to practical and functional apparel, there is no alternative to tactical pants. These days, tactical pants are available in various styles to suit specific professionals.

4 Benefits of Tactical Pants:

  • Amazing pocket configuration
  • Comfortable even when loaded with gear
  • Highly breathable fabric
  • Total flexibility when on the move

The standout feature on any pair of tactical pants are the pockets. Through years of innovation, pocket types and functionalities have multiplied. Below we identify the most popular pocket designs along with the typical use-case and associated benefits.

Knife Pockets: Most premium tactical pants will feature a pocket designed specifically for a pocket knife. Identify these pockets by specialized features such as a long narrow shape and a flat-edge, reinforced bottom. Many have double-stitched openings to withstand the weight of folding knives with a built-in clip.

Cargo Pockets: A trademark of the original tactical pants, cargo pockets became a staple due to the optimal storage space they provide.

Hidden Pockets: Just because a pocket isn't cargo, doesn't mean it isn't tactical. As stealthy styles gained popularity, so did a preference for discreet pockets. Many are hidden in side seams, behind other pockets and inside the waistband allowing sensitive items to be stowed secretly.

Magazine Pockets: Gun enthusiasts and competition shooters swear by tactical pants for one premier reason: the magazine pocket. Never run out of ammo when your magazines are stored securely on your person in a pocket sized specifically for this purpose.

Handcuff Key Pockets: This pocket type is a helpful advantage for law enforcement, security and corrections professionals. Handcuff key pockets are usually located in either the inside cuff of pant legs or inside the waistband, ideal for discreet key storage.

Media Pockets:As technology advances, so do tactical pants. Most styles designate a cell phone pocket designed to fit modern phones and media devices.

Slash pockets: This design is recognized by its signature slanted top. This feature eliminates extra fabric allowing for quick and efficient access.

Symmetrical pockets: Great for the ambidextrous or the rare lefty, a symmetrical pocket design features identical pocket placement on both right and left sides.

Knee Pad Pockets: A must-have for operators, these pockets allow for knee-pad inserts to cushion joints during strenuous combat situations.

While the style of a pocket closure may seem insignificant to the average customer, it can be a game changer for tactical professionals that have to consider every detail.

  • Buttons: The most traditional—and outdated—closure type is buttons. Used on the Army battle dress uniforms retired in the 1980s, buttons offer a vintage look without much security or comfort. As a result, this closure type is no longer common.
  • Hook-and-loop velcro: A top choice for pocket closure because of its reliability. Not only does it keep items secure, it's also easy to repair when it starts to show its age. However, hook-and-loop velcro has one major disadvantage — the noise. The loud, distinctive sound of velcro tearing open makes accessing gear undetected difficult.
  • Zippers: An alternative closure type that eliminates the noise issue. This, along with the high-level of security, make zipper closure a top choice in covert pant options.

How to Find Your Size of Tactical Pants:

To find your correct size, you will need to find your waist and inseam measurements. To find your waist size, you'll need to measure your waistline with a flexible sewing tape measure. Without sucking in or puffing out, wrap the measuring tape around your stomach directly below your belly button. Make sure it's lying flat on your skin and isn't twisted or flipped. We recommend putting one finger in between your skin and the tape to ensure your pants don't fit too snugly.

Once the tape measure is wrapped around your waistline, take note of the number the metal tab hits in inches. This is your waist size.

To find your inseam, grab a pair of your best-fitting pants. Lay them down on a flat surface and fold them in half lengthwise, making sure the legs are lined up equally and that any folds are smoothed out. Lift up the top pant leg and pull it back over the waistband to reveal the inseam. Locate the spot where the crotch seam meets the seam that goes down the pant leg and measure all the way down to the hem of the pant leg.

Keep in mind, most tactical pants will sit a little higher on the waist than your average trousers. This fit is to accommodate duty belts and heavy gear without dragging pants down.

Tactical pants are often used for law enforcement officers, EMTs, FBI personnel, military operators, and others who are in the line of fire. As tactical pants grew in popularity, uses for them grew as well. They are also utilized by adventurous individuals in outdoor sports, such as climbing, shooting, hiking, hunting and camping.
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