Got my first check from my new job today. I worked two days in the pay period but got paid for only one. Just my luck! They also took out much less than I asked for federal taxes. I am working on getting it corrected. Still, I have a little extra cash, or will have it once I cash the check, and that is a good thing.
I guess it was at least 4-5 years ago, when I was still working for DHS, that they issued us a bunch of duty gear. Among it all were a couple of pairs of 5.11 Tactical Taclite Pro pants, series number 74273. At the time, I figured they had to be absolute crap as was most of my issued equipment that had been issued to me since the Customs & Immigration investigative offices were merged in ICE (now Homeland Security Investigations) under DHS. I was wrong.
Actually, these are some of the best BDU or tactical type pants I have ever owned. (I usually buy Tru-Spec, cotton BDUs which I also like a lot.) Luckily for me, the government allowed me to keep them on my retirement almost three years ago and I still wear them. In fact, I wear them frequently. To date, the only issues I have with them is that one has a hole in the right side slash pocket, probably because for a while there I did something I don't always do and carried a pistol in that pocket, one pair also has a worn spot in the fabric where they were abraded by something or other, and both pairs are worn ragged at the bottom where they have dragged on the floor or ground while I was wearing flat soled shoes with them on, they are little long on me. In other words, they have held up very well in five years of medium to heavy use. The only problems were caused by me and I could certainly have prevented them from wearing out at the bottom by either having them altered or by not wearing flat soled shows while wearing those pants. Oh, there is on other issue, they have begun to get stained. The stains are probably mostly gun oil but the pants were pretty stain resistant over the years I have had them and that stain resistant quality seems to have worn off. I think they were Teflon coated or something like that and I guess it comes off over time and through many washings. Anyway, I think just 4-5 years or so without my pants getting stained is a damned good run.
As for the pants themselves, they are 5.11's style 74273 - Taclite Pro Pants. They are made of a 65/35 polyester-cotton blend. They appear to be ripstop, as they have the little squares in the material, but that is not stated on the company website so, I am not sure if they are or not. The material is fairly lightweight and they are comfortable pants in the summer despite being 65% polyester. I have also worn them in the winter and although they certainly are not winter-wear, as in made to keep you warm, they okay for a fairly mild winter's day of in and out of the cold/warm like going from home to work or shopping or whatever. Speaking of work, they are dressy enough, I think, for casual wear at work in the office and rugged enough for in the shop, and actually suitable enough for tactical or other field work and comfortable for a day at the range and I have worn them in all such situations.
I suppose they live up to the 'tactical" in their name with two side cargo-like pockets with flap closures (the pockets are not expandable like true cargo pockets), a smaller pocket with flap closure above the cargo pocket on the left, two side slash pockets, two rear slash pockets, and a small open topped pocket above the cargo pocket on the right (I have used that one to hold needle nosed pliers while fishing). 5.11 says one of the pockets is a knife pocket. I figure you can use either the small flap closure pocket or the small open pocket depending on how quickly you want to get to the knife and whether or not your knife has a clip on it. The cargo-like pockets, the knife pocket and the rear pockets are secured with Velcro strips. There is also a metal ring attached to the front right side belt loop to which I imagine you could secure a key ring although I have never made use of it. Above the right rear pocket, there is a piece of webbing sown into the pants on each of its ends - I have no clue as to the purpose of it, to me it is pointless but I am not very tacticool and am on the ignorant side about such things. The pants have a snap and zipper closure with an additional internal button closure in the fly. The belt loops can accommodate at least a 1.5" wide belt and I think will take a 2" belt. The loops themselves are fairly wide too. The waistline is forgiving in that it is elasticized on the sides. Thanks to that, they are pretty comfortable pants for those of us who are, shall I say, endowed with a beer belly. I would guess they are just as comfortable for those among us with slimmer figures. For more info, go here: http://www.511tactical.com/taclite-pro-pants.html
All in all, I have got to give them this: They are one good pair of pretty rugged and comfortable pants made with tactical use in mind. The ones they make today seem to be identical (from what I can tell looking at their website) to those I was issued 4-5 years ago. Don't let their name fool you though, they are not just for tactical use and are quite suitable for everyday pants in a wide variety of situations, I think they should have been named 5.11 Practical Pants but I guess Tactical or Taclite sells better. Anyway, they get an A+ in my estimation.
All the best, Glenn B
Note: As usual - no compensation of any kind was offered or given to me for this review - although if they wanted to throw a few pair of these pants my way, I do not think I would refuse such an offer from 5.11 (hint, hint).
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