5 Best Tactical Pants in 2020

Based on my research, the best tactical pants are the CQR’s Men’s Tactical pants; these lightweight pants feature water repellent fabric and an elastic waistband for comfort and support. The included pockets and D-rings allow for the easy installation of tactical gear and are large enough to access when wearing gloves. A special magazine front pocket is also available on the front thigh.

To find the best tactical pants for law enforcement, military use, hunting, and other outdoor activities, we looked into each pant’s factors, including the fabric and materials, pocket storage, tactical attachments, and camouflage. Different fabric types can alter your experience, providing features, such as lightweight and water repellent materials. Do you have lots of gear to carry? If so, then finding a pair of pants with specially designed large pockets and included D-rings might be essential. We have tactical pants for everyone’s needs. Keep reading to learn more about the best tactical pants and which option would best fit your situation.

Top 5 Best Tactical Pants

 #1  CQR Men’s Tactical Pants

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: These pants from CQR allow you to move with ease and comfort, thanks to the lightweight design and elastic waistband. Not only are they comfortable, but they feature lots of pocket storage and room for tactical attachments via D-rings.

Pros
  • Comfortable elastic waistband built-in
  • Includes D-rings for tactical attachments
  • Uses water repellent fabrics
Cons
  • Pants run on the smaller side

CQR offers an excellent pair of tactical pants, providing a fabric that is lightweight and comfortable to wear; a supporting factor is the included elastic waistband. If you have lots of gear, the added pockets and D-ring hooks will help you travel with everything you need — a thigh magazine pocket is also included and ready. The water repellent fabrics turn these into waterproof tactical pants to help to fight against Mother Nature if required

It’s hard not to love these pants from CQR, and the wide variety of available colors and styles are a definite plus. Just know that the pants tend to run a size small when ordering, so we recommend increasing your requested size by one larger than what you usually wear. However, a large collection of sizes are available, making these the best tactical pants for big guys. With the best pair of tactical pants, you’ll want the best survival knives so you’re ready for combat.

 #2  LA Police Gear Men’s Operator Tactical Pants

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: From LA Police Gear, these pants offer a comfortable fit thanks to the fabric; a combination of 65% polyester and 35% cotton rip-stop. Included belt loops and added airport-friendly YKK zippers are an added bonus.

Pros
  • Deep cargo pockets for quick access
  • Articulated accents to promote movement
  • YKK zipper is airport-friendly
Cons
  • Waistband can become uncomfortable

This pair of tactical pants from LA Police is aimed to please with its lightweight fabric design, composed of 65% polyester and 35% cotton rip-stop. The large included tactical cargo pants pockets make all of your gear ready to access in an instant, allowing you to get what you want when you need it. The articulated accents around the knees and fully gusseted crotch also help to promote better movement.

LA Police Gear includes a YKK zipper that is airport-friendly, so you can wear these pants even when you are traveling. One note that we found is that the waistband has quite large pleats; if you wear your shirt out when using, you may find the creases become a bit abrasive when exercising or moving about. If you want to be ready to survive anything, you’ll want the best earthquake kit too.

 #3  5.11 Men’s Taclite Pro Work Tactical Pants

Award: BEST NO WASH

WHY WE LIKE IT: If you need a pair of lightweight men’s tactical pants, take a close look at this option from 5.11; it utilizes a durable tactile fabric composed of polyester and poly cotton ripstop. Your knife pocket is even reinforced knees with Cordura nylon.

Pros
  • Teflon treated to resists stains, soil, & moisture
  • Reinforced Cordura nylon knife pocket
  • Durable triple-stitching assembly
Cons
  • On the expensive side of options

5.11 delivers with a top-notch pair of tactical pants; the company’s Taclite Pro pants are not only lightweight but strong and durable thanks to the triple-stitching assembly, a step above double-stitching. The robust build continues into the pockets with a special reinforced Cordura nylon knife pocket, alongside the rest of the pant’s polyester and poly-cotton ripstop materials. The pants are even treated with Teflon for stain, soil, and moisture resistance. With the best disaster kit on your back, these pants will prepare you to handle any kind of weather.

These pants from 5.11 also feature a gusseted inseam for maximum mobility and comfort when you’re on the move. The lightweight design also makes them the best tactical pants for hot weather. While 5.11 is a high-quality and trusted brand when it comes to gear, know that you will be paying for the privilege, as these pants are on the more expensive side of the options we researched.

 #4  AKARMY Men’s Military Tactical Pants

Award: BEST 10 POCKET

WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re going hunting or need to be near invisible, these options from AKARMY are the way to go; available in various shades of green and yellow, you’ll be able to fit into your environment with this breathable, wear-resistant pair of pants.

Pros
  • Scratch-proof & wear-resistant design
  • Adjustable Velcro at knees & ankles
  • Optionally available knee pad inserts
Cons
  • Stitching could be improved

This pair of tactical pants from AKARMY will keep you well hidden, thanks to multiple camouflage color options; from dark greens to lighter yellows, in addition to various other shades. Of course, you can also grab the pants in standard green, navy, khaki, or black, making them the best covert tactical pants that we tried. We’re also fans of the scratch-proof & wear-resistant design, in addition to the adjustable Velcro at the knees and ankles.

You can also opt to purchase knee pad inserts, helping to make them the best tactical pants with knee pads. We only wish the stitching was a bit more robust, as we’ve found that individuals have had issues with damage, but not enough for us to disqualify it from our best roundup. While you’re preparing for survival, you’ll want to pick up the best running shoes too.

 #5  FREE SOLDIER Men’s Water Resistant Tactical Pants

Award: BEST ON A BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: This offering from FREE SOLDIER offers tactical pants at an affordable price, while still providing a durable product. Featuring 4 upgraded pockets including a security slash pocket, and a Teflon coating, they are ready for your next adventure.

Pros
  • Great casual, relaxed look
  • Includes EDC pockets on thighs
  • Strengthen with Teflon coating
Cons
  • Relaxed fit is not for everyone

Purchasing a pair of tactical pants for your next outdoor adventure shouldn’t require you to drag out your credit card. FREE SOLDIER understands that idea, providing affordable tactical pants on a budget. These Men’s Water-Resistant Tactical Pants feature 10+ pockets around the front, back, and sides, as well as EDC pockets on the thighs. The included EDC pockets allow you to carry around pens and assorted tools without worry.

The entire pants are coated with Teflon to help prevent staining, in addition to adding a water repellent element to the fabric. We will note that these pants are more of a relaxed fit, so some might find them baggy. If you want more of a tight-fit style, these are not for you, otherwise, don’t hesitate to take a look. You may want to look into some of the best sports equipment to help prepare you for the elements too.

How We Decided

To find the best tactical pants on the market, we began by establishing a list of the top factors that contribute to a reliable pair, including the fabric and materials, pocket storage, tactical attachments, and camouflage. Once these guidelines were set, minimum criteria were established, so that only the best tactical pants options would appear on our list for consideration.

For each pair of pants, we carefully examined the materials used, selecting options that only met our standards of being both lightweight and durable; such fabrics include poly-cotton rip-stop. We also included fabrics treated with Teflon for water and stain resistance. For pocket storage, all of our selections feature at least half a dozen, so you don’t need to leave your gear behind.

Additional tactical attachments were also considered, which is why all of our selections feature D-rings for fast on-the-go storage of tactical items. Some of our choices also feature EDC pockets to carry pencils and pens. Lastly, concerning camouflage, we made sure to vary our selection so that we have something for every environment type.

Best Tactical Pants Buyer’s Guide

Features

  1. Fabrics and Materials: When shopping for tactical pants, ensure that the fabric is lightweight for natural movement, yet also durable. We recommend selecting pants that include poly-cotton rip-stock. Additionally, a Teflon coating is beneficial to prevent wear and repel moisture.
  2. Pocket Storage: What do you need to carry with you? When purchasing a pair of tactical pants, be sure they have enough storage for all your gear. You’ll also want to make sure they are large enough to access with gloves if you typically wear them.
  3. Tactical Attachments: Do you require a D-ring or other external aides to clip on gear? We recommend purchasing a pair that features at least one, if not two, D-rings for convenience.
  4. Camouflage: Is camouflage a concern to you? If so, be sure to locate a pair of pants that offer the appropriate color for your environment: green for forests, yellows for desserts, and black for night.

Tactical Pants FAQs

What are tactical pants used for?

Tactical pants are often worn by law enforcement, EMTs, and other first-responders; however, they can also be worn by those who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, hunting, and mountain climbing. Tactical pants are typically made from a lightweight, breathable material that is also quite durable and robust.

Are tactical pants waterproof?

Not all tactical pants are waterproof; if you are searching for a pair of pants that feature water-resistance, be sure to look for that feature in the description. Some pants feature a Teflon coating to assist repelling water, as well as fighting wear.

Are tactical pants good for hiking?

Tactical pants do provide lots of storage space, which can be an advantage for hikers; however, most hikers typically prefer to store their gear in backpacks. Tactical pants may also be a poor choice for hiking if you decide to travel on wet trails or wade through water.

What does 5.11 mean?

Our list features a product by 5.11; this company name comes from the highest rock climbing difficulty level from Yosemite National Park in eastern Nevada, along the Utah border.

What are good tactical pants (and who makes the best tactical pants)?

According to our research, we found the best pair of tactical pants to be CQR’s Men’s Tactical Pants; they allow you to move with ease and comfort, thanks to the lightweight design and elastic waistband. They are comfortable, but they feature lots of pocket storage and room for tactical attachments via D-rings.

Why do soldiers tuck their pants in their boots?

Tucking pants in boots helps to prevent bugs and other debris from entering your pants, especially if you are prone to the ground. If you are in cold weather, they can also help keep your ankles warm.

What other brands are available?

Some other brands that you may choose to investigate for research purposes include Dickies canvas tactical pants, Booduns tactical pants, and Scollor tactical pants.

Also why not check out:

Michael Archambault

Michael Archambault is a technology writer and digital marketer located in Long Island, New York. For the past decade, Michael has covered the consumer technology space, reporting on the latest industry offerings while crafting comprehensive how-to guides, hands-on-reviews, and opinion-editorials. Michael has worked for Amazon.com's DPReview, Mobile Nations' Windows Central, onMSFT, PetaPixel, Dotdash’s Lifewire, and Digital Trends.

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