When it comes to pants, what kind you’re wearing is going to depend largely on where you’re going and what you plan on doing in said pants. Their are denim pants, work pants, and short pants, but no pants are quite as versatile or as tough as a pair of tactical pants.
Tactical pants — in all their tactical glory — are similar to the classic style of cargo pants except that they possess certain technical modifications — such as the use of lightweight, fast drying, and hard-wearing materials and the use of concealed carry pockets or hidden compartments to name a few — and are sure to outlast any other pair of pants in your closet.
The best tactical pants on the market aren’t just reserved for those who work in tactical-related fields such as the FBI, law enforcement and SWAT teams, and military personnel, although certain design elements render them suited to those professions — namely the abundance of pocket storage for tactical gear and reinforced knees for harder use on the job. For those looking for the best tactical pants to wear both on and off the job, we’ve curated this list of the ten best pairs available today.
TAD Force 10 AC Cargo Pants
When it comes to tactical gear in general, a great place to always start is with Triple Aught Design. Along with their hard-wearing tactical bags you’ll find an assortment of capable tactical pants — most notably the Force 10 AC Cargo Pant.
No matter if you’re a special forces soldier operating behind enemy lines or a weekend camping enthusiast, the Force 10 AC Cargo Pants will stand up to the abuse thanks to T-Pro Armor Pad inserts in the knees for added protection and an overbuilt construction from TAD’s amphibious cloth fabric that is not only quick-drying, but also extremely lightweight and and exceptionally durable.
Not only will you fit seamlessly into these tactical pants despite changing conditions, so will most of your gear. The Force 10 AC Pants are outfitted with a total of 8 pockets — including a pair of hidden document pockets — perfectly-place D-rings, and internal dividers for better securing your tactical gear. – Buy It
5.11 Tactical Apex Pants
Designed for tactical, casual, or covert wear, the new Apex Pants by tactical brand 5.11 are quite possibly the most functional pair of pants ever created. They are made from 5.11’s stretchy Flex-Tac canvas for superior performance and flexibility in the field, and feature reinforced pockets up front, extra deep thigh-mounted cargo pockets with zip closures on the sides, a fully gusseted crotch, and articulated knees for freedom of movement.
For those serious about concealed carry, the two internal pockets sewn into each cargo pocket and a pair of rear yoke pockets were designed to fit AR magazines while hidden pockets integrated in both the front and rear of the waistband discreetly store a set of flex handcuffs and a handcuff key respectively. Pair them with a pair of the brand’s tactical gloves and you’ll be ready in the field. – Buy It
GoRuck Challenge Pants
GoRuck could have simply stopped after creating the GR1 Rucksack and they still would have been a successful brand. But revolutionary brands like them don’t really ever stop creating purposeful tactical gear. Luckily for everyone, they went on to create the Challenge Pants. The GoRuck Challenge Pants were designed to meet the demands of their signature GoRuck challenges, which makes them durable enough to withstand pretty much anything you throw their way.
Their trademarked ToughDry material is both rugged and lightweight, which means it will resist the abrasions of outdoor activities (notably GoRuck Challenges) and dries quickly from whatever pool of water you find yourself crawling out of from said outdoor activities.
Additional features include articulated knees for better range of motion, horizontal front pockets for stashing your valuables, and articulated knees and a diamond gusseted crotch that both allow for extra stretch. – Buy It
5.11 Tactical Stryke Pants
Every brand has a best seller, and in 5.11’s case — as far as tactical pants go — it’s the Stryke Pants. The feature-rich Stryke Pants are prototypical tactical pants and boast everything you need in a pair and then some — a rugged ripstop fabric construction with plenty of stretch, a gusseted crotch and articulated knees for improved range of motion, and many, many pockets.
Speaking of pockets, the Stryke Tactical Pants have 12 of them, some of which are very deep for stashing your tactical EDC, and all of which are reinforced for hard wear. They’ve got everything you need, nothing you don’t, and they very well may last forever. – Buy It
Under Armour Storm Covert Tactical Pants
If you thought that outdoor sportswear brand Under Armour was only good for a pair of sunglasses and a swimsuit, think again. They also offer one hell of a pair of tactical pants. They’re called the Storm Covert Tactical Pants and, by the name alone, they’re sure to stand up to years of abuse.
They were designed to be comfortable for all-day wear, which is accomplished via a lightweight woven canvas fabric and a stretch-engineered waistband. These tactical pants also repel water, so you shouldn’t fear the occasional downpour while wearing them to and from the office. Additional features include off-set belt loops for better holster placement and 8 roomy pockets including a dedicated knife pocket on the right and a hidden internal back pocket for stashing your valuables. – Buy It
Tru-Spec Original Tactical Pants
Tru-Spec states that their Original Tactical Pants are “the best fitting, most comfortable tactical pants on the market.” A claim like that among a list of superb tactical pants is worth noting. To back up that statement, Marine and Full Metal Jacket star R. Lee Ermey refers to them as “the best damn pair of pants I’ve ever owned.”
Deep cargo pockets can easily accommodate a concealed carry pistol while a comfort fit slider waistband eliminates the need for adjustable side tabs and accommodates most paddle-style holsters and inside-the-waistband holsters. For the guy with even more gear than the next, deep front pockets, a pair of knife pockets and expandable back pockets means you most likely won’t need a backpack or any other organizer while wearing these pants. Are they the best tactical pants on the market? Perhaps. You be the judge. – Buy It
Vertx Original Tactical Pants
Sometimes, less is more. Be it a tactically-inspired pen, a tactical backpack, or tactical pants. Just because the Vertx Original Tactical Pants aren’t overly tactical in appearance in no way means they’re not up to the task.
Much like the rest, the Vertx Tactical Pants provide improved flexibility and ruggedness via a gusseted crotch and articulated knees, while low-profile cargo pockets lessen the pant’s overall tactical appearance without sacrificing precious storage capacity. A concealed zipper pocket on the right side of the pants secures whatever valuables you may have on hand — be it a folding knife, a smartphone, or something better left unmentioned. – Buy It
Blackhawk Tac-Life Pants
Blackhawk stocks some of the best tactical gear on the market — be it backpacks, holsters, or flashlights — so it only makes sense that we mention their hard-wearing Tac-Life Pants here now. They’re built completely from Nylon Ottoman with Teflon Shield+. This treated material will repel oil, water, and those nasty coffee spills that your Dockers just can’t seem to shake.
Not only will they fight hard through whatever precipitation your town is experiencing when you’re wearing them, they’ll also handle their fair share of everyday carry tools day in and day out via a variety of reinforced multi-purpose pockets and a dedicated knife pocket. Articulated knees and a yearning for urban adventure round out the TacLife Pant’s notable features. – Buy It
5.11 Taclite Pro Pants
5.11 is in the business of making quality tactical gear, and business is really good for them. Case in point is the Taclite Pro Pants — the second from the brand to make this list. As with everything that comes from 5.11 — except maybe their boots — the Taclite Pro Pants are built for hard work. The pants are made from a proprietary ripstop fabric with water-repelling Teflon finish, double-reinforcement at the seat and knees, and bartacking at crucial seams and stress points.
Other nice touches, such as triple stitching, YKK zippers, and a hip-mounted D-ring separate the Taclite pants from other would-be contenders that didn’t quite make the list. They’re tough and they’re reliable tactical pants for sure, and 8 tactical-sized pockets will easily meet the demands of your growing everyday carry collection. – Buy It
5.11 Tactical Ridgeline Pants
Versatile enough for the range or for everyday casual wear, the 5.11 Ridgeline Pants sport a cleaner design than most of their tactical pant counterparts. But don’t let their casual appearance fool you, because they’re more than ready to stand up to any tactical environment you could think to wear them into.
Their heavyweight ripstop fabric construction stretches for improved range of motion, while a gusseted crotch, bartacking, and double-stitching throughout prevents unwanted rips and tears in the line of duty. Extra pockets built into the side of the pants accommodate anything from your smartphone to extra AR-15 magazines, and anything in between. – Buy It