When I started my training company, I was looking for a “uniform”, something that looked professional but was comfortable and durable. A trip to a small local company resulted in custom polo shirts and baseball caps. And, for pants, I turned to 5.11 and their Taclite Pro Pants. I have two pair of khaki and a black pair – I wear the khaki far more. Regardless what I am doing, I believe it is important to present a professional appearance. Going range or classroom to conduct a class dressed in an old pair of jeans or an old set of BDUs simply does not cut it IMNSHO, of course.
Mrs. B: “Are tttthhhhhhoooosssseeeeee your sssshhhhhooooooootttting pants??” This is said with a cute little smirk that tilts up a corner of her mouth – eyebrows slightly raised and just a tinge of sarcasm in her voice.
Unfortunately for her she was just returning from a ride (she rides dressage).
Me: Why yes sweetie, they are! Say, are ttttthhhhhhoooooossssseeeeee your riding pants? And is that a riding helmet? Are those a pair of riding gloves?? Oh, and are those riding boots?? And say – under that T-Shirt of the stable - is that a riding . . . .
Mrs. B: “Stop right there buster!!!”
I love it when I “win one”.
Shooting pants – hummmm, let’s chat about that for a bit.
I was looking for a number of specific things in the pants:
- Resistant to dirt
- Enough pockets
In other words – “shooting pants”. (don’t you dare tell Mrs. B.)
So let’s go through my list of what I was looking for and how the Taclite Pro Pants meets my expectations.
Comfortable: The “short” classes are all day affairs usually beginning for me around 5AM and ending around 7PM. That turns into a 8AM to 5:30PM day for the folks that come to the classes. Do a back-to-back Defensive Pistol class, that’s a lot of time in the “uniform” combined with a lot of standing, sitting, kneeling, moving both in the classroom and on the range – the pants had to be comfortable. And, they are – tremendously so. The material, while not “soft” like a pure cotton, is fairly light weight, wrinkle free and Teflon coated. It is very comfortable to wear. The waistband has some stretch to it so it gives a bit while you’re moving around. And, the crotch is roomie and comfortable, even at the end of a very long day.
Durable: The material is heavy enough that even after two years of wear and washing is see little, if any, real wear on the pants. They are rip-stop as well though I have not experience any punctures of the fabric at all.
Resistant to dirt: I love Teflon coated pants! They simply do not get “dirty”. Obviously I wash them after a course but given the amount of movement and the up and down to the ground, virtually no dirt clings to them at all. Again, two years – no “dirty spots” can be found on these pants.
Enough pockets: I had my introduction to “cargo pants” during my tour in Vietnam. The gear I could carry in those pockets was amazing – a camera, tools, extra mags, field dressings – pretty darn handy. These pants make those look like pikers! Huge, roomy hip pockets, deep cargo pockets on either side, a “magazine pocket” on the left side that seems to like to hold my glasses, large – deep side pockets, a knife pocket – amazing. And, since I still carry around a fair amount of gear for client services, plenty of room to spare!
From their specs:
- Lightweight 65% polyester and 35% poly cotton ripstop
- Magazine/cell phone pocket
- Two cargo pockets
- Patented slash rear pockets
- Treated with HT Teflon® wear resistant finish
- External knife pocket
- Rear web strap
- YKK® zippers
- Prym® snaps
- Clip loop
For my E.D.C.it provides plenty of room. I carry IWB on my strong side at about 4 o’clock, two spare magazines in my off-side rear pocket, knife in my strong-side rear pocket, flashlight and tactical pen in my off-side cargo pocket along with my wallet and my Leatherman Juice CS4 in my strong-side cargo pocket. It all fits nicely and it’s comfortable to carry the entire day.
If you are in the market for a great part of “shooting pants” for the range, for work or for casual travel – you would be hard pressed to find a better pair than 5.11 Taclite Pro Pants.