Tactical Pants: Extreme Mobility Part I
Most of the pants LA Police Gear carries is labeled as “tactical,” meaning it will help you stay prepared or quickly adapt to different situations. They’re not necessarily going to be high-tec super-secret spy gadgets that will help you breathe underwater and cook cheese sandwiches at the same time, but they’re usually going to be very comfortable pants that you can wear on various types of jobs. For this mini-series, I’m going to discuss how four pairs of pants perform in extreme mobility conditions.
In order to really put these pants through testing, I took them to a local rock climbing gym, where I knew I would be able to test out extreme lower body positioning and movement wearing these pants. If these pants can survive being on the wall of a climbing gym, it will most likely do just fine everywhere else in terms of mobility.
First Pair: Tactical Pants – Lightweight Ripstop from Condor ($32.95)
This pair is full of pockets. Pockets in the front, pockets on the side, pockets under pockets, pockets inside pockets, pockets behind pockets – you get the idea. While the somewhat efficient pockets are good for many enthusiasts, I found that I had trouble putting my wallet inside the side cargo pockets because of the dividers. Getting it in the back pocket was also challenging, given that the slit pocket has a Velcro closing and the flap pocket does not open as smoothly as I had hoped. Once things get inside the pockets, however, I suspect it will be very difficult to accidentally have them fall out.
The pants have plenty of room for movement. The elastic band expands an extra few inches from the claimed sizing, which compensates for your waistline expanding when you perform actions that require bending at the waist. The material is indeed lightweight, and that does make a difference when you’re traveling against gravity with your own body weight in addition to whatever gear you’re wearing.
Pros: Number of pockets; lightweight material; generous cut for larger thighs
Cons: Some pockets are not easy to access; could use a gusseted crotch
Sizing: Your true waist size will give you about 2-3 inches of extra elastic room in the waist.
Second Pair: Ripstop Mil-Spec BDU Pants from LA Police Gear ($18.99)
If you’re looking for a comfortable, affordable, and durable pair of BDUs, this one is a no-brainer. These BDUs do not have an elastic waistband (it has adjustable straps instead), but there is a lot of room for movement. The standard six-pocket layout may not be enough for a lot of you out there, but it is perfect for my own personal use. It comes with a button fly, and many people find that a little freaky, including me. For those who prefer the zipper version, LA Police Gear also carries the same pair of pants, but with a zipper fly.
One thing to note about this: like many BDUs, these do not come in the traditional jean pants sizes. They come in small, medium, large, x-large, and xx-large. Because the waist is true size, be sure to measure your waist before putting in your order. You can find the sizing chart on the item page.
Pros: Large cargo pockets; lightweight material; competitive pricing
Cons: Button fly freaks some people out; non-elastic waistband;
Sizing: If your true waist size is on the border between sizes, go up a size for more comfort.