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5.11 Tactical Pants & 5.11 Taclite Pro

5.11 Tactical Pants & 5.11 Taclite Pro

Are you looking for some seriously well-made items of clothing that use hardwearing fabrics, are truly comfortable to wear for walks, well designed, well cut and well featured, look smart without being "trendy", and come in classic colours that will not be out of fashion before the clothing wears out?

So was I until I found 5.11 Tactical Clothing. Do not let the "tactical" put you off. OK, the clothing has a following with military police security personnel in the US, but in the UK the outdoor enthusiasts have found and treasure this brand – even uber-bushcrafter and outdoorsman Ray Mears endorses 5.11 products!

The 5.11 range is impressively wide, covering clothing, footwear, packs and much more, but the theme that runs through the range is "quality, comfort and restrained good looks".

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The "5.11 Tactical Pant" are, I understand, the success that sparked the brand; designed by Royal Robbins, the famous American climber, as top quality climbing gear (5.11 is a US rock climbing grade), these trousers proved so practical and comfortable that they were adopted by park rangers, law enforcement personnel and others and the company, 5.11 Tactical, was created to make other kit of similar quality that prove just as popular.Made from 85oz 100% cotton canvas, these trousers are tough and comfortable, cut to give freedom of movement without being baggy, having small front pleats and a classic look.

The construction of the trousers is superb with double stitched seams, reinforced lower corners on both the back and front pockets, lots of bar tack reinforced stitching at stress points and quality materials such as YKK zips and Prym press studs.The features designed into the trousers are also very well thought out.The waistband is partially elasticated with 7 good, wide belt loops (the front right mounting a D-ring for securing keys etc), and a press-stud closure, while, behind the zip fly, there is a "button across" flap for a secure and comfortable closure.

There are 2 deep and comfortable front "bag" style front pockets and 2 big back pockets built into the double thickness of the seat of the trousers. The back pockets will comfortably take an OS Map and have Velcro closures on their diagonal openings for ease of access. Over the right side back pocket there is a webbing strap which allows you to clip on various items for security. On the thighs there are twin pockets with inverted pleats and Velcro-closed pocket flaps, and on the left thigh a "bellows" type pocket with a Velcro-closed flap.

This pocket is ideal for carrying smaller items such as a compass or mobile phone, or even a small GPS.The trousers also have reinforced knee panels that will take knee-pads (not included) if you are doing a lot of kneeling, and the leg hems are eyeleted for taking drawcords if you want to "blouse" the trousers to avoid insects and ticks etc.The 5.11 Tactical trousers come in sizes 28-44 waist and even inside leg lengths from 30" to 36", in colours Black, Khaki, Green, Coyote (a tannish brown), Tundra (a darker brown) and Navy, and cost around £50.

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A rip-stop poly-cotton version of the trousers – the "5.11 Taclite Pro", almost identical to the "5.11 Tactical Pant" but with the addition of a small pocket on the right front - is also available (not in Navy) at the same price. This might be preferred by those looking for lighter, faster-drying trousers. I have tried both and (as you may have gathered) love them both.

I have been using the cotton canvas 5.11 trousers for several years now and find them extremely comfortable and practical for wear almost year round for all but the warmest and coldest conditions and in very wet weather.

For the warmer weather the Taclite trousers are proving a great alternative, while in cold weather the cotton trousers serve reasonably well if I "layer up" well. Both the poly-cotton and cotton versions wash well with the cotton clothing fading slowly to give a comfortable lived-in look over time. The poly-cotton clothing dries considerably faster that the cotton versions, which you might find worth bearing in mind if you are going out in wet conditions.

Overall, I rate these trousers very highly indeed, finding them tough, durable, practical, functional, versatile and, above all, comfortable walking clothing.

For more information visit www.511tactical.com Tel 01782 515901
Author
John Fenna
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