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REVIEW: Blackhawk TNT Ops Pants

I'm always in search of the perfect tactical pant. Not because I'm some kind of shooting instructor or security contractor, but when I do go on reporting assignments with military units, I want bottoms that are durable, comfortable and have room enough for water bottles, notebooks, recorders, phones (first aid kits) etc.

I like lean and mean, not Gangsta Baggy. I want technical fabrics and high-end features. And as good as 5.11s and their ilk are, I want to stand out from the crowd.

So a couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend the day with the Coast Guard's counter terrorism unit, The Maritime Security Response Team, down in Chesapeake, Va. A day of door kicking demos, sawing through steel and shooting paper on a Blackwater range. Not exactly an embed's worth of durability tests, but good enough for a look see in the Dog Days of winter.

This time I decided to check out the Blackhawk TNT Ops Tactical pants. I have a pair of their 5.11 lookalikes and while they're OK, they're not in my assignment go-bag.

Basically Blackhawk bills the TNT pants as a sort of civilianized version of their High Performance Combat Uniform pants without the hardcore attributes like built-in tourniquets and extra pockets (knee and ankle). They're made of 100 nylon TNT fabric and feature the same "athletic cut" of the HPFU pants, gusseted crotch, articulated knees, 2x leg pockets. They also have that low-viz comfort waist which accommodates a post-op beer or two without the geriatric side pleats of other gut-accommodating waistbands.

The pants work great and fit the bill but with one major caveat: only wear them in warm summer months. Fortunately it was unusually warm during my stint with the MSRT, but when the sun dropped, the pants left me a bit chilly. I'd also like to see a reinforced knee and seat and wider back pockets.

But for warm weather ops, the TNT pants will definitely fit the bill for light duty training and outings.

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