Tactical Pants for the 99%
My first foray into the world of tactical pants, besides my issued BDU trousers in the 1990s, was back in 2007 with a pair made by 5.11. They were good and I still have several pairs. However, I was still looking for more. A bit more style, better pocket design and layout, and something that made me look like I actually had an ass.
Yes, I said it. It made me look like I had an ass.
Enter LA Police Gear and their Operator Tactical Pants. I bought my first pair in 2010 for $19.99. I figured at that price even if they were junk, I’d still have two pair of pants for less than one pair from another manufacturer. Well, they weren’t junk. They are awesome.
The 60/40 cotton and polyester rip-stop material make these pants surprisingly tough yet lightweight. Over two years of breaking brush on backpacking expeditions, range trips, and everyday use have resulted in some wear and tear in the normal spots but no major issues with the fabric have arisen. No one likes a wet butt or crotch so I was impressed that the pants dry very quickly, even while being worn. The seat and knees are reinforced with double fabric along with the lower edges of the front pockets, right were you would clip your knife. The belt loops will accept the larger ‘riggers’ belts in addtion there are styles with an elastic waist or cinch straps secured with hook and loop tape. The front two belt loops have color matched plastic D rings. Unlike other pants, the Operator pants come with a built-in drawstring for blousing. Another nice feature is the diamond gusseted crotch, which provided ample freedom of movement when crouching, high stepping, or kneeling. Binding has never been an issue with these pants. Having personally experienced a very painful ‘binding incident’ involving full combat equipment , a T-10 parachute, and 800 feet in which to enjoy the sensation, I really appreciate that.
Got pockets? The Operator pants are loaded with them! On the front are two very deep pockets and two slit pockets large enough for a 30 round AR/M4 mag. The back pockets are slits with flaps secured by two buttons. In ACU trouser style, two vertical bellows pockets with flaps secured by hook and pile tape are located on the calves of each leg. Where these pants leap ahead of the others I have is the cargo pockets. Instead of being simple patch pockets that I have to fight to cram items into, these slanted cargo packets are generous bellows style and are more than adequate for my needs. The flap is secured with hook and loop tape and features a double stitched opening in the middle, wide enough for a Maglite. Inside the pocket are two smaller pockets, the larger at 4 ½ x 3” is situated directly below the opening in the flap. The smaller one measures 4 ½ deep by 2 ½” wide with a plastic D ring directly above.
All the hardware--buttons, D rings, and zippers--on the Operator pants are color matched to the fabric and are made of plastic, which is really the only negative I can describe. So far I had two zippers blow teeth, resulting in a trip to the tailor. I’m willing to pay more for a metal zipper, L.A. Police Gear, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that sentiment.
Zipper issues and plastic accessories aside, for $19.99 I think the Operator Tactical Pants are a damn good deal and worth your hard earned money. They can be found here in a variety of colors and options.