Best Lightweight Tactical Cargo Pants of 2019 – Review Round-up

If you're someone who leads a rough and tough lifestyle, a police officer, fire fighter, or member of the military you need a decent pair of tactical pants. Not just because it goes so well with your outfit, but because it serves a distinct purpose in performance on the job. Or maybe you're a civilian looking to upgrade your wardrobe to suit your rough and tough lifestyle.

Either way you'll be able to make a better buying decision in a few minutes after reading this!​

We'll go over what tactical pants are, why you need them for tougher lifestyles, and how to find the most value without spending more money than needed.​ We want to do our best to make sure you've got all then information before you make a decision.

Comparison of the Best Tactical Pants




5.11 Taclite Pro Pant

5.11 Outdoor

Propper Lightweight Tactical Pant

Propper Men's Lightweight Tactical Pant

What Are Tactical Pants?

Tactical pants are basically cargo pants with combat twist added for usefulness and durability. The origin of these style pants comes from mountain climbers who needed a durable pair of pants that also had room for their gear required for climbing.

The rugged material used to make these pants useful to rock climbers also make themselves useful for law enforcement, EMTs, and those in military service.

Material & Specs 

Tactical pants are made with a special lightweight blend of 65% polyester and 35% poly cotton ripstop. This blend makes them perfect for rough and tough jobs that require getting in and out of rough situations.

The belt loops are also designed to fit a larger belt that would support a side arm, hand cuffs, and other clip on items. Which means the stitching in these pants is also above average, in order to hold everything in place without feeling pulled down.

External pockets are a big part of what makes these pants so popular as well. The abundance of storage in these pants makes room for comfortably carrying a knife or two, cell phone, wallet, keys, all in separate pockets for organization and ease of access.

Tactical vs. Traditional Uniforms for Civilian & Service Members

Whether you're a service member of some kind or a civilian, you have what are considered "traditional" clothes/uniforms compared to wearing tactical gear, right?

That seems safe to ass-u-me.

So the differences in traditional and tactical clothing needs to be addressed when picking the right gear. In general tactical pants, and other pieces of tactical clothing, are perceived to be more practical for the physical jobs of policing and other service jobs. Mostly because people in these jobs have more gear to carry and need to have all these things with them at all times to do their job properly.

This just isn't the case when it comes to "traditional" clothing/uniforms. The dress blues of a police officer, or the wranglers of a farmer just aren't suited for the strenuous jobs that have to be done by those in rougher situations.​ So using the best tactical pants, and other tactical gear, is an absolute necessity. 

Why Tactical Pants Are Growing in Popularity

Defense spending and military funding was booming during the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. But after the dust has settled, and the American budget deficit continues to soar, funding for such products has tapered off

However the blood is in the water, so to speak. Average people have had a taste of the high quality military clothing through surplus stores and independent manufacturers such as 5.11, and are hungry for more!

Quick Take: 
Our Top 2 Choices

In a hurry? Here's a snapshot of what's below:

Review of the Best Tactical Pants

Let's see which models made our list and why:

5.11 Outdoor

Following the traditional material blend of 65% polyester and 35% poly cotton ripstop, these pants are the real deal, and the customer favorite on Amazon. 5.11 has made a great name for themselves in the tactical gear space. Their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction has put this US based company in the hearts of most law enforcement and civilian hearts.

However, if you're going to save some cash and order them from Amazon, we advise you to go to a local store that sells them to get the absolute correct size. Some complaints have been the lack of running "true to size".

Also, since these are for service men and women, meaning those who work out and have shape to their legs, you might want to look for a different brand. The 5.11 brand of tactical pants accommodates the service members with ample room in the thigh and pelvis, so the stride isn't impaired if you have to pick up and run. If you're not someone who has muscular legs, these might not work out.

Propper Men's Lightweight Tactical Pant

In a close second place are the Propper Lightweight Tactical Pants. With over 1,500 reviews and a 4.5 star rating, these pants have proved themselves to be almost quality assured! Even though these pants aren't from a US distributor they're very well made and sell for a lower price than the 5.11s.

However the teflon fabric that repels water and stains comes in very handy if you're needing your tactical pants to stay fresh for longer.

Some of the same problems still exist though, like the fit not being true to size of what you would wear in a regular pair of wranglers. So it would help to go find a similar pair at the store to try on before ordering.

And one other good thing about this style pant is the cut is a more tailored/slimmer fit than the 5.11s. This doesn't mean that your tactical pants will look like skinny jeans, but rather they'll be better suited for those who don't have the girth in their legs that other active folks would.

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