Best Lightweight Tactical Cargo Pants of 2020 – Review Round-up

| Last Updated: January 13, 2022

Rough and tough seems cool, doesn’t it? Well, being adventurous is one of the best things that you can do. However, sometimes, there is just so much on the go that you don’t have enough time to consider your clothing. You just cannot keep changing your clothes from comfortable and practical to stylish all the time.

This is why you need something which is both stylish and practical, and tactical pants are just the right thing to take care of this. They are not only trendy but are also quite practical. You will find no difficulty in working while wearing them.

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 the information before you make a decision.

Comparison Chart of the Best Lightweight Tactical Cargo Pants


5.11 Men's Stryke Tactical Cargo Pant with Flex-Tac, Style

  • Best overall due to style and comfort
  • The tunnel waistband is self-adjusting and fits well
  • Perfect for completing professional and everyday tasks
View Latest Price

TRU-SPEC Men's 24-7 Tactical Pant

  • Teflon coating makes the pants stain resistant
  • Two thigh cargo pockets with closures on them
  • Runner up tactical pants because of wrinkle resistance
View Latest Price

Propper Men's Lightweight Tactical Pant

  • Lightweight fabric washes in machine easily
  • Extra-large belt loops for the easier wearing of nylon belts
  • Elegant design and high functionality make them best for the money
View Latest Price

5.11 Tactical Men's Apex Cargo Pant

  • Mechanical stretch ensures a good fit
  • Well-designed seams with secure stitching
  • Flexible and durable flex-tac pants, making these the best for hot weather
View Latest Price

5.11 Men's Taclite Pro Tactical Pants with Cargo Pockets

  • Reliable YKK zippers provide a secure closure
  • Teflon coating prevents any stains or liquid absorption
  • Polyester and cotton ripstop fabric is best for everyday wear
View Latest Price

5.11 Taclite Pro Pant

  • Breathable 5.11 fabric with triple-stitch reinforcement
  • Flexible and practical pants due to Gussetted construction
  • The best lightweight tactical pants due to polyester and cotton fabric
View Latest Price

5.11 Tactical Women's Stryke Pants

  • Has extra-large loops for large duty belts
  • The fixed waistband has no visible elastic
  • Style and comfort design makes these the best for women
View Latest Price

How to Choose New Tactical Pants

Choosing new tactical pants is not too hard if you know what to look for. Here are the features to look for while choosing these.


Tactical pants need to have a very comfortable fabric. Since their primary purpose is to make usual functioning easier for the wearer, you need to consider the fabric while buying tactical pants. There are polyester, nylon, and cotton tactical pants while there is sometimes a mixture of these types too.

Number of Pockets

Well, you never know when you may need to go on very strict missions. In such cases, you need to go light on the baggage and rely more on your pockets. So, choose the pants after considering how many pockets they have. Usually, tactical pants come with 6, 8, 11, or 12 pockets positioned differently.


Since you need to get more dexterity and practicality while wearing tactical pants, you need to choose pants wisely. The pants have to be the right fit so that they do not make your work difficult for you. The more functional the tactical pants, the better you will be able to perform.


Tactical pants have to go through many tough conditions while you are on the go. This is why you need to make sure that they are durable. You can go through the product details to see if it will survive the conditions in which you work.

What Are Tactical Pants?

Tactical pants are basically cargo pants with a 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, or keys, all in separate pockets for organization and ease of access.

Why Tactical Pants Are Growing in Popularity

Defense spending and military funding was booming during the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. After the dust 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 3 Choices

In a hurry? Here are the best lightweight tactical pants:

Review of the Best Lightweight Tactical Cargo Pants

Let's see which models made our list and why

Finding the best pair from the sea of options is surely a tough task. To make this easier, here are some excellent options to consider that truly provide form and functionality at the best price!

5.11 Tactical Stryke Pant, Khaki, 32x30


  • YKK Zippers and Prym Snap Are Highly Durable
  • Practical Double Knee Merges Well With the Rest
  • Has 12 Pockets Within Easy Access of the Wearer
  • Self-Adjusting Tunnel Waistband Helps in Proper Fitting
  • Inner Padded Pockets At the Knees Provide Added Comfort


  • Dark Color Fades Quickly and Doesn’t Take Up Dye
  • The Pants Are Unhemmed and Need Final Touches

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have been very happy with these pants. They love the fabric and the comfort of this product. Most of the buyers are repeat buyers as they are very satisfied with these. Buyers also like that there are many pockets which provide greater space for carrying things.

Why it Stands Out To Us

These stand out to us because of their easy to wear self-adjusting tunnel waistband. With this, there are hardly any problems with a misfit size. The badge holder and belt loops are great as well. We also like these because of the diverse range of colors that they come in.

Who Will Use This Most

People who have to carry a weapon and some ammunition all the time will use these the most. Military personnel, as well as patrols, will make the most out of these. The pants have padded pockets at the knees which help trekkers in moving up hard terrain too.

What Could Be Improved and Why

These tactical pants are the best ones out there and do not need much improvement. However, if the fabric could be lighter, then they would become even easier to wear. The pants should also have sizes to cater to the needs of heavier people. So, some tweaks in the size department are welcome too.

Bottom Line

To sum it all up, these are going to make your work easier with the practicality they provide. The pants have a design which suits the needs of combatants as well as everyday wearers. So, investing in these will be a wise decision.

TRU-SPEC Men's 24-7 Series Original Tactical Pant, Ranger Green, 38W 32L


  • These Are Wind Resistant and Prevent the Wearer From Being Cold
  • The Light Polyester and Cotton Fabric Dries Quickly
  • Wrinkle-Free Fabric Goes Perfectly Without Ironing
  • Hook and Loop Closure Back Pockets Are Expandable
  • Teflon Coating Does Not Let Stains Seep Into the Pants’ Fabric


  • No Separate Pocket For Carrying a Knife Safely
  • The Pockets Do Not Have a Lot of Storage Space

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have very positive feedback about these. They report major relief due to the pants being wrinkle-free. The side cargo pockets on the thighs are a favorite of buyers. These pockets let them sort things separately without putting too much weight on the waistband.

Why it Stands Out To Us

These TRU-SPEC pants stand out to us because of both their appearance and their practicality. They have a very light fabric which dries off easily even when you are in a hurry. Also, the color fastness feature catches our eye because it does not let the color of these pants fade.

Who Will Use This Most

People who are on the move and have patrolling or security jobs will use these the most. Also, people who work in heavy-duty factories or construction companies will find these very useful. The TRU-SPEC pants have high durability, which makes it reliable for such users.

What Could Be Improved and Why

These are great, but they could still do with some improvement. The pockets are shorter as compared to other pants on the market. There are also less pockets and do not help the wearer in sorting things separately. So, manufacturers need to work on the number and size of the pockets.

Bottom Line

These tactical pants by TRU-SPEC have won the hearts of most customers. Their practical design and smooth fabric make them quite popular among people. The only downside is the size of pockets; if it gets improved, these can be the best out there.

Propper Men's Lightweight Tactical Pant, Black, 42 x 30


  • They Have Anti-Fade Color Protection
  • Wrinkle-Resistant Fabric Saves Time 
  • These Do Not Shrink Even With Excessive Washing
  • Zipper Closure At the Front Allows Easier Wearing
  • Teflon Coating Offers Protection From Liquids and Stains


  • Fabric Feels a Little Rough On Your Skin
  • The Elastic Waistband is Prominent and Somewhat Unattractive

What Recent Buyers Report

People who bought these pants recently find them better than most others available at the same price. They report that the pants are very functional with their wrinkle-free and anti-fade fabric. Buyers have had some issues with the rough feel of the fabric, but it is not too disturbing.

Why it Stands Out To Us

These Propper lightweight pants catch our eye because of the simple and elegant design. These look great, which is something some other tactical pants don’t offer. We find these good also because of their stitching and smooth finish. We haven’t found any loose threads on them and like that a lot.

Who Will Use This Most

People who love to wear comfortable and practical clothes on a daily basis will use these most. These are great for survival in the wilderness where you have to fight off dangers. They are great for hunters too as they provide dexterity and safety.

What Could Be Improved and Why

These could get some improvement to suit the needs of a greater customer base. The pockets should be bigger and more in number to help the wearer carry more ammunition. The elastic band needs a greater cover to be subtle. After all, nobody wants to wear grandpa pants, right?

Bottom Line

Overall, these have everything it takes to make a pair of great and practical tactical pants. They are comfortable and easy to carry because of their low weight. The colors are quite attractive with the loops to secure large belts in place too.

5.11 Men's Apex EDC Pants, Black, 33W x 30L, Style 74434


  • Highest Quality Reliable Fabric From 5.11
  • Durable YKK Zipper Provides a Very Secure Closure
  • Flexible Fabric Provides Greater Mobility and Dexterity
  • Highly Comfortable Pants With Mechanical Stretch Fabric
  • Double Reinforced Seat Makes Sitting For Hours Comfortable


  • They Get Wrinkled Sooner Than Expected
  • The Pants Are Quite Long, So They Need Cutting

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love these pants because they serve the purpose perfectly. The flexibility of the fabric makes fitting easier, and it fits the shape of the body. They like the double reinforced seat, which makes sitting even more comfortable for them. They are also impressed with the way the hidden pockets help them stash maps.

Why it Stands Out To Us

We find these pants good because of the way they are comfortable to wear even on hot days. The fabric has mechanical flexibility, which helps in movement, making them much more useful. They also attract our attention because of being so lightweight.

Who Will Use This Most

These are not for a specific category of people, and everyone can wear them. People who are into combating can work equally well in them. The same goes for factory workers. These are also great for travelers, so take a pair or two on your next trekking venture.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The only improvement that buyers want at the moment is the availability of all sizes and colors. There have been reports of not finding the desired color in the size which fits people. So, manufacturers need to look into it and come up with all colors in all sizes.

Bottom Line

These are among the top tactile pants choices and have many satisfied users. They are lightweight and have an easy-to-wear design. The pants also have well-defined seams and stitching lines for the perfect shape. So, go for them if you want to kill the summer’s heat in style and comfort.

5.11 Men's TACLITE Pro Tactical Pants, Style 74273, Dark Navy, 36Wx32L


  • Has Two Cargo Pockets To Carry Weapons
  • Has An External Pocket To Keep the Knife Safe
  • An Additional Pocket For Cell Phone or Magazines
  • The Ripstop Fabric is Reliable and Durable in All Seasons
  • Very Lightweight; Made of 65% Polyester and 35% Poly Cotton Fabric


  • They Are Not Very Long-Lasting
  • They Get Baggy At the Lower Side

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers gave mixed feedback as some of them are very happy while others stand on the opposite extreme. Buyers like the fabric which goes well in hot weather as well. They also like the number, size, and positioning of pockets. However, some buyers complain about size and fitting.

Why it Stands Out To Us

These stand out to us because of their stylish yet simple design. The pants seem professional and have the practicality to them. They also impress us because of being so lightweight and durable at the same time.

Who Will Use This Most

These pants are quite comfortable and stylish, so everyone can use them. They are more like cargo pants, so they are good for all kinds of work. They give you enough space to move about freely while avoiding the overly baggy look. These pants are even perfect for bikers and travelers because they prevent bruising.

What Could Be Improved and Why

These pants have some unsatisfied customers, so they need immediate improvement. The sizes need to be more appropriate, and the fitting needs work as well. They are sometimes too long and sometimes too short. So, there has to be a standard size which fits most people.

Bottom Line

The bottom line on this one is that these are cargo pants and are great for everyday wear. They have a nice fabric which does not chafe your skin even while running with them on. The style and stitching are also great; however, the sizes need improvement.

Best Lightweight Tactical Pants:
5.11 Taclite Pro Pant

5.11 Tactical Men's Taclite Pro Pants, Poly-Cotton Ripstop, Teflon Treatment, Battle Brown, 34Wx32L, Style 74273


  • An Extra Pocket For Keeping Your Cell Phone
  • Fully Secure Closure With Durable YKK Zippers
  • 65% Polyester and 35% Poly-Cotton Ripstop Fabric
  • Two Impressive Cargo Pockets For Increased Storage
  • Stress Points and Seams Have Thorough Backtracking


  • The Fitting Gets Baggy and Unattractive Sometimes
  • More Expensive As Compared To Other Tactical Pants

What Recent Buyers Report

People who bought these lately like what they purchased. Everything from the fabric to the stitching got appreciation from customers. They also like how reliable and long-lasting these are without making the fabric thicker. Buyers are happy with the added comfort these pants provide in outdoor settings.

Why it Stands Out To Us

These 5.11 pants stand out to us as people refer to them as Golden Pants usually. This is because they find these so good that they compare all other purchases with them. These have a smooth and lightweight fabric which does not wear out quickly. So, we like these for their popularity and the fabric.

Who Will Use This Most

These are cargo pants, which means that anyone can use them anywhere. They are not only breathable and comfortable but are also stylish. So, no matter what kind of job you have, you can wear these pants to work with confidence. Also, as the pants are lightweight, travelers can keep as many pairs with them as they want to.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The pants are so good that they do not need any improvements. Manufacturers can bring in more color choices to help people choose the color they prefer. Other than that, everything is great and needs no changes.

Bottom Line

All in all, these cargo tactical pants by 5.11 are a winner when it comes to being lightweight and practical. They have nice stitching with inner seams, which makes them equal parts stylish and comfortable.

5.11 Tactical Women's Stryke Pant, Black, 10 R


  • The Ripstop Fabric is 6.76 Flex Tac
  • They Are Easily Washable In Machines
  • Range Of Impressive Colors To Choose From
  • Lightweight 63% Polyester and 37% Cotton Ripstop Fabric
  • There Are Extra Pockets For Carrying Weapons and Ammunition


  • The Size and Fitting Have Issues Reported
  • The Hems Need Cutting As the Pants Are Long

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are all very glad about their decision of buying these for women. They report that the pants fit them well and flatter their curves. They also like that they do not have to look all baggy in uniform anymore.

Why it Stands Out To Us

These 5.11 pants stand out to us because of their stylish make and practical functioning. They have a fixed waistband which makes the belts look even cooler on them. We also like these because of the fine stitching and defined seams.

Who Will Use This Most

These pants are for women, and all of them can use these cargo pants. However, the ones who are in police or EMT will find them the most useful. These are going to win over plus-sized women too who need something stylish yet impressive.

What Could Be Improved and Why

These pants are great with the lightweight fabric, but they need some changes. The fabric needs a Teflon coating to prevent any staining or seeping of liquids. They also have to have an anti-wrinkle fabric because nobody likes to turn up at work with wrinkled clothes.

Bottom Line

The sum up, these are great for they fit women well. They have a formal appearance, making them best for work. However, they are equally well for non-work settings too because of the comfort they provide.

Types of Tactical Pants

Tactical pants come in many shapes and types. Different types of tactical pants help different people in their specific tasks. Here are some of the most common types to help you determine which one you need.

Combat Pants

Combat pants are the ideal form of tactical pants which comes to mind first. Their design is for military personnel and combatants. They have deeper pockets to allow the wearers to keep more weapons and ammunition. They also come in camouflage and merge with the uniform of the military.

Covert Pants

Covert pants are more for people who do not work in the military. They are for everyday wear and are much more subtle than combat pants. The pockets help you keep your weapon easily accessible while performing your everyday tasks. They are for you if you live on remote property and want to stay safe and comfortable all the time.

Tactical Cargo

Tactical cargo pants are for the bigger men. These are longer and wider to help heavier men stay prepared as well. They have a symmetrical design and larger pockets to help you carry your stuff easily.

Tactical vs. Traditional Uniforms for Civilian and 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?

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. 


Wrapping it all up, tactical pants are one of the most practical pants types to help people stay more active. They allow more free movement and provide more space for storing things, so they are ideal for combat too. They come in many designs and satisfy most people as there is always a pair for everyone. So, go through our list of top picked tactical pants and choose the best ones for you.

Share to Pinterest