Most of this industry is full of 65/35 polyester cotton ripstop. If you didn’t know that, check the labels on your Propper, 5.11, Tru-Spec, Blackhawk and Vertx Pants. You are starting to see other materials being introduced, primarily lycra which gives material a little bit more stretch, many practicing martial arts are finding this to suit them well. The Tru-Spec Ascent pants and the 5.11 Stryke Pant are two of the more popular styles we see selling. These pants are not going to keep you warm in the winter though. I’ve done enough security gigs where I was reminding myself that on the next shift its time to switch to another material because those 1am-7am shifts can be painfully cold compared to sunny afternoon work.
I have to be honest, the Tru-Spec pants that sell the most are the lighter weight products, but if you are use to wearing the 24/7 Series Tactical Pants, there is an all cotton canvas pant with the exact same pocket patters that is available. There is another style they just came out with last year called the Delta, it’s a nice pant but we know that people always have their preferences with pocket patterns. One of the major negatives of the Tru-Spec pants product line is all the variations in hand pocket angles and depths. We’ve seen a lot of people complain that when they try to add to their Tru-Spec pants wardrobe, that there are too many variations of wallet pockets and hand pockets that it’s hard to pocket carry in some of the styles and access to hand pockets can be inhibited if you are wearing a paddle holster. OWB Holsters can also inhibit access to the knife pockets that they design on some of their pants. (Hint) That’s why Blackhawk and 5.11 Tactical and many others, have pockets forward of the hand pockets. It’s a good quality product line but you’re going to have to pick and choose what works for you.
Every once in awhile we get people that come to our store because we stock a lot of the things that people don’t like to buy online namely, clothing and holsters. Now that Tru Spec has gained so much ground in the competitive tactical clothing market it pays to be stock different styles. It’s pretty much assumed that most of our customers are gun owners, and carry firearms, but not everyone does. There are a considerable number of people that just like where various tactical pants because they need it for the tools or job they do for a living. Having pants with pockets that are friendly to carrying knives or multitools without punching holes through them or un-necessary wear is not common at a shopping mall.
One of the popular styles that we are going to stock more of are the Tru Spec Mens Classic Pants because they have all of the utility applications of many of the tactical pants “without” a BDU pocket which is usually the dead giveaway that your a Cop or Military personnel. There is a hidden zipper pocket on both legs that come in handy when you are driving a car or on trip on a plain, or just don’t need a pocket as large as most BDU pants. The best thing about this style of pant is that if you are already where the other 24/7 pants you aren’t going to have trouble with sizing like you would with other brands, consistency in sizing is something that we’ve always liked about Tru Spec products.
When many people think about camo pants, it’s usually the BDU type that you can get with the draw string bottoms and the adjustable sliding straps for your waist. One thing we have found out recently is that since Tru-Spec came out with the Multicam 24/7 pants, many of our customers prefer the pocket patterns of this pant than the military style BDU. Now that people are carrying knives, flashlights, cell phones ect, you don’t want those large BDU pockets where all of your stuff if floating all around and can fall out.
The pants have internal pockets inside the BDU pockets for smaller objects, the velcro seems to be much stronger than other BDU pants and far more secure, there are small knife or flashlight pockets high up on the sides and these are going to be far more useful than any of other BDU Multicam Pants we sell. These TruSpec Multicam Pants will match up with the Tru-Spec multicam combat shirts, whether they are the standard combat shirt, 1/4 Zip combat shirt or the Winter Combat shirts. We have large selection of these since our sales data still says that Multicam is the number 1 camo people are wanting.
Sometimes our customers are told what to buy, and sometimes it’s at their discretion. Color usually matters and in this industry it’s almost always Khaki or Black, but then it’s our turn to pitch some options. We work with people doing everything from Prison Security, SWAT Training, Concealed Carry, Home Inspection Workers, Landscapers, Electricians and more. They are sometimes wearing the exact same so called “tactical pants”. Cell phones have really changed a lot and often the design of the pockets and it’s relationship to which cell phone someone is using is what actually sells the product, but sometimes the pockets are excessive for what people are using them for and when you have those large BDU type pockets, especially if you are wearing black pants, you are going to have that Ninja SWAT look.
Changing up the color to Tru-Spec’s Stone or Coyote color can really change the image you portray. There were several new designs that came in the last year that have really gained attention, first the Tru-Spec Eclipse pant, which is available in the 65/35 Polycotton ripstop or the 100% nylon which really out sells the previously mention material. I would classify the Eclipse pant and an Ultra Lightweight design but check out the pocket layout because the really lightweight material is going to cause anything you are carrying in the pockets to print. I have seen the trend towards the stretchy fabric that everyone seems to want in their pants and even though I hear a lot about the 5.11 Stryke Pants which are about $70, The Tru-Spec Pants that I’d rather wear are the Tru-Spec Ascent pant due to the much better pricing at about $59.95.
I’m not going to make those blog post out about how this is some fantastically designed tactical pant that will fit everyone’s needs, but like all clothing, especially if you are in the area of the Country with different seasons, you have to change up your clothing to fit the outside temperatures. We’ve been dealing with mostly cotton/canvas pants, 100% cotton pants and the biggest one, 65%/35% polyester cotton ripstop pants, but this is our first venture into carrying a nylon material pant. First, if you are familiar with the Tru-Spec product line, this is very different than the 24/7 series pants as far as material and pocket design, I always force myself to try something out myself before we put in our stocking orders since I’ve developed a pretty good bull shit meter as to whether or not our customer base is going to go for it. Secondly, I would have to say that these pants, although having very good internal hand pockets with a slot for a knife and flashlight, or whatever you want to put in them made me happy and I didn’t notice it when our sales rep first showed them to me, but these pants are so lightweight, and the material is so soft, that it’s probable not a good idea to expect to pocket carry a firearm in them because it will print.
I noticed many of our Police Officers that are on bike patrol all have nylon shorts on and we will be bringing in something in that category very soon, but if you want to wear pants because you need to carry your every day carry stuff with you, and you wanted something lighter weight than what the Tru-Spec product line had to offer previously, definitely consider picking a pair up, we’re doing an $8 flat rate shipping on the Tru-Spec Eclipse Tactical Pants and with Summer just around the corner, you will not be sweating it out with these pants and you’ll also have a level of sun protection because you won’t be wearing shorts. These do seem to be a more slim fit and they DO NOT have elastic waistbands like many of the 5.11 Tactical, Tru-Spec and Blackhawk pants we sell do, so be careful when ordering that you rethink you’re actual size. If you don’t want to wear shorts all this Summer consider putting these into your wardrobe.
Everyone in this industry wants comfort and there is a difference between a Police Officers uniform comfort a Soldiers comfort and someone going to training on a firearm range. I hear so many nightmare stories from our Law Enforcement about all the bad tailoring the get, they get measure so it will fit properly, and then when it’s on them, it’s not right. We’ve noticed differences in fit, from tactical clothing company to tactical clothing company and it’s definitely there. Comparing pants with elastic waistbands to tailored clothing is a bad idea. One reason we have a fitting room is our customers have to decide for “themselves” of what is comfortable for them. Once you get the proper fit, there is another area of comfort and that is with the fabrics.
It usually starts with a varying degree off cotton to give breath ability because it’s assumed in this world that you will be moving and sweating. Most of your perspiration is release from you upper body so tactical pants won’t have ventilation like shirts due but varying degrees of durability is what is offered. 100% cotton ripstop is probable the most comfortable, but the least durable, but hot environments you don’t want to sweat to death, but the nylon stand prevents tearing which actually what it was designed for in the Pacific theater in WWII. Cotton canvas is durable but can absorb moisture, Poly/cotton ripstop is a stiffer feel and Blackhawk, Tru-Spec and 5.11 have made a big foothold in the industry with this material. Many Tru-Extreme or Combat Uniforms have poly/cotton or 50/50 Cordura. Spandex and Lycra are two other materials you will find in these products as well as Vertx tactical pants to give the material some ability to stretch.
This is a niche market but it appeals to a very hardcore group of people. Much of it is preference driven whether it’s Condor tactical vests, molle gear or Vertx product line. The costs of jackets could be from $89.99 to over $400 depending on what features and quality you want. We all remember what it was like to shop in an Army Navy store and buy surplus military gear, especially those of us that remember the fall of the Eastern Communist Countries and all of the stuff that was sold off in military depots. Some of that was cool to have, but the smell had to be washed out and most of it was in the BDU category and not a lot of features like some of the newer tactical clothing companies like 5.11 Tactical or Tru-Spec make.
We’ve seen various companies take adventures in making certain tactical pants but the quality was never there. Only hardcore clothing companies have been able to cut into the tactical clothing market and that is only about a half dozen companies that still make user friendly and quality shirts, pants, shorts, vests and jackets. Tru-Spec makes some new jackets that are knock offs of the old M65 jacket but once you put it on and feel the brand new quality, you’ll know why it was time to update or clean out your old jackets especially if you are concealed carry holder. It seems Woolrich Elite Series Tactical has been sold off so that’s another Fail for the tactical clothing world but you never know when someone has a new design that catches everyone’s attention.
We know the elephant in the room in this tactical industry is 5.11 tactical. We have had 9yrs experience dealing with lots of competitors and even though they are very small in contrast, there are so many ways of making tactical clothing, especially tactical pants that it’s really going to come down to this…. Price points, quality control and person preferences. There are going to be some that don’t like baggy pants and some that want a straight leg tighter fit. I have been wearing Blackhawk Warrior Wear for over 2yrs, Tru-Spec 24/7 tactical pants and Eotac and Woolrich Elite pants for almost 5-9yrs and they all fit me slightly different but I’m the same waste size in all of those brands.
This year I will be testing the waters with Vertx line even though I get sticker shock when I look at some of their products, but you do get what you pay for in tactical clothing. The Tru-Spec 24-7 Series pants I wear are probable the best priced tactical pants I own and with the sales that the company does every year, you sometimes can get them for under $30 if you do your shopping during the promotions. The new Gunny pant has larger knife or flashlight pockets and a straight boot leg cut. I personally like the gunny pant more but I wish it has elastic straps inside the cargo pockets. If you wear 5.11 tactical clothing you might save a few bucks and consider the Tru-Spec tactical apparel line for Military and Law Enforcement as well as those who CCW.
In this industry, it is so technical that it’s very rare for someone in the Law Enforcement community to send someone in to shop for them. We get a lot of last minute buyers when someone finds out they got moved to a SWAT Team or recently got hired to be a Police officer in the Delaware County, Chester County or Philadelphia Police Department. Usually customers come in in waves, after Graduations at the Philadelphia Police Academy or the Delaware County Police Academy. Recently we started getting customers from the Montgomery County Police Academy Training Center. Each week we’ve been setting up 1 or 2 Police Departments for their Clothing Allowances and logistically speaking, the customers are glad we are here in Delaware County so they can walk in and walk out. Shopping for tactical pants, shirts and body armor is something that people want to do in-store and not online.
Our 1500 sq ft Broomall, Police Depot and tactical store is in the heart of Delaware County in the Broomall Industrial Park. We are a stocking dealer for many in the region and we are a good source for Philadelphia Police Supplies from tactical boots from the Original Swat Footwear company, Tru-Spec, 5.11 tactical, ATS Tactical, Streamlight Flashlights like the Stinger and Strion, which are rechargeable flashlights that the vast majority of Upper Darby, Marple Township and even the State Police are using. We stock many of the handcuff and Safariland products that new Police Officers will need for their duty gear. CR123 batters are something we need to keep in store at all times because most local places that sell them are 50% more than what we charge.
We got to attend the International Association of Police Chiefs convention here in Philadelphia and it was another great way to listen to customers and hear what they are saying about various product lines. Some of these conventions are really giant networking opportunities for us and a great way to learn about potential products we would like to bring into our inventory. Some are computer software shows and others are basically gun shows but it’s always worth our while to attend these. Blackhawk and 5.11 tactical are massive companies carrying a vast amount of products but not all of it the best. We’ve seen several local dealers drop the Vertx line because it’s priced out of their customers price range and if we had to pick a winner this year, it’s definitely been tru-spec.
The Tru-Spec simple tactical line is going to fit you differently than the 24/7 series is but it’s also going to be far less money and the best thing to do is find a stocking dealer, which is what we are and try it on yourself. I was not a huge fan of the TruSpec tactical pants when I first started wearing them because they are so different than the 5.11 tactical, Blackhawk, Eotac and Woolrich Elite Series tactical clothing lines that I was use to. The shapes of the pockets and the pocket placements are absolutely designed for people carrying a knife or a flashlight. The new gunny tactical pants has a slightly larger cut knife pocket for those carrying larger tools. I wish they made them in more sizes because some customer did complain that the gunny pant wasn’t made in their size range.