Review of tacLite Pro Pants

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Taclite Pants review

Quite an improvement from the cotton version

The Tac Lite 5.11's are great pants. They're comfortable, feature-rich and good looking but are on the expensive side.

In my previous review, I opined that the COTTON version of these pants is too costly, not colorfast, and wears too quickly. These pants, however, so far don't suffer from the fading colors or wear issues that I've experienced with 5.11's other model.

I've worn cargo pants as daily wear for well in excess of a decade and a half. Friends like to tease me that I choose cargo pants because men are not allowed to carry purses. I always seem to have the pockets full of odd ball junk from pepper spray to CPR masks to knives, combs and a large assortment of keys on a locking carabiner. When I go into the field, it gets even worse.

I came across 5.11 tactical pants at a brick and mortar police supply store and decided after trying them on to switch from another well known brand. I was initially quite pleased. The pants are extremely comfortable and fit quite well. The pockets are located in just the right places and are easy to get access to without learning yoga first.

In addition, there are a lot of little extras that I find very helpful. As a professional photojournalist, I regularly find myself on the scene of fires and police actions where it would not only be inappropriate but potentially dangerous to carry a large camera bag. The 5.11 pants have extremely well designed pockets, particularly in the back which allow me to bring along all kinds of camera bag goodies such as flashes, an extra lens, batteries, memory cards and emergency lens cleaning equipment. I use the magazine pouch in front for my cell phone and the loop in back allows me to put a four cell maglight in the right rear pocket without having to fear dropping it if I'm working in an area at night. The front bottom leg pockets are roomy and secure nicely for light to medium weight objects via velcro flaps.

As a side note here, I also very much appreciate the extra deep rear pockets because during regular, daily use, my wallet, which is thick with business cards and other junk, slips down low enough that I don't notice it when sitting.

As you can see, there is an awful lot I love about the utilitarian aspects of these pants. However...

The price point of $50 is, in my opinion, just too high.

As to the ruggedness of these pants, I must admit that I've babied this model a little bit as I only have one pair. I've used them more for indoor photo shoots and daily wear and in times where I've needed to look more presentable, but, having said that, they seem to wear very nicely and having been washed several times have only faded the slightest bit.

I was very glad to find that 5.11 had produced an alternative to their cotton version with this pair of pants. Though I would still like to see thicker material, which would instill more confidence in long term ruggedness, I must say that this model has solidly addressed all of the problems that I delineated in my review of the cotton version. In short, I'm very pleased with these pants. They are comfortable, well-designed and supremely ergonomic but I'm a little gun-shy of how well they will hold up in the very long term and I wish they were cheaper.

Click to view the 5.11 #74273 Men's TacLite Pro Pant on

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