Are Tactical Pants Durable?

Apparel manufacturers specifically design tactical pants to withstand the most rigorous range and field conditions you’re likely to encounter. Let’s find out how durable tactical pants really are.

Are Tactical Pants Durable?

Yes, quality tactical pants are extremely durable. Tactical pants combine strong materials and reinforced construction methods to provide increased durability relative to typical civilian clothing.

As a result, tactical pants are suitable for law enforcement, hunting, and competitive target shooting, demonstrating high-performance standards.

What Are Tactical Pants Made From?

Tactical pants need to be both sufficiently durable for a wide variety of high-performance applications, from backpacking, hunting, and rock climbing to shooting and working under adverse conditions. In order to achieve this level of strength, apparel manufacturers use ripstop — a type of fabric used in the production of everything from parachutes and camping tents to backpacks and pants.

Ripstop is a heavy-duty woven fabric, available in several different types of materials, but typically consisting of nylon or polyester blended with cotton. During the weaving process, the manufacturer or tailor interweaves yarns in a crosshatch pattern to reinforce the material. As a result, ripstop fabrics are resistant to tearing or ripping, hence the name.

How Are Tactical Pants Constructed?

Tactical pants are manufactured using a variety of high-strength stitching methods to reinforce seams in areas that are particularly vulnerable to tearing due to high stress, such as the groin and knees. Double-reinforcement on the seat is also common. 

Durable Belt Loops

As many of those who wear tactical pants carry firearms openly or concealed, the belt loops are strong enough to support a utility or gun belt. That way, your clothing is able to effectively distribute the weight of your firearm, holster, spare magazines, flashlight, and other accessories.

Reinforced Knees

If you have to kneel on asphalt, gravel, or concrete, civilian pants can wear through, leaving your skin exposed. While this may look cool, it’s not practical for work or recreational activities where high-performance clothing is a requirement. Tactical pants, by combining polyester or nylon with cotton, provide an abrasion-resistant alternative.  Not only are the knees reinforced, many tactical pants also include sleeves for knee-pad inserts. By adding neoprene knee pads, you can kneel on various ground surfaces without injuring your knees or abrading the skin.

Gusset and Bartack

Tactical pants often incorporate two stitching techniques for increased strength and wear resistance. These are gusseting and bartacking. At its most basic definition, a gusset is a triangular piece of ripstop fabric that a tailor sews into an article of clothing for the purpose of reinforcement. You will often see apparel manufacturers advertise a gusseted crotch as part of their product listings. This allows you to move more freely without worrying about seams tearing under stress. If you need to crouch, climb, run, and kneel, this additional support can increase the long-term durability of your clothing.

Bartacking is the process of sewing several rows of high-density stitching resembles bars into parts of clothing that are more likely to fray or tear. You will usually see bar tacking along pockets and belt loops.

Reinforced Knife Pockets

Many of those who wear tactical pants carry knives, especially folding pocket knives with metal clips. As a result, many apparel companies also reinforce slash and dedicated knife pockets to protect against clip abrasion. 

Stain and General Abrasion Resistance

Tactical pants sometimes include a Teflon finish and nylon to help protect against stains. If you need a pair of pants that can hold up under all weather conditions, this allows mud and water to glide off the surface. Likewise, when you’re working on machines that involve oil, solvents, or degreasing agents, having a pair of pants that you can easily clean is a major plus. For these reasons, tactical pants are also useful in the automotive, construction, and manufacturing industries. 

Color Options

As tactical pants are used for civilian, law-enforcement, and military applications, companies offer their wares in a wide variety of colors and patterns. The most common colors are black, khaki, and navy blue, but you can also generally find various shades of green and gray. In addition, if you need tactical pants for hunting or outdoor activities, there are several camouflage patterns available.

Discreet or Overt

If you carry a concealed handgun and prioritize discretion, it’s important to remember that tactical pants aren’t always the most inconspicuous clothing option. While highly durable and long-wearing, you should take into account exposure. A pair of khaki or camo combat pants is not the best option for remaining hidden in public view.

Are Tactical Pants Worth It?

You may be asking, “Are tactical pants worth it?” After all, what advantages do they offer over the civilian pants and are they worth the additional cost? Thankfully, tactical pants are often reasonably priced, putting them a lot closer to what you might expect to pay for a good, durable, long-lasting pair of pants. But, unlike your regular pair of jeans, tactical pants also offer an array of extra features, such as reinforced stitching and specialty pockets. These features can be helpful if you’re planning on not only wearing them around the block but also taking them out into the wilderness. 

Ultimately, whether tactical pants are worth it will depend on your requirements. For example, if you live in a warm or arid region, or frequent hot environments, you may benefit from a pair of pants that is specifically designed to be lightweight, breathable, and fast drying.

If you’re someone who tends to carry a lot of supplies but is not keen on wearing a backpack, fanny pack, or pocket-rich jacket or vest, you may want to delegate that task to a pair of tactical pants instead. Many companies pride themselves on just how many differently-sized pockets their product can provide, a good pair of pants can easily become your new EDC best friend.


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