Tactical Pants Fabric Guide

Tactical Pants Fabric Guide

Whether you're in the market for tactical pants or just staying up to date for when it's time to pull the trigger on your next purchase, you should always give some thought to what fabric you select for that next pair. Determining the correct fabric weight and flexibility will help you avoid overheating in blazing temps and prevent an unfortunate crotch blowout.

Here are some questions to consider:

  1. What type of environment are you working in?
    Original weight tactical pants work well in cool to cold conditions. But when the temperature starts to rise? Throw on a pair of lightweight tactical pants to conquer the sweltering weather. And if it gets too hot, it might be time to think about tactical shorts instead.

  2. What is your activity level?
    Do you often find yourself in quick pursuit or at a high level of activity? If so, a synthetic fabric blend will suit you better than pants with a cotton-canvas blend. A cotton-lycra fabric type specifically will offer maximum stretch for ease of movement. You'll be moving like Chuck Norris in no time.

  3. How much are you willing and able to spend?
    It's almost always true that you get what you pay for. You can most likely assume that the durability of the pant is relative to the price you pay. However, several brands offer a great value at a reasonable price. Be sure to look for customer reviews to get a feel for how well the pants have performed for others.

Now that you've answered the preliminary questions, get ready to choose a fabric. You will find several types of fabric in the list below that meet the needs of tactical operators every day.

Cotton Canvas

Fabric Blend: 100% cotton

Weight: 8.5 oz. (heavier weight)

Pros:

  • Breathes well

Things to Consider:

  • Might fade
  • Might shrink
  • Might wrinkle

Used by: 24-7 Series, 5.11 Tactical

Poly-Cotton Ripstop

Fabric Blend:

Weight: 6.25-6.6 oz. (lighter weight)
Pros:

  • Durable
  • Synthetic fabric blend
  • Ripstop weave prevents tears
  • Fade resistant
  • Shrink resistant
  • Wrinkle resistant
  • Wind resistant

Used by: Blackhawk, Genuine Gear, Under Armour

Poly-Cotton Canvas

Fabric Blend: 65% polyester/35% cotton canvas
Weight: 8.5 oz. (heavier weight)
Pros:

  • Durable
  • Synthetic fabric blend
  • Fade resistant
  • Shrink resistant
  • Wrinkle resistant
  • Wind resistant
  • Quick drying

Used by: Propper

Cotton/Lycra Oxford Canvas

Fabric Blend: 98% cotton/2% Lycra oxford canvas
Weight: 9 oz. (heavier weight)
Pros:

  • Comfortable
  • Breathable
  • Unique fabric blend
  • Stretches for mobility

Things to Consider:

  • May wrinkle

Used by: Vertx

For more detailed descriptions of each brand, visit our extensive Tactical Pants Guide.