Tactical Pants FAQ

Tactical Pants Frequently Asked Questions

Shopping

Sizing

Shopping


What size are the belt loops on tactical pants?
Belt loops on tactical pants range from 1.75 inches to 2.5 inches wide. Tactical pants will fit most duty belts, which are on average 1.5 inches wide. To find out the belt-loop width of a specific brand, consult our Tactical Pants Guide.

What's the difference between the colors coyote and khaki?
Coyote is a darker color than khaki. Coyote resembles a light brown while khaki is closer to a stone-grey color.

How heavy is the fabric?
Fabric weight on tactical pants ranges from 6.25 to 9 ounces. Most lightweight tactical pants range between 6 ounces and 6.6 ounces while original weight tactical pants have a slightly higher fabric weight of 7 to 9 ounces.

Lightweight fabrics are more breathable—ideal for warmer weather. When winter rolls around, you'll want to be wearing heavier, original weight tactical pants.

Are tactical pants water resistant?
Most tactical pants come with either a DWR (Durable Water Resistant) or a Dupont Teflon coating, which makes them water resistant but not waterproof. There are a few styles that aren't water resistant.

Water resistant means that an item can withstand rain, snow and wet weather. Water-resistant fabrics keep water from being absorbed—water will just bead off the fabric.

How can I make tactical pants waterproof?
Since tactical pants are made of water-absorbing fabric, they can never truly be waterproof, but they can be water-resistant. A water-repellent coating prevents the absorption of water on the surface of the pants, keeping pants relatively dry and comfortable, even in intense weather conditions. There are several at-home water-resistant treatments on the market.

For a step-by-step guide on how to make your tactical pants water-resistant, see DIY: Water-Resistant Tactical Pants.

What's the difference between ripstop and twill fabrics?
Ripstop is a type of fabric weave known for it's durability. Do you often find yourself in quick pursuit? If so, this fabric will work well for you. Ripstop fabrics tend to be lightweight and their checkerboard pattern prevents tears and abrasions.

Twill is a heavier, pliable fabric.Twill boasts a textured design helps minimize the appearance of stains and soils. This high thread-count fabric weave is wind, water and wrinkle resistant.

For more information, consult the Tactical Pants Fabric Guide.

What's the difference between poly-cotton and nylon-cotton fabrics?
Poly-cotton is a synthetic blend of polyester and cotton used by most tactical pants brands. Taking the best from both polyester and cotton fabrics, this fabric type is breathable, comfortable and tear resistant.

Nylon-cotton, also referred to as NYCO, is often used for military uniforms and high-performance sportswear. This fabric blend of nylon and cotton is abrasion resistant and breathable. Its most awesome feature? NYCO does not melt if it catches on fire.

For more information, consult the Tactical Pants Fabric Guide.

What features are the best for concealed carry pants?
Pants with an expandable waistband work well for holster placement and concealed carry. Look for an internal elastic waistband or a tunneled waistband for that added flexibility.

Many brands offer what we like to call a "don't shoot me!" style of pants that isn't overtly tactical and perfect for concealed carry. Browse the Tactical Pants Guide for more information about these styles.

Do any tactical pants have a hidden pocket? Where would it be located?
Many tactical pants styles have hidden pockets. The pocket entrance is often hidden in the seam on the thigh or in the back of the pants, usually on the right-hand side. To find out if your favorite brand or style offers a secret pocket, consult the Tactical Pants Guide.

Sizing

How do I find my pants size?
Grab a pair of your best-fitting pants, lay them on the table and measure the inside from crotch to hem. For more in-depth instructions, see Tactical Pants Size Guide.

Some tactical pants have elastic waistbands. Is the waist measurement taken with the elastic stretched all the way out?
No, the waist measurement does not take into account the extra space available when elastic is stretched all the way out. Expandable waistbands are put in place specifically to provide flexibility for holster placement and firearm concealment so that you don't have to buy a size up.

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