5.11 Taclite Jean Cut Pants
When deciding on a what clothing to purchase for a bug out kit, or for camping or traveling, the amount of options can be overwhelming. Well I'm glad to tell you, your search is over. These won't just be your favorite pants for the outdoors, these will be your favorite pants period.I'm talking about the Taclite Jean Cut Pants made by 5.11. Style# 74385 for those who want to get specific. Almost definitely the best $40 I ever spent (5.11 was having a 20% off sale, they normally run for $50).
Here's how we came across them, how we tested them, and why I just bought my second pair...
The wife and I were planning for a month-long trip and none of the backpacks we had were the right size or style for what we needed. I am on the 5.11 mailing list (sign up!) so I knew they were going to be running a 20% off sale. Seemed like a good time to pick up our first 5.11 pack. I had my eye on the Covrt 18 for a while so finally decided to pull the trigger (pun intended) and get it.
Not only that but all orders over $100 came with a free folding knife. So I poked around the site and saw these pants. They looked subtle enough to be worn with a button-down shirt when we went out to eat, but the reinforced knees grabbed my attention too, making me feel confident that I could use them as hiking pants.
I have a pair of 5.11 Taclite Pro 11" Shorts that I have been wearing for almost a year, so I figured these pants would be more or less the same feeling ripstop material. I was right - both are made of 65% polyester and 35% cotton. Its a light-weight material that doesn't seem to wrinkle. It also dries quickly, so if you are washing pants in the field (as I was) you don't need to wait 2 days for them to dry, a few hours outside and they are ready to go again.
The 5.11 Taclite Jean Cut Pants are durable. I had them sliding over very jagged volcanic rock for a few days and nary a scratch appeared on them. And they are teflon coated so liquids are repelled and the pants keep a nice clean appearance even after a few days in the field.
So why do I say they are the perfect pants for your bug out bag? For me its the ease of cleaning and the quickness of drying, which makes them very useful if they are the only pair of pants you'll have to wear for long periods of time. However, if you are facing cold environments and have to evacuate from your home then you probably already know that cotton isn't the best bet, as they lose their thermal insulation when wet. In those cases a good pair of wool pants (if you can find them) would suit you better. But for three seasons these pants should have most people covered.
They also pack small, and are light-weight and easy to carry. They are comfortable, durable, and come in muted colors. Also they have a variety of pockets while keeping a low-profile about it - these pants don't scream "tactical prepper dude over here" yet offer nearly the same functionality as full-blow military garb. Those pockets come with a lot of nice touches, like reinforcement in the spot where you'd clip your pocket knife.
One thing: the website claims these pants have kneepad pockets. I searched all over and I just don't think that's the case. The knees are cloth reinforced, but unless I'm missing something I don't see the pocket to add the optional 5.11 knee-pads.Sorry ladies, there isn't a version of these pants for women. The closest thing 5.11 has is their Cirrus pants - but those start at $70. That's why we got a pair of Blackhawk Tactical Pants for her instead.
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