I got my first pair of 5.11 Tactical pants (stryke pant) in 2012 while i was shopping for my first deployment, so i am pretty late to the tactical pants game. Ive more than made up for lost time at this point judging by the absurd stack of various brands and styles of tactical pants i have in my closet now. I also realized that there is a time and place for overtly tactical pants with lots of pockets everywhere, and that i can’t wear those every day of my life, no matter how comfy or convenient they might be. 5.11 Tactical realizes that too, which is why they released their new line of defender flex pants, bridging a gap between overtly tactical combat-style pants and everyday-carry, casual dress pants.
From the 5.11 website: “The Defender-Flex pant has been developed for 5.11 end users who are looking for low-vis tactical without sacrificing performance at the firing range or comfort for everyday wear, and is crafted with a Cavalry Twill cotton/polyester blend, with just enough elastane for stretch.”
– comfortable, stylish and tactical pant
– five pocket styling plus two rear hip pockets
– soft fade finish and enzyme washed fabric
-available in 1” incremental waist sizes (31, 32, 33, 34, 35, etc)
– fitted waistband
– button top fly with locking YKK zipper
– 8.8 0z stretch Cavalry twill (66% cotton / 31% poly / 3% elastane)
– Dual back patch pockets
– GSA/TAA compliant
Spoiler alert: I love these pants and i have been wearing them constantly, i bought them in three different colors and also have a pair of the jeans! I was able to go to my local 5.11 store (check online to see if there is one near you) and try on several types of pants. I have a 32” waist and about a 31” inseam, so i generally go 32×32 for pants and have some extra length at the bottom. I also have thick legs and large quads, so pants need to accommodate that and be stretchy enough or roomy enough from the knee to waist or the pants won’t be comfortable for me. I found the straight-leg defender flex to not only fit very well, but to be incredibly comfortable while looking sharp and fitted. The elastane in the fabric adds just enough stretchiness to the pants to really allow a full range of movement and flex, without looking like they are stretchy pants.
The pants also boast two hidden hip pockets that are ideal for EDC. The pockets are located just below the waistline behind your hips, and allow you to stash lights, knives, tourniquets, a spare magazine or whatever you like in an easy accessible and out of the way place, without sacrificing your main pockets which are still available for your keys, phone or hands.
Watch the video below for some highlights of these great pants:
Comfort (if applicable): 5
Overall Rating: 5/5
The scale is defined as:
Poor/unacceptable (1): Worse than expected, or desirable; of a low or inferior standard or quality.
Fair (2): In conformity with reasonable expectations, but in comparison to competitors is may be deficient
Average (3): Common item; item neither lacks from or is superior than a competitors item.
Good (4): The item is desirable and has qualities that excel in comparison to a competitors item
Excellent (5): Outstanding, possesses superior quality; remarkably good