April 23, 2021

Spotter Up

In Depth Tactical Solutions

 

Viktos is a brand that has intrigued me since I first saw Scott Jedlinski of Modern Samurai Project wearing some of their product line at Friends of Pat in 2018, specifically their sneakers. They seemed liked tactical slippers, he might even have used that description to describe them. Great for any sort of athletic activity but also extremely comfortable. While I was interested in trying some for myself I put off splurging on a new pair of shoes for at least another few months. January of 2019 I caved and bought a pair of Viktos PTXF Core shoes and I still wear them to this day. They’re comfortable, durable, and are up to any task I’ve needed them for. Whether its been chasing after my two toddlers all day or finally breaking below  a 6-minute mile these shoes have been a quality tool for every job. Since that purchase I have seen the Viktos product line expand tremendously and they have assembled a team of some of the most well respected instructors in the firearms training community. I hadn’t managed to expand my collection of Viktos gear beyond the shoes, but I was always keeping an eye on new releases and hoping I’d be able to try out some more of their products. PURCHASE HERE

When LA Police Gear offered Spotter Up writers a chance to review products from their extensive inventory I jumped at the chance to finally try out something else from the Viktos product line. Their Operatus XP Jeans had caught my eye months ago but I hadn’t had the need to justify the purchase, LAPG was finally giving me the chance to make it happen. The pants arrived mid January, so while I haven’t spent months of time wearing them they have already been through a lot of active wear. I even did some research on denim during the course of this review to cover every possible angle I could. Learning small things like denim should only be washed somewhere between three to ten wears, should always be washed inside out, and never put through the dry on anything other than low heat were things I had ignored before beginning this review. While my newfound knowledge of jean care made me feel a little more informed on the topic having two toddlers, one of whom was being potty-trained, meant these jeans never made it very far past a few wears before needing to hit the wash. The upside to this is having to wash them at a higher rate than normal means the extra wear caused by washers and dryers gave me a slightly better look at the durability of these jeans in the short time I’ve had them.

Jeans are just jeans though right? It’s just denim sewn together to hold up to hard work and abuse, what can be so special about any pair? Now I agree with this to a degree, I’ve never been one with a strong sense or taste for fashion and clothes have always just been the stuff you wear as a part of life. While I still hold pretty true to that line of thought, I have realized how beneficial it can be to have pants that offer features that would be useful to the wearer. Extra pockets placed conveniently, sturdy belt loops with enough to hold the belt securely and not create any focused stress points, durable enough for any task, and something that doesn’t scream TACTICAL to anyone that cares to look. The features offered by the Operatus XP jeans seemed like they’d be an asset to my daily life, and I was eager to try them out. Extensive details of these pants can be found here on LAPG’s site, but I will include the basic feature description below.

  • Attackposture fit
  • 12oz Stretch denim chassis
  • Slightly oversized thighs for increased mobility
  • Four external slash pockets for quick-access EDC
  • Crotch gusset to eliminate saddle pinch
  • Seven belt loops
  • Double zip front fly for access with a gun belt
  • U.S. veteran designed & developed
  • 1-year workmanship & materials warranty

LAPG has two colors offered on their website, Dark Indigo and Nightfjall, although Viktos does have at least one other color option listed as being available. One failing on the LAPG product page is not including that Viktos advises running a size smaller for Nightfjall and blue denim. Those pants run larger in the waist, dark blue wash runs true to size. As you can probably guess from the photos I went with Nightfjall, mostly due to ordering while trying to placate a screaming toddler. Black is not normally a color I ever want in jeans, but I understand there are many jobs where jeans are authorized but the color selection is limited to black, so it’s somewhat beneficial to have chosen this color. Black jeans tend to have a slightly stiffer feel to the fabric than other colors, and while it was noticeable in the Viktos jeans it was not overly so or uncomfortable. 

The thighs are advertised as being “slightly oversized for increased mobility.” While they may have a little more room for movement I was still disappointed to find that I needed to order a larger size waist just to fit my legs. Anyone that hits the weight room consistently learns that you can either have jeans that fit or big legs, rarely can you have both. I traditionally order size 34 to fit my legs and just deal with bunching up the waistline with my belt to make them fit. I was hopeful that I would be able to order a size 32 and fit my waist and legs, but as it stands that simply won’t work. For reference I am 5’9″ and 205lbs, the weight comes from dumbbells not Doritos. I understand I may be in the minority and many people have no problem finding pants that fit, but for those that can relate to this sizing issue continue to buy a size up if these pants are a purchase you want to make. I honestly cannot hold Viktos accountable, they can’t make a profit by making jeans that fit one specific type and ignore the rest, and having a variety of sizing options would just be confusing and show very little return overall.

Rifle reloads were practiced using both pockets on the weak hand side. The side pocket is a much smoother and more natural reload, I am certain anyone that dedicated enough time could reload from this position on par with a more traditional reload from the belt line. The reload from the front M4 pocket is slower but offers more concealment.

A month is not a long time to review somethings durability, that includes jeans. I was once told that jeans are an investment, you’re going to be wearing them for a long time so you want to pick ones that will last and that you’ll continue to get use from. While these jeans haven’t shown any wear in the month of abuse I’ve had them for I acknowledge that one month simply isn’t a true test to durability, so how can I still give them a good score? The fact that they don’t show any wear yet is encouraging, but on top of that Viktos also offers a 1-year workmanship and materials warranty. The nuances of such a warranty are beyond the scope of this article, but it does offer some reassurance that if you run into issues with your pants in the first year Viktos has some measures in place to take care of you.

The weight and aesthetics of the pants is appreciated. Jeans meant for hard use come in a variety of thicknesses and appearances. Often you can find jeans that are overly heavy, meant for hard use in the cold and stiff to move in. Or they might move well with your body but they give off a hardcore “tactical timmy” vibe that highlights your appearance to anyone halfway paying attention. These jeans seem to be in the perfect middle ground for being sturdy without being heavy, and the pockets are tucked up high enough to not give everyone the impression that you’re an off-duty cop or doing your best Paul Blart impression.

To close this review I want to repeat that this is my opinion, while these jeans do not fit my needs well nor is the price in the range I’d willingly pay, I am but one person. Everyone has different lifestyles, different needs, and different ways of applying themselves to meeting those needs. If you’re interested in checking these jeans out further you can check them out here at LA Police Gear.

Nothing fancy, simply what I EDC whenever I’m not home. Medical, a Beretta Elite LTT, Skallywag folder, a light, and maybe a hat for these cold winter days. Carry enough to get you through the day, but don’t let what you carry restrict what you do.

Comfort/Fit (4/5): The gusseted crotch and the slightly oversized thighs make for pants that allow me to move freely. On the range, or in the even more demanding role as a Dad of two toddlers they do not restrict my movement. I do wish the thighs made for a little more room so that anyone that hits the squat rack regularly could wear pants that fit their thighs AND waist.
Durability (5/5): As stated previously I have only had these pants for a little over a month so this is certainly not a long term review. However, in that period of time they have been subjected to much abuse and stain potential yet still retain the look they had from the packaging.
Weight/Aesthetics (5/5): While black is not my favorite color for jeans it does serve a purpose in some instances, and the other colors are more aesthetically pleasing. The pants are of solid construction for durability and warmth, without being overly heavy.
Functionality (3/5): This was the biggest category of disappointment for me. Between the redundancy of the slash pockets at the hips, the side slash pockets not being deep enough to conceal my regularly carried magazines, and the double zipper being more of a hinderance than a help the functionality of these jeans fell short of my expectations. They do function fine as jeans and some may find aspects of the jeans useful, but I did not find these features as being very practical for regular use.
Cost (3/5): This score is always influenced heavily by cost in comparison to other products on the market and how well the product does in the other four categories. Viktos jeans are priced higher than almost every other competitor in their market and they do not appear to offer any significant advantage over those competitors to justify the higher price tag.
Total (20/25): This is a much lower score than I expected to be giving a Viktos product. I want to make it clear that I still think very highly of the brand and absolutely hate that this review turned out the way it did. The Viktos Team is comprised of individuals I have a lot of respect for and have learned a from them, either remotely or in actual class time as a student.  I would absolutely still recommend Viktos products to anyone interested, but I cannot recommend these jeans. Between the cost in comparison to other brands and the limited utility of the pockets I’d spend my money on a different pair of jeans.

Material Disclosure

I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.

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