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Guide to Tactical Trousers

Guide to Choosing Your Tactical Trousers

Selecting your new pair of tactical trousers is no longer an easy job. With so many different brands, applications, materials, cuts and features, it's easy to get lost in a sea of choices. That's why we have created this guide to try and help you navigate through and find your ideal pair of tactical pants.

The four major points to take into account when making a selection:

Application | How are your tactical or combat trousers going to be used? We provide options for military, police, emergency response, close protection and security professionals.

Layout |  The design of the combat trousers. How many pockets do you need? Where do the pockets need to be located?

Features | What characteristics do you require from your cargo trousers? Do you need Integrated knee pads?

Material | What are the trousers made from? Certain materials are better applied to specific environments after all.

Military Trousers & Combat Trousers | UKMC Pro

See our range of men's combat trousers for military, police, close protection & security professionals

Application | How will your tactical trousers be used?

Regardless of your occupation, the choice of tactical trousers you make is based upon the individual needs of your mission. Luckily most combat trousers are suited to a wide range of tasks but there are some key points you need to consider:

Climate | In which terrains are you looking for your tactical trousers to perform at their best? Will it be hot, cold, windy or wet? Or are you looking for something more suitable to all-round use? Lightweight tactical trousers offer breathability and superior performance in warm weather while heavyweight combat trousers will offer more protection against the cold and wind.

Terrain | What type of terrain will these tactical trousers need to perform in? Will it be in an urban environment or not? Colour is probably the main thing to take into account here but also other features such an integrated knee pads or pockets for knee pad inserts; Rough terrains can be more demanding and can require certain key features.

WARNING - Also remember to refer to the established uniform rules concerning your regulatory dress, what is authorized or not (the authorized clothing effects vary according to the branch and the unit, even according to the advice of the leader) and comply with them.

Layout | Do I have any specific requirements with location of pockets?

While most tactical trousers tend to have some common features, a lot also offer unique differences that lend themselves better to some tasks than others. The location of the pockets can mean that the trousers are good for going prone, usually by providing storage options on the rear of the trousers instead of the front. Some offer an extensive number of pockets for carrying just about anything you need, while others offer less pockets so to concentrate more on freedom of movement and comfort.

Number of Pockets | While having a place for all your vital equipment is a must, having too many pockets can cause you to carry more than you need and is best avoided; Pockets are also a potential snag hazard. Open top pockets are also ideal for tools, phone or other equipment required quickly and easily to hand.

Location of Pockets | Do you need or are you allowed to have thigh cargo pockets? Where do these pockets need to be located, on the front or the rear? What position will you be in most of the time when using your tactical trousers, sat down or stood up? Will you be needing to access the contents of the pockets while in a shooting stance and will you use a thigh holster/equipment? These are all important things to consider.

Features | Do I need any specific features to perform my work?

Tactical Trousers have evolved through the years and today's modern offering provide a wide range of features that are applicable to a multitude of tasks and missions. Here are some to keep in mind while making your choice:

Types of Pockets | There are many different types of pockets that can be used for a wide range of applications; Zippered pockets can be offer more safety when storing items, Hook & Loop flap pockets can offer easier access and open-top pockets are great for phones, knives or other tools with a clip. Think about what you will be keeping in your pockets and consider what options suit you best.

Knee Pads | Knee pads are a pretty standard feature in modern tactical trousers and you generally have two choices; Integrated yet removable Hard Cap knees pads or pockets for Neoprene Knee Pad Inserts. Both types provide extra comfort and guard against rough or uneven surfaces but Neoprene Knee Pad Inserts are generally better suited for use over long periods of time. Both are removable so you can still use your tactical trousers without knee pads too.

Padded Waist | A padded waistband can be ideal for anyone using a MOLLE belt or other type of belt rig. It vastly improves comfort levels when worn for long periods of time.

Cut | The cut of the trouser can really change the feel completely and different brands prefer different cuts for their pants; Manufacturers in the USA tend to have a looser cut but European brands can have a more modern looking slim cut. All types of cuts allow for complete freedom of movement, if you select the correct size so always check the size chart and make sure you are getting the cut you desire.

Open-top pocket on tactical trousers | UKMC Pro

Open-Top Pocket for Phone or Tools

Zippered Cargo Pockets on Tactical Pants | UKMC Pro

Zippered Cargo Pocket

Material | What fabric should my tactical trousers be made from?

When it comes to materials, tactical trousers offer a wide range of choices; From microfibres to cotton canvas, the choice is broad and each has their own benefits and disadvantages. Lets run through some of the most popular options:

Rip-Stop Fabric | This woven fabric, often made using nylon or polyester, uses a reinforcing technique that makes them more resistant to tearing and ripping. During weaving, stronger reinforcement yarns are interwoven at regular intervals in a crosshatch pattern.. While it does not make your trousers rip-proof, it does reduce the spreading of the tear and usually limits it to one square. Rip-stop fabric is also commonly treated with Teflon to guard against stains and help with water-resistance. This fabric can also be combined with Elastane to provide a more stretchy feel to it for extra comfort and improved movement. Rip-stop fabric can also be more lightweight than tradition canvas material and better suited for use in warm weather or even all-year round.

Microfibre | The use of microfibres has now greatly increased in specialist trouser market, taken originally from the sports sector, microfibres tend to be even more lightweight, comfortable and quick drying while still offering the durability needed for everyday uniform use. Microfibres can be stretchy and thought to provide superior levels of comfort. It's hard to think of a downside with microfibres but I guess that people would point to the extra durability of other types and less risk of tearing or snagging. Microfibres are a good choice for all year round use.

Cotton Canvas | The original material and still considered the best by many, canvas has been popular through the many years it has been used and is well suited to colder weather; They also tend to be more durable and are still well suited to winter, autumn and spring use in the UK. The downside is that it tends to be heavier than other options (best avoided during summer) and is most definitely not quick drying; Once wet, it can stay like that for quite a while unless exposed to heat.

Rip-Stop fabric on tactical trousers | UKMC Pro

Rip-Stop Fabric

Canvas material on tactical pants | UKMC Pro

Cotton/Polyester blended Canvas

Quality | Prioritise brands to ensure quality & performance

When it comes to ensuring quality selecting a well-known brand with years of experience behind them manufacturing specialist trousers that are fit for purpose. Some of the most popular brands are:

Bulldog Tactical Trousers | UKMC Pro
Pentagon Tactical Pants | UKMC Pro