I’ve worn them for months now and washed them between each use. They still are tough and don’t appear to be faded at all. Is my laundry detergent just that awesome or are these pants built to last?
I answered my own question at the thrift store where I discovered two pairs of 24-7 Series Tactical Pants. One is black and the other is blue. The are obviously worn and there is some fading and some softness of fabric, but I can tell from seeing this pair worn so often that someone judged them too worn to keep, that these pants LAST.
Even these two pair of pants, dropped off at the thrift store, still have plenty of life left in them. I’ll be excited to take these as well as my original pair of these pants to Appleseed Shoots as Nevada Appleseed starts getting in gear. I’ll have pockets for pens, staple guns, staples and magazines situated on the sides of my thighs. This is awesome! Because of that little feature, I’ll be able to shoot prone, fully geared without any discomfort of laying on a staple gun that happens in pants without side pockets.
My 24-7 Series Lightweight Tactical Pants should make ________ easy and comfortable.
Concealed carry: Concealed carry is super-awesome in these pants!!! In
24-7 Series Lightweight Tactical Pants in black. Photo credit: TacticalPants.com
fact, that might not be enough exclammation points. Here’s some more: !!! The reasons why concealed carry works so well with these pants is that the 24-7 Series Lightweight Tactical Pants from TacticalPants.com are made to accomodate such a large and stiff belt as the belt I carry with and these pants fit well around the waist. Because these pants have an elastic waistband, the pants accomodate the gun without taking any space away from my belly as happens with other pants this stiff which don’t have the elastic panel. Concealed carry in these pants might not be 100% concealed however. No they don’t flash, print, or show off my gun in any way, but other people familiar with the look of tactical pants might presume I am carrying. For example, I saw a guy in similar pants at the Bank of America ATM near my work and I scoped him up and down looking for his gun. If I’m doing it, other people probably are too.
Open carry: Open carry is easy in these pants because of the large belt loops. The gun sits at a good place on my hip due to the great waistband and appropriate length of rise on these pants. The authoritative nature of these pants helps many people to feel more comfortable with me open carrying. They presume I work somewhere which requires a gun. Those of us know know that pants don’t automatically make someone a security guard, cop, military woman, etc. look at me cockeyed for open carrying in such an intense outfit.
Walking, jogging, running: Walking, jogging and running in these pants is doable as long as you keep in mind that they require a little bit more force to get them moving because they are so darn stiff. I expect some of the stiffness of this fabric to relax over time, but they are not stretchy in any way. They do not give like a good pair of jeans does. Additionally, when doing anything involving the movement of your legs, keep in mind, especially if your thighs fight for space like mine do, everyone will be able to hear you coming. These pants swoosh when you walk. I was able to get away with wearing these pants in a quiet office all day and no one said a word, but I felt self-conscious as my wooshing filled my ears. On trips out shopping, I found that the pants noise wasn’t audible over the noise of the other shoppers however.
Jumping, climbing: Jumping in these pants was easy, as was climbing. The stretch in the waist band came in handy while climbing over fences, etc. I was able to get my thigh above my hips easily. One tiny oops was that these pants gap a little bit in the waistband above my rear when I have one leg up high on a climbing wall. The harness I wear when I rock climb at the gym kept the gap from getting very large and replicating the movement at home in front of a mirror revelaed the gap isn’t severe enough to flash crack at anyone and wearing a belt solves the problem.
Crawling, squatting down, bending over: Crawling, squatting down and bending over all went very smoothly. Crawling was much like climbing, only horizontal instead of vertical so the same ease of movement was there as was that same gap in the back of the pants. The gap was also visible when bending at the knees, back straight as if I were going to lift something heavy off of the floor. Wearing a belt solves this problem. As I presume most of you will be carrying, the gap won’t bother you since you’ll have your belt on.
Sitting, standing: Standing still in these pants was comfortable to me, however sitting was not. The heavy-duty seams which I praised for their durability have a negative side-effect: when I sit down and my thighs spread horizontally as they tend to do, the seams dig into my legs. It wasn’t a painful feeling, but it did feel quite unpleasant. The feeling became less severe as the day of wearing them wore on; I don’t know if I became used to the sensation or if the pants loosened throughout the day. Fashion and function both on these pants are stellar and I’m not sure that a little bit of pain outweighs the gain, but I still felt uncomfortable enough while seated to be sure to include that bit of information here.
Summary: The pants are very well made. I couldn’t find an activity to do in them that wearing these pants instead of jeans or slacks made the activity harder to do or uncomfortable. They are made of a stiff fabric, but the elastic in the waistband helps to overcome that. These pants HELP me to not leave my gun at home rather than encourage me to leave it behind as some of the other pants in my wardrobe do.
After a long trial period, I am ready to release my review of the asthetics side of the tactical pants I received from Tactical Pants.com. I still have a couple of crazy things I want to try out in these pants to complete the performance side (like rock climbing), but I am nearly ready to release that portion of the review as well. Here goes the “looks”…
Look good: Overall, I think this pair of pants flattered me very well. The highlights of these pants include a low-rise waist that isn’t up under my armpits, but doesn’t flash my panties when I bend and move; thigh
These pants provide a good fit all over. From a hemmed-for-me length to a stretchable, waistband with a good rise.
pockets I can fill up without worrying about adding inches to my hips and thighs because the pockets are so deep, any pocket-junk created lumps are far away from this area on my body; and a cut through the rear that gives me a well-rounded and full caboose. The waistband on this pant included two small areas of elastic built into an overlapping waist band, this gave the pants an ease of movement in bending although the fabric of the pant is super-stiff. That ease of movement did not come as a killer of fashion because the elastic was concealed from view by design of the waistband. Reinforced seams did not show any signs of wear after extensive washing and wearing. This is important to me because my thighs rub together and thigh seams not well constructed will be frictioned right out of existense. I was glad to see these pants hold up to the family thunder thighs. Another reason I feel this pants look good is that they shipped unhemmed. As a short person, all pants are too long and most of the time I just make do with that by bunching them up around my shoes, walking the bottoms off, etc. And that just doesn’t look good. These hemmed pants, custom fit for my little legs, look good.
Feel good: I felt okay in these pants. Although they had a good rise to them, flattering pockets and a nice fit through the rear, one area of fit on these pants made me feel a bit self-conscious in these pants: the crotch area. If I pulled the waistband on the pants up as high as the rise allowed, I had a funny camel toe and my belly felt like my pants were sitting funny across it. However, if I put the waistband where it felt like it should sit on my belly, then the rise wasn’t fully stretched out, leaving a bunched up bit of fabric sitting in front of my nether-regions, pointing to the world like a tiny pecker. In these pants, I chose to leave the waistband sitting where it should be and dealt with the tiny pecker by hiding it from view with a longer top. Those purchasing these pants for workplace situations which may require tucked in tops might not be able to employ this solution if they find they’re bodies fit these pants like mine does.
Blend in anywhere: I wore these pants to tons of different places while on my Bridezilla rampage. I explored several thrift stores looking for gray-stripped Navy suit pants to match a suit top wearing these pants.
Pair a feminine top with the tactical pants to soften their appearance. This look dissipates the scream of "shoot me first, I'm armed" that tactical pants make.
I also went to Walmart, Costco and many other shops in them. Additionally, I wore them to work one day. No one mentioned or stared questionably at my pants. Even though in my quiet office environment, these pants swished, no one mentioned the swishing or the odd assortment of pockets I was sporting by wearing tactical pants to work instead of slacks. I found these pants blended in anywhere I wore them and I was super-surprised by this. To get away with wearing them to work like I did, the key is pairing them with the right top and shoes. Go with a form-flattering, feminine shirt. Pairing it with a looser top or a polo will give you a more adrogenous look than might complement your figure and face well. I chose to go with a purple lace top with a v-neckline and flutter sleeves. I paired the outfit with a pair of Danskos. These shoes could handle the tough lines of a tactical pant but they were dressy and feminine enough to soften the pant as well.
TacticalPants.com gave me a pair of tactical pants to try out and review. I have been washing, wearing and torturing the pair I currently have looking for any flaws or problems. So for, I’ve got nothing. But before I tell you all about my recent tactical escapades, and after I’ve told you about all of my ordering tactical pants experiences, I want to tell you about hemming tactical pants.
When you purchase tactical pants, many of the brands you can choose from offer their pants in one unfinished length only. There are advantages to this: tall people can finally buy pants that don’t look like high-waters and short people don’t have to worry about walking the ends of the pant legs off into a ragged mess because they’ll be forced to hem the pants. Disadvantages however are that when your pants arrive, they will not immediately be available to put into commission and there is an added cost to the purchase of the pants beyond the usual tax and shipping because you’ll probably have to hire a seamstress to alter the pants. Here in Reno, Nevada the going rate for hemming of tactical pants seems to be about $10 per pair.
Unhemmed Tactical Pants
I took my tactical pants to a shop called Fabric Care Specialists that was recommended to me by the local bridal shop Swoon when I asked them about where to take my wedding dress. I figure if it’s good enough of a shop to handle intricate bead work and layers of tulle, it can handle tactical black. And they did; everything worked out smoothly with them. I dropped the pants off on a Saturday and they were ready on the following Thursday for pickup. I didn’t have to make an appointment with a seamstress, nor did I have to be measured. I simply brought in with the tactical pants a pair of regular pants from my closet that fit me perfectly length-wise when wearing the shoes I planned to wear with thetactical pants.
If you go the tactical pants unhemmed route like I did, here are a few things to think about when hemming your pants:
Wash the pants first as you are going to wash them after you wear them. If you know you’re not the kind of person who usually reads the tags and follows special care instructions, now is the time to shrink the pants if they’re going to shrink at all. Any natural shrinking that happens when the pants are treated according to wear instructions also must be done now. Altering a brand new, unwashed pair of pants can end in disaster when shrinking fabric can turn a once perfect length pant into a pair of capris.
Decide which pair of shoes you are going to wear most frequently with the pants in question. Combat boots, sneakers, heels, clogs, whatever shoes you’re going to most wear with the pants is the shoes you need to be wearing when the seamstress measures you for alterations to give you a perfect fit.
If you’re unavailable during the times the seamstress is in the shop, ask if they’ll hem off of a sample pair of pants. My seamstress is available 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. I am not getting up that early because I work full time and go to school at night, getting home after 10 p.m. I need sleep! I’m still at my desk at 5 p.m. making an afternoon appointment as equally unworkable as a morning. Luckily, my seamstress was flexible and was able to make the alterations needed from a sample pair of pants that I made sure fit perfectly with the shoes I intended on wearing with my tactical pants.
Shop around for a good seamstress.Tactical pants don’t come cheap and they are a bit harder to hem than pants of other materials because they are made from stiff, unique durable fabric. Additionally, if you require the side seams brought in because you have slim thighs and calves, the job becomes even more of a challenge. Be sure you pick someone who can do it right. Ask friends and family members for recommendations and check sites like yelp.com for customer reviews.
I just noticed that TacticalPants.com is offering FREE SHIPPING to the Continental U.S. I love it when I get free shipping while shopping. Also, check out their shop by price feature, if you’re like me (aka broke), the under $30 filter is the way to go!
So, as you all know, TacticalPants.com sent me a pair of their tactical pants to try out and review. I wore these pants everywhere… work, church, school, holiday shopping (it’s a jungle out there), wedding shopping (tactical pants make Bridezilla even more formidable, the range, while concealed carrying, while open carrying, around the house and more. I wanted to make sure these pants could do anything and go anywhere and that they wouldn’t wear harshly or fade when washed a lot. The try out is done and I’m formulating my thoughts.
I’ve been thinking of ways to evaluate tactical pants. I’m new to writing reviews and so whenever I review a product I haven’t done one of its type before, I have to come up with a new template to review the product completely and keep me on track. How does one evaluate tactical pants? Well, that depends on how does one expect to use the tactical pants? Where do we want to wear them? What do we want to do in them? I came up with this list:
Okay everyone… In celebration of the fact that I turned in my final paper last week and am as ready as I can be for my first final exam of the semester tomorrow, you all get to take a pop quiz! Put down those leftover turkey sandwiches and think back before the holiday craze…
Remember how my fit problems didn’t get fixed in time to wear them for the Halloween Appleseed (Saturday and Sunday) and the shooting booth at church? Right after that, I tabled at the Big Reno Gun Show (I still need to write about that, don’t I?) and then delved into writing papers and studying for finals and ignored you all! Is this sounding familiar?
You remembered all of that? Really?! Well, A+ for you! Now, I’m trying to get back on the blogging track, so let’s continue the tactical pants for women saga. I last blogged about how I found a cute pair of pants on their website,the 24-7 Series Lightweight pant. The specs on the pants (taken from TacticalPants.com) are:
24-7 Series Lightweight Tactical Pants in black. Photo credit: TacticalPants.com
6.5 oz. Lightweight 65% Poly / 35% Cotton Ripstop
Unique Pocket Design and Configuration Allows For A Completely Casual Appearance While Providing Secure Storage For All Of Your Duty Requirements
Comfort Fit Slider Waistband Construction Which Eliminates The Need For Gathered Elastic Or Adjustable Side Tabs That Accommodates Either Paddle Style Or Inside-the-pants Holster
Extra Deep Front Pockets
Customized Tru-Spec Original Prym Snap
2-Cargo Pockets With Hook & Loop Closure and Bellowed Side Gussets
2-Internal Magazine Compartments In Both Cargo Pockets
Cell Phone/Magazine Pocket
All Women’s Tru-Spec 24-7 Pants are Unhemmed
The reasons why I picked these pants among all of the others available to choose from on their site, and they have quite a selection compared to other shops I’ve patronized, was that these pants had a more modern fit to them because of how they sat across the waist and the specs mentioned holsters and magazines, which as a Gun Girl, that was a big selling point. Another reason why I picked these pants to review is that the staff over at TacticalPants.com had reviewed every woman’s pant they have for sale on the site and they scored this brand very highly. I want a pant that fits me and I thought that since their reviewers had a positive experience with this one and since it had the modern waist fit that tends to look better on me than other fits, I should order this pant.
But it turns out that this pant wasn’t the pant for me at first. I ordered a size 16 on Jeanette’s customer service representative’s advice. And the size 16 didn’t fit! Jeanette went above and beyond to help me with that problem. Many other companies would have offered an exchange for another size. But I don’t know how many companies would have mailed me two additional pairs of pants in two other sizes to try on and decide which I liked best. Additionally, the shipping of the pairs to try on and the pairs to return was covered for me.
Here’s how the trying on various sizes went (I’m a 16/18 in Lane Bryant. My waist measurement is 36″ and my hip measurement is 44″):
Size 16: Fit around the hips. Tight around the thighs and the waist. The waistband in these pants has a stretchy part, which stretched, but it still wasn’t an attractive fit.
Size 18: Fit around the hips and thighs. Tight around the stomach like the 16 was, not any difference there at all actually, but had the butt/small of back giant gap thing going in the back. These pants have a stretchy waist, but it didn’t make the front fit looser or the back fit more snugly.
Size 20: Fit! It still looks tight like the 16s did, but it doesn’t feel tight. That stretch is finally working for me!
(TacticalPants.com took my advice and added sizing information to their pants (yay!), but when I checked out their recommendations for my measurements, their size chart, like the size chart I found at the manufacturer’s website, says I’ll fit into a size 14. Not! Plus size chicks: be careful when ordering.)
Now that I had a pair of tactical pants that fit me horizontally, I had to go get them hemmed so they’d fit me vertically. These pants were a foot too long for me! As are all 24-7 series and a couple of other brand tactical pants available at TacticalPants.com, because they are shipped unhemmed. This allows a variety of sized and shaped women to find a customized fit with the help of their seamstress, but it adds to the expense of the pant and the timeline of the pant. Researching, ordering, shipping, exchanging, shipping and now altering! Oy.
Here are some pictures of what the pants looked like straight out of the box and unhemmed. Next time, I’ll write about how they’re performing as a final product: washed and hemmed.
TacticalPants.com allowed me to pick any pair of tactical pants off of their website for FREE. How exciting! And at first it was. Their website had plenty of choices… different inseams: finished or unfinished; different rises: higher or lower; even different fits: loose throughout or more formfitting. Plus, the female staff of the site had tried on and reviewed every pair of pants they sell. With the choices available and the honest feedback on them, I was able to narrow it down to a pair I felt would really fit me well. Now that I had identified the style of pant I wanted and thought would flatter my body shape, I had to figure out my size… The site assured me this wouldn’t be challenging:
“The tactical world might appear to be male dominated, but that’s not going to stop her. The tactical woman is fearless in the line of duty. Her role as a paramedic, police officer or military service member can be challenging, but finding a proper-fitting pair of pants won’t be. Women’s tactical pants come in an array of colors — olive, navy, khaki, black — and a number of sizes. The right pair? Only a click away (TacticalPants).”
But it was challenging because there were no size charts. I looked up the website of the company which manufacturers the pants I had chosen and started to figure out what size I needed to order from their chart. The size chart pleased me. It had offerings in 16, 18 and 20. Many tactical pants don’t even come in larger sizes. But the chart didn’t say if those were 16, 18 and 20 misses or plus sizes and the chart itself was very strange.
It let me look my size up by hip and by waist size. By my hip size, I’m a size 14, by my waist I’m a size 20. What??? I’m confused. I emailed Jeanette with my usual size in a well-known plus size brand of clothing (Lane Bryant) and with my hip and waist measurements. She talked to the customer service staff for the brand of pant I choose and got back to me with the solution: order a size 16. Which I did.
I waited anxiously for my pants to come. Everyday, GB checked the mail on the way in from the car and I’d be waiting at the door. “Hi honey, anything for me?” Poor guy thought I didn’t care if he came home every night as long as he brought the mail with him. They arrived and I was so excited to have received them and to get them out of the package and to try them on and and and and
They don’t fit.The 16 fit my hips okay, but across the thighs the pants were snug. Getting them buttoned up required me to cease all respiration! Once they were buttoned, I was able to move okay, but I had a muffin top and that’s just not sexy. It’s frustrating to buy pants in general. It’s even more so when buying them sight unseen on the sizing advice of a confusing size chart and a customer service staff member who odds are isn’t a plus size female. But the folks over at TacticalPants were so kind helping me figure out my size and facilitating the ordering process, I was sure they’d keep on helping and would fix this problem.
I emailed Jeanette and she talked to her customer service person. They will be sending me two more pairs of pants in two other sizes. I can try on all three pairs and decide which one fits me the best. Along with the pants, they will be sending a postage paid return label. Once I’ve chosen my pair, I’ll be able to mail them back the other two pairs at no expense to me. I’m sad the pants didn’t fit, but I’m impressed with TacticalPants’ customer service and Jeanette hinted that they were working on creating size charts so future orders with them should be easier!
Not too long ago, a woman named Jeanette sent me a link to a web page called TacticalPants, which (as its name implies) is a shopping site for men and women to order tactical pants by various makers. The site had a bit of a focus on women though, which included an initiative to try out different women’s tactical pants to see if they were really good for actual women. The staff of the site all reviewed every pair of pants they stock and posted their results online for us to read. Their results are here. I put the link to the site up on my blog because I thought it was cool that women were out there helping other women find and purchase good gear. At that time, I put the TacticalPants link out there just as a resource and not as a recommendation, because I hadn’t yet myself had any experience with the site or the items they were selling.
Jeanette is changing that. She emailed me with an offer to select a pair of tactical pants for women from their site. In exchange, I’ll be reviewing the pants here on my blog. Of course, I’ll review my experiences with Jeanette and Tactical Pants as well. I’ve never before owned a pair of tactical pants and I’m really excited to try one out. I’ve seen them on men and have found them attractive on them, but I hadn’t before considered that women could find a good fit in and look sexy in a pant that, at least in my mind, has been associated with men. I’ll let you know how it goes!