If you’re looking for a pair of combat pants these days, you have quite a lot of options to go for. These pants come with different features and depending on your needs and budget it can be quite hard to find one suited for you.
So in today’s video we want to give you a general guide to make you aware of what’s out there and what you need to look for when choosing combat pants. Hi guys, Instinct here before we dive into today’s subject, make sure to subscribe to the channel and hit that notification button to stay notified for upcoming videos.
Also check out our shop and platform through reconbrothers.com for your tactical needs. So let’s get started. In general combat fans have 3 main purposes 1 protection, 2 camouflage and 3 serving as a carrying system.
To clarify this a bit, with protection we’re talking about the first layer of protection against sharp edges, plant needles, abrasive surfaces and of course the elements. For this this kind of pants are usually water repellent, fire retardant or even fireproof.
This might be interesting for certain risks you come across. Another protective feature we see more commonly implemented into the pants these days are knee pads. Knee pads are primarily meant to protect your knees against impacts, but some can also protect your knees against sharp objects like glass for example.
If you’re a type of person that has to take a knee often kneepads, are essentially a must-have and having them implemented into your pants, is a thing to less worry about. In a bit we’ll go deeper into what type of knee pads there are with all their pros and cons.
The next thing is camouflage which is also another form of protection. Obviously this only works when the colors and patterns blend into the surrounding area. Above that some pants are also IRR treated which means they are infrared repellent.
This is important to protect yourself against devices that can detect IR lights such as night vision devices. The weird thing is that this feature is not always mentioned in the specs of the products, so if you need that, make sure to contact the brand to be sure.
Another thing when it comes to camouflage is to be aware that it doesn’t make you invisible. Mostly it is only useful when you’re not moving at all. The last purpose we mentioned was that combat pants are also meant as a carrying system for your tools and utilities.
Usually combat pants have about 10 pockets on convenient places to quickly access or dump something in them. Also about these different designs we will share what is good and what is bad later in this video.
So these are the 3 main purposes why combat pants are needed, but besides this there are also features like adjustability, comfort and convenience in use that make up the decision what pants to go for.
Before we get into the specific design features, we want to talk a bit about the fabrics used these days. Nowadays most combat pants are made of a combination of polyester, nylon, cotton twill and ripstop fabrics.
In general twill fabrics are considered to be more comfortable than rip-stop fabrics, but rip-stop fabrics, as the name itself says, will stop ripping. Unfortunately the seams won’t hold, but the fabric itself will stop ripping.
Important to realize is that the composition of the pants can already differ with different camouflage patterns, some might feel more comfortable while others are more durable, even if they are made by the same manufacturer.
Another thing to mind is that combat pants are designed to be strong and resist abuse, but this doesn’t mean you have to exaggerate with them. We’ve already heard people complaining about reputable brands that didn’t last them.
But then hearing these guys were sliding off rough rocky mountains on their asses makes you realize they were just asking for it. So guys they can take some heavy shit, but they’re not invincible. The next thing we want to mention is the weight of combat pants.
A pair of pants that nears 1 kilogram may just have too many whistles and bells on it for your usage. It may just be 1 kilogram, but every gram counts. However some pants their weight is justified, think about winter pants.
It is actually all about placing them in their context. At last, before we go into the features we want to mention the importance of correct washing. If you spend all that money on your expensive pants, you want them to last as long as possible and washing is a huge part of that.
As an example things like them being water repellent degrades with every time you wash them, but by using the right products you can add this feature to the pants again. We once made a video on the do’s and don’ts when cleaning your tactical apparel, so we’ll leave the link in the description down below.
That all said let’s have a look into the available features and what that translates to in practicality. For this we will cover the pants going from top to bottom, so let’s start off with the waste. The very first thing you’ll practically always find on the waistline is them being adjustable.
This can either be done with lips on the front or on the back of the pants and when you pull them, you tighten the waistline. This is usually also fixed with Velcro. With some designs however this can result into the fabric of the waist folding which may be of minor discomfort.
There are also some simpler designs that just use a stretch fabric that will automatically adjust your waist size. Another thing you can also find especially on the back of the pants is some sort of padding.
This will most likely be a moisture wicking padding which is implemented for your comfort when using heavy duty belts for example. Now, the downside of this is that it feels hotter when wearing pants that have this padding and if it is a moisture wicking padding it will also become heavier since it collects the moisture.
The thing however is, you need to question yourself is this padding really necessary? Because if you wear a belt with a heavy load this usually already is a war belt that has its own padding and this padding will do much more than the padding inside your waist.
Next up are the belt loops and especially important about these is their stitching onto the waistline. After all, these loops hold your belt and thus they need to be able to handle the stress. Here you want to look out for something that has been stitched a few times.
Now recently we also noticed that there are some pants that use double belt loops. Whereas one is still stitched onto the waistline, but another one can be accessed by the use of a button or Velcro. For the guys that don’t know what this is for.
This is actually designed for people that still use the old-fashioned threaded belts with all their accessories attached to them. One of the downsides of wearing a threaded belt is that each time you take off the belt, every attachment has to come off as well.
These kind of loops allow you to take off your thread belt, without the need to take your attachments off over and over again. So if you use one of these belts, this type of pants might save you a lot of hassle.
Another thing that is being featured these days are loops beneath the belt loops on the front of the pants. These can be used to attach a d-ring or s-binder for the attachment of your gloves for example.
Some pants already have plastic d-rings attached to them, but these only add unnecessary weight rather than being useful. Let’s have a look at the closure system of the pants, in fact this is something we can widen to all the pockets in the pants as well.
Here it basically comes down to zippers or Velcro. Some pants still use buttons, they all have their pros and cons so let’s talk about that now. Obviously Velcro makes sounds, but it is easy to replace or repair.
Also over time the loop side will lose its grip and renders it useless. So it will need replacement after a while of usage. Zippers on the other hand are a little quieter in use however they are not that simple to repair or replace, but they are a 100% secure system so they are perfect if you don’t want to lose something accidentally.
Here YKK zippers are the standard in this industry and they are pretty solid zippers, however we all know shit can happen. On the other hand, there are also buttons that are convenient in use, but they are also easily deformed and they are hard to replace.
Now if we go a bit further down the pants we come to the crotch area and the main importance here is the maneuverability. In fact, the mobility is something we can extend to the knees as well as the butt of the pants as well.
Mobility is of absolute importance, because if your pants limit your space, you also limit what you can do with your body. Think about things like going prone, taking a knee, traversing certain obstacles and so on.
For these brands have come up with their own solutions of which one is using stretch materials. These work great and maintain a low profile. But the thing with this material is that it rips and punctures easier then the other materials used.
These are the so to say “weak spots” in the pants. However the latest developments also make it that this can come in a rip-stop version which will stop the ripping, but they will always be less resistant against abrasion.
The other option some companies go for is to cut their material differently which can sometimes end up in a more saggy looking pants. But others are able to come with a slim looking design that also has a good maneuverability and this way you won’t have the fragility issues you have with the stretch material.
Now a feature we never tried ourselves but it’s actually very clever is implementing a venting system. Almost everybody who wears these kind of pants know that they are being used for physically demanding stuff and thus it can get pretty hot.
So this might be a very interesting feature to stay cool and thus it adds comfort. However it also adds weight and it can break, so it really depends on your personal preferences. So next up are the pockets and there’s a lot to talk about with this, since designs can vary a lot.
To some they are more convenient than to others, but we’ll try our best to show you what to look out for. So let’s start off with the hip pockets. These are usually pretty deep and easy accessible, but there’s a big “but”.
What most manufacturers don’t realize is that most people who wear these kind of pants usually wear them with a tactically set up belt. And that the cuts on these pants are mostly way too high. What this does is when you are wearing pouches and a holster, these pockets are no longer easy accessible.
What some guys do, is cut their pocket for an easier access, but we rather not cut in our pants. Now, till this day we only know of one manufacturer who made the cut low enough to be easily accessible when wearing a belt.
So thumbs up to that company. So if we go a bit lower, we go to the cargo pockets. These are probably the most used ones since they are very convenient in use and they have a very big size. Many brands have come up with their own designs for this type of pocket which are convenient for various stuff.
One of these features is to carry a magazine while making it still easy accessible. One of the designs we know about simply uses an elastic band to retain the magazine, however it does not make it super easy accessible.
Also when you a ditch magazine in there you can’t do it fast and retain it well. So you’ll probably run around with a magazine jumping all over the place in that pocket. Others on the other hand have come up with ways to have an open pocket design that still retains the magazine pretty well and makes it easy accessible as well as easy to ditch.
All these are usually made to fit an AR magazine, however we also know of some brands that have come up with Velcro inserts to make it fit other magazine types as well. Another thing that is featured these days is a vertical zipper on the cargo pocket.
This makes it easy accessible when you’re sitting in a vehicle for example and that is pretty useful. The last thing when it comes to these pockets is that they best have a zipper closure. All pockets can work perfectly with Velcro, but once Velcro becomes dirty it becomes less reliable and thus having a zipper closure is a good secure system to not lose your stuff, especially on these pockets.
Next up we go to the back and here all of them have 2 low profile pockets, there’s not much to be said about them, except that they are the most easy in use when they have a velcro closure system. However most brands seem to be using zippers probably to not have any accidental losses.
Back to the front again, here most of the pants feature some smaller utility pockets which are convenient to store a pistol magazine, multi-tool or a knife for example. Especially the ones on the quadriceps are very convenient in use when you’re doing a tactile reload for example.
Further down we come to the knees and there’s actually quite a lot to talk about when it comes to these. Firstly comes the style of kneepad. There are let’s call them “half open system kneepads” and “closed system kneepads”.
Let’s first start off with the half open kneepad systems. They are not the most easy to insert, but they’re also not the most difficult system out there. They do however can easily come out, but you can prevent that by adding some additional Velcro.
However this will make them even harder to insert. You can also fixate them with some tape They usually can be fully enclosed as well, but then you’re destroying the pant material on top of the knee pad.
Next up is a closed system whereas you place the knee back into the pants. This makes it impossible to lose them, but you’ll expose a knee material to the ground and does destroy it over time. They are reinforced to withstand more, but eventually they will fail you.
And we rather spend our money on a second pair of knee pads than a second pair of pants. Now all pads have the purpose to protect your knees against impacts, but only a few of them also protect you against sharp objects like rocks glass and other sharp objects.
Therefore there are systems that allow you to add an additional hard layer which you can insert into the pants together with the pad, but again you will destroy your pants. But there are also systems that allow you to attach the hard layer on the outside of the pants which is much better for the pants itself, but they are mostly hard to attach and detach.
Furthermore there’s also the adjustability of the knee pads, since everybody’s body is different. Also here brands solve this in different ways. Either they make the knee pad big enough so you don’t have to adjust anything at all or they implement adjustment systems.
For the width this is done with velcro systems on the back of the knee and for the height they usually use an elastic system in one of the pockets. Anyway both systems are pretty great ways to solve this problem with the adjustment system you just have a bit more work.
Now a thing to look out for with the adjustability straps is that they don’t sit uncomfortably when taking a knee. Some companies have specifically designed their pants to avoid the knee cavity with these straps, while others haven’t thought about it.
Also the thing with pads that have an adjustment system is that they have a more neat design and have a less bulky build which doesn’t have excessive material that can get stuck. One last thing when it comes to knee pads, especially the adjustable ones is that the knee pad only needs to sit in place when you’re actually taking a knee.
It is normal that when you’re standing the knee pad is a bit lower. Going down a bit more we come to the last pocket on the lower leg. There’s not much to be said about this except that they differ in size depending on the brand, so it is important that you keep the size in mind depending on what you need to store in them.
At last at the very bottom of the pant, we come to the last adjustable system and the boot hook which are a neat idea to make the pants look good. But in practice these almost never hold. As for the hook this actually depends on what type of hook the brand uses, but a good thing to know here is: The harder it is for you to put it on, the better it is retained.
One final tip when it comes to sizing is that the chards are usually off and sometimes way off. The very best thing you can do to have a good fit is to actually physically fit the pants. If this is not possible the next best thing you can do is measure the dimensions of a pair of pants that fit you well and compare those dimensions to the pair of pants you wish to buy.
However it may be necessary to request the dimensions. So guys, hope this gave you some insights on the things to look out for when getting a new pair of combat pants. Hopefully this video was helpful, if so make sure to like the video, subscribe to our channel.
Thanks for watching and we’ll see you next week.