The Best Tactical Pants for Paintball

Our Top 11 Picks for 2023

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Tired of wearing torn-up jeans while everyone else has comfortable performance gear? I thought so. Our top pick for the best tactical pants will change your life (slight exaggeration) but are much more affordable than you think.

Entry-level paintballers usually start with ragged, torn-up clothing because it’s cheap and convenient.

But you can only play in the same ratty, uncomfortable jeans for so long.

I did the “cheap and convenient” thing for my first few weekends until a sudden trip over an unexpected tree root left me with a nasty gash that any decent pair of performance pants would have prevented.

Don’t wait for a sharp stick or jagged rock to convince you to invest in your safety and comfort.

If you’re ready to get serious about your gear, then you’re ready for this list of the best tactical pants.

Product Reviews

#1: 5.11 Tactical Stryke Operator Tactical Pants

Best Tactical Pants

Made by 5.11 Tactical, one of the industry leaders in tactical gear (it’s right in their name!), these 5.11 Tactical Stryke Operator pants are the best tactical pants available. Their 65% polyester, 35% cotton blend is Teflon-treated for breathable yet durable performance with a gusseted design for top-notch comfort and flexibility.

#2: 5.11 Tactical Women’s TacLite EMS Pants

Best Women’s Tactical Pants

5.11 Tactical Women’s Taclite Lightweight EMS Pants, Adjustable Waistband, Teflon Finish, Style 64369, Black, 2
  • HIGH-QUALITY MATERIAL – Constructed using premium polyester and cotton mechanical stretch tactile ripstop fabric, this pair of pants is sturdy and flexible to ensure maximum performance in the field.
  • TEFLON-TREATED FABRIC – Coated with Teflon, these pants have a protective finish that resists stain and moisture without compromising breathability. The coating also makes it easier to clean this garment!
  • SECURE FIT – Featuring a self-adjusting tunnel waistband, a double-time belt loops with web straps, and double-reinforced seat and knees, this pair of pants offers a comfortable fit for enhanced mobility throughout the day.
  • SPECIALIZED POCKETS – Specially designed for professionals on the go, these pants have thigh-mounted cargo pockets with internal compartments and calf cargo pockets to provide ample storage and easy access to all your mission-critical gear.
  • TRUSTED BRAND – Developed with quality in mind, 5.11 Tactical offers a wide range of products that includes shirts, pants, bags, accessories, and more. Defining their brand through challenge and fortitude, 5.11 promises readiness beyond limits.

A great breathable, warm-weather tactical pant for women, the 5.11 Tactical Women’s TacLite EMS pants are made with the same Teflon-treated, 65% polyester, 35% cotton blend as the best tactical pants above, this time with TacLite ripstop fabric for superior durability. They have thigh-mounted cargo pockets plus extra internal pockets for plenty of carrying capacity and are the best option for women on the paintball field.

#3: 5.11 Tactical Combat Cargo Pants

Best Tactical Cargo Pants

5.11 Tactical Men’s TDU Pant, Multicamo, Small
  • 65% polyester/35% cotton 7-oz.ripstop; authentic MultiCam Pattern with Teflon finish for stain and soil resistance
  • Self-adjusting comfort waist with extra-wide belt loops
  • Reinforced seat
  • Double knee accepts kneepads
  • Prym snap and YKK zipper

Yet another pair of 5.11 Tactical pants! These Combat Cargo Pants are available in twill, TacLite, and ripstop materials with a self-adjusting tunnel waistband and double-reinforced knees and seat and spacious cargo pockets so you can comfortably carry all of your paintball equipment (with room to spare).

#4: LA Police Gear Terrain Flex Jeans

Best Tactical Jeans

LA Police Gear Terrain Flex Slim Fit Tactical Jeans for Men, Men’s Jeans Slim Fit, Stretch Jeans for Men – Medium Wash – 28 x 30
  • Medium Wash – Perfect for casual or dressy settings
  • Straight Fit – Classic fit in waist and thighs, straight leg past the knee
  • Prewashed to minimize shrinking and for natural feel and appearance
  • Classic button waist with brass locking YKK zipper
  • 9 pocket design with high end stitching and bar tacks in key areas

Available in straight fit and slim fit with either a dark or medium wash, LA Police Gear’s Terrain Flex Tactical Jeans are made from stretchy denim with 2% Spandex and have 8 built-in pockets on the front, rear, and hip plus a hidden “handcuff key” pocket near the center belt loop. They’re lightweight yet rugged and are perfect for paintballers looking for versatile, all-day use with the casual denim look.

#5: 5.11 Tactical Apex EDC Pants

Best EDC Pants

5.11 Men’s Apex EDC Pants
  • Bartacked stress locations, Seven reinforced belt loops, reinforced knife clip area and genuine YKK zippers insure that durability is not an Issue
  • 7.2 oz. Flex-tac mechanical stretch Canvas is Teflon treated to repel stains, soil, and moisture
  • Internal cargo pouch magazine pockets flex-cuff pocket inside front waist, handcuff key pocket inside rear waist, TWIN back yoke magazine pockets
  • Fully gusseted crotch, comfort waistband, articulated knees provide comfort, range of movement and durability
  • Sorona 42%/Cotton 31%/Polyester 27%

Designed for EDC (every day carry), these Apex EDC pants from 5.11 Tactical are a 67% polyester, 33% cotton blend of Two-Way, Flex-Tac material that’s comfortable yet sturdy. They also have plenty of storage with deep internal twin-back yoke cargo magazine pockets and flexible cuff pockets inside the waist.

#6: Survival Tactical Gear Military Cargo Pants

Best Military Pants

Survival Tactical Gear Combat Pant Motorcycle Riding Pants Ripstop Military Camo Trousers for Camping Hiking (Black(Pro), S)
  • Breathable and durable NYCO Ripstop fabric.
  • Double layer seat /knee areas for durability
  • Two way access side pocket with top mounted pen tubes.
  • A simple velcro strap system in built into the waist to allow for size adjustments
  • CORDURA Fabric pocket corner reinforcements to prevent knife clip wear

Available in a variety of patterns including green, camo, and traditional black, these Military Cargo Pants from Survival Tactical Gear are among the most rugged and durable you’ll find. They have double-layered knees and seat material for an extended wearable life with a Velcro strap system in the waist for size adjustments as needed.

#7: HARD LAND Lightweight Tactical Pants

Best Lightweight Tactical Pants

HARD LAND Mens Tactical Pants Ripstop,14 Pockets,Waterproof Lightweight Work Cargo Pants Military Khaki Size 30W×30L
  • 【14 CARGO POCKETS】HARD LAND tactical pants for men have 14 pockets including 2 Knee Pads pockets to provide ample storage and easy accessible to pens, pads, phones and other every day carries(EDC). Separate Magazine, Phone and Knife pockets. Specially designed for professional use such as law enforcement, military, paramedic and so on.
  • 【FADE RESISTANCE】We chose Indanthrene Dyeing which is natural and has high color fastness to make the cargo pants won’t fade quickly after several years of using and washing.
  • 【GOOD MOBILITY】Gusseted Crotch of mens tactical pants offers optimum flexibility and room. Elastic Waistband not only aids in ease of movement but also adds additional comfort when on the go. Ergonomic fit Articulated Knees, this streamlined construction allows for a full range of movement.
  • 【REINFORCEMENT】Hardland men’s tactical pants offer Reinforced Knees with knee pad pockets, so you can crouch, crawl and kneel without worrying about wearing your work pants out. Specialized stitches prevent belt loops (2.75” width) from sagging and ripping under the weight, offer extra support for guns and holsters.
  • 【DOUBLE-STITCHED AREAS】Our work pants come with Extra Stitching around the Knee and Crotch area to prevent tearing. This hiking pants for men are rugged enough for hunting shooting but they won’t make noise while walking.It is the most suitable pants for hiking, mountain climbing, hot summer, outdoor sports, construction, bushland navigation or just a day out in the street.

These HARD LAND Lightweight Tactical Pants are the go-to option when you need full-leg coverage and toughness without extra bulk. Made from 67% polyester and 33% cotton with 10 tactical pockets and additional belt loops, they’re as functional as they are comfortable.

#8: SITKA Gear Timberline Hunting Pants

Best Waterproof Tactical Pants

SITKA Gear Men’s Standard Timberline Pant, Lead, 30R
  • CONCEALMENT – Subalpine is designed for stalking and ambushing ungulates from ground level in tree-covered and vegetated terrain, Open Country is optimized for engagement ranges of 50 yds and beyond at ground level in rocky terrain above the timber line
  • REINFORCED SEAT AND KNEES – The seat and knees are reinforced with a waterproof nylon ripstop fabric, so a long slog on a wet saddle or a quick seat in the snow won’t leave you cold and wet
  • REMOVABLE KNEE PADS – Removable knee pads offer additional shield whether you’re scrambling through talus in the Northern Rockies, picking your way through cactus in the Sonoran Desert, or field dressing an animal
  • ARTICULATED PATTERNING – The fit is athletic with tapered legs and a low-profile waist that won’t bunch or chafe under a pack
  • DESIGNED FOR CHANGING CONDITIONS – This softshell pant is the go-to for those tough mid-to-late season conditions in the backcountry; it’s constructed with ultra-durable 4-way stretch polyester which is both waterproof and breathable

If you’re tired of getting soaked, you want these SITKA Gear Timberline Hunting Pants. They’re bulkier than the other pants on this list but have unmatched water-resistance and durability. Hunters spend entire weekends in the harshest conditions and come back home to buy more of these pants. They’ll get the job done for you out on the paintball field.

#9: CQR Lightweight Tactical Pants

Best Tactical Pants For Hot Weather

CQR Men’s Tactical Pants, Water Resistant Ripstop Cargo Pants, Lightweight EDC Hiking Work Pants, Outdoor Apparel, Duratex Ripstop Police Navy, 28W x 30L
  • CQR Men’s Tactical PantsSeries designed for law enforcement, military, and outdoor activities.
  • [Materials] Mix of Polyester & Cotton (Ripstop Fabric) is breathable, wrinkle-free, and comfortable.
  • [Duratax Ripstop Fabric] Ripstop fabric has excellent durability and has water-resistant and stain-resistant.
  • Exclusive Tactical Belt is NOT included ***
  • [Elastic Waistband] Side waistband is to make a secure fit and support the active movement.

If you’re worried about overheating while keeping your legs protected, check out these CQR Lightweight Tactical Pants. They’re made from water-repellent, lightweight, ripstop material with convenient cargo pockets and a specially-designed magazine pocket for performance and comfort on long, hot summer days.

#10: FREE SOLDIER Fleece-Lined Cargo Pants

Best Tactical Winter Pants

FREE SOLDIER Men’s Outdoor Softshell Fleece Lined Cargo Pants Snow Ski Hiking Pants with Belt(Green, 30W x 28L)
  • Warm & Soft Fabric: The softshell pants inner layer made of warm polar fleece which offers superior next-to-skin comfort, stave of winter winds and chilly temperatures so you stay warm all season long. The classic soft shell surface layer using windproof fabric block the cold air to further improve thermal insulation performance. Both outer and inner are useful for preventing loss of heat from the body, effectively to warm your body even under extreme winter or snowy conditions.
  • Water Repellent & Breathable Features: The waterproof membrane in the surface layer effectively prevents the water molecules from penetrating, helps improve the breathability and transfer the moisture away quickly. Features signature seam-sealed waterproof construction to keep you comfortable while protecting you from the wettest of elements. The materials and stitches allow the snow ski pants to breathe while maintaining you dry even during strenuous activity in humid and drenched climates.
  • Comfortable & Custom Fit: Made of 94% Polyester and 6% Spandex, this synthetic stretch fabric for maximum movement let you more comfortable when you bend and squat, integrated motion points mapped to the body takes your mobility to the next level. Elastic waistband on two sides allow snow pants to fit comfortably, Standard fit is eased, but not sloppy, and perfect for any activity. Self-locking YKK zipper fly with metal closure avoid the embarrassment when you are in your winter adventure.
  • Simple & Practical Design: Mens durable pant features four cargo pockets for ultimate convenience and efficiency: two zip-closure security pockets, two side pockets with hook and loop closure which can keep your phone, wallet, key, tactical tools or other small accessories. Designed for outdoor enthusiasts which can also comfortably withstand the toughest working conditions, scratch resistant & tear resistant fabric performs well no matter the strenuous sports or heavy duty works.
  • Versatile & Utility Pants: Your Must Have Mens Outdoor Waterproof Soft shell Fleece-Lined Pants in this winter. Suitable for daily wear, snowboarding, ski touring, hiking, hunting, travelling, skiing, camping, fishing, mountaineering, biking, cycling, running. NOTICE: All the data are accurately measured, please choose your standard size. If you like loose fit, please order the Plus or one size up.

On the other end of the spectrum are these Fleece-Lined Cargo Pants from FREE SOLDIER. They’re made from 94% polyester and 6% Spandex for durability and comfort with an inner layer of fleece to insulate your body in cold, wet weather. In addition to their comfort, they also have 5 zipper-sealed pockets and convenient D-rings for all of your accessories.

#11: LA Police Gear Tactical Pants With Elastic Waistband

Best Big And Tall Tactical Pants

If you need a little extra room, get yourself a pair of these LA Police Gear Tactical Pants with an elastic waistband for extra comfort. They even use your taller, wider dimensions to cram more pockets (because you always need more pockets), including two right above the cuff.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Tactical Pants?

Tactical pants are the middle ground between “total armored protection” and “lightweight jogger comfort.” They’re comfortable but durable so you can wear them all day in a variety of settings without risking serious external injury.

Typically, tactical pants have a ton of pockets, are made with high-quality polyester/cotton blends (sometimes with Spandex), and are designed with law enforcement and military personnel in mind.

What are the best tactical pants?

Are 5.11 pants good?

Yes, they are excellent – 4 of our top 11 picks are made by 5.11.

Are tactical pants supposed to be baggy?

Tactical pants shouldn’t baggy nor too tight. They are all about functionality and should be comfortable to move around in and to pull over your boots.

How do you choose tactical pants?

Choose tactical pants based on your activity, body type, weather conditions, and budget.

Are tactical pants good for hiking?

Lightweight tactical pants can be good for hiking but we recommend wearing hiking pants. Use the best tool for the job, like your dad used to say.

Are tactical pants waterproof?

The majority of tactical pants are waterproof.