The Best Tactical Pants of 2021

For Comfort, Performance & Storage

David McBryan, Paintballer-in-Chief

David McBryan
Paintballer-in-Chief
Updated: 10/23/20
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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.

Best tactical pants - primary image

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.

11 Best Tactical Pants of 2021

Best Tactical Pants
5.11 Tactical Stryke Operator Tactical Pants
Best Women's Tactical Pants
5.11 Tactical Women's TacLite EMS Pants
Best Tactical Cargo Pants
5.11 Tactical Combat Cargo Pants
Best Tactical Jeans
LA Police Gear Terrain Flex Jeans
Best EDC Pants
5.11 Tactical Apex EDC Pants
Best Military Pants
Survival Tactical Gear Military Cargo Pants
Best Lightweight Tactical Pants
HARD LAND Lightweight Tactical Pants
Best Waterproof Tactical Pants
SITKA Gear Timberline Hunting Pants
Best Tactical Pants For Hot Weather
CQR Lightweight Tactical Pants
Best Tactical Winter Pants
FREE SOLDIER Fleece-Lined Cargo Pants
Best Big And Tall Tactical Pants
LA Police Gear Tactical Pants

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.

The 5.11 Tactical Stryke Operators are the Best Tactical Pants
The 5.11 Tactical Stryke Operators are the Best Tactical Pants

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.

The 5.11 Tactical Women's TacLite EMS Pants are the Best Women's Tactical Pants
The 5.11 Tactical Women's TacLite EMS Pants are the Best Women's Tactical Pants

2. 5.11 Tactical Women's TacLite EMS Pants

Best Women's Tactical Pants

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.

The 5.11 Tactical Combat Cargo Pants are the Best Tactical Cargo Pants
The 5.11 Tactical Combat Cargo Pants are the Best Tactical Cargo Pants

3. 5.11 Tactical Combat Cargo Pants

Best Tactical Cargo Pants

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).

The LA Police Gear Terrain Flex Jeans are the Best Tactical Jeans
The LA Police Gear Terrain Flex Jeans are the Best Tactical Jeans

4. LA Police Gear Terrain Flex Jeans

Best Tactical Jeans

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.

The 5.11 Tactical Apex are the Best EDC Pants
The 5.11 Tactical Apex are the Best EDC Pants

5. 5.11 Tactical Apex EDC Pants

Best EDC Pants

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.

The Survival Tactical Gear Military Cargo Pants are the Best Military Pants
The Survival Tactical Gear Military Cargo Pants are the Best Military Pants

6. Survival Tactical Gear Military Cargo Pants

Best Military Pants

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.

The HARD LAND Lightweight Tactical Pants are the Best Lightweight Tactical Pants
The HARD LAND Lightweight Tactical Pants are the Best Lightweight Tactical Pants

7. HARD LAND Lightweight Tactical Pants

Best Lightweight Tactical Pants

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.

The SITKA Gear Timberline Hunting Pants are the Best Waterproof Tactical Pants
The SITKA Gear Timberline Hunting Pants are the Best Waterproof Tactical Pants

8. SITKA Gear Timberline Hunting Pants

Best Waterproof Tactical Pants

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.

The CQR Lightweight Tactical Pants are the Best Tactical Pants For Hot Weather
The CQR Lightweight Tactical Pants are the Best Tactical Pants For Hot Weather

9. CQR Lightweight Tactical Pants

Best Tactical Pants For Hot Weather

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.

The FREE SOLDIER Fleece-Lined Cargo Pants are the Best Tactical Winter Pants
The FREE SOLDIER Fleece-Lined Cargo Pants are the Best Tactical Winter Pants

10. FREE SOLDIER Fleece-Lined Cargo Pants

Best Tactical Winter Pants

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.

The LA Police Gear Tactical Pants With Elastic Waistband are the Best Big And Tall Tactical Pants
The LA Police Gear Tactical Pants With Elastic Waistband are the Best Big And Tall Tactical Pants

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.

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