5.11 Tactical Stryke Pant with Flex Tac
So unless you work at a pool or your local “exotic dancing establishment” chances are a good portion of your work time is spent wearing pants of some sort. I came up wearing rip-stop BDUs and was comfortable with the traditional uniform that Uncle Same gave me. The ripstop did an ok job at keeping tears and scuffs to a minimum and allowed the pants to breathe and dry out when slogging around North Carolina.
Fast forward to employment in Southern Arizona and finding myself in a pair of wool uniform pants for patrol. One can only imagine that they were hot, loved to snag in mesquite thickets and were slightly less constricting than those skinny jeans the delinquents wear nowadays. Someone who gets paid to make decisions decided that the grunts needed a better, more modern uniform pant. They settled on the 5.11 Tactical Stryke Pant as the next generation of patrol uniform.
I spoke to the gentleman who was the driving force behind the change and he told me how he wore a pair of the Stryke pants for a rim-to-rim Grand Canyon hike and how they were comfortable and durable for such a trip. I wasn’t convinced, knowing that this guy loves all things 5.11, so I bought a pair of the pants in anticipation of their coming acceptance.
I will say, that barring pajamas, these are the most comfortable pants I have ever worn. They’re lightweight, they breathe and the fabric is “stretchy” so no matter how you move, the pants never restrict you. Wearing the Stryke pants are almost like wearing pajamas at work – minus the warm milk and cookies feeling I get in my Optimus Prime footies…
If you are familiar with 5.11’s line of pants the Stryke comes close to the Taclite Pro pants in weight. While the Taclite, and their bigger, tougher brother, the TDU pants are configured like BDUs with similar cargo pocket layouts, the Stryke has slightly slimmer cargo pockets higher on the leg. I found that I could fit less stuff in the Stryke pockets than I could in the Taclite Pro or TDU pockets. Now I’m not rolling around with bulges, but a pair of rubber gloves and sharpies shouldn’t max a pocket out. It does with the Stryke’s cargo pockets. They do have inner magazine dividers but the pocket sits so tight to the leg, it is hard to utilize the sections.
One added benefit of the stretchiness of the fabric was the ability to get to my ankle holster. While this isn’t a huge concern, my clearing movement was easier to achieve, with less binding on the Stryke Pants.
Now I’ve talked about the good, let me discuss the bad. While these are super comfortable pants they aren’t the most durable. I scrambled up a hill to get a better vantage spot and busted through an ocotillo patch. Coming out the other side I had a number of little pills from where the thorns snagged the material. This contrasts with the pair of Taclites that I wore deer hunting last year. I went up and down this one hill half a dozen times and the entire side was covered in the most evil knee high bushes that had razor sharp thorns. After a day of humping this one briar patch the pants didn’t pill. My legs were shredded underneath but the pants were solid.
This gives me pause about using the Stryke pants for any sort of rural or hard use duty. These would be a great pant for an urban, jumping over fences and getting into foot chases, duty. But if you’re busting mesquite thickets looking for ne’er do goods, then these might not be your best choice. Don’t misunderstand, I’ll wear these pants to bust through a mesquite thicket and I’ll be comfortable doing it. These are a great improvement over the old wool pants. I would just like to see a bit more durability mixed in with the amazing comfort.
Where to Buy:
Amazon MEN’S 5.11 STRYKE PANTS