By Chris Tran
Work Pants for Work
With the exception of a few notable brands, jeans these days have turned from good honest work pants into stylish pants with embroidery and designs sewn into the back pockets that resemble doilies. Not quite fitting for weekend warrior projects around the house. It seems that I can’t go any more than 4 months without wearing a hole through the knees of my jeans. Worse, many pairs that I buy end up wearing and fraying through where my pants naturally crease or fold on my legs when I’m kneeling, or squatting, or sitting. What happened to quality work pants?
My across-the-street neighbor is a commercial refrigeration specialist and he told me that he, on average, buys his work jeans four pairs at a time, and usually goes through four to six pairs a year due to constant moving, imbedded dirt and grime, and wear from washing. Typical generic brand jeans from Costco, Sam’s Club, or Sears typically run from $13.99-$29.99. Four to six pairs a year?
“Tacticool” Pants for being Tacticool
In addition to being a poorly-skilled weekend warrior, I am also a police officer for a large municipality in the Pacific Northwest. Just like in my personal life, when on the job I want my gear and clothing to work, last, and not break the bank. Much of my monthly training is outdoors. Specifically with my required and supplemental firearms training, we train outdoors exposed to the elements and are required to be standing, kneeling, lying in gravel and dirt while shooting prone and supine, running, and while carrying our duty load outs and typically soaking wet.
Let’s face it, traditional BDUs are outdated. At least in my agency, we will never have a need to blouse the bottoms of our training BDUs over our boots, and the black ones we are issued fade and turn gray with time. You can always tell who the old salty vets are from a distance when on a riot line because they’re the ones wearing the charcoal gray pajamas.
Storing items in the voluminous pleated BDU cargo pockets usually results in smaller items jangling around against the outside of your knee, and the pockets are secured only by two buttons.
More “tactically-oriented” clothing and equipment companies really have the corner on the law enforcement market. Many tactical clothiers have incorporated smart redesigns of their tactical pants such as double or triple stitching, Velcro flaps, angled slash pockets, diamond gusseted crotches, reinforced knee areas or interior pockets for kneepads, D-rings, even built-in tourniquets. Although well-made, they are geared towards a niche market, are mission-specific, and immediately recognizable to anyone in the law enforcement, military, or shooting sports crowd.
Work Pants for Work and Play
I was first exposed to MascotWorkwear at the grand re-opening of Rainier Arms in Auburn, WA in 2013. I had been told that they were rugged and rivaled higher tier work wear with quality stitching and materials. I took a look at several models of pants but was immediately drawn to their “Lindos” model, which are a 65%/35% poly/cotton Cordura blend. The pants are triple-stitched with ergonomically-shaped pant legs. The quality of workmanship is apparent before even trying the pants on. The Lindos pants are advertised as “Holster Pants”, meaning that in addition to their smartly-designed and well-executed standard six pockets, they have two extra pockets that are tucked INSIDE the pants via slits in the front face of the pants just under the hemline.
End users simply reach into the slits of the pants, pull the holster pockets out, and now they have access to two large pockets/pouches to store more gear, equipment, or in my case, ammo. Think of it as your trusty tool belt, already built into your pants.
Now, I was initially skeptical of the design. The holster pockets were definitely unique, but I didn’t like the idea of extra material wadded up on the front of the pants face – I initially thought that comfort while squatting or sitting might be compromised as it just added extra layers of material on top of the hip crease, but fortunately that is not the case. The holster pockets lie flat when tucked internally, and I have yet to experience any discomfort while wearing the Lindos pants with the holster pockets tucked in.
The left holster pocket is the simpler of the two, and consists of two separate pockets lapped on top of one another. The right holster pocket sports a large general pocket, on top of which are vertically segmented pockets one of which includes a small tool/accessory loop and the other a Velcro retention strap over the top to keep your tools and gear in place. The smaller pockets are perfect for utility knives, razor cutters, small pliers, and pens, and for the shooting sport users, a perfect place for an extra doublestack pistol magazine, shotgun shells, or use as a general dump pouch. Being a left-handed shooter, I flip out my right side holster pocket and dump 50 rounds of loose handgun ammo in it so I can reload my mags on the firing line. For the officers, the holster pocket openings sit low enough to be accessed with a duty belt on.
The Lindos cargo pockets are great. The left side cargo pocket is secured by Velcro tabs and sports a small holster pocket with a Velcro flap on the face of it. The smaller pocket will fit smaller flip phones such as a Kyocera 810 PTT or similarly-sized PTT phones typical to the jobsite.
The right cargo pocket is faced with three external vertical pockets that will, similarly to the smaller holster pocket pockets, fit smaller tools, gauges, straight edges, pens, or a couple of pistol mags. The main pocket is closed with a zipper on the right leg. I can easily fit two M4 30-rounders into each cargo pocket, and the pockets aren’t so roomy as to allow the contents to swish around while walking.
In addition to a thin horizontal stripe of reflective piping across the back of the pant leg for low-light visibility, the Lindos pants are equipped with external Velcro-secured pockets for kneepads. An improvement over other tactical/work wear clothiers, the pockets can be accessed from the outside unlike other brands which have internal kneepad slots. Very handy.
Along with the Lindos, I purchased a pair of the “Waterloo” kneepads to test out in the holster pockets. The Waterloo kneepads are the largest sized kneepads that MascotWorkwear offers, with an approximate rectangular size of 6”W x 10.5”L. The Waterloo model can be cut down to a smaller size, but should be removed from the pants prior to washing. Waterloos are made out of Evazote – which is described as “closed cell cross-linked ethylene copolymer foam.”
MascotWorkwear does carry a smaller kneepad model called the “Likasi” which is made out of 100% cellular rubber and washable, but I didn’t try those out, nor did I try another model called the “Grant” kneepads, which like the Waterloos are made out of Evazote.
I decided to keep the Waterloos uncut, and they do take a little bit of effort to fit into the kneepad pockets. This is a good thing though, as they definitely do not shift around in the pocket while being worn.
Over the course of several rifle range sessions, I tried, tried, and tried again to fall, drop to my knees, and put myself into awkward shooting positions in an attempt to slip off of the kneepads and impact my knees on the ground. Didn’t happen. Standing to kneeling, standing to prone, kneeling to prone and back up again, my knees were well protected. An added bonus was that, unlike strap-on hardshell tactical kneepads, my pants didn’t bunch up around the kneepad straps. Awesome design, and made for a more comfortable range day where I didn’t have to tug my pant leg back down into place repeatedly, or deal with chafing and sweat buildup behind my knee. A little bit of extra comfort can make a long day more tolerable, whether it is during tactical training/movements or a hot day on the construction site.
The only time I was able to get my knee off of the kneepad was when I was kneeling with both knees on the ground and rotated my whole body into another two knees down kneeling position. I think the only way that could have been avoided would be if the pants were a tighter fit.
So after multiple range sessions and washes, the Lindos pants appear untouched. There is an errant stitching thread here or there around the Velcro pads that keep the kneepads in place, but it does not affect the integrity of the pants at all.
The Lindos have already become my new favorite pants, easily eclipsing favorite status over other brands I’ve worn. I will definitely buy another pair of Lindos pants, and probably a pair of the Leridas as well, but not because I worry that I’ll be able to wear them out. They look good, feel good, and are rugged enough for the clumsiest weekend warrior or range rat.
Check the pants out yourself in person at Rainier Arms, or online at: