Us ladies in the tactical world know there are not many items specifically geared for our figures and trying to translate the men’s version into a female fit can be daunting and downright difficult. I feel your pain sister. Thank goodness 5-11 is coming up with some really great clothing items specifically geared for women.
When I first saw these pants I had already owned 5-11’s woman’s basic Tactical Pants. They were functional, but I wanted a more comfortable fit, so I bit the bullet and ordered the Stryke Pants in the storm (grey) color. I purchased these pants from a website called GovX (www.govx.com) which is a member site that sells items at a reduced rate to military, police, fire/EMS/first responders, and government employees. They were on sale for $52.95, retail for $70.99 on the 5-11 website (www.511tactical.com), and come in black, storm (gray), khaki, dark navy, and TDU green.
It’s important to know that I’m an average sized woman, 5’4”, 147 lbs (yes, I told the truth), and a curvy size 8. Depending on the brand I could go with a size 8 or a 10. In this case, I ordered a size 8 and haven’t been disappointed. I’ve been using these pants for the past 6 months. They are currently my go-to item for everyday use, and I own a pair in green for work.
Let’s start with the overall fit. The pants sit somewhere above the hips and lower than the belly button. It’s a great height because you don’t look like you are wearing mom jeans, but it’s high enough not to have the ever lovely plumber butt when you bend down. The length is great, not too long but long enough to cover your boots when sitting or maneuvering. The cut is not generous in the thigh area and may feel like it’s a little snug however the waist is true to size and fits comfortably. Below the knees, it fits like any other straight cut pant. The ankle is straight cut, not flared but not tapered either and seems meant to fit over a pair of tactical boots. Best of all these pants have two-way stretch, which every lady loves, and is super comfortable and forgiving in every position.
On to the functionality… The waist is adorned with nicely placed belt loops that make carrying, concealed or open, easy and safe. The belt sag that is normal in woman’s pants isn’t there due to the extra support. The front two loops are extra wide and have additional material for a badge, or anything you may want to hang that will not interfere with the belt itself. I do use them for my badge when on plain clothes duty or on range detail and find it a thoughtful detail.
There are two pockets, one on each thigh, that are deep and independent from the normal side pocket. The thigh pockets are marketed as magazine pockets but are too deep in my opinion. Because of the fitted cut of the pants, anything you put in the front thigh pockets will imprint. At the range when I don’t care about printing I’ve been known to put an extra pistol mag in the pocket when I’m not wearing a gear belt, but that’s short lived since it’s not super comfortable. AR style magazines will not fit in the pockets; I’ve tried. The side pockets are great. Deep and reinforced for the pocket knife I know all of you carry on a daily basis. No gripes here except for the slim cut in the thigh which will show if you have anything at all in your pocket, however, it’s not uncomfortable. There are also two pockets mid thigh on the outside in the normal cargo pocket location. These being pants specifically made for women they are actually located in the correct position and you won’t have to bend down to get to them. The pockets are gusseted and allow for you to put anything you like inside without making them feel tight to the thigh. There have been all sorts of items in mine from my wallet, a headlamp, and extra batteries, to snack foods. None have created an uncomfortable fit, and I use the heck out of them. More so than the side and front pockets.
The knees are reinforced and have an interior pocket for knee pads. If you utilize the inserts, make sure you get them direct from 5-11 to ensure proper fit. I originally tried a men’s set that I needed to cut. Honestly, I just use an external knee pad if needed and leave the internal ones empty since they are not quick change. If you do use the internal knee pads, you will need to take the pants off completely to access them.
A silly yet notable item that is missing is the draw string in the cuff. There are holes cut for a tie however nothing is installed. The men’s pants do have the tie for some reason. This may seem like a small detail, but I have used the tie to blouse pants in the past for all kinds of reason. It’s not a deal breaker but if you have the holes why not put the ties in. too?
The rear pockets are just like the pockets you would find in your favorite jeans but with Velcro flaps. Nothing extraordinary to note except whatever you put in the pockets will be seen by all. The cut is feminine, and the butt is cut close. Makes the rear end look great… Seriously, it does.
Due to the demand we place on tactical clothing, we all want to know how they will hold up in the long run. So far I have no cuts or tears in either pair, and the seams are holding up well. The green pants have held the color without noticeable fade, but that may be because I wash those on cold with my other darks. The storm color has been washed with my everyday items, generally in warm water, and has a worn in look. Although they have faded just a bit, the color is still a nice gray with no highly faded spots or pilling in friction spots. Range dirt, gun oil, and general grime washed out with no issues with the use of stain stick on the oily areas and they still look good as new. I have worn these on super hot days and in heavy downpours of rain. They breathe well, don’t stick to you when you are sweaty, and for a cotton blend fabric they dry quickly after a heavy rain.
At the end of the day this is a great everyday pair of pants. You can go from grocery shopping to the range, and then out for some post pew-pew drinks without changing. They have the functionality you need for a day at the range while still looking like regular pair of cargo pants you would get at any department store. Since they come in a selection of colors, you can avoid the tactical green and khaki in order to blend into everyday life better. Just be advised the thighs are cut straight and curvy ladies may want to size up for a more comfortable and functional fit. You will not be disappointed with these pants and may find yourself getting all of the colors so that you can wear them every day.
Source Article from http://248shooter.com/index.php/5-11-womens-tactical-pants-review/