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The Best Tactical Jeans for Both Casual and Tactical Missions

Fact checked by Brain Bartell

best tactical jeans

Few things beat jeans when it comes to comfort, convenience, and casual feel. Jeans even get upgraded with plenty of pockets to make them tactical. The best tactical jeans allow you to carry your handguns and Everyday Carry (EDC) more discreetly.

The best part is that this type of jeans looks like any regular denim pants, so you don’t stick out to the crowd. They’re also made extra durable to withstand the most intense activities. If you plan to purchase your first or next pair, here are a few things to look for.

  • Material: Since you’ll be running in these pants, ensure that the material is durable. Look for cotton, polyester, or any canvas-like material to withstand any rugged environment. To ensure that your movements aren’t restricted, find a pair with a good amount of stretchability.
  • Pockets: You want a good amount of pockets to keep a handgun, ammo, and other EDC items. These pockets should be strewn tightly so they don’t give out under extra weight. Typically, this type of jeans provides 5-13 pockets.
  • Fit: When it comes to this category, you can choose between relaxed and slim. The relaxed fit is a little loose, while the slim fit hugs the leg to give a more polished look. Regardless of the fitting, make sure to find the right size in the chart.

Thankfully, there’s a multitude of options when it comes to tactical jeans. But before you purchase the first pair you see, check out the complete buying guide below. Meanwhile, let us share a few jeans that we would truly recommend.

Top 11 Tactical Jeans Reviews

1. 5.11 Tactical Men’s Straight Jeans, Style 74477

The Defender-Flex Straight Jeans impressed me with their great comfort. I like that the jeans look like an ordinary pair of pants for casual wear, but surprise with tactical features for great performance on the field.

The front pockets are huge enough to carry my handguns, like the M&P Shield 2.0. Even with my 8-round clip, I had an easy time getting the gun in and out of my pocket. I also discovered that my S&W 380 Bodyguard concealed better with these mens tactical jeans.

Besides carrying a gun, I can pack more stuff, like a knife and flashlight, in the dual back pockets and rear hip pockets. These jeans feel lightweight and soft, thanks to the cotton/polyester combination. The construction also feels strong with the inclusion of Lycra T400 Tough Max, making the jeans perfect for rugged use.

Due to the mechanical stretch fabric, I feel comfortable wearing these jeans as they’re not as tight as my old regular pants. The little flex helps me move freely and makes me think that the jeans would be a nice option for the summer. While wearing them, I didn’t experience any ride-up on the crotch, fortunately.

 Heads-up:  However, the sizing is a little way off. I recommend users get two sizes smaller than they normally would.

 Pros: 
  • Looks ordinary for casual wear but tactical in purpose
  • Has two large front pockets to keep handguns concealed
  • Designed with more pockets on the back and rear hip for other gear
  • Cotton/polyester construction feels lightweight and soft
  • Built with Lycra T400 Tough Max for extra strength
  • Mechanical stretch fabric provides a little flex; won’t ride up on the crotch
 Cons: 
  • Size runs a bit large
 Bottom Line:  Overall, the Defender-Flex Straight Jeans are the most comfortable tactical jeans I’ve worn. This pair got that little flex to prevent limiting my movements and has plenty of useful pockets for tactical gear.

2. Helikon-Tex GTP Greyman Tactical Pants

The Helikon-Tex GTP Greyman is built for durability with its tough Duracanvas material. I got the Black Duracanvas model, and it looks so professional for work.

The Duracanvas material is composed mainly of polyester, making these black tactical jeans durable when I am in rural environments. The addition of cotton brings breathability during the summer, whereas the elastane gives that little stretch for more comfortable movement. I tried washing them in a hot washer, and surprisingly, I’ve seen no shrinkage.

Furthermore, the elastic belt is comfortable to fit on my waist. With the velcro closure, I can adjust how tight or loose I want the pants to be. The loops also look large enough to accommodate my ranger belts, and there’s sufficient space for my IWB/OWB holsters.

To me, the nine pockets make these jeans more tactical. There are specific pockets to store my flashlight, pocket knife, and phone every day. It’s also easy to crouch with these pants because gussets are made on the crotch area.

 Heads-up:  However, the velcro tends to be noisy when manipulated, so it attracts attention when I want to adjust the waist in a public fitting room.

 Pros: 
  • Looks professional with nine pockets to store EDC, doesn’t shrink when washed
  • Made of tough Duracanvas material–polyester, cotton, and elastane
  • Polyester adds durability, cotton for breathability, and elastane for that stretch
  • Elastic belt comes with velcro closure for easy adjustment
  • Has large loops to fit ranger belts and space for IWB/OWB holsters
  • Gusseted crotch makes it easy to crouch
 Cons: 
  • Velcro can be a little noisy
 Bottom Line:  Altogether, the GTP Greyman Duracanvas can hold up well in the toughest conditions with its durable construction. This pair also shows great adjustability on the waist and can carry a lot of EDC stuff in its multiple pockets.

3. 5.11 Tactical Men’s Defender-Flex Slim Work Jeans

It’s nice to know that the 5.11 Defender-Flex is also available in a slim fit to achieve that modern look. These denim tactical jeans comply with GSA/TAA standards, making them viable to wear outdoors.

The mechanical stretch denim material is very comfortable, especially with the Lycra T400 Tough Max providing a great amount of sturdiness. That tiny stretch allows me to enjoy a comfortable range of movements in the field.

The fabric composition is composed mainly of cotton, which explains its softness. And an adequate blend of polyester makes the jeans stay in shape after machine washing.

I’m pleasantly surprised that the sizing is true on this one. The reinforced fitted waistband stays where it should be, and the button top fly keeps everything secure, even when the fabric’s loaded with stuff on the pockets. Thankfully, the zipper used is YKK, so I’m confident about its quality.

I found seven pockets on these slim work jeans. The back pockets do fit my 30-round mag. I tried to fit my Glock 19, flashlight, and knife, and they were all kept hidden wonderfully. I think these jeans will hold up on the grind because they’re double stitched on the areas that are prone to tearing, such as the crotch.

 Heads-up:  The only thing I dislike is the price. I think the price is too much to spend on pants.

 Pros: 
  • Slim fit looks modern and can be worn outdoors with its GSA/TAA compliance
  • Mechanical stretch denim composed of cotton, polyester, and Lycra T400
  • Sturdy Lycra T400 Tough Max offers that little stretch for great comfort
  • Cotton adds softness, whereas polyester keeps the jeans in shape
  • True sizing; reinforced fitted waistband and button top fly help jeans stay secure
  • Built with seven pockets, a strong YKK zipper, and double stitches on the crotch
 Cons: 
  • Slightly expensive to afford
 Bottom Line:  All in all, the Defender-Flex Slim Work Jeans are a modern-looking pair for any tactical application. These pants have good stitching and materials, making them perfect for the harshest conditions.

4. Condor Outdoor Cipher Tactical Jeans

The Condor Outdoor Cipher feels comfortable straight out of the box. This pair looks the same as any regular jeans, but with extra pockets and a gusset.

I’m comfortable with the elastic waistband, which offers a space for my IWB holster. It fits great on my waist, so there’s no need to use a belt when wearing these jeans. Also, the gusseted crotch makes me more confident in moving around because I know that it won’t rip easily.

I appreciate the two gadget pockets as they can fit my phone and mags without attracting any unnecessary attention. I like to bring a couple more EDC items, and I’m pleased to fit them all on the front and back pockets. Even when filling the seven pockets, I’m pleased that these storage areas don’t look bulky at all.

These jeans are breathable, thus they’re comfortable to wear under hot weather. The fabric has a little stretch to it, making me free to bend my body without causing discomfort. More importantly, it’s tough as it was able to endure the constant rubbing on rock and bushes when hiking.

 Heads-up:  My only problem is the length of the jeans. They’re quite long, so they bunch up at the bottom, making me look sloppy.

 Pros: 
  • Elastic waistband offers a comfortable fit with enough spaces for IWB holsters
  • Gusseted crotch adds durability when moving actively
  • Two gadget pockets can fit a mag or a phone securely
  • Has a total of seven pockets to store EDC items on the front and back
  • Comfortable to wear under hot weather; can withstand constant rubbing
  • Has a little stretch to increase the range of movements
 Cons: 
  • A bit longer than expected
 Bottom Line:  Overall, the Condor Outdoor Cipher Jeans ticks everything that I need in a durable pair for hiking. The jeans are somewhat stretchy with enough capacity to hold an IWB holster and other essential EDC items.

5. Vertx Men’s Defiance Jeans

Defiance is a pair of tactical jeans men’s edition that offers subtle storage pockets for everyday items. It has a classic look, enabling me to wear these jeans for both casual and tactical missions.

These jeans are made of the best materials- cotton, Coolmax, Modal, polyester, and Lycra. I discovered that cotton is the dominating fabric, which makes me believe that the jeans are breathable and lightweight to wear in the summer. These are great tactical pants for hot weather because about 17% of them are made of Coolmax to remove the moisture and keep my body cool.

I can move around freely with these jeans, perhaps due to the little stretch given by the Modal and Lycra fabrics. Not only are they soft, but also quite sturdy.

There are around 11 pockets built in the jeans, including the little pockets for keys concealed in the clothing tags. The high-hip pockets are perfect for magazines, phones, and a small flashlight. I like the pass-through spot in the front pocket as it makes way for comms wires or rapid application tourniquet systems.

 Heads-up:  The only thing I dislike is the bleeding blue color when the jeans get washed. I recommend users not to mix the jeans with white laundry.

 Pros: 
  • Has a classic look that’s suitable for all occasions
  • Made mostly of cotton for breathability and lightness
  • Integrated with Coolmax technology to keep the body cool
  • Modal and Lycra add a little stretch for more liberty of movement
  • Feels soft and sturdy with 11 pockets, including key pockets
  • Built with high-hip pockets for EDC items and a pass-through slot
 Cons: 
  • The blue color tends to bleed when washed
 Bottom Line:  Altogether, the Vertx Defiance Jeans feel the most comfortable in the summer as they’re designed with Coolmax technology to keep the body cool. It’s a bonus that the jeans look really casual, so they won’t stick out even when I’m carrying EDC gear.

6. LA Police Gear Terrain Flex Jean

LA Police Gear Terrain makes a nice option for tactical jeans concealed carry. This looks like a crossover of modern and classic designs, with its nice medium wash offering just the proper amount of formality and casualness.

I found around nine pockets plotted on these flex jeans. The rear hip pockets are large enough to fit my rifle mags and iPhone without me worrying about sitting on them. Also, the in-pocket on the front fit my slim wallet perfectly.

These jeans feel incredibly soft because 98% of them are made of cotton. The remaining percentage is spandex, providing the stretch that I need to accommodate my CCW. With their straight-fit design, I enjoy a lot of room inside the jeans for more comfortable wear.

These jeans come prewashed, so they feel more natural, and I don’t have to worry about shrinking problems. Additionally, the construction can hold up pretty well with all the bar tacks placed in vital spots. The classic waist button and YKK zipper even make these jeans more secure to wear all day long.

 Heads-up:  Unfortunately, the waist seems to run a little large. Make sure to check the fit on the waist before purchase.

 Pros: 
  • Built with nine pockets, including hip pockets for mags and in-pockets for wallets
  • Medium wash looks both modern and classic & suits formal and casual events
  • Made of 98% cotton for incredible softness and 2% spandex for extra stretch
  • Straight fit design gives plenty of room for movement
  • Comes pre-washed for a more natural feel without shrinkage
  • Designed with bar tacks, button waist, and YKK zipper
 Cons: 
  • Waistline runs a little large
 Bottom Line:  All in all, the Terrain Flex is one of the softest jeans I ever tried. I have no problems squatting, running, or moving actively with these jeans, plus they provide enough room for other tactical gear.

7. VIKTOS Men’s Operatus XP Tactical Jeans

The Viktos Operatus XP is built for mobility and durability. I’m pleased to say that these Viktos tactical jeans are constructed with cotton twill to endure a lot of wear.

This pair makes great EDC jeans because there are four external slash pockets to store necessary items for my mission. My pistol mags fit best on the two leg slash pockets, while my flashlights and blades store nicely on the front. Also, the tech pockets secure my cased phone quite well with some extra space.

I love the 12oz denim because it gives a slight stretch for more freedom in movements. With the Attack Posture fit, these jeans surely accommodate my active lifestyle. I can crouch or run more comfortably, especially since the thighs are roomy and the crotch is gusseted for durability.

The most reassuring part is that these pants offer a 1-year warranty to cover any defects on the material and workmanship. Plus, the double zipper makes the whole pair pretty convenient when using a large carry belt. The pockets can take some heavy stuff because the material feels thick to me.

 Heads-up:  However, these jeans are a little pricey, which is expected, considering their many great qualities.

 Pros: 
  • Made of thick material with cotton twill to make jeans wear-resistant
  • Built with four slash pockets for phones, mags, and other EDC stuff
  • 12oz stretch denim offers flexibility; Attack Posture fit suits an active lifestyle
  • Crotch gusset and roomy thighs allow an improved mobility
  • Double zipper goes well with a large carrying belt
  • Offers a 1-year warranty
 Cons: 
  • A bit pricey
 Bottom Line:  Overall, the Operatus XP Tactical Jeans stand out with their durability and comfort. They can even give room for a lot of EDC stuff without constricting movement.

8. 221B Asset Tactical Jeans

Another one of my favorites is the tactical blue jeans from 221B. The Asset jeans have that straight fit that hugs nicely to my thick thighs and pairs well with any top for that low-key look.

The Advanced Stretch Technology makes these jeans remarkably comfortable to wear in any position. I can crouch, run, or kneel down without worrying about constriction. It’s a relief to have a gusseted crotch as I can manspread without worrying about getting these jeans ripped.

I’m pleasantly surprised to find 13 pockets plotted on these pants. With this number of compartments, I can store almost everything, from wallets to rifle mags and other EDC items, to make me prepared for any situation. Thanks to the Appendix Carry CCW Holder, I can conceal a large gun more easily.

What made me love these jeans is the comfort-stretch rear yoke, which prevents my buttocks from being seen when I bend over. The belt loops are another feature I appreciate. They’re extra-wide to somewhat support a large utility belt and the additional weight of other EDC gear.

 Heads-up:  A warning for people with a large waist: the size of the Asset jeans runs a little small.

 Pros: 
  • Straight fit goes well on thick thighs; rear yoke prevents plumber’s crack
  • Advanced Stretch Technology offers the proper amount of stretch for flexibility
  • Gusseted crotch prevents jeans from ripping when manspreading
  • Has a total of 13 pockets to fit everything, from EDC to wallets
  • Appendix Carry CCW Holder allows the concealment of huge guns
  • Has loops with extra width to fit large utility belts with extra weight
 Cons: 
  • Size runs a bit small
 Bottom Line:  Altogether, the Asset jeans make a low-key tactical garment to get prepared for any situation. These jeans can fit plenty of EDC stuff and even CCW with their 13 pockets.

9. VIKTOS Men’s Gunfighter Jeans

The Gunfighter jeans from Viktos are some of the strongest out there. It’s a bonus that they look great with the dark indigo color and work best for any casual setting.

The Cordura stretch denim chassis and crotch gusset offer me increased mobility when I work actively on the field. With the addition of cotton twill, these jeans are pretty durable for rugged use, not to mention that the front YKK zipper holds up well with my constant yanking.

I’m pleased with the shape of the hip pockets because they fit my AR mags without any issues. When I’m not bringing any mags, I can store in them my wallet and phone quite securely. The pistol mag coin pocket helps conceal my knife comfortably.

The waistband is the most comfortable I’ve experienced. It’s well-padded to support carrying heavy items on the hips. More significantly, the 1-year warranty is all I need to be convinced of the jeans’ great quality.

 Heads-up:  However, I noticed a minimal shrink when I washed the jeans in warm water and put them in the drier.

 Pros: 
  • Look great in any casual setting with its dark indigo color
  • Cordura stretch denim chassis and crotch gusset improve mobility
  • Durable with cotton twill and YKK zipper; offers a 1-year warranty
  • Hip pockets fit AR mags or items like wallets and phones
  • Pistol mag coin pocket can store a knife comfortably
  • Built with a comfortable padded waistband that supports extra weight
 Cons: 
  • Might shrink a little after washing with warm water
 Bottom Line:  All in all, the Gunfighter jeans offer the most comfortable waistband to support heavy weights. They’re also durable enough to withstand rough use and carry lots of EDC stuff while looking great.

10. Pentagon Men’s Rogue Jeans

I guess the Pentagon Rogue is one of the softest jeans I’ve worn. This pair feels like I’m wearing my old jogging pants, so I have no problem moving with them.

The fabric used is 100% cotton, so these jeans feel light and breathable, perfect on a hot day in the field. I like the fit that these jeans provide because it doesn’t sag or bag out. The jeans mold nicely to my body and create a perfect, customized fit.

When I was sweating, I didn’t notice any terrible odor from the pants like with synthetic fibers. Everything feels secure with the button closure and the YKK fly zipper. And even if I get careless with these jeans, I don’t have to worry because the diamond crotch prevents accidental rips.

I’m surprised I was able to store a lot of stuff in the large front pockets. Above the rear pockets are nice places to store my AR mags without catching anyone’s attention. I was ecstatic to find a front sleeve compartment on the right leg because I could fit my dagger there nicely.

 Heads-up:  On the downside, the fabric is a little thin for some customers. I have no problem with the thickness, though. I think it contributes to the breathability of the product.

 Pros: 
  • As soft as jogging pants, so no restrictions on movements
  • 100% cotton construction feels lightweight and breathable
  • No terrible odor when sweating; won’t sag or bag out
  • Button closure and YKK zipper feel secure; diamond crotch prevents rips
  • Built with large front pockets and a special place for AR mags above rear pockets
  • Designed with a small sleeve to keep tools, like a dagger, on the right leg
 Cons: 
  • Might be a little thin
 Bottom Line:  Overall, the Pentagon Rogue Jeans provide the comfort that I look for. They feel light, breathable, and durable for a hectic day at the field without looking too tactical.

11. Wrangler Authentics Men’s Classic Relaxed Fit Flex Jean

The Relaxed Fit tactical denim jeans from Wrangler Authentics have that fit that helps me move freely during my activities. The seat and thigh are a little loose to provide a wide range of movements.

About 99% of these jeans are made of cotton, making them lightweight to wear even in the summer. The addition of spandex makes the fabric even more comfortable to crouch, run, or bend in. Besides providing enough flexibility, the flex denim is strong enough to endure a hard day outdoors.

The Relaxed Fit looks timeless, perfect for a casual meeting or working outdoors. It’s designed with a button closure and a brass zipper fly, so I’m confident the jeans won’t burst anytime. There’s also reinforced stitching everywhere to keep the jeans together.

The pocket design is the conventional 5-pocket style to complete that classic look. I can fit my phone, flashlight, and some mags on the front scoop pockets. Also, the back pockets are secure enough to hold my wallet, while the watch pocket is adequate to fit my keys.

 Heads-up:  However, the length seems to be 1-inch shorter than what’s advertised. I chose 32L, but I received 31L in actual size.

 Pros: 
  • Designed with loose seat and thigh areas for easy movement
  • Made of 99% cotton for breathability and lightness
  • Has a small amount of spandex to increase the range of activities
  • Flex denim material is durable, especially with reinforced stitching
  • Offers five pockets for wide storage options; for casual meetings or work
  • Brass fly and button closure keep the jeans secure
 Cons: 
  • Actual length is shorter than advertised
 Bottom Line:  Altogether, the Wrangler Authentics Relaxed Fit Flex Jeans are one of the best purchases in my wardrobe. These jeans have that classic look that can fit any setting and with pockets for storing some essential items.

What to Look for When Buying Tactical Jeans

tactical-blue-jeans

Tactical jeans look very low-key, making them ideal for the range and backcountry. This type of jeans even look good whether worn indoors or at home. Before you shop around, here are some factors to consider.

Pockets

The key feature of tactical jeans is pockets. You want the right number of pockets to carry all your essential stuff. The classic style is to have two front pockets, two rear pockets, and a small in-pocket.

Look for deep front pockets to fit large items, like a handgun or phone, with an in-pocket for slim wallets. Premium tactical jeans offer a tool pocket and mag pockets for ammo. Slash pockets are nice for easy access to items without using extra fabric.

If you plan to carry a concealed weapon, look for deep inset pockets.

Materials And Construction

Give some time to check the material of the jeans. A pair of 100% cotton jeans offer breathability to keep legs feeling cool, but they’re prone to shrinking. A polyester blend offers more durability but isn’t as breathable as 100% cotton. To get the best of both worlds, look for polyester-cotton blends.

For the weave, ripstop offers durability, while twill makes a heftier pliable fabric that resists wrinkles and stains. The belt loops should be wide and large to provide sufficient support when carrying the additional weight of holsters and guns. While velcro can offer high adjustability, a button closure with a zipper fly offers much security.

Flexibility

Tactical jeans shouldn’t hold you back when running or moving around freely. To increase mobility, look for that little stretch. Materials like spandex and elastane offer a good amount of flexibility to move around easily.

Most tactical jeans are also armed with a gusset crotch to release the tension in other parts of the jeans for quick mobility. It gives you peace of mind that the jeans won’t give in when you try to bend or crouch down.

An elastic waistband also helps in great ease of movement. Not only that, the elasticity adds extra comfort when on the move.

The Right Fit

Tactical jeans are often available in a relaxed fit or slim fit. The former suits best for comfort, while the latter offers a more modern look. Whatever you choose, make sure that you feel confident with it.

Get the measurements of your waist and inseam to get the correct size. Once you get them, refer to the product’s sizing chart. Remember that these jeans will sit slightly higher on the waist to welcome heavy gear and duty belts without sagging.

Some of the best brands will indicate that their jeans may run smaller or larger than the norm.

Price And Warranty

The price of tactical jeans can be a little expensive, especially if they offer a lot of functionality. You shouldn’t be discouraged by the price because it’s a wise decision to invest in this type of wardrobe. These jeans make you look cool while staying tactical.

To make sure that you get covered in case of product defects, look for a warranty. A long warranty sometimes indicates that the jeans are of good quality because why would a manufacturer offer refunds if they’re not confident in their product?

Are Tactical Jeans Comfortable

tactical-jeans-men's

Yes, these jeans are comfortable because many of them are made of spandex or another flexible material to offer a wide range of mobility. Some of them are made of cotton or other cooling technology to keep you cool in the summer. They’re often outfitted with a gusset crotch so the wearer can crouch down or manspread even more comfortably.

Are Tactical Jeans Good for Construction

Yes, tactical jeans are good for construction, especially those with a good amount of flex and durability. These pants are typically made of cotton and spandex with reinforced stitches to meet the demanding use of construction workers.

What Pants Do Special Forces Wear

Special forces usually wear the UF PRO Striker X Combat Pants to meet the heavy demands of military missions. These pants are extremely durable with large pockets and sufficient knee protection.

Are Tactical Jeans Breathable

When a pair of tactical jeans are made of cotton, then yes, they’re breathable for hot weather. Some of them are blended with polyester to make the jeans more durable and wrinkle-resistant.

Conclusion

Tactical jeans are truly one of the most subtle ways to prepare for any situation without sticking out. The best tactical jeans should meet style with functionality, and my top choice is the 5.11 Defender-Flex Straight Jeans. This pair looks strong and flexible, with enough pockets to keep guns concealed.

When it all comes down to durability, the Helikon-Tex GTP Greyman is a great contender. These jeans are made of Duracanvas material tough for heavy-duty use. For the right amount of stretchability, the 5.11 Defender-Flex Slim might be a good alternative.

5/5 - (3 votes)