My day job is a mixture of time spent behind a desk and outside exposed to the variable UK weather which means that I need clothing that copes well with both. For a number of years, I’ve worn 5.11 Tactical trousers and have been pretty impressed by their durability, comfort and ability to still look relatively smart in all situations.
Earlier this year, I was approached by First Tactical who are owned by the founder of 5.11 Tactical and produce a very similar range of products. This seemed like the ideal opportunity to compare offerings so I’ve been testing a pair of the First Tactical Tactix BDU pants (or trousers in English!) for the past month.
Everything from the name (BDU = Battle Dress Uniform) to marketing photos indicates that these are really aimed at those working in the security industry, police or rescue services. That isn’t currently me although some of the features, such as the rip stop material and good size pockets, are certainly transferable and very welcome. The slightly elasticated waist, comfortable cut, wide belt loops and crotch position make them very comfortable in situations where you need freedom of movement such as climbing, running and kneeling. They’re also great in light rain or splash conditions with small amounts of water being repelled or quickly drying if they get wet.
I can’t say that I’ve used the ability to fit knee pads but that feature is present for those who need it. Similarly, the pockets have internal loops which allow items such as keys or id cards to be easily secured although I’ve not used this.
For those who wear trousers (ok pants …) with boots then they also have built in elastics on the hem which makes it very easy to blouse them. This is big improvement on the laces we’re all used to on the issued C95 and MTP combat trousers and works very well. In fact I hope that whoever procures combat trousers for the MoD is reading this!
The First Tactical Tactix BDU pants feel like a quality product and, after a month of hard use, they still look great. Overall I’m very impressed with them and have no doubt that they’ll be still be in top condition after a lot longer. You know you’re going to get your money’s worth out of them.
This nicely brings me to the last point which is how they compare against my other trousers. The simple truth is that they’re very, very similar and without the logo I doubt you’d be able to tell the difference. The deciding factor is therefore likely to be the price which at £69.95 for the First Tactical Tactix BDU pants compares unfavourably against the 5.11 Tactical equivalent although there is currently an option to have this reduced by 15% by signing up for the newsletter.