Stryke Pants from 5.11
By Andy Sargeant
If you thought tactical pants were just baggy battle dress without the camo-pattern, you might have to think again.
The New Stryke Pants from 5.11, Tactical Trousers Turning Technical.
With new stretch fabric, thoughtfully designed pockets, 5.11's attention to detail and top quality construction. These new "Tactical" trousers appear to have more in common with modern "Technical" walking trousers than their saggy spiritual (combat uniform) ancestors.
Manufacturers description:Stryke Pant with Flex-Tac™The new Flex-Tac™ Stryke Pant is another breakthrough pant exclusively from 5.11 Tactical. Featuring a new proprietary fabric with built-in stretch.
● The Flex-Tac™ Strkye Pant featuresproven 5.11 Tactical comfort and durability
● Self-adjusting tunnel waistband for comfort
● Badge holder front belt loops
● Quick access, low-profile angled pockets
● Genuine YKK® zippers and Prym® snaps
● Discrete double knee with interior knee pad pocket
● Fade and stain resistant fabric
Stryke Pant with Flex Tac™
As the leading Tactical pant supplier for law enforcement we challenged ourselves to bring you performance innovation beyond anything currently in the market. The 5.11 Stryke Pant with Flex-Tac™ is the next generation of the Tactical pants. Flex-Tac™ is a revolutionary fabric utilizing proprietary fibers and developed exclusively for 5.11 Tactical. The lightweight, breathable, poly/cotton ripstop incorporates mechanical stretch yarns, meaning the stretch and recovery of the fabric is achieved without the use of spandex. As a result, the breathability, color retention, and durability of the Flex-Tac is superior to other cotton/spandex fabrics currently in the market.
The 5.11 Stryke Pant with Flex-Tac™ is soil, stain and fade resistant, and comes out of the wash ready-to-wear. We have redesigned the silhouette with a sleeker, faster look utilizing slanted inset side cargo pockets. In addition to the thigh cargo pockets there are two off-seam side pockets, two accessory pockets on each side, and two back flap secured wallet pockets providing you maximum storage capacity. The knees are discreetly reinforced with knee pad access inside. We have redesigned the self adjusting comfort waist with a lower profile look providing maximum comfort and range of motion. Another nice feature is the two front belt loops also double as a badge holder.
A few weeks ago we were running some bushcraft courses and the conundrum of the universal trousers came up. Many of us have different rucksacks and jackets depending on whether we're in the woods or up mountains, but we often expect trousers to be all things for all activities. As a result I have a specific list of requirements for bushcrafting trousers, which the Stryke pants go a long way towards meeting. I've been wearing these for a few weeks now, at work, up the hills, even raving at a weekend music festival, and I'm quite impressed. Don't let all the tactical pant fluff fool you, the new 5.11 stryke cargo trousers are genuinely good.
Flex-Tac.Similar to high class technical walking trousers the Stryke pant's material is ever so slightly stretchy, this means that you get a free and easy range of movement. Ideal for scrambling over rocky outcrops, or even large industrial equipment! The stretchy fabric also means you can roll them up easily for shallow impromptu river crossings. The fabric is quick to dry after the river crossings and rain.
Starting at the top, with "badge holders" built into the belt loops. Now that corporate ID badges seem to be a constant requirement in the modern workplace, the badge holders will be useful to more than just the law enforcement community.
The self-adjusting tunnel waistband thing confused me at first, and then I found it, v clever.
The main hip pockets are plenty big enough for most of my EDC (Every Day Clutter as Mrs-S calls it.) requirements. So far there's been no loss of loose change under car seats or into the depths of the couch. Unlike another other brand of outdoor wear whose pockets are irritatingly small with a tendency to scatter loose change faster than an agricultural seed drill. There is an extra wear strip at the bottom of the pocket lip.
Having two rear pockets is a particular bonus for lefties, as single rear pockets are always on the wrong side. Both pockets have flaps, and the flaps are nicely secured with velcro. This provides both a measure of protection for your wallet and a discrete cover for your clip on folding knife, street legal obviously!
Moving down the trousers slightly we come to another pair of pockets on the front of the leg. Both of these are large enough for a full size clip on folder, and plenty deep enough to hold pens safely without breaking them. The pockets are low enough that squatting down won't cause you to be impaled or disembowelled on the pen top. The pens can be easily accessed from the sitting position.
Many cargo trousers have the main thigh pockets arranged specifically so that the contents of the pockets will bat continuously on the ligaments in the back of your knee. The pattting will be imperceptible at first, until the ligament is sore and inflamed and you're a long way into your hike. Once the damage is done you'll remove the stuff from the pocket but still have a long painful trek for the rest of the day. Most serious "walking" trousers won't have cargo pockets at all, apart from a slim map pocket.
The leg cargo pockets on the Stryke pants are high enough that they don't cause the contents to continually bat on the back of your knee at all. They're also cunningly divided into sections, avoiding the need to rummage around all the pocket contents to find one item. I have found this to be a particularly useful feature.
When I'm out and about, and specially when running camps or leader training courses I like to carry a basic first aid and cuts kit in a pocket where it's readily accessible rather than in a belt pouch. The delightfully divided 5.11 pockets give me almost instant access to nitrile gloves and get straight on to dealing with a casualty without the need to remove a pouch, unzip it, find somewhere to park it and so on. Sounds like a small point, but I have found the divided pockets to be a real boon. Just for the smokers, I borrowed a pack of cigarettes and discovered that a box of 20 is a perfect fit in a small section. The sections will hold an altoid's tin with ease.
The knees have a pocket for pads. Accessible from a vertical slot inside the trouser leg. My generic knee pads went in fine but did feel a little bulky. The 5.11 kneepads are a much more subtle affair. They provide adequate protection for the odd kneeling down job without getting uncomfortable the rest of the day. Not suitable for laying floor tiles all day, but I found ideal for archery instruction with small people, crawling onto near inaccessible scaffolding, first aid instruction and kneeling down whilst tracking.
The hem of the leg is fitted with a couple of holes for lacing or trouser blousers. Not something I'd use these days.
The price at around 60 quid at the time of writing is over budget for many, but when you look at the alternatives on the market for the same price, it seems much more reasonable. Stryke pants are on a par with multipocket workmen's trousers, and about half of the price of many technical trousers from several of the well known brands. Only time will tell truthfully, but I'd bet that the 5.11s will prove to be much more robust than some legwear I have that "bears" the name of a well known TV survival instructor! The 5.11s are slightly cheaper too.
All in all I've found the Stryke pants to be every bit as versatile as the ubiquitous and universal trousers need to be. I think the Stryke pants will do nicely as an all-rounder, for both in the woods and up the hills. They'd be ideal as work trousers that're smart enough to wear in the office. Mrs-S noted that they were the least unattractive of all my bushcraft legwear, which is very high praise indeed.
Highly recommended. See those nice people at Nightgear.co.uk for more details.