U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- I guess we all go through a progression as we mature/learn/gain experience. For years I always wore blue jeans on my outdoor adventures. Yes, blue jeans are tough and can hold up to wipeouts, scrapes and are good for riding horses. But the modern tactical pants, for instance, the 5.11 Ridge Pants that I just got are a lot better and more versatile for our outdoor activities.
A lot of the tactical pants are water-resistant or at least dry out faster than cotton blue jeans. I remember one backpacking trip years ago into the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area. It was in June and a late blizzard pounded us. We barely got out. The rain flooded our tent and then when it got dark it turned to snow and dumped on us. I don’t remember how many inches we got but driving out, the snowdrifts were hitting the uphill headlight on my truck.
My blue jeans were laying on the floor of the tent and got soaked. It felt like that they weighed 20 lbs. My sleeping bag weighed another 20 lbs. Since those days I’ve ditched the blue jeans and look for something primarily of a polyester type of make-up. They dry out faster when you do get wet.
Plus, you want pockets like the 5.11 Ridge Pants have, at least two zippered pockets so your keys and billfold can’t fall out. The 5.11 Ridge Pants have some unique pocket designs. The back two pockets have pockets inside of them. The two main front pockets are deep which helps prevents things from sliding out. I do wish the opening was straight across like on blue jeans and not down the side like a bunch of modern pants are. This allows items to slide out easier. I realize why all manufacturers design their front pockets like this-they look cooler. At the bottom of the opening, it flattens out for 1 ¼” which works great to clip your folder onto. This design allows you easier access to your pocket and your folder.
Underneath the two main front pockets are two large, zippered pockets. Inside of them is two pouches which are handy to carry your cellphone or extra magazines. As previously stated, it is imperative to me to have at least 1-2 zippered pockets so my keys and billfold are secure. That way they don’t fall out in the backcountry or get lifted by pickpockets in the airport.
The belt loops are reinforced, large, and seem stout enough so I don’t have any worries about carrying a pistol and speedloaders. The pants secure around your waist with a button that is uniquely tied on by a small strap and there is a backup button so they are double secured. And one little unique feature. On the left cuff, they have a key pocket.
So do I like the 5.11 Ridge pants and would I recommend wearing them? Yes. In fact, they are about to go in my suitcase as soon as I finish this review for a trip I fly out on tomorrow. The MSRP on the 5.11 Ridge Pants is $79.99 and as is usual, we will close with the specs.
- Body: 67% polyester/ 23% cotton Flex-Tac® canvas, 6.4-oz., Teflon™ finish
- Contrast: 87% polyester/ 13% elastane plain weave, 4.7-oz., DWR finish
- Pocketing: 80% polyester/ 20% cotton poplin, 4.0-oz.
- Comfort waistband with zipper and logo button closure
- Flex cuff tunnel inside waistband
- Reinforced belt loops with center back webbing loop
- Angled hand pocket openings with N6 knife reinforcement
- Back yoke utility pockets
- Back body patch pockets
- Cargo pockets with zipper closures and inside dividers
- Riding gusset
- Articulated knees
- Cuff key pocket at inside of left leg hem
- logo embroidery at back keystone belt loop
- 8 pockets
- Slim fit
About Tom Claycomb
Tom Claycomb has been an avid hunter/fisherman throughout his life as well as an outdoor writer with outdoor columns in the magazine Hunt Alaska, Bass Pro Shops, Bowhunter.net and freelances for numerous magazines and newspapers. “To properly skin your animal, you will need a sharp knife. I have an e-article on Amazon Kindle titled Knife Sharpening #ad for $.99 if you’re having trouble.”