Light Weight Tactical Pants by BLACKHAWK!

This entry was posted by on Sunday, 19 December, 2010 at

Blackhawk’s Light Weight Tactical Pant is a nylon/cotton pant built according to BDU philosophy blended with covert demands and a sleek, modern look. Sizing was spot-on; something you don’t always see in the world of fashion clothing – I never seem to be able to find pants which fit in both waist and length, but also in the girth of the upper legs.

Yesterday I picked up a shipment of gear from Blackhawk. Expect some thorough reviews soon. The materials and finishing look excellent, and I am curious to see if it can stand up against our tests.


According to BDU philosopy, these pants come with plenty of pocket space. Unlike fashion clothing, these pockets are actually designed to hold contents. They blouse out to the outside, not to the inside like pockets in jeans.

These pants have two traditional drop-pockets on the sides with sideways zipper pockets on top of them. These are particularly handy if you are seated (like in a vehicle) or in crouching position. The bulk of fabric is limited, as the inside is a fine mesh. The drop-pockets have elastic bands inside to hold three magazines or keep other gear in place which is a nice feature if you’re running around. I often use this type of pocket to put my wallet in, and the bands catch it so it does not always fall down all the way. Takes some getting used to I guess.

The traditional pockets at the waist are spacious, and the right one has a little inside pocket to keep small stuff. On both the left and right pocket there are small pouches closed with velcro which can easily hold a knive, phone or PDA. In fact, these pockets are easiest to reach and open, and are in a place where they are always out of harm’s way. I have grown quite fond of these pockets, they have easy Velcro access and are ideal for anything you need on the spot, like car keys. To the right side there’s a large “hidden” zipper pocket which runs behind the entire waist pocket. It is very spacious, though the access provided by the zipper is a bit narrow – you may encounter difficulty getting your hand in if you have large hands.

The pockets are designed in such a way that when you stuff them, they don’t overlap and everything falls into place neatly. Even when stuffed, you can still move around – another important feature in tactical pants.

On the back, there are two Velcro’d pockets and one zipper pocket. This zipper pocket is designed in such a way that if you put a wallet in it, you do not sit on it. In fact, even seated in a car this works a lot better than pockets which go down lower. The MOLLE present on the WarriorWear Tactical Pants is not there, to give it a smoother appearance. The two Velcro’d pockets are large and run deeper than the zipper pocket.


These pants come with reinforced knees and the option to install slip-in kneepads. The installing the neoprene kneepads was a bit of a hassle – I’ve seen easier systems. The best way I found to install the kneepads is by turning the pants inside-out, and then slipping them in, rolled like pancake, the neoprene sides on the inside. Once inside, unroll. Be sure the neoprene side ends up towards your knee, so you get maximum friction between the fabric as your knee presses on it and the kneepad. The ‘smooth’ part then faces away from the knee, providing some headroom for the outer fabric.

Though the pads are secured vertically, they seem to have quite some tolerance left and right. What this means is, that you may find your pad to the left or right side of your knee, not in the center. After some running around I noticed they remain functional, though they look odd if one has moved to the left and one to the right. Of course it matters what you plan to use these pants for, but without the kneepads these pants look like regular pants. With the kneepads installed, there goes your covert look…

I have kneepads from both 5.11 and Blackhawk!, and find those by 5.11 to be of a better design because they provide a bit more protection and stay in place better. They are of similar material and thickness, the only difference is that those by 5.11 have a top and bottom (the bottom is a bit wider) and the Blackhawk! pads are symmetric.


A benefit of the rip-stop Nylon/Cotton blend is that it dries quickly, and indeed, these pants DO dry quickly. In fact, water runs right off. Only the fabric around the zippers absorbs water. On the bike at -10 degrees it’s still ok when it comes to being wind-proof, which came as a surprise to me.

The fabric is Teflon-coated. This also adds some water-proofing but the main benefit lies in stain resistance, mud and the like can just be rinsed of. Unfortunately, this coating rapidly disappears with wear and washing, but if you do need it you can easily buy a can of Teflon spray and renew it before you head out.


The pants are constructed with a “gusseted crotch”. This is a diamond-shaped piece of fabric where traditional jeans usually just have the cross of the seams. This gives extra mobility – getting into a crouched position and such – and reduces the risk of ripping. I often ride a bike and found there’s also an additional benefit. With the cross of the seams there’s a large buildup of fabric between your body and the bicycle seat. The gusseted approach means the crotch area is largely flat. Very comfortable if you ask me.

The waist is constructed with elastic bands which are neatly covered. This means the pants can be worn without belt. I usually have a size 32 waist, and the pants fit snug. This means that if you plan to carry concealed inside the waist (or plan to gain some weight 😉 you may want to size up. Beltloops are wide and large (though of a neat flat design).

Also, have a look at what U.S. Cavalry has to say about these pants in their excellent review:


  1. Review: various tactical pants go head-to-head @
  2. Tactical Pants by BLACKHAWK! @

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