We’ve all seen the dude walking through the mall with a pair of overtly tactical cargo pants, OD green rip-stop nylon shirt, backpack and tactical boots, right? This clown might as well have a sign on his back that says “kill me first” should a mass shooting occur. He’s either advertising that he has some sort of tactical background or just wants to look the part. Either one will unfortunately make you a prime target. Today’s adversary has learned many lessons from years at war with the US, one of them is target identification. Because of this, a concealed carry individual should concentrate on blending into the populace rather than standing out in it. 5.11 Tactical has taken a recent departure from their typical tactical clothing styles. One of these new items on display at Shot Show is the 5.11 Tactical Defender Flex Pants and Jeans.

5.11 Tactical Defender Flex Pants | First Impression
Defender Flex Pants, Jeans and NBT Duffel Lima

To be expected, the 5.11 Tactical booth was a sight to behold at this years show. However, catching my attention wasn’t the typical multicam pants or tactical pocketed shirts. I was drawn in by what appeared to be a window display from Nordstroms. Stylish slim fit jeans (but not for hipsters), tailored pants, fitted shirts and an entirely new ladies section. CCW Purses and handbags, exercise pants, styled shirts, etc. All with a common design philosophy. The ability to blend in to an urban environment and remain tactically functional. This is a new direction for 5.11 Tactical…and I love it! Fortunately, I was able to get my hands on a pair of their new Defender Flex Pants to try out.

On the outside, the Defender Flex Pants appear to be nothing more than a pair of pantaloons you’d find at REI or some outfitter. What you don’t see are the 2 hidden back pockets that’ll fit AR magazines. Or the extra deep coin pocket designed for an EDC knife or pistol mag. The 7 pocket Defender Flex Pant also features stretch fabric technology woven into a comfortable twill fabric. A feature often missed with standard twill or denim pants. This mechanical stretch allows the wearer freedom to stay agile at all times. Weather you’re running, jumping, climbing or evading, knowing the Defender Flex Pants are up to the task is a good piece of mind.

5.11 Tactical Defender Flex Pants | First Impression
Hidden magazine pockets and deep knife pocket

5.11 Tactical Defender Flex Pants specs:

  • Material: 66% Cotton, 31% Polyester, 3% Elastane
  • Colors: Stone, Volcanic, Burnt and Oil Green
  • MSRP: $69.99

Available in both slim fit and straight cut styles, the Defender Flex Pants are constructed with a lightweight Cavalry Twill cotton/polyester blend and a hint of elastane. Allowing the fabric to stretch and recover to its original size and shape. Additionally, the fabric 5.11 developed has a nice soft hand and a slightly worn, faded look to it. I’ll admit it, I own a few pairs of overpriced designer jeans which I do like. To compare the two, I’d rate the designer jeans as a 9 in style, 8 in fit and a 2 in value. On the other hand, I’d rate the Defender Flex Pants as a 7 in style, 9 in the fit category and a 10 in value.

Whether you’re spending a weekend in the wood line, a day on the range or a night on the town, the Defender Flex Pants are up for the task. Make sure you check out 5.ll Tactical and The Loadout Room for more insight and reviews of their upcoming products.

Gear pictured in this article

5.11 Defender Flex Pants, Defender Flex Jeans, 5.11 Tactical NBT Duffel LimaZero Tolerance 0350 Folding Knife, Magpul P-Mag