Tradecraft is an old word that used to refer to the work, or craft, of any profession, or trade. It likely acquired its specific association with spy work during World War II, though it is a word most heavily associated with the Cold War.

The word Tradecraft can trace its lineage to the Cold War spy jargon of the 1960’s. Although the Cold War is over…I think…the word continues to be used in the Special Operations community. SOF soldiers continually hone their tradecraft to reap maximum effectiveness in their dangerous profession. Outdoor Research has been supplying the military and more specifically, SOF Units with high-quality outerwear for some time now. In a previous article, I covered the Infiltrator Jacket and Pants, OR’s premier Gore-Tex outer layer. And one part of OR’s Integrated Apparel System (IAS) is the Tradecraft Pants.

Tradecraft Pants

 Tradecraft Pants

One of the three components of the Tradecraft System is the Pant. Made from a hybrid consisting of variable thickness rip-stop nylon, the pant features all the same wear protection as the Jacket and Vest. Reinforced below the knees and even further on the instep of the cuff, these pants can withstand the abuse from boots, skis and snowshoes.

Although designed to be and insulating layer worn under the Infiltrator Pants, they can be worn solo as well. Featuring a full side zipper to assist dawning and doffing without having to remove skis or boots. A nice feature indeed but my favorite feature is the crotch. I realize that sounds terrible. But that stretch fabric used on the outer shell in the crotch allow a comfortable full range of motion. Plus a strategically placed fleece liner on the inside keeps the “twig and berries” warm in the winter. Tested by yours truly.

Other nice amenities found on the Tradecraft Pants are a pair of zippered hand pockets, hook-loop adjustable waist, drawcord adjustable cuffs and built-in suspender loops. It’s features like this that clearly set the Tradecraft Series apart from the competition. Spending a fair amount of time on our shooting range this winter, I often found myself reaching for the Tradecraft Pants and Jacket. If it wasn’t actively dumping snow, they were completely fine when worn by themselves. Offering more than adequate insulation for outdoor winter and shooting activities. Despite laying in the snow for a couple of hours shooting my RPR, I never once felt the frigid ground seep through the pants.

Tradecraft Pants

Tradecraft Pants specs courtesy of

    • Fabric: PrimaLoft® Gold
    • Inseam: 33˝ / 85 cm
    • Weight: 17.7oz / 501g (L)
    • Fabric Performance: Water-Resistant#Wind-Resistant
    • Design Features: Separating Side Zippers#Zip Hand Pockets#Zipper Fly
    • Functional Details: Articulated Knees#Elastic Waistband
    • MSRP $360

While the Tradecraft Series consists of three different pieces (jacket, pants & vest) in several different colors, don’t feel like you need to run out and purchase all of them. Pick and choose your pieces wisely because they are not inexpensive. However, I’ve always lived by the saying “you get what you pay for” and it hasn’t let me down yet. The Tradecraft Pants have proven invaluable this winter. Made from the highest quality materials and a very well thought out design, they are a true top performer. In the video below, Nathan will break down the finer details of the Tradecraft Pants.

Images courtesy of the author

Items in images: OR Tradecraft Jacket, 5.11 XPRT 3.0 Boot, MTM Vulture watch, Ruger Precision Rifle, Silencerco OmegaSig Optics Tango SIX, Proof Carbon Fiber Barrel,