Written by Brandie Meisner (wife of author Erik Meisner)

The Women’s Cirrus Pant by 5.11 Tactical claims a “a flattering fit and great flexibility for everyday wear”. But women’s pants can be tricky. Can 5.11 pull off the delicate balance of fit & function?

Sometimes, my husband Erik thinks I’m crazy. I think it’s normal. For him to think I’m crazy, I mean. Just for the record, I’m not. But, all women are crazy according to the Crazy vs. Hot  MatrixA Man’s Guide to Women. But this time, I wasn’t trying to be crazy. Or obscure. Or intentionally vague. I was simply answering his question…

“What size pants do you wear?” He was ordering me a pair of Women’s Cirrus Pants from 5.11 Tactical. My answer: either an 8, a 10 or a 12. No response…Just that look: you are crazy.

Ever heard of vanity sizing? It is a reality that exists, especially in women’s clothing. It is the practice by retailers, typically more expensive brands, to deliberately size their clothing smaller than standard to flatter the purchaser.  On the other end of the spectrum, those manufacturers who cater to juniors, young misses, and other itty-bitty petite women. Average-sized women, beware, you’ll have a hard time wiggling into your normal size. Women come in all shapes & sizes, and pants should too.  How will 5.11 Tactical’s Cirrus Pant fare?

Turns out: 5.11 Tactical sizing is accurate, including the availability of a long inseam for tall gals. The Flex-Tac® stretch ripstop fabric is comfortable, hugging my curves without creating the dreaded muffin top. They hold their shape all day without stretching out or becoming droopy. With a classic design, the Cirrus Pant is smart enough to fit into a business-casual office, but was clearly designed to be perfect at the range.

Range ready Cirrus Pant

Touting it’s functionality, the Cirrus Pant maximizes utility with nine pockets. The deep pockets are right-sized for magazines, knife, cell phone, even conceal carry. And although the traditional cargo pockets are missing, they won’t be missed. The sleek covert look doesn’t sacrifice storage.

5.11 Womens Cirrus Pant specs courtesy of 511tactical.com

• 6.76 oz. Flex-Tac® ripstop fabric

• Gusseted construction

• Bartacking at major seams and stress points

• Teflon® finish

• YKK® zippers

• Regular inseam= 32″; Long= 35″

• Durable, comfortable women’s covert pants

• Ideal for professional, covert, and casual environments

• Extra pockets sized for tactical use

• MSRP $69.99

Sleek yet tactically functional (image courtesy of 511tactical.com)

One of the best uses of these pants could be travel-wear. The great fitting waist allowed me to skip the belt & avoid undressing in the TSA line. I didn’t even unbutton the waist to get a little breathing-room during my six-hours shoe-horned into coach; that’s impressive. And the Coke that slid off of the tray-table just brushed off without leaving a trace. Best of all, they still looked fresh at our final destination.


Typically, I’d turn to Athleta or Columbia for a sure-thing sporty look. I now have a new option; the Cirrus Pant has become a go-to in my closet.