After Shot Show 2017, 5.11 Tactical put the market on its head with the introduction of their low-vis line of clothing and accessories. No longer was it cool to be rocking the khaki cargo pants and a tactical backpack. Especially if you’re just running to the store to pick up baby formula. We all understand the function of tactical clothing and packs and they do have a place. At work if you’re a cop, or on the range while training. Not while strolling through the airport on your way to Shot Show. It’s a giant “look at me, I’m a badass” sign on your back. So the new tacti-cool thing to do is still be a badass, just don’t try so damn hard to look the part. And one of the new items from 5.11 will help you do just that. The Defender Flex Pants and Jeans.

5.11 Tactical Defender Flex Pants | Straight-Fit

Having previously reviewed this product, I felt compelled to revisit the subject. Early samples available to the press were the slim fit versions only. While I don’t consider myself a skinny jean kinda guy, I didn’t really mind the cut of those early samples and I do still wear them to work quite frequently. But now available at 5.11 Tactical are the straight fit cuts in the jean. Pants are soon to follow. This is a welcome sign and I was able to swindle my way into a pair of each. The Defender Flex pants and jeans have a blend-in casual look to them without tipping anyone off to their tactical lineage.

The most used feature for me are the additional back pockets that fit AR magazines. Although I have worn the Defender Flex pants to the range to test the functionality of these pockets, I typically store my phone and a knife there. Because of the offset position, these pockets don’t place the contents directly under your ass when sitting. And they offer an alternative location for an EDC knife. Which I prefer to the standard front right pocket. I use my front pockets for my hands occasionally and not fighting for space with my knife is a welcome change.

5.11 Tactical Defender Flex Pants | Straight-Fit

Defender Flex Pants specifications courtesy of

  • Button top fly with locking YKK® zipper
  • 8.8 oz. stretch Cavalry twill (66% cotton / 31% poly / 3% elastane)
  • Dual back patch pockets
  • Comfortable, slim, and tactical pant
  • Five pocket styling plus two rear hip pockets
  • Soft fade finish and enzyme washed fabric
  • Fitted waistband
  • GSA/TAA compliant
  • MSRP $69.99
Defender Flex Jeans
image courtesy of

Now that the straight fit jeans are available, you can set your skinny jean phobia aside and get a pair for yourself. The stretch fabric that the mad scientists at 5.11 dreamt up works brilliantly. Never constraining and always ready for whatever you throw at them. Additionally, the stretch waistband affords the ability to carry a pistol inside the waistband without requiring a larger pant size. Finally, while working as a General Contractor, the Defender Flex pants and jeans always present a professional appearance. And for whatever reason, they don’t seem to get dirty as quickly as my firehose pants from Duluth Trading. If you haven’t visited 5.11 Tactical in a while, click this link to see what’s new in their low-vis line of clothing and accessories.

This article is courtesy of Erik Meisner from The Loadout Room.