I had a chance to check out First Tactical's main Tactical pants, the Tactix series and hence the dirty presentation on the pics, I've been putting them to good use. The full name is a bit ridiculous being First Tactical Men's Tactix Tactical Pants, but I'll forgive them for being a solid product. After a little research it appears First Tactical is a new gear company comprised of some folks that used to be at 5.11 and some solid new personnel from tactical occupations. The first wave of items seem to be aimed at law enforcement, but one of the big changes is that First Tactical plans to emphasize direct sales to keep final retail prices low.
On that subject, the Tactix pants are very similar to the 511 Stryke pants (which are similar to other pants) however have additional features and small changes. The main material used on the Tactix pants is a 7oz 52%poly/48%cotton 2 way stretch ripstop which is a pretty nice ride. There you get the comfort of cotton, the durability of poly, and the stretch for movement, all with a teflon stain repellent finish.
Getting started on fit I was happy they offered a 28 waist size at all, but with all the stretch features they fit more like a size 30 waist so I need to wear a belt. If my pockets are filled, the pants would start to fall down past my hips without too much rowdy movement if not wearing a belt. I suppose if I was wearing a IWB CCW setup this would be a preferred waist fit, but offhand I wish the pants were sized more for 28 with flex as opposed to 30 with some flex. Anyway, once I put on a belt all is fine and dandy, the whole waistband has a nice elastic interior to offer flex and cushion comfort. The zipper is a good length using a Prym metal snap for closure and a backup button. As a nice detail there is even a hanger on the back upper interior which can come in handy when hanging to dry after getting them all sweaty during a workout.
The belt loops are a good size and three of them are reinforced with extra webbing and rivets. I was a bit concerned about the back middle rivet for when it comes to exercises like flutter kicks, but wearing any belt helps negate that possible pressure point. As hoped the main side hand pockets are a good size of access and holding capacity. They even have webbing loops to lash items to. Moving down a little are the upper front thigh pockets which I'm always happy to see. Also pleased when the pant layout is ambidextrous as opposed to just leaving pockets off one side and act like they are doing you a favor. The thigh pockets are my fave phone pocket slot since it can be accessed while driving and don't bang around when running either. Others will find knives and pistol mags fit great in there as well. The openings have more fabric than I've come across on past designs that adds some stiffening; the result is nice preventing opening folding and collapsing making getting items in and out easier.
For something a bit new to me at least, there are another set of these thigh pockets towards the back side of the leg. They aren't quite as easy to get to while sitting, but accompany the cargo pockets well as quick stash zones. The butt pockets are simple with no special retention on the openings just how I like them. To keep the look a little lower profile the cargo pockets are overall flat with some billowing capability at the bottom. I like how the flaps are stiffened to make for an easier opening along with the velcro size and location. It is just the right amount to be able to open one handed without a big hassle and still close with some security. The cargo flap even has a slot for pens which for better or worse can adjust the opening security as well since partially covers a flap end. Inside the cargo pocket is webbing up top for a lash point and 2 simple sleeve pockets sized to comfortably fit 30 round AR magazines. Although styled to look fairly flat, I appreciate due to the overall cargo pocket size it is still easy to dump items into rather than fighting a small opening and tight space. Speaking of that, it is nice the flaps can be tucked into the pocket which then cover the inner sleeve pockets creating a quick access open cargo pocket.
As a nice option there are external kneepad slots with a simple velcro opening. It will come down to preference on desired location, but external slots allow taking the pads in and out without having to take the pants off one's self. I'm getting old so having knee pads is nice in daily life too as opposed being reserved to only during tactical time. The knee pads are of a good size so give great coverage, but do certainly change the pant look as they are pretty noticeable. To insert into the pant slot one has to kind of roll them up like a newspaper. The pad thickness is generous and they may seem a little rigid at first, yet do bend when needed. Lots of holes and breathable materials are used to help make the knee pads have some airflow and not be heat monsters. As a slight downside the kneepads want to cup around the knees which is good for protection, however can cause a little bit of resistance when raising one's knee up high. The feeling is similar to if one has their pants too low and need to raise their pants up for a kick or similar. It isn't a hard stop, just the resistance can be felt. For the last detail, the pant leg openings are simple since no one seems to blouse anymore, but there are button hole slots to allow for adding draw strings for those who need them.
In the end the Tactix pants may have some obvious inspiration sources, but the final result is a great product with its own well thought out design decisions. You get a generous pocket selection for usability with an overall clean look to give a lower profile, especially with darker colors where pockets are harder to see. Fit and comfort wise the stretch is a real treat allowing noticeable mobility so I recommend checking out the Tactix pants to all kinds of folks and not just tacticians.