Gear Review: LA Police Gear Women's Tactical Pants
Tactical pants are the modern day "cool kid" version of cargo pants. They fit a ton of gear and are extra durable. Most of my guy friends have known this for quite a while, and they rock this style of trousers daily. As a lady it's been a big challenge to find equivalently useful pants that balance both style and cost. A girl's got to look good, right? ;)
Cue the LA Police Gear women's tactical pants product line, which currently consists of the Women's Operator Tactical Pants (MSRP $22.99) and Women's Stretch Ops Pants (MSRP $24.99). The Operator Tactical Pants are the typical tactical pants - they have eight pockets, a slightly more straight-leg fit, and a few v-loops to clip carabiners to. The Stretch Ops Pants are a more modern take on the tactical pant concept, with a slightly more fitted waist and leg.
Not sure if #TacticalTuesday is a thing... But I might try to start it. I've been reviewing the @lapolicegear women's tactical pants and found my favorite feature - a way to carry securely using a pocket holster! Most women's pants have uselessly shallow or too-tight pockets so that usually isn't an option. Not so with these! There is even a pocket for an extra mag or two. Keep an eye out for my blog post with the full review, coming this weekend. And yes, I will share more about wearing normal pants while 8 months pregnant! 😉👊🇺🇲 #tacticalgear #gearreview #concealedcarry #2A #pocketholster #personalprotection #carrysafe #sparemagazine #allthepockets #tactical #lapolicegear #babybump #gingerbaby #8monthspregnant
What follows is a review of the features, fit, and overall feel of the LA Police Gear women's operator pants. I was between six and eight months pregnant while reviewing these pants, so they fit me a bit differently than the average woman. This review includes details about how I wore these non-maternity pants with my growing belly. Since most women who would be interested in a review of tactical pants are unlikely to be pregnant, I contacted fellow shooter and writer Annette Stevens-Doerr to try out the pants and give feedback, too. Annette blogs over at WeShoot2 and gets to the range frequently, so her comments are pretty insightful regarding the everyday wear of these pants.
I received these pants from the manufacturer for the purpose of this review. I have not been compensated for the review, and all opinions are my own.
"Pregnant people need pants with pockets, too!"
As previously stated, while I reviewed these pants I was between six and eight months into my first pregnancy. After a few months of wearing maternity pants, which are notoriously pocketless, I loved the practicality of these pants. I have my own method of wearing "normal" pants while pregnant, using an elastic headband and a long tank top. This method worked better on the Operator Tactical Pants than the Stretch Ops Pants, since the Operator Tactical Pants have some elastic in the back of the waistband. The Stretch Ops Pants tended to slide down during the day as I wore them in this way, but I did not encounter that at all with the Operator Tactical Pants.
First Impressions - Sizing and Shipping
The pants shipped quickly from LA Police Gear, arriving at my doorstep within three days of placing the order. The price on these pants is incredibly reasonable, and significantly lower than similar pants from other brands. Both styles come in regular and long lengths with options in black, khaki, coyote, OD green, and navy.
As far as sizing goes, I ended up reading the reviews on the LA Police Gear sites for each pair of pants and ordering up a size from my typical size 10 or 12. With the size 14 I had no problem fitting my legs, my butt, or (part of) my belly into either style of pants. Annette found that she had to order up one size from typical on the Operator Tactical Pants and two sizes up from typical on the Stretch Ops Pants. According to Annette, the Stretch Ops Pants are "more midrise than the Operator Tactical Pants and fit tight across the hips but gap in the waist (which would make it easy to carry at 6 o'clock!)."
Both Annette and I ordered the regular length pants in each style. At 5'5" and 5'6" respectively, we both really liked the regular length on both styles of pants.
washing and care
One of the first things I did when I received my order from LA Police Gear was look at the "care" label, which I found to be super easy to read. Both pairs of pants are machine washable and can be tossed in the dryer, which makes for easy care. After several wears and washes, the pants remain as good a fit as they were when I first tried them on - no shrinking or color changes, which is great!
deeper dive: the La Police Gear Stretch Ops Pants
Now let's get down to the nuts and bolts (or hems and buttons) of the pants. Starting with the Stretch Ops style, Annette and I both found these to fit more like jeans, though the fabric is not quite as stretchy as denim. The fit of the Stretch Ops Pants can best be described as modern and stylish. It is amazing that these pants have so much useful storage built in, when they look so "normal."
I had no trouble maneuvering in the Stretch Ops pants though with my method of wearing them while pregnant, they tended to slide down as the day wore on. This is more a problem with the fact that I didn't actually use the button on the pants than it is with the pants themselves.
Annette thought the fit was great, and she had no trouble getting around town or the range in them. "The articulated knees and gusseted crotch make bending, stretching, and getting into weird positions pretty easy," she said. Another thing Annette noticed was the Stretch Ops belt loops are thick and sturdy. "There are four across the back itself, making your belt secure when carrying an IWB holster."
There are seven pockets in the Stretch Ops Pants. Two are where you'd expect to find them, by the hips. Two more are in the typical location on the back of the pants, and these are particularly useful and deep back pockets. There are two more that are cargo-style on the side of the thighs, and these are really impressive for how stealthy they are. There is one final semi-hidden pocket on the right side of the front of the pants that fits a small item like a spare magazine, keys, FitBit, or small-ish smart phone.
I particularly liked the cargo pockets - they fit my giant phone (a Nexus 6P) on one side and a holstered Ruger LCP on the other side without looking too stuffed. This is exactly what I was looking for in tactical pants - the combination of useful and stylish! Annette agreed that the Stretch Ops Pants' pockets were pretty fantastic: "I LOVE that the back pockets don't have flaps, making it fast and easy to shove a spare magazine in, or a cell phone, on the run. The cargo pockets have a vertical gusset so they hold a decent amount, but they're sown cinched in on the top and bottom so they don't make you look like 'thunder thighs.'"
Deeper Dive: The LA Police Gear Operator Tactical Pants
The LA Police Gear Operator Tactical Pants are the more obviously "tactical" of the two women's styles from LAPG. This style features one more pocket than the Stretch Ops Pants (for a total of eight pockets), and it includes four thick plastic d-rings to secure clips, carabiners or other items. These were my favorite of the two LAPG women's tactical pants, because they feature elastic at the back of the waistband. That made it really comfortable to wear these pants while eight months pregnant!
The fabric on the Operator Tactical Pants feels really durable. There are a few reinforced areas, like the seat of the pants and at the bottom of both front hip pockets. This is a great feature, as the pocket reinforcement will make the pants last longer with my every day carry knife.
I'm pretty psyched - trying out a new way to adapt regular pants to be worn with my baby bump means I can carry a pocket knife (plus a few other useful things) again! What's up with maternity pants and women's pants in general lacking pockets? At least that isn't a problem today! 😀 #allthepockets #pocketknife #benchmade #veryhandy #lapg #pantswithpockets #boomerang #adapt #maternity #babybump #practicalmama #tacticalpants
Annette pointed out that the fabric on the Operator Tactical Pants feels like it has less give than the fabric on the Stretch Ops Pants. I would tend to agree, though the fit is so comfortable that I didn't notice any tugging or tightness in the legs, hips, or butt area. "The material is nice and heavy, leading me to believe they're very durable, but they don't stretch at all," says Annette. "The knees are articulated and reinforced for prone or crawling, which is nice."
The belt loops on the Operator Tactical Pants are thick and sturdily attached, making it easy to wear a gun belt. The bottom of the legs on the Operator Tactical Pants feature a draw string so that you can tighten down the leg openings around your ankle if you so desired. I just tied mine loose, because I liked the size of the leg opening.
The one downside to the fabric on the Operator Tactical Pants is their proclivity to attract fur and hair. My neighbor's husky's shed fur was practically magnetized to the pants. I did not notice this issue with the Stretch Ops Pants, and a lint roller easily resolved it.
The pockets on the Operator Tactical Pants are in the same place as they are on the Stretch Ops Pants, with an additional front pocket on the left side for a magazine, small phone, FitBit, etc. I've had trouble with back pocket flaps drying out or up on other pairs of pants, but happily that was not the case with these pants.
I could fit so much stuff into the pockets of the Operator Tactical Pants. Pictures speak louder than words, so the following photos show off how I stored pens, a knife, my Ruger LCP and a spare magazine, lip balm, my phone, sunglasses, keys, and hair ties in the eight pockets of the Operator Tactical Pants. All of those things were in my pockets in the photo above, but you couldn't really tell. These pants do a fantastic job storing a lot without becoming heavy or looking bulky. For the lady who conceal carries, these pants are totally worth it.
Summary: definitely worth the money
Both the Stretch Ops and Operator Tactical Pants are what I would consider good buys. The price point is in a sweet spot for these pants. At less $25 per pair, you get a great value for versatile, stylish range or every day pants. I would wear these to work, on a hike, and while shooting. Just make sure you order one or two sizes up, depending on the style you're ordering, and you'll be a happy camper. LA Police Gear hit a home run with these pants, from the design to the price.
If you have any questions about these pants, this review, or anything else, please get in touch by either clicking on the link below or commenting at the end of the post. I appreciate your feedback!