Range Rat Rates Propper Tactical Pants
Eve Flanigan 06.13.19
Propper is a tactical garb company based out of Missouri who originally supplied the US Navy back in the bell-bottom days. Today, the company’s focus is duty and tactical wear for police officers and civilian range rats such as yours truly. Of late, more attention in their product line is being paid to the needs of civilian concealed carriers and off-duty wear.
One thing Propper does very well is pants. At least annually, a new style shows up in their product line. I’ve been wearing Propper tactical pants for about four years now and have come to love their overall resistance to wear and dirt, not to mention economical pricing.
This ranking-style review is from the perspective of a range rat, an instructor, reviewer, and shooter who spends approximately 20 hours per week on the range or doing related stuff, like concealed carry classroom work, in tactical pants. My preferences/needs surely differ from many readers, so take the ranking with a grain of salt.
What every one of these selections has in common is intelligent use of Velcro. The shape and position of the closures on the pocket flaps keeps them flat and professional-looking. They’re also available in common colors of the tactical and EMS (read: navy) palette.
Here is a look at five variants within four of Propper’s pant types, old and new, in order of my most to least favorite. The designs are called Kinetic, RevTac, Summerweight, EdgeTec Slick, and EdgeTec Tactical.
The senior member of this lineup, and my personal favorite. The roomy cargo pockets have M4 mag pouches sewn in, and are set a little higher than normal on the leg which makes for easy use while standing but when driving, not so much. The front slash pockets have an attractive and useful cut that holds many sizes of blade clip securely and close at hand. Small pockets on the front of the upper thigh are perfect for small items like the lip balm that’s my constant companion in the desert wind. (See featured image above.)
As the name implies, these pants are made for moving around. The slight stretch to the fabric really enhances movement; they don’t restrict me at all climbing over a fence or into a pickup bed. Despite their ready construction, they never fail to wash up with an already-pressed look.
Retail price: $54.99
An attempt on Propper’s part to make a less tactical-looking pant without sacrificing much in the way of pockets. There are no rear pocket flaps, and the trouser-esque cut of the front slash pockets says “office” more than “range.” There’s a nifty donut-shaped metal snap closure, and I wish it worked. If I have anything less rigid than a thick rigger’s belt on, the snap comes undone from even minor bending-over. It’s become worse with time.
RevTacs need to be pulled from the dryer promptly and folded with a crease to avoid ironing. The fabric is less forgiving of movement in terms of both restriction and wrinkles. At least with the women’s cut, the rise is lower. Where most other pants in the Propper lineup set at the natural waist, RevTac shows an attempt to be fashionably low-waisted. I end up with unflattering bunched-up material at the belt line from pulling them artificially high just to keep my gear from feeling like it might just fall off. The snap closure seemed cool at first, but comes undone when I bend over in all but the heaviest of belts with a holster and mag pouch attached.
The most comfortable and casual choice here. The super-light fabric has a bit of stretch. The fabric is feather-light and moisture, whether from sweat or rain, dries fast. Dirt brushes right off these pants, and they don’t attract lint or pet hair. There is no metal hardware on these pants, and they’ve become my summertime “jeans” because they don’t aggravate the nickel sensitivity my skin decides to cop in hot weather. These pants are aplomb with fun pockets, including in the six-o’clock seam at the waistband. While the lining on the rear pockets appear flimsy, they’ve held up well for this review.
These easy-to-wear pants have a couple downsides. There’ll be no sneaking up on one’s enemies or the last beer in the fridge in Summerweights. They’re noisy when walking. They also provide next-to-no protection against rocks when kneeling. If you opt for these pants, you might want to order a longer length than normal, as mine are a bit flood-pant like, exposing a little too much sock when I sit down.
Newly available, economy pant for those who don’t want their pants to scream “tactical.” They show the same attention to detail Propper is known for. The snap is the same attractive design as on the RevTacs. I’ve only worn these pants for two long days afield, and so far I’ve not experienced the same problem with the snap coming apart. The Slick rendition of EdgeTec is sans cargo pockets; the rear pockets are flapless and dressy. There are two roomy front slash pockets and one front-of-thigh slot style pocket. A slightly shiny ripstop fabric provides great stain and dirt resistance.
Kudos to Propper for publishing a women’s cut of all pant models. Everyone is shaped a bit different, of course, and these pants fit my short-waisted self poorly. There’s a large gap at the rear before I belt them up and ultimately, I’m left feeling like I’m wearing a drawstring bag. These pants are also the first to deliver the unpleasant surprise of pulling my phone out of a front pocket to find the screen covered in sweat. While there is some forgiving stretch in the fabric, it seems to cling to moisture.
Just like the Slick version, but with cargo pockets. I have spent the least time in these of all the ones named here, but it’s clear the unflattering fit is the same. Still, EdgeTecs are cool for summertime wear, with more abrasion/rock protection than the Summerweight Tactical pants offer, and without the noise.
For my needs, the Kinetic line of pants prevails with their professional appearance, toughness, and great fit. As a female in the gun industry, I appreciate Propper’s approach to women’s clothing. Their designs put professionalism and duty before fashion, and there’s no gender discrimination where pricing is concerned. These pants are also affordable for the average gun-carrying professional. The opposite of these conditions are chronic beefs I have with some other well-established tactical garb companies.
Some people’s lifestyle or culture forces them to care more about avoiding the tactical look, and Propper has stepped up with great choices for them in the RevTac and EdgeTec Slick cuts. Those who want to keep their cool all summer long would do well to check out EdgeTec or Summerweight Tactical versions. Order direct from Propper, and watch for frequent sales.