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The best women’s tactical pants: A comprehensive review for women in public safety

Find the perfect blend of protection, durability and comfort tailored to your unique needs as a female first responder

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By Amy Perez

For women serving in public safety — law enforcement, corrections, EMS, fire rescue and related fields — tactical pants are more than just part of a uniform; they are a crucial tool. The right tactical pants for women offer not only protection and durability but also comfort and functionality tailored to the unique demands of your roles.

However, finding the right tactical pants for women can sometimes be a challenge. At 4’11", my struggle is even greater! Here are some pants I have tried over the past 18 years. I review the top choices for tactical pants available at renowned retailers, providing insights into their design and performance in practical scenarios.

What to look for in women’s tactical pants

Selecting the right tactical pants involves understanding several key features:

  • Ergonomic fit: Pants should accommodate the female form, allowing for free movement without restrictions.
  • Material durability: High-quality materials are essential for resistance to wear and tear in various environments.
  • Functional design: Efficient pocket configurations, accessibility and tactical features like knee pad inserts are significant.
  • Environmental adaptability: Features like water resistance and breathability are crucial for comfort in all conditions.

Now, let’s get to my reviews of the top tactical pants for women.

5.11 Tactical Women’s Stryke Pants

Overview: These pants are a staple in the tactical gear world, renowned for their resilience and flexibility. The fabric is a ripstop weave infused with stretch material, offering unmatched durability and comfort. These are my hands-down favorite tactical pants for women!

Unique features: Includes 12 pockets with reinforced edges for gear security and Teflon coating for stain resistance.

Best for: Daily duties and situations requiring maximum mobility.

Carhartt Women’s Force Stretch Utility Legging

Overview: Carhartt combines the look and comfort of leggings with the functional attributes of tactical pants, making them an excellent choice for those who prefer a tighter fit.

Unique features: Rugged Flex technology for ease of movement, utility pockets and loops, water-repellent fabric.

Best for: Tactical training or outdoor activities where comfort and durability are required.

Under Armour Women’s Tactical Pants

Overview: Designed for comfort and performance, these pants are ideal for those who need reliable gear in diverse climates.

Unique features: UA Storm technology to repel water, ultra-durable ripstop fabric, and anti-odor technology to keep you fresh.

Best for: Long hours in changing outdoor conditions.

First Tactical Women’s V2 Tactical Pants

Overview: Engineered with direct feedback from field officers, these pants are for tactical operations requiring lots of gear.

Unique features: Advanced pocket configuration for tactical use, Teflon coated to repel stains and liquids.

Best for: High-intensity fieldwork where quick access to tools is essential.

Duluth Trading Company Women’s Flexpedition Cargo Pants

Overview: These pants are crafted for both durability and flexibility, suitable for dynamic environments.

Unique Features: Made with flexible fabric that moves with you, numerous pockets, and a Crouch Gusset for freedom of movement.

Best for: Fieldwork requiring extensive physical activity or any rugged outdoor tasks.

Each pair of tactical pants reviewed here offers unique advantages for women in tactical roles. When choosing the right pair, consider how the features align with the specific demands of your duty or activity. The right tactical pants not only support performance, but also contribute to safety and success in any operation. Twelve hours is far too long to be uncomfortable in the wrong tactical pants!

About the author

Amy Perez has been a sworn police officer for 19 years. She currently serves as a sergeant on Night Watch Bravo at a Florida police department. She is deeply involved in mental health and crisis intervention, serving as a co-leader of the Critical Incident Stress Management and Peer Support Teams. She has extensive training in Crisis Negotiations (CNU), Critical Incidents (CIT) and Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), showcasing a strong commitment to the wellbeing of officers and the public.

Sergeant Perez holds a bachelor’s degree in administration and is currently working toward a master’s degree in organizational leadership. She lives in central Florida surrounded by her family and animals.