The 221B Tactical line continues to grow with innovative, new products. Those I’ve been privileged to work with have exhibited first-rate workmanship and a high degree of design thought. Tactical pants from 221B don’t have an overly tactical appearance. And the Asset Tactical Jeans have become my favorite casual wear pant. So when the folks at 221B contacted me about their new Operator Tactical Pants, I was eager to give them a try.
About the Operator Tactical Pants
The new 221B Operator Tactical Pants were developed with the input of real-world operators — from the design process through field testing. The Operators were tested under serious conditions “by warriors for warriors.” These pants had high standards of comfort, utility, durability, versatility, innovation and practicality under the harshest of conditions to meet.
The weight of the tactical pants makes the quality, tough construction immediately apparent. The heavyweight construction is similar to the Asset Tactical Jeans. 221B Tactical gear is an investment, but one that’s built to last. The Operators are constructed of a new breathable ripstop material to be ultra-durable. These would have been ideal for crawling over rocks and through brush, mud, snow and brambles as a SWAT sniper.
The second factor adding weight is 221B’s use of extra material to reinforce various critical areas. The tactical stretch waistband and 14 pockets of various types, including those used for spare rifle and pistol magazines are reinforced. The pants also feature a gusseted comfort stretch crotch, which provides flexibility when crouching or kneeling and the integrated cinch system at the bottom of the pants legs. The cinch system turns the Operator Tactical Pants into instant snow pants when tightened and can help to protect against tick entry during warm months.
A video of 221B owner Suresh Madhaven explaining key features is available on the 221B Tacital website or YouTube page.
More Concealed Carry Pants Features
The operator-influenced design shines through in many other ways. One such design aspect is the placement of the pockets for the separately purchased kneepads. Years ago, one of the early big-name suppliers of tactical pants offered this feature. However, they put the pouch opening for the pads on the inside. If you were already geared up and dressed before deciding to add knee pads, you would have to strip your gear off and drop your pants to access the pouches. 221B Tactical put their kneepad pouches on the outside for easy access.
The knee pad pockets are the only ones on the Operator Pants with Velcro to hold pockets closed. All other pockets utilize rare-earth magnets on the exterior. Each magnet is the size of a CR2032 lithium battery. The use of magnets as opposed to Velcro also came from operator input. Velcro closures make quite the racket when used on tactical pants and shirts; less than ideal in critical situations. Besides being silent, magnets don’t get gunked up with pocket debris over time.
The pants also include full-sized, magnet-secured pockets at the bottom outsides of the pant legs. This feature was new to me, and I initially wondered why they were there. After wearing the pants, I realized these ankle pockets might be a good location for ID or spare cash while traveling. A pickpocket would have a difficult time accessing them. But they are easily reached while driving or flying.
The use of large, dual heavy-duty buttons to secure the Operators sets them apart from similar pants that use a single button or snap. The buttons ride laterally on a strip of nylon that also secures them far better than strands of thread. And the ample belt loops should fit any belt that comes along.
In urgent situations, these are the pants that you want to be wearing. Quality like this doesn’t come cheap. The 221B Operator Tactical Pants are currently on sale for $117 (normal MSRP is $200). Think of them as a long-term investment rather than a disposable commodity.
221B Tactical: 221BTactical.com