5.11 Tactical Pants Go Casual | SHOT 2017

5.11 Defender-Flex Jean

5.11 Defender-Flex Jean

5.11 Tactical really has a knack for taking apparel and gear that looks like what everyone uses on a daily basis and giving it the tactical treatment, creating stylish products that look sharp while delivering top-shelf functionality for professionals and private citizens alike.

New this year are some pants that take “nope, I’m totally not carrying a gun” to a whole new level.

The Defender-Flex Jean looks like your standard pair of blue jeans. When I first heard about the “innovative cotton/polyester mechanical stretch denim” I was afraid that 5.11 Tactical had gone mommy pants on us, but that’s not the case at all. The material looks and feels great. It’s a little lighter and more breathable than typical denim for all-day comfort, and the stretch and recovery is good for movement but not ridiculous.

Each pair has a typical 5-pocket layout, with the usually-small coin right-side coin pocket a full depth pocket capable of accepting a mobile device or pistol mag. Additionally, two unobtrusive rifle mag pockets are situated directly above the normal butt pockets. The belt loops are large enough to accept a 2″ duty belt. These pants are perfect for concealed carry, undercover duty, or even normal everyday wear.

The Defender-Flex Jean is available in Oil Green, Stone, Burnt, and Volcanic in addition to standard Dark Wash Indigo. Additionally, women have a sharp Code Red option. With an MSRP of $69.99, these jeans pack a lot of tactical features without costing more than many people pay for a normal pair at the mall.

5.11 Defender-Flex Jean (Rear)

Shelby Murdoc

Murdoc is a freelancer who writes at various publications and web sites including Shooting Sports Retailer and GunPundit.com.


  • TexianPatriot

    They look pretty tight around the boot/calf area. Please tell me these are not tactical skinny jeans.

    • MattCFII

      They are suppose to have two fit styles with a straight and a slim. The Late Boy Scout has a YouTube video of them. Not sure which fit these are suppose to be but either one is suppose to go over boots the 5.11 rep says.

      • TexianPatriot

        I was more poking fun at skinny jeans. But glad to hear there will be a boot cut.

  • TheSeaward

    Hopefully it fits people who lift. They look nice.

  • KestrelBike

    Kinda surprised, these look acceptable to wear without *printing* via the entire wardrobe. Normally 5-11 makes people stand out. If they’re comfy, I’d be interested in a pair. I think the rifle mags could actually be handy, and not even for mags.

    • MattCFII

      I have some of their probably soon to be discontinued TacLite “Jean Cut” (not denim) pants that have almost the same pocket layout and agree that the mag pockets come in handy for other things. Hehe, they are just enough for my kinda ridiculous EDC stuff to move from cargos to them so the true jeans version will make my wife happy.

  • MattCFII

    I’m sure Shot Show isn’t easy to keep stuff straight, but the non-indigo colors are actually for their non-jeans version of the pants in “cavalry twill.”
    The jeans are suppose to be a regular indigo and dark indigo.

  • Jeff

    That little pocket wasn’t a coin pocket, it was a watch pocket. For pocket watches. Go figure.

  • Cymond

    A lot of people make fun of 5.11 pants, but I like them because they freed me from the inconsistent sizing of commercially available pants. You know there’s a problem when you’re in a department store and a 32 won’t button but a 34 falls off. I also appreciate that I can basically find the same style next year as I did last year. In our words, if I like a pair, I can still get more pairs later.

    Been meaning to try their covert khakis. These might be with a try, but I don’t usually like jeans.