Pants (Regular) Page 1
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As a sizing reference: I'm 5'7", 155 lbs (yeah, I'm a little guy), medium build (BDU top medium/regular, BDU pant medium/short), waist 32", chest 43". Keep this in mind when you read my comments with respect to sizing, so you have an idea of how the garments featured below will fit on you. ALL garments in these pages are size Medium, unless stated otherwise.
TO VIEW FULL SIZE IMAGES: USERNAME and PASSWORD are both "mm"
TAD Gear ODRP Force 10 Cargo Utilities
7/14/07 - This is TAD Gear's 100% cotton OD Green ripstop version of their Force 10 Cargo Utilities, reviewed here previously in Crye MultiCam Twill. While externally identical, the 100% cotton OD ripstop Force 10's (also available in MultiCam NYCO ripstop and 100% cotton tan twill) differ slightly in some details from the MultiCam twill version.
I'm glad that TAD came out with these pants, as 100% cotton ripstop is one of my all-time favourite fabrics. I've got a 15 year old pair of OD green ripstop BDU shorts which I still wear frequently, as they're faded and worn just like I like 'em. While I like the feel of old BDU pants, I do prefer the 'modernized' features that the Force 10 Cargo Utilities offer. But before I continue, I must mention that these pants run about a half size large. This applies only to the OD ripstop, not the other fabrics. I normally wear a size Medium, with 30" inseam, so that's what TAD sent out first. TAD sized them on the larger side to account for shrinkage of the 100% cotton duing washing and drying, based on past experience. However, this particular fabric didn't shrink as much as anticipated, even after washing and drying on hot settings. I washed and dried the size Mediums, and the waist would fit about 34" to 37" (BDU size medium fits 31" to 35"). Patrick at TAD sent out a size Small, 30" inseam and I washed and dried that. They fit my 32" waist perfectly with a little room to spare. I'd say they'd fit to about a 33" waist and adjust down to 31". So I kept the Smalls and sent back the Mediums. As you can see from the photos below, they're a great fit all around. TAD tends to size all their pants generously, to accomodate inside-the-waistband holsters and such.
Here's a rundown of the features on the 100% Cotton Ripstop OD Green Force 10's (small/ 30" inseam shown):
Construction and workmanship are excellent, with all points of stress bartacked.
One note about the taped/slottted buttons on the side cargos; I found myself grabbing the tape between the buttons sometimes when accessing the pockets. I trimmed off the tape between the buttons, about half an inch from the button, and used a lighter to seal the cut edge. The ones on the back pockets didn't bother me.
I found that the OD ripstop Force 10's are a lighter weight alternative to the Legionnarie Classic Cargo Pants, which I've been wearing frequently for the past six months. It's summer now, and the lighter ripstop material is better suited for the heat. However, I did find that the ripstop is pretty wind resistant, as I've worn these riding my motorcycle to work in the early mornings (6am) when it's still chilly. 100% cotton ripstop does tend to wrinkle in the dryer, so if you're the type that likes smartly pressed slacks, you're going to be doing a lot of ironing. Personally, the wrinkled look of cotton ripstop is one that I like and find comfortingly familiar, and I look forward to these pants wearing in like old BDUs. These pants are another 'instant fave' from TAD Gear.
TAD has also introduced their T-Pro Impact Knee Pads, shown below. These are made in the U.K. by T-Pro, who specialize in body armour for motorcycle racing and other sports. The material slows down the impact and disperses it, very much like the visco-elastic foam from Oregon Aero that I've used in their Shockblockers insoles. TAD has the grey, 5.5mm thick material custom die-cut to fit all current versions of their Force 10 Cargos with knee slots. Aven though they're less than 1/4" thick, they'll take the impact of a medium-force punch when placed on a hard surface. They're highly flexible quite unnoticeable in the pants until you take a knee - then they're much appreciated.
TAD Gear 100% Nylon Amphibious Cloth HP Force 10 Cargo Utilities (2007)
7/7/08 - This is TAD Gear's 100% nylon Amphibious Cloth version of their Force 10 Cargo Utilities, which is one of the fabric choices for their Force 10 Cargo Utilities 2007 model. The previous models were reviewed here in Crye MultiCam Twill and above in the OD Green 100% cotton ripstop. Just as the 100% cotton OD ripstop Force 10's differed slightly in some details from previous generation MultiCam twill version, the 2007 evolution of the Force 10 Utilities have some slight updates from the previous version.
My previous experience with the 100% nylon Amphibious cloth was with the TAD Gear Force 10 Cargo Shorts reviewed above on this page. The Amphibious cloth is a lightweight yet tough fabric with a DWR (Durable Water Repellant) finish.
Let's talk about sizing first -
The previous version of the Force 10 was available in S, M, L (and
so on) sizes. The newest (2007) models are available in even waist
sizes. Knowing that TAD's pant waists are sized generously with
extra room for inside-the-waistband carry of a pistol, I wasn't
sure whether a size 30 or 32 would fit me best. I'm a 32 on a good
day and 33 after dinner. So, I asked them to send me both a 30 and
32 to try out.
Features - Here's a list of the features on the 100% Nylon Amphibious Cloth 2007 model Force 10's. Much of it is the same as the previous version, but I've pointed out the differences where applicable. (32" waist, 30" inseam shown):
Construction and workmanship are excellent, with all points of stress bartacked (over 60 reinforcing bartacks).
Weather, and other considerations - The molded TAD logo that was sewn at the rear of the pant is now removable and located on a small velcro patch on the right cargo side pocket. It also glows in the dark. The Nylon Amphibious cloth Force 10s are even lighter weight than the OD ripstop Force 10's that I've been wearing. But, I wasn't sure which one would be better suited for hot weather, so I wore them on alternating days for comparison. The 100% cotton ripstop is pretty light material, but still thicker than the nylon, so it's slightly warmer due to the thickness of the material. However, the nylon is a bit less breathable, so it can feel a bit more stuffy than the cotton. Frankly, I couldn't really tell the difference in perceived temperature between the two under normal circumstances, wearing them on alternating days.
So I tried switching between them back and forth
during some mild exercise - just enough to get a sweat going.
I'd jog around the block with one pair on, change pants, then
continue, then switch back again. This is when I noticed a difference.
When I had worked up a sweat and was hot and sticky, the nylon
pants were more comfortable. The nylon fabric is lighter and doesn't
really absorb sweat, so it doesn't get heavy and damp with moisture.
It remains light weight and airy which I think offsets the slight
difference in breathability. It doesn't stick to my skin like
I thought it would, and remains easier to move in. So, for hot
weather, I give the edge to the nylon Force 10s.
For traveling, the nylon Force 10s are the most compressible/packable of the difference Force 10 fabric offerings, which include the cotton ripstop and cotton twill. If you need to pack light and wash and wear, the nylon ones will be easiest to do that with.
Another thing to consider is that the nylon will not fade like cotton, so it depends on what kind of look you want. My cotton ripstop pants are wearing in nicely the way cotton does, but they definitely don't look brand spanking new. The amphibious cloth Force 10s will probably look the same, even after numerous washings and wearings, just like my Force 10 amphibious cloth shorts which pretty much look the same after one year as when I got them. The cotton and twill pants get softer and more comfortable over time whereas the nylon doesn't change much past the first few washings. It's comfortable in a different sort of way.
Which to get? - So, which Force 10 to get - ripstop, twill or amphibious nylon? Well, I'd pick the twill for cooler/moderate weather or if you're bouldering or around rocks, as the thicker fabric provides more protection against scrapes and bumps. The heavier twill also carries/conceals items in the pockets a bit better. Ripstop (cotton or blend) for lightweight comfort, general use and warmer weather. Nylon for warm or hot weather or if there's any chance of exposure to water. Whichever one you end up picking, it's hard to go wrong - they're all great pants
TAD Gear Force 10 Cargo Utilities, Rip Stop H (2009)
10/9/09 - TAD Gear has released their latest (2009) generation of their popular Force 10 Cargo Utilities in 100% cotton ripstop, with the addition of hypalon reinforcements on the knees and knife clip pocket patches. The new model is called the 'Rip Stop H'. Another update is that everything is colour matched, including the zipper, Canadian style slotted buttons and other hardware.
Materials and sizing - I've had the previous version called the ODRP Force 10 Utilities (reviewed above) for two years now, and they've worn in very comfortably, which is expected of 100% cotton ripstop. I expect no different from the 2009 version, which is made in custom-dyed TAD colours - ME Green (shown here) Arid Earth and Crye MultiCam. The ME Green is a grayer shade than the OD green fabric that the ODRP was made out of (see photo below). The new green and Arid fabric is also slightly lighter, which makes it suitable for warm/hot weather or those looking for lighter weight trousers.
The Rip Stop H is available in even waist sizes, while the older ODRP came in S, M, L etc with adjustable waist tabs. I normally wear 32 waist with a 30 inch inseam, and that's what I got in the Rip Stop H. Cotton rip stop tends to shrink after the first washing and dry (I use medium heat), and the 'shrinkage control' fabric is estimated to shrink about 3%; about 1" in length. The length is cut longer to accommodate this shrinkage, so don't be alarmed if they seem a bit large when new, before they're washed. I found that the 32/30 fit me perfectly after the first wash. All cotton rip stop I've owned gets wrinkly in the dryer, and these pants weren't any different, ending up with a familiar 'lived-in', casual look of cotton rip stop.
Features - Here are the features of the Force 10 Cargo Utilities, Rip Stop H 2009 model. Many of them are the same as the 2007 Force 10's, but there are some detail differences. (32" waist, 30" inseam shown):
Construction and workmanship are excellent, with all points of stress bartacked (over 60 reinforcing bartacks).
Observations/Notes - The first thing I noticed on these new Rip Stop H pants is that everything is colour-matched on them. Buttons, tape, D-rings, zipper, velcro all match; even the webbing for the D-ring inside the cargo pocket is now made from the same fabric as the pant instead of the contrasting nylon webbing of previous versions. The lighter weight of the Rip Stop H pants were welcome during the past few weeks of summer, which were hot and more humid than normal. They're cooler in hot weather than the Force 10 ODRPs, and the twill versions. I also perceived that they're more breathable than the nylon amphibious cloth, and feel less stuffy in humid weather. If I sweat, the fabric absorbs it, rather than let it sit on my skin. The new custom dyed ME Green is more remminiscent of Paraclete smoke green than the OD of the ODRPs, and is a very nice colour. As I mentioned above, the Rip Stop H pants aren't going to give you a smart, pressed look (unless you iron out the wrinkles), but more of a relaxed, outdoor/casual look that conveys their comfort and unrestrictiveness.
The new feature on these pants are of course the hypalon reinforcements. Hypalon is a very rugged, yet flexible material that feels rubbery and is used in Zodiac boats, mountaineering equipment and maritime/amphibious combat gear. I first came across hypalon on Kifaru backpacks, which use hypalon in their construction. The 10oz hypalon TAD Gear uses is a very flexible, thin and light weight version of hypalon. I was initially concerned that it'd make my knees sweat more, but I didn't really notice that to be the case. The hypalon patches on the knees are there more for abrasion resistance than padding, as they're so thin. Used for the knife clip reinforcements on the pockets, they do double duty by protecting the pocket from knife clip wear (which usually tears up my pant pocket edge), and adding some 'gription' so the knife clip grabs onto the pocket more securely. As I learned with the Rocket World Spartan Shorts reviewed above, which also have hypalon reinforcements, this can be a double edged sword, as very stiff/tight knife clips grab the hypalon so well that the knife can be hard to extract. I've found myself choosing folding knives with slightly looser clips to use with these pants.
The Rip Stop H pants have a 'action fit; roomy but not too baggy with a straighter leg', which is consistent with most of the TAD Gear pants I have. It's a very comfortable fit with a medium rise, and not as baggy as standard BDUs. The great fit and cut is something I really appreciate in TAD's pants, and combined with the practical layout of their pockets, make these another instant favourite.
TAD Force 10 Cargo Pant - NYCO Ripstop (2011)
6/12/11 - The latest evolution of the popular Force 10 Cargo pant from Triple Aught Design is the Force 10 Cargo Pant in NYCO Ripstop. This latest incarnation offers increased durability (over the previous 100% cotton ripstop version), more organization capability, and an updated fit.
I've been wearing various versions of TAD's distinctive Force pants since 2006, and each time a new version is released, TAD manages to refine and improve on the quality and performance of their signature pant. With this NYCO model, they've increased durability with 50/50 NYCO fabric, added triple needle stitching and 1/8" double needle stitching in high stress areas, and changed the cut and fit to produce a lower profile and more streamlined look while retaining all of the practical features of the previous models. Other features have been added such as dual internal passport pockets, and internal coin dividers in both side slash pockets.
Materials and sizing - It's been about a year and a half since my writeup of the 100% cotton ripstop Force 10's above, and they've proven to be one of my favourite warm/hot weather pants because of the light weight material. The heavier cotton twill versions of TAD's pants I wear more in cooler weather. These new 50/50 Nylon-Cotton Ripstop (6.5 oz) pants are somewhere in between, as far as material weight goes - lighter than the twill and more hard wearing than the 100% cotton. The new NYCO material made to military specifications and is an upgrade in overall durability and tear-resistance over 100% cotton, while still maintaining the breathability of cotton in warmer environments. It's available in ME Brown (shown here) and ME Green. The ME Brown is a very nice, darker shade similar to Flat Dark Earth, instead of the lighter tan of many BDUs. I've noticed that some NYCO BDU fabric can sometimes feel a bit stuffy in warm weather - I haven't noticed this with the TAD NYCO fabric, it's feels quite breathable.
The NYCO Ripstop Force 10s come in even waist sizes, and my normal size 32 waist with a 30 inch inseam fit me very well with extra room at the waist. TAD's waist sizing normally tends to be on the looser side, rather than tighter, and that's because they're designed to accommodate inside-the-waistband pistols. They fit a bit large out of the package but always shrink very slightly after the first wash to a very good fit (on me). After washing, the NYCO Ripstop waist measures just under 33" for the size 32. For comparison, the 100% Rip Stop H pants measure about 33.5" in the waist for the size 32.
Features - Here are the features of the Force 10 Cargo Pant - NYCO Ripstop 2011 model. Many of the features are shared with the previous Force 10 versions. Some are new features added to the NYCO model, plus some detail differences. (32" waist, 30" inseam shown, in ME Brown):
Observations/Notes - When I was told that the fit had been changed to obtain a lower profile, I asked TAD to expand on what that entailed. TAD said that that they "examined the overall silhouette of the pant and aimed to reduce any excess fabric from previous iterations. We also reduced some of the bulk in the patterning in the thigh and seat area to reduce drag and have a lower overall profile. This reduction results in the same exceptional mobility customers have come to expect from the F10s but less drag/bulk (fabric). The improved silhouette, despite streamlined is still a relaxed fit. In no way are these slim cut or fitting." When I laid the NYCO model over the previous model, I noticed that there's very slightly less bagginess in the thigh/knee area. As you can see from the photos of me wearing them, they're still very roomy for unrestricted mobility, and an even better fit than the previous version of the Force 10s.
Like the RipStop H version, the new NYCO Force 10 pant components are all colour-matched. Buttons, tape, D-rings, zipper, velcro all match; even the webbing for the D-ring inside the cargo pocket is now made from the same fabric as the pant instead of the contrasting nylon webbing of previous versions. The NYCO fabric isn't as 'wrinkly' as 100% cotton after washing and drying, but it's not going to be wrinkle-free unless you iron it. Hopefully, no Force 10 pants will ever see an iron.
Besides the more streamlined pattern, I'm glad to have the coin pocket inside the side slash pockets added to the left side as well. I'm a lefty, and use them both frequently. TAD refers to their pocket layout as 'Intelligently designed storage', and I'll vouch for that. The organizational capability through internal pocket dividers in the Force 10 pants has always been my favourite feature. For every day wear (work), I normally have my personal cell phone, a text pager (yes, they do still exist - work's too cheap to issue a blackberry), a pen, a folding knife, sometimes a laser pointer, keys, wallet, sunglass case, computer pen drive, and half the time some other small misc items. The small internal dividers help keep everything organized and segregated, as I don't want some items coming in contact with others. The coin pockets will fit my pager, pen drive and keys, and the front welt pockets my sunglass case and cell phone. I've mentioned it numerous times before - I wish I had those front welt pockets on all my pants, as I use them for frequently accessed items.
While I normally don't have the need for very roomy cargo pockets on the thighs, I defintely make use of the pocket dividers inside them when I run out of small divider space in the welt and side slash pockets. The main cargo pocket compartments are sized to fit a 30-round M4 magazine in the center, then pistol mags, flash light etc on either side. This way, the heavier smaller items don't end up at the bottom of the pocket where you have to rummage for them. Keeping them in the dividers also reduces swaying of the loaded pocket. I utilize the bellows pocket for light weight items, like a neck gaiter, gloves etc. Those who carry more gear than I do in their cargo pockets will appreciate their carrying capacity, I'm sure. I haven't had the need to dummy cord anything to the internal D-ring, so I just tuck it inside the internal divider so it's out of the way.
The hidden Passport pockets were first seen on the Spartan Pant, and I'm glad to see two instead of just one. If the rear flapped pocket with buttons isn't secure enough from pickpockets, then these can always be used to store your wallet or cash. Whenever I'm on travel away from home, I'll usually carry two small wallets - one with a bit of cash and cancelled cards, expired driver's license with my old address in my normal rear pocket, and my normal one with the rest of my cash/money and actual credit cards and ID. The Passport pocket is the perfect place to store the 'real' wallet.
As I mentioned in the writeup of the RipStop H Force 10s, the hypalon knife clip reinforcement worked too well with some clips, which grabbed the pocket while extracting the knife; thus limiting the carry to clips that weren't so stiff. The NYCO pants don't have them, and I don't miss them. Most knives feel secure enough in the pocket.
I've been wearing these pants for a little while before they were introduced, and the weather has surprisingly varied since, which is great for testing out clothing under different conditions. Temps ranged from the wet and chilly in the low 60's to dry in the mid 80's with a couple of hotter days in the 90's, and the NYCO pants felt very comfortable on all days. They're also less stuffy feeling than the NYCO BDU pants I have, for some reason. I wore them for the 2nd day of a Redback One 2-day advanced tactical carbine class, with the old T-pro knee pad inserts in the knees (I don't think they're available anymore), and the pants worked well for me on all levels. More durable feeling than the 100% cotton Force 10s, but allowing full mobility and comfort on a dry, windy day. The one thing I'd get rid of is the curved cosmetic stitching on the front of the knee reinforcement/knee pad pocket, or at least just the bottom one. While it adds a cosmetic touch, it can start wearing if you take a knee often with knee pad inserts on hard ground.
I've reviewed quite a few different pants over the years, each of them with their pros and cons, and some more suitable than others for certain uses. For every day use, pretty much year round, I frequently end up reaching for one of the various versions of the Force 10s hanging in my closet as the pocket layout is still the most practical for my uses. And the new NYCO Ripstop Force 10 Cargo Pant is my favourite version so far.
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