Today, the line of tactical clothing in America is starting to go towards the low profile and incognito direction. This is apparent by the fact that some of the big names in tactical clothing such as Vertx and 5.11 have recently started selling jeans with the idea of remaining incognito. However, Helikon-Tex is putting their own spin on the incognito look. However, I think this pant offers alot to the end user that I have yet to see in other pants in this class.
HELIKON-TEX: A BRIEF COMPANY HISTORY
Helikon-Tex is a company based out of Poland that got their start in selling outdoor and surplus gear in the early 1980's. In the late 90's Helikon started to develop their own line of paramilitary gear. Helikon is not new to making outdoor and tactical gear in Europe, but it was not until 2013 that Helikon started getting their products into the US. The company seems to be very good at listening to the demands of their customers and applying them to their gear as time goes on. Withing the last few years the company even started their own shooting team in order to help get their name out their in the shooting community. In my mind it is really cool how this company got it's start in military surplus, only to develop their own products that are inspired by military gear and the needs of the market. They have a full array of useful outdoor gear that can be viewed on their site here.
As the name would imply, this pant is designed to help the user blend in and remain incognito. The Khaki pants that I got could pass for proper dress pants at a glance. They lack cargo pockets but they make up for it by having pockets all around the waist. Also, when it is time to break out of your covert role, the 4 way stretch of this elastic nylon will be ready by giving you complete range of motion similar to what you'd get if you were naked...Just saying. So whether you are just kneeling down to grab something you dropped or taking cover to live a little longer for a chance to take out a scumbag, these pants are going to allow your lower portion the freedom they need to get the job done.
The Covert Tactical Pant has a good amount of features that make it a wonderful option for almost any user that needs an incognito pant option. The Pants incorporate a feature called Versastretch which is a unique 4 way stretch material that gives these pants their amazing flexibility. Add in the fact that this material is not only flexible, but also has a Teflon coating that makes water bead right off. You may get the cool sensation of the rain hitting your legs but now water will stay on the material. This gives the material a smooth texture that is almost like tent material.
The pants have a total of 10 belt loops that give your pants a nice, sturdy, and secure hold around your waist all day, even when you are weighed down by all your EDC gear. The belt loops do not have much flex, but they are wide, which is great for supporting the pants on the belt.
The front loops on either side of the front closure(YKK zipper and velcro flap) are doubled up to give the front of your pants added support. In my experience, a belt is a must for these pants unless you want the velcro to hang off a bit. I like the velcro front over buttons, but it is not without that tiny drawback.
The front pockets on these pants have a generous depth to them, and the insides are stretchy, just like the rest of the pants. The rear half of the front pocket has an added layer of protection for knife clips, which is a pretty standard feature these days on tactical pants. The mouth is wide and the front of the pocket mouth drops down quite abruptly.
The inside of the pocket in the front has a thick and durable jersey material that helps act as a vent. The part of the pocket against the body seems to be the same material as the rest of the pants(flexible and water resistant. Also, you will note that this is the only pocket that is not secured into the pant, so it can move around freely.
The side and back pockets are quite similar to the front/hip pocket, minus the fact that they are integrated into the pant and do not move freely, except for the side pocket, meaning there is no vent material. The side pocket is the perfect size for something like your cellphone while the back pocket is well suited for your wallet with a generous amount of room for more stuff on top of that.
The pockets are not only on the outside of these pants, but also on the inside, covering the side and the front. They are sized so the front ones can carry a magazine or carry light while the side pockets are wide and deep enough to hold a pistol up to the trigger guard.
The inside pockets are flexible, which helps the magazines, lights, etc move around as they need to. The front inside pockets are secured by a single corner, keeping them from going all over the place and allowing your gear to venture as you move around. I find that there is little use in the side pockets since they will typically just add to your silhouette size. Unless you actually only intend to use the pocket as a holster, I doubt many of you will find much use for the side internal pockets unless just for storing cash to prevent a pickpocket scenario.
Personally, I have fallen in love with the front inside pockets for carrying my spare mag and carry light. You can easily carry a full size magazine and a 5" light in these pockets.
These pockets are angled inwards to follow the groin line so that you maintain your freedom of movement. I find that it is alot easier to use the pockets with full sized magazines since the base plate will be secured by the belt, making it easy to reach with just your index finger and thumb in any position you may need to reload from.
However, these pockets do not prevent you from printing, so unless you want to risk walking around looking like you're really happy about something, use a cover garment that covers this well enough.
OPTIONS AND USES
The Covert Tactical Pants come in seven different colors and all the options come in at about $70. I can only think of two colors that will be mostly incognito, however, some of you might want to have these pants for something a little more overt, such as range training or security duty, which is cool. I think it would fill those roles quite nicely. However, I do not think that these pants will fully satisfy a user that intends to integrate them into the full tactical or duty environment. It may offer alot of mobility, but it hardly seems to be constructed for ridiculously hard usage. However, I feel that this pant is quite versatile for the civilian who enjoys range time in the rain, hikes in the wild, and generally spends alot of time in the outdoors.
I have taken these pants out and tested them in mud and found that they resist staining very well, but at this price point I am hesitant to push my unprotected knees into the brass-littered ground of my range just to prove whether it will be able to hold up against aggressive usage. I also bought these pants because I needed more EDC pants, so I unfortunately can't justify going out of my way to test these pants under ridiculous conditions unless the company were to accommodate me with a new pair specifically for this purpose. However, I used these pants frequently and was not shy about using them in my everyday life, to include yard chores, hiking in rivers, rain, etc for days at a time before washing.
In the future I intend to buy more of these pants and in different colors. I appreciate how well the pants hide all my EDC items and how versatile they are as well. The Telfon coating is a nice touch as well since I play in the rain and in the water often. There is nothing more annoying than having your pants soaked in the rain and being weighed down and having the cold water harass your legs for hours. Also, I appreciate that these pants take away the tacticool 5.11 look so you don't give off the look of someone carrying. This alone makes these pants more attractive to me. I appreciate a good amount of storage options just as much as anyone else, but cargo pockets are a dead give away for many people. So in conclusion, i cannot recommend these pants enough. I feel that these pants are well worth the price for almost anyone that wants pocket storage without the tactical/tacticool look.
Do It Rite
Alaska-Based Youtube Vlogger, Retired Marine, Firearm and Gear Tester.