Thursday, 28 February 2013
511 Tactical Pant
The 511 tactical pant has long been the flagship product of the 5.11 tactical range and despite many other pant evolutions and a hugely diversified range of products since that original concept pant nothing else has ever sold as well as that original 5.11 tactical pant.
If the stories are to believed the 5.11 Tactical Pant was borne when Royal Robins and his wife Liz were climbing in California and came to the conclusion the make shift cut off jeans and T shirts they were wearing were not fit for purpose and they set about designing and creating their own range. Originally just called the 5.11 pant, the 5.11 represented an aspirational level of climbing difficulty, the normal scale running between 5.0 (easy) and 5.10 (the hardest). Later on when the 5.11 pant was adopted by the FBI at their training centre in Quantico Virginia (a shared resource with the Marine Corps) and for a long time Royal Robins (the company producing the 5.11 pant) restricted the sale of the 5.11 Tactical Pant to the FBI despite overwhelming demand from potential tactical customers across the globe. The decision to limit the distribution on the 5.11 pant to exclusively FBI agents was systemic of a lack of business acumen as the company struggled to become a financial success. In the end Dan Costas, local entrepreneur, chef and restaurant owner took over the 5.11 side of the business creating 5.11 tactical, releasing the 5.11 tactical pant into the commercial market.
As expected the 5.11 tactical pant was a storming success and 5.11 burgeoned as a company spinning off not just a wide variety of tactical pants but also 5.11 jackets, bags, pouches, vests, shirts, sock boots, even sunglasses, knives and multitools. Along side the original 5.11 tactical pant 5.11 now offer the Taclite Pant, the TDU (Tactical Dress Uniform) pant - in polycotton, twill, ripstop, taclite and nylon, covert cargo pants, Stryke pants with 2 way stretch Flex-Tac, Traverse pants with 4 way stretch material and even a Jean Cut tactical pant. So far none of these, apart from the Stryke pant have come close to the sales volumes that the orginal 5.11 tactical pant have managed to maintain.
The 5.11 Tactical Pant has not changed in design very much over the years and maintains a lot of the original features that made it such a popular outdoor pant...with the exception perhaps of the magaize pocket on the front left thigh and internal knee pad pockets. You still get the rear strap across the top of the right buttock, the gusseted crotch and re enforced panels and stitching to ensure maximum durability.