Best Survival Pants: Briars And Thorns Be Damned

Having the best survival pants is one of the most critical elements of your bug out bag plan.

When it comes to survival, what you are wearing is important. You need a well thought out plan on what you will wear and why.

Your clothes need to be light weight, durable, and also appropriate for the environment that you are in.

best survival pants

A core piece of your clothing plan is having the right pants. Your pants, besides your boots, will be part of your clothing that interacts the most with your environment.

Many people make the mistake of believing that jeans are fine for survival.

While jeans are great pants, they are not designed to withstand a lot of the factors you encounter in a survival situation.

For example, briars, thorns, and brush will inevitably rip jeans to threads after heavy hiking through the country.

Also, jeans are made from cotton, which means they will not wick water away from your body well, which can make them very hot in warmer environments, or lead to hypothermia in colder environments.

For those reasons, we are going to cover the best of the best in pants for survival so that you can decide which ones are right for you.

We will see why the 5.11 Tac Lite Pro pants are some of the best out there because they are comfortable and tough enough to handle whatever you can throw at them. We're also going to cover three other great options for you.

Disclosure:   Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, where I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Comparison Table







5.11 Tactical TacLite Pro Pants

5.11 Tactical TacLite Pro

65% Polyester / 35% Cotton



Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants

Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible

100% Nylon



Propper Lightweight Tactical Pants

Propper Lightweight Tactical

65% Polyester / 35% Cotton



BLACKHAWK! Lightweight Tactical Pants

Blackhawk Lightweight Tactical

65% Polyester / 35% Cotton



Survival Pants Criteria

When choosing the right pants, we want to pay attention to 5 key factors.


First, we need the pants to be extremely durable. If we head off in the woods or brush, we need pants that won't get ripped open as soon as we get in the middle of thorns or briars. Ripstop meshes are the best material for this kind of job.


Next, the pants should allow us good flexibility so that we can maneuver through rough terrain. We also should be able to run in them without feeling restricted.

The pants should also be light weight. Our whole survival weight which includes our bug out bag also includes what we are wearing.


Third, we want to be extra careful in choosing the color of our pants. Many of us find it hard to resist the urge to get camo, not only for the tactical advantage, but also because it makes us feel more powerful.  This is the worst thing you can do.

In a survival situation, you will inevitably encounter other people. People are conditioned to think that camo signifies possible expertise, training, good gear, or any of the many other stereotypes.

In other words, you will stick out. In a survival situation, your goal should be to not stick out, but to appear normal. Many will see camo as a sign that you have other great gear on you, and will wait for the right time to try to take it.

I suggest going with olive drab green or black pants to not only get an advantage of blending better in nature, but also blending in with other people as well. If you are in a desert environment, then khaki is obviously a better choice.


Fourth, we want pants that have a well thought out storage scheme. We need to keep our most critical gear on our person at all times in case we ever have to drop cargo and run. Getting pants that can store the essentials is a must.


Duofold Mid-Weight Wicking Thermal Pants

For the fifth criteria, we want pants that are suitable for the environment that we will find ourselves in if a survival situation should arise. Some pants are better made for hot and humid, and others for cold and wet.

We also have the option of using layering as a multi approach. For example, you could have long underwear pants as part of your clothing plan to be better suited for colder weather if the need arises.

Now let's get into the best pants out there and why they are so great.

1. 5.11 Tactical TacLite Pro

5.11 Tactical TacLite Pro Pants

The TacLite Pro pants by the company 5.11 are by far the best. These pants have a 65% polyester and 35% cotton ripstop mix that is treated with Teflon for stain resistance.

There are double thick seat and knee areas with lots of reinforcement in all of the high stress zones.

They are very flexible and allow give in all of the right places. The storage layout is well thought out with over 7 pockets and a hip mounted D ring. They are also extremely comfortable.

They come in many different colors including black, grey, khaki, and dark green. The look and style is extremely functional, but also fashionable. Wearing these pants, you can easily blend in with others who are wearing jeans.

These are the pants I own and trust for survival. They are truly the best tactical pants that money can buy.

2. Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible

Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants

The Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible pants are a great option if you also want the ability to wear shorts in hotter climates.

They have zippers at the knees for easy conversion back and forth between pants and shorts.

They are constructed out of 100% Nylon, and have great wicking performance to pull the moisture away from your body. The design also gives you UPF 50 sun protection.

The maneuverability in these pants are especially good. There are also several pockets for storage of key items. Colors include dark green, grey, and khaki.

3. Propper Lightweight Tactical

Propper Lightweight Tactical Pants

The Propper Lightweight Tactical pants are another 65% polyester and 35% cotton ripstop design with Teflon coating. They include reinforced knee and seat areas.

These pants are very similar to the offering by 5.11, but come at a little cheaper price tag. They also come with an included belt, which is an added bonus.

If you want the great features of the 5.11 pants, but are on a much tighter budget, then consider these pants.

However, some of the more finer points that go into pant making are much better with the 5.11 TacLite Pro pants, like the zipper length to give some of us guys more comfort in the groin area when sitting.

4. Blackhawk Lightweight Tactical

BLACKHAWK! Lightweight Tactical Pants

The Blackhawk Lightweight Tactical pants are another great option. They also have a 65% polyester and 35% cotton ripstop mix with Teflon coating.

These pants also have all of the basic features of the 5.11 TacLite Pro pants, but are slightly cheaper.

The Blackhawk option is great if you are not a big fan of the 5.11, Columbia, or Propper choices.

Your choice might also come down to style.


In summary, we discussed why choosing the right pants for a survival situation is critical for emergency preparedness. Your pants will have a lot of interaction with your environment, so you need some that will hold up to the elements and last a long time.

You also need pants that help you maintain the right temperature in your environment and are easy to move around in.

Naturally, you want the benefit of blending into the environment, whether it be nature or around other people, so plain colors like black or green are great choices. In a desert environment, khaki is the way to go.

When it comes down to choosing, the 5.11 TacLite Pro pants are by far the best for most users. They get the highest marks for a tactical pants review and I can personally attest to how awesome they are.

If you are in a hot environment and sweat easily, then consider the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible pants that you can change into shorts.

If you are on a tighter budget, or simply don't like the 5.11 option, consider the Propper Lightweight Tactical pants or the Blackhawk Lightweight Tactical pants as fantastic alternatives.

Work pants have a few different types of requirements. If you are looking for those, I got you covered in this review.

Product Images Sourced From: Link

bob - June 29, 2018

cotton is a NO GO in survival/bug out situations, only go with nylon /polyester/wool pants

Click here to add a comment

Leave a comment: