As avid enthusiasts of military clothing we often test new solutions and ideas appearing on the market. This gives us the possibility to familiarise ourselves with current trends and innovations – both domestic and from abroad. Often too, we encounter a product that doesn’t really look appealing at first but eventually turns out to be a nice surprise. This was the case of the REDWOOD TACTICAL PANTS from the Polish company BLACK MOUNTAIN TACTICAL.
We received the pants for testing several months ago from Gunfire.pl. The pants spent a lot of time with us – in the forest, on concrete and at the office – foremost, because of the comfort and versatility they provide.
CONSTRUCTION AND CRAFTSMANSHIP
The model I personally got to use were the REDWOOD TACTICAL PANTS in grey colour. They are made from 95% cotton and 5% spandex. The pants have a nice fit and the fabric used in their production additionally improves comfort – they are elastic, fit firmly and don’t restrain movement. During warmer days they provide better breathability and don’t stick to the body. A simple, single but dense machine stitch has been applied to the entire construction.
The upper part the REDWOOD pants features seven belt loops with a broad width of approx. 6 cm. Such a solution enables the use of almost any kind of belt, even a really wide one (I managed to push the smaller part of a COBRA buckle along with a 50 mm belt through the loops without having to take it off).
The backside belt loop boasts the manufacturer’s rubber patch: BLACK MOUNTAIN TACTICAL – a small, but nice detail. Elastic inserts have been sewn into the pants’ hip areas to adjust them to the wearer’s waist and improve comfort.
The pants’ fly has been stripped from a classic button solution and instead, a 7 x 5,6 cm Velcro patch has been applied. The fly itself doesn’t feature anything out of the ordinary – all it has is a simple, one-way, plastic zipper.
REDWOOD pants possess three pairs of pockets. The front pockets are open, flat and quite spacious. They’ll hold a large smartphone and small gadgets. The pocket’s opening is located at the groin area, therefore it’s easy to access them even when sitting or crouching.
It’s rim has been strengthened with an additional layer of fabric to provide comfortable and safe carry of clip-mounted items: knives, multitools and flashlights. All the finishes are aesthetic and straight.
The back pockets are probably the biggest surprise that the BMT pants have offered us. They are easily accessed through an oblique zipper. Not only are they comfortable but also very spacious – each pocket has a depth of approx. 40 cm and can hold even three AK/M4 type mags or two P90 type mags.
The pockets are sealed with a single “flap” with a Velcro patch underneath and its sides stitched to the pants. On one hand, this solution makes accessing the pockets more difficult – you basically need to turn them inside-out rather than simply open them – but on the other hand, it prevents the contents from accidentally falling out.
At knee level, the pants possess areas that have been strengthened with inserts made from the same grey elastic fabric as the rest. Unfortunately, the possibility to open them has been overlooked, thus, no additional knee pad support.
REDWOOD pants are really comfortable – elastic, quite solid, and allow extra mobility. Running, jumping, crouching or overcoming obstacles causes no problems. An additional benefit of applying this fabric is it’s increased breathability – the pants won’t cling to the skin even when it’s quite warm.
The shape of the front (upper) pockets allows easy access to their interiors, however, it’s the rear pockets’ large capacity that really impressed us. Large items placed inside don’t inhibit movement (even when sitting down) – thanks to this, the pockets may alternately be used a dump pouch for empty mags. Notably, it’s worth mentioning at this point that this solution also has some drawbacks. Smaller items dropped into the pocket fall to their bottom and will rattle and shake against one’s thigh when running. To take them out, you have to basically stuff your whole forearm into the pocket. If you’re wearing a T-shirt – it’s not a problem. Worse, if it’s a polar jacket or coat.
A very comfortable solution for fastening the pants has been applied in the form of a Velcro patch. Honestly, I wasn’t quite enthusiastic about this idea – military pants should have a strong, firm hold, especially if we take into consideration the fact that they have to support the additional payload of stashed items. Thus, I regard solid fastening as an essential feature – and this is what caused me to doubt the above-mentioned solution. However, the Velco patch did the job really well. What’s more, it enables easy waistband customisation and doesn’t cause any discomfort while bending over or crouching – which is sometimes an issue when we have a big, metal button underneath our tactical belt.
I also had mixed feelings about the absence of any kind of leg sleeve adjustment system. In essence, pants designed for outdoor, trekking or tactical activities usually possess a rubber band, or an elastic or Velcro strip that allows for sealing the opening to the leg’s interior. After a considerable period of testing I have to ascertain that the REDWOOD pants are fashioned in such a way, that the absence of such features doesn’t cause serious problems – the leg sleeves don’t roll up, they ale loose and cover the ankles quite well. However – this may be a huge drawback for many potential users. Really, all the producer needed to do, was to craft two quilted opening for leading through any kind of cord – this would allow adjusting the leg sleeves.
The pants are so versatile that they can also be used as an element of casual apparel – the fashion is aesthetic and fits really well. Even after a couple of washes, the pants still retain their flexibility and colour. Unfortunately, fabric with a high cotton composition easily gets wrinkled and takes a long time to dry.
The stitching is quite solid – however, it would be even better if the producer strengthened some of the most critical areas through locking. This is obvious when it comes to the “cargo” pockets – in one place the stitching has started becoming undone as a result of using reinforced protective gloves (Wiley-X CAG-1). Additionally, the flaps above these pockets have been fastened to the pants, causing problems in accessing them – especially if one is wearing tactical gloves.
To summarize – the REDWOOD TACTICAL PANTS are quite solid and very comfortable, tailored for urban use rather than the forest. Their price is quite reasonable – attention to detail and the fabric used are really good quality. This is the Polish manufacturer’s first model, so most probably some of the user’s suggestions will be taken into account in future productions.
+ price in relation to quality,
+ comfort and versatility,
+ attention to detail,
+ elastic and breathable fabric,
+ spacious rear pockets,
+ Velcro fastening.
– no possibility to use additional protective knee pads,
– difficult access to “cargo” pockets,
– lack of strengthened stitching in most critical areas,
– no leg sleeve adjustment system.