When it comes to outdoor combat sports, having the right kind of gear and apparel can make the difference between a good game and a great one.
And it can have a deciding say on whether you finish on the podium, or you sulk home with embarrassment covered in welts and/or paint.
Likewise, that same can be said for hunting or target shooting.
With that in mind, I’ve put together a review of the best tactical pants with knee pads, so you can have the comfort and protection in the field that will give you the edge.
A buyer’s guide and FAQ section will follow.
Because whatever the sport, if you’re hunkered down in the bushes – knee pads will make all the difference.
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- TOP 10 Best Tactical Pants with Knee Pads 2023
- Tacvasen Tactical Ripstop Cargo Pants
- SinAirsoft Tactical Pants with Knee Pads
- Zuoxiangru Men’s Multicam Tactical Pants
- IdoGear G3 Army Combat Pants
- Paintball Equipment Tactical Emerson G2 Pants
- Zapt Tactical Combat Pants
- Elite Tribe Tactical Combat Gen3 Pants
- EmersonGear Gen3 Paintball Tactical Pants
- Survival Tactical Gear Men’s Pants
- Zapt Tactical Military Uniform
- How to Choose the Best Tactical Pants With Knee Pads
TOP 10 Best Tactical Pants with Knee Pads 2023
Tacvasen Tactical Ripstop Cargo Pants
At our budget-friendly end of the tactical pant spectrum we have these military-style trousers from Tacvasen.
Made from a combination of cotton and polyester, they’re rugged and durable, as well as offering the protection of ripstop fabric, breathability, and anti-wrinkle features.
The all-important knee pads are removable, and the pants come with an excellent selection of pockets – including two compartments down around the ankles.
With a low-profile, Velcro waist and zippered fly, as well as Velcro cuffs, you have adjustable comfort for a full day in the field.
- Great price point.
- Versatile use.
- Good choice of camo styles.
- Pockets everywhere.
- Not as heavy-duty as more expensive options.
- Color ordered might not be exact.
A great entry-level tactical trouser for those looking for knee-pad protection – not to mention a dizzying amount of storage pockets – all for an affordable price.
SinAirsoft Tactical Pants with Knee Pads
Made with high quality materials, our next tactical combat pants also have removable knee pads, and up to ten different pockets and compartments for all your extra gear.
The BDU (Battle Dress Uniform) design even has the option of a camo shirt to complete the look, while the pants are made from a combination of cotton and polyester to keep things breathable with flexibility.
The low profile waist has a Velcro adjustment, and you can adjust the height of the knee pads to suit your own frame. Perfect for any combat sport, or any activity outdoors where you need extra protection.
- Affordable price.
- Adjustable cuffs.
- Military look and feel.
- Tough and durable.
- Pants and top sold separately.
- Sizing is a little tricky.
A decent alternative to the actual supplier of armed forces apparel, they certainly have the look of professional military clothing for a fraction of the cost. They’re obviously not going to hold up as well as $250+ gear, though – but that’s your trade-off.
Zuoxiangru Men’s Multicam Tactical Pants
These stylish tactical combat pants are suitable to wear through three seasons, made from a combination of cotton and polyester.
Reinforced in key areas such as the knee, hip, and crotch regions, they’re breathable as well as being scratch-resistant and protected against wear and tear.
The height of the knee pads are fully adjustable, and you’ll find Velcro adjusters at the waist and ankles for additional comfort and support.
Perfect for any outdoor activity where you need to keep your legs protected, and the choice of smart camo colors is a real plus point.
- Excellent price.
- Multiple pockets.
- Easy to adjust.
- Durable construction.
- Sizes run small.
- Knee pad color might vary.
These tactical pants with built-in knee pads certainly look the part, and the black camo style is especially attractive if you’re going for that special forces vibe.
IdoGear G3 Army Combat Pants
Also offering a smart choice of camouflage designs, Idogear brings you these army combat pants with knee pads. Designed for airsoft, hunting, paintball, or a variety of outdoor adventures, they’re made from polyester and cotton, four-way stretch woven to prevent tears and rips.
Additional protection is provided at key stress points, so you can be comfortable around the crotch, hips, and knees. A unique low-profile waist adjust system and knee pad height adjust system ensures a professional and functional pant that will serve you well in the field of battle.
- Easy size adjustments.
- Teflon coating.
- YKK zipper.
- Military-grade elastic.
- 10 storage pockets.
- None apparent.
Packed with features and offering excellent value for money, these tactical pants come very highly rated to give you an authentic military look and feel when you’re facing down the enemy.
Paintball Equipment Tactical Emerson G2 Pants
Coming up next we have these comfortable but durable tactical pants from Paintball Equipment. Made from a combination of cotton and polyester, they feature a Teflon coating for added protection from wear and tear.
Although designed to withstand the rigors of outdoor combat gaming, they are soft and breathable to ensure you can wear them all day long.
With multiple pockets to hold extra gear, Velcro adjustments at the waist, knees, and ankles, and fully removable knee pads, these multi-use pants are suitable for a variety of activities and scenarios.
- Affordable price.
- Tough and durable.
- Loads of useful storage options.
- Limited colors.
- Sizing can be a bit tricky – make sure to double-check.
Practical pants that will work well wherever you need plenty of pockets and knee protection. If you’re not into combat sports, try them for working in the garden.
Zapt Tactical Combat Pants
Easily offering the best selection of styles and colors, these Zapt tactical pants with knee pads are a perfect choice for you to select the right look for your game.
Aside from the unbeatable amount of camo designs, these pants surely provide the most pocket and storage options, with 12 compartments for all your tactical gear.
Fully adjustable, detachable knee pads are included, and with unique gusseted crotch stitching, you can be sure these pants are tough, durable, but comfortable to wear for long days of adventure.
- Unbeatable choice of styles.
- Well-made design.
- Quality storage options.
- Adjustable legs.
- They can run small – make sure you purchase larger than your normal size.
No matter what activity you’re enjoying, you’ll look the part with the excellent choice of camo colors in this range from Zapt. Up there with some of the best BDU options available today.
Elite Tribe Tactical Combat Gen3 Pants
Another tactical pants option that is available in a great selection of camo and colors, is this version designed especially for airsoft.
Don’t let that fool you, though, as you can easily use these quality pants for a variety of activities, given that the 50/50 cotton and polyester material is Teflon coated for extra durability.
They feature a low-profile waist adjustment system, easy knee pad removal, a wealth of pockets including dedicated storage for magazines (the type you don’t read) and a double-layered seat for extra protection for the butt.
Up there with the best military-style tactical pants there is.
- Authentic look and feel.
- Great choice of styles.
- Rear zip pockets.
- Gusseted crotch.
- Well constructed.
- Knee pads might run a little low.
This is an excellent alternative to professional military gear that you can pick up for a fraction of the cost. Highly recommended by airsofters and vets, alike.
EmersonGear Gen3 Paintball Tactical Pants
Made from high-quality materials, this combat uniform is flexible and breathable, and can take a lot of punishment. With quick-drying and moisture-wicking technology, it will keep you comfortable throughout your session.
Featuring 10 pockets including around the waist, knee, and ankles, as well as a concealed YKK zippered compartment to the back – you have plenty of places to stash your gear.
The adjustable leg opening with hook and loop allows for compatibility with all kinds of combat footwear, and the fully adjustable knee pad height system ensures your protection stays where you need it.
- Top quality construction.
- US sizing.
- Plenty of pockets.
- Excellent breathability.
- On the expensive side.
Another quality combat sports product from Emersongear, and another nice alternative to spending over $200 on overpriced professional equivalents.
Survival Tactical Gear Men’s Pants
Survival Tactical Gear brings you these airsoft war gaming pants with an improved knee protection system and unbeatable air circulation to keep you cool on the field of play.
Offering the most pockets on tactical pants out there, it seems that with a total of 16 storage options you’ll never run out of somewhere to put your gear.
The knee pad system is hidden and integrated, which is a nice alternative to external pads, and the stretch waistband provides a super-comfortable fit. Take your airsoft sniper game to the next level with these pro-standard combat pants.
- Premium quality build.
- Tough and durable.
- Great choice of colors.
- Mesh ventilation.
- Highly rated.
- A little more expensive than similar versions.
Packed with features and really well-designed, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better tactical combat pants without spending a small fortune.
Zapt Tactical Military Uniform
To finish I thought I’d include something that I consider excellent value for money. This is a full camo suit from Zapt, which includes top and pants, with fully built-in, height-adjustable knee pads.
There’s enough features here to keep any airsoft or paintball player happy, including superior breathability, quick-drying 900 denier, high-density fabric, 11 pockets, reinforced seat and adjustable waist.
And adjustable Velcro cuffs allow for movement wearing combat boots. Purchase this and complete the look with one of the best paintball masks on the market, and you’ll boss it out there in the arena.
- Great price for what you get.
- Quality manufacture.
- Articulated joints.
- Reinforced where most required.
- More colors and camo options would have been nice.
Keep things super easy by choosing your full combat outfit for all your tactical needs, but check out this article if you’re just looking for the best paintball pants, instead.
How to Choose the Best Tactical Pants With Knee Pads
Whether you’re a pro or a rookie, below you’ll find some additional expertise and advice for choosing the right tactical pants for you and your needs.
Uses of Tactical Pants
Closely related to cargo pants, tactical pants are favored by law enforcement agencies, the military, and construction workers.
They’re also widely used by hunters and fisher people, fire personnel, hikers, climbers, and for many other outdoor professions or pastimes where multiple pockets and added protection are required.
And those knee pads are great if you’re out weeding in the garden.
So, don’t be discouraged from wearing tactical pants if you’re not into playing airsoft or paintball. They’re so versatile they can be worn for a variety of activities.
But if you ARE into airsoft and paintball, or any kind of target sport, you might want to also check out the best tactical shooting gloves to really give yourself an edge.
Tactical pants are usually made from a combination of materials that are designed to withstand rips and tears, as well as abrasions and scratches.
The most common materials you’ll find are cotton and polyester, which allows for as much protection as possible, while still being breathable and comfortable to wear.
Teflon-coatings are often used for additional durability, and to ensure the pants last as long as possible in the field.
The all-important knee pads are nearly always made from a heavy-duty plastic, Velcro is often used as the adjustment option of choice, and elasticated sections will offer a snug, comfortable fit.
Now, this is where it gets a bit tricky, because the sizing can be more than a little convoluted depending on where the pants are made.
For the most part, sizes run small, and you’ll most likely want to purchase larger than you normally wear.
Bear in mind that you might want to wear something under the tactical pants if you’re playing combat sports for extra protection.
Either way, I always recommend you read more reviews from other customers, so you can get a rough idea of your sizing from someone of a similar build.
And if you’re searching for the best tactical pants with knee pads for women – you might find you’re stuck with finding a men’s size to fit you.
Alternatively, you can always try some of these tactical pants for women and add your own knee protection separately.
Knee Pad Design
As this post is all about tactical pants with knee pads, it’s worth mentioning them briefly here.
Look out for pads that are fully adjustable and removable. It’ll make things more comfortable for the wearer, and ensure the garment is easy to clean after a messy day crawling in the dirt.
Different pants come with different knee pad designs – it’s up to you to decide which one you think will look and feel the best for you.
Alternatively, you could opt for tactical pants with hidden knee pads, usually positioned in a pocket or compartment in the knee area.
External and internal knee pads should offer the same protection, it’s just about what you prefer as an aesthetic.
Padding and Protection
Tactical pants are designed to take a beating, so you don’t have to.
With that in mind, it’s important to look for a garment with the right kind of padding and protection where you need it most.
As well as the knee pads, the key areas of material reinforcement are usually located around the hips, ankles, knees, seat and the crotch.
More expensive products will likely offer increased protection, as well as being constructed with more durable materials overall.
Breathability and Flexibility
It’s no good if you’re spending an entire day in a pair of tactical pants and perspiration makes you unbearably uncomfortable.
While they do have to provide you the protection you require, they also need to be breathable with enough ventilation so you’re not breaking down in a sweaty mess in the middle of a firefight.
Additionally, tactical pants are designed to offer a full range of movement, so your mobility isn’t impeded or compromised in any way.
Look for pants with articulated joint sections for increased flexibility, but getting the right size is 80% of this battle.
It’s not one size fits all, so tactical pants need to be adjustable. This is usually accomplished by utilizing Velcro straps, or elasticated bands in key locations such as the knee, waist and ankle.
Zippered or Velcro openings on the legs will improve breathability and allow you to comfortably wear the pants over combat or hiking boots.
And some tactical pants come with a belt included, which will help with the fit and your overall comfort.
What sets tactical pants apart from cargo pants, hiking pants, or any other pants you care to name, is the sheer number of pocket and storage options that are offered.
On a decent pair of tactical pants that are worth their salt, you’ll probably find anywhere from 10-16 places in which you can store gear, ammo, equipment, condoms, lip gloss, lucky rabbit’s foot, photo of mom, or whatever happens to take your fancy.
While it might be a bit excessive for some, having more pockets means you can stay organized if your chosen hobby, sport, or pastime requires it.
Also look out for reinforced belt loops that can handle carabiners or heavy-duty belts for any additional storage options, including firearm holsters, MOLLE compatible pouches, and other gear.
Cutting edge fashion can often take a back seat when it comes to tactical pants, but the color of your garment can make a real difference depending on your activity of choice.
Die-hard military enthusiasts will want to remain as accurate as possible to real life, and so professional camouflage apparel is the only thing that’s going to cut it.
And what shade that look takes, will depend on the type of game, season, and location you’re playing in.
Consider darker shades for urban warfare, and woodland camo if you’re amidst the trees.
For everyone else, it will just come down to personal taste.
There isn’t a great deal of difference in the prices of tactical pants until you start getting into the higher end products that the pros use.
Consider how much you’re going to be using the garment and what you’re going to be using it for, then you can budget accordingly.
Spend more if you think you’re going to get a lot of use out of it, because when it comes to clothing – you get what you pay for.
What are good tactical pants?
Generally speaking, if I was in the market for the best tactical pants I would be looking for something that was tough and durable, designed to withstand rips, tears, and other abrasions.
At the same time, it would need to offer a full range of movement, so the wearer was completely unrestricted with mobility. Ventilation is equally important – my skin needs to breathe.
A good selection of pockets and storage options is a must.
Finally, the right kind of camouflage or color scheme for my chosen activity is also an important feature and should not be overlooked.
What can tactical pants with knee pads be used for?
Not just combat sports – that’s for sure. You’ll be surprised just how much use you can find for good quality tactical pants with knee pads.
Anywhere you might need to kneel down, knee padded tactical pants will save you a world of hurt.
Gardeners not using pants with padded knees are missing a trick. Fisher people will find them practical and comfortable for gear and tackle, skateboarders and bikers will enjoy the extra protection they provide on their rides.
And of course, anyone who likes taking up a sniper’s position in airsoft or paintball will swear by the relief these things can give your long-suffering knees.
Check out this article for more information on what to wear for paintball if it’s combat sports you’re interested in.
Do I need knee pads in tactical pants?
No, you don’t. There are many tactical pants that come without knee pads, or versions that are not designed to be used with them.
It’s down to your personal preference whether you’d like to add a bit of extra protection in a potentially sensitive area.
And of course, you could always buy a pair of upgraded knee pads separately should you so desire.
How do you put knee pads on combat pants?
Removable knee pads in tactical pants are relatively straightforward to install or remove. You can either figure this out yourself, or the garment’s description will show you how to do it.
Watch the video below for a generic guide to adding knee pads to most combat pants. They might not all be the same, but the installation won’t differ wildly.
What pants do special forces wear?
Law enforcement and military operators use a variety of different brands when it comes to their apparel and kit, which is often the subject of much debate among airsoft players or military enthusiasts.
Brands like CRYE Precision, UF Pro, Drifire, and Tru-Spec (to name but a few) are regularly mentioned and synonymous with uniforms and tactical equipment for the professionals.
And while clothing of this caliber is available to civilians, the eye-watering price tags will be more than enough to put off all but the most dedicated of hobbyists.
Do you wear knee pads over or under pants?
It depends on the style. Both variations are available, and it will be up to the wearer as to which design they prefer.
What are military pants called?
They don’t have a special name per se, with tactical or combat pants being the operative way to describe this kind of apparel.
“BDU” stands for “Battle Dress Uniform,” so you might see this abbreviation regularly when shopping for the best combat pants with knee pads.
You might also hear military apparel described as “fatigues.”
You don’t have to be an adrenaline spork junkie to appreciate the merits of the best tactical pants with knee pads.
They’re so versatile, you can use them for multiple outdoor and indoor activities, and anyone who leads any kind of energetic lifestyle should have a pair in their closet.
Let me know which option you’ve gone for and why.
Stay safe out there – and protect yourself at all times!