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5.11 Tactical Fast-Tac Urban Pant vs TDU Pant

October 12, 2017

As is the case with your duty boots, choosing the right pair of tactical pants is an important personal decision that affects your daily life on the job. You want a combination of just the right amount of comfort, durability, and functionality.

Tactical pants are usually solid in color and made of lightweight materials like polyester and poly-cotton ripstop fabric. Let’s take a look at two pair of tactical pants, both from 5.11 Tactical – 5.11 Tactical Fast-Tac Urban Pant and 5.11 Tactical TDU Pant, and see which one is right for you.

5.11 Tactical Fast-Tac Urban Pant

Characteristics and features include:

  • Water resistant finish
  • Flexible, self-adjusting waistband with 7 loops
  • 5 pockets, including dual magazine pockets at back yoke
  • Lightweight 4.7 oz. 100% polyester Fast-Tac fabric
  • Bartacking at fly corner
  • Gusseted construction to enhance seam strength
  • YKK Zippers

5.11 Tactical Taclite TDU Pant

Characteristics and features include:

  • Extra pockets sized for tactical use
  • 2 oz. polyester Taclite ripstop fabric
  • Self-adjusting tunnel waistband free of irritating buckles
  • Diamond gusset crotch for enhanced movement
  • Cargo pockets with internal AR magazine compartments
  • Double-reinforced seat and knees (kneepad ready)
  • Triple-stitching
  • Blousing straps
  • YKK Zippers

5.11 Tactical is a trusted leader in tactical gear, including pants, so you know that the product you get is of high quality and made for the long haul. Both of these tactical pants are constructed of polyester ripstop fabric making them lightweight and comfortable.

The Fast-Tac Urban pant is less “tactical” than its counterpart, the TDU, making them great for office settings. It feels thinner than most other tactical pants, almost like a gym or pajama pant, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but may take some getting used to for users who are accustomed to a heavier, more rugged feel.

On the other hand, the thinner feel is also great for working in warm-weather regions like Texas and Arizona where the long, hot summers require a pair of pants that will help you stay cool.

The Fast-Tac Urban pant offers a superior professional look and may be a great choice for police officers to wear who spend a great deal of time testifying in court. The Fast-Tac is more of an everyday pant, as opposed to a hardcore tactical duty pant like the TDU, and therefore may not be the best choice for situations that require ruggedness and a heavy-duty pant.

The Fast-Tac also has fewer pockets than the TDU, which again promotes a clean-cut, professional look.

On the flip side of the coin is the 5.11 Tactical TDU pant which comes with a variety of pockets, including cargo pockets which make it a great choice for those whose duties require they carry a lot of extra tools and accessories. Police officers will appreciate the extra pockets which are perfect for carrying a ticket book or notebook.

These pants are versatile and great in all weather conditions making them an ideal choice if you work in a region where the mornings and evenings are cool and the days are warm. The adjustable waistband makes them good for layering in cold weather, and helps accommodate potential changes in body size due to a loss or increase in weight.

For EMTs, K9 units, or those whose jobs require they get a bit messy, spills like water, stains, dirt, and blood either run right off or are easily wiped off, a testament to the pants’ Teflon fabric protector.

There is something you’ll want to be aware of when choosing between these pairs of pants. Users seem to have a difficult time finding the perfect size. The adjustable waistband in sizes like S, M, L, XL, etc. means there’s no direct correlation to regular pant size like 32, 34, 36, etc. Some find the sizing runs too small while an equal number say sizing runs too big.

You may want to size up when ordering with the expectation that you may need to return and adjust accordingly. However, once you find the right size, you’ll be off and running when you need a pair in the future.


Both pair of 5.11 Tactical pants are made with high-quality materials and offer outstanding comfort and functionality. However, there are distinct differences between them and choosing the right one for your daily activities will go a long way in ensuring your comfort and happiness.

Police Officers

For police, it really depends on your day-to-day activities. If you spend most of your time seated or performing office duties, the Fast-Tac Urban pant is the pant for you. It’s lighter, but tends to snag or rip easier, and without as many pockets, it promotes a professional, “office” look.

If your duties require more action, or you spend more of your time in cold-weather conditions, the TDU and its double-reinforced seat and knees, triple stitching, and thicker Taclite ripstop fabric make this the right choice for you.


For paramedics and EMTs, the 5.11 TDU pant holds up great and does a phenomenal job repelling water, stains, and blood thanks to the Teflon fabric protector. The extra pockets, including cargo pockets and mag slots, enable you to easily hold and store your EMT accessories. These pants offer an outstanding, professional look for almost any use.


The 5.11 TDU pant provides a more rugged construction and greater amount of pockets for storage, making them the ideal choice for military personnel. The internal kneepads, should you decide to use them, make kneeling and firing weapons much more comfortable.

It may be best to think of the 5.11 Fast-Tac Urban pants as more of a professional, office wear option, while the 5.11 TDU as a get your knees dirty in the action type of pants. Think about your usual daily activities, and you’ll make the choice that’s right for you.