- Randy England
Equipment: Vertx Phantom Ops Pants
It was about a year ago that I purchased my first pair of phantom ops pants from Vertx. They are a cargo style paint that you can get in six different colors. They have many 1.5" belt loops sewn in, which really secures your belt well. Although it is a pain weaving a belt through two of the rear loops that are so close together especially if you have a rigid belt that doesn't have much flex to it. Even with the inconvenience this adds, I don't mind that as the trade of to have the belt held in place better. They certainly have more than enough storage. The cargo pockets are very convenient for accessing whatever you store in there. Instead of using buttons or velcro to secure the pocket closed, Vertx sews the top corners closed. This gives you the ability to reach in and out of the cargo pockets without having to undo buttons or lift up on loud velcro every time you need to access those pockets. The back pockets are also sewn closed in this way as well. There are even little divider pockets inside of the cargo pockets for smaller items. I haven't found a use for those yet but I see how they could be useful. If you had the cargo pockets stuffed with a bunch of stuff and didn't want to fish through it all to find one small item, you could just put that item in the divider. The pockets I am most impressed with are just the thin open top sewn in pockets on both the left and right side just below the hip. I store my hand held flashlight in one and my folding knife in the other and those two items don't cut into the regular storage space of the traditional front two pockets. These thin pockets could store a number of things, maybe some OC Spray, pens, etc. The two traditional side pockets have a very large opening. If you are a person that might pocket carry a handgun or do already pocket carry a handgun, these might be worth considering. The opening is very large and I could see how it would be a little easier to fish out a small revolver grip or a small semi-auto. The material of the pants is very durable, I have yet to get any tears, even in the knees and I have used these while doing lawn work and in the garage so that kind of surprises me to not see any wear in the knees yet. The only spot I have started to see wear on is the seam on one of my traditional side pockets just below the hips. Right at one of the seams it just started to fray a little. Where this pants really came in handy for me was taking a handgun course this year. I didn't wear any double mag pouches or anything to the range. I just carried a single mag pouch along with my normal every day gear. I would throw my extra loaded magazines along with some loose ammo in my cargo pockets. Then as a pulled mags from my mag carrier I could replace it with one from pocket. It was also a big help to have the cargo pockets for the ammo and mags because I was the only one in my class with ten round mags. I was doing a lot more mag changes and it kept everyone else from having to wait on me so much to stuff mags or from having to secure my other mags that without the pockets wouldn't have been able to keep on my person. They are a pricy set of pants at $59 but I think they are worth it and intend on trying out a couple more.