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Durable Gear for Women from 5.11 Tactical

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By Jacki Billings

As SHOT Show draws closer and I prepare my itinerary for the massive industry event, there are a few companies I’m intent on checking out. 5.11 Tactical tops my list as my first stop on the gear bonanza.

Let’s get one thing straight, I’m a gear nerd. Give me backpacks, bags, shoes, and apparel of all variety and watch my heart sing. It’s no wonder that 5.11 Tactical routinely makes me do a little happy dance every year I approach its gear-laden booth. Packed with functional yet aesthetically pleasing garb and packs, 5.11 Tactical hasn’t disappointed at previous SHOT Shows. This year looks to be no different.


Last year 5.11 introduced the Wyldcat pant and Defender Flex Jean to much applause, and fingers crossed, we’re going to see some new additions along the same vein to its apparel lineup. On what I’d call the cutting edge of fashion meets tactical, 5.11 seems to have its finger on the pulse of what many women in the gun community want from apparel. Take, for instance, the company’s Wyldcat pant which premiered in 2017. A form-fitting tactical pant that looked more street-wise than gun range, the Wyldcat featured a slimming design with actual, usable pockets. Since the pant premiered, 5.11 Tactical has rolled out various colorful iterations of the Wyldcat. Fingers crossed, we’ll see even more funky colors launched at SHOT that will spruce up both range and street/concealed carry attire.

Alongside the Wyldcat, the gear maker launched the Defender Flex line. Though the pant made an appearance on both the women’s and men’s sides of the house, the Defender Flex gave a slight advantage to the boys. Men saw the added bonus of the Defender Flex Jean in regular and slim fits. What would really make this jean loving journalist happy would be the same style on the women’s line. I’m curious to see if 5.11 Tactical has in fact branched out the Defender Flex series to offer women who CC more options that marry function with fashion.

5.11 has also casually been making its way into footwear, launching a tennis shoe style, the ABR Trainer, for women and several boots for men including the Cable Hiker, XPRT, and Speed 3.0. Wouldn’t be a shock if at least one new pair of shoes walks their way into the lineup. I’d expect to see at least one more tennis shoe option and probably another boot step into the company’s foray into shoes for 2018.


Though 5.11 generates buzz about their apparel, gear usually isn’t too far behind. Guaranteed we’ll see new additions to the backpack and bag lines. I suspect women will see at least one new concealed carry style pack, purse, and/or tote. Last year, the talk of the town was the color rich Mira-2-in-1 backpack. We'll most likely see another addition to the women's packs, but it will be intriguing to see how they top the Mira in both color and features.

It also doesn’t seem far-fetched to assume that new colors will be introduced on old favorites. 5.11 Tactical typically sticks to a color pattern or theme each year with jewel tones dominating the palette in 2017. I’m curious what color scheme the gear maker will cook up this year for its women’s line.


Stay tuned as RECOIL storms the 5.11 Tactical booth at SHOT Show next week to bring you all the good girly garb.

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