We got Chris a pair of pants to review, mostly so he’d have to wear pants at least some of the time. No one loves gray balls hanging out. Mad Duo
Triple Aught Designs’s Covert DC Pants
by Chris Hernandez
Some pants are so awesome, guys see them and scream, “I just gots to have a pair of those!”
Years ago an officer I’ll call “John” responded to a shooting call. A gangster had been killed in a drive-by and lay dead in a ditch. John walked up, looked at the dead gangster and said to other officers, “Man, did you see his pants? Those are some bad ass pants!” The entire time John was on the scene, he kept talking about the murder victim’s pants. And later that week, when John showed up at a bar to hang out with his shift buddies… he was wearing the same kind of pants the dead gangster had.
Last year I found a pair of pants as cool as the dead gangster’s. I want to tell you about them and show you pictures. But before you look at the first picture, you should know something:
THIS…IS NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE.
True, at first glance it appears – even to me – to be a photo of Mad Duo Dave Merrill having his way with me at Death Valley Magazine’s Mobile Scout course. But it actually depicts something far different. In truth, it’s a picture of Triple Aught Design’s Covert DC pants performing superbly in a challenging tactical situation.
When I was offered an opportunity to review these pants, I immediately requested a pair in size 32×32. When they arrived, I first noticed the package was super heavy for containing just a pair of pants. Then I took the pants out and tried them on; they did indeed weigh a ton. [EDITED TO ADD: I first mistakenly listed these as the covert RS pants, which are much lighter]. And the label said 32×32 but they fit like 38×38 MC Hammer pants. Since I gave up the MC Hammer look weeks ago, I had Breach Bang Clear contact TAD about getting the right size. Their advice was, “Wash the pants, dumbass.” I did, and suddenly they fit.
So now I had to find a good opportunity to really test them out, as wandering the mall food court wouldn’t be trial by combat. Brief trips to the range didn’t do much either. Then I got a spot in DVM’s Mobile Scout class, learning the basics of unarmored vehicle operations in non-permissive environments.
But I almost didn’t take the pants. DVM’s class was going to be held near Houston, in September. Houston’s summertime weather is so hot and humid, locals vacation in Cambodia for the cooler weather. I expected the pants to make my body an oven from the waist down. As I said, the pants weigh a ton; they’re constructed of sturdy “doomsday” cotton, nothing like the lightweight fatigue pants I had worn in Iraq, Afghanistan, NTC and other hell-like places.
I decided to try them anyway. And the class environment was worse than I expected. Our training area was almost literally a swamp, with perpetual standing water, swarms of mosquitos, banana spider colonies in the trees, temperatures around 100 every day, and off-the-chart humidity. But surprisingly, the pants weren’t too hot. And they were so damn practical, I probably wouldn’t have cared if they were.
TAD’s pants have plenty of useful little features which appeal to people who go into harm’s way on a regular basis. Deep front pockets with small interior sub-pockets that are perfect for carrying spare pistol mags. Small “welt” pockets on either side of the fly that can securely hold money or passports (particularly useful in areas with pickpocket problems). D-rings just under the beltline for those who carry clip-on knives or tools on carabiners. Thigh patch pockets, similar to those on painter’s pants, designed to securely hold a single M4-type magazine but also perfect for an iPhone in a Lifeproof case or a good EDC flashlight. Reinforced knees and heel hems, gusseted crotch, hidden “passport pockets” inside the back pockets, and quick-repair buttons in the fly.
And as an added benefit, they don’t look all that tactical and won’t appeal to untrained twits who desperately want to be high-speed. You probably won’t find open carry extremists (aka “douchetards”) wearing them in Chipotle while clutching Hi-Point carbines and making themselves fatter with greasy burritos. As the name suggests, they’re covert. They’re not neon signs proclaiming, “I’m probably carrying a gun!”
But enough about the details. I know you readers are saying, “I’ve already decided to buy the damn pants. Now explain that picture of Merrill having his way with you!”
Fair enough. The picture was taken while Merrill and I were practicing a tactic called the “Fallujah roll”. The situation is, your PSD team has been ambushed and stopped. A team member is down, on one side of the vehicles in the open space between two trucks. You have two options: run to him, stop, bend down, pick him up and try to drag his heavy, geared-up ass out of the open; or roll to him from cover, get on top of him, grab him under the arms and use your momentum to keep rolling until you’re both behind the next vehicle’s wheels.
When the tactic was first described, I thought, “There’s no way that’ll work.” Then I tried it, and found out it did work, at least without gear. If you’re the downed teammate, it hurts to get picked up and thrown around by someone else’s forearms; that’s why I have a pained expression on my face, while Merrill looks so happy. But we also tried it loaded down with plate carriers, plates and mags (for the class we used Airsoft rifles, but Merrill and I kept our PCs loaded with live mags and 5.56 rounds for the weight). And I discovered it was actually easier with gear, maybe because the weight gave me more momentum to fling Merrill around.
So there are two legitimate reasons I look like I’m being violated by Merrill in that first picture: we were training, and he probably was trying to violate me. But I came home STD- and pregnancy-free. I’m not saying that’s because I was wearing TAD Covert DC pants, but draw your own conclusions. Merrill, on the other hand, wasn’t wearing TAD pants. And he’ll hear the pitter-patter of little feet in the near future.
Coincidence? Maybe. Again, draw your own conclusions.
As for me, I’ll keep wearing these pants. Especially around Merrill.
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.
Chris Hernandez Mad Duo Chris (seen here on patrol in Afghanistan) may just be the crustiest member of the eeeee-LIGHT writin’ team here at Breach-Bang-Clear. He is a veteran of both the Marine Corps and the Army National Guard who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also a veteran police officer of two decades who spent a long (and eye-opening) deployment as part of a UN police mission in Kosovo. He is the author of White Flags & Dropped Rifles – the Real Truth About Working With the French Army and The Military Within the Military as well as the modern military fiction novels Line in the Valley and Proof of Our Resolve. When he isn’t groaning about a change in the weather and snacking on Osteo Bi-Flex he writes on his own blog, Iron Mike Magazine, Kit Up! and Under the Radar. You can find his author page here on Tactical 16.