5.11 Tactical has introduced its Stryke Pant with Flex-Tac, a patent-pending new fabric that "exceeds the physical and performance demands on tactical gear," according to the company.
Flex-Tac is a lightweight fabric with "increased breath-ability, stain resistance and colorfastness," according to 5.11 Tactical. It stretches almost 20 percent more than traditional tactical pants. It's available starting this month for less than $75.
Francisco Morales, President of 5.11 Tactical, took a trip to the Middle East, specifically to Jordan and the UAE, where he met with security contractors and elite U.S. military operators who wear the 5.11 Taclite Pant. Morales pressed them for feedback on how the pant could be improved for their needs. They asked for a "performance stretch fabric," according to Morales.
"The goal was to add functionality for our tactical operators by increasing range of motion and reducing the amount of resistance the fabric would give them," says Morales. "In order to maintain our durability and comfort we used the high strength-to-weight ratio of our popular Taclite fabric. This allowed us to keep the strong rip-stop weave and add the extra functionality that stretch delivers."
The difference between traditional stretch and the new patent pending mechanical stretch (Flex-Tac) that 5.11 Tactical has created is night and day. 5.11 Tactical's performance stretch fabric is woven to create two-way horizontal stretch with improved breathability and durability. Fibers are woven in a coil so they stretch and recoil each time extra mobility is needed.
Traditional stretch fabric is typically made by weaving spandex in with a fabric, making it heavy and less breathable with poor stretch recovery. It also breaks down easily when exposed to high temperatures, repeated washings, and heavy use. Flex-Tac fabric allows users almost 20 percent more stretch for the flexibility required in combat and law enforcement situations. 5.11 Tactical also maintained the fade, soil, and water resistant properties of the original Flex-Tac fabric even when the fabric was stretched.