For a limited time, 5.11 Tactical is inviting public safety professionals throughout North America to test-drive a pair of rugged TDU Pants during its 2008 TDU Wear Test. The company is offering the $39.99 pants at no cost with free shipping (worth $5.95) through April 15, 2008, or while supplies last.

At the request of law enforcement and military professionals, 5.11 Tactical created the Tactical Duty Uniform to replace the traditional BDU. Milspec in appearance, the TDU Pant offers utility in a 65-percent polyester / 35-percent cotton ripstop fabric that is treated with Teflon for enhanced stain, liquid, and dirt resistance.

The 5.11 TDU pant features a self-adjusting comfort waist that is free of irritating metal buckles, plus cargo pockets with divided interior compartments for AR mags or other essential gear. Built into the cargo pockets is 5.11's proprietary Back-Up Belt System, which offers users more concealed carry options. Extras include a double-thick seat and knees with free removable neoprene kneepads, a genuine YKK zipper, triple-needle stitching, and 45 stress-point bartacks for durability.

You can enter your information online to be considered for the wear test. You'll be asked a few questions such as your pant size, name, title, agency, and the name of the appropriate decision maker in your organization. If you're selected as a Wear Test participant, you'll receive a pair of black poly/cotton ripstop TDU pants within a few weeks.

Lt. Derrick Hesselein of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office in Northern California recently coordinated a 45-day TDU wear test on 5.11's TDU Pant and Shirt, which was conducted by the K-9, Marine, and SWAT units of this California agency. After a successful trial run, the Sheriff's Office selected the 5.11 TDU Pant and Shirt for its Class D utility uniform.

Hesselein appreciates the free, removable neoprene kneepads and elbow pads that come standard with TDUs. "Ours is a very physical job; you're constantly engaging suspects—some of which are violent. That thin layer of neoprene could mean the difference between a career-ending injury and preventing one," Hesselein notes.

To apply for the 2008 TDU Wear Test visit