As a working sergeant in the Southern California beach community of Coronado, I wanted to try 5.11 Tactical's Tactical Duty Kilt to see if it would be a good option for our warm summers. From that perspective, the kilt was terrific.
I liked the fact that it was open and cool, a lot nicer than the snug summer shorts we wear. It was also a lot of fun. At first, I took some ribbing from fellow officers. When I wore the khaki version to the range, I realized the upside and downside: You get good leg movement, but the open exposure of my legs worried me. Shorts better protect my thighs from possible injury.
The kilt has front slant pockets as well as side cargo pockets positioned at the same height as TDU cargo pants. A few suggestions on the placement of the pockets: they ought to be secured bottom and top, so that you have the same security as you have on pants. During an obstacle course session during training, I pulled an AR-15 magazine out of the left side pocket and the magazine got stuck.
To make sure I gave the kilt a good working out, I wore it to defensive tactics. It was a little too revealing.
The kilt, a poly-cotton blend, weighs just over six ounces, so it's lightweight. It accommodates a 1 ¾-inch belt and includes a badge holder on the front belt loop. Two front D-rings allow an officer to attach a sporran. It's available in black, khaki, and OD green. It retails for about $59.
Matt Mitchell is a sergeant with the Coronado Police Department.