Last year was a dubious year for me when it comes to pants and pant reviews. I spent a bit of money on a couple of different pairs of pants, only to have some fall apart on me after a couple of washes and no hard use, and some others that just…well, in the end, they weren’t worth writing about. So, when I dropped more cash on a pair of UF Pro Striker HT Combat Pants, I was a little more than nervous.
One, the pants were from Slovenia, so not only was I concerned about European vs American sizing, but also the timeliness of delivery (if at all). I also had the usual concerns regarding the quality of fabrication, durability, and overall cost-effectiveness at their listed price point.
I held my breath and hit ‘purchase’. Much to my surprise, DHL had my pants delivered to my office in the PacNW in a week. From Slovenia.
That’s a promising start.
Once in hand, the Strikers HTs looked and felt great. Sizing for my modestly athletic frame was spot-on, and the pants have lived up to all of the advertised features. Interestingly enough, fabric selection is different depending on the pattern/colors of the pants. I purchased the Brown-Grey model, which is made from a polyester/ripstop Cordura construction. Additionally, the entire seat of the pants is made from a four-way stretch material from Schoeller Dynamic, as are two strips of the material above and below the knees.
The stretch fabric really shines, and mobility is 100% uncompromised. The polyester/ripstop Cordura blend is rugged yet supple, is slow to bind, and sheds light amounts of surface water well.
Magazine Capacity and Storage Potential for All The Things
Let’s talk pockets. The Striker HT’s have pockets upon pockets upon pockets – fourteen in total. The pockets, and more importantly their placement, are very well-thought-out with multiple access points. The standard front pant pockets are biased towards the centerline for easy access. There are an additional two hidden zippered shallow front pockets to secure small items such as loose change, foam earpro, or your stick of Blue Force Gear chapstick.
The rear pockets are secured with YKK zippers and are quite generous in size (~8 in. W x 7.5 in. H).
Cargo pockets are roomy, but lie flat, with two internal organizer pockets inside. The cargo pocket itself has two (2) zippered access points so the end-user can access the pocket contents while standing or seated. If that wasn’t enough, there is an exterior accessory/gear pocket sewn on top of the main cargo pocket itself. These pockets are open-topped but come with a removable reinforced strap that will minimally secure accessories on the outside.
Inboard of the main cargo pockets, are two small flashlight/knife/spare mag pockets featured on many other tactical pants on the market today. Working down to the cuff of the pant is a zippered pocket on the exterior of the calf area for additional gear and accessories.
The cargo pockets and lower calf pockets have small grommets for water drainage, which is a nice touch.
Additional features aside from the pockets abound. Starting again at the top, the pants can accommodate suspenders, and have a secondary set of keeper loops sewn on top of the standard belt loops. The HTs are also compatible with a zip-in windstopper system; an internal windproof and breathable lining that adds weather protection and insulation for when the temperature drops.
The pants feature a dual-zipper fly, for easy dual-direction access (if that’s your kind of thing), and while on the topic of zippers, we must stop to address the next issue.
The Striker HTs were designed as hot-weather pants. What sets the HTs apart from other pant offerings on the market is its air vent system. Placed along the hip creases are two angled zippers that open up mesh channels right along the crotch area. There is another set of horizontal zippers that are directly above the kneepad area that also opens up large mesh pockets. When all zippers are open, the vents allow airflow to travel up and down the upper leg area, allowing air to flow up and down the upper leg during movement.
The lower set of zippers have a dual function, in that they are a part of the 3-part kneepad system. The Striker HTs come standard with a removable lightly padded fabric kneepad that offers light knee protection right out of the box. The second part of the system is an optional hardshell knee pad that can be slipped behind the fabric pad and secured with hook and loop. The third part of the system is an optional soft pad that fits into the mesh pocket inserted through the horizontal zippers used for the air vent system. I like these options a lot, as the end user can scale the level of knee protection depending on the mission requirements.
Finally, back down to the cuff of the pants, and there are two final features that complete the absolute versatility and functionality of these range-worthy, shoot-house-worthy trousers. The first is a vertical zipper on the rear of the pant leg that reveals a cinch shock cord to tighten down the cuffs of the pants. The shock cord is then secured with a hook and loop tab prior to re-closing the zipper.
On the front, is a hook that will hook onto the user’s bootlaces, which secured the cuff of the pants down onto the user’s boots, preventing the pants from riding up during vigorous activity, or long periods in the prone position.
Now that we’ve finally made it through the excellent features of the Striker HTs, the real question is “so how do they perform?”
In a word, outstanding.
Upon arrival, the HTs became my new range pants; I wore them for department training sessions on the range, both as an instructor and as a student. A few weeks later, I attended the Mountain State Tactical Officers Association (MSTOA) Operational Medicine tract (you can see part of an exercise from that course in the image above); a week-long trauma medicine course designed for SWAT teams, tactical medics, enhanced patrol response, and Rescue Task Force (RTF) teams. Montana weather at that time of the year varied; it was cold and rainy on a few days, and definitely t-shirt weather for a couple of others. While at the course, I engaged in multiple team scenarios, a lot of running around in full kit, worked on multiple scene casualties, rappelling, prolonged scenarios, and a team competition that included an obstacle course, pistol, and rifle stages, hostage rescues stages, and of course, a medical stage.
The pants and I went through the wringer, and I’ve continued to use them since then on a weekly basis. They still look and feel almost brand new, except for one pulled thread on the 4-way stretch material in the seat when I sat on a jagged piece of cover.
HT Striker Pant Features
Let’s start with what’s arguably the HT’s best feature – that these were designed as hot weather pants. I’m located in the PacNW, which is a very moderate climate and rarely hits the 90s, but on the warmer days in training or on the range, I can attest that this system works, works well, and definitely lends to additional comfort on hot days.
⊕ Even minor movement generates a small bit of airflow cooling the surface of the upper legs, and definitely gives the crotch area some space to breathe, and some airflow across the body to assist mitigate any…
⊕ The four-way stretch material was perfect, regardless of any compromised position I found myself in. Standing, squatting, kneeling, sitting, prone, supine, etc., the pants never proved to be binding, never twisted uncomfortably, and I never landed on a knee without the padding absorbing impact.
⊕ The pockets were a great balance of roominess without extra play or movement. I was able to carry all of my necessary gear, extra medical supplies, multiple phones, even enough tubular nylon rolled up to make a rappelling harness for myself without the pants swishing around my legs due to extra weight.
⊕ The pant cuff hooks grasp boot laces well, and although I haven’t been low-crawling through brush or spending a prolonged period of time proned out behind glass, I see no reason why the hooks should or would fail.
⊕ I mentioned before that the pants seemed very true to fit. With the elasticized waistband, they provide a snug fit around the waist with enough give to carry a pistol inside the waistband, but there is no appreciable sag or looseness, and they haven’t shrunk after multiple washes.
⊕ I have not yet used the integral belt keepers, and I don’t think I will. For my application, I think they’re too short to accommodate a 2.25” duty belt, so unless I’m wearing a smaller 1.5” rigger belt or the like, I don’t think they’re going to fit my needs, and because they’re directly over the standard belt loops, the external belt gear has to line up with the keepers and I don’t think that’s realistic – keepers should be placed based on gear, gear shouldn’t have to accommodate keeper placement.
⊕ The only other criticism I have of the HTs is that they are DEFINITELY tactical combat pants. They’re not going to be confused for anything else but that, so they are not what I’d wear on a tactical trip to the grocery store, or a tactical mission to the gas station. That being said, UF Pro have other models such as the P-40 Urbans or P-40 Tacticals for a more toned-down look.
All in all, the Striker HTs are winners. They offer an incredible number of features for the price, international shipping is very prompt (and they are also available in limited sizes from domestic companies such as US Elite), and durability over the last several months hits the mark.
I can definitely recommend these pants as on par with other makers out there, and I will definitely purchase a few more for myself in the near future.
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