This post contains affiliate links but is not sponsored by LA Police Gear. We just really like their products.
I usually leave the clothing reviews to Sharon – her obsession with yoga pants is kind of legendary. But I confess – I have a little clothing obsession of my own: the LA Police Gear Operator Pants. You’ve heard of “Mom Jeans,” right? Well, I call these my “Dad Pants.” A yin and yang, if you will.
I was inspired to write this review when a pair of my “Dad Pants” had a zipper failure, and I had to throw them away. I hate throwing things away, especially when there is only something marginally wrong with it. After attempting to fix the zipper with super glue, I reluctantly parted ways with them. It was a sad moment…until I remembered that I had only spent $20 for these pants and had wore them HARD hundreds of times.
Over the years the design of the Operator Pants has changed ever so slightly. A riveted metal button replaced a plastic sewn on button. They added some branding to the right cargo pocket. Minor things overall except for the addition of an elastic waist band. Abandoning the velcro waist adjustment for a “stretchy” waist was something that I HATED at first. I swore off the brand after that. But eventually I convinced myself that this is simply an “automatic” waist adjustment feature, and I bought a few more pairs.
Why I Love My Dad Pants
Why do I love my LA Police Gear Operator Pants? I’m glad you asked. They are:
1. Tough as nails. Made from a poly/cotton ripstop weave, the material is very durable and resistant to abrasion & fading. The design is almost perfect, with reinforcement in the knees, the seat, and the pockets for a knife or pen. The stitching is solid with reinforcement in the high stress areas and a gusseted crotch that keeps you moving freely when you have to step high into the brush.
2. Well designed. Although the Operator pants are marketed in the “tacticool” line of apparel with some very expensive competitors, these pants are genuinely universally useful. I originally purchased them to wear in the tough field environments that my job frequently takes me. The pants have very well-placed pockets for storing all sorts of items (calculators, field notes, pens, flashlight, cables, etc.). Another nice attention to detail is that the pant pocket interiors are made of the same material as the rest of the pants. I really like this and HATE when the pockets are a white cotton versus the material that the pants are made out of. The poly/cotton blend dries quickly. Often I have to work from a boat (sometimes an airboat) and occasionally we get stuck and I have to get out and push. This also happens more than I’d like with trucks and UTVs…one appreciates how quickly these pants dry off after getting an airboat or UTV unstuck from a marsh.
3. Universally useful. This sounds kind of stupid, but hear me out. Although these are my primary field clothes, I wear them all the time: around town, to the mall, to dinner, etc. These are my go-to casual clothes. Unlike some other “tacticool’ clothing, the LA Police Gear Operator pants don’t scream Mall Ninja but rather a more subtle khaki cargo pant look – one that might be sold by Wrangler or Carhart. These are also my default travel clothes because of the convenience of the pockets. I can put boarding passes, charging cables, battery packs, snacks, and all the necessary creature comforts in my pants for easy access. It makes travel a little more bearable and keeps me from having to reach into my carry on or over-packed backpack while crammed in the middle seat of a flight.
4. Cheap. Unfortunately anything “tacticool” demands a premium price. The popular name brand lines of clothing demand upwards of $80! BLASPHEMY! I don’t want to spend that much on a suit let alone a pair of drawers that I’m going do to yard work in. Dads can’t afford to spend this much on clothing if we ever hope to send our kids to a decent college, so they can go on to have lucrative careers and pay for our high quality nursing homes. For the price of one pair of competitor’s pants, you can get 2-4 of the Operator’s and be well-served for many years.
BONUS: LA Police Gear also makes Operator Pants for women. Save money on your wife’s wardrobe by convincing her how cute you’ll look in matching pants.
The Perfect Gift
Do yourself and your wallet a favor and add these to your Father’s Day/birthday/holiday wish list. When I was first introduced to LA Police Gear, they only had one model. Now they have an array of styles with different pockets, materials, etc. I find the choices to be a bit confusing, so my advice is to stick to the Operator (which also has a version with and without the lower leg pockets).
Do you have your own version of “Dad Pants?”