The popularity of combat pants has begun with Combat Pants AC by Crye Precision, which were the first pants of this type ever made. It’s uniqueness was due to the integrated knee pands, with a visible, hard shell protecting the knee. Lots of other companies copied this design, making some minor improvements or came up with more ideas, based on Crye Precisions’ design, like Patagonia and their lvl9 pants. A little known Slovenian company UF PRO has come up with a quite refreshing idea for this kind of pants.
STRUCTURE AND QUALITY
First notable difference is a lack of the outer shell, like one in the classic combat pants. A bit different solution was used in Striker XT- the knee pad was divided into two separate pockets- one for a soft, shock-absorbant insert, and one for a hard shell, protecting the knee from any unwanted stuff piercing your knee. More details can be found further in the review!
Let’s talk about the rest of those pants. In mine example in the PenCott GreenZone camo, the fabric used to make them was 50/50 NyCo and Shoeller Dynamic (92% polyamide and 8% elastan) which can be found on the… lower back, in the crotch and above and below the knee pads. that makes the pants “work” as you move and not restrict the user, unlike regular pants.
At first i was a bit worried about that “stretch”, and mainly it’s durability. Although it’s quite thick and i haven’t noticed any damage. Last material used is Cordura, for the knees.
there is a rubber welt in the waist which gives us some adjustability. They’re closed with a metal hook, push button and a two-way zipper.
This solution makes it easier to undo the zipper, when you’re wearing a tactical vest and a beltkit. Those who run this kind of load out should know how hard can it be 😉 one more thing about the waist- they’ve used quite an intersting idea for belt loops- they’re double. yes, you’ve read it right. It’s supposed to enable you to wear a duty or riggers belt on them, so it doesn’t move. they’re stacked on top of a regular belt loops. Also, they’re all closed with a puch-button, so you can put the balt on without taking off all the stuff on it.
Two vertical pockets on the front. Inside one of them there is a smaller pocket closed with a zipper- similar to that found on Vertx pants.
Below them, on the sides there are cargo pockets. accessing them is worth taking a look at.
As it always is in UF PRO, they’re closed with zippers- on on the top, and one on the side, to make access easier when for example sitting in a vehicle. Very useful idea, makes accessing contents of the pocket much easier. In both pockets there is an organiser, divided into two slots, perfect for AR mags.
And here we are, the thing that makes UF PRO Striker XT combat pants so special- knee pads. As i’ve said previously it’s divided into two pockets for inserts.
Aslo, the outside of a pocket for the hard insert is covered with Cordura matching the rest of the pants. It gives us 4 ways to protect our knees.
No inserts, just the soft one, just the hard one or both. It enables us to choose the level of protection to fit the mission. The design may cause some concerns, due to a lack of adjustment of knee pads, both for height and circuit. Despite that, they always stay where they belong.
You just have to get the right size- you must get the leg lenght right (Dev is shorter than me, so he should get then about 5cm shorter- when wearing mine, knee pads were too low). In Crye Precisions’ Gen.2 or even it’s copy by Currahhe, the circuit adjusting strap could get uncomfortale after a longer use.
It’s secured with quite strong Velcro, hidden under a fabric flap betwen the knee pad and “Strech”. Such solution ensures full protection both in the woods and mixed terrain. The soft insert id big enough to protect sides of your knees too, which is a big plus.
Legs can be adjusted . there is a zippr on the back, under which there is the adjustment system. it’s a round shockcord, adjusted with a stopper. the end is sewed into a fabric tab with Velcro to secure the loose shockcord.
As a attention- paying reader, you may have noticed, that i didn’t mention a few parts- the zippers and drainage holes. each pocket has them, explaining why shouldn’t be neccessary. but why all those zippers? Why not Velcro or buttons?
Well, zippers seal the pocket perfectly, so nothing can fall out or in. You pay with a narrower access, but i can live with that. With the side access, maximum width i was able to archeive was about the width of my phone (5,5′).
Well, with price comes quality. In 169€ pair of trousers, there is no place for imperfections, and there are none. Everything is sewed and finished with great care. There are no flimsy sews or badly cut Velcro. Everything’s perfect.
USAGE (PERSONAL OPINION)
I’ve had multiple pairs of trousers like of this type. First were GR-W from Currahe, and they didn’t fulfill all my needs. After them, i’ve bought Combat Pants gen.2 from Crye Precision which, thanks to the elastic inserts< were much better, but something still felt off. I’ve even bought the TMC copy, but let’s not talk about that. After a bit of a break due to health problems i’ve came back to a more active lifestyle and i was looking for something new. Well, PenCott GreenZone + new type of Combat Pants? why not? And they turned out to be perfect. they fit perfectly, the knee pads, despite the first impression aren’t too low, they’re just where they’re supposed to be when i kneel and are much less irritating than those on Crye/Currahee.
The pocket are well though through and very useful. Zippers being more durable than Velcro is a different story. UF PRO just went with them, with all their advantages (fully sealing the pockets, easy to open and close, quiet opening) and disadvantages (Easier to damage and harder to replace).
Only thing i don’t like is is the way the legs are adjusted. I don’t know why, i just don’t trust it. I liked the solution used in GR-W Currahee or gen.2 Crye Precision more. wide fold with Velvro. Maybe i’ll like it more as time passes, but until now i’ve used it only once.
UF PRO has managed to make pants as roomy and comfortable as regular cargo pants – the knee pads don’t wrap around the leg so much, so it sweats less and it’s more comfortable. Well fitted knee pads plus elastic inserts make it easy to take any position with no problem.
Good knee pads are a key to succes- Strikers are the kind of pants, in which you can cover really long distances with no pressure on your knees from the knee pads, but still have them protected when kneeling.
HELL: I’ve bought them right from the producer for 169€, which places them at a pricepoint close to Crye Precision. But, we also need to add the knee pads and shipping, so it’s 229€ now. a bit too much for many people. But if you know what you know you should be able to swallow it.
DEV: To be honest, i still like CPs more. Despite that, I still think that the amount of innovation in them is huge, each one makes sense and would be nice in CPs. Comfort is perfect too- 100% freedom of movement and air circulation is great. I don’t really like all those zippers, especially that bottom leg adjustment system. Zippers and dirt don’t really like eachother and that Velcro isn’t too strong. Those double belt loops are great, i finally can attach a stiffer belt with pouches etc. The price is pinfull, but with a design that complicated and price of materials- not really suprising.
UF PROs’ dealer in Poland is RWS Cetus company, constantly expanding their offer of Slovenian gear.