As I write these very words I’m enjoying a nice cup of well deserved pants. I’ve been using and abusing a pair of Vertx Phantom OPS trousers for the last two months and I have to admit that the time was one of the most enjoyable testing period of 2014.
To be honest, this is the first time I got my legs on a pair of tacticool-concealed-everyday-use-or-whatever-you-can-call-them. I used to limit my wardrobe to two design; strictly military and solely everyday use. The first have been used during all airsofting activities and footing around with friends, the latter, work and work only. Dress code can be a bitch.
I cannot compare Phantom OPS to any other pair on the market. Maybe in 2015 I might be able to cross compare the subject of this review with a different pair from a different manufacturer. But not this time. Today, I’ll just focus on describing the features and pointing my pros and cos. Should you find this article worth reading, I’d be greatful for all the shares.
Well, they are awsome. I was curious if the size could go well with my manly thighs as most of the pants I have ( Applied Orange FDD, P1G-Tac PSWP) or had ( Leo’s KSK) to name the few were a bit tight there. This is not the case with Vertx’s. They fit like a glove, making them one of the most comfortable trousers I have ever worn in my life. I know it might be a far-fetched statement, but this is what I feel at this very moment.
The pockets. Ten to be precise. The number isn’t that astonishing but the other feature is; the looks and accessability.
Two cargo pockets are very slim and do not protrude at all. One can carry small items and people around might not even notice them. Inside each pocket there is an additional compartment which can easily accomodate LG’s L9 size smartphone or, although I haven’t checked due to sheer laziness, an AR15 size magazine.
The pocket is tripple bellowed which allows to expand its capa city. When the pocket is empty, it clings to trousers, but once you but something inside, you can carry more than you previously expected. Pretty neat.
Rear pockets are slim in nature too. They bear the same feature as the hip ones. The lack the tactical look shared by most brands but do their job just like any other rear pocket. Despite the fact that any regular sized wallet fits, I would’t keep one there.
Front side pockets are my favourite due to the simple fact that they are dual. Yep, you heard me well, dual. Apart from the regular pocket, each has a concealed zippered one perfect to carry our valuables without fear of loosing them.
The first pair is deep enough the carry keys, mobile or other useful items. I could fit in my whole hand as the pocket extends almost to ¼ of the hip cargo one. The „opening” has a horizontal cut making it much easier to reach the inside.
The zippered second pocket is concealed well. One might not even notice it at first glace, I didn’t. It is almost the same in size as the first one.
The only disadventage I can think of is the amount of layers of fabric. In temperatures above 20 degrees Celcius it has to be too hot for the wearer. Correct me if I’m wrong.
The last two pockets are small and simple. Both situated beside main front pockets can take small items like folding knives, pens, pencils, and dildos to name the most common ones.
All pockets are double stitched in some places to reduce the possibility of tearing. However, I think that the small open pocket could use and additional patch as the handle from a e.g. folder knife could wear the fabric at the point contact.
It’s not possible to insert kneepads, but to reduce the possiblity of tearing, the area has been reinforced with a double layered fabric.
The fabric itself is, according to Vertx, 6.50-oz 65% Polyester/35% Cotton mini rip-stop with IntelliDri® treatment. I have no bloody idea what does it stand for. It sure sound professional but the only thing I can tell you about it that it is has a heavy feeling. It is nothing of a surprise for a PolyCo 65/35. Nonetheless, I am far from stating that the fabric is not user friendly. On the contrary, it is good as it is. Maybe it lacks the breathability, but the comfort below 20 degrees Celcius is adequate enough.
I haven’t tested the pants in higher temperatures but I am sure that Phantom OPS will be too hot to wear. If I were to choose a pair for a hotter climate, I’d go with Phantom OPS Airflow. The great design and fit of OPS, enhenced with some badass mesh technology.
The IntelliDri® treatment works a bit like a DWR repelling light showers of rain.
My OPS have a long 34 inseam, and with my height of 186 it was quite easy to tear the trouser-leg while wearing shoes with low sole. I didn’t experience this with my Bates. Nonetheless, it was my fault as I like to wear the pants under my big belly thus lowering the leg level. So remember folks, the fabric is not a heavy duty one, but smart use can give it a long life.
The pants have six wide belt loops which take good care of any belt of up to 50mm. I prefer a 45mm Bayonet belt as pictured. Additionally, the pants have on each side an elastic part that can help adjust the waist lenght.
The zip pers are YKK or Vertx, they work nicely. What to say more? They do their work.
Summing up. I loved the Vertx Phantom OPS since the very beginning. I like the fact that the thigh part is wide enough so my legs do not look like swollen sausages. I like the overall casual look with a pinch of tactical taste. If I were to choose again, I’d go with a different pair ( just out of sheer curiosity) but I’d stick to Vertx. Airflow maybe? I like the flow and ease of usage. The pockets are distributed in such a way they are all easily accessible while walking, not driving. I like the concealed zippered pockets. I love Phantom OPS because my wife loves them and does not bitch about my outfit when we visit friends or paint the town red once in a while.
I’d like to send hugs and kisses to E-Militaria.pl for sending this wonderful piece for testing. I’d like to highlight that I’d do an update to this article next summer. We’ll see how a year of intense use will take its toll.