5.11 Defender Flex jeans and Hunter Plaid Shirt


 It doesn't really matter who you are, you need clothes. Even though 5.11 is mainly known for tactical clothing, they also offer a wide array of “not so tactical” clothing. For instance, they sent me a pair of their defender flex jeans and a hunter plaid shirt to try out.

 I have literally been wearing these clothes for 6 months. They both have worn extremely well. The fabrics 5.11 uses are as comfortable as any of my other jeans or shirts. As you can probably guess, I am not a clothes reviewer, but I will tell you what I like and dislike about these.

 First up is the jeans. These have worn very well for me. They pretty much look the same as the day I received them. The defender jeans did bleed some color the first 4 or 5 washes, after that I could wash them with other clothes. The fit is as advertised. I ordered the size I wear, and they fit great. One huge dislike, about the jeans, is the front pockets are way too short. For being advertised as “tactical clothing”, you can't hardly put a 2 cell tactical flashlight in them, yet alone a small pistol or revolver. The back pockets are fine. Now one of my favorite features is the extra pockets. These pockets are just rear of the center line on each side. These extra pockets also blend in with the seams of the jeans. So unless you know they are there, no one will ever be the wiser. These pockets are excellent for carrying a tourniquet or extra magazine, or both. Since the extra pockets are somewhat wide, an AR magazine will also fit, but it will stick out the top. The defender flex jeans also are made with a blend of stretchy material, hence the “flex” in the name. This makes them very comfortable to move around in. 5.11 also did a nice job putting enough, but not too many, belt loops on them. The belt loops will accept a 1.75” wide belts. Last up is the YKK zipper, which should keep stuff closed up until you decide otherwise.

 Now that I have bored you with the Defender jeans, it's time to get your shirt on. 5.11 also sent one of their Hunter plaid shirts. This is a short sleeve, button up style. As said about the jeans, the sizing on the website is spot on. When I say button up style, what 5.11 has done, is to use snaps that appear to be buttons. What does this do for the concealed carrier? Well, since this style of shirt doesn't stretch. When you yank up the shirt to draw your defensive firearm, the snaps will undo and make it possible for the shirt to get out of the way of your draw stroke. Pretty smart on 5.11’s behalf. The shirt is lightweight. Has a nice pocket in the front. It even looks good tucked in or just hanging out. Plus, the plaid design helps break up shapes that might be hiding under the shirt.

 I really like these 5.11 clothes. They fit well. Serve a functional purpose. And are designed to make you blend in with your surroundings. Go check them out if your in the need for some “non tactical”, tactical clothing.

Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Tactical wear that blends in with society

Target Market:

Anyone wanting clothes that do not look tactical

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

Defender Flex Jeans

  • Button top fly with locking YKK® zipper
  • Dual back patch pockets
  • 10 oz. mechanical stretch denim (76% cotton / 24% polyester with Lycra® T400 Tough Max™)
  • Five pocket styling plus two rear hip pockets
  • Double needle construction with bar tacks in high-stress areas

Hunter Plaid Shirt

  • RAPIDraw™ placket
  • Branded metal ring snaps & neck tape
  • 60% cotton / 40% polyester 3.1 oz
  • Regular fit

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

Too many to list

What others are saying?:

From Midway

Will buy a few more

The most comfortable pair of jeans I own. Look great. I have two as of now. Belt loops work with all my tac belts. Extra deep "Coin" pocket is perfect for my knife. The low vis mag pockets in the back were handy when I went to the range to work re-loads with my AR and forgot my mag pouch! Still got my reps in! Negatives: Front pockets could be a bit deeper. Having had these for a few months now, the seem to shrink faster than normal jeans, even washing in cold. My 34 lengths now feel like 33/32 length. Might go up in length on the next pair and see how that goes. Neutral: The blue will run for a while. They say that and they are right. Wash three or four times by themselves to mitigate this. If not, you will get blue on your hands or other clothes. I'm okay with this as there is a warning on the tag.


Link to other reviews:


Price point:

MSRP = $69.99 Defender Flex Jeans

              $39.99 Hunter Plaid Shirt

Retail = Same as MSRP at Midway

I need it now! Availability:

5.11 Tactical

Our Rating:


  • Extra pockets in jeans

  • Comfortable

  • Look like everyday clothes

  • True sizing

  • Snaps on shirt

  • Plaid design on shirt

  • Lightweight


  • Front jean pockets too short

  • Jean color bleeds a lot



7.00 jeans - Good




7.50 shirt - Good



Favorite Link:   Thor Targets