REVIEW: Propper Genuine Gear BDU Trousers

Tactical pants have become a staple for law enforcement, military, and those who predominantly work outdoors. Unfortunately, they have also become a growing expense. If you are looking for quality, top-performing tactical pants without the over-the-top price tag, you need to check out the Genuine Gear BDU pants from Propper.

What Is Genuine Gear?

Recognizing the growing popularity of tactical gear, which was being offset by the accompanying increase in price, Propper developed a cheaper line of gear under the Genuine Gear label. But the company did not just simply make cheaper versions of the already popular items. Instead, it found innovative methods of producing more common items at a reduced cost. All Genuine Gear items are produced in the same plant as other Propper gear, with the same attention to detail and customer satisfaction. However, each of the Genuine Gear items is produced with a higher cotton content, because it is subject to lower tariffs than synthetic materials. Rather than produce individual waist sizes, Genuine Gear offers more generic ones, from XS to 3X. Attention to these small and sometimes unnoticed design features is what allows Genuine Gear to offer less expensive gear.

Propper Genuine Gear BDU Pants Specifications

The Genuine Gear BDU Trouser is built on a time-tested design utilized by the military. The idea was not to produce groundbreaking innovations but to take an already proven design and make it the best that it could be. This includes retaining many of the popular features that are successful in real-world situations, such as:

  • 60/40 poly cotton ripstop construction
  • Six total pockets, including two cargo and two rear pockets
  • Cargo pocket drain holes
  • Button closures on cargo and rear pockets
  • Reinforced, double tacked front pockets for added durability
  • Button closure with zipper fly
  • Adjustable waist tabs
  • Reinforced knee and seat
  • Drawstring leg cuffs
  • Fused pocket flaps
  • Felled outseams, seat seams, and inseams

First Impressions – What Are You Getting?

The first impression is one of quality, not discount. As you are lifting the Genuine Gear BDU Trousers from the box, you will notice that they are not lightweight. This is undoubtedly a result of the increased cotton content, but it also shows strength and durability. You cannot help but notice the double stitching, reinforced stress points, and heavy-duty button closures. Closer examination will also reveal a strong, built-for-long-service brass YKK zipper, which is a nice addition compared to the typical additions of plastic accessories and Velcro.

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The Genuine Gear BDU Trousers look and feel like real tactical pants, reminiscent of the original military issue that users would search out before they were commercially available.

Features of the Genuine Gear BDUs

You choose tactical trousers for their ability to provide protection, ample storage for gear, and flexibility to meet the many challenges that arise throughout your shift or mission. You buy them because they allow you to do your job in a way that jeans, khakis, or other options are incapable of. This means they are of no use if they fail to meet the demands you place on them, so it is vital that any pair you are considering stack up in the field. Let’s examine how they rate in five areas:


While it seems that cotton has been largely replaced by synthetics when it comes to construction of tactical gear, it is not due to cotton’s lack of durability. The 60/40 poly cotton blend provides a good combination of spill/stain resistance, strength, and weight. Although 100 percent cotton would be subject to extreme weight when wet and premature fading, the inclusion of polyester appears to temper both matters in a positive way. The brass zipper and large closure buttons are secured well, and all functioned well during test wear.

Rugged Construction

There is no doubt these trousers are built for use, not for wearing to the mall. The felled seams, double stitching, and reinforced pocket tacks are all important if you want pants to last. Each appears to perform flawlessly during the test period, without any sign of premature wear or possible failure. The belt loops are wide enough for use with a variety of belts, including thick tactical designs, and also showed no sign of failure or wear. The ripstop nature of the material was not tested during the trial period, as no cuts, rips, or tears were experienced.


These pants are equipped with a total of six pockets (two front slashes, two rear utility, and two side utility). The front pockets do not include any closure; however, they are deep enough to allow storage of general keys, cash, etc. without fear it will fall out. The rear utility pockets are large enough to carry wallets, credentials, and similar items. Each is also secured by two strong button closures, so your items stay put. The side utility pockets lay flat when not in use but expand as needed to allow for placement of oversized items without trouble getting such items in or out. As with the rear pockets, each is secured by two large button closures. All utility pockets are equipped with double flaps with the closure buttons hidden from view during wear.

Color Selection

The pants that were tested were khaki and presented a professional, clean appearance. A total of 12 colors are available to meet your operational needs, including black, six color desert, Asian Tiger Stripe, digital desert, khaki, LAPD Navy, olive, subdued urban digital, and tiger stripe. Although many of the colors are standard and available via most manufacturers, some are unique to Genuine Gear.

Good Fit

No piece of gear is worth its weight if you cannot use it, and, when it comes to tactical pants, the ability to use them boils down to a proper, comfortable fit. The tested pair were comfortable and cut in a manner that did not impede freedom of movement. The fit, although comfortable, was not perfect, but more of a compromise. Due to the dependence on general sizing, rather than specific waist or length in inches, it was not a matter of fitting but of fitting as well as possible. The waist size can be addressed via the side adjustment tabs. The length cannot be addressed in such a manner, and you must live with what you get.


Overall, the Genuine Gear BDU Trousers receive a rating of 4.0 out of a possible 5.0. The construction, quality, and usability are excellent in nature and designed for use rather than show. This was shown to be accurate during testing. While the pants lack some of the features other similar designs may include, such as extra pockets and Velcro or magnetic closures, they are based upon a tested design and lived up to the expectations that design invokes. The only real problem with this particular pair of trousers is the inability to obtain a personal fit in terms of length and waist size. While they may be less expensive than many other tactical trousers on the market, they are in no means cheap in terms of the variety of features available.

The Bottom Line

The Genuine Gear BDU Trousers offer an excellent option for those in need of dependable, long-lasting tactical pants without the often over-the-top price tag. With an MSRP of $29.99, they do not include all the features and amenities that some competitors may offer, but they do rely on a tested and proven design utilized by the military for decades. It’s a design you can depend on in the years to come as well.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.


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