REVIEW: Propper Lightweight Tactical Shorts

I spend the majority of my professional life wearing either a uniform or at the very least adhering to a prescribed dress code. So, when I am off duty I like to “dress down” a bit. But have also grown accustomed to wearing clothes that allow me to carry certain “tools” with me – a wallet with my ID and badge, a knife, and my concealed carry weapon are never far from my side. This means that athletic shorts are generally limited to the gym or around the house. At most other times I find that tactical cargo shorts are the best fit for me.

I recently found that my favorite tactical shorts needed replacing and decided to try the Lightweight Tactical Shorts by Propper. Based upon the popular Lightweight Tactical Pants, these shorts offer a comfortable yet durable option with plenty of storage for all the tools you may need within hand’s reach – even when off duty.

The ripstop material is a 65/35 poly & cotton blend treated with a DuPont Teflon coating to repel both liquids and stains while also providing a wrinkle and fade resistance appearance.

Snag free movementA roomy cut and 10” inseam allows for a wide range of movement equally suitable for either the trail, range or lounging on the back deck. I especially liked the casual, yet conservative look the 10” inseam provides. Many competitors have moved to inseams of 11” or more in length which tends to not only look a bit too trendy for my taste but also has a tendency to catch on my knees as I bend or stretch.

The PDA pocket with a magazine.
The PDA pocket with a magazine.

Eleven pockets are advertised, however, this includes 2 change pockets and 1 rear “pocket in a pocket” for secure, easy access to a wallet. Front pockets feature large slant-cut access with reinforced construction and heavy duty trim perfect securing a clip knife. My only complaint involved the cell phone pocket on the left front. Although it is advertised as being “large enough for a PDA,” I found that it is difficult to wedge a smartphone into and nearly impossible to remove one if you do force it in.

Large, heavy duty belt loops easily accommodate most popular web belts and provide a stable platform for those who practice concealed carry. The stretch waistband not only provides a comfortable fit, especially for those of us in between standard waist sizes, it also allows for more comfortable “inside the waistband” carry.

Wide loops allow for dress or duty beltAvailable colors include khaki, coyote tan, navy blue, black and olive drab, meaning you can easily find a pair which will match any mood or setting.

All in all, I found the Propper Lightweight Shorts to be a quality product which meets or exceeds my expectations, made even more appealing by a manufacturer’s recommended retail price averaging a third less than most competitors ($39.99).

Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell

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