Why don’t all pants fit the same? What does “Athletic Fit” mean? How about “Classic Fit” or “Relaxed Fit”? Aren’t pants just pants, plain and simple? Not really. Each fit is constructed for a different purpose.

QuotesJust like pants come in different waist and inseam sizes, they also come in a variety of styles or fits. So how exactly are the various types of fit defined?

The first challenge is that fit is not standardized across the tactical apparel industry. One company may define “classic” one way while another defines it slightly differently. But fits can be lumped into broad categories without getting into measurement details.

Pants in Action

This is how Propper defines our fit categories:

Relaxed Fit

Relaxed Fit

As the name implies, Relaxed Fit tends to be exactly that, a bit more relaxed than other fits. It starts with a stretch waist followed by more room through the hip and thigh. Whether the front is flat or pleated, it is the most generous of the four fits.

Classic FitClassic Fit

This is the most popular fit in tactical pants. It features a slider waistband that allows for a clean, flat appearance with adjustability. These pants sit slightly below the regular waistline and are roomy through the hip and thigh but slightly less full than the Relaxed Fit. The legs tend to be fairly straight but with room to move. Some manufacturers equate this fit with your favorite pair of comfortable jeans.

Athletic FitAthletic Fit

The Athletic Fit begins with a rigid (no elastic) waist sits slightly below the regular waistline. It is cut straight through the hip, thigh, and leg. Because tactical pants are designed to be worn in active environments, such as on duty or on the range, Athletic Fit pants are often made from a stretch fabric to allow for extra movement. Athletic fit is for the customer that is looking for a trimmer, more tailored look. Many low-profile pants are Athletic Fit so they can serve the dual purposes of tactical pants that look more like dress or casual pants that can be worn in non-tactical environments, such as the office or out to dinner.

Modern FitModern Fit

Typically found in the women’s pants line, the Modern Fit addresses the difference between men’s and women’s shapes by adding a contoured waist that sits slightly below the waistline and allows for more curve through the hips. This lower waist is especially helpful when adding a gun belt or duty belt because it doesn’t ride up as high.

Find Your Fit

To assure you get the fit you want, look for it listed under the Size Chart tab of each product page.