It’s no secret that I’ve been a fan of VIKTOS since we interviewed them at SHOT Show 2018. A relatively new company, steeped in industry knowledge of technical performance clothing, VIKTOS apparel is designed as slick, stylized lifestyle clothing that has real-world performance design and function. They also look great as well.
I’ve since bought several items of clothing from them; the SEREOUS softshell jacket, the EDC Fleece, the EDC shorts, and their KADRE shorts, all of which have made their way into my regular rotation of clothing. (Check out my Part I review of the SEREOUS softshell jacket HERE). VIKTOS then sent me a pair of their GUNFIGHTER jeans to check out. I had originally intended to do a writeup on the KADRE shorts for PART II, but now that it’s the fall, I thought it would be more appropriate to highlight the GUNFIGHTER jeans, so the KADRE and EDC Shorts articles will take a back seat for now.
Like all of their clothing, the GUNFIGHTERS are designed for performance without the wearer looking like a “Tactical Timmy.” A quick rundown of the pant features demonstrate a well thought out design. The jeans are made from a Cordura stretch denim/nylon blend, and a Cordura stretch crotch. Articulated stitching in the legs allow for dynamic range of motion. I’ve found in the past few months of wear that the jeans are comfortable in any position; seated, crouching, kneeling, leaning and squatting, with no binding or pinching in any position.
In addition to the stretch and articulation measures, other comfort and utility features have been built in, primarily around the waistband. Much like their other pants/shorts offerings, the GUNFIGHTER jeans feature a high-yoke, oversized belt loops, and a padded waistband. The yoke of the pants ride high, meaning that when seated and leaning over or squatting, the infamous “plumber’s crack” is eliminated. Additionally, the belt loops are oversized, meaning that users that wear a 1.75” belt with a cobra buckle no longer have to unthread the male portion of the cobra buckle to put your belt on. Pretty nifty.
The waistband also has a subtle padding sewn into them; this feature really shines when on the range. For users that train or take photos of themselves on Instagram wearing “war belts” or like to load out with tactical or duty kit, the subtle padding in conjunction with the higher yoke of the waistband are a real hip saver. Oftentimes with normal-cut waistbands, loaded down pants can sag and the weight of gear will create hotspots on the wearer’s hips. Not so with the GUNFIGHTERS, and I’ve found this subtle feature to be quite useful after a full day of shooting with my duty belt.
The GUNFIGHTERS have a few other additional utility features that increase the value of the pants, and those center around stowage options. In addition to the standard four pant pockets, the GUNFIGHTERS feature a hidden storage pocket in the waistband that can be used to hide a couple emergency currency bills, and handcuff key, or other small items that the user wants to keep concealed.
Two more pockets dubbed the HIPSHOOT magazine pockets are hidden in plain sight along the side seams of the pants. These HIPSHOOT pockets run vertically along the outside seams and are both large enough to accommodate a 30 round AR magazine each.
Last, the front right hand coin pocket is deeper than traditional coin pockets, and can fully seat a Glock 19 mag, or similarly sized knife, easily.
I’ve been wearing the GUNFIGHTER jeans for the past two months now, and I like them quite a bit. They are true to fit, well-thought out and comfortable. They are definitely understatedly stylish – from the dark indigo color, right down to the leather morale patch affixed to a small Velcro field where most jean makers place their leather logo. So far, the stitching has held up very well, with only an errant thread here and there. I think the best feature overall about these jeans are the comfort, specifically around the gusseted crotch. I’m pretty active throughout the day, and the jeans flow with me wherever I go. The padded waistband also is a great feature, with a loadout or without.
I only have one minor criticism of the pants, and that is that I wish the thigh area was a little roomier. I’m a tiny guy, and definitely don’t have tree trunks for legs, but I’m used to a little roomier cut. Now, the stretch material and aforementioned gusseted crotch ameliorate any binding, but I guess this is where the “lifestyle” stylings of VIKTOS comes into play, keeping in line with current fashion trends. They are not hipster “skinny jeans” by any stretch of the imagination, but if you’ve got thick thighs, this is something to consider.
Another consideration is for the appendix carry folks. If you carry AIWB, due to the width of the waistband, your IWB holster might ride a smidge higher than you’re used to. Now if you have a holster like the awesome Tenicor VELO, that has adjustable Discrete Carry clips to adjust ride height, you’re good to go, but it is something to keep in mind. Dress accordingly.
VIKTOS clothing is not inexpensive. The GUNFIGHTERS retail for $150, and we’ll have to see how well the price bears out over the course of time regarding its durability, but so far so good.
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Photo Credit: Zero7one