TRU-SPEC 24-7 TROUSERS REVIEWED – a touch of Blackwater Chic.

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What do you buy the mercenary who has it all? What is the private security consultant in your life wearing this season?

Army surplus is SO last century. Chinos and desert boots went out with The A-Team, baby. Today’s private security operative is a clean-living professional with an image to maintain and this season, it’s all about chic… Blackwater Chic, to be precise.

Just how does one project deadly menace, yet dress appropriately for escorting those busy Halliburton executives?

What is the secret to mingling casually with the unsuspecting public whilst packing enough firepower to overthrow Belgium? Anybody? No, put your hand down Adolf, that was not ‘casual mingling’.

Tru-Spec’s trousers are the answer to the styling nightmares which haunt shadowy paramilitary organisations the world over and here’s why:

They are very hard to damage, and Our Man knows a thing or two about kit that falls to pieces when you use it. The heavy cotton fabric has a rip-stop weave and all the stitching is heavy-duty, reinforced at potential weak spots, neatly finished to avoid snags and generally over-engineered compared to anything else in this price range. The fly has a heavy-duty brass zip and press-stud as well as an internal button and flap for keeping out those nasty desert breezes and the waist is elasticated for an extra comfy fit.

There are ten pockets, handily located, well-built and easy to use with gloves on, which I absolutely love in this cold weather. The two hip pockets are deep and generous enough to take a compass and a  folded map, or perhaps a slim volume of poetry or even a selection of false passports and a telescopic baton without attracting unwanted attention on public transport or deniable cross-border infiltration operations.

The rear pockets are expandable and have flaps fastened with velcro, making them reasonably secure yet easy to use with gloves on. They won’t deter a pick-pocket, so don’t keep valuables or spare weapons in them in public places but I’ve carried all manner of junk like keys, handfuls of kindling, a water bottle for Our Kid and packets of baby-wipes with no discomfort, they are so spacious. You could probably also get a couple of hand grenades in each one if the need ever arose, although you’d want to take care when sitting down.

The leg pockets are also expandable and fastened with velcro, which I didn’t like the look of at first but so far, touch wood, I haven’t lost anything out of them.  They aren’t quite big enough to  take a map but sadly that’s true of almost every pair of trousers on the market and I’m getting used to it now.  On the other hand you can get so much other stuff in them, the trousers might fall down if you’re not careful. Inside each one, there are two smaller pockets which are ideal for things you might want to find easily in a crowded pocket, like dog treats, chocolate bars, mobile phone, satnav, spare magazines for your pistol, spare pistol, etc.

On each of the leg pockets is another small pocket fastened with a press stud which I use for my mobile phone. Although they’re too small for most pistol magazines, I’m sure you could fit some plastic explosive in them, or an emergency Arabic phrasebook, or something.

The final two pockets are just about big enough to take a mini-maglite or something of similar size. and are just behind the hip pockets. I’ve no idea what they were designed with in mind but I’m sure if you speak to Q, he’ll have something sneaky which you can stuff in there.

The knees are reinforced with a double-layer which takes a pair of neoprene knee-pads (not included), absolutely perfect for kneeling in the rubble of a bombed-out kasbah bustin’ caps with smelly insurgents or perhaps a little light gardening work. I’ve never used the knee pads because I don’t do gardening (or fire-fights with insurgents) but there have been times I’ve wanted them as my knees get older, particularly kneeling by a fire-place trying to get dinner going!

To sum up, I don’t think I’ll be buying another pair for a long time unless I need to own two pairs.  Nothing’s indestructable but Tru-Spec’s 24-7 trousers do a pretty good impression of it. I certainly wouldn’t pack for a trip without them unless I was going somewhere tropical with no nasty spiders or insects around.

So whether you’re going to the shops to get a newspaper, heading to the hills for a weekend’s camping or planning to overthrow a sovereign nation and take control of its oil supply, Tru-Spec have a pair of trousers for YOU.

Brought to you with Blackwater Chic… the friendly face of private security contracting!



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