As part of its “Urban” product line, the Covert Tactical Jeans by Helikon-Tex were released in early-2021 to provide shooters with a low-vis denim trousers that has real-world application. The Covert Tactical Jeans are made from a 10oz. denim (69% cotton, 27% polyester, 3% rayon, and 1% elastane), and provides a number of traditional elements intent on balancing comfort and function.
Starting at the waist, the Covert Tactical Jeans have eight 50mm (or 1.96in) wide beltloops (two double-loops in the front, one on either side, and four along the back) with an elastic waistband at the rear yolk. These features improve comfort when conducting dynamic movements, with extensive bartack to maintain durability of the materials. The cut of the Covert Tactical Jeans is available as a regular (featured) fit, in a mid-rise waistline. This accounts for a comparable profile to many common civilian denim trousers.
The Covert Tactical Jeans have a hook-and-loop closure, and single-shuttle YKK zipper fly whereby the zipper line itself has enough excess material under it to protect the more sensitive skin areas (i.e. frank and beans) from any accidental pinching.
The two front pockets are a standard pattern, with additional bartack and double line stitching for reinforcement and to account for retention clip items (such as pocket knives). The front pockets further segmented around the sides for rifle magazines or other items. A small interior/concealed pocket is on the inside of both sides of the waistband for pistol magazines, cash, or documents.
The two rear pockets are a wide 9” opening and angled slightly to ensure easy alignment with the hand when reaching behind for the pocket.
The crotch gusset is articulated, with a four-way, flexible panel that provides flexibility to accommodate a variety of shooting stances.
Each pant cuff is single line stitched for reinforcement, and to prevent/limit any fraying or compromise to the material.
The Greyman Covert Tactical Jeans come in denim blue (featured) and sizing runs from a XSmall to 4XL with variance between small, regular, and long inseam.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Good (4/5): At the current list price of $87.00 USD, the Covert Tactical Jeans are Helikon-Tex’s take on a low-profile, tactical jeans that also omit some of the obvious “tactical” trademarks (such as external knee pads, hook-and-loop straps, or extravagant fabrics). For the price users get a very durable and functional set of 10oz. denim trousers for the every-day professional life or on the range. Market alternatives to this type of clothing would be the Operatus Tactical Jean ($115 USD) by Viktos, or the Defiance Jeans ($76.99 USD) by Vertx, or the McQuade Lightweight Tactical Jean ($67.99) from Tactical Distributors. There are a multitude of market alternatives that very in price and material, indeed typical men’s jeans run about $100. Among the market, this gave the Covert Tactical Jeans from Helikon-Tex an good level of affordability when considering what it brings to the table from a reputable overseas vendor.
- Comfort – Good (4/5): Worn for a 30-day period, and on several iterations to the range in a variety of stressors, the Covert Tactical Jeans remained extremely flexible and very comfortable. The denim material throughout the trouser proved soft and supportive, and didn’t restrict range of motion. While often the crotch is the point where trousers bind in more extreme movements, the Covert Tactical Jeans had a good level of flex in the gusset to allow for a comfortable range of motion. The one minor negative issue from a comfort aspect to the Covert Tactical Jeans was the hook-and-loop segment above the fly, with some of the hook/loop fabric or corners irritating the underlying skin if not entirely aligned. Perhaps reducing the dimensions of the male-hook material slightly (and not the female) would give more play in spacing. Otherwise, the genuine YKK zipper moved easily and did not bind or cross-thread.
- Durability – Good (4/5): The Covert Tactical Jeans were made from a blend of denim and elastic fabrics that gave the trousers a good level of durability and support. The conditions it was tested in included every-day wear, water, mud, on rock, and on concrete—and aside from usual wear, the material showed little abrasion effect. The trousers were put through three wash cycles and no loose threading or material was noted. Final examination revealed that the jeans had bartack stitching at high-stress points (typically in corners along stitch lines), belt loops, and along the pockets. These all ensured there was no compromise of the stitching or fabric, and if it were to ever become so then it would be limited to the affected area. The only concern was the hook-and-loop segment above the fly, which began curling at the corners (most likely attributed to the heat of the dryer). It could be recommended to Helikon-Tex to run stitching along the perimeter of the segment, and again at the edge to prevent this effect. Additionally, end-users could also allow the jeans to air-dry and possibly avoid the issue as well.
- Functionality – Good (4/5): Functionally, the number of pockets on the Covert Tactical Trousers was extremely useful, re-enforced, and well placed. Most could easily accommodate odd-sized items up to/like a rifle or pistol magazine, and it was noted the mid-pockets (on the hip) and rear pockets allowed for good alternative locations for such items. Having no button at the top of the fly was a definite improvement as it alleviated any concern over tearing the button off, or it digging into the stomach from a battle belt. The fly itself had a single shuttle, and would have been a good feature to have dual shuttles for ease of access while wearing gear. As noted in the Comfort section, the elastic material woven into the gusset of the jean’s ensured the material remained flexible during movement, but not so much as to detract from the jean’s lower profile. Perhaps one suggestion for Helikon-Tex to improve the Covert Tactical Jeans would be to add some measure of padding along the waistband in addition to the elastic segments. One negative functional aspect end-users should note is the hook-and-loop segment above the fly; it has the hook (male) fabric oriented outwards (probably to avoid chafing the skin), but it is very grabby and will snag/pull shirts, coats, gear, and even the lint in the dryer. Be sure to put the hook-and-loop fabric together before placing into the wash.
- Weight – Good (4/5): Weighing in at 1.75 pounds for a size XL, the Covert Tactical Jeans had a good amount of blended denim and elastic material that afforded for full range of motion through the waist and thigh. The chosen density of denim gave the jeans added resistance to abrasion that could be expected on the range or in daily wear, and limit potential tears to the stitching. In comparison, the Operatus Tactical Jean (1.63 pounds) by Viktos, or the Defiance Jeans (1.48 pounds) by Vertx, or the McQuade Lightweight Tactical Jean (0.73 pounds) from Tactical Distributors. These alternatives illustrate that the Covert Tactical Jeans by Helikon-Tex are placed very well amid the market, and have a good overall weight for their design and fabric.
Overall Rating – Good (20/25)
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via High Ground Media, LLC, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.
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