It feels odd to be writing a product review and citing the instigating event to SHOT Show back in January, but here I am. At SHOT Show I was in the Magnum booth looking at new products and was shown the Rapid Deployment uniform line. A couple months later I received a sample set to wear test and began doing what I do best: trying to break something. Before I could wear test this uniform though, I had to lose a few pounds - and I'll explain why further down. In general, once I lost that weight, I was pleased with this uniform fit and function and I quite often wear the pants when I'm not on duty. In the recent extreme high temperatures, if I have to wear long pants, they're definitely my preference. More on that too.... Let's look.
First and foremost (and why I had to lose some weight) understand that these are "honest" pants. There is no expanding waist. What the waist size is, is what it is. I've been ordering pants with a 36" waist for years. Most of them had expanding waists and I never paid attention (because it kept my ego intact) to how much the waistline had to stretch when I put them on. When I received my test pair of the Magnum RD Pants and went to put them on... well, I couldn't button the waist. When I got on the scale I found out why. Two months later, lots of exercise and watching my nutritional intake, and I could button the pants and function in them. They are HONEST pants. Order your actual size; not the size that requires an expanding waistline to protect your ego.
Once I got them on I was quite impressed with fit and comfort. Made from 5.4 ounce 100% cotton ripstop, they are very light weight and the overall design is one that functions well in hot temperatures. Even the front pockets are made from mesh net so there are less layers of fabric retaining body heat so close to your groin. We all know that we sweat first in our joints and when you think about it, your front pockets sit right on top of a joint: where your leg meets your torso on either side of your groin. Typical pants design layers fabric there because of the pockets. Someone at Magnum was smart enough to put mesh net there and it has a distinctively cooler feel to it. The other side of that is it also lets you feel whatever's in your pockets more clearly against the skin on your pelvis or leg.
The pants have:
- two standard back pockets
- two standard front pockets (with mesh net as described)
- two magazine pockets (more on those in a minute)
- two phone / PDA pockets
- two "Rapid Deployment Knife Pockets" (RDKP)
- two miscellaneous ciip-friendly pockets
The two back pockets have no closure mechanism. That's not a criticism, just as observation. The two magazine pockets are large enough to accommodate .223 / 5.56mm magazines and are set into/onto the pants leg at an angle so you can still access the magazine / pocket with your leg bent as if kneeling, etc. The two phone/PDA pockets are set onto the lower face of the magazine pockets and set at the same angle. This makes getting to your phone/PDA easier while seated. The Rapid Deployment Knife Pockets are set at the hip, just behind the front pockets, just in front of, and lower than, the back pockets. They are reinforced so that clip caused wear-and-tear is minimized and are deep enough to hold most folding knives with blades 4.5" or less, depending on the placement of the clip in the knife design. Finally, there are two other pockets I can't find in the published literature about the pants. They are sized right for handgun magazines or folding knives and are placed just above and on the groin side of the .223/5.56mm magazine pockets. I tend to use one of them for a small (single CR123 cell LED) flashlight and have, on occasion, dropped my lighter into the other one.