Updated for 2020
Best Men’s EMS Pants for EMTs
- 5.11 TacLite EMS Pant
- Dickies Industrial Flex Comfort Waist EMT Pant
- LA Police Gear Operator Tactical Pants with Elastic Waistband
- Rothco Deluxe EMT Pant
- 5.11 Company Pant
Best Women’s EMS Pants for EMTs
- 5.11 Tactical Women’s Stryke EMS Pants
- Under Armour Women’s Tac Patrol Pants
- Propper Critical Response Women’s EMS Pant
- LA Police Gear Women’s Operator Pant
- Rothco Women’s EMT Pants
A good pair of pants is essential in order for EMTs and Paramedics to perform at their best while on the job. First responders will spend a lot of time in a single pair of pants and in a variety of environments.
During the course of their career, an EMT will go through a pair of pants about every year. Most companies will buy their employed medical responders a new pair as needed.
This can either be through reimbursement or some sort of uniform balance made available to employees. A uniform balance is an amount of money that a company sets aside for employees with the intention of keeping uniforms looking new and fresh.
Getting a good pair of pants that are durable and comfortable is essential.
Features of Good EMS Pants
- Quality Zippers
- Blood Borne Pathogen Resistant
- Fit and Comfort
When evaluating a pair of pants it is important to remember that EMS provider pants are one of the most important pieces of equipment they will own. Not only should they be water-resistant, pathogen-resistant, and breathable.
Pants should be made from poly materials that allow for maximum durability and comfort. Pants should also contain enough storage to allow the EMT or Paramedic to carry the essential tools and gear such as stethoscopes, shears, etc.
Top 5 Pairs of Men’s EMT Pants
1. 5.11 TacLite EMS Pant
The 5.11 TacLite EMS Pant is one of the best pairs of trousers an EMT or Paramedic can own. It features 5.11’s own RipStop fabric. As such, the pants are very durable that feature a self-adjusting waistband, fully gusseted inseam, and double-reinforced seat and knees for comfort and mobility.
The double reinforced knees also allow for 5.11’s knee inserts for added comfort when the responder has to kneel on hard surfaces.
These pants feature cargo pockets on the thighs and calf. According to 5.11’s product page, “the thigh-mounted cargo pockets have internal dividers to sort your gear, secondary cargo pockets at the calf provide additional storage, and a web strap allows for a customized loadout.”
TacLite pants are comfortable, functional and durable.
- 6.14 oz. polyester/cotton Taclite® ripstop fabric
- Self-adjusting tunnel waistband
- Gripper tape on the inside of the waistband to keep shirt tucked in
- Gusseted construction
- Double-reinforced seat and knees (kneepad ready)
- Thigh-mounted cargo pockets with internal compartments
- Calf cargo pockets
- Double-time belt loops
- Web strap
- TEFLON® finish
- YKK® zippers
- Prym® snaps
2. Dickies Industrial Flex Comfort Waist EMT Pant
Dickies is a brand many will recognize. Dickies Industrial Flex Comfort Waist EMT Pant is a great entry onto this list. The Dickies company does produce some of the finest work clothing on the market and their EMT pant is no exception.
Made from the same tough fabric as their traditional work pants, these EMS trousers are some of the best on the market. I place these as on par with the 5.11 pants in terms of durability and comfort.
Dickies possess a reinforced knee and durable tear-proof material. These pants are very comfortable and it is easy to spend 8 hours or more in a pair, perfect for those long EMS shifts.
These pants are very comfortable and it is easy to spend 8 hours or more in a pair, perfect for those long EMS shifts. These pants also feature a triple grip stretchable waistband for a snug fit and to keep shirts neatly tucked in for that professional look.
They also feature side cargo pockets with a tool pocket and loop snaps to easily store Stethoscopes and Shears. Comfortable and durable these pants are perfect for the professional looking EMT or Paramedic.
3. LA Police Gear Operator Tactical Pants with Elastic Waistband
The LA Police Gear Operator Tactical Pants with Elastic Waistband is another good entry into this list. Though they are technically tactical pants with police and swat in mind, they function perfectly as an EMT pant.
They are constructed from ripstop fabric for durability and feature double fabric seat and knee reinforced sections for durability. The LA Police Gear Pant also comes with a wide array of pockets to allow the first responder the ability to carry whatever tools they may need for the calls they run.
The sub $30 price point makes these pants a very attractive option.
LA Police Gear Operator Tactical Pants Features:
(taken from http://www.lapolicegear.com/)
- These pants can accommodate typical 1.5” and 1.75” belts (sold separately).
- A Total of 8 Pockets!
- 65% Polyester/35% Cotton Rip-Stop Fabric
- Fabric Weight: 6 oz.
- Fade Resistant Fabric
- Gusseted Crotch
- Elastic Band Waist
- Large Cargo Pockets
- One D-Ring Per Cargo Pocket
- Double Knee Fabric
- Airport Friendly, Heavy Duty Hardware
- Double Seat
- Dual Front Slit Pockets
- Dual Front D Rings
- Built-In Blousing Strings
- Slanted Cargo Pocket Flaps For Seated Access
- YKK Zipper Fly
- Tac Button
- Cargo pocket is big enough to fit an iPad Mini.
4. Rothco Deluxe EMT Pant
Rothco is a brand that is a gold standard in EMT Pants. My very first pair of EMT pants were the Rothco Deluxe EMT Pants. They have a rich history of supplying military and tactical gear. The company also works closely with military charities.
Their EMT pant is comfortable, durable, and sharp looking.
They are made of a 65-35 poly-cotton blend and feature an elastic waistband for comfort as well to keep shirts tucked in.
They contain the four standard pants pockets as well as side cargo pockets with plenty of room. A very good choice of pant that is only outdone by higher rated brands due to ripstop fabrics and additional pockets.
Additional specs for these pants can be found on this sheet.
Rothco EMT Pant Specs
- Black, Navy Blue
- W: 28 – 65 I: 32.5
- Cotton, Polyester
- 65% Polyester, 35% Cotton
- All Weather
5. 5.11 Company Pant
These pants feature a self-adjusting waistband and fully gusseted inseam to allow for maximum mobility. The fabric is fade, shrink, and wrinkle-resistant for a truly professional look during all parts of a shift. The drawbacks of this pant are obvious, lack of storage, not as durable as other brands.
However, if your company has stringent rules as to what sort of EMS pants one can wear then these are a good pair of pants for that purpose.
5.11 Company Pant Specs
- 100% cotton 7.8 oz twill fabric
- Self-adjusting tunnel waistband
- Gusseted construction
- Reinforced belt loops
- Fade-, shrink-, and wrinkle-resistant fabric
Top 5 Women’s EMT Pants
6. 5.11 Tactical Women’s Stryke EMS Pants
5.11 is a favorite brand on this blog. From their pants to their boots, 5.11 produces quality gear specifically for first responders and military. The 5.11 Tactical Women’s Stryke EMS Pants is a fantastic pair of trousers.
These pants provide a responder with thigh mounted cargo pockets that have internal compartments. The outer pockets have nice retention straps to hold your shears and other tools. You even have access to lower calf pockets, perfect for accessing tools while you are kneeling.
These pants are made for flexibility and durability. These pants are soil and stain-resistant. The reinforced knees have a space for 5.11’s neoprene knee pads. This is an amazing pair of pants.
- Teflon® finish
- Cargo pockets welted back pockets & lower leg pockets
- Articulated knees
- Internal knee pad ready
- Comfort waistband with stretch panels & gripper elastic inside
7. Under Armour Women’s Tac Patrol Pant
Under Armour’s Women’s Tac Patrol Pants are a great choice for EMS providers that value comfort. These pants are some of the easiest to wear. They are perfect for providers that work in hotter climates like Arizona, Texas, or during the summer.
These pants are durable and will keep you dry. If you have ever worn an Under Armour product then you know how these pants will wear. They are designed to wick moisture away from your body and keep you dry.
With these pants, you have thigh pockets for ease of access to equipment. These pockets could be larger, but if you are primarily an IFT (interfacility transfer) EMS worker this is not as much of an issue.
The Tac Patrol pants tend to fit a little tight, so plan to purchase them a size larger then you need for a better fit.
- Material wicks sweat & dries really fast
- Anti-odor technology
- Rip-stop fabric
- Open hand pockets & secure, flap closure back & cargo pockets
- 100% Polyester
8. Propper Women’s Critical Response EMS Pant
Propper is a company that has manufactured uniform articles for the US Military as well as public safety organizations across the country. Propper’s Critical Response Women’s EMS Pant is a quality pair of EMT pants. These pants feature 17 pockets to store whatever tools you need on your job.
These pants are constructed with Teflon fabric protector that adds liquid and stain resistance. They have a reinforced knee that can fit knee pads and are available in twill and ripstop fabrics. The pants also have a hidden slider in the waist for comfort.
A typical trend with EMS pants is they fit tight, so purchase a size larger. These pants can also fit a bit tight for providers that have larger thighs. These pants are available in Navy Blue and Black and should work for most uniforms.
These pants are also unhemmed, so they can be accurately sized to you when you buy them. There are plenty of uniform shops that will measure and hem these pants for you.
- 7.3 oz 65% polyester / 35% cotton twill
- Teflon™ fabric protector repels stains and liquids
- Slider waistband with internal shirt gripper
- Hand pocket with reinforcement
- Side cargo pocket with bellows, scissors straps, internal divider
- Reinforced knee with an internal opening for pads
- Back bellowed patch pockets with flap
- Classic fit: Stretch waistband sits slightly below regular waist – comfortable through the hip, thigh, and leg.
9. LA Police Gear Women’s Operator Pant
LA Police Gear makes great pants for EMTs. The Women’s Operator Pant has 8 pockets and an elastic waist. The great thing about these pants is the price. These are some of the most budget-friendly pants on the market.
For under 40 dollars you get 8 pockets and RipStop fabric. The pants are also coated with Teflon shield and fabric protector. Let’s talk about these pockets. Thes pockets are slanted and are designed for easy access while you are seated. Perfect for accessing your tools in the back of the ambulance.
If you are in the market for a great pair of pants that will not break the bank, then you should consider the LAPG Women’s Operator Pants.
- Elastic waistband
- 65% Polyester/35% Cotton Rip-Stop Fabric
- Dual front slit pockets
- Slanted cargo pocket flaps for seated access
- Gusseted crotch
- YKK Zipper fly
- Fade-resistant fabric with Teflon Shield and Fabric Protector
- 8 Pockets
10. Rothco Women’s EMT Pants
The Rothco Women’s EMT Pants are a solid choice for any emergency provider. Many EMS companies issue this brand of pants to their employees. These pants offer 9 pockets and are available in navy blue and black.
These pants are what we would call the industry standard. They contain a super adjustable waistband and stretch to fit most people. As with most EMT pants, be sure to order these a size larger than your normal pant size. The pants sizes can run smaller than advertised.
While not available in ripstop fabric, these pants are made from a comfortable polyester/cotton blend. This means this pair is durable. However, they are more prone to being torn then other pants on this list.
Who should own these pants? These pants fit individuals the other pairs mentioned on this list might not.
- Color: Black, Navy Blue
- Dimensions: W: 28 – 65 I: 32.5
- Gender / Age: Adult
- Material: Cotton, Polyester
- Material Specs: 65% Polyester, 35% Cotton
- Weather: All Weather
- Pockets: 8
- Closures And Fasteners: Zipper
A Guide to buying EMT and Paramedic Pants
How to choose your EMS pants
EMTs, Paramedics, and First Responders often work in a diverse range of situations. This can range from responding to medical emergencies to life-threatening traumatic injuries. Many of these situations require a wide range of tools in order to properly perform their duties and care for individuals in need of their aid.
Emergency medical care may need to have a number of different items and tools with them. EMT Pants can offer a tactical advantage in their line of work. These pants typically feature pockets that allow for easy access to specialized tools.
The best EMS pants are ones that utilize protective materials that are lightweight and durable. These pants should allow for a comfortable range of motion and provide enough storage space to keep your medical equipment with you and easy to access.
When it comes to choosing pants for your EMT uniform, you’ll want to make sure that the pants are approved by your company. Pay attention to the required colors or if you are even allowed to have cargo style pants.
The materials of your EMS pants should be comprised of lightweight, durable and protective fabrics. But, what does this mean? Shouldn’t a regular pair of black or blue cargo pants work? Well, not quite.
EMT Pants need to offer a fair amount of weather resistance. First responders are frequently in outdoor situations such as traffic accidents and other environments. Your pants need to be able to stand up to the wear and tear that comes with working in these situations.
Depending on the pants you choose they may be constructed from materials like cotton, polyester, nylon, and/or spandex. These types of fabrics are generally light, flexible and strong enough to handle the everyday job on the ambulance.
These pants may be designed with certain threading/twill techniques and hem patterns like ripstop. These patterns improve overall durability and protection. A pair of EMT pants usually have reinforced construction in the knees as well.
Ripstop technologies are designed to prevent clothing from tearing. A first responder is frequently exposed to hazards that could tear and compromise their pants. In fact, Ripstop should be the first consideration when looking at pants.
Imagine ripping your trousers in the middle of a call. You can’t just stop, go home and put on a new pair. Your patient’s life may be on the line.
EMS pants also need to protect EMTs from common job hazards. Hazards/elements such as the weather, hazardous chemicals, bacteria, dust, fire, and other potential threats can put emergency medical service providers at risk. A proper pair of EMT pants can mitigate some of these risks.
Here’s a quick list of some common hazards EMS workers may face while in the field:
- Sharp objects
Comfort & Mobility
Being a prehospital care provider often means that you will be spending a lot of time in your pants. This is not a job where you work 8 hours or part-time. A typical EMS shift is 12, 24, or even longer.
If your pants are uncomfortable to wear then these shifts can seem like they will last forever. It’s better to have slightly loose-fitting pants then pants that are too tight.
Look for pants that have some stretch to them. This will allow you a comfortable range of movement. A good belt that allows for quick adjustment is another way to ensure your workday is a comfortable experience.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing EMS pants:
- Overall fit (regular, loose, sling, straight leg, etc…)
- Range of motion
- Stretch-ability (material flexibility)
- Adjustable waistband
Try and include as many of these features as possible so that you can render aid dependably and comfortably.
Storage & Organization
This is the main reason why EMS workers have specialized pants. As mentioned earlier, EMT pants have pockets designed for optimal gear storage. Look for pants that allow you easy access to the pockets while you are in a verity of positions.
For example, how well can you reach your pockets when you are standing, kneeling, or in a squat? Do your pants have snaps that allow you to secure your trauma shears or other EMS tools (link knife article)? Some agencies may have guidelines as to what type of pants you may wear and how many pockets you can have.
Some companies do not allow traditional EMS pants. The company I worked for wanted us to wear simpler pants with no side pocket. That is why I included the 5.11 Company Pant on this list. Be sure to check with your company guidelines before you purchase pants.
Hopefully, this article was helpful to you. Now you should be ready to make educated pants purchases.