Tactical Shorts Materials

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As any tactical professional knows, the right apparel can make or break the day. When it comes to shorts, there are a few different options to keep in mind in terms of material. Let's take a look at the common tactical shorts materials to help you choose the right one.

Cotton Canvas

When looking at tactical shorts materials, cotton canvas is a pretty common choice. Made with 100% cotton in a heavier weight for added durability, this is a breathable choice that is perfect for a range of activities. While it offers great durability and ease of care, it can be more prone to wrinkles and shrinking so make sure you follow the care instructions.

Poly-Cotton Ripstop

This material comes in a few different blends with cotton ripstop and polyester blended together. The most common blend of this material is a ratio of 60% polyester and 40% cotton ripstop. This is a popular choice for tactical shorts because the ripstop weave prevents rips and tears making it incredibly durable while the polyester helps reduce wrinkling, fading, and shrinking. It is also resistant to wind for added appeal. This material is commonly used in some of the top brands on the market because it is so durable. Thanks to how durable it is, you will see this material used in everything from camo options for fatigue wear to all black for LEO wear.

Poly-Cotton Canvas

When looking at tactical shorts materials, this is often confused with the above-mentioned poly-cotton ripcord material. This is a blend of 65% polyester and 35% cotton canvas that is smoother and softer than the ripstop blend. This option is durable but not quite as durable as the ripcord option because it isn't the same type of woven material. It is still one of the most durable materials with many of the same properties such as being resistant to fading, shrinking, and wrinkles. It is also quick drying for added benefit.


This is another common blend seen in tactical shorts. This is usually a canvas material made of 98% cotton and 2% Lycra, but the ratios can vary, depending on the shorts. This material brings all the appeal of cotton such as the comfort, breathability, and durability, but adds even better stretch for added mobility. It may be more prone to wrinkles than other materials, but it is easy to care for and offers plenty of other great elements to make it worth the slight chance of wrinkles.


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