Careers and Education is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
EMTs and paramedics must be prepared to handle all kinds of medical emergencies, and doing that requires them to work in a variety of environments. A regular pair of pants won’t stand up to the wear and tear that comes with the job. That’s why it’s important to find a durable and comfortable pair of EMT pants.
Additionally, a regular pair of pants won’t be as flexible or provide the storage needed to safely put away essential medical gear like stethoscopes and shears. That’s why having an EMT uniform complete with a shirt, pants, boots, and a belt is important.
Do you know the difference between an EMT vs paramedic?
Thankfully, most tactical gear manufacturers offer high-quality pairs of EMT pants that are water- and pathogen-resistant and made from breathable material.
While the market offers several options, finding the best EMS pants can be challenging if you don’t understand what to look for. In this guide, we discuss the features of the best EMS pants and shortlist the market’s top options to uncomplicate buying the best EMT and paramedic pants.Table could not be displayed.
10 Best EMT Pants Money Can Buy
Since EMT pants are not unisex and the apparel is designed specifically for each gender, we’ve covered the five best pants for men and women separately.
Top 5 EMT Pants for Men
Editor’s Pick: 5.11 Tactical Taclite EMS Pant
5.11 Tactical pants are known for their premium quality construction, and the Taclite pants are no exception. These paramedic pants are made from ripstop polyester-cotton fabric, making them durable, breathable, and lightweight.
These come with thigh-mounted industry-specific cargo pockets featuring dividers to help you sort your gear. It also features secondary cargo pockets at the calf, adding to the utility of the pants.
The Teflon finish makes the pants soil and stain resistant, ensuring that the pants last for years. The EMT uniform pants also integrate YKK zippers and Prym snaps.
Most Durable: CQR Tactical Pants
CQR primarily sells tactical gear for law enforcement and the military, and there are hints of those design elements in these pants. The button and zipper are built from high-density metal, and the stopper is durable.
The Duratex fabric keeps contaminants at bay, and since ripstop fabrics are used, you don’t have to worry about your pants getting damaged on the job. The pants are fade and shrink resistant, and don’t wrinkle, making them perfect for an emergency medical technician’s use.
Most Utilitarian: Propper Uniform Pants
If you want pants with a relaxed fit, these uniform pants by Propper are one of your best options. It has two back pockets with hook and loop closures, two front pockets with a reinforced opening for tools, and two double cargo pants with slash pockets.
The ripstop fabrics, action-stretched waistband, and reinforced knees with space for knee pads make it on par with other more expensive EMT pants. These are machine washable, allowing you to get them ready for your next shift without much hassle.
Most Comfortable: Tru-Spec 24-7 Tactical Pants
The comfort fit of these pants is what makes them stand out. These Tru-Spec pants come with an adjustable waistband, removing the need for side tabs. The pants also accommodate for both paddle-style and inside-the-pants holsters.
The snap has a YKK brass zipper, and the two-inch belt loops keep the waistband comfortable and flat. Its ripstop material is wrinkle-resistant and warm yet breathable.
Most Lightweight: LA Police Gear Work Pant
Weighing just seven ounces, the LA Police Gear Work Pants are great for staying comfortable through long shifts. The pants have an elastic waistband, a durable metal YKK zipper, articulating knees, and angled front pockets for easy access.
Its large cargo pockets close with a convenient hook and loop, and the athletic fit will keep you looking sharp.
Top 5 EMT Pants for Women
Editor’s Pick: LA Police Gear Mechanical Stretch Ops Pants
If you’re looking for pants that will last you years, these won’t disappoint. Featuring two-way mechanic stretch fabric, a gusseted crotch, articulated knees, and ripstop fabric, these will get you through the roughest of days.
With a total of seven pockets, including notched front pockets, these give you all the storage you need. But you must bear in mind that these pants run slightly smaller than other pants.
Most Durable: 5.11 Taclite Pro
The enhanced design of the 5.11 Tactical women’s Taclite Pro pants makes them stand out. The triple-stitched, gusseted design makes it durable, and the pants feature seven pocks and a D-ring on the hip, adding to its utility.
Its Teflon-treated ripstop fabric is soil, liquid, and stain-resistant, making it perfect for daily duty. The pants weigh only 6.2 ounces and are machine washable.
Most Utilitarian: Dickies Gen Flex Scrubs Pant Low Rise Drawstring Cargo
If you’re looking for durable scrubs for your EMT shift, these are the right ones to go for. The low-rise fit, coupled with the straight leg design and elastic waist, helps you look sharp and stay comfortable.
It has seven pockets, wide belt loops, and the multi-needle contrast topstitch gives it an elegant look. You can machine wash these without worrying about them losing color or shrinking.
Most Comfortable: Dickies Relaxed Fit Straight Leg Cargo Pants
Featuring a relaxed fit, a contoured waistband with stretch inlining, and brushed fabric, these are some of the most comfortable pants you can buy.
Coming with seven pockets, with the back pockets featuring a snap closure, you won’t have to worry about not having your tools. The 81% cotton, 18% polyester, and 1% spandex mix allows the pants to strike the right balance between durability and comfort.
Most Lightweight: Under Armour Tactical Patrol Pants II
Featuring pull-on closure and sweat-wicking material, these are some of the best EMT pants to get if you begin to feel uncomfortable later on in your shift. While the material is quite breathable, the use of ripstop fabric makes these pants durable.
The open-hand pockets make for easy access to your tools, and the back and cargo pockets have flap closures, securing their contents when you’re on the move.
How to Choose the Best EMS Pants
EMS personnel require a wide range of specialized tools to respond to life-threatening injuries and medical emergencies, which means the pants they wear must provide adequate storage.
Further, the pants must ensure that the EMS professional has a full range of motion and their ability to provide acute medical care is not hindered by their clothing. But buying just any pair of EMS pants that fit isn’t a good idea.
Here are some factors you should consider when buying EMT pants:
Regular blue or black cargo pants are comfortable and lightweight. So why don’t first responders wear them?
It’s important to remember that emergency responders work outdoors frequently, aiding people injured in traffic accidents and providing medical care in other outdoor environments. The pants you buy must handle the wear and tear that comes with working in these environments.
EMS pants made from cotton, polyester, nylon, and spandex are generally the best EMT pants to buy. These fabrics are lightweight and don’t break easily, which makes the pants durable.
Further, these materials are weather-resistant, allowing EMTs to deliver medical care quickly by providing emergency services in any weather.
But the main difference between a regular pair of pants and EMS pants is the stitching. Manufacturers use hem patterns like ripstop and specific threading or twill techniques to make EMS pants more durable than regular pants.
Additionally, EMT pants are reinforced at points that tear easily, such as the knees, providing protection to the EMT and making the pants that much more durable.
Ensuring that your pants use ripstop fabric is the most important factor to consider when picking EMS pants. You cannot go back home to change your pants if they tear when you’re on call.
Besides being rugged, EMS pants must also be tactical and protect the EMT from several hazards. In addition to being weather-resistant, the pants must mitigate the risks of exposure to:
- Sharp objects
- Dust and debris
Mobility and Comfort
The typical EMS shift is at least twelve hours long and often lasts for 24 hours or more. An EMS professional spends a lot of time in their pants, so comfort is non-negotiable.
Make sure that your pants have a bit of a stretch to them. This will ensure a comfortable range of movement.
Further, remember that having slightly loose pants is better than having tightly-fitted pants. To ensure that wearing slightly loose pants is comfortable throughout the shift, get a good belt. Getting pants with an adjustable waistband isn’t necessary, but it is a nice plus.
Optimal gear storage is the primary advantage that EMT pants offer. When shopping for EMT pants, ensure that the pants allow easy access to the pockets in various positions.
Before purchase, go through the following questions:
- Can I reach these pockets with ease when standing, kneeling, and squatting?
- Do these pants have snaps to secure EMS tools such as shears?
- Do these pants meet my company’s guidelines?
As long as you consider all of the factors above, buying great EMT pants shouldn’t be difficult at all.
Conclusion: Which Are the Best EMT Pants?
Recommending the same pants to everybody doesn’t work — different people need different fits and have different preferences when it comes to the feel of the pants.
You can rely on all of the pants listed above. But for most men, the 5.11 Tactical Taclite pants and the CQR pants should be comfortable and last long. The 5.11 Tactical Taclite Pro Pants and the LA Police Gear Mechanical Stretch Ops Pants are the most popular options for women.