Review cougar tactical trousers

Cougar tactical observation trousers

Cougar tactical SA was kind enough to sponsor me 2 prs of tactical trousers for the 500sunset expedition. I have subjected one pair of trousers to a high degree of abuse and have worn them continuously for 8 months.

These trousers have been regularly immersed in salt water and washed in sea water by hand every 3 days on average. They only get machine washed about once a week and the wash care instructions have been ignored due to the nature of this expedition.

Plus points


These trousers have been subjected to extremely abrasive sandstone. They have been pushed through extremely thick coastal bush, fynbos and thorns. I have had to climb up cliffs and slide down rocky slopes. After 2000km and 8 months of continual wear, there are no tears or holes due to snagging. The material is extremely tough. They also resist sparks from fires and even when a hole is burnt through, the hole does not fray and increase in size.


There are ample pockets and they are well designed. Even when lying down or falling over, nothing falls out the pockets.


They are easy to wash and dry very quickly. The materiel does not stain easily and I found that most stains wash out easily including dry blood.


The trousers are light and comfortable to wear when not lugging a load. They are also reasonably cool and there is minimal sweating in the groin area. Even when wet the trousers are not heavy and do not get water logged.

Minus points


The zips tend to get a little sticky when continually subjected to a salty, sandy environment. They also lack tabs on the zip fastener making them finicky and difficult to open when your hands are cold. As I found out when I caught the early stages of hypothermia.

The press stud in the front tends to wear and become loose. This results in the pants popping open under strain like swimming on river crossings or bending over. Necessitating the use of a belt. This may be better suited to a button.

After 1400km of continual chaffing, the inside ankle cuffs started to show signs of wearing through from continual chaffing of the boots when walking. They could do with an extra layer of material or heavier material on the inside of the ankle cuffs.

The seat of the pants eventually split from left to right across the seat after 1400km as it had now worn out and was thread bare. This could be over come by having a dual layer on the pants seat or the seat being constructed from heavier material.

  • The design of the pants does not allow for the carrying of heavy packs.

  • There are belt loops directly on the hip bones and central on the spine, resulting in discomfort when lugging a load. They tend to cut into the flesh and bruise. My pack weighed 34 kilos.

  • The elasticated section also runs over the hip bones leading to discomfort. This would be better suited placed in front either side of the press stud and terminating before the hip bone.

  • The pants end on the hips and not above the hips and are therefore less suited to carrying a pack, as the wide belt of the pack tends to cause the pants to cut in.

The pants could also do with a double layer over the knees and an expanded knee area. The trousers tend to pull at the knees when climbing or stepping up.

On the whole these trousers are very tough and can withstand a lot of abuse. With a few design changes they could prove to be outstanding.

After 1 year and 2600 km these trousers have finally packed in.

I did contact the company for a response, to date i have not received a reply.

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