What Women Really Want


Let’s face it: Shopping for the women in your life can be a bit of a challenge, no matter how well you know them. Regardless of whether it’s Mother’s Day, her birthday, or your anniversary, we suggest you do things differently this time around — and by that, we mean don’t even consider purchasing a household appliance. You may have heard her say a new vacuum would be nice or that the washing machine is on the fritz, but no matter how much she needs it, gifting household appliances is not the way to go. Trust me.

Instead, why not aim to give her something that shows you care about, or at the very least have taken notice of, her hobbies and interests? To help you celebrate the women in your life who break barriers and demand gear that works as hard as they do, here’s some of my favorite apparel and gear from 5.11 Tactical.

5.11 PT-R Max Effort Tights in Shadow Jungle Canopy Camo

For the woman always on the move

5.11 displayed a new colorway of its popular PT-R Max Effort Racerback Bra and Tights — Shadow Jungle Canopy Camo — at SHOT Show 2024, and I couldn’t wait to add it to my closet.

The racerback-style performance bra with medium support features a perfectly proportioned V-neck in the front and on the back. Both the bra’s body and lining are moisture-wicking with an anti-odor finish for unbeatable freshness during workouts, a day at the range or running errands around town.

The matching 5.11 PT-R Max Effort Tights are constructed from a durable nylon and elastane jersey with the same moisture-wicking and anti-odor finish as the bra. The 27″ inseam offers ultimate coverage, while a triangle gusset maximizes mobility. The contoured waistband provides added support and includes an adjustable internal drawstring to keep everything in place. I put them to the test during a 45-minute Peloton ride, and the waistband didn’t roll down once!

As a mom of two who always has my hands full, I appreciate that there are also two internal waistband pockets — one in the front to stow keys and one on the back large enough to secure a phone.

5.11 offers a full line of women's pants including tactical pants, workwear and activewear.

For the woman on a mission

If you ask the guys at FMG Publications, they’ll warn you not to get me started on the pitfalls of women’s pants. It’s the reason many carry purses. Women’s pants pockets are often shallow, rendering them relatively useless. Sometimes, they’re completely non-existent, or worse, they’re false pockets that merely give the illusion of having them. Few things are more annoying, especially for women who like to be prepared for anything.

Fortunately, 5.11 offers multiple styles of women’s pants that are the perfect blend of style and function. The Spire Pant features low-profile cargo pockets with a hidden inside pocket and hidden cuff-key pockets inside the back waistband and left hem. Front and back pockets and back yoke utility pockets make 8 pockets in total. They’re available in six colors and sizes 0-18.

Available in black and white, the lightweight 5.11 Sulli UV Hooded Long Sleeve offers a powerful 50+UPF rating.

For the woman who loves the outdoors

As someone who lives in a climate where “winter” only lasts a max of 6-8 weeks out of the year, I spend a significant amount of time outside. Between the beach, boating, fishing and camping, not to mention chasing my kids around the park, I’m in the sun A LOT.

With a powerful 50+UPF rating, the lightweight 5.11 Sulli UV Hooded Long Sleeve is a year-round essential. Sulli’s long sleeves protect the arms while the three-panel hood minimizes exposure at the head, neck and ears.

Thumbholes keep the sleeves in place when you’re working, training or adding layers — a little detail that makes a big difference. Arguably, my favorite features are the flat-locked seams for barely-there comfort and the small tone-on-tone logo that doesn’t scream, “Hey, I’m carrying!”

Although designed to be a mid-layer for cold temperatures, I more often wear the 5.11 Women’s Stratos 1/4 on its own. It’s also great to throw on over a tank or t-shirt on chilly mornings or after the sun goes down.

Constructed from a durable polyester and elastane blend fleece, the Stratos provides functional stretch that can keep pace with your active lifestyle. The material wicks moisture away from your skin, making this top ideal for hiking, training and other outdoor activities. It’s also available in a full zip option.

5.11 Tactical LV8 Sling Pack has 8-liter total capacity.

For the bag lady

Even if the woman in your life isn’t a “purse person,” you’ll be hard-pressed to find a woman that isn’t a sucker for a durable and functional grab-and-go bag like the 5.11 Tactical LV8 Sling Pack.

Not too big and not too small, this sling pack has all the right features, including an internal admin organizer, laser-cut MOLLE straps and storage pockets to keep things organized. The CCW compartment includes a full loop panel and removable holster strap. The exterior includes a lined zippered pocket, fleece-lined smartphone/device pocket, and the 840D nylon construction to withstand years of abuse.

Want to really solidify yourself as the most thoughtful gift giver? Stock the Sling Pack with quality everyday carry essentials like the 5.11 EDC PL 2AAA Flashlight. Tough, portable and as useful as it gets, it emits 107 lumens and offers a runtime of up to 4 hours and 20 minutes. A removable pocket clip keeps it quickly accessible, while the weathered orange color is a great option to help make sure it’s easy to find no matter what bag it’s thrown in.

It’s all in the details

So many brands in the tactical and outdoors spaces just “shrink it and pink it.” Not 5.11. Each of the products featured in this article are the result of what happens when female designers actually meet with women for product feedback, fittings and development meetings to design the products that meet their wants and needs. But if you’re scared of purchasing the wrong size, don’t worry. With the exception of final sale closeout items, 5.11 offers refunds or exchanges within 90 days of receipt. Or just play it safe and get a gift card. 511Tactical.com