Cop pants for geeks/makers

Cop pants for geeks/makers

Like most geeks, I have specific needs for tools I carry on my person. I must have a pocket on my shirt (including t-shirts) for a Moleskine Cahier, a Hipster PDA, and a Varsity fountain pen, and pants pockets for earbuds and wallet, belt with iPhone and Leatherman Wave, etc. So I can relate to this piece in the recent Cool Tools e-letter, by MAKE contributor Todd Lappin, about his use of these heavy-duty, cheap uniform trousers with a “sap” pocket (cell-phone-sized pocket in the right rear leg area), used by law enforcement types:


Until someone sees fit to design a proper pair of dress pants that can accommodate a mobile phone, I found an acceptable solution in the pages of Galls, my favorite law-enforcement catalog. Beat cops wear dress-style slacks as a basic part of their uniforms, and some of those slacks come with a “sap pocket” — a small pocket built into the rear of the leg that’s used to hold billy clubs, blackjacks, or flashlights. For civilians, however, a sap pocket is also great for holding cell phones.

Every day I carry a wallet, a chunky set of keys, and a mobile phone. I also spend a lot of time sitting at a desk, so I keep my rear pockets empty to avoid discomfort. That leaves me with two pockets in the front, and three things to carry. The alternatives (belt clips and carpenter’s pants) just don’t cut it for me. Personally, I think belt clips are conspicuous and a little bit tacky. Carpenter’s pants have a slim pocket on the side that’s ideal for carrying a phone. Trouble is, it’s inappropriate to dress like a contractor when working in a professional office environment.

Galls DutyPro trousers pants aren’t as nice as the dress clothes you’ll find at Barney’s or Saks. On the other hand, they’re uniform tough, they’re permanent-press for easy care, and they’re cheap — less than $25 per pair with free hemming included. The rear leg pocket is perfectly sized for an iPhone, and my mobile slides in without creating a bulge or altering the basic fit. Alternatively, if I ever need to carry a billy club into a business meeting, well, I expect these pants will be good for that too.

–Todd Lappin

DutyPro Uniform Trousers
Available from Galls

14 thoughts on “Cop pants for geeks/makers

  1. Ben says:

    Dickies brand work pants come in many different colors and several styles with all the utility you describe above.

  2. John Park says:

    You may also carry up to 3 ounces of sap in the “sap” pocket if you are making maple syrup in extremely small batches.

    I do lament the passing of cargo pants as fashionable, because it was a heck of a lot more comfortable than jamming all the same stuff into regular pants.

  3. Gareth Branwyn says:

    When I travel, I still wear cargo pants. I have way too much crap to carry and it’s just so great to have pockets on your legs for easy access when you’re crammed into a plane seat.

  4. neuralstatic says:

    i’m interested in something like this, but i can’t deal well with polyester.

    so i’ll probably keep on with my cargo pants, tons of pockets, just not as good to masquerade as an adult

  5. chris says:

    if you’ve never have used a hammer in your life!

    They have a loop on the side. Everyone on here is not guilty of that :)

  6. Kent KB says:

    As a work wear “wearer” I must list my “faves”: Blaklader from Sweden, Skillers (AKA Snickers Workwear) also Swedish and good old Carhartt.
    All of these have a load of extra pockets etc.
    The Carhartt’s are worn all the time even when I am no working, I call them my “Play” pants.
    Blaklader are my best work pants with Skillers a close 2nd.
    Both of these have a pocket in the knees for slip in knee pads, a must for the 13 hour days I put in at the Theater.
    The Skiller Tool Vest is worn as my primary tool holder.

    1. metis says:

      you just need a utilikilt. the mockers are great for the office, and carry my wallet, keys, G1, pocket watch, and chapstick comfortably, the survival model, well what can’t you carry in that.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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