Guys. It’s a skirt. OK? If you want to wear a skirt, by all means, go ahead, wear a skirt. Your freedom of expression is protected with and by my right to keep and bear arms. You can call it a kilt and draw upon centuries of kick-ass Scottish heritage. [Click here for 5.11’s history of the kilt.] And yes, I bet your bits are cooler than my bits when the temperature is sizzling hot but . . .

Blowing stuff up in a kilt is all well and good but how do you conceal a firearm and draw while wearing your $80 5.11 Tactical Kilt? Inside-the-waistband, I suppose, as most people wear kilts with tucked-in shirts. Hey, what about a thigh holster?

The mind boggles.

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81 Responses to 5.11 Goes All In for Tactical Kilts

    • Yep. A kilt is nine yards of thick, pleated wool that is worn with a sporran. These man-skirts are popular and maybe even a bit stylish, but they’re not kilts.

      • More like if it’s not Scottish, it’s not Scottish. If you want to tell people you’re wearing a traditional garment, then actually wear one. An actual kilt has so little in common with anything else that there’s really no blurring of lines.

        A kilt without a sporran is as much a kilt as chaps are pants despite the lack of a seat. Worn alone, neither looks correct.

        • Here in Scotland, we have an expression: If you wear anything under a kilt, you are not a true Scotsman. Having been a true Scotsman more than once, I can assure you of three things:
          1. Ye’ll bi ca’d.
          2. If ye’r nae will endoowed, th’ lassies ‘ll laugh th’r heids aff.
          3. Ye’ll hae th’ itchiest baws knawn tae man!

    • They have it in black! And the obvious question is “Can’t the ladies wear this too?” Or do they hav toty wh the 5.11 pants?

      • There’s a real problem with women wearing a kilt made for a man.

        Something about the hips being different…

        In my father’s family, all the men wore the traditional Scottish kilt and plaid for super dressup occasions. They would not have recognized this as a kilt, for sure.

        But, what the heck. Maybe it is time to develop new traditions. Just don’t offer this kilt to the ladies, thank you. We’ll come up with our own. LOL

  1. You’re doing it wrong if you try to conceal a pistol in your kilt. The claymore was meant for the kilt. OC is the way to go.

  2. Interesting, but I think I’d rather keep my pasty white legs in jeans. Or 5.11 pants – which are actually kind of a pain in the a$$ with holsters because they have so many belt loops.

    I could see getting a real kilt, though. I’d probably get red plaid or green.

    • It’s gotta be in the clan or family print or colors.
      I’ve got my Grandpas. It’s pretty neat. I still haven’t worn it.
      It was strictly for dress up occasions.

      • I’ve worn a kilt a couple of times; but even here in Scotland a family tartan is hard to get. My family tartan is the Sutherland tartan, and the Sutherland clan was one of the largest in Scotland however if I were to get a kilt in my family tartan, I’d have to shell out over £400.
        Balls-to-the-air nonsense!

  3. On second thought, one could just omit underwear and piss anywhere at any time without getting arrested.

  4. The men who wear kilts are likely the same ilk as the “unnecessary male nudity” folks in gym locker rooms…

    You know the types, bare a$$ed on the bench, strolling to shower naked as a jay bird, shirt-co*kin’ (aka porky pigging), and the offenses go on.

    Just throw on some pants, like the rest of us, and keep you butt off the public bench.

  5. I have one and love it. I used to wear it at least once a week to work at Gander Mtn. The rules said “no shorts” it said nothing about kilts. Boss loved it.

  6. Per Robert Heinlein, you conceal carry with a pistol on one thigh and a knife on the other, with access from the bottom.

    He is the man who coined the phrase “An armed society is a polite society.” But he also seemed to have a very strange relationship with his mother – Oedipus wasn’t even close. So choose your role models carefully.

    • Funnily enough, history proves this statement to be correct. Two words: feudal Japan. I don’t think there was ever a place that was THAT well armed, not even the Old West.

    • The same scene, with Uncle Gibbie checking the town, and his weapons, popped into my mind when I saw this article.

      Heinein’s character had an unusual relationship with his mother, after two thousand years(!) and it was a surprise (and as troubling) to him as to anyone. But look at what else had happened in the intervening time, and the apparent relative ages of those … relatives. She didn’t know who he was … until later.

      Heinlein was definitely one of the People of the Gun. Some selected quotations:

      Place your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark.

      Get a shot off fast. This upsets him long enough to let you make your second shot perfect.

      A “pacifist male” is a contradiction in terms. Most self-described “pacifists” are not pacific; they simply assume false colors. When the wind changes, they hoist the Jolly Roger.

      It may be better to be a live jackal than a dead lion, but it is better still to be a live lion. And usually easier.

      You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don’t ever count on having both at once.

      In a mature society, “civil servant” is semantically equal to “civil master”.

      The two highest achievements of the human mind are the twin concepts of “loyalty” and “duty”. Whenever these twin concepts fall into disrepute – get out of there fast! You may possibly save yourself, but it is too late to save that society. It is doomed.

      The first time I was a drill instructor I was too inexperienced for the job – the things I taught those lads must have got some of them killed. War is too serious a matter to be taught by the inexperienced.

      The whole set, from Time Enough for Love, is posted here.

    • Robert Heinlein? He defines independent thought based on self-sufficiency, self-reliance, with no need to control others and a healthy distrust of big government. And a constant affirmation that if you are weaponless, you are vulnerable to all predators, whether of the common criminal in the street, or the common criminal in government.

      That is the message to me and to many others. But like the Christ said many years ago, no one is without sin, so those without sin, cast the first stone.

  7. Being a 5.11 item, I expected this to be more expensive than the Utilikilt. At this price, I might consider it.

  8. I really want this to become a thing! Every operator that is operating operationally should be wearing one! No more un-zipping to take a piss, no more dropping trow for a crap or a quick shag! It’s the perfect system, unless you’re in a briar patch. O.O

  9. I used to wear my Utilikilt regularly until I finally dropped about 20 pounds!! This looks like a very nice stopgap!! And a Utilikilt is made from heavy canvas, lasts literally forever and costs between $150-$350!! Oh and if you’re wearing underwear its a skirt not a kilt.

  10. Big blocky guys can get away with wearing the tactikilt.

    Me, I’m a skinny white guy with legs to match. There’s a reason you don’t see me in public wearing anything other than pants.

    Kilts would be hard on everyone around me, though, I suppose the unsightliness would be an advantage.

  11. I’m just waiting for them to come out with a tactical sporran made from the pelt of a honey badger

  12. I’m not a fan of easy access for mosquitos. Keeps me wearing jeans when shorts would be much more comfortable.

  13. I’d probably buy one if I lived in the UK, along with some trews. I’d probably generally wear trews in the winter and when I need more protection, and kilts in the summer. If I have to wear sporran and ghillie brogue shoes every day to complete the costume, I’d put up with the discomfort. It’s worth it for one reason. I’m not Scottish, but by UK law one is allowed to openly carry blades as part of Highland Dress. That would include the sgian-dubh knife worn in the sock (generally about a 3-3.5″ blade), although not without some controversy (nation of pussies), as well as (perhaps more controversially) a dirk (dagger with a blade about 12″). I don’t suppose I’d have to claim to be Scottish or a highlander to be protected by the law but I’d certainly do my research before I started openly carrying a dirk in public daily in the UK, especially outside Scotland. This is perhaps the only legal way to be armed (with primitive weapons) in public as a civilian in the UK without large restrictions. Now, would it be a faux pas to wear that American tartan, “Buffalo Plaid”, within Scotland since it’s actually a clan tartan, MacGregor Red & Black? If so there are other plenty of other tartans I can wear, but I consider the MacGregor Red & Black pattern part of my American heritage. Old hunting clothing and blankets and the like. But I’d hesitate to use it in Scotland if people actually insist that non-MacGregors not wear it.

    • You don’t necessarily have to be part of a clan to wear the tartan, but for lesser-known tartans like my family tartan, the Sutherland tartan, it would be rather faux-pas. If you go into a kilt shop, you’ll get either a specific tartan, or a choice of a few of the most common. The classic look of tartan is the Royal Stewart, and it is the standard for weddings. My preferred tartan, aside from my own, is the Hunting Stewart, as it looks good and is somewhat similar to mine.

  14. Women are used to keeping their legs together when they sit. It probably just comes natural for them, not men! Imagine the first time your meeting your prospective mother in law, and your wearing one of these things, and you sit down across from her with your legs spread open!

  15. When will 5.11 come out with the Tactical Horned Viking Helmet, so I can tactically go lo-pro per my heritage?
    Uff DA!

    • Well, good for me I’m not one of those “wanna be’s.”

      I got my 5.11 computer bag as the least-bad semi-solution to carrying my work computer & gear, plus personal “day bag” stuff. Mine is the lest “tacti-cool” look I could get. I’d be happier with a bit less velcro and web on the outside, but you do what you can. I’m a poor tailor, thus limited to what I can buy, vs. make.

      I also investigated Timbuktu & Chrome bags which signal techon-urban hipster more than tacticool-wannabe. FWIW I rejected those on available laptop sleeve size, not the associated tribal signaling.

      I do wonder. How much of 5.11’s, and other people’s marketing is tribal signaling? Historical kilts were about this.

      Can I be a “gun nut” without owning a gun, much less one with that thing that goes up on it?

  16. People claiming “9 yards of hand pleated wool in a tartan or ’tis nae a kilt” come across like 1911 purists who disdain polymer guns. kiss my hairy white a**. I spent years in utilikilts, had 11 of them. I owned more kilts than pants at one time. freeballing and all. my weight is up and down and I’m between kilts right now. I can’t afford my family tartan in wool or the time to pleat it and roll around on the floor to get it around me. I definitely can’t afford to f*ck it up by getting it as dirty as I’ve gotten pants or utilikilts. Pop ’em in the wash and good to go. Like anything else, things evolve and become more functional and user friendly with new materials.. otherwise get a flintlock rifle and quit calling that 1911 a “gun”.

  17. Lads, this is very much a kilt. The “traditional” kilt was invented by Thomas Rawlinson in 1720. He was an Englishman. Before that, the proper (and true kilt) was the breacan… Five to nine yards of plaid hand pleated and belted in place. I have both original (breacan) and “modern” kilt and love them all. The real question of whether it is Scottish is in the heart of the man who wears it. What is truly Scottish evolves as we of Scottish ancestory evolve. Who gives a damn what the Sassenach calls us? Let them have their badminton and tennis… We’ll still be tossing the sheaf and throwing caber like true free men.

    • It’s not a kilt unless it has a sporran. If 5.11 sold a tactical sporran to go with, then I would be impressed. I’m still holding out for a green, brown and khaki tartan version!

  18. Unless you are forced to wear this as a member of a Scottish military unit, then wearing this puts you firmly in the transvestite category by definition.

    You can try to make it sound manly, but you will fail.

    • Ye wan’ manli’, Mist’r Pantaloon Laddie? Ah’ll gie ye manli’! We wore the kilt thraw thrie a’ more wars wi’ the English, an’ thraw two wi’ the Jerries! And naw, we dinnae wear the kilt noo, but we shid, caws it’s got some kick-arse shit behind it. An’ aye, say THAT tae th’ mackle lad wi’ th’ kit an’ th’ claymore, laddie!

  19. The 5.11 kilt started out as an April Fools joke three or four years ago, but they got so many orders that they had to honor them. Lead time was a few months. About two years ago they had a second run.
    In one of my old Heinlein books there was an illustration of a man wearing a kilt. Dagger said to be strapped to one thigh, blaster to the other. Effeminate? Not a bit.
    Ever since seeing that, I hoped that kilts would come in fashion. As a Heinlein fan, I would wear the ones I bought, and the hell with what you %$@s think. But my wife threatened divorce…
    Oh, and in one of the more recent remakes of The 39 Steps, at the end of the movie they showed Scottish troops mobilizing for WW I wearing canvas kilts that looked very much like Utilikilts. I assume this was historically accurate.

  20. Full disclosure, I do in fact own a Utilikilt. And yes it can be very comfortable. But as far as 5.11 Kilt goes – IF IT AIN’T PRACTICAL, THEN IT AIN’T TACTICAL….and it ain’t practical.

  21. $80.00!!!!! There is no way a Scotsman will every pay that much money! Remember that copper wire was invented by two Scotsmen fighting over a penny!

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