Fighter Design Vertx Airflow Phantom Ops Pants – Cooler Than Shorts

Vertex AIRFLOW Phantom Ops pants (courtesy

(sponsored content)
Here in Texas, August and early September are the dog days and coyote nights of grueling heat. Even when the sun goes down, moving around outside’s like trying to walk through a hot bath. When the wind kicks up, it’s the Devil’s own hairdryer. To cope with the hellish heat I wear Vertex Airflow Phantom Ops Pants. As you move, the pants’ vents channel air into your lower body and circulate hot air out. They’re literally cooler than shorts. Practicing on the range, cutting brush, hunting pigs or walking in town, I’m way cooler than I would be in a pair of shorts. More to the point of this website, Airflow pants are perfect for all forms of concealed carry . . .

Whether you pocket carry your pistol, conceal your gun in an inside-the-waistband holster, or carry your gun in an outside-the-waistband holster with a shirt over it, Airflow pants have got you covered. Their deep front pockets, expandable waist and sturdy belt loops keep all forms of carry cool and comfortable. 

To create gun-toting brand champions for Fighter Design – the company owned by the genius who invented the pants and a wide selection of totally awesome tactical gear – I’m offering TTAG readers a pair (or two or three or more) of Vertex Airflow Phantom Ops Pants for just $40 a pair. Normally, the pants go for $69.99. That’s a penny shy of $30 off per pair. 

Click here to order. Enter the code TTAG at checkout to buy as many pairs of pants as you want at $40 per pair. All colors, all sizes, all pants. You’ve got nothing to lose. Fighter Design backs its pants with a 120 day “buy, try, and decide” guarantee. If you don’t agree that these are the best pants you’ve ever worn in the heat, we’ll buy them back for the price you paid.

Not even Vertex Airflow Phantom Ops Pants can totally tame the Texas heat. But there’s nothing you can wear that’s cooler than these Airflow pants. Imagine how great they’ll feel when the thermostat’s a tad kindler to your lower extremities. Better yet, buy them and see for yourself. Your you-know-what’s will thank you. As will I.

Here are the specs:


  • Airflow™ mesh inserts in pockets, behind pockets, and in pant legs for fresh movement of cool air
  • Triple-bellowed inset cargo pockets expand for additional capacity while the addition of mesh inserts assist with proper air flow
  • Mini Rip-Stop pattern weave pant fabric delivers added durability to effectively resist tears in multiple environments
  • Dual concealed zipper pockets on both sides enable discreet carry options
  • Slim-line pockets at each hip are designed specifically for carrying smaller gear
  • Articulated, double-reinforced knees provide extra protection against wear and tear
  • Back pockets feature flaps for style and enhanced privacy


  1. avatar Frustrated says:

    “Unavailable” – no option to order with delayed shipment.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Sorry, but at this price, when we are out of that size and color we are really out. I hope you can find a second choice.

      1. avatar Frustrated says:

        I attempted to order at full price few weeks ago. Same result as the recent attempt and before any discount was applied. Have decided to shop elsewhere.

      2. avatar Chris says:

        This would be a great advert and all if I didn’t see this on every option I chose.

        The selected product combination is currently unavailable.

      3. avatar OODAloop says:

        Not a single 34×36. Guess I stick with my Vertx 8600’s…

      4. avatar notalima says:

        Great price, but not a single combination in stock in 4 size combinations in any color. 🙁

  2. avatar Gunr says:

    Do they prevent “crotch wet rot”

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Depends on what’s underneath them. Good undies go a long way, and they are basically miraculous when in “commando mode”. However, if your “crotch wet rot” is due to that time you spent in the Philippines for your cousin’s bachelor party, well, nothing’s that miraculous.

      1. avatar Gunr says:

        Actually, I spent time in the Philippines when I went there to marry my wife. Wait a minute! I think I better have a talk with her.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Coffee, meet keyboard.

  3. avatar Shire-man says:

    First choice unavailable.
    Got two pairs of second choice.
    Been eyeing these for a while now but couldnt bring myself to drop $70 on a pair of nylon pants.
    I just hope they fit right.

  4. avatar Bigus Macus says:

    To bad these are made for short Texans, the inseam only goes to 34″. That seems to be par for the course, no one makes a Big & Tall line of shooting apparel.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      On the sizing, I usually wear a 36″ inseam but I wear a 34″ in these pants. Also, a 34″ waist in a pair of Levi’s 501s is loose on me but they are just right in these pants. If you have a belly order a size larger than usual. They are made for a climber’s build.

    2. avatar bontai Joe says:

      AMEN to that! My complaint is we are either allowed to be big or allowed to be tall, but don’t be fat AND tall like me. No sizes to fit me at all.

  5. avatar Drew says:

    are the inseams cut long or right at length? 32 is often a 1/2 too short and 34 is 1.5″ too long.

  6. avatar NotoriousAPP says:

    I just tactically ejaculated. These would be awesome in the hot texas sun…..too bad i wear hot ass snake boots that go up to my knees.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Even in snake boots they help, but man, that is a problem we talk about in the office all the time. In the chores I do and in a lot of places I hunt, snake boots are a must, and they absolutely kill you in the heat. We’re working on a solution, but it’s a hard one.

      1. avatar NotoriousAPP says:

        Awesome, please post back when you have some better ventilated snake boots, that would be amazing.

        I just picked up two pair of your pants, I’m looking forward to them. These are the only type of pants I wear in the Texas summer (April-October).

      2. avatar NotoriousAPP says:

        I see you guys are located in Austin down on Congress Ave, cool. Howdy neighbor, maybe we’ll run into each other sometime.

        Have any of the dirt bag hipsters that loiter around downtown Austin asked you to make a skinny version of these pants? :).

      3. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Have you tried snake chaps?
        Easy to take off when out of the danger zone. And weigh much less than snake boots.
        I wear them when fishing out east. It’s really bad snake country.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Tom, is there a particular brand you like?

        2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

          I like this brand

          I wear the gaiters as the rattlers here aren’t that big. Easy on and off.

  7. avatar Blind Man says:

    tactical camouflage pants are PERFECT for concealed carry.

    I mean who would possibly guess you might have a firearm?!

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Plain color options like khaki and grey available as well.

      1. avatar Rad Man says:

        Will I look a little less like an operator operating operationally?

  8. avatar Noishkel says:

    That’s… actually a really good idea. I started wearing BDU pants when I was a teen and never went back to jeans. They’re a bit pricier than I’m used to but as long as I can get at least a year out of them at least I’m okay with that. Even if I can’t get them on sale.

  9. avatar BDub says:

    Only a single color choice is available in my size. Tan/Multi. I’ll try them, and see.

  10. avatar Roymond says:

    This is the sort of product that should be offered with an unfinished bottom hem, so a buyer can adjust them to precisely the right length. That’s especially so in a time when people have different preferences for how high the top of a pair of pants should ride!

    1. avatar jrod says:

      Couldn’t you buy a pair that are obviously too long for you and take them to a tailor for hemming?

  11. avatar Will P. says:

    Well I was going to buy a pair of tan for work. But they are out of all the ones in my sizes. These would be great working EMS in these 95-100° days we’ve been having in GA.

  12. avatar Roymond says:

    Won’t let me edit….

    If the airflow strip ran right up one leg, across the crotch, and back down, I wouldn’t hesitate — consider that as a future option. As it is, I’m pondering a couple pair.

  13. avatar Dracon1201 says:

    But how do they compare to my Valken tac pants?

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Well, after looking at these,

      I’d say they compare pretty favorably. And maybe I should way up the price.

  14. avatar Red In Texas says:

    I snagged a pair. Should be perfect for White Wing season.

  15. avatar Mike Crognale says:

    Unfortunately the “all sizes” doesn’t extend to us large economy size guys. I need 46 by 30 and it’s not offered. Otherwise I’d get a couple of pairs.

    1. avatar MeRp says:

      Yeah, they don’t like fat guy business, apparently. As he said; they’re designed for a climbers build. None of us fat guys have a climber’s build.
      So, obviously, none of us want the capability to stay a bit cooler in the hot deserts that we live in, because fat guys, obviously, don’t get hot much much easier than guys with a “climber’s build.”

  16. avatar CTSheepdog says:

    I have the Vertx pants in three models, as well as the shorts. The standard and LT pants are my everyday wear having replaced every other pair of cargo pant I have as well as several pairs of jeans (I gave away the Topper, etc but kept the Mountain Khakis).

    The designs are almost the same between the standard and lighter weight fabric. The elastic in the waist provides enough give to accommodate those weeks after that bachelor party weekend. The leg and butt design allow for all manner of flexibility and freedom of movement (ladders, climbing, etc.)

    The low profile cargo pockets are there when you need them and are not obvious to the casual observer. And given the below internally, they don’t bulge, even when full. The interior pockets in those pockets are great for segregating phones from keys from tools. And the zippered “stealth” pocket up near the slash/hip pockets are useful for holding cash or anything you don’t want to slip out. My only complaint on my current pairs are the open nature of the butt pockets which is where I usually carry my wallet. I still do and welcome the open top pocket design when looking to stash an empty AR mag back there but would have preferred a flap or small Velcro patch. Someone mentioned a design update that addressed this but I have none with a new design.

    All of the above also applies to the LT shorts of which I own three pairs.

    I have one pair of the AirFlow pants but have not worn them enough to have a very strong opinion. Their design and quality is right up there with the other Vertx pants. I look forward to using them in my new home in Florida but have not had the chance as yet (still unpacking).

    One thing that did not allow me to test them in Connecticut was the fact that more than air can pass through the mesh. That is, if you are in an area where you worry about ticks, this design might not be a good idea. Lyme disease has exploded in the northeast (2 of my 4 sons have active infections this summer). Any little critter than can grab onto the bottom of your pants leg and climb can get in through the mesh, even if you have the bottom of the leg sealed off with rubber bands, self-install pull cords or tucked into socks (does anyone really do that?). Not sure you worry about creepy crawlies in TX but in tick country, it is a real concern.

    I highly recommend any version of the Vertx Phantom Pant.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      CTSheepdog, the checks in the mail.

      1. avatar CTSheepdog says:

        If only…

        In actuality, Vertx should be sending me a check for all the folks I have talked into trying these pants over the years. While no one I know owns more pairs outright (4 pairs standard, 3 pairs light, 3 pairs shorts and the AirFlo), I have probably turned on 8-10 guys to the brands. The best was making a recommendation to a buddy’s wife as a gift from Santa. She nearly teared up telling me now jacked he was when he opened the gift (two pair, one coyoteish and one gray) and declared “the best gift ever”. Seems they went over better than sweaters and socks.

        I never say good things about a product unless I mean it and use them regularly. This is such a case.

    2. avatar CGinTX says:

      In Texas, the delightful local critter that makes the mesh worrisome is chigger. Which, sadly, seems to travel in packs of dozens at a minimum!

      1. avatar CTSheepdog says:

        I figured there had to be something. Chiggers, and “bullet-proof” armadillos…..

  17. avatar Gordon Wagner says:

    Interesting. Need larger sizes. It’s be great if there was a gusset where the legs meet, makes an enormous difference in daily comfort.

  18. avatar Blake says:

    As soon as Levi starts making Tactical 501’s, I’ll start wearing tactical stuff again.

    I cannot wear the usual tactical/cargo pants, as they tend to fit me like socks on a rooster.

    As an OSWB (old skinny white boy) I know the pants are a skosh large in the leg when my legs resemble a clapper in a bell when wearing the pants.

  19. avatar jwtaylor says:

    For all you who can’t find the right size, please post your size so that we know what sizes to add next time.

  20. avatar Frustrated says:

    40X30. I don’t expect every size to be immediately available, but generally expect merchants to provide a back-order capability when they aren’t along with an ETA. A “we now have them in stock” email notice capability would be nice too.

    FWIW, I believe the failure to offer “reasonable” quantitates without a ‘limited availability’ notice violates consumer law in several states.

  21. avatar Jethro Bean says:

    Just ordered – First choice available and ordering/discount was a breeze. I Liked the rest of the gear on your site. Will give these a test run when they arrive.

  22. avatar LKB says:

    JWT speaks the truth here . . . these are truly amazing in the heat (and the last few weeks in Central Texas have been scorching). They work great as fishing pants. Glad I was able to score another pair at the special TTAG price!

    My only nit is that they don’t have internal pockets for knee pads (a-la 5.11’s and others). Except for that, however, damn near perfect.

  23. avatar Dustin says:

    I like heat… If I’m not doing 75+ on the bike and not STILL sweating, wearing actual shorts and a t-shirt, it’s too cold out.

  24. avatar thx855 says:

    I’ve been wearing fishnet pants for years.

    1. avatar CTSheepdog says:

      Ain’t true unless you share photos……

  25. avatar rlc2 says:

    44 by 32

  26. avatar dave says:

    46×32. Or 46×34

  27. avatar Yet Another Robert says:

    It is a shame more weren’t in stock. I have been wanting to try these and at this price would have been willing to take the plunge even though I normally buy 36″ inseam. Good luck with these JWT. They look to be a winner.

  28. avatar Roberts says:


    Are you going to offer back orders. Not sure the amount of orders you had, or if you were over whelmed by the response from TTAG. I would hope you were prepared and just mis-judged. The concept of the pants seems to work in theory, would have like to try them. For that price, would have bought a pair to experiment with. When will you have more in stock???

  29. avatar jwtaylor says:

    Hey folks, thanks for the response, we sold a lot of pants, much more than I though we would. We are just about out of everything. I’ll keep the deal for TTAG members up till Friday and then it will go back to the regular price. We will order some more but we can’t control when we get what sizes in.

    1. avatar Roymond says:

      You won’t back-order for sales?

  30. avatar daniel l says:

    Thanks for offering this deal, and i was also happy how inexpensive the shipping was. $5 bucks for two pairs is pretty classy! I cant wait to use them, seting up feeders and blinds in lampassas has been brutal the past few weeks!

  31. avatar Dave says:

    I just had my order cancelled, and was told they are not getting any more in stock as they try and clear out this inventory for a new line. Kinda sucks, I was looking forward to trying these out. Those of you hoping for a restock, I wouldn’t hold my breath. I appreciate the offered discount though.

  32. avatar Peter says:

    My TTAG discount pair arrived and they seem well made. The pocket flaps are fixed so the openings are a bit smaller than a flap, but no velcro and no chance of the flap opening up on you.
    The fit is pretty close to the 5.11 tactical pants, I wear 34×34 and both fit about the same, the Vertx may be a tiny bit smaller. At 6’2″ and 185 the 34×34 fit well, although my waist tapes out more like a 35-36 inch. I like the inner zippered pockets and the knife pockets on both sides of the pants.
    Will buy another pair.

  33. avatar lance doggette says:

    hey i got my pants yesterday and have them on now. they are everything they say they are. i like them very much. the pants are actual sewn like what i remember pants use to be. the crotch is where it is suppose to be not hanging down around your knees. i would have liked to get the 36 by 30 but the 36 by 32’s are working fine. the only thing that i don’t like is the flaps being sewn over the back pockets, i hang my keys from a belt loop and then tuck the keys into the left pocket, the flap makes this harder. it is just a minor thing for me. i really don’t like wearing shorts but, these pants are even better. GREAT JOB VERTEX

    1. avatar lance doggette says:


      1. avatar Roymond says:

        Wow — I haven’t even been notified mine have shipped.

        I love shorts, but doing conservation work there are times I need the cool and the coverage — I hope these are the ticket!

  34. avatar Tan says:

    Dont buy these pants, they are a gimmick because they are hotter than short.
    i bought six Phantom OPS and cut them in to short. Alot cooler than these airflow.
    if these was made with the phantom lite fabric, it would be cooler than short.
    i own 6 “every color” of the VertX original, Phantom LT , Phantom Ops “cut into short”, discountinued 2×3=6 Phantom lite, and i have own 3 of the cotton short plus 3 phantom lt short, 2 multicam cut in to shorts, 3 of the core casual. But these airflow are just horrible and way too baggy.

  35. avatar Roymond says:

    Mine finally arrived and went through their first, pre-wear, wash.

    The air flow is great, better than any shorts I own even with stuff in the pockets. But those pockets are the real pain — with the flap sown down tight, they’re all but useless for anything in the field. I do like the zipped “stealth” pocket, and the regular pockets are nice and roomy, but the rear end pockets might as well not be there, the butt fit is so tight.

    I’ll be wearing them a lot once I’ve done surgery to make the cargo pockets functional, but I may have to spend more than they cost to get a butt fit that makes the read pockets more than decoration.

  36. avatar Roymond says:

    So how about an airflow long tank in that camo mesh (or something a littlesofter)?

  37. avatar Roymond says:

    So how about an airflow long tank in that camo mesh (or something a little softer)?

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