5.11 Tactical has been a prominent brand in the tactical business for many years, but the company’s goods – and history – extend far beyond the widely recognized tactical trousers. From the origin of the name to the “renegade” mountain climbers who founded the firm in the 1930s, the company’s history is rich.
1. How Does It All Begin?
Many individuals are unaware that 5.11 Tactical’s origins lie in the manufacture of climbing equipment. Beneath the 1930s, in the Yosemite Valley’s shadow, a new subculture emerged. People from around the United States traveled to Yosemite to engage in a new pastime: recreational climbing. They come to get knowledge and have fun. This meant there was a constant influx of fresh climbers who need equipment.
This provided Royal Robbins with inspiration. He founded a business to provide quality climbing equipment to these enthusiasts. He referred to them as Royal Robbins Outdoor Accessories.
The company’s initial product was a pair of trousers designed to withstand the punishment of climbing over difficult terrain. The trousers gained widespread popularity among climbers in Yosemite Valley and elsewhere. He had no idea that his pants would become popular decades later among an entirely different audience.
2. The Origin Of The 5.11 Name?
Royal Robbins referred to the first trousers he manufactured as “5.11 pants.” The term is derived from the Yosemite Decimal System, which measures the difficulty of recreational climbing. Within the five broad climbing categories, a decimal indicates the relative difficulty of each climb.
In the 1930s, 5.10 was the most difficult climb attainable. Therefore, a 5.11 climb signified “impossible, but occasionally accomplished.” It was the ideal moniker for a pair of pants durable enough for Yosemite climbers to scale steep rock cliffs.
3. From Yosemite To Quantico
The 1990s witnessed one of the most critical eras in 5.11’s history. FBI agent was married to one of the customer service workers at Royal Robbins. The agent was tasked with attending the FBI National Academy. The Academy is an invitation-only 10-week training program for law enforcement managers from the United States and abroad. Numerous graduates of the Academy become law enforcement officials.
According to the legend, the agent wore his 5.11 trousers, and other agents started asking him where he purchased them. They were popular throughout the whole program and quickly became the FBI Academy’s standard pants. From then, their popularity extended to law enforcement organizations in every state, and 5.11’s “tactical” division was established.
4. A New Beginning
In 2003, 5.11 Tactical observed the rising demand for these goods among law enforcement and saw an opportunity to refocus the firm to serve the expanding tactical market. The business liquidated everything except for eight essential goods that matched this new tactical vision, including the 5.11 tactical trousers, the tactical shirt, and a few others.
This new, streamlined collection was renamed the 5.11 Tactical series, and the modern corporation was established.
5. 5.11 And Policeone’s Quiet Warrior Program Honors Everyday Heroes
Recently, 5.11 Tactical and Police1 collaborated to establish the Quiet Warrior program. This program is intended to highlight the important work officers do every day in their communities, such as Jonny Castro, who has created a gallery of portraits of fallen officers, and Chet Parker, who has created a program to connect those living on the streets with the services they require and help them find employment. Here you may find additional information about the Quiet Warrior program.
Today, tactical trousers continue to be their best-selling product, and 5.11 also provides an extensive selection of tactical equipment, from the XPRT uniform to the CVRT18 bag.