Been asked for this repeatedly (you can stop bugging me now), so here we go. My top ten of camouflage patterns, in no particular order because as a sniper you should be selecting depending on the environment, not basing it on looks or for posing on Instagram in your bedroom for your gamer fans. Bear in mind too that I’m writing this from a North Western European viewpoint too, so these are the ones that work better for me. Anything you think has been missed, drop it in the comments and if there are enough I might do a follow up article…

  1. US Woodland. Often mistakenly referred to as M81 (that’s actually the cut, not the pattern), it’s one of the most classic camouflage patterns out there. The dark green makes it very flexible in a multitude of environments, and the clear, crisp macro offers great shape breakup.
  1. Flecktarn. I love the organic look to the pattern, but it’s the colours that make this work so well. Dark greens mixed with orange and grey make this extremely effective on the forest floor among leaves.
  1. MARPAT. MARine PATtern. I hate it. I hate most blocky digital camouflages because they’re unnatural and remind me of my early days of playing Super Mario. I hate Point6 for using it. But, it works so so well. It’s that coyote-esque brown colour that does it. Begrudgingly, it’s on the list.
  1. DPM. Being British, this is the stuff I’ve grown up with. It’s everywhere, it’s cheap and plentiful and there’s thousands of different items available from gaiters to medic packs, bush hats to boot cleaning kits. I do prefer the older variations because the last iteration of it I thought was just too dark looking overall. Like US Woodland, the clear brushed effect macro pattern offers superb shape breakup, especially on forest floors.
  1. MTP. I don’t like multicam type patterns because they’re everywhere and easily recognised, but MTP is slightly more brushed and organic looking and annoyingly, it’s a great colour for lighter grassland areas. In fact, I’d love to be able to offer up a better grassland pattern but I don’t think there is one. Being British, it also means you can get hold of cheap but good smocks in this pattern, and they’re a superb base to work from.
  1. Tibet Tarn – Actually Chinese Type 03 Plateau. A variation on Flecktarn but with better colours for autumn and winter. It’s not the easiest thing to get hold of, but it’s probably top of my wish list. A quick Google and you’ll see it working in a range of environments and doing it extremely well.
  1. Pencott. Not specifically any one colourway, Pencott across the board just works and works well. As a family of patterns, you can pick whichever suits your environment best. I like this approach where you can adjust colours, whereas military patterns are just the one pattern and colour. Never understood why it wasn’t adopted more widely. It’s been a favourite among airsoft players in recent years. It’s creator is an avid follower of the blog and I’ve been very fortunate to be able to chat camo to him, and the reasons behind why Pencott works is genius, so it makes the list.
  1. Kryptek. Another family of patterns, I love the way the pattern of Kryptek pulls shapes around to create a depth. I’ve used Highlander here which is a very useful base for dry, dead environments.
  1. PhantomLeaf. Another modern camo, I’ve seen this pattern up close and it is exceptionally good stuff. Enough colour options to satisfy any environment. A higher price tag than surplus kit but you get what you pay for. Similar to Pencott, it uses micro shapes within the macro.
  1. Varan Camo. A superb selection of colours and that weird “mesh” effect pattern on the top. Developed by Ukraine, it’s not something you’ll see often (no camo pun intended) which is a shame, but hopefully it’ll catch on in the near future. Not a green environment camo, but another solid choice in grassland, or dry or arid areas.
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Well, that’s my top ten. I know there are more trendy camo patterns I’ve not added, like Rhodesian, or Desert night camo, but this is all purely me looking at effective patterns. Also, I’ve not gone into hunting camo because I prefer macro pattern to micro details for breakup.

Anything you think is missing?

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>