Camouflage Comparison: Mirage, MultiCam and UCP - ITS Tactical

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Camouflage Comparison: Mirage, MultiCam and UCP

By The ITS Crew

brick-wallStrike-Hold! has just published an excellent visual comparison of camouflage patterns on their blog.

The three patterns compared are Bulldog Tactical Equipment’s Mirage, Crye Precision’s MultiCam and the Army Universal Camouflage Pattern (ACU).

Instead of voicing our opinions, take a look at the article on Strike-Hold! and let us know what you think in the comments here.

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  • I never realized how much the ACU stands out! Holy Moses! So where are we on the new camo for our troops?

    What goes into deciding new camo too? I can imagine the headache in changing everything but having the edge in staying hidden is a huge plus.

    Although, do the ACU’s defense… does the ACU in the pics look a little faded than normal?

    • Mike, as Yastobaal pointed out the ACU is a reproduction and a bit brighter. Soldier Systems and Strike-Hold! are both great resources for staying on top of Camo news.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • tremis

    Nice comparison, it shows the obvious regarding Multicam vs UCP. The new stuff looks pretty darn good. My eye was attracted to the MC guy a lot more than the Mirage, but I believe it was the shapes of his rig that drew my eye in, not the color. I’d like to see a direct comparison of either gear on both guys or no gear on top of the clothes.

    • Tremis,

      I agree on needing to see a true comparison preferably without any gear on.

      Thanks for the comment,

  • yastobaal

    Just to let you guys know, the ACU is a reproduction, not authentic. So it might be brighter than usual.

    • Yastobaal,

      Thanks for adding that information!

  • GunMonkey

    I’d like to see photos in various terrain at distances of 50+ yards.

    Camouflage that looks good up close is just a big dark blob as longer ranges (such as Realtree)
    For some examples of what the terrain looks like in Afghanistan check out Michael Yon’s Blog. Lots of really good photos there.

    • GunMonkey, agreed on camo “blobbing” at longer ranges. Michael Yon’s Blog does have some great images of terrain from the war.

      Thanks for the comment!

    • Rusty

      Realtree is a great start, but there just needs to be a much bigger variation in the contrasting colors for it to work right at long distances. Problem is, it wouldn’t look real up close, where the selling is done. See, realtree is sold to hunters walking through a store, and they see the stuff from at most, 10 or 15 feet away as they decide whether or not to purchase it. If they were awarded a contract to take that concept and add more contrast to the colors, such that it didn’t look real up close, but did look real at 50 to 150 yards, then they might end up making the most effective camo on the market for military use.

      In addition, it could be region/terrain specific. In other words, the vegetation that is used for the camo pattern could be taken from the region that the camo is expected to be used in, such as Afghanistan.

  • I love Multicam. I works for where I work. I love how it was develop by people that had no military experience. Therefore they didn’t have any lingering feelings towards certain camouflages or ideas about what it should be. They just worked from scratch and traveled everywhere to figure out what would work best.

  • So, is just me or does it look like those mannequins are pissing against the wall? Sorry, I guess I should be analyzing the uniforms….

    • Those are real people Shorty 🙂

      ~ Bryan

  • Brian

    There are alot of good all terain patterns out there. I started to pay closer attention when my unit bought Advantage uniforms over a decade ago since woodland did not work well enough in Korean winters. The Marines took the right approach by having snipers help design the pattern & serve as a BS filter. For some unknown reason the Army picked ACU (good concealability when dirty & overboard on the velcro). The Air Force may as well have designed a uniform w/advice from the Magic 8-ball (cheezy ACU pattern knockoff, same silly lower shirt pockets, EMORMUS rank & material w/ the consistency of canvas). A leap backward in technology. Crye Precision makes the best uniform in my opinion. The thought put into the product is revolutionary (not a BDU retread). Crye’s problem is that they don’t expand. They have a limited amount of workers and no wharehouse capability in NYC. The best thing for them to do is to move to North Carolina and employ all the out of work folks from the many closed textile factories & stay Berry compliant. Shipping to Ft.Bragg (probably their #1 customer) would be right there, w/NSW just up the road. I just wish the Army & Air Force ASKED their operators for the best patterns(both would say Multicam) & also issue a lower cost garrison version to those who don’t expect to low crawl anytime soon.

  • VooDoo3

    UCP is and has been insufficient as a camo pattern since it was developed. Big Army needed a proprietary pattern they could control. If they would have went with MC (which they should have) they would have to pay Crye a royalty. Mirage is a great pattern, but there is nothing on the market, so it would be next to impossible to outfit the services quickly. MC on the other hand, has been on the market for a few years now and would be much easier to provide to DoD. I think we will go with MC as our primary combat uniform and then maybe down the road a better pattern will win a contract.

    • Thanks for your thoughts, and comment.

  • trenkilla

    For overall design, concept, and functionality of the uniform, Mirage is definitely the best. Multicam is a big step up from UCP which sticks out like a sore thumb. However, seeing both Multicam and Mirage right next to eachother @ the warfighter’s conference, Mirage is clearly the superior camouflage design, and the creator and founder of Bulldog took all recommendations and criticisms of the ACU and incorporated them into his new Uniform setup. They’re really nice and its hard to understand why they’re not being tested alongside MultiCam in theater.

  • S

    From the other comparison pictures I’ve seen in other mock terrains the ACU stuff sticks out like a sore thumb. Yeesss… I know the stuff in the pics is repro. But from the non-repro pics in various environments it still was the FIRST thing I noticed when my eyes were scanning. From the color choices and the mock environments between the three I feel that in a situation where cover may be involved and not out in the open like a moron, It would take more time to pick out guys in Multicam than it would in the Mirage pattern (UCP isn’t even worth mentioning, it’s like walking into an area with an ash-grey business suit for all the good it will do you).

    Put the three in a 50 yard shot BEHIND cover and snap a picture. You’ll be enlightened. Out in the open is very different than behind cover.

  • Let photograph three guys peeing on a red brick wall and decide which is the better camoflage pattern. Umm, obviously it’s the fourth guy in the red brick camo you guys didn’t even see. Really, if they are going to do a test, why not have them standing in the woods or a field of high grass. I spent a lot of time in the AOR and didn’t see much red brick… that battlefield must have been in Dover, Delaware. I joke but I am also serious. I have seen some great tests on the Multicam describing the locales I mentioned, let’s see how the Mirage is in a field or in the mountains.

  • Rusty

    If we are more interested in long distance, than short distance camo effectiveness, then I think they need to go a completely different route.

    For instance, take a look at the German Panther of WWII in Ambush Camo scheme. That was the right track to be one. Why? Because it had different color in large patches with other smaller splotches of color on top of that.

    When you look at nature, from a distance, you typically see bright areas broken up by spots of dark, and dark areas broken up by spots of bright. This is what they need to reduce that blob effect that was smartly pointed out above. none of those camo patterns above do this effectively. Your eyes are drawn to shapes, so you want to effectively break up the shape of the person.

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