Monday, June 11, 2012

Multicam vs. Tan vs. ATACS

Let's talk camo, particularly hats.  There are certainly plenty of different patterns out there on the market, but today we will look at these 3 patterns/colors: multicam, tan, and ATACS.  The "testing" took place in New Hampshire around 12 noon.  Weather was sunny and about 75 degrees with few clouds in the sky.
Here are the hats that I looked at:

The first test was for me to just put them on the ground which was mostly just rock fragments and dirt with a little moss/lichen mixed in.  At this point, my vote went with multicam and then ATACS.

Same hats, same order from a distance of about 50 feet.  Click on the pic to get more details.

Now here are the 3 hats up close.  First the multicam.


And then tan.

My next pics were taken in a tree.  This could somewhat simulate being in a situation where you are moving through cover.  Multicam is first again.

Another shot of the multicam. You can see how the 'dappling' effect of multicam makes it work in light and shadows.

Here's the tan.

And the tan from a distance.

Last up, ATACS.  I was actually surprised how well this worked in the tree.  It's not amazing, but better than I thought it would be.

And ATACS from a bit further away.

Now here are a few in some different greenery but without any real shadows.  First, up is multicam again.


And then tan.

Here are all 3 in a white pine.  ATACS on your left, then tan, and then multicam.

Here are my basic conclusions.
1. Having seen ATACS in use in Afghanistan, I'm very impressed with it in rocky terrain (click HERE for a great pic of it).  I was impressed with how well it did despite not having any green in it (obviously we are aware of the new FG ATACS but didn't look at it here).

2. Multicam wins the day - it seemed the best over all to me and when operating in any kind of situation with mixed sunlight/shade, I found it to be excellent.

3. I usually wear that tan hat at airsoft ops - I will likely not be doing that anymore.  I was amazed at how much it stood out.  The main thing that makes it 'pop' is that it's a single color - nature doesn't work like that.  I thought it would be no big deal since it was just my hat, but it is very obvious.

4. To do this test again and improve it, I'd have someone in a full BDU of each pattern.

E-mail feedback and ideas to

- Carp   


  1. When you can find a hat in ATACS-FG, you should compare that to multicam. The ATACS you were using really wasn't being used in the terrain it was designed for.

  2. Yeah its a bit unfair to use ATACS ARID in woodland :)