Hunting is all about fooling game and getting close. The nearer you can get to an animal, the bigger the thrill, the greater the satisfaction, and the better the chance of making a clean, killing shot. Camo hunting apparel helps you blend into your surroundings and it increases your confidence, too. Choosing camo clothes that match your surroundings can give you the edge you need to be successful.
Camo patterns and colors are especially important when you hunt turkeys and waterfowl that can see color. If you don’t blend perfectly into your surroundings, the birds will pick you out even if you don’t move. Deer and other mammals don’t see color the way we do, but they are very good at detecting the human form. Camo hunting gear won’t turn you invisible, but it will give you an edge that helps you remain concealed.
- Best Camo Facemask: Quaker Boy Bandito Elite 3/4 Facemask
- Best 3D Camo: Mountain Gear Ghillie Suit
- Best Quiet Camo Jacket: Sitka Men’s Stratus Jacket
- Best Scent Control Camo Jacket: ScentBlocker Knock Out Jacket
- Best Cheap Camo: New View Upgraded Hunting Clothes
How to choose the best hunting camo for what and where you hunt
Camo patterns vary in style and color. The best ones will match the predominant colors of your surroundings and also help break up your outline.
As you select a pattern, think about what it will look like at a distance. Some patterns that lack contrast appear to be a solid color when seen from far away. Look for a camo pattern that has distinct areas of light and dark that will help disguise your shape even at longer ranges. While head-to-toe camo is important, your patterns don’t have to match to be effective. Mis-matched camo can even be helpful in breaking up your outline further. Some turkey hunters will wear bark or ground-colored camouflage pants with green, leaf-patterned camouflage shirts to help them hide as they sit against a tre.
Remember, too, that camo means more than just matching the color of your surroundings. It doesn’t matter if your camo pattern blends in if your clothes rustle and betray you to an animal’s ears.
Why a camo face mask is crucial
It makes no sense to be concealed from head to toe if you neglect your face. No matter how you still you can sit, you have to move your head to look around. The shine of your face will give you away. It’s especially important for waterfowl hunters not to “pie face” (look up) at incoming birds, but deer and turkeys can see you move your head, too. That’s why a camo facemask is a cheap but essential piece of hunting gear. It hides your face without the mess of paint. Mesh versions are cooler, while solid color masks provide slightly better camo. Some headnets feature mouth openings so you can blow a game call.
Best Camo Face Mask: Quaker Boy Bandito Elite 3/4 Facemask
Easy On, Easy Off
The ¾ style mask covers everything below your cap, and it pulls down out of the way when you don’t need it.
Mesh camo material of the Bandito dulls the shine of your face, but keeps you cool on warm days. The wire eye frame can be bent and shaped for a comfortable fit.
Ghillie suits provide 3-dimensional camouflage
Ghillie suits literally add a new dimension to camo hunting gear. A camo pattern offers two-dimensional concealment, but a ghillie suit works in three dimensions to hide you. The fake foliage on the suit blends into the background. It has a texture that makes it look more like the undergrowth and less like clothing, and it obscures your outline, softening the edges of your body and making it harder for the game to pick you out. It’s no wonder snipers make extensive use of ghillie suits to hide from the enemy. Look for a ghillie suit covered with die-cut leaf material that’s easy to move in and shoot from, and that matches the foliage where you hunt.
Best 3D Camo: Mountain Gear Ghillie Suit
Be the Woods
Light but tough, the camo coat and pants go on over any clothes to help you hide.
North Mountain Gear
This ghillie suit is available in five different patterns, so you can customize the suit to wherever you hunt. The hunting camo jacket has an attached hood, zipper front and zippered pockets, while the camo pants have side zippers so you can pull them on without removing your boots.
The best camo suit won’t keep you hidden if it’s noisy
Wild animals use their hearing as well as their senses of sight and smell to detect predators. Prey species are extremely good at determining exactly where a sound came from, and their hearing is sharp. That’s why hunting camouflage does you no good if the fabric rustles or makes a scratching sound every brush it against a branch. Turkey hunters, hunters moving through the woods, and bowhunters, who have to be very close to their quarry to shoot, must remain silent. Quiet materials aren’t as much of a concern to waterfowl hunters who can get away with a little more noise in the blind.
Brushed cotton, wool and fleece are the quietest fabrics and make a good choice if you can find them in the right hunting camouflage.
Best Quiet Camo Jacket: Sitka Men’s Stratus Jacket
A deluxe jacket that is super-quiet and loaded with features.
Sitka designers thought of everything a bowhunter needs and put it in this jacket: a silent, wind-proof shell pockets for all types of gear, including a grunt tube holder, a port for a treestand harness, and more. The removable hood even features mesh hearing ports over the ears so you can hear the deer that can’t hear you.
Do you need scent-control camo?
Camo is designed to defeat an animal’s sight, and quiet clothing helps you evade its keen sense of hearing. Scent-control camo clothing can help you beat its nose. Deer and other mammals rely on their sense of smell as their first line of defense. Scent control clothing has linings made of carbon or other materials that trap human odor. No scent-blocking garment prevents 100% of your scent from reaching a deer’s nose, but if you wear good scent-control camo, wear rubber boots to contain the odor from your feet, keep yourself and your clothing clean, and pay careful attention to the wind, scent control clothing may help fool an animal’s nose long enough for you to get a shot.
Best Scent Control Camo Jacket: ScentBlocker Knock Out Jacket
Fool Eyes and Noses
Realtree camo combined with Trinity polymeric scent adsorbing technology keeps you hidden.
Light enough to be worn in the early season, the Knock Out jacket is made of breathable, moisture wicking stretch material with elastic cuffs and waist to help keep scent in. ScentBlocker claims their Trinity technology is 40% more effective than carbon in containing scent. The jacket also features a safety harness slit in the back.
How to choose camouflage on the cheap
The easiest way to save money on camo hunting gear is to steer away from the name-brand patterns. Manufacturers pay a licensing fee every time they use a pattern, adding to the price of a garment without necessarily improving performance. Budget garments may not come with features such as scent control, wind-stopping or waterproof linings, but if you find the right garment, make sure it’s not too noisy and layer it intelligently, it can serve you just as well as more expensive camo clothing.
Best Cheap Camo: New View Upgraded Hunting Clothes
New quieter fabric and plenty of pockets make this recently improved outfit versatile.
Camouflage pants, coat and detachable hood make up this camo outfit, which comes in a brown and green forest pattern. Pants have an elastic waistband for comfort. The jacket has armpit zippers that open to vent on warm days. Both have fleece linings that will keep you warm down to the 30s.
Is black good hunting camo?
Black can be good camo if you wear it in dark, shadowy environments. Otherwise, solid black calls attention to your human form and will stand out as too dark. The one place where black is the best camo is inside the popup blinds popular among deer and turkey hunters. Those interiors look black when viewed from the outside, and black clothing helps you disappear inside the blind. A black hoodie makes excellent camo for popup blind hunts.
Does camo really work for hunting?
Camouflage definitely helps hide you from game. Clothes that match the color of your surroundings and that break up your outline make it harder for animals to see you. Camo hunting clothes on their own, though, don’t make you invisible. You still have to use terrain and foliage to your advantage. Don’t silhouette yourself against the skyline. Keep movements slow and to a minimum. Hunt with the sun at your back whenever possible, and if you’re hunting deer or other animals that rely on their sense of smell, play the wind. Do all that and pick the right hunting camo, and you’ll be successful.
What are the 4 types of camouflage?
The four kinds of camouflage found in nature are concealing coloration, disruptive coloration, disguise, and mimicry. Concealing coloration blends into an environment, like the brown coat of a deer or the white fur of a polar bear. Disruptive coloration, like the spots on a leopard or the stripes on a zebra, break up the animal’s outline. Disguised animals look like something else. A walking stick looks like a stick, for instance, while mimicry entails looking and acting like another animal. Most hunting camouflage combines concealing and disruptive coloration to help hunters not only blend in but also break up the human form. Hiding by wearing whites while hiding in a spread of white snow goose decoys is a form of disguise, while the tactic of crawling toward turkeys behind a tail fan or strutter decoy mimics the actions of an aggressive tom.
Remember that different animals demand different types of hunting camo clothing
Knowing your quarry and your hunting area will help you pick the best hunting camo. Waterfowl hunters have to stay warm and dry while fooling birds, which can see color, but they don’t have to worry about scent. Deer hunters have to worry about scent and noise in addition to choosing a camo pattern that will make them less conspicuous to deer, which lack color vision. Turkey hunters have to fool a sharp-eyed bird’s color vision, but don’t have to worry about scent.