What are the Best Camouflage Pattern for Military Applications?

Table Of Content


In military operations, the effectiveness of camouflage can be the difference between success and failure. The right camouflage pattern not only helps in blending with the environment but also reduces the visibility to enemy sensors, both visual and electronic. These are the most popular camouflage patterns based on my more than ten years of experience in the camouflage clothing industry.

1. MARPAT (Marine Pattern)

2. MultiCam

3. Flecktarn

4. PenCott Patterns


This article explores various camouflage patterns used across different militaries, evaluates their effectiveness, and discusses how they contribute to operational efficiency.

MARPAT (Marine Pattern)

The U.S. Marine Corps’ MARPAT pattern, with its small digitized pixels and coyote brown color, is widely viewed as one of the best concealment patterns.2 Its effectiveness lies in blending well across multiple environments, making it suitable for various operations.

MAPPT Pattern
MAPPT Pattern


The MultiCam pattern, adopted by several militaries, is praised for its versatility across woodland, desert, and urban environments.1 2 Its organic brush-stroke style helps break up shapes effectively, enhancing concealment.



The German Flecktarn pattern, with its mix of dark greens, orange, and grey, is highly regarded for its performance in forested areas and on the forest floor.1 2 It excels in woodland environments.

Flecktarn Pattern
Flecktarn Pattern

PenCott Patterns

The PenCott family of patterns, like GreenZone and Badlands, is commended for its exceptional blending and disruption capabilities across various environments.3 Its adjustable colors make it adaptable to specific terrains.

PenCott GreenZone
PenCott GreenZone


CADPAT is the first pattern designed by a computer. The design was initiated in 1995. On NATO’s field test event for combat uniforms in 2001. CADPAT has better performance in visual observation, infrared observation, and passive instrument observation. M81 U.S. Woodland, Fleckarn, and DPM are not behaving well enough.


Related Questions

1-What are the key features of the Flecktarn camouflage pattern?

  1. Color Scheme: The original Flecktarn pattern consists of five colors – black, reddish-brown, dark olive green, medium olive green, and moss green as the background color.4 This combination of colors is designed to blend effectively in European woodland environments.
  2. Spot Pattern: As the name “Flecktarn” suggests (Fleck meaning “spot” in German), the pattern features irregularly shaped spots or blotches of the different colors.4 This helps break up the outline of the wearer and provides effective camouflage.
  3. Versatility: While optimized for European forests, the Flecktarn pattern has proven to be versatile and effective in various environments due to its well-balanced color scheme.5 6
  4. Near-Infrared Protection: The Flecktarn pattern incorporates dyes that provide good concealment in the near-infrared spectrum, enhancing its effectiveness against night vision devices.5 7
  5. Derivatives: Several countries have developed their own variations of the Flecktarn pattern, adapting the color scheme and spot sizes to suit their specific environments and needs.5 4
  6. Desert Variant: Germany introduced a desert variant called “Wüstentarn” or “Tropentarn” in the 1990s, featuring sparse dark olive and reddish-brown spots on a yellow-tan background for better concealment in arid regions.4
  7. Influence: The Flecktarn pattern has significantly influenced the development of other camouflage patterns worldwide, with many countries adopting or adapting similar spot-based designs.

2-How does the multicam camouflage pattern differ from other patterns?

  1. Versatility across environments: The original MultiCam pattern was designed to be an effective “80% solution” that performs well across a wide range of environments, from woodland to desert to urban settings.8 9 This versatility sets it apart from many other camouflage patterns optimized for specific terrains.
  2. Family of patterns: MultiCam is not just a single pattern, but a family of patterns tailored for different environments. This includes MultiCam Arid for arid/desert regions, MultiCam Tropic for dense jungle, MultiCam Alpine for snow-covered areas, and MultiCam Black for law enforcement operations. 9 8 10 This modular approach allows users to select the most suitable pattern for their operational needs.
  3. Blending effect: Unlike traditional camouflage patterns that rely on contrast to break up shapes, MultiCam utilizes a blending effect that helps the wearer’s outline blend into the background.2 This is achieved through its unique high-resolution design that takes advantage of how the human eye and brain perceive color and shapes.
  4. Near-infrared protection: The MultiCam patterns incorporate dyes and color schemes that provide effective concealment in the near-infrared spectrum, enhancing protection against night vision devices.8 9
  5. Organic brush-stroke style: The MultiCam patterns feature an organic brush-stroke style with irregular shapes and patterns, as opposed to the more geometric or digitized designs found in some other camouflage patterns.8 9 This organic style contributes to the blending effect.
  6. Compatibility and interchangeability: The MultiCam family of patterns is designed to be compatible and interchangeable, allowing users to pair different MultiCam gear and apparel components together as needed for a coordinated concealment system.

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