Last week, we visited Oakley’s Headquarters in Southern California. In addition to a great tour, we had a look behind the curtain at some emerging technologies, and then we sat down and had a discussion about the Ultrablend Camo pattern.
After a tour of the five football field long building, we headed back into the Standard Issue team’s lair. I hadn’t been there since 2004 and it was awesome to see where they had moved to, and how much OakDef had grown (for more photos visit our Instagram feed).
The discussion turned to Ultrablend when I mentioned that some readers felt it had a resemblance to the Kryptek family of camouflage. Turns out, it really doesn’t. But you may recognize the geometry, after all.
You may recall the painted Camo patterns that Rangers (and others) were applying to their helmets several years back. One of the OakDef team members, Drew Wallace, is a former Ranger and he brought the technique to the brand. Oakley had just started experimenting with Cerakote and he put together a couple of examples (shown above with a TC2001 high cut helmet he wore in Iraq as a contractor). The glasses are the Wiretap (top) and Blender (bottom) and these were the prototypes that proved the concept.
Ultrablend is more of a concealment methodology than an exact pattern. Specifically, it’s based on the camouflage techniques taught in Army FM 21-75 Ch 1. A base color is applied and then subsequent layers of Cerakote are over sprayed using a mesh screen like used in helmets.
In this photo you can see the SI Fuel Cell in the Desert and Black patterns. Ultrablend eyeglasses are individually airbrushed, utilizing two different patterns of netting and three different colors of Cerakote Gen II Firearm Coating. This offers the glasses added aspects of durability, abrasion resistance, and lower NIR reflectivity, along with a unique camouflage pattern.
The Ultrablend pattern is currently available on the SI Fuel Cell in Desert Sage although they’ve also created a Black version of the pattern. These are limited editions so if you’re interested, don’t wait around.