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HyperStealth Presents – Night Vision Device comparison photos of US4CES and some of the U.S. Army Phase IV camouflage patterns

HyperStealth Biotechnology Corporation has posted a series of photos taken in conjunction with a Gen III night vision device to demonstrate how various camouflage pattern perform . Sample patterns include Crye Precision’s MultiCam, Kryptek and ADS/Guy Kramer’s US4CES all of which are finalists in the US Army camouflage Improvement Effort.

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Check out the entire article along with additional photos at www.hyperstealth.com/GenIII-NVG

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95 Responses to “HyperStealth Presents – Night Vision Device comparison photos of US4CES and some of the U.S. Army Phase IV camouflage patterns”

  1. K says:

    US4CES is awesome. I just wish it wasn’t pixelated (personal preference, not knocking on pixels).

  2. Bman says:

    I’m surprised to see that Kryptek seems to perform better than the recent version of Multicam after all of the studying that went into it.

  3. cy says:

    Anyone notice that the US4CES is just a rectangular piece of fabric and not a uniform top. The other patterns seam to be at a disadvantage in the photo. Their uniform shape creates more shadowing and a recognizable shape that is easier to detect. Plus putting the US4ces in the middle your more likely to be drawn to the other shapes and colors on the edges due the shape and shadowing contrasts. Good marketing and use of psychology? Just my cents

    • Jaminphx says:

      I agree completely, the shape of the tops (one and three) give them away. US4CES does seem to have darker spots (areas) in the pattern which helps.

    • Guy Cramer says:

      I tried getting ACU Jackets from ADS but they only had the sets used for trade shows, and could not send them. The Underway uniforms I have do not have the torso camouflaged and those uniforms had been washed about 15 times, none of the KRYPTEK, Multicam (OCP) or AOR2 uniforms had been washed. So to be as fair as possible I used a new rectangular piece.

      • Steve says:

        Guy, if you were having a hard time getting a jacket in US4CES, could you not get easy-to-obtain large, flat pieces of fabric in both MC and Kryptek so you could do an apples-to-apples comparison of the patterns for the above NV photo?

        • Guy Cramer says:

          No the Multicam used by U.S. SOCOM (post 2010) was different than what I was able to obtain on fabric alone and Kryptek was only selling the 50/50 NYCO uniforms at the time of purchase. The size I used was enough to show the differences between all three.

          • Taylor says:

            Size was possibly close enough but your rectangle of fabric was flat, eliminating any shadowing seen on the actual tops.

            • Guy Cramer says:

              There is only slight shadowing on the jackets. There is enough material not shadowed to provide adequate examples.

              • Taylor says:

                Yes and the areas that are flat on the jackets blend in just as well.

                • m5 says:

                  No.

                  It is clear from these pictures that the pattern of US4CES has a much higher contrast than the others at NIR, and that the level of contrast in US4CES is much closer to the contrast in the backgrounds used. The comparision is biased due to the flat fabric vs. actual garments – yes – but the difference is big enough to be clearly noticeable. I can’t figure out how Taylor manages to miss it.

      • Dan says:

        Then why not conduct an comparison of garments washed 15-30 times? Perhaps the long term fading affected the army’s decision.

    • Whiskey Hammer says:

      Is the shape noticeable? Certainly. But so too is the clear color difference between the fabrics. US4CES retains far better pattern contrast than the other two samples which, I feel pretty confident, is the point of the demonstration.

  4. jbgleason says:

    Not being critical of SSD cause you are the greatest, but…

    A. Is it any surprise that a company that has Guy Kramer as the CEO picked his pattern as being the “best”? I have to say the photos are a little suspect when they come from the manufacturer. I realize you are just putting the info out there for us but that might have been mentioned. Know what I mean?

    B. “…all of which are finalists in the US Army camouflage Improvement Effort.” Shouldn’t this read USED TO BE? I thought the Army decided to go with the MC and dump the selection? Or has that changed yet again?

    • Guy Cramer says:

      US4CES was shown in the lab testing to have color separation down to 2,300 nanometers (nm) which is the far end of NVG’s) whereas Multicam OCP has no separation after 960 nm meaning that it appears as one solid color in the high end SWIR Spectrum (NVG’s used by Tier-1 Teams).

      • Guy Cramer says:

        Reflected Infrared
        Near-infrared (NIR) are wavelengths that range from 0.7 to 1.3 microns 700 nanometers (nm) – 1300 nm.
        Shortwave infrared (SWIR) are wavelengths from 1.3 to 3 microns (1300 nm – 3000 nm)

        The SWIR range used in the Tier-1 NVG’s is about 900 nm-1800 nm

  5. straps says:

    Each of these has its merits, most definitely.

    If anyone’s shocked–SHOCKED–to hear that Mr. Cramer might continue to beat the drum on his efforts to land a contract based on all that research that Army funded–and then said thanks but no thanks, we’re gonna go lowball after all, well, welcome to ‘Merica.

  6. James says:

    Mr. Cramer – I don’t have to know what the Army has told you if they have talked to you, but are you able to tell us if the Army has announced anything to you or the other finalists at all?

    • Guy Cramer says:

      No, I have not been informed of a pending announcement and ADS has not contacted me in regards to an announcement, which indicates that they likely won’t be announcing a winner of Phase IV at AUSA next week as the losers need to be informed 5 business days prior to an announcement. We have also not been informed of cancelation of the program.

      • Dan says:

        Did the Effort stipulate that applicants must also be informed of a cancellation with a similar advance warning?

      • James says:

        Thank you for your reply. I appreciate you taking your time to explain the ins-and-outs of camouflage to the lay reader such as myself, despite what other detractors on the comment page may say.

  7. Angry Misha says:

    This has become an amalgam of that annoying itch you get in the middle of your back after you’ve been JMPI’ed coupled with Lucille Ball’s incessant whining to Rickey. EVERYONE gets it Mr. Cramer. In fact if anyone let the cat out of the bag about who was/wasn’t selected it was YOU and your constant diatribe regarding the “science” behind your pattern and how it is superior to all the other competitors since SSD broke the story on July 24. One would have to be daft to not deduce that this coupled with the silence of the other competitors was indicative of the fact that you had not been selected. And by effectively announcing that you weren’t selected via your never ending release of “studies”, even a caveman could figure out which of the remaining three probably won. You’ve spent the past FOUR months subjecting us to what most certainly will be the body of your protest of the findings of the evolution and an effort to gain the media’s, OPFOR’s and most certainly your elected official’s ear. We applaud you in your diligence; however, from the comments above, I believe it is an accurate statement to say that no one cares. We’ve suffered through your tantrum and will most likely have to suffer through the delay your impending protest will impart on us, the “Us” being the OPFOR who will have to wait to get the gear needed while your “concerns” are addressed via the proper channels. I’m sure that you will have to receive some sort of notification on why you weren’t selected. When you get it, post it here.

    • jbgleason says:

      Wow! That is all.

    • Sal says:

      Someone’s got a stick up their ass.

    • Guy Cramer says:

      The Soldier is asked to go into harms way and anything that gives them that maximum advantage should be used. The soldier is entitled to the best possible protection in the Visual, NIR and SWIR spectrums. Who ever wins Phase IV (if they are still planning on moving forward with it) should be an improvement over what they have now, anything less is a slap in the face to the soldier.

    • Whiskey Hammer says:

      Sal nailed it, but in related news, the gratuitous use of scare quotes doesnt exactly endear the argument to the reader.

    • Dairian says:

      +1 …it is getting a little old. Perhaps now that this is past Guy Cramer could file another claim to mining rights on the moon.

      P.S. Yes Guy Cramer filed mining rights for the moon. Seriously.

    • JRoss says:

      I actually “appreciate” the posts on the “Improvement Effort.” Even with the “bias”, at least some “information” about the test is being revealed. I “hate” all the “cloak and dagger” nonsense.

      Who was selected, why was that selection made, and who is responsible for that decision. I want the best pattern(s) possible, whatever that is. If Mr Cramer is biased and voicing his opinion, at least somebody is. Alternative is we can trust that the best coarse of action will be selected and acted on, sans outside input, such as spending millions on an improvement effort and then selecting instead one of the initial baseline patterns, for even more money.

      “JRoss”

    • Red says:

      You don’t have to read it. For some of us it is quite interesting.

    • SGT Rock says:

      Bitter, party of one.

  8. TM says:

    It’s shocking how the uniform of the manufacturer that takes the photo always looks the best. Absolutely shocking.

    • Guy Cramer says:

      Go look at the charts of how these patterns reflectance tests in laboratory within the Visual and NIR spectrum http://www.hyperstealth.com/c3/
      These photos show the exact same thing, we are not manipulating the photos.

      • Guy Cramer says:

        It is shocking to me how people complain that my numerous NIR Gen-1 photos were not genuine as most militaries use NIR Gen-III, then when I post Gen-III images over a wide variety of terrain types, they continue to complain…

        • Juan says:

          It’s the Internet. We’re not happy until you’re not happy. I’ve enjoyed your posts and learned a lot. I hope you continue to post more.

  9. Stryker Magnum says:

    Where is the comparison to Brookwood?

    • Guy Cramer says:

      Brookwood has not supplied there camouflage to anyone but the Army.

      • Stryker Magnum says:

        Thanks, Guy.

      • Angry Misha says:

        And from what’s been reported neither has Crye. So, essentially you’re only evaluating a pattern you “Think” may be one of their submissions

        • Guy Cramer says:

          Yes, that is absolutely correct. However, Multicam is a baseline pattern, so if it is selected to replace UCP, then why didn’t they pick the Crye Phase IV submission. And how does it work against the other Phase IV finalists?

          • Angry Misha says:

            Well… I would surmise that you will be told how you did correct? And because you and Brookwood were both fronted by ADS you’ll have a pretty clear picture on how at least half of the submissions fared against the baselines as well. Or maybe you’ll get a report that will let you review how everyone did against the baseline. But since this isn’t my realm of expertise, so I’d defer to you.

            Now Mr. Cramer, you beat your chest earlier about assuring that the US Soldier gets “the best” and anything less is a “Slap in the face” of said individual.

            Considering the gravity of your comment and it’s patriotic tone, Mr. Cramer, will you stand behind your comment and allow what has been determined to be “The Best” to be fielded to our forces, or do you intend to protest the decision, delaying equipment to those troops you laud over because the “best” wasn’t you?

            Essentially Mr. Cramer, are you going to throw a pointless fit and force me to remain in the current uniform even longer?

            Can you even give an honest answer?

            • Guy Cramer says:

              I am just the designer, ADS Inc. is in charge of a response to the Army if one is needed. Due to my citizenship (Canadian), there is information which I am not allowed to see as was the case in the initial finalist documentation provided to ADS. So you would have to ask ADS Inc. that question.

            • Guy Cramer says:

              As far as I know there is no connection between Brookwood and ADS Inc. on the Brookwood Phase IV submission and none has been discussed around me.

  10. fmfbest says:

    So take the other two tops and do two things with them. Post a video of 3 people wearing them and moving across the same backdrop at the same time. Three guys walk left to right one after another. Simple. I want to see it in a non static demo. Next take those competitor’s tops and cut the biggest square out of the back that the material will allow and attach it tightly to the fencing just like your sample was done. Three pieces of cloth all the same size all attached the same way. Then post that here, not that it will change the Army’s mind. At least it will not look like you slanted the presentation.

    • Guy Cramer says:

      It doesn’t matter what I post here, more images, video…, before I posted any of the papers on the Camouflage Improvement Effort, the Army with their internal testing had already determined who the winner of Phase IV was.
      Look at the charts here based on laboratory testing and you will see what I am trying to show in the photos, the numbers in the charts are objective; http://www.hyperstealth.com/c3/

      • Angry Misha says:

        The first seven words of that post nailed it and the proceeding snark verified that you felt compelled to post papers on “camouflage improvement” (completely unbiassed of course) AFTER the army determined “with their internal testing” (a quote that seethes distain) who the top performer was and it wasn’t you.

        So, what you’re saying in short is that when your phone didn’t ring in July, you were bound and determined to set the record straight?

        • Guy Cramer says:

          As far as I know, none of the finalists have been told that they won or lost. We had heard a leak that the winner was based on NIR and SWIR results as all the submissions were similar in the Phase IV Visual testing. If the leak is true, we thought we had a very good chance of winning based on the laboratory testing of the US4CES pattern in the NIR and SWIR range.

        • USMColddawg says:

          My gut feeling is that Army leadership did not pick the best camo but based their decision on practical and fiscal reasons that multicam is already in the inventory.

  11. Joe says:

    Good gosh, people. It’s not like Crye, Kryptek, or Brookwood are banned from doing their own reviews. Mr. Cramer is showing why he feels is product is superior. That’s it. If Crye, Kryptek, Brookwood, or ANYONE ELSE disagree with his findings, then they’re all entitled to produce their own studies, and I’m sure SSD would be happy to re-blog the results. Saying Guy Cramer is “complaining” by advocating for his product is ridiculous.

  12. Black6ID says:

    Just so everyone knows there are treatments that are done to fabrics, patterns aside, in order for them to perform better in the NIR/SWIR spectrums. Not saying that this is being done on some fabrics and not others during these tests. Just sayin….

    • Guy Cramer says:

      The AOR fabrics are Milspec (Military Specified) as is Multicam (OCP) Post-2010 – these are uniforms used by SOCOM and the Navy SEAL’s. The fabric from Kryptek is the same 50/50 NYCO material that they supplied to the Army. All the materials shown have been treated to work in the NIR. Only US4CES has color separation that works all the way through the SWIR range (down to 1800 nm) used in the Tier 1 Gen-III Night Vision Goggles but I am not allowed to show those SWIR charts for security reasons.

      • One thing to keep in mind is that all fabrics when we start talking out of visible band once washed and continued washings based on detergent used can and do have their effectiveness deteriorated and/or changed to some extent. Known fact I have yet to see a concrete stable fabric over extended wears.

        • jbgleason says:

          Dang. Now we have Vic in this thread. This is turning into an all-hands on deck argument. Only on SSD.

          • Nah. :-) Just been experimenting for lots of years on this exact topic matter in relation to out of vis band materials. Worked with some fabulous IR/Thermal paints that do not degrade over time vs. clothing which is a tough cookie.

            One thing is for sure, to maintain the high lever of IR suppression etc., effectiveness, normal type clothing has to be changed out quite a bit or just don’t wash it and have it smell for miles. 😉

            • Bushman says:

              Remember that famous photo with some guy in ACUPAT uniform laying face down on the sofa upholstered with some cheap jacquard?
              That sofa should have concrete solid contrast because of different amount of synthetic fibers in that flowers and leaves pattern. But it’s easy to imagine, how much will it cost to use jacquard fabric for uniforms.

    • Sal says:

      Coatings aren’t permanent, and they cost money. In addition, they can change the color of the fabric (look at issued multicam post 2010 compared to pre 2010).

      • Guy Cramer says:

        Crye (Multicam) did not add a coating, they provided higher contrast between the colors which produced a better NIR reflection.

        • Sal says:

          Ah, my bad then.

          Mr. Cramer, could you elaborate a bit on how the Army would’ve issued the patterns? All I know is that they wouldn’t have issued every soldier three sets of uniforms.

          • Guy Cramer says:

            They would have issued Transitional to all troops and only if the troops were deployed to a Desert/Arid environment would they issue those troops that pattern uniform. Same for Woodland/Jungle, unless you were deployed there you would not receive that Woodland/Jungle uniform.

            • Sal says:

              So each BCT would’ve had a “reserve” of woodland/arid patterns then? Would everyone in the unit receive them, or only troops operating “outside the wire” so to speak?

  13. steveb says:

    For those who don’t know, Multicam was not, I repeat NOT the winner of phase IV. It’s been selected IN SPITE OF the results of said testing (kinda like what happened in 2004-2005, isn’t it?). Multicam is a good camo, but certainly not the best. The decision to go with OCP/Multicam (if that is in fact the case) is probably based on budgetary constraints.

    That being said, Muticam is far better than UCP, if the budget won’t allow for a full family of patterns.

  14. Guy Cramer says:

    Multicam is better than UCP in the visual spectrum. If Crye won Phase IV then the Army could have licensed all three versions for $639,863.99 rather than negotiating for a new flat rate license for Multicam.

  15. lev says:

    One of the LL’d from the hyperstealth website is that no one should ever, EVER, try to hide in a woodpile, even if the campfire is 200 feet away and over a hill.

  16. fmfbest says:

    Mr. Cramer I’m not advocating for any particular pattern. Unless your picture evidence is fair and presented in a manner that is equal to all parties you might not want to use it. Thats why I’d like to see you redo that photo in a fair manner. It makes you look jaded.

    Vic, you gotta reword your point in a manner everyone here can understand. Its like when you go into the strip club and your clothes have different levels of florescense depending on what soap you use to wash them;)

    • Guy Cramer says:

      There is enough of the pattern showing regardless of a rectangle or a jacket to show how it works in the NIR.

      • Guy Cramer says:

        The U.S. Army when testing their Picture in Picture technique used the dimensions of the Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV). The size large IOTV was 20” long and 16.5”, that is enough to determine how the vest camouflage works at 40-45 yards and in most of these photos I was much closer than that. Our dimensions on the fabric rectangle are a bit larger than that.

    • Paralus says:

      He doesn’t have to re-do jack shit. He took some pics to give people an idea what the patterns look like in NIR. Nothing Mr Cramer or anyone else does is going to change the fact that the Army appears to have ignored the Phase IV results and gone with Crye’s MC.

      I suppose the sleeves could have been pinned behind the shirt so the square area was similar, but it’s nitpicky and at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. It’s merely informative and we should leave it at that.

  17. Roger says:

    I’ve read all of Mr. Cramer’s reports when they first appeared on SSD and do believe that US4CES is the best based on those reports. Let’s be reasonable, the Army will do their own testing and make an independent decision, Mr Cramer is just trying to bring out some facts for us. Relax and enjoy.The enemy is copying our equipment and trying to improve it. Night vision goggles are cheap enough now that my kids can buy them. The same goes for thermal imagers. Camo may be improved in the next 5 years or so to stay ahead. I’m sure that the SOG will be wearing which ever pattern fits for their work.

  18. Paralus says:

    HEY ANGRY MISCHA!

    STOP ACTING ALL DICK HURT!

  19. fmfbest says:

    Alright this is my last entry on this topic. Mr. Cramer I read and enjoyed most of your postings on this subject here on Soldier Systems. I found myself more educated on the topic after reading most. However, after this if you don’t get my point I’m turning you off faster than the Army did.

    Its not that you have to have a square or triangle or trapezius shaped piece of cloth. I suggested you cut the squares of equal size because you mentioned that you did not have free access to bolts of the competitors product.

    As was pointed out by others you used a 3 dimensional (wrinkles and folds due to the garmet’s cut and style) product from your competitor and compared it to your product which is flatter and without wrinkles or or creases. This was unfair to the other patterns. If you hung two white sheets side by side on a white painted wall, one stretched tight and one hung on a nail which one do you think would blend in better with the backdrop wall? The one with the shadows or the one without? That is essentially what you have done here.

    I don’t think you meant to do this. I think in your heart you wish you had 3 items identical in shape and size but each with the different camo pattern in your example photo. In your haste you hung an example of your product (which seems to work very well) in a manner inconsistent with the comparisons. At that point folks called you out on it and your panties became wadded. Again I challenge you give us 3 identical things side by side. The only variable should be the camo pattern. Again I am not a proponent of any pattern. I’d just like you to present things in a more consistent manner. If you won’t then I’d be certain you had deception in mind when you set this up.

  20. Stefan S. says:

    Get this goat screw over with. This “Camouflage Saga” is getting way to f-ing old! I’m retired, so I don’t care who wins. Just that they FINALLY pick one that works.

  21. USMColddawg says:

    Well, with the government shutdown finally over, hopefully the official announcement can happen soon.

  22. Blaster says:

    Hey guy, i know you’re getting a lot of heat on here, you gotta figure that’s about par for the course on the internet. Please don’t forget that at the end of the day all of us wearing UCP really really appreciate you guys working hard to get us into a better uniform. I personally really liked US4CES the best, but we’ll see what happens in the future. Again, thanks for the effort.

  23. JBAR says:

    Everyone just needs to come to the understanding that the Navy is superior at everything and that they need accept their defeat. NWUs cannot be beat. The Army has to keep UCP for punishment.

  24. Luke says:

    I wish all developers/designers went to these lengths to defend their products, if you really feel that what you’ve made is better, you should stand up for it. I would love to see this kind of information from any other camp manufacturer, but all we get is vague references to “science!” And “studies!” Or “magic!”

    Just look at the pictures, these are nothing like the press release photos you always see of new camo patterns, with perfect lighting in a perfect environment with all the Gucci gear on an operator looking fella with a mean pose, this is just a guy wandering around with a camera.

    Thank you again Mr. Cramer, I’ve enjoyed every one of these posts.

  25. m5 says:

    Mr Cramer, why aren’t there any products in the market with US4CES camouflage?

    Nowadays, reading SSD, it’s more than evident that Kryptek has been succesfull to sell their pattern to vendors. Just a few entries away there are news about Mystery Ranch and Hill People Gear going Kryptek, Kifaru did so already some time ago. And, of course, Crye’s Multicam (aka OCP and Scorpion) has been available and very popular for quite some time.

    Why no US4CES? Guy, you could certainly make loads of money by offering the most tacticool – and, arguably, also the most effective – to tactical kit vendors. One would think that they’d be quieing behind your door… (or that of ADS).

    Well, no Brookwoods either, and to be precise, Crye’s entry isn’t Multicm, just rumoured to be very similar in the transitional version.

    And yes, Hyperstealth offers loads of patterns (not US4CES though) to the ‘masses’ at http://www.hyperstealth.com/deceptex/70-30-LW-fabric-order.html. But it is explicitely pointed out that Deceptex does not work at NIR, the area where you’ve convinced as that US4CES excels over the competition.

    The competition doesn’t seem to have a problem offering NIR complient rawgoods of a wide range of types to the vendors and the public alike. Eg http://kryptekfabric.com/index.php/pattern?choice=pattern&id=1&active=0. Crye offers NIR compliant Multicam, Penrith has a range of patterns and fabrics that are NIR complient and you can buy generic military NIR compliant fabrics by the yard at fabric retailers. Not to mention NIR-compliant military surplus.

    • Guy Cramer says:

      A) That is up to ADS Inc. if they want to take it commercial.
      B) ADS Inc. do not want to risk the Phase IV contract by providing it commercial first. As you noted only Kryptek have gone that route out of the four finalists. We have still not received word on either a winner or cancelation of the Phase IV program.

  26. jjj0309 says:

    As mentioned above, please commercial civvie market. Many people would like to buy one of these.

  27. DeepStitch says:

    Were any of the samples permethrin treated? Does permethrin treatment make any difference in NIR or SWIR visibility?
    My thanks to Guy Cramer and SSD for sharing and keeping us informed.

    • Guy Cramer says:

      None of the Jackets shown or US4CES material used in the photos have Permethrin (Insecticide) coating as it requires clear labeling on the garment. Permethrin will affect the reflection in the NIR making the material about 7% brighter than non-treated fabric and in the SWIR from 7%-15% brighter than non-treated.

  28. DD says:

    How do Pencott Badlands and Greenzone compare? Just wondering.