Kryptek LEAF/Camo Technologies 3-Dimensional (3-D)/Multi-Directional Biomimetic Military Combat Camouflage (Camo) Patterns at SHOT Show 2012: Is the Army’s Future Soldier Going Reptilian? (Video!)

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by David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com

All photos and video contained in this article were shot by, and are copyrighted. owns the copyright on these photos. The photos and video clips were shot with a Canon PowerShot S90 10-megapixel digital camera (still camera with video capability).

February 16, 2012

While DefenseReview (DR) was examining all the new products at the Diamondhead USA booth at SHOT Show 2012, one of our friends and professional contacts advised us to go check out Kryptek L.E.A.F. (Law Enforcement and Armed Forces/Camo Technologies’ military combat camo (camouflage) patterns over at the Source One Distributors (SOD) booth. So, we did, and we were pleasantly surprised by the camo’s 3-dimensional (3-D) biomimetic/organic appearance, which to our eye had an alligator/crocodile-like reptilian visual look to it. The pattern we saw was Kryptek Highlander, which is the company’s transitional/arid pattern. To our knowledge, Kryptek currently has six (6) combat patterns: Kryptek Nomad™ (Desert/Arid), Highlander™(Transitional/Arid) Mandrake™ (Woodland/Jungle), Yeti (Arctic) Urban (Urban Grey) and Typhon (another Urban Grey)

Kryptek military combat camo is patent pending and being marketed under the Kryptek LEAF/CAMO division of Kryptek Outdoor Group (KOG). It was developed specifically for U.S. military “black SOF (Special Operations Forces)” assaulters/operators by a bunch of retired U.S. military warfighters/trigger-pullers and hunters (thus the tagline “Battlefield to Backcountry”) way up there in Sarah Palin country (i.e., Alaska) who wanted to design and develop better, more effective camouflage patterns than what already existed. In fact, they wanted to develop the best combat camo ever. “Our patterns are the most effective, the most cutting edge that have ever been developed.” Bold words, and they were spoken by Kryptek Business Relations Director/CEO Butch Whiting to DR by phone, last night. Whether they’re true or not is up to the U.S. military and independent evaluators to determine through field testing and evaluation, but you have to admire Mr. Whiting’s supreme confidence in his product. It’s of course possible that’s he’s right, and I should note that Whiting comes across as humble-yet-confident rather than cocky over the phone. He’s also doing it for the right reasons. He genuinely wants to improve the combat survivability and lethality of U.S. military infantry warfighters

According to Whiting, Kryptek LEAF camo’s built-in 3-dimensional effect kicks in at approximately 10 meters (10M), or 33 feet. At that distance, “you start to be absorbed into your environment,” Whiting said. So, what does that mean in real terms when one is involved in dynamic military combat? Well, at short distances of 33-100 feet, it could give a warfighter an extra second or two, or three, in a gunfight, or, depending on the lighting conditions, it could even camouflage him completely so that the enemy doesn’t even see him, provided of course that he doesn’t move. The goal in military combat environments is always to seek out and fight from the lowest level of light, or at least a lower light level than the enemy. However, even if you’re able to do that, it still helps to have an effective camouflage pattern. And when you’re caught in broad daylight, it REALLY helps to have an effective camouflage pattern in your corner. Effective camouflage makes it harder to identify and target the wearer, and can at the very least afford him/her valuable seconds in an engagement, allowing him/her to prevail/survive. Lethality is important/crucial, but so is survivability.

When Defense Review asked Mr. Whiting about the biomimetic/reptilian aspect of the camo, he replied that it’s actually based on camo netting as it looks when it’s stretched over objects like vehicles. That was the inspiration. The reptilian visual appearance is essentially just a coincidental byproduct of the camo-netting 3D effect, and Whiting asserts that the patterns are effective at both close and long range. When it comes to combat camo, that’s where the rubber really meets the road. Your camo may work at 100-200 yards, but how well does it work at 500 yards–or 800 yards? That’s a tough nut to crack, and the boys at Kryptek think they’ve cracked it.

The Kryptek LEAF/Camo Technologies military combat camouflage patterns incorporate both visual blending and distruptive aspects. Visual disruption is important because blending only gets you so far, and doesn’t work in certain situations. You’re not always going to blend in with your environment. The same goes for disruption. Sometimes, ya’ just gotta’ blend. So, both are important.

It’s also important that the camo patern works in three light spectrums: visible light/visual, SWIR (Short Wave Infrared)/Near IR/Night Vision/I2, and thermal/IR. In order to do this, the pattern has to printed using the right ink and base material. Whiting stated on the phone that Kryptek LEAF combat camo will work in all three light spectrums. Duro Textiles is handling Kryptek’s camo printing.

The patterns will work against both human beings/combatants and animals/game. “This is the first pattern that has that whole demographic crossover,” says Whiting.

He also made an interesting point on the phone. It’s not just about how well a camouflage pattern works against the enemy. It’s also about how it makes the wearer feel, i.e., its psychological effect on the wearer. Does it help the wearer to generate a predatory combat mindset and think like a hunter? Whiting says Kryptek LEAF camo does (indeed do that).

Kryptek LEAF/Camo combat camo patterns recently made the down-select in the U.S. Army Camouflage Improvement Effort (CIE) competition, along with three other companies’ patterns: ADS Camouflage Solutions/Hyperstealth Biotechnology Corp. (Guy Cramer), Brookwood Companies Incorporated (BCI), and Crye Precision. Oh, and U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center also has their own patterns in the fight, apparently. So, Kryptek’s going up against some corporate big boys AND the Army, itself. And ya’ know what? They may actually have a shot! It may be David vs. Goliath redux, assuming the program goes the distance–and that’s a big “if”. The U.S. Army Camouflage Improvement Effort (CIE) could very well turn out to be a giant clusterfuck (certainly wouldn’t be the first time), but if the program goes, our military warfighters could end up looking really cool, and scaly.

“What it boils down to is results. The test results should ultimately determine the outcome.”
Butch Whiting to DR

Editor’s Note: DefenseReview is curious as to how the Kryptek LEAF combat camouflage patterns perform at various ranges/distances versus Hyde Definition PenCott combat camo patterns, which also look very good. That would be an interesting match-up.

The following information comes from Kryptek company materials:

Kryptek Press Release on U.S. Army Camouflage Competition Down-Select:

“KRYPTEK™ Outdoor Apparel Named a Finalis in Process to Select New U.S. Military Camouflage Patterns

Company’s Proven Nomad™, Highlander™ and Mandrake™ Camouflage Patterns Undergoing Extensive Military Analysis, Evaluations and Field Trials in 2012

Kryptek™ Outdoor Group’s Law Enforcement Armed Forces (L.E.A.F.) division headquartered in Fairbanks, Alaska has been selected to an elite group of finalists approved by the Secretary and the Chief of Staff of the Army to have its camouflage patterns further evaluated during 2012 — bringing the company an important step closer to its goal of becoming an official camouflage pattern provider for all branches of the U.S. military.

In the U.S. Army’s search for a family of camouflage patterns that will prove effective across myriad environments, the selection process required each participating company to submit a family of patterns (desert, woodland and transitional), along with a single coordinated pattern for the Organizational Clothing and Individual Equipment (OCIE). According to a news release from the Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier, finalists “were chosen following a rigorous technical evaluation backed by solid scientific analysis and incorporating critical Soldier input from the field.”

The patterns provided by Kryptek and selected for further evaluation are the company’s high-tech Nomad™, Highlander™ and Mandrake™, each developed to provide users with extreme stealth in specific environments and challenging conditions. Like all Kryptek camouflage patterns and gear, these were developed for tactical users and hardcore hunters based on the extensive battlefield and Special Ops experience of the company’s principals and pro staff. This background contributed to Kryptek’s formation of its Law Enforcement and Armed Forces (L.E.A.F.) division; created to serve the performance-based apparel needs of law enforcement, armed forces, first responders, homeland defense and other government agencies.

Now that it has reached this important selection milestone, these Kryptek patterns will be put to the test — literally — by the U.S. military. During its Fiscal Year 2012, the Army will put these patterns through continued rigorous computer analysis, evaluations and field trials over an estimated nine-month period.

“To have met the scrutiny of military testing and be down selected in this final group of four is a significant achievement and an honor in itself,” said Kryptek CEO Butch Whiting, an 11-year veteran of the U.S. Army who served in Afghanistan and Iraq and received two Bronze Stars among other recognitions. “We are extremely confident in the effectiveness of our patterns. They will continue to excel through the phase II field testing. Kryptek camo will provide users with enhanced lethality, survivability and overall success. There is simply nothing else as effective as Kryptek out there, whether you are on the battlefield or in the backcountry.” added Whiting.

For more information about Kryptek’s camouflage patterns and its line of military-bred technical clothing, contact Kryptek at P.O. Box 10652, Fairbanks, AK 99710 • Or visit”

Kryptek Combat Camouflage Patterns Document:

“The Kryptek™ family of camouflage patterns were designed for the elite warfighter with the purpose of improving stealth and enhancing survivability, ultimately increasing the overall lethality of the user. Kryptek™ camo patterns provide a tactical advantage to the Operator by reducing visual acquisition through the combination of proven camouflage concepts, scientific principles and field testing. The Kryptek™ designs’ incorporate proven principles of visual deception based on mimicry of foliage, animal, marine and geography qualities. These principles have been combined with evolutionary concepts and fused with state of the art technology to offer the utmost in effective concealment in differing environments.

Krytpek™ utilizes a multi-directional design to effectively conceal in differing terrains that have either a lateral or vertical flow. The bi-level layering of the patterns incorporate background transitional shading and sharp random geometrical foregrounds to create a three dimensional effect that ensures the utmost disguise at both close and long ranges. These components combined with colorations selected and matched based on both input from testing and observations from Operators in the field make Kryptek™ Camo the ultimate in passive battlefield deception.

Kryptek™ Camo
‘When shadows are not enough’

Kryptek Corporate and Products Description Document:

“WHO: Kryptek Outdoor Group…A.K.A. “Kryptek, Kryptek Apparel, Kryptek Camo Technologies, Kryptek L.E.A.F, and Kryptek Adventures”…These are more of focus areas then they are stand alone entities. There are actually two legal entities within the Kryptek family of focuses; Kryptek L.E.A.F., and Kryptek Outdoor Group.

WHAT: Kryptek products are born from battlefield knowledge, focusing on what works in combat and honing it for other outdoor adventure use. Founded by a highly-decorated and vastly experienced group of men with first-hand knowledge of everything from air, land and sea combat to high tech camouflage development, Kryptek translates their military experience into product features to meet the needs of soldiers, first responders, civilian hunters and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Kryptek Outdoor Group manufactures high-end hunting clothing; designs specialized products for law enforcement and armed forces; and develops high tech camouflage patterns. Its products designed for extreme conditions and seeks to push the boundaries of what is possible. More than just clothing, the company integrates tactical gear concepts and evolves this technology into technical outdoor adventure/hunting apparel and other top-of-the-line clothing that is comfortable, functional and durable.

Bringing “Battlefield to Backcountry” Kryptek looks to outdo expectations and deliver serious hunters and outdoorsmen with superior products modeled after what is used by our nation’s elite. In order to achieve this Kryptek counts on its pro-staff, a cadre of men involved in special ops to help test and give feedback and help create the most functional gear on the planet.

Kryptek’s Law Enforcement and Armed Forces (L.E.A.F.) subsidiary is driven to do what no other company does – provide customized, performance-based apparel that is specific and unique. It is focused on serving law enforcement, armed forces, first responders, homeland defense and other government agencies. Pre-conceived notions of what customers want do not drive the company. Instead, Kryptek is dedicated to creating preeminent apparel based on field-input and customer feedback. This group depends on their gear, period. Kryptek understands this and joins with its customers to design and manufacture apparel that will work for them.

Kryptek also creates technologically advanced camouflage patterns. The goal is simple: enhance survivability and mission success. Users are consistently looking for more effective camouflage for these two reasons. Using field knowledge and advanced technology, Kryptek creates anything but generic patterns. the company utilizes the teams’ nearly decade worth of experience designing the leading hunting camouflage patterns in the industry and combines it with battlefield experience and the foremost innovative scientific techniques available in order to generate the most effective patterns possible.

WHEN: Kryptek products are currently carried exclusively by Cabela’s as well as their online store. They have several new camouflage patterns they will be releasing in the days to come that are simply cutting edge, and extremely effective on the battlefield, and in the backcountry.

WHERE: Kryptek is based out of Fairbanks Alaska, with key personnel throughout the U.S., as well as a vast group of Pro staff that are serving in various parts of the world.

WHY: Tactical application has enormous cross over into the outdoor adventure world, and vice versa. Many U.S. operators use high end mountaineering apparel and gear. In light of recent world events, the employment of Conventional, Special Operations Forces and other Government Agencies focused on protecting our freedom by fighting and winning our nations battles has been at an all time high. From battlefield experience, new technologies, equipment, and apparel have emerged. The concept of the Kryptek Outdoor Group also emerged on the battlefield, through actual combat experience. The idea of tailoring specifically to our Nations clandestine warriors, and spiraling this kit and garb into the hunting and outdoor adventure markets was birthed by a clandestine warrior, executing covert operations, in combat.

The concept of Kryptek is one driven by passion. Seeing a need and niche in the market, a window of opportunity, and an overwhelming desire to do what no other company has done; provide customized, performance based apparel that is specific and unique, that meets or exceeds the expectations of the user, and consistently obtains the desired results. Kryptek is not driven by a pre-conceived notion of what the customer should want. Through experimentation and customer feedback, we will incorporate product features that meet the customer’s wants for functionality, durability, appeal and overall results.

The Kryptek Outdoor Group concept allows for the founders to fuse their combat experience and connection to the military with their love for the outdoors. By using the U.S. Military Special Operation Forces market as a focus group for research and development, the image of these warriors becomes woven into the fabric of the Kryptek brand. It becomes inherent to the image of the organization, and as these items are offered to the civilian hunter and outdoor adventure seeker, not only will the civilian customer be using s superior product, but one that is being used by our Nation’s elite.

“We come from a background where performance matters and results are expected,” said CEO Butch Whiting, an 11-year veteran of the U.S. Army who served in Afghanistan and Iraq and received two Bronze Stars among other recognitions. “The same principals of aiming for accomplishment and victory, of no compromises, of leaving nothing to chance, especially your gear – these all apply not only to tactical communities, but to hunting and outdoor adventure seekers as well, which is why we are fusing battlefield and backcountry experience to develop ultra high end apparel that has application and function in both arena’s.”

Company Contact Info:

Greg Love
Director, Sales/Marketing
Kryptek Outdoor Group (KOG) / Kryptek L.E.A.F.
Email Direct:
Email Info:
EIN# 27-205591
DUNS# 961885691

Butch Whiting
Business Relations

Josh Cleghorn
Product Development/Adventures

Duro Textiles, LLC
110 Chace Street
Fall River, MA 02724
Corporate Office: 508-675-0101
Marketing and Media Office: 508-675-0101 Ext. 1173
Corporate Fax: 508-677-6791

Duro Print Plant
206 Globe Mills Avenue
Fall River, MA 02724
Phone: 508-675-0101
Fax: 508-678-1151

© Copyright 2012 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without receiving permission and providing proper credit and appropriate links.

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About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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