The 10 Best Ghillie Suits
This wiki has been updated 30 times since it was first published in October of 2015. For hunters and wildlife photographers looking to blend into their natural surroundings or dedicated paintballers hoping to amp up their next game, these ghillie suits will make you disappear into the environment faster than you can say "lock and load." Featuring a range of patterns designed to match nearly any type of terrain, there's something here to meet every need. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
December 03, 2020:
Ghillie suits are one of the best ways to blend in with natural surroundings. They come in a variety of styles and colors, all of which are well represented in our recommendations. We also did our best to include different weights, so if you need something for cold or warm weather, you should be able to find it here. We were also conscientious to include simple two-piece suits all the way up to full five-piece options that come with stuff sacks and wraps for your rifle or camera equipment.
Shedding is a major issue on low-quality suits, which is why we appreciate that the makers of the Arcturus Ghost use double-stitch locks in the thread. This greatly reduces the amount of strings that fall off and helps to ensure you get multiple seasons of use out of it. Plus, with a blend of seven colors of strings, it is very effective at breaking up your outline.
When it comes to options for different environments, the Red Rock Outdoor Gear 5-Piece truly stands out. It is available desert, woodland, army combat uniform camo, and even a snow variety, all of which include a separate hood and matching stuff sack and rifle wrap. The Arcturus 3D Leafy comes in several choices as well, which are designed to be used in different times of the year. For example, the summer option is mostly bright shades of green, whereas the fall suit contains mostly dark and light browns.
For the youngsters out there who join their parents on hunting trips, play paintball, or are perhaps looking for a fun Halloween costume, we have the Pellor 3D Woodland Youth. Not only is it affordably priced, but it utilizes a combination of drawstrings and elastic so it can grow with them a bit.
November 19, 2019:
When identifying the best ghillie suits, there are a number of things one must consider. In addition to how well they break up your form so you can blend in with your surroundings, it is important to find one that offers enough breathability that you won't constantly be sweating when crouched in the ready position. Ideally, one would also find a suit that has durable strings or leaves that are securely stitched on to minimize shedding and ensure you can get a lot of use out of it. String and leaf material comes into play too, as certain kinds will have more of tendency to pick up debris or get snagged on branches. All of these factors were considered when choosing the options on this list.
The Arcturus Ghost and Arcturus 3D Leafy are two of our favorite options due to their high-quality construction, amount of leaf and/or string coverage, and variety of available colors. Whether you are hunting in dry grasslands, lush forests, or a late autumn woodland, there is one to suit your needs.
Of course, users who spend less time in the field, or who are simply looking for a cool Halloween costume, may prefer something a little bit cheaper. For those people we have included the OuterDo 3D. Though not the most durable option, it will get the job done and offers enough adjustability to fit most body types.
The Pinty GHS-0002, Red Rock Outdoor Gear ACU, and Vivo Woodland Forest V001 represent the best value. They all come with at least four pieces, including a gun or binoculars cover to ensure every bit of you and your equipment is hidden.
Miles Tactical Ghillie Suit Kit If you can't find a suit that perfectly matches your hunting grounds or you simply prefer to make your own gear, these kits from Miles Tactical can be a good option. They come in a range of colors, patterns, and materials, so you should easily be able to produce one up to your standards. Just make sure to purchase some fire retardant and treat your suit with it if the kit you choose doesn't include it. theghilliesuits.com
A Disappearing Act: Getting A Ghillie Suit
One of the first considerations to make is how active you must be while wearing your camouflage.
A ghillie suit is designed to help an individual fully blend in with his or her natural surroundings. By helping to break up the easily recognizable shape of the human body and by using carefully textured and colored materials to match the foliage of the area, a ghillie suit succeeds in concealing its wearer in ways that almost no other form of camouflage can help to match.
Most ghillie suits share the same basic attributes; a jacket and pants, each of which are densely covered in plenty of media that approximates the look of leaves, grasses, and other natural material when viewed from any distance. One of the first considerations to make is how active you must be while wearing your camouflage. A large, bulky ghillie suit with six or seven pounds of camouflaging media attached is great for the person spending hours hiding with hardly the move of a muscle, but is not the best choice for the person who needs to be running from place to place every few minutes. The activity during which you will be wearing the suit has much bearing on which suit design is right for you.
Starting at the top, some ghillie suits have attached hoods, while others use separate cowls that can be attached to the jacket but which are often larger and looser. It's important to consider hood design as a differentiator; whether the cowl is attached to the jacket or a separate piece, the right hood shape and size depend strongly on the type of activity for which you needed the ghillie suit in the first place. The paintballer or air soft player likely won't actually be spending hours lying still, waiting for the chance to get the perfect shot; for them, a large, loose hood can be a detriment to fast, agile movement. The person who will likely be in regular motion while wearing a ghillie suit will be best served by a lighter overall outfit with a smaller hood that can be easily donned and/or pulled down.
For the wildlife photographer or the sniper, however, who will be sitting still for hours at a time waiting for a chance to get the perfect shot (that word meaning different things, respectively) a large, loose hood is ideal. It can help to fully cover the wearer's head and much of the camera or rifle they are holding, allowing for superior blending with the surroundings.
While having the right hood is important to make sure you're well suited for your activities, so to speak, of even more importance is choosing a ghillie suit that will actually blend into the natural environment. First and foremost, that means finding a suit that has the right coloration and texture for the location and season in which you use it. A suit that's a perfect design for use in dense, verdant underbrush might be a terrible choice for use in the leafless woodlands of the late fall, for example. Ghillie suits come in a wide range of specialized designs, including suits that were created for use in snow, in deserts, and beyond.
Two Products That Help Hide The Hunter
Even with a great ghillie suit, a hunter (or wildlife photographer or solider) is still not prepared for long periods of hiding out in the woods without some more great gear. One of the simplest, most tried and true ways for one to remain effectively hidden in the woods -- at least as far as the animals in the area are concerned -- is by using a hunting blind. A full hunting blind that creates a 360 degree shelter not only helps a hunter remain hidden from his quarry, but also provides a place for leaving extra gear, ammunition, and even a change of camouflage as may be needed based on the circumstances. Your hunting blind gives you a concealed home base when out in the woods.
Human beings are not all that well adapted to life in the wilderness, at least in as much as our bodies are physically capable. It is our cunning ability to overcome deficiencies through innovation that sees us succeed even in inhospitable environments. Using a few pieces of gear that minimize the need for movement can make your attempt to disappear into the background the much more successful. And one oft overlooked tool is the water filtering straw. With this unique type of water filter, a person can safely drink from almost any natural water source, including a puddle or stream. Set up your concealed position near a water source, and you can remain unmoving for hours or, potentially, even days.
The History Of The Ghillie Suit
Some variations of the ghillie suit have existed since time immemorial. Ancient hunters would don the skins of animals they stalked to help them blend in among the herd of bison or to elicit the comfort of a lone elk or deer. Scouts and guerrilla style soldiers have long woven branches, brambles, and leaves into their clothing to help them disappear into the natural tableau surrounding them.
And within a few decades of their first development, ghillie suits first saw combat in the Boer War at the turn of the last century.
Such camouflage even found its way into some of the most famed literature the world has ever known, such as when "Birnam wood" came to "Dunsinane hill" in Shakespeare's Macbeth; the play tells of an army carving its camouflage out of the very trees of a forest and then in a concealed mass against the doomed Scottish king.
And in fact, the term "ghillie suit" itself is Scottish in origin: the forerunners of this specialized garment were designed by Scots who used their camouflaged clothing as a sort of self-contained hunting blind. The word comes from the term "Ghillie Dhu," which was a game warden charged with maintaining the hunting grounds of 19th Century Scottish estates. And within a few decades of their first development, ghillie suits first saw combat in the Boer War at the turn of the last century.