The HexCam pattern was designed to be functional in a vast range of operational environments (we have other environment specific patterns, such as the Wasteland, Makalu, and 5-Echo). While the trend now seems to revolve around digital styles, we decided to go against the grain with our honeycomb design. While digital (MARPAT, ACU) and “blot” style camos (such as Multicam, woodland BDU) work well in a variety of conditions, our goal was to utilize some of the more naturally occurring designs from nature. Animals utilize amazing camouflage through fur, scales, or feathers. Our HexCam pattern was modeled after the scales of reptiles. We researched the natural camouflage of a multitude of earth’s predatory species to develop our pattern. Our thought was that if it works for nature, it can work for us.
Our dominant pattern performs well in a number of different environments for several reasons. The first is that it utilizes an 8-color variation base with multiples textures to mimic different textures in nature. These textures bump the pattern design up to 256 total colors to better facilitate changing environments and lighting conditions.
Color Variation and Isoluminance
We wanted to simulate different shading variation and shadows, so incorporated layers of depth and actual shadows. This makes the pattern work better at different distances. Second, we found in our research that even in dense vegetation of heavy green, brown was still the dominant color, even though it didn’t appear to be so. (This is why we recommend Wasteland as the primary tactical design, even in woodlands and jungle.) Also, at a distance, many colors tend to wash out and become muted to browns and greys anyhow. It is for this reason that our color palette works under a wider variety of environments. The last thing to consider is the issue of isoluminance, which is where colors combine and appear to be one solid color at longer distances. This is where macropatterns and high contrast come into play. Our use of black and darker brown helps disrupt isoluminance by creating greater variance in the color scheme, effectively maintaining the macropattern at longer ranges.
Micro and Macro
Our pattern also utilizes the macro- and micro-pattern effect, which is necessary for breaking up shapes and contours to render a human less recognizable in the field. Patterns that rely too much on the micro elements (pixels) tend to work better at closer ranges. For this purpose, we’ve made sure our pattern looks excellent at extremely close ranges. Since nature happens to be more random, our pattern uses a randomized algorithm. One might think the straight lines of the hexes would work against the operator, but it has proven effective even at extremely close range (1 meter).
Environment-specific vs. All-in-one
While there is no all-in-one camo pattern that works best in every environment, it can be too cost-restrictive to mass-produce gear and attire for every operational environment the world requires. Creating a camo pattern that works across the board becomes a matter of trading off one thing for another. Camo designers can still come very close to getting a working design that ultimately saves lives in the process. That is what we aim to do at HexCam. We are constantly improving our design to better meet the needs of hunters and operators throughout the world. Our pattern has been in development since 2013, and has undergone hundreds of revisions to constantly improve it.
We currently have 5 patterns:
- Wasteland – desert and arid (our most versatile)
- 5-Echo – woodland
- Makalu – arctic, winter
- Adirondack – hunter’s orange
- Specter – urban, night