Gear, Parts and Accessories

What is Kryptek Camo?

Close up of a Kryptek camo-covered rifle in a grassy field

When browsing through camouflage clothing to update your hunting gear, or searching for a gun in something other than black, stainless or pink, you probably have stumbled across a pattern that looks rather lizard-like.

Not quite sure if it is designed for fashion or function, you might have skipped right past it thinking, “that just isn’t for me.”

However, you are passing up what might just be one of the most truly innovative camo patterns in modern history.

Kryptek camo and its parent company, Kryptek Outdoor Group is a fairly new company formed in 2011 by two brothers-in-arms, Butch Whiting and Josh Gleghorn.

Serving together in Iraq, Butch and Josh discovered their mutual affinity for hunting big game.

They always say, “find a way to make money doing what you love,” and for the love of the hunt and the passion for improving soldiers’ systems, after returning home they founded Kryptek Outdoor Group—dedicated to developing apparel that is not only comfortable, but highly functional as well.

The team at Kryptek uses their varied battlefield experience and proven combat designs to create clothing and accessories that transition from “battlefield to backcountry” with ease.

Kryptek’s 10 different camo patterns are some of the very few that work to camouflage, mask and blend the human form to both the human and animal eye.

Kryptek Camo Handgun
Kryptek Camo Kahr CM9

Originally designed with Special Operatorations in mind, the Kryptek camo mixes both blended and distributive patterns to create a layered effect.

With shading in the background and sharp geometric shapes in the foreground, the Kryptek camo multi-directional design resembles highly-effective 3D camo netting when stretched over large equipment.

Though on a computer screen, this reptilian-like camo pattern may not look like much, it is incredibly versatile. Few patterns can boast blending well at long and short distances.

From 33 to 100 feet, Kryptek gives you a better chance at survival and bagging that trophy buck or bird.

To be successful camouflaging in all light spectrums, camo must be printed using the correct inks and materials. Kryptek camo patterns have been extensively tested and proven to hide you in daylight, infrared, thermal and night vision.

Truly, a transitional pattern, Kryptek was selected in 2012 for testing in the Army’s camo improvement program. (Crye Precision’s Scorpion W2—similar to Multicam—won.)

Kryptek Camo Carbine
Kryptek Camo Hi-Point Carbine

There are 10 different patterns to choose from for every environment possible:

  • Mandrake– Green and brown-based for dense foliage environments
  • Raid– Grays and white for urban settings
  • Highlander– Varying shades of browns, some gray and shadowy green for mixed terrains and elevations
  • Altitude– Greens and grays for areas that have sparse cover and mountainous areas
  • Nomad– Brown and tan-based for barren landscapes, deserts and sand
  • Banshee– Dark browns and shadows for forests
  • Typhon– Black and gray for night
  • Neptune– Blues, black and grays for ocean-specific cover
  • Yeti– White and light gray for winter and snow-covered environments
  • Pontus– Bright and dark blues with some gray for marine and water environments

Kryptek Typhon, Mandrake, Yeti and Highlander are the most popular.

Some may find the new camo pattern gimmicky or think that people are buying it to be “tacticool,” but wearing the latest and greatest pattern isn’t about looking cool.

It’s about having the best advantage out there. Sure, your old Razor flip phone works, but doesn’t the iPhone make life easier?

Kryptek camo is quickly gaining steam and not because there are a ton of guys playing operator in their basements.

It’s because the technological advances and real-world testing that the Kryptek team is relying on means this stuff works.

Click Here to Start Shopping Online at Cheaper Than Dirt It appears that Kryptek is the next biggest thing. Will you jump on the bandwagon? I will, just as long as you can’t see me.

For more on camo, read “50 Shades of Gray: The Evolution of Camo and a Throwback to Solid Colors.

What do you think about the new Kryptek camo patterns? Tell us in the comment section below.


The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (12)

  1. Is Typhon named after the monster of Greek mythology? I hear people pronouncing it as “typhoon” which doesn’t seem to make sense.

  2. I spend a significant amount of time surfing in somewhat remote areas and I typically wear some sort of camouflage to avoid attracting lifeguards, competitors, and other irritants. (The point here is that people tend to flock, and If I can delay detection, and the resultant herding, by 15 minutes, my wave count goes up).

    After years of observation, my wife confirms that the old oasis desert pattern (i.e., “coffee stain”) is really hard to spot on the beach. I just picked up some Kryptek Highlander as my old gear has worn out, and the initial impression is that it will be even better.

    I just wish they’d release something in Altitude and Pontus as it would be great to have something to conceal boards, rash guards, etc. when I’m actually in the water…


  3. I like Kryptek and hope our troops get some soon. Well done. Get rid of standard ACU. Garbage in most environments. Marpat dig is great stuff and could be easily adapted to urban/grey environments. DCU, Marpat woodland and old woodland are still easily found in surplus gear stores to create great hunting ensembles for different seasons and color environments.

  4. good stuff for Baltimore-a Democrat city in a Democrat state since the 1930s. Where you find poverty and desperation you find liberal politics hard at work over-regulating,over-taxing and over-blaming.And they wonder why business wont invest there and create JOBS.

    1. steve, I don’t know what your comment has to do with Kryptek, but I do agree with what you’re saying.

  5. Guys I hear what you are saying and respect it.

    I am 65 now so maybe technology in camo has past me by. I will look into Kryptec products.. As some of you know it’s hard some times to let go of the past,

    1. Peyton, I’m 61 and still making regular assignments into places like Kenya, Somalia and beyond. You’re only as old as you let yourself be.

    2. No worries, Brother.

      Vent all you want. Just remember, you’re only as old as you let yourself be.

  6. Cool stuff, and very innovative. Camo does make a difference, even with very large objects. Having served extensively in desert environments I learned from experience that it can be difficult to sight even a tank that has a good pattern and color to blend into the local scenery.

  7. When I was with agency back before the Earth cooled we did a study of camouflage in the filed and it’s effectiveness. This was done in very well designed scientific way.

    The results were that camouflage did very little to conceal a soldier in the field as the enemy quickly learned to see the pattern in virtually any enviornment.. THis was 2 way street of course our forces spotte their camo as well. In fact camo identified the enemy as free fire on deal. for both sides.

    The study was not limited to camo currently used either or in just one theater of war. Two types of camouflage showed actual ability to conceal a soldier in the field.

    These were :

    1- Alpine splinter as used by the Germans in pine and snow environments..I myself saw how this worked as three guys so dressed walked away fro me in the alpine forest with light snow falling. They got about 30 meters away and poof! THey were invisible.and

    2- Simple all black with gloves and balaclava at night. Yet this was not quite as effective as splinter in alpine environments.

    Remember the act of vision occurs in the total darkness of the inside of the visual cortex of the brain.Allwe see is interpretd, all we think we see is as well.

    An thing I do to sow this reality to my Stresshooting attendants is to display a picture of field and stream and house etc with green dot in the center. They are told to stare only at the green dot.

    When the green dot is removed they see the landscape and buildings in color. The landscape image is turned off after 4 seconds.

    I ask what they saw in the landscape. All of the see green grass, stone colored house and blue sky etc.

    But the landscape is only in black and white there are no colors. Their brains have filled in the color so they ‘see it’. Thus because the brain has archetype pattern recognition and in sense compares what it is processing visually with what it has seen before to identify the thing ‘seen’.

    To an extent this is why camo does notwork that well once people get used to seeing it.

    The other part of the study examined the ‘ tiger stripe camo’ some SF people wore. It was never issued by the government. All Tiger Stripe BDU were made by themama sans of the soldiers who paid them to make them.

    THis lead to a further study that identified camo as a way to inspire an elite consciousness in a unit.. IN fact evenback then the idea of changing camo for various missions was floated about for this reason. That is to establish a ‘mission unity’ mindset

    Nowadays I see they are doing this , Desert Storm, Just Cause, Sudden Fury, these all had special uniforms and camo..

    Sure camo is better than wearing a fluorescent orange m1A1 flight jacket reversed, but camo it is not magic.

    Let’s face reality here too, nowadays commercially speaking it is ‘fashion statement more than anything else as a rule.’

  8. Being a wounded retired marine veThe with over 13 years and 4 combat tour’s. I still prefer the marine corps digital pattern. Both then green and tan cammies blend in most surrounding’s we face. Less to carry for your typical marine. Yes being in marsoc we used other cammies and the Kryptek pattern. They are a very good cammie pattern, but.. you need so many (10 patterns ) to cover all things. It is to much one mission oriented and one environment oriented at a time… Over all good hunting product…. but marine corps digital is far more better..

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