"Tiger Stripe" Camouflage

So I’ve started playing paintball and this entailed picking up a set of camo fatigues. Wearing anything other than this tends to result in getting marked but good.

There’s a wide selection of camouflage patterns, I happened to get the Tiger Stripe stuff and it seems to work quite well.

Here’s my question, given that most vegetation grows vertically, why do the stripes on tiger stripe run horizontally? This isn’t just one manufacturer, all of the stuff that I’ve seen is made this way. I read one time that the thought is that when somebody is looking around their eyes are sweeping horizontally and the horizontal stripes blend in with this motion, the eyes just kind of “flow” past the stripes.

But the stripes on real, live tigers run vertically (all the better to hide in tall grass), based on a few million years of evolution, obviously they’re doing something right.

I also read that when the US military was evaluating new types of camouflage patterns recently that Tiger Stripe was rated second behind only the new digital stuff - better than the traditional “woodland” camo; obviously it is quite effective.

So what’s the Dope? Why do the stripes run horizonatally and not vertically? Do the Tiger Stripe folks not want us to look thinner or something?

It’s designed so that when you are prone, the stripes blend in. If you are upright, and moving, you are gonna get spotted anyway. Lie down, sight in, and wait for the right shot. :smiley:

I think the stripes are supposed to be shadows and spaces. Not representative of the foilage.

As a general rule, camo for humans is designed to break up your outline, so you don’t look like a target. The best camo out there is a ghillie suit, which can make you look like just another hunk of foliage. R. Lee Ermey did a segment of Mail Call on the ghillie suit, and I was amazed at how effective they were.

Probably the best example of how ghillie suits work is to watch that james bond movie , where they end up in cuba.

At the end of the movie they are walking through some grassland , and the girl says there is no one around for miles :slight_smile:


Based on this site, it looks like the most important thing is that the camo pattern be made up of similar colors & brightnesses to the background.

Second, the pattern needs to be roughly similar to the background- in other words, if the background is a grassy field, you don’t want a pattern with huge dark blotches. Similarly, if you’re in a forest, you don’t necessarily want something that’s composed of really small elements (like grass blades).

Ultimately, it’s there to break up your silhouette and make you harder to see, not make you invisible. Obviously, if you’re moving, it doesn’t do much good.

Tiger Stripe’s made for very close range combat in heavy undergrowth- so it’s probably ok for paintball.

oh my god I want a ghillie suit!

The goal is to break up your outline here is an article that oddly enough shows pixeled pattern works best…


If you are hunched over or crawling through underbrush then the stripes will appear vertical. That is probably when the camo is most effective.

This past thread may or may not be of interest.

My understanding was that though vegetation grows vertically, leaves grow horizontally outwards (so they can face the sun).

Ghillie suits work very well. In a few outdoor games I’ve been to we’ve had a hardcore player with the complete suit. Although it’s uncomfortable (you’re basically wearing a bush) it’s damn cool. He can lay down and you’d lose him instantly. Even on the move, the suit does a very good job of hiding him. Our brains are just too good at detecting the shape of other people that a big moving bush confuses us.

Make sure you use camo suited for where you’re playing. I find “urban” camo very good for indoor games. The grey/white/black urban pattern does much better than jet black.

Did anyone else see visions of the [URL=http://www.70slivekidvid.com/satsm.htm on “Sigmund and the Sea Monsters”?

Sure, the time I make sure to preview before replying, and I get garbage.
Let’s try that link again. Sigmund and the Sea Monsters