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Introduction to Ghillie Suits

Introduction to Ghillie Suits

Ghillie suits are worn by hunters, airsoft and paintball players, kids, the military, and even wildlife photographers. This article provides a general overview of ghillie suits to help you decide what suit is best for you.

Types of Ghillie Suits

Ghillie Suit Jacket

The three main types of ghillie suits are pullovers, jacket and pants combinations, and ponchos. Each has distinct characteristics listed below.

Type Description
Jackets and Pants Ghillie Jacket and Pants combinations cover the entire body, and for some models the hood is detachable. Some ghillie suit jackets have extra long material that covers the lower body.
Pullover A pullover type ghillie suit is a one-piece garment, put on by pulling over your head. There are no zippers, and it covers your body from head to toe. It includes an attached hood. This suit is not designed for crawling.
Poncho A Ghillie poncho is usually a one-piece suit, worn by pulling over your head. Some ghillie ponchos cover the upper torso, while others cover the entire body. Most models include arm sleeves and and an attached hood, but others can be worn as a cloak to cover most of the upper body.

Modified Ghillie Suits

Ghillie Bow Hunter

While most ghillie suits can be worn for any activity, some are designed for a specific need. These styles include modifications for a bow hunter, a low crawling sniper, and a kid's size ghillie suit.

Style Special Features
Kids Ghillie Suit This is a smaller lightweight ghillie suit designed for kids sizes. Great for airsoft, paintball, and hunting.
Sniper Ghillie Suit This sniper ghillie suit is usually a jacket and pants combination designed for long crawls. The front of the jacket and pants is reinforced with abrasive resistant material for extra durability.
Bow Hunter Ghillie Suit The bow hunter style ghillie suit is clear of camouflage material around the chest and shooting arm areas, so there is no interference when shooting an arrow.

Outer Material: Natural Jute vs. Synthetic Thread

Ghillie Material

All ghillie suits include outer camouflage material attached to an inner shell. Outer material is mostly made of either natural jute thread or synthetic thread. Although both materials appear similar and can provide outstanding camouflage, we favor synthetic thread over jute thread for its mildew resistance and durability. Synthetic ghillie suits are inherently fire resistant. However, many jute ghillie suits are pretreated with a fire retardant. Here's a breakdown of both ghillie suit materials.

Outer Material Fire Resistant Mildew Resistant Odorless Weight Durability
Jute Thread No No No Near twice that of synthetic thread. Weaker than synthetic thread.
Synthetic Thread Yes Yes Yes Near half that of jute thread. Stronger than jute thread

Inner Shell Material

Ghillie Inner Shell

All outer ghillie material is sewn or tied directly to an inner shell, holding the suit together. Common materials for the inner shell include Battle Dress Uniforms, netting, and lightweight mesh. Below are descriptions for each type of inner shell.

Inner Shell Description
Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) This is the highest quality and most durable inner shell, composed of Battle Dress Uniforms used by the military.
Mesh Mesh is a lightweight, bug-proof material that provides excellent ventilation.
Netting Netting is used as the inner shell on many pullover ghillie suits. These ghillie suits are not recommended for crawling movements. Size of netting is usually around ¾ to 1 inch.
Mesh & Netting Combination Some models have outer camouflage material attached to netting, and the netting is sewn directly to a mesh layer for added comfort.

Color Patterns

Your natural surroundings are important when selecting a color pattern for your ghillie suit. Reviewing colors of the ground cover, leaves, and other foliage in the area will help you decide on the best pattern. Woodland is probably the most universal, other patterns include Desert, Leafy, and Mossy. Please note that colors can vary across brands. Below are examples of common color patterns.

desert pattern leafy pattern mossy ghillie pattern Woodland Ghillie pattern
Desert Leafy Mossy Woodland

Ghillie Suit Accessories

There are many accessories available to compliment a ghillie suit, including rifle wraps, covers for backpacks, blind covers, and ghillie blankets. Rifle wraps can hide the shape and glare of your weapon. Ghillie blankets, blind covers, and pack covers can be used for additional camouflage to conceal your supplies and gear.

Ghillie Rifle Wrap ghillie blind cover Ghillie Blanket Ghillie Pack Cover
Rifle Wraps Ghillie Blind Covers Ghillie Blankets Pack Covers


There are many ghillie suits to choose from. For information on choosing the right one for you, see our article How to Choose the Best Ghillie Suit.



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