I wish I were a real tree

“Jester” and I have come to affectionately dub these our 3D leaf hunting camo – as the pattern itself features both a printed foliage pattern (similar in concept to a few more well-known hunting camouflage brands, such as Real Tree) as well as cut shapes to resemble leaves (once again, similar in concept to other hunting camouflage). We both noted that this pattern works well when wet from rain, rather well.

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The main reason for my search for this camouflage set is due to inspiration from Taskforce Valkyrie and Team Cobalt (both have awesome MOUT/Mil-Sim YouTube channels, if you aren’t already aware of them). AFAIK, the dude on TF Valkyrie wears a higher end product, which definitely looks like a more useable pattern in itself… but in the end, I didn’t feel like shelling out the cash for a product that I wasn’t sure I would like to wear. That being said, the one I got instead has certainly proved to be an excellent test of this 3D pattern.

This set that I purchased can be found for around $30-40 USD from China. It includes a top and a bottom. I’ve been wearing the top half of this set since the winter, and can say that it has served me quite well thus far (considering the price tag).

Camouflage pattern is different than your standard BDU pattern that is prevalent in war games. This one is something in between the heavy weight and excellent break-up that a ghillie suit offers, while offering a slightly reduced effect at the benefit of much lighter weight and extreme breathability. Upon my first day of wearing this at the field, a fellow player, “Aldo” was walking out of a firefight after getting hit, and was within inches of stepping on me before I called out to him to let him know I was there. I was not lying in any taller concealment such as foliage or grass (other than the dead leaves on the ground next to me during the winter), but rather with only a downed tree branch providing the only cover to my front. Definitely good enough if I am to pick a good spot that somewhat matches the colours of the pattern, get really low to the ground to break up my shape, and stay as still as possible – though I will not claim that it’s going to help me blend in most environments, it does its job to satisfactory levels under the right circumstances. That’s all I need it for, anyway.

Hood once had a draw string, though I found the cord to be more heavy than the rest of the hood and hence dragged it all down. After wearing it around for a day, I ended up ripping the string out due to pure frustration of it getting in the way or snagging. The hood is a little on the baggy side for use with even a ball cap, though not quite baggy enough to be drawn entirely over a kitted-out helmet – I may take a pair of shears to the front lip of the hood and reduce it in profile by an inch or so.

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Button-up front with plastic snaps – nice and low profile and doesn’t seem to get in the way, though the thin material may help with this.

The mesh material used through the set has lent itself very nicely to the top being worn over a T-shirt during the recent summer heat wave around here, though perhaps the pattern is a little too brown for summertime use in the foliage at Panther field. Thin material does have its downsides though – stinging nettles will get the best of you in a heartbeat (which of course happen to be in all the right places where the colours around will actually match the camouflage pattern). In my case, mosquitoes absolutely love me – because we are often playing at paintball fields with poor drainage around here, mosquitoes are everywhere and thus I’ve absolutely doused mine in DEET many times over to keep them away.

Elastic on the sleeve and leg cuffs. Elastic waist on the shirt and pants. Elastic is snug – not too tight, but once its there, it doesn’t have the tendency to ride all over the place, which in my books is a good thing. Though sizing is generous, it should also fit smaller body sizes thanks to these elastic additions.

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Stitching around said elastic is far from great, however – that being said, stitching all over this super cheap camo set is pretty terrible. Heck, even the material itself is beginning to unravel where its been grabbed by the hook part of hook & loop fasteners on my gear.

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Honestly, I don’t expect this to last much longer than a year’s worth of semi-regular weekend use at the current rate. I guess you get what you pay for… though since its got a price tag that is so tiny, its not at all difficult to think about ordering a second set to replace it when this one eventually wears out. Speaking of this subject, it is of note that mine has begun to slowly fade after machine washing in cold water. (Pictured below: bottoms as new, top as they currently are off the field yesterday.)

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I have to be honest here, I’ve yet to wear the pants even once. I actually doubt I ever will – though for a set that’s half the price or less of the US-branded companies’ products (and many of which are probably made in China just the same), I can’t complain. I’ll probably end up chopping up the pants to make some sort of camo cover for something else in the end.

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4 responses to “I wish I were a real tree

  • Greg

    Excellent review and very informative. Following reading this post, I’m keen to get some myself from China as you did. Where did you buy it? If you don’t mind me asking?

    Thanks

    Greg, UK

    • juicy

      Hi Greg, I grabbed mine off of Ebay. I actually don’t remember this particular seller’s name, but there’s plenty of the same product & a few other colour variants out there if you search for “3D Ghillie.” Thanks for reading!

  • Greg

    Thanks for the tip, I’ll get onto ebay right away.
    I check your blog every week, I always find something interesting your all up to.

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