Ghillie Suit Buying Guide For All Pursuits | Great Days Outdoors

Ghillie Suit Buying Guide For All Pursuits

A ghillie suit is a type of camouflage clothing designed to help individuals blend into their natural surroundings, making them less visible to animals, enemies, or targets. Ghillie suits are commonly used in various activities such as hunting, military operations, wildlife photography, and even paintball or airsoft. These suits are highly effective at concealing the wearer’s presence in outdoor environments, allowing them to remain hidden from view.

The key feature of a ghillie suit is its three-dimensional camouflage. Instead of a flat, two-dimensional camouflage pattern like you might find on traditional camouflage clothing, a ghillie suit is covered in a combination of materials, such as netting, cloth strips, and natural elements like twigs, leaves, and grass. These materials are strategically attached to the suit to mimic the textures and colors of the surrounding environment. The result is a suit that breaks up the wearer’s silhouette and provides excellent camouflage

Ghillie suits come in different types, styles, and colors to match specific environments and purposes, such as woodland, desert, or snow. They are designed to provide both concealment and mobility, allowing the wearer to move quietly and stealthily while remaining unseen. Ghillie suits are an essential tool for those who require effective camouflage in outdoor activities where staying hidden can be a matter of success or survival.

A Brief History Of The Sniper Ghillie Suit

The history of ghillie suits used by snipers is a story of evolution and adaptation that spans the 20th century. While the concept of ghillie suits has its origins in Scotland, where game wardens known as “ghillies” used similar garments to aid in apprehending poachers, their military application took shape during World War I when snipers and reconnaissance units began experimenting with improvised camouflage outfits. However, it was during World War II that ghillie suits gained more widespread recognition among snipers, particularly those from the United Kingdom and the United States. These early suits were more sophisticated and incorporated natural elements from the battlefield for improved concealment.

A pivotal moment in the history of ghillie suits came with the emergence of Carlos Hathcock, a legendary Marine Corps sniper during the Vietnam War. Hathcock popularized the modern image of the ghillie suit by demonstrating its effectiveness in the dense jungles of Vietnam. He is credited with developing his own ghillie suit, which he used to great success in his missions. Hathcock’s reputation and his innovative use of the ghillie suit contributed significantly to its adoption and development in modern military sniping.


Today, ghillie suits remain an integral part of sniper equipment, providing snipers with a crucial tactical advantage by enabling them to blend seamlessly into natural surroundings, avoid enemy detection, and take precise shots while remaining concealed. The history of ghillie suits used by snipers exemplifies how innovation and adaptation have played a vital role in the evolution of military gear and tactics.

Why Would You Want A Ghillie Suit?

While they were originally developed to fool human eyes, and popularized in the public mind by a romanticization of modern warfare, ghillie suits serve a variety of purposes that extend beyond military operations. 

For hunters, ghillie suits offer a way to blend seamlessly into natural surroundings, providing a distinct advantage by keeping them hidden from the sharp senses of wildlife. Wildlife photographers also utilize ghillie suits to get close-up shots of animals without causing disturbance. In recreational activities like paintball and airsoft, ghillie suits provide tactical advantages by ensuring players remain concealed from opponents. Bird watchers, outdoor enthusiasts, and even filmmakers may use ghillie suits for their unique advantages, such as observing birds, enhancing outdoor experiences, or camouflaging camera equipment. 

Overall, ghillie suits offer a high level of visual concealment that can prove useful to many outdoor enthusiasts.

How To Choose The Right Ghillie Suit

Environment And Purpose

When it comes to choosing a ghillie suit, two critical factors to consider are the environment in which it will be used and the specific purpose it will serve. The environment plays a significant role in determining the effectiveness of your ghillie suit’s camouflage. For instance, if you plan to use it in a woodland setting, look for a suit with a woodland or forest camouflage pattern featuring earthy tones and textures that mimic the surrounding foliage. On the other hand, if your activities take you to desert terrain, opt for a desert camouflage suit with sandy and tan colors to blend into the arid landscape. The season, weather conditions, and the type of game or activity are also key environmental considerations.

Equally important is the intended purpose of the ghillie suit. For hunting, it’s vital that the suit matches both the environment and the season, as well as provides comfort and mobility. Photographers aiming to capture wildlife benefit from suits tailored to the habitats of the animals they intend to photograph, allowing them to approach closely without causing alarm. In recreational activities such as paintball and airsoft, ghillie suits offer a tactical edge, so it’s essential to select one that aligns with the playing field’s environment. Lastly, for survival and bushcraft applications, choosing a ghillie suit that merges with the anticipated terrain enhances your ability to blend into the natural surroundings. Ultimately, considering both the environment and purpose ensures that your ghillie suit serves its intended function effectively, whether for hunting, photography, recreation, or outdoor survival.


Camouflage Pattern

Selecting the appropriate camouflage pattern for your ghillie suit is a critical decision that directly influences its effectiveness. To make the right choice, you should first thoroughly assess the environment where you intend to use the ghillie suit. This evaluation should include factors such as the terrain, predominant vegetation, and seasonal changes. For woodland environments, a pattern featuring a blend of greens, browns, and earthy tones to mimic trees and foliage works well. In desert settings, opt for sandy, tan, and light brown colors to blend into arid landscapes.

When choosing a ghillie suit, be sure to consider the environment you with trying to blend in to.

Snowy conditions call for a ghillie suit predominantly in white and light gray. Urban camouflage patterns with grays and muted cityscape colors are suitable for man-made environments. Modular ghillie suits that allow pattern adaptation for mixed terrain are also an option. It’s essential to consider lighting conditions, local wildlife, and compliance with regulations when making your final choice. Testing the ghillie suit in the intended environment can help fine-tune its effectiveness, ensuring that you achieve seamless concealment during your activities.

Material And Construction

When selecting a ghillie suit, careful consideration of both the material and construction is essential to ensure the suit meets your needs effectively. First, assess the base material of the ghillie suit, which provides the foundation for attaching camouflage elements. Common base materials include lightweight synthetics like polyester or nylon, known for their durability, quick-drying properties, and moisture resistance. Alternatively, traditional ghillie suits may incorporate natural materials like burlap, offering a classic appearance but potentially adding weight and reducing breathability.

Camouflage elements, typically made from jute or nylon threads, are attached to the base material. These elements should closely match the colors and textures of your intended environment. Some ghillie suits feature attachment points for adding natural materials like twigs and leaves to enhance camouflage. Additionally, consider the suit’s breathability, ensuring it allows for proper airflow to prevent overheating during active use.

Weight is another critical factor; lighter suits are often preferred for activities requiring mobility. The construction quality plays a significant role in durability; reinforced stitching in stress areas is vital for longevity, particularly in rugged terrain. Modular ghillie suits with adaptable components provide flexibility to suit different conditions. Sizing and fit must be considered for comfort and effective camouflage, with some suits offering adjustable options to accommodate various body types.

Evaluate attachment points for customization, as well as ease of putting on and taking off the suit, especially when time is a factor. Maintenance should also be a consideration; a ghillie suit that’s easy to clean and maintain will ensure long-term effectiveness. Ultimately, the right material and construction features should align with your intended use and the specific environmental conditions where the ghillie suit will be employed, ensuring comfort, durability, and optimal camouflage performance.

How To Make A Ghillie Suit

Creating a ghillie suit from scratch instead of buying one presents several compelling reasons. Firstly, it allows for unparalleled customization. Crafters have the freedom to select materials, colors, and patterns that precisely match their intended environment, ensuring optimal camouflage. Moreover, making your own ghillie suit can often be more cost-effective, as sourcing materials independently and investing time in the project can result in a high-quality suit without breaking the bank.

Quality control is another advantage. When crafting a ghillie suit, individuals have complete oversight of the materials used and the construction process. This enables them to choose durable fabrics and ensure strong stitching, resulting in a suit built to their desired standards.

The satisfaction of creation is also a significant factor. Building a ghillie suit from the ground up allows individuals to infuse their unique creativity and personal touch into the design. It fosters a sense of accomplishment and pride in the finished product.

Additionally, DIY ghillie suits offer adaptability. If the environment changes or modifications are needed, individuals can easily alter their suit to meet new requirements, avoiding the need for a completely new purchase.

Lastly, crafting a suit is an enjoyable project for many. It’s a relaxing off-season project, and there’s a certain sense of accomplishment you get using something unique that you made yourself vs a mass produced product that you purchased.

Choosing A Base Garment For Your Ghillie Suit

When crafting your own ghillie suit, the choice of a suitable base garment is the initial and crucial step. This base garment serves as the foundation for attaching camouflage materials and should offer comfort, durability, and secure attachment points. 

A lightweight jacket and pants made from breathable, moisture-wicking materials like ripstop nylon or polyester are often a wise choice, providing both functionality and comfort. Alternatively, a Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) set, designed for military use, offers sturdiness and ample pocket space. Coveralls provide full-body coverage and convenience, while ghillie ponchos can be draped over existing clothing for a quick camouflage solution. You can also consider a hoodie and sweatpants made from breathable fabrics as a budget-friendly option. 

Regardless of your choice, ensure the base garment allows comfortable movement, suits the season and climate of your intended environment, and provides the flexibility required for extended wear.

Choosing The Best Ghillie Suit Material

When assembling a ghillie suit, you have several options for the ghillie material, each with its own advantages. 

Jute twine is a popular choice, known for its durability and ease of use; it can be attached to your base garment to achieve the ghillie effect. Nylon netting offers versatility as you can cut it into strips and attach them to your suit, providing a lightweight and breathable option with good coverage. Burlap is a classic ghillie material, lending a natural and textured appearance; however, it can become heavy when wet and may require more maintenance. Synthetic ghillie threads, specifically designed for ghillie suits, are lightweight, durable, and moisture-resistant, offering various color options. Alternatively, you can repurpose old camouflage clothing or fabric scraps by cutting them into strips or patches and attaching them to your base garment.

Whatever you choose, just remember to consider factors like weight, breathability, and durability. You want something as light as possible that will also hold up to an outdoor environment.

Homemade Ghillie Suit Kits

Ghillie suit kits are an attractive alternative to assembling a complete suit from scratch. These kits include a range of essential materials such as pre-cut and dyed jute or synthetic threads, netting, and sometimes additional camouflage elements like fabric patches or vegetation loops.

What really sets these kits apart is the set of comprehensive instructions or guidelines provided. These step-by-step instructions offer clear directions on attaching the materials to your chosen base garment, achieving the desired camouflage effect, and customizing the suit to suit your specific environment. Commercial kits often offer a variety of camouflage patterns to choose from, allowing you to tailor your suit to match your surroundings. 

Arcturus Ghillie Suit Thread

While these kits provide convenience, they still allow room for customization, letting you adjust material placement and density according to your preferences. Additionally, the time-saving aspect of using a kit and the opportunity to learn ghillie suit construction fundamentals make these kits an attractive option for many DIY enthusiasts.

Best Ghillie Suits For You

If you prefer to buy rather than build a ghillie suit, we’ve taken the time to curate a selection of suits tailored to specific applications and environments.

Best Predator Hunting Ghillie Suit

Kill Suit® 3D Sapper Suit

Kill Suit® 3D Sapper Suit


  • Complete suit – Extra Long Jacket (with hood and face veil attached), rifle wrap, and storage bag
  • Special polyester material weave and specially chosen digital camo colorations which duplicate natural earth tone colorations and accentuate the ‘fade out” and camouflage affect
  • Optimized for varied semi-arid terrains
  • Grassland / CRP in early Fall thru Winter
  • Varied semi-arid terrains such as semi-arid, semi-desert or steppe.  Regions that typically receive less then 20 inches of precipitation annually.
  • Pine forest with abundance of “blow downs”, pine needles, medium dark bark
  • “Strips of material design” eliminates the collection of twigs and burrs often plaguing suits that use ghillie string 
  • Super light-weight. Complete suite weighs under 2 pounds
  • Hand washable, line dry. 

Best Bow Hunting Ghillie Suit

First Lite Phantom Leafy Suit Top

First Lite Phantom Leafy Suit Top


  • True to Size: Designed to layer over your outer layers in the same size you’d normally wear
  • Superior concealment via 3D leaf pattern, mimicking natural surroundings
  • Lightweight, breathable mesh layers quietly over clothing

Best Turkey Hunting Ghillie Suit

Ameristep 3D Leafy Poncho

Ameristep 3D Leafy Poncho ghillie suit


  • Nylon
  • Imported
  • Snap closure
  • Hand wash only
  • Excellent conealment
  • Durable yet lightweight webbing material with the mossy oak pattern is perfect for outdoor usage
  • Features an adjustable hood with a strap
  • Extremely lightweight and durable
  • Comes in a “one size fits most” size

Best Snow Ghillie Suit

Red Rock Outdoor Gear 5 Piece

Red Rock Outdoor Gear 5 Piece Ghillie Suit


  • Open mesh camo hides eyes/glasses while enhancing critical vision area of the face
  • Elastic/drawstring in pant waist snaps/button from mid-calf down for custom fit
  • Use for hunting, recon, paintball, airsoft, military law enforcement, and more
  • 5-piece set includes hood/veil, jacket, pants, gun cover, and storage bag
  • Gun-cover comes with ties and elastic straps on both ends
  • Veil/hood features an adjustable chin strap
  • Includes handy storage/carry bag
  • Easy snap closure on jacket
  • Built large and roomy
  • Fire retardant

Best Ghillie Suit Desert Camo




  • Mesh
  • One size fit all big enough to cover with your backpack
  • Easy put on and take off
  • Desert color with breathable mesh lining prevent you from overheat on warm weather
  • 4 line reinforcement sewing stitches prevents the strings from shedding

Best Woodland Ghillie Suit

MOPHOTO 3D Leafy Camo

MOPHOTO 3D Leafy Camo


  • Premium Polyester
  • Imported
  • Breathable and comfortable
  • Jacket zipper design is easy to open and close
  • Adjustable waistband
  • Elastic band on the hands and feet makes it easy to roll up sleeves and trouser legs without slipping
  • 1-year manufacture guarantee

Airsoft Sniper Ghillie Suit

MOPHOTO 5 in 1

MOPHOTO 5 in 1 Ghillie Suit


  • Includes hood, jacket, pants, gun wrap, and a stuff sack
  • Able to be stuffed in carrying case
  • Three size options
  • Tough and durable polyester and synthetic thread
  • 30-day money-back guarantee replacement warranty

Best Youth Ghillie Suit

ZORVEM Ghillie Suit

ZORVEM Ghillie Suit


  • Includes adjustable trousers, jacket, hood and a matching wrap for your weapon
  • Fits Kids (for kids 4’0″ to 5’0″), Teen (5’1″-5’6″), Regular (5’6″-6’0″) and Extra-Large (6’0″ and over)
  • 7 color camouflage design
  • Breathable and comfortable to wear
  • This ghillie suit is ideal to use for hunting, stalking, shooting, wildfowling, paintball, airsoft, and birdwatching

Final Thoughts On Ghillie Suits

In conclusion, ghillie suits are remarkable tools that have evolved from their humble origins to become versatile assets in various fields, from military operations to outdoor recreation. This complete guide has delved into the history, purpose, selection criteria, construction, and customization options of ghillie suits, empowering you with the knowledge needed to make an informed choice and, if desired, craft your own. Whether you are a passionate hunter, a wildlife photographer, or an outdoor enthusiast seeking to immerse yourself in nature, a ghillie suit can help you get just that little bit closer to nature.

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