An intro to Multicam

In the ever-evolving landscape of military and outdoor gear, one term frequently emerges as a point of interest: Multicam. But what exactly is Multicam, and why has it become such a pivotal element in both military and civilian arenas? This blog post aims to explore the essence of Multicam, its history, various uses, and its connection with the Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP).

multicam patterns

What is Multicam?

Multicam is a camouflage pattern designed for use in a wide range of environments. Developed by Crye Precision, it is characterized by its blend of muted greens, browns, and tans. This design is unique in its ability to adapt to various surroundings like desert, woodland, and urban environments, making it exceptionally versatile.

Let me show you pictures of our muticam tactical backpack to give you an intuitive impression.

muiticam tactical backpack
muiticam tactical backpack

The history of Multicam

Tracing back to the early 2000s, Multicam was born out of a need for a versatile and effective camouflage solution. Its journey began as a part of a U.S. Army research project aiming to create a universally applicable camouflage pattern.
Although it wasn’t immediately adopted by the U.S. military, its effectiveness was soon recognized in various combat and non-combat settings.

Why is it called MultiCam?

It is called “MultiCam” because it is a “multi-environment” or “multicamouflage” pattern, designed to be versatile and effective in a wide variety of environments and terrains.
The pattern achieves this through a carefully chosen blend of colors and a distinctive design that helps to break up the wearer’s outline.
The adaptability of MultiCam to different backgrounds is what makes its name so fitting.

Multicam and the Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP)

The U.S. Army officially adopted Multicam in 2010 as the Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP) for troops deploying to Afghanistan. It replaced the previously used Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP), offering a more effective concealment in diverse environments. OCP has since become synonymous with Multicam, though they have subtle differences in the following aspects.

Design and appearance

A key aspect of Multicam’s design is its use of a gradient pattern combined with varying shades. This unique combination allows it to reflect the surrounding environment effectively, making it blend seamlessly in diverse settings.

OCP, often referred to as Scorpion W2, is a camouflage pattern used by the United States Army. It is similar to Multicam but it tends to have a more green and brown dominant color scheme.
It was designed specifically to be more effective in a wider range of environments, particularly in Afghan terrain.

Color palette

Multicam uses a palette that includes shades of green, tan, brown, and small amounts of dark brown and light pink.
OCP, while similar, generally has a more muted color palette and may include more greenish tones compared to Multicam.


Both patterns are designed to be effective in a range of environments. However, the specific color adjustments in OCP were made to better suit the specific regions where U.S. Army personnel were operating, particularly in the Middle East.

Public perception and availability

Multicam has gained popularity not only in military applications but also among civilians, particularly in outdoor and tactical gear.
OCP, being a standard issue for the U.S. Army, is primarily seen in military contexts but is also available for civilian purchase.

multicam soft rifle case
Precision Rifle Bag

Multicam soft rifle case

OCP soft rifle case

Multicam variations

Multicam has several variations, each tailored for specific terrains or conditions. Here are the main Multicam variations:

Multicam Arid: Designed for arid, desert environments. It has lighter colors, with various shades of tan and beige, and fewer dark spots.

Multicam Tropic: Suited for tropical and dense jungle environments. This variation has more greens and darker colors to blend into lush vegetation.

Multicam Alpine: Intended for snowy, winter conditions. It primarily uses white and light grey colors, helping to blend into snowy landscapes.

Multicam Black: Created for law enforcement and special operations use, especially in urban and nighttime operations. It features a darker color scheme with black and grey, maintaining the same pattern as the original Multicam.

Each of these variations is designed with the same pattern principles as the original Multicam but with a color palette optimized for specific environments, enhancing the effectiveness of the camouflage in those particular settings.

multicam arid patterns
multicam tropic patterns
multicam alpine patterns

Widespread uses of Multicam

Multicam’s utility extends beyond the military. It’s widely used in:

Law enforcement: Tactical units across the globe use Multicam for its adaptability in various operations.
Hunting and outdoor activities: The pattern’s versatility makes it a favorite among hunters and nature enthusiasts, offering effective concealment in different landscapes.
Fashion industry: Its unique pattern has found a place in civilian fashion, appearing in various clothing and accessory lines.
Film and television: Multicam is often chosen for realistic military attire in movies and TV shows, adding authenticity to the portrayal of soldiers and tactical units.

The future of Multicam

The development of MultiCam involved advanced computer algorithms and real-world testing to create a pattern that effectively disrupts visual and near-IR wavelengths.

As technology advances, so does the evolution of camouflage patterns. Multicam continues to be at the forefront, adapting and innovating to meet the changing needs of its users. Its future lies in its ability to adapt – not just in terms of design but in its applications across various fields.


Multicam’s journey from a military research project to a globally recognized pattern is a story of innovation and adaptability. Its widespread use in various sectors is a testament to its effectiveness and versatility. As we look towards the future, Multicam’s role in both military and civilian applications continues to be a topic of great interest and development.

You can browse and find various multicam products on our product pages, including multicam  backpacks and bags, multicam plate carrier, multicam vests, etc.